Category Archives: Photography

Adios 2020!

Heck… what a year!

Despite all that as happened this year there has been positives and reasons to celebrate. It’s been a very different year to most and opportunities have been somewhat curtailed by the curved balls thrown our way.  This though, is a photographic blog so I’ll try and stay on-message and talk a little about the photo’s that I’ve added to my collection during the year.

As usual, there’s been lots of climbing images; both at comps and in the outdoors. Scenery shots too. Sadly however, very few travel shots although that is another discussion altogether! All have their specific challenges and rewards. Out of the blue I was asked to shoot a friend’s wedding; no pressure! The autumn was an incredible period too; full of rich and vibrant colours and just as the year ends the first snow fall of the year dramatically changes the scenery overnight.

As in previous years, my photography these days ranges from DSLR, through compacts to a mobile. The camera in your hand is always better than that at home! Here’s 12 of my favourite shots from 2020 along with a brief commentary on each…

February saw the Plywood Masters at BoulderUK; it was an honour to be asked by them to shoot the event for their social media. Two days of cracking competitive climbing on the blocs. Lead by Ian Vickers, the setting team aced it; right down to a jam crack in the men’s finals. There were those that couldn’t but those that could, cruised it.

Maximillian Milne – aka @maxthefuture – cranking the jam crack to finish second to Jim Pope

 

Early March saw me in France along with a Sheffield team of Steve McClure, Al Murray and Rab Carrington. Our destination was Saint Cezaire; an “off-the-grid” sport crag in the Maritimes Alps and just 45minutes or so drive from Nice airport. Described as tufa-heaven by our old friends and ex-pats Mike and Elaine Owen we “just” had to go check it out.

Steve McClure on-sighting one of the best routes in the area; Hilti Base Jump (F8a+) at Sector Le Discret

 

By all accounts Saint Cezaire is flooded with tourists in the summer as they flock to the river to cool off. We weren’t in the least bit tempted to jump into the ice river but 100’s do in the warmer summer and its easy to see why.

Rab Carrington crossing the River Siagnole whilst walking out from Sector South

 

By mid-March Britain, along with the rest of Europe, was facing the eye of the storm whipped up by said coronavirus. The Climbing Works International Festival – aka The CWIF – usually signals the start of the competition climbing year; in 2020 it actually signalled the end! Well, certainly the end of the beginning of the season!

Yoshiyuki Ogata polishing off M4 to take first place and a deserved win at CWIF 2020

 

By the time that the national lockdown  lifted in mid-May the unbelievable dry spring had left the crags very dry; drier than most years. Peak Limestone was like a magnet as climbers flocked to make-up for lost (climbing) time. The Nook in Chee Dale has never been a particular busy crag; it wasn’t this year but that was fine by us as we enjoyed the unusually dry routes. By mid-June a sudden turn for the worst in the weather soaked The Nook; not before we’d ticked a few off though.

Rob Richmond demoing the steeper section of The Nook taken by A Cure for Foot Jams (F7b+)

 

When on a winning streak it’s usually a good plan to continue. Doing exactly that we sampled the hidden delights of Dale Quarry south of Matlock. It was re-discovered in 2019 and several new routes added. It’s definitely not a beauty spot but heck, the quality of the climbing totally makes up for that; thoroughly recommended.

Rob Richmond (again) on the new classic Steampunk (F7b+)

 

Covid-19 changed many things in 2020 – not least of which was wedding ceremonies. I was asked to do the honours at Jenny and Phil’s wedding in Sheffield and I have to say it was an amazing day; the weather and everything was just perfect!

Jenny and Phil strutting their stuff in Sheffield after they’d tied the knot

 

Necessity is often said to be the mother of invention. I guess in a normal year we’d have been travelling farther afield but that would have meant we’d not explored our own back-yard. That, I suspect, is something we might need to get better at doing going forward and to be fair that won’t necessarily be a bad thing! One venue I’d always meant to explore more was Long Tor Quarry, Matlock. It turns out its got some excellent routes – most of which are not push-overs. I totally lucked-out on one of my visits when I lowered down off a pitch, grabbed my compact and snapped (literally) what I think is a corking shot…

Jed Hanshaw cranking away on The Boltest (F7c/+)

 

The Devil’s Gorge at Pantymyn in North Wales is both fickle and amazing; getting the best of connies is a fine art. Although relatively limited in extent, it has an excellent selection of routes and more are being added all the time.

Described as “a brilliant euro-style stamina challenge” by first ascentionist, Ally Smith captured on It Takes Glue to Tango (F8a)

 

Graham Hoey, an avid gritstoner and an old mucker, has penned a new selected guide to the gritstone classics in the Peak. As odd as it may sound, some of the absolute classics in the area are actually in quarries such as Lawrencefield. There’s usually something dry even in the worst of weathers.

Jordan Buys on the Lawrencefield classic, Boulevard (E3 5c)

 

The gritstone edges in the Peak have an unbelievable quantity of bouldering on them; Baslow is no exception. In fact, it probably true to say that the bouldering is better than the routes. It passed under the spotlight a few years back and most of the classics have been done now. It’s usually pretty quiet so well worth checking out.

Donie O’Sullivan hanging around on Heroes/Heroines bloc

 

Just after Xmas the Peak – and Sheffield – got it’s first real taste of winter. The woods nearby to me are a frequent haunt and the colours have been incredible this autumn. My last shot of my 2020 collection is a little surreal I think; one small tree has held onto its golden brown leaves and stood out against the sombre black and white surroundings. It seems to me to a be a good place to end the year; a symbol of richness and tenacity – the latter is something which we’ve all needed in 2020 and I suspect will stand us in good stead for a while longer as we head into 2021!

Happy New Year!

Also posted in Adventure, Bouldering, Climbing, General

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, Interviews

Leonidio – The next Kalymnos?

Word on the street was that Leonidio – the latest ‘must-visit’, off-season, hot-rock, Greek destination – was the new Kalymnos! Experience tells the savvy climber that new destinations have a habit of being over-hyped; Leonidio however, sounded a little different. 

Steve McClure onsighting Kopa Kabana F7c+/Kopa Kabana Ext at F8b at Elona

A team was pulled together and flights booked; it was time to go and investigate. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that...

Oliva Hsu cruising up Paranihida F7a+ at Elona

Steve McClure, Simon Lee, Rab Carrington and myself hit the tarmac at Athens International in December 2017. However, we were far from alone in our mission to boldly go. Another team of Brits comprising Chris Gore, Martin Atkinson, Chris Plant, Chris Hamper and Phil Burke were also there on a similar mission. It turned out that Dani Andradi and a number of other Spanish wads were also there cruising round the crags as was a small international team of ladies which included Daila Ojeda and Olivia Hsu. Plenty of other climbers were also there – maybe a couple of hundreds in total albeit all spread out in the various Airbnb’s scattered about Leonidio.

Dani Andrada picking his way effortlessly, so it seemed, up the 60m giant that is Goliath Ext F8b at Elona – again!

We picked Elona from the guidebook as the first crag to visit and what a crag it turned out to be! Barring a dozen or so routes which date back to the late 2000’s, most of the routes there had only been climbed in the last couple of years. If Elona was anything to go by, Leonidio really was starting to look like a treasure trove!

Looking down on Leonidio from the hills

Elona’s overhanging tufa garden hit us between the eyes and knocked us for six; it really was very good indeed! Without a doubt, Elona is a world-class wall giving world-class routes.  

Nifida also has some pretty amazing routes including Bersteingerkante F7c+ and its Ext F8b+; one of Dani’s mates on the initial section

Whilst I would have been perfectly happy to spend the entire week at Elona – yes, those tufa lines really are that lush – Nifadia is yet another excellent crag just round the corner from Elona. A deep central cave divides the left and right hand sectors of Nifadia, both of which – like the central cave – have some very steep routes on them. 

Steve McClure on-sighting (what else) but yet another F8a; Skithrpos at H.A.D.A.

Elona and Nifadia were great crags but we still haven’t even scratched the surface! Next up was H.A.D.A., that too was rumoured to be another great crags so yep, we had a day there as well. It’s a bit of a hike up a secondary valley but very much worth the effort; another stonking crag and one with an absolute mass of new-route potential.

Leonidio high street

In total, we had a week at Leonidio and what a week it was! To be fair we hit it lucky; pretty much every crag was done-dry. Some other friends from Sheffield visited a month or so later in January 2018 and they reported back that they weren’t quite so lucky; as with many places the weather isn’t totally reliable so the crags can be quite wet after a prolonged spell of wet weather. It also appears that it’s not unknown for a dusting of snow to be on the ground in January either.

The half dozen or so crags we visited are literally only a handful of those at Leoindio. For more details on the routes we climbed and the of crags we visited, check-out my article in the latest issue (March- April) of Climber Magazine which has just hit the shelves.

The near-by sea front is a great place to unwind on a rest day

BTW, there’s a new guide out now for Leonidio and Kyparissi. It’s got around 1700 routes in, mostly at Leoindio. It’s well worth getting a copy even if you have the older version. A full review will appear in the next issue (May-June) of Climber. 

Elona Monastery; quite a place to hang out – hope no-one sleep walks!

And the take-away; yeah, there’s an abundance of great routes spread across a plethora of amazing crags at Leonidio. It’s certainly an excellent alternative winter venue destination. Whether Leonidio is the next Kalymnos is hard to say – best go yourself and make your own mind up!

Also posted in Climbing

A Decimal Dozen from 2018

So, as a climbing photog I shoot mainly outdoor subjects right. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t shoot other subjects as well as I’ve always figured that shooting different subjects is a good challenge which ultimately drives creativity. Likewise a year-end review one’s own work offers a good opportunity to see what you did in the year which you like in retrospect and/or what you’d do different if your kit, like The Dr’s, included a Tardis.

Climbing and photography have both been good to me – and both float my boat. Yet it remains very difficult, read next to impossible IMO, to do both in the same time continuum; you need to concentrate on one or the other to get the best out of either. A trip to Spain in January/February, as a climbing boot-camp, has become something of a ‘must-do’ activity. I go with the firm intention to climbing lots and lots and lots but take the camera along as well – just in case.

Paul cranking up the excellent Oceano (F7b) at Wildside

Photo opps on a ‘climbing’ trip are typically minimal but a day at Wildside towards the end of my trip in February offered a fleeting opportunity to get high up and so get a suitable angle. A single opportunity in a whole week isn’t much but you have to grab what you can when you can on these trips.

 

A boarder cruising one of the slalom’s at Risoul

I came to skiing late in life; however, if it wasn’t for climbing I could become a ski-bum for sure! Last year we rocked up in Risoul in early April; thankfully there was plenty of snow about despite it being the end of the season. As with climbing photography, ski shots need to be planned; very occasionally something does pop-up that worth nabbing. Shooting from a lift isn’t the norm but it can give an interesting alternative with luck.

 

Mina on the top roof of Totally Free II, Malham

By May we were well into the Malham season and in May last year Mina was taking a bit of time out from her long-term project to get a bit of mileage done. Totally Free II is one of the longest single-pitch routes at Malham as well as in the country and it’s a stonker. Catching Mina on the top roof had entailed a hell-for-leather run up the plethora of steps on the left of The Cove; it was worth it though even if I had to hang over the edge without a rope to get an angle that I wanted to show the totally out-there feel that pulling over the top roof can only entail!


That candid moment after the wedding ceremony when you’re alone – apart from the photog – and crack out the big smiles!

Also in May I shoot a wedding! My Dad used to shoot weddings and yet it was a gazillion miles what I ever wanted to do. However, when you’re asked by very good friends what the heck can you say but yes!! I argued with myself that shooting digitally at least I’d be able to review the shots as the day progressed – what could go wrong?! It was still a stressful business though; definitely can’t go for a re-shoot afterwards!! Will I do more then? Hmmm, maybe, maybe not – pleasure though to capture Graham and Helen’s big day though…

 

Abersoch Harbour at dusk

Fast forward to August and a surfing trip to Abersoch in North Wales. I’d been threatening to take my girls surfing for a couple of years – going ‘public’ meant that it would be harder to bottle and duck-out. Like many photogs, I’d dabbled with surfing shots – albeit from the safety that the shoreline offers! I’d love to have a go catching surfing from actually in the water but I suspect that will be one item that remains on my bucket list for some time. Arriving at Abersoch late on the Friday we were treated to a storming sunset. Fortunately, I made the effort to get down to the harbour and rattle a few shots off as dusk fell; just as well given the two days of solid rain that followed!!


Katherine Choong pulling down in the Hallshalleran Cave

Flatanger, Norway has gotten under many peoples’ skin; certainly it’s firmly embedded under mine! My second trip last September was the usual mixture of amazing conditions; amazing good and amazingly bad! It’s one heck of a locale is Flatanger – not only a stunning venue with some amazing scenery but its (obvs) got a stack of stunning climbing too.

 

The sunsets are often spectacular; maybe not literally to die for but pretty darned good!

It’s a tough gig though; don’t even consider it if your into apres climb and can’t handle day after day of rain and wind. I’ll be writing a piece for Climber Magazine later this year to if you’re interested keep an eye out for that!

 

Airbnb is definitely a thing these days and images for accommodation listings are an integral part of that process

Come September I had a request to shoot a flat for an Airbnb listings; something different again so off I went! It’s an interesting exercise in balancing perspective and lighting.

 

Chelsea Park in the autumn

Brincliffe Woods and Chelsea Park are literally right on my doorstep; it seems wrong not to capture autumn which is a fantastic time of the year. Again, it’s about selecting a subject, then a viewpoint then having the lighting to tell the story. I spotted these tucked away in a corner of the park so got down low and included a brightly coloured distant tree to contrast the foreground.

 

Mark stretched out on one of NW’s classic Font 7a – Elephantitus

I’m always pretty keen to get away to North Wales bouldering so when a decent dry spell popped-up in the forecast it was an easy decision to pack and go. We had three days of cracking weather and came back utterly spent. I (finally) got to go to an number of areas that I’d been meaning to check-out for some time including Sheep Pen and The Elephantitus  Cave. Sheep Pen is utterly brilliant and the setting leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. Defo a venue to check-out if you’re not been and yeah, there’s plenty – like tons – to go at! The Elephantitus Cave couldn’t be different to be honest; a small, lake-side venue but the blocs again are brilliant – especially Elephantitus itself.

 

The eagerly anticipated Statement of Youth didn’t disappoint the KMF audience

Finally then, Kendal Mountain Festival. This is another ‘thing’ which is very much on many climbers’ annual calendar. Last year, the weather was absolutely cracking and I, like many, simply couldn’t resist getting out onto the rocks for a bit. KMF is, of course, all about films and literature and last year they were some pretty stout films and books knocking about. I’m biased, having lived in Sheffield at the time the Hunter House Road houses were the place to hang, but Statement of Youth was a splendid trip down memory lane. Any other year and New Dawn, the film about Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson’s battle royal with The Dawn Wall, might have scooped all but last year it was up against Free Solo which centred on Alex Honnold’s utter audacious solo of Freerider on El Cap; that was captivating.

So that was a decimal dozen of subjects from 2018; no not a dozen, or a Baker’s Dozen but a decimal dozen! Yeah sure there’s 11 pixs – value for money egh!! More this year!!

Also posted in Adventure, Bouldering, Climbing, General, Scenic, Skiing, Travel

Some Top Blocs in North Wales

With temperature dipping into single figures and a three-day high pressure system it was a no-brainer; pack the pads and head out west to North Wales.

Mark picking a pocket or two on Fagin at Clogwyn y Bustach

We figured we needed to avoid the northerly wind and save skin and energy so our two-part plan was pretty simple – start late on the Saturday and head to Clogwyn y Bustach above Llyn Gwynant and hope that Snowdon would act as a giant wind breaker.  Walking-in mid-afternoon we thought we’d blown it but once inside the tree it was indeed sheltered – if however – a tad on the damp side. Bustach was predominantly dry though and kept us entertained for a good couple of hours. Fagan and Sick Happy (Stand) couldn’t be more different if they tried – great blocs though, for different reasons! Fagan, by the way, feels like a limestone pocketed wall and it seems almost impossible not to mouth the words from the famous song whilst pulling up the ever improving pockets!

Mark Sick Happy at Bustach again

Sunday was Sheep Pen day; what a location it is too high above the A5 as it snakes towards the Ogwen Valley. And what rock too – totally lush; defo one of the best locations in North Wales which is just as well as pretty much all the blocs put up a fair bit of resistance and will need more than a few trip up there! The Pinch has to be one of the best and aesthetic looking problems anywhere but the Main Block has got to have a lifetime of pulling on it for most peeps! It was pretty primo connies all day; the snow was still on the tops when we’d gonnen back to the car late afternoon so it clearly wasn’t overly warm all day!

Ogwen at close of play Sunday

We woke on Monday morning to a frost on the ground so we figured a sunny venue would be in order. Craig Llyn, a new bouldering venue on the shores of LLyn Dinas sounded just fine; the east-facing roadside location a total bonus. Voie Normale and Voie Normale SS were just what we wanted to get going. Whether Voie Normale SS is one of the best Font 7a in North Wales is open to discussion but it is defo very good if a little more accommodating for the taller climber.

Pete Robbins warming-up on Elephantitus

Suitably warmed-up, we shifted up the road to Elephantitus. It’s a stunning location and whilst it might only have a limited number of blocs the quality is absolutely stonking. Elephantitus is another candidate for ‘the best Font 7a in North Wales’. Part way through our session local Pete Robbins rocked up and proceeded to polish off the project link starting up Going Down on an Elephant in what couldn’t only be described as double-quick time to give Bucking Bronco Font 7c – nice work Pete!

Pete crushing the final moves on his latest addition Bucking Bronco Elephantitus

Great weather, great blocs, great trip…

photocrati gallery

Also posted in Bouldering

Mina Leslie-Wujastyk is Totally Free

Privileged to have a bird-eye view last week whilst photographing Mina Leslie-Wujastyk send Totally Free II (F8b) at Malham. It was pretty inspiring stuff from Mina – as usual!

Mina Leslie-Wujastyk on the headwall of Totally Free II on her unsuccessful attempt last Wednesday

At 70m in length it’s one of the longest single pitch hard sport routes in the UK. Mina tied in at 4pm on Wednesday 9th. An hour later, she had topped the final roof and only two metres or so of climbing remained; a nasty, rounded mantleshelf onto the final, final headwall. Having belayed Mina on the first half of The Groove, I handed over the belay duty to ‘Buster’ Martin and then ran round to the top of The Cove with my camera.

I arrived to see Mina climbing Free and Easy – perhaps the second most ‘out-there’ F7c in the UK. At the top of that she faced the final roof of Breach of the Peace – a huge roof right at the top of The Cove another F7c pitch and definitely totally ‘out-there’.

Finally she committed to the final roof. Determined as ever, Mina was soon on the very lip but it was almost immediately obvious that she’d hit a problem. She could just about reach the final quickdraw above and off to one side of her but the rope drag was so bad she couldn’t pull any slack through and clip it. Then the forecast rain started; initially a few spots being blown in on an increasing wind. She hung there for fully ten minutes shaking out and trying to clip the draw as it swung about in the wind. Cramping badly and in the face of increasing rain she gritted her teeth and committed to the mantleshelf finish. Pulling over the final bulge she drew level with the quickdraw – still stubbornly off to one side. Her movement were determined but her elbows were up. One final last-ditch throw to a distant hold failed; totally blown she fell off the final roof into the wind, the rain and the abyss!

Mina back on the headwall again during her successful ascent on Friday

Two metres off a 70m route after 70 minutes climbing was no place to fall! Two days later Mina was back. Battle-scarred and still pretty tired but with a new game-plan. Her first burn she fell off the top of The Groove. A weaker person might have thrown the towel in – but not Mina! “It’s always worth one more go though” she said before tying in again for what turned out to be a successful ascent, the first by a women of one of the longest and best single-pitch hard sport route in the UK.

Also posted in Climbing

Snowdon Calling

Sprinkled with a tantalising dusting of snow Snowdon was calling this weekend; at least it seemed so as the Pen-y-Pass car park was rammed at 6:30 am on Saturday!

Nant Grwyd, Pen-y-Grwyd and a hint of Snowdon

Nant Gwryd, Pen-y-Grwyd and a hint of Snowdon

Driving along the North Wales coast road we could see the white-topped Snowdon standing out in the distance. Remarkably, given the high ambient temps, the dusting of snow seemed to be persisting.

Snowdon and Crib Goch from the east

Snowdon and Crib Goch from the east

Tempting as it was, I didn’t get set foot onto Snowdon though that didn’t stop me getting a few snaps in the can first thing Saturday morning…

DSC_4680_00__lo res.jpgDSC_4659_01__lo res.jpgDSC_4663_02__lo res.jpgDSC_4669_03__lo res.jpgDSC_4706_04__lo res.jpgDSC_4718_06__lo res.jpgDSC_4714_05__lo res.jpg

Also posted in Scenic, Walking

Young Guns – a.k.a. GB Climbing Development Squad

Managed to touch-base recently with some of the Britain’s best young climbers during a GB Climbing Development Squad meeting.

Aiden Dunne bearing down on the Wasp 8a at The Foundry

Aiden Dunne bearing down on the Wasp 8a at The Foundry

It’s impossible not to be uber impressed with these guys – their output is little sort of phenomenal and their attitude and psyche is amazing. I caught up with William Bosi, Jim Pope and Aidan Roberts at The Foundry. They’d all had great weekend – firstly at Awesome Walls and then at The Foundry. Some, Jim Pope – for example, had even slipped a session in at The Works after Awesome Walls. They – alongside the rest of the squad – are ‘on it’ and gunning for the top slots in this year’s comps. Sure, they all take full advantage of the training facilities at their disposal and the experience of their coaches but they graft super hard and are seeing the results.

I’m in the throes of writing an article on the Development Squad for CLIMBER Magazine BTW, so look out for that in a forthcoming edition if you wanna find out more.

GB Dev02_DSC_4545_lo res.jpgGB Dev04_DSC_4585_lo res.jpgGB Dev05_DSC_4598_lo res.jpg

Also posted in Climbing

2016 British Bouldering Championships @ Cliffhanger

2016 British Bouldering Championships at Cliffhanger

July 14th; 2016

Shauna Coxsey and Matt Cousins lifted the 2016 senior British Bouldering Championship titles at the Cliffhanger Festival in Sheffield last weekend.

BBC_2016_024_DSC_8808

Shauna Coxsey – MBE, 2016 British Bouldering and World Cup Champion

 

 

 

 

Shauna Coxsey’s form throughout 2016 has been little short of phenomenal. Having already secured the Bouldering World Cup with the final event still to be held, Shauna went into the BBC as odds-on favourite. That she totally dominated the women’s event at the BBC’s came as no surprise to anyone. But for a single problem in the semi-finals Shauna flashed every other problem brushing many aside as though they were just warm-ups.

The men’s event however was a little more finely balanced. Dave Barrans scored a perfect round in the qualifiers flashing all five blocs. It was however, Matt Cousins – runner-up in the qualification round – that came to the fore in the semi-finals and finals to take the top slot with a deserved and consistent performance.

BBC_2016_023_DSC_8774

Matt Cousins – 2016 British Bouldering Champion

The Cliffhanger Festival – in its ninth year – has become a regular feature of the summer scene here in Sheffield. For the first time however, the festival was held in the city centre rather that out in either Millhouses or Graves Parks. Sharing the stage with a running, biking and hiking hub, the city’s outdoor fraternity were well-served and turned out in force despite the changeable weather.

The setting team – Percy Bishton, Andy Long, Jamie Cassidy, Rob Napier and Ben Meeks – came up with the goods setting a whole raft of interesting-looking, spectator-friendly blocs for the competitors.

The women’s results were:

1st Shauna Coxsey; 2nd Tara Hayes; 3rd Leah Crane; 4th Michaele Tracey; 5th Gracie Martin;  6th Jo Neame

The men’s results were:

1st Matt Cousins; 2nd Nathan Phillips; 3rd Orrin Coley; 4th Billy Ridal; 5th James Garden; 6th Dave Barrans

Finally, here’s a selection of shots from the finals…

 

BBC_2016_Finalists checking out the blocsBBC_2016_Finalists checking out the blocsBBC_2016_Leah Crane wrestling with the crux sloper on W1BBC_2016_Jo Neame hunting the sweet spot on the sloper on W1BBC_2016_Tara Hayes staying low on the sloper on W1BBC_2016_What sloper? It's a pinch not a sloper says Shauna Coxsey (MBE)BBC_2016_Billy Ridal getting into the groove on M2BBC_2016_Jo Neame wrestling with W2BBC_2016_Billy Ridal progressing on M2BBC_2016_Tara Hayes nearing the top of W2BBC_2016_Orrin Coley in the midst of the blankness that was M3BBC_2016_Jo Neame on the tufatastic W3BBC_2016_Tara Hayes on W3BBC_2016_Shauna Coxsey crushing W3BBC_2016_Shauna again on W3BBC_2016_Gracie Martin on W4BBC_2016_Michaela Tracy on W4BBC_2016_Orrin Coley sizing up the dyno on M4BBC_2016_James Garden launching one on M4BBC_Dave Barrans on/off M4BBC_2016_Nathan Phillips landing the crux dyno on M4BBC_2016_Matt Cousins letting rip on M4BBC_2016_Matt Cousins latching M4BBC_2016_And another win to Shauna Coxsey after flashing W4BBC_2016_Women PodiumBBC_2016_Mens PodiumBBC_2016_2016 scoreboard... the envy of the world!

Footnote: I wrongly commented in my 2015 Cliffhanger report that last year’s Cliffhanger was the ninth – it was in fact ‘only’ the eighth.

Also posted in Bouldering, Climbing, Events

Selling Ice to the Eskimos?

April 27th, 2016

Question: what have Harewood House, Whitby Abbey, Steve McClure and Scarborough all got in common?

Answer: they are all appearing on VisitBritain website pitching Yorkshire to the French as part of promotional drive for the Tour du Yorkshire which – as you all know – starts tomorrow, April 28th.

So, Q&A over; what that got to do with me or my photography. That’s simple – I’ll explain.

VisitBritain_Malham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amongst the millions of images out there I’m chuffed to say that Visit Britain have used an image of mine featuring Steve McClure on Overshadow at Malham as part of the promotional drive to ‘sell’ both Yorkshire and the Tour du Yorkshire to the French. Turns out, that Visit Britain are using four disparate images, one each featuring Harewood House, Whitby Abbey, Steve McClure climbing at Malham Cove and a group of Sky cyclists at Scarborough, as a hook to get our nearest neighbours over here to take in the scenes. Said images, complete with accompanying graphics et al, are being sprayed to your friends across the English Channel right now…

Top French climbers have – as we all know – ventured across the Channel from time to time in the past; that’s hardly a revelation, if you get my drift. Many top French cyclists came over a couple of years back for the Grand Depart to the 2014 Tour du France. So maybe selling Yorkshire to the French won’t be quite as hard – as the saying goes – as selling ice to the Eskimos?

Be that as it may, I’m pleased to been able to help out with a pix of Steve on Overshadow. Maybe if they hang on a day or two I can get some shots of Steve when he tops out on his super project just to the right of Overshadow?

Anyways, here’s the images/pages being sprayed into France right now…

Tour Du Yorkshire banner.jpgVisitBritain_Harewood House.pngVisitBritain_Malham.pngVisitBritain_Scarborough.pngVisitBritain_Whitby Abbey.png

 

Also posted in Climbing, Travel