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James Pearson, Muy Caliente, E10 7a Pembroke. PH Dave Simmonite
© Wild Country, Feb 2012 Wild Country are proud to unveil their 2012 UK climbing team - a group of reckless and hardy individuals who help us test and promote our gear whatever the danger and cost to themselves...! Well, it's not exactly like that, but, led by James Pearson, the Wild Country climbing team is peopled with climbers that we feel help represent the values and ideals of Wild Country across the spectrum of the sport.
So, leading the way with a slew of hard ascents in 2011, from almost flashing E10 to multi-pitch monstrosities like Joy Division and flashing 8b+ is James Pearson, now living in France but originally a Buxton lad and working with Wild Country since 2004. There's a superb video of James in action on his E10 flash attempt here - VIDEO.
Hot on his heels are the incredibly talented 'Wideboyz' team of Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker, who as well as tackling the worlds hardest offwidths – and the first ascent of Century Crack E9 (as you may just have heard about) have produced a load of awesome grit routes in the past few years filling some very cool gaps on the Peak District edges – you can see some Century Crack footage here - VIDEO.
Also Sheffield based there's Ben Heason who's been working with Wild Country for years and is still sending 8b+ and E8, and the enigmatic Miles Gibson – the quiet man of the legendary super-desperates 'Superstition' and Superbloc' on the gritstone. Also in the Peak are the youthful Hamer brothers who have both been performing superbly in 2011: Ed probably outdoing his brother Sam with his fantastic results in the youth world cup with a 2nd place – but Sam showing he's no slouch winding his neck out with few E8's on the grit to even the scales – see the Hamers' in action here - VIDEO.
Last, but not least, long term teamer, Katherine Schirrmacher is hoping to build on her hard trad and grit E7 ascents after a year out to have a baby and build a very successful guiding business and will be starring in and sharing her technical knowledge in Wild Country's 'how to' video series later this year.
Then up in Lancs the super psyched Jordan Buys is joined this year by his wife and partner Naomi to make an all action team. Both are multi discipline masters, mixing bouldering, trad climbing and sports climbing to a very high standard Jordan to 8c and E9 and Naomi to 8a+ and E7. See Jordan in action here: VIDEO
Over in Yorkshire, Jenny Woodward, has an incredible resume and after a bit of a stop start year last year after having a baby and suffering a few injuries and only sending up to 8A+(!!!) has some even harder projects on the go...watch this space!
Meanwhile in Scotland the evergreen Malcolm Smith of has been relentless on rock with a recent new 8c+ Blood Diamond, while the fearless Kev Shields simply sets new standards for his bold soloing and some great winter ascents.
And across the 'pond' in Ireland Andy Marshall has been representing Wild Country and has also sent some pretty rad lines including E8 2nd ascents and plenty more.
Our boulder team (thought that terms a bit restrictive as they're more than that) is headed up by the amazing Ned Fehally who seems to be taking bouldering up a notch as well as blurring the lines between highball and routes making some very hard ascents in 2011 including Samson E8 7a, and the Prow E9 7a both solo. See Ned in action here: VIDEO.
Nigel Callender also manages to continually impress, sending 8b+ - VIDEO - while studying to be a doctor in Newcastle and taking advantage of the awesome sandstone of Northumberland. Then in the south east the strong Ben Read is helping establish a new wave of sandstone desperates as well as writing guidebooks and promoting the excellent climbing around there.
Joining these guys this year is year is Stewart Watson, a very strong climber who's been competing internationally in boulder comps for a number of years and is adding 8c ascents to his pretty awesome bouldering CV.
We also have some young climbers doing well and with Tara Hayes we have one the most up and coming of the UK junior competition climbers who in her first year managed to grab an overall 6th place in the European Youth B standings.
So a big thanks to all those I've mentioned and anyone else who's been flying the Wild Country flag - and you can see more about all Wild Country's UK team at our website here: WILD COUNTRY
And to get any news from the team first and fastest you can follow Wild Country on: Twitter - @wildcountryuk
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