Learning to lead – 11 ways to keep cool above your bolt

I’ve recently started to lead climb as much as I can to get confident to go out for a day’s rock climbing without needing my partner to climb and clean climbs for me. I’m finding a lot of climbs I’m smashing on top rope, but as soon as I’m on lead and above the bolt,…

Dirtbag dining: Campsite carbonara

This might just be my favorite adventure dinner.  It’s tasty, filling and simple to make. I originally found this recipe on a fabulous Trail Cooking website which is full of clever camping food options. I was pretty dubious when I read that the American adventurers were carrying fresh fragile eggs in their hiking packs…  But…

Bumbling round the ‘bungles

It all started on a dark and stormy night. The rain was closer to horizontal than vertical when Bekket and I locked the front door of our sharehouse behind us. We exchanged cheeky grins and  a quick thumbs up, then sprinted down the street to the spot where Bekket’s car was parked. The back of the car was…

Stupid grins

‘You have to try the tree jump. It’s awesome.’ That’s when I saw that worrying grin spread across Starkey’s face. ‘Seriously, you’ll enjoy it’ The grin got wider. It’s the kind of grin that warns you that whatever he’s suggesting is slightly mad, somewhat terrifying, possibly painful and probably survivable. I usually see that grin at…

Seven steps to dealing with fear

My most frightening incident occurred at 5,000 m in Spain, at the seven-hour mark of an exhausting flight, when I was in danger of being sucked up into clouds. I was on a new wing, and when it went into a parachutal stall after an incorrectly exited B-line, it didn’t respond in the same way…

Bunny Bucket Buttress – Round 1

Bunny Bucket Buttress (18) 270m. Sport. 20m (18) Traverse out right and back left to flake, reachy. Up to ledge, 2RB. 20m (18) right and up seam and corner to ledge. Up a move and diagonally R to arete, then R to ledge and 2RB. 40m (18) Up dirty slab and R across corner, traverse…

An extra long weekend

Aller Anfang ist schwer. That’s what Dirtbagjens told me when I said I wasn’t sure how to start this post.  It’s a tricky decision, because the start of the story is not as fun as the rest of it. It started when I was called into the boardroom one afternoon at work. There were three…