Rock Climber, Adventurer, Author and first blind person to climb 'Old Man of Hoy', Red Szell has many stories to tell. Four years after his ascent of this iconic stack Red hasn't lost his Blind Ambition.
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Nevertheless each year, the first week of January is the time to put my money where my mouth is, as far as climbing is concerned.
The storm was due at 6pm, we would wake at 3.30am, get to the start of the route by 6am, then climb the Cassin Route (900 meters) of the Piz Badile by early afternoon. The abseils down the North Ridge would take up the rest of the day, hopefully we’d get most of the way down before we got caught in the rain, thunder and lightening.
As the saying goes ‘For want of a horse the battle was lost’ and in a similar vain for want of a Colin Kirkus the trad climbing scene may have become a poor imitation of continental rock. It’s commonly believed that rock climbing in the UK started with Haskett Smith’s ascent of Napes Needle in the Lake District. From there onwards a number of luminaries pushed UK climbing to new grounds. Colin Kirkus was one of those who forged a path in the 1930’s. It became his decade.
Few new climbing grades create myths or monsters, rarely are they game changers, not so with the grade of E9. The first E9 was the legendary Indian Face which made a new leap in boldness. It took the madcap genius of Johnny Dawes to create its fatal mystery. It is a perfect line up one the UK’s most imposing mountain crags and heart stoppingly bold. It’s a crag steeped in history. As the route gets steeper the gear gets worse, the line inescapable and the crux comes need the top. It remained unrepeated for 8 years.
Rites of Passage. Despite memory being a fickle thing, some climbs live long in our memories. They are moments so powerful that they remain recognisable in our minds forever. They are the rites of passage that make us into the climbers that we are, and into the climbers that we’ll become. It may be our first climb, disorienting and fumbling or breaking into a new grade; it may be pushing our limit or taking that first big leader fall; or it may be ticking all the classics at our favourite crag or aspiring to the next challenge.
“I am a medicinal horticulturalist, not a herbalist”, grins Nick Quinn, the creator of the Castle’s range of lotions, potions, balms, body washes and of course garden teas. Having been part of the Castle garden since the beginning, Nick has developed this organic range which started with a personal mission.
Wed 26/10/2016 at 12:01 by Claire Lee in News, Shop
Buying climbing shoes is always a bit of a mission. ‘Are they too tight?’, ‘Will they stretch?’, ‘What will they feel like on the wall?’ are some of the many questions that pop into our head as we slip our foot into an unknown territory.
Whether you are a first time buyer or a climbing veteran, buying a new climbing shoe comes with a degree of uncertainty. Unlike your street shoe size, different brands have different sizing, and different models within these brands also have different sizing. Phew! The task ahead is to find a shoe that not only fits, but that also performs.