Category Archives: Interviews

Interview with Edu Marin

Over the years I’ve been incredibly lucky to witness and photograph some incredible climbers and ascents. During my visit to Hanshallaren in September 2018 I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Edu Marin, Spanish rock-god and all-round great guy.

Edu Marin cruising through the roof section of Odin’s Eye whilst attempting the second ascent of Adam Ondra’s Valhalla, a 60m F9a/+ at Hanshallaren

Midway through his trip, whilst climbing in bad conditions, he slipped off sloping handholds at the start of the route and took a 4m ground-fall. The climbers around him, myself included, watched helpless, as Edu hit the boulder-strewn cave floor flat on his back; landing with an almighty bang the sickening noise echoed eerily around the cave. His back and ankle had taken the brunt of the fall but Edu was back on his feet within a minute or so then, despite the considerable pain, he slowly hobbled across the huge boulders in the bottom of the cave heading back to the campsite normally 30 minutes’ walk away.

His fall would have broken most climbers – quite literally! Edu however spent the next few days resting and stretching then started one-foot climbing on the bouldering wall in the barn. Within a week Edu was back on the route wearing an oversized climbing shoe then, amazingly, he redpointed the second ascent of Valhalla a couple of weeks later.

Edu, having completed Odin’s Eye, is pushing on into the second half of Valhalla (F9a/+)

His efforts at Flatanger was however an hors d’oeuvres for his real mission; a trip to Geta Arch, China, the world’s largest overhanging arch where his target was a 350m long, 14 pitch monster project.

I interviewed Edu for the latest issue (March/April) of Climber Magazine talking to him about the difficulties he has faced throughout his career and what drives him relentlessly forward and how he has developed into the phenomenal athlete he is today.

Also posted in Climbing, General, Photography

Interview with Mick Fowler – A Climbing Legend

Without a doubt he’s a climber’s climber, a climbing legend and a pioneer with true grit.

Mick Fowler probing the envelop on Jermyn Street in the mid 70's

Mick Fowler probing the envelop on Jermyn Street in the mid 70’s

He rampaged around the country doing first ascents of classic routes like Linden, Caveman and Ludwig – all E6 – and then turned to winter mountaineering doing Shield Direct – the first route to be given VI (now VII, 7). The chalk cliffs of Dover amused him but the Himalaya provided a play-ground that he excelled at. The first ascent of Gave Ding in 2016 secured him his third Piolet d’Or.

I first met him in the Peak District in the mid 70’s. Around that time I photographed him spread-eagled on blank rock attempting an unclimbed direct finish to Jermyn Street at Millstone. It’s still unclimbed today by the way. He was probing the envelope – something which he’s done on numerous occasions throughout his climbing career, a career that spans more than four decades.

He’s a reluctant ‘hero’ but, without a doubt, he’s a climber’s climber, a climbing legend and a pioneer. I had the privilege of listening to some of his exploits at Kendal in November 2016 and have interviewing him recently. That interview will be in the next edition of CLIMBER.

He, is Mick Fowler…

 

Mick Fowler recounting a stand-out occasion from one of many epic London to Scotland trips at Kendal 2016Mick Fowler looking at a direct finish to Jermyn Street, Millstone in the mid 70's