Ribbon cutting and sunshine...

26th Aug 2013

Bonehill boulder Exmoor rain Si Homfray N Pembs selfie

The summer of sun has been lovely, not as much personal climbing as I’d have liked but lots of gadding about here and there.

Sunday 25th August saw the official opening of a joint Marmot store with Adventure Peaks in Ambleside. I did my first ribbon cutting with ‘Sally’ from Coronation Street. It was ironically a beautiful day to spend schmoosing in a swanky shop; but it was a great event with live music, drink and tasty local food. I even got Buis Bear in a Marmot T-shirt and she was our mascot for the day.

Sally and Lucy cutting the ribbon to open the new Marmot shop, Ambleside.


Finally the Leeds pointing job finished at the start of August, so this has freed me up a bit. Tim and I headed down South before and after the job finished for various family get-togethers. We had a big do in Exmoor, then some camping on a sweet site called Poolbridge which has a river, allows dogs and fires. Which was a good job as it was chilly and rained a lot. Typical, just as the heat wave ended, we decided to go camping. We tried to stick it out in the rain and shelter the fire with brollies (see pics) but in the end the rain won and we abandoned the fire for a tarp I rigged between the vans. We also headed to Dartmoor a few weeks later for more family gatherings and more camping. Tim and I did bits and bobs of climbing, which was nice. That Dartmoor granite is vicious in places! Did the classic HVS ‘Outward Bound’ at Hay Tor, a route of two halves, if ever there was one. A great thuggy start, then more delicate climbing follows…it was lovely weather and we squeezed it in just before we hit the road home to Sheff.

We managed to catch up with out mate Si (already a shadow of his former self after only two weeks), who is running to Everest from Sheff. He was crossing Dartmoor when we were there, so we saw him off on his Plymouth ferry and he is now on his way across France.


I visited an old haunt a couple of weeks ago, The Avon Gorge. We were trying to make a short film for Marmot with Ian Burton but I don’t know what it is about Bristol; as soon as you want to film or take photos it pours down. We did manage to get some routes done in between the showers but it was a shame not to have the gorge looking it’s best and also we didn’t really get a chance to get on the multi pitch stuff, which for me is a big part of what Avon is about. Anyway, it was great to be back there and my old mate Barry Durston kindly came and belayed and cooked us an amazing curry. So the ‘craic’ was good, shame the sun didn’t make more of an appearance. We’ll see how the film came out, around October time.

I have been doing various bits of coaching work; the highlight for me was working with the Vertigirls down in North Pembroke. They are a great bunch from Brighton and we were there on a very hot weekend, which in my book was lovely but there were a few people wilting understandably. In fact we had to break to have a swim in the sea for an hour or so, just while the heat of the day cooled down. Even then the sea was too cold for me to swim in, I’m such a wimp when in comes to cold water! It was lovely to be down there, especially in such good weather and even though I wasn’t climbing myself, I just enjoyed being in a lovely place. The view from my van was just exquisite (see image) and is quite hard to beat.

View from my camping spot of the north Pembroke coastline- beats urban roofs and chimneys anyday!

After hanging off ropes on a church for eight months, I think I am easily pleased at the moment and going to these beautiful areas is good for my soul.


Over the last week or so, I have been chatting to a TV producer and there is a good chance I may be working on some climbing shorts for The 1 Show. So watch this space and we’ll see what develops…

PS. I hope summer isn’t over yet!