Tirolean grades

Have you ever heard of Tirolean climbing grades? Neither had I until very recently, when my brother told me a story about him and his climbing partner struggling on routes that were supposed to be far, far below their abilities. Having spent around three weeks climbing in various parts of Tirol, I can now testify that this is indeed a thing.

There’s nothing like a different type of rock to make you feel like a bit of a novice again. Austria has been a country of many firsts for me, and one of these was my first experience of climbing on granite. And it well and truly kicked my ass!

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One week in Leonidio: Getting back into climbing

Photo credit: Fionn Claydon

Whenever I take a break from climbing outdoors I feel like I’ve gone straight back to square one. Leading even an easy route can reduce me to a gibbering wreck if my bolt is a little bit too far away, or I’m not quite sure where to go, or my feet feel a little bit slippery. It seems to happen every time after a long break, no matter how confident I feel going into it.

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Leonidio: Our life as climbing bums finally begins

Climbing Leonidio

We left England on the 6th March. Now, after two weeks, thousands of pounds spent on a breakdown and some of the most stressful days I have ever experienced in my life, we have finally made it to our destination – Leonidio, Greece.

And what a destination it is…

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Vanlife fail: Stuck in Britain

“Whose genius idea was it to come back to the UK in the middle of winter?” – I thought, as I watched the pellets of icy rain hitting the windscreen of our Transit van, waiting for the AA to come and fix it, or at least tow it off the road to safety.

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Thailand: Climbing in Chiang Mai

After a few days of eating everything Thailand has to offer and accumulating some substantial podge around our mid areas, we finally made it to the climbing area in Chiang Mai.

Situated in the North of the country, Chiang Mai has unfortunately become far more touristy than when I last visited Thailand a decade ago. The climbing has also now been discovered by more than just a handful of foreigners, but it is still nowhere near as popular as some of the more well known destinations, such as Krabi in the South of the country.

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