Lord of Starkness
Started climbing in early 70's in Northumberland, then moved to Cumbria in 74. Early member of Eden Valley MC at Penrith, and was involved in the early development in the Eden Valley. Climbed off and on for a number of years , never getting above HVS leading or E2 seconding. Since then a couple of the routes have been upgraded to E1 so can I claim to have been an Extreme leader?
(Cant get anywhere near that nowadays!)
Worked in Saudi and the UAE during the Mid 80's and early 90's. Climbing opportunities in central and eastern Saudi were limited, and during my first stay in Dubai never discovered the mountains.
Went back to the Emirates in 95 where by good fortune a healthy climbing scene developed. Five years of good climbing later, over 500 routes, 50 crags and 10 areas had been developed with loads of scope for more.
I wrote the original UAE guide - but failed to find a publisher, so distributed it on CD in .pdf format. I then passed the Baton on to Toby Foord Kelcey, who published his own 'selected' guide containing a lot of new development.
I rarely climb nowadays as I don't like scruffy quarries, and it's easier to pop out on the bike for a bit of exercise.
Best Climbing Experience
Soloing Central Gully on Great End in perfect conditions the day after it had avalanched and left a perfect neve channel in the upper section. -- And having the place to myself!
Climbing Jebel Qiwih on the UAE / Oman border in moonlight, then watching the sun rise out of the Gulf of Oman. Ah Bliss !
Interests Outside Climbing
Cycling (road), Genealogy
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