The Outdoor Show with DMM

18th Feb 2014

DMM 1 new poster Gear Practice trad Us at Hampers

Iv’e just spent four days down at The Outdoor Show at The Excel Centre in London. It’s my fourth year now representing DMM and it’s always good fun. I do a mixture of masterclasses and helping out on the DMM stand, signing posters and general chat about DMM products. I like the fact you meet so many different people and what is interesting is that my classes are always full of a mix of people from contrasting countries and cultures. It really highlights the difference between living in London and Sheffield.

Every year there is a different wall provided for the classes and this year Rokt brought their unique hexagon systems. They were fun and had some good problems on them but it was always a bit tricky because so many kids wanted to have a go. And I felt a bit bad telling them they had to stop climbing but there were two boulders, so they always had the other one to go at and it was always crawling with people.There didn’t seem to be such a big showing from outdoor retailers/manufacturers this year but that was ok for us as we were the only stand selling climbing gear and as ever, it was at bargain prices. I think there were quite a few people taking the opportunity to buy complete trad racks and make their rucksacks even heavier for the walk in to the crag.

(Image left) My poster is the one on the right. It's an image of me climbing Finger Knacker Crack E3 6a at Caley in Yorkshire; a very testing route!

The other thing that was great was catching up with the DMM team- although with out the lovely Libby Peter, who couldn’t make it down due to illness. But there were 10-15 of us and it was really good chatting to people about their plans and aspirations and generally hearing what people are up to. It actually helped my winter blues and I have come back to Sheff feeling a bit more positive about things and psyched for going away and getting some good stuff done this year. After three days of climbing at Excel, I even went to The Edge and did some bouldering, I felt really tired (as I’d had a little bout of insomnia at the hotel) but was pleased that I still wanted to go. Unfortunately my enthusiasm went a little overboard and I ended up trying a hard undercut move a couple of times and my operated shoulder really didn’t like that and today is now quite painful.

Look what I saw on the walk home from the train station!

So the lesson is...don’t go crazy and maybe routes would be a better choice to ease myself back into it. I should probably do some weights, as I have now lost a serious amount of muscle. I kind’ve got away with it last year because even though I wasn’t climbing much, I was doing quite a physical roped access job for the majority of the time. Well that ended nearly six months ago, so the muscles now need some proper work to be able to do what I’m going to ask of them...back to the gym!

So, now I hope to be doing more climbing; I’m still trying to get my annoying weird arm injury better- that’s still niggling away but with the longer evenings I can feel the winter gloom lifting. Bring on the sun! In fact we’ve been trying to get out and make the most of any good weather for some climbing pics and we managed to grab a lovely shot last week at Stanage while there was a little covering of snow- it really was beautiful. See below...

While down at The Excel, I treated myself to a pair of Vibram Fivefinger Spyridons. I’ve been starting to get back into a bit of running and am very intrigued about the whole barefoot idea, so on impulse bought some shoes. I’m not sure how well they (and me!) will cope out in the peak but I will try them on some forest trails and work up. I’ve heard some stories about people breaking their bodies by getting a bit too enthusiastic and running their normal runs too soon in the shoes. So I’m going to be good and try to employ some caution so that I can make the most of these things and hopefully reap the benefits (less injuries) and not end up giving them away in disgust. I’ll let you know how that goes...

Tim and I have also been working on some interesting environmental portraits in Sheff, which has been different and creative. It’s been good to get stuck into something where I feel I can learn. So I’ve been wrestling with light stands, soft boxes and umbrellas, quite fun. Although the 5am start to get the the artisan bakers wasn’t too fun, although it was lovely when we were there as it was warm and smelt of delicious fresh bread, yum.

Cheerio for now!

In between the showers, I managed to get a nice shot of Tim at Higgar Tor on my iphone...the calm before the storm.