Why trad climbing makes you a geek

“This is just a Diff, it should be really easy!” – I was furiously thinking to myself, as I scrambled around for somewhere, anywhere, to put in a piece of protection for my climb up. But apart from the wide cracks, into which I couldn’t even jam my (admittedly tiny) hands, there was nowhere that I could see with the naked eye to place my metal pieces of gear…was I supposed to solo this thing??

It amazed me how different I felt trad leading in Stanage, Derbyshire, compared to my first ever trad lead in the Wye Valley. There, I led a VDiff and moved quickly onto a Severe without any problems.

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Making climbing memories last a lifetime

This is a guest post written by my friend Tamsin who is trying to get into climbing photography. She writes about her first experience of photographing climbers in action at our latest trad climbing trip. You can read more about that adventure here. 

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The mind game of rock climbing British style

I never thought I would get so excited about something as mundane as a crack in a rock or a well-rooted tree.

Before leading my first trad climb, this sport was mostly about pushing myself physically for me. But this time, it was all about pushing myself mentally.

Traditional climbing, or ‘trad’ for short, is a type of rock climbing that dominates the scene in the UK, where a climber must put in his or her own points of protection into a rock face while going up, and then clip the rope into these. Its European counterpart is sport climbing, where the metal bolts are already built into the wall for a climber to clip into.

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My new project: Vertical Souls

“Guys…why don’t we actually try and make something out of this climbing obsession?” – those were the words of my climbing partner Valentina and our just-as-obsessed friend Tamsin as we were having dinner one Sunday night after another weekend outdoors.

Suddenly, this seemed like the perfect idea. We live and breathe this sport right now, surely we can share all the things we’re learning with other people taking up the sport for the first time, or those deciding to commit to it with renewed vigour.

Luckily for us, Tamsin happens to be an ex film student and exceptionally skilled with the camera (though she will never admit it!). The concept for the videos was an easy one to come up with – though we’re still perfecting it, of course, and will be for a long time.

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