Hitchhiking valentine

I think about quitting my job and going on an endless climbing road-trip almost every day. The thought of throwing caution to the wind and seeing what the gods will throw at me is super exciting. I watch van conversion videos and trawl blogs of people on their dream climbing trip with envy.

Perhaps tomorrow i’ll take my gear to the highway exit wait for the right car to pick me up…

Climbing Shoe Problems

Climbing Shoes,

I love climbing shoes. I love shopping for new ones and taking friends – especially new climbers – shoe shopping to find their first suitable good-fit shoe. I currently have four pairs on the go and a few old pairs waiting for the next DWS trip. I’ve found that La Sportiva are the shoe that best fit my foot shape (high arch, narrow taper toes) but I’d really like to try a pair of the new SoIll shoes, they look amazing.

I think there are quite a few misconception around climbing shoes. For some strange reason these seem to be propagated more by good climbers than ignorant noobs. The number one misconception is that super-tight shoes will be better for your climbing! This is absolutely not the case. As soon as shoes are painful to walk from where you put them on to where the climb starts you’re shoes are too tight. Too tight shoes are not helping they are just making climbing less enjoyable for no reason. Shoes that are a good fit and that suit your foot shape are what’s important. You should try on all the available brands and see which suit your foot the best. All the shoe companies use a different foot base model so they will all be slightly different and might suit you more or less than another brand.

Climbing shoes are expensive and getting a suite of shoes costs a lot, but let’s face it what else are you going to spend your money on :p

Crag Dogs

I’m a dog lover. I live in an apartment that doesn’t allow dogs or pets of any kind so I don’t have a crag dog of my own. I’m always patting all the dogs at a crag and watching them run around having a fun day out just like their owners. I often wonder what they think as their owners head off grunting up a cliff. Do they wonder what is up there that must be so interesting? Do they want to follow?

Often when i’m climbing in Spain there are more crag dogs than there are humans and the skills you need to apply to keep your food safe are as necessary as the climbing ones. I’ve even been lowered into a full on dog fight once which was more scary than any whipper I’ve ever taken.

Ultimate bouldering brush

Thinking I might put this on Kickstarter. Not sure this would be the final configuration as there are probably things like a lighter or others that I haven’t thought of. Any suggestions from the audience?

I was also looking at my chalk bucket and thinking that it could be brought up a level into a modern masterpiece with a few gadgets. I was mainly inspired by the bluesmart.com luggage with it’s built in greatness. I think boulder mats could be pimped with some tech as well.

I think we’ll see many more fun products come out for climbing in the next few years. Well I hope so anyway.

Crag rush crash

I’m often in a rush to get to the crag and get on my project that I’ve fallen on my back so many times for various reasons. When I do – with my pad on my back – I’m stranded like a turtle and have to ask passing strangers to help me up.

Once when stranded on my back I tried to roll over like a turtle would but I have a huge Full Pad by Organic which is like a bed and impossible to roll with. Obviously I can just let the straps out and get up but where’s the fun in that!

Rock Climbing in Australia

I grew up in Australia and learnt to climb in the blue mountains. A lot of people I talk to are irrationally afraid of the dangerous animals and insects that live in Australia and I often find it a lot of fun to play on their fears.

It’s certainly true that we as climbers got and stick our fingers into places that could get us bitten but I’ve never heard of it happening. All the little creatures are far more scared of us, than we are of them, when they hear us coming they get as far away as possible.