Peak Bouldering

The week after I finished my exams I went and stayed with Josh Williams and his family in Marple for a couple of days. On our first day out we managed to send every 5+ – 7a+ problem at Burbage South Edge which was rated classic in the guidebook, it was fantastic! The next day we went to Stanage Plantation and climbed absolutely nothing lol.

Even more for the List

I’ve been trying more and more highball problems and been finding the mental challenge of pushing yourself to go higher when you’re scared out of your mind EXTREMELY fun. These two problems look fantastic.


Almscliffe – numero dos

Last time I was at Almscliffe I had a few tries at Cherry Falls (8a+) and Canine (8a).

I’m hopeful that I might be able to do Cherry Falls, the first video I found was of Martin Smith, one of the owners of City Bloc in Leeds, sending the problem in the middle of winter. I’m possibly going to City Bloc today, and hopefully to Almscliffe tomorrow!

There are no video of anyone climbing Canine, so I’m trying to work out beta from the photos of Tom Peckitt’s first ascent of the problem:


I’ll post about how I get on tomorrow if I do get out to Almscliffe, just feeling like I should keep this blog updated on what I’m up to.

More for the List

Greg Chapman has been keeping a really detailed blog about every problem in the country with a grade above 8a, so there’s a lot of ideas for things to climb here.

Also been having a look at the list Josh sent me a while ago; him and I will be going out climbing around the Peak District. Probably going to be a bit warm, but this video of Stewart Watson has got me really psyched to at least have a go at Voyager.


I’ve finished University for now (only one exam left and not until August :D), so have been out climbing a HUGE amount, mostly at Almscliffe.

Since doing the Keel ages ago, I’ve been attempting the Keelhaul, an 8a extension starting way at the back of the boulder and ignoring the large block used in the Keel. There are lots of big reachy moves and awkward heelhooks, but it’s exactly my sort of climbing. However, I have terrible footwork, and for about a year have been finding it impossible to keep my feet on while I match the chipped hold.

Jan Hojer’s new training video gave me inspiration to go completely the other way, ignoring using my feet and seeing what would happen if I tried monkeying my way through the crux section.

The new beta almost got me up the problem on my next session back, but once I had practiced the campusing sequence I didn’t have enough power left to send it from the start. I went back several times hoping my next fresh attempt would be the one, until one of them was!

Not the way I’d planned on doing the problem and not a way I’m sure I should be proud of, but all the same I was really pleased to get it done! I also very nearly managed to flash Underhand Extension, got it second go in the end but couldn’t believe I’d never even tried it before, it’s great. My sending spree of the day quickly got put to a stop by Pebble Wall (6c+, but feels much harder). I did eventually get it after many attempts, but not before slipping off it at the wrong moment and having my face bashed against the wall.

I’ll hopefully be going back to Almscliffe soon, I’ve now been trying Tom Peckitt’s Canine (8a) and playing around on Cherry Falls (8a+), as well as having a few pointless attempts at Brown’s Roof, a pretty big highball with a committing top out which I back out of every time!

I’ll also be going to the Leeds Uni Climbing club BBQ at caley, which is going to be incredible, and then a few days climbing around the peak district with Josh Williams!

Another great day at Caley Roadside

On Thursday I handed in my dissertation and headed over to City Bloc again. I was feeling really strong, and yesterday morning decided “today, I am going to finally climb Zoo York”. Then began a very stressful morning of asking everyone I knew if I could borrow some pads (HUGE thank you to Jacob Cook and the Tech Noe board house, who lent me as many pads as I liked), and negotiating a lift to Caley from a friend at the skate park (huge thanks to Craig Dyas, dunno how I would have managed to get all the way there without help!). Somehow everything came together, I managed to get to Caley absolutely loaded with pads and extremely psyched.

I warmed up a little just dead-hanging from the tree nearby, then started trying it. I made it about halfway up on the first attempt of the day; for some reason my feet were sticking on the holds better, and I was hitting all the small handholds really accurately (I guess because I’ve tried it so many damn times). “Wow, I might actually get it today!” I started thinking.

After a really good attempt where I somehow managed to fall from the two really positive crimps right at the top, I knew I could do it. I had a little rest, ate a banana, and then sent it (with a huge amount of excited screaming all the way through!).

I also met the super-strong Polish Dave (Dawid Skoczylas) who very kindly shared his pads with me. We then worked on Ju Ju Club, Secret Seventh and Ben’s Groove for a while before I headed off, still very excited about having sent my project.

Can’t wait to get out on grit again, I am absolutely LOVING IT at the moment ๐Ÿ˜€

Best session on grit so far!

I had possibly my best session outdoors ever yesterday, I think I’m finally starting to feel as comfortable climbing outdoors as I do indoors.

Oli, Dave and I arrived at Caley Roadside at about 2 in the afternoon, the weather was perfect and for some reason we were the only ones there! We warmed up on Not My Style (6b+), which I actually found pretty desperate, especially the top out, before moving on to New Jerusalem (7a), as Dave was keen to try an flash it. New Jerusalem was the first problem I ever sent at Caley, but I hadn’t tried it for a couple of years. Even so, it felt fairly easy as I showed the beta to Dave (who did manage to flash it!), and I even managed to send it going directly from the crimpy rail to the slopers, ignoring the decent gaston in the middle of the wall.

We then headed over to Forked Lightning Crack and what I thought was a fairly difficult, fairly scary highball just to the left. I’ve got vague plans of trying to climb High Fidelity (8b) soon, so wanted to get used to being high off the ground. I found the climb incredibly hard and absolutely terrifying, didn’t manage to finish it at all, then found out it was Maurice Chevalier, which the guidebook says is 6a+ and “slightly” scary. . . Oh.

Having failed miserably on Maurice Chevalier, I wanted to try Crystal Method (7b+/7c), a climb I had passed many times and thought looked amazing, but never actually tried. I was ecstatic that I managed to send it in only three or four attempts!

I also spent a while working on Zoo York (8a), and for the first time I managed to do all the moves! I think I might be able to get it done next session ๐Ÿ˜€

Here’s a video of some of the climbs done during the day, including Blockbuster, which I first managed to do on my last visit but didn’t get a video of until yesterday.

I can’t wait to get back out there! I also worked on Ben’s Groove, Secret Seventh, and even had a try at High Fidelity (despite the failure on Maurice Chevalier), getting up to the undercut move before jumping down in terror.

Other stuff I haven’t posted about:

I did manage to win the Christie Cup last Wednesday, which I was very pleased about as there was tough competition from Leeds Uni (which wasn’t a bad thing, as it meant Leeds won for the second year running!).

I also had a great session at CityBloc on Saturday, hadn’t climbed there in a while and it was REALLY good to be back, and I’m possibly heading to Bingly next Saturday for the Barn Wars competition.

All for now ๐Ÿ˜€

Finally sent Blockbuster!

I first tried Blockbuster (7b+) three years ago when I first started uni at Leeds. It felt impossible in that first session, I couldn’t imagine how I’d ever be able to hold the sloper with one hand while I came into the crimp with the left hand. I’d go back and try it every few months, each time telling myself “I’m loads stronger now, it’ll be easy this time” before getting totally shut down. But yesterday it felt easy, for me it’s a nice way of showing myself how much I’ve improved since I started uni. I’ll get my camera working again soon and get some footage, I also had a go at Zoo York (8a), which also felt much easier than it ever has before, I think I might be able to send it soon!

Off to my final uni competition ever today, the Christie Cup, (Leeds vs Liverpool vs Manchester), this year held at the Manchester Climbing Centre. I managed to win last year, hopefully this year will go well too!

Introduction to hot aches (my first ever sport climb!)

I went to Kilnsey on sunday with a load of friends from Leeds to try some sport climbing. I used to do some leading indoors at the Castle in London when I was younger, but haven’t for years and have never done any sport climbing outdoors, so didn’t really know what to expect.

The first route I got on did not go brilliantly: a 6b+ or possibly 6c I didn’t get the name of, but it was horrible! ย Laying back off huge sidepulls, I didn’t stop to rest at all, got super pumped and dropped off near to the top with a horrible pain in my hands. I didn’t even finish the route: I lowered down from the last clip I had made it to and sat around quietly worrying that there was something seriously wrong with my hands (until I described the pain to a friend and was told that hot aches are very normal. I felt like an idiot). Not a great start to the day!

I was then directed toward Comedy (7c), being told it was much more my style. I got fairly high on the onsight attempt, falling just before the penultimate clip, then dogged it a few times to learn where the holds were and sent it on around the fifth try! What a great route! Really bouldery, which is probably the only reason I could do it, but working out how to do each of the moves in the most efficient way so that I had enough energy to reach the top was what took me several attempts (i.e. I’m a thug with no stamina).

Might be off to Caley Crag today, gonna try and finally get Blockbuster (7b+) and maybe try Zoo York (8a), which I could do some of the moves for a couple of years ago, but haven’t tried for ages. I’ll try and get the camera charged and get some footage of me failing everything!

Video of my friend Dan Turner making it look REALLY easy:

Zoo York 8A from Will Atkinson on Vimeo.