There are less than twenty British climbers who have reached that level, ever. Tom is twenty one years old and has already ticked two F8c+'s and several F8c's. He has moved to Spain to pursue his climbing ambitions, and seems to be making the most of the steep dry rock.
- You can read about one of his recent ascents in this UKC News
He untied for a few minutes to tell UKClimbing.com a little more about himself:
I'm 21, been climbing since I was 8. Started climbing on the back of a barn in the Lakes, some guy put a top rope up and it started from there.
I mostly climb at the three mentioned crags but also Rodellar, just depends on the weather and archaeological excavations!
I moved out to Spain because I was sick of saving up to go on big trips to Europe. For me Spain is pretty amazing - I love sport climbing and for this it is perfect. I'm really quite psyched for a range of styles but I love steep climbing, I started indoors and guess this has something to do with it, I prefer athletic style climbing to any other.
When I was younger I was totally absorbed by competitions, I am proud of winning a round of the European Youth Cup series and finishing second over all, but things change. Now I am proud of moving to Spain, this is something I had wanted to do for a number of years prior to actually doing it. Also I'm proud of doing a couple of 8c+s.
My ambition for this year is to try and climb 9a, this used to be my lifetime ambition but as you know, your ideas change. Now I want to climb the whole way out of Santa Linya and to do this you need to be climbing 9a+, so we'll see.
My best advice for a young climber is to enjoy what your doing, approach things with an open mind, try it and see what happens you might surprise yourself, remember even if your not doing a route every time you go out, if you're trying hard you're still improving.
My top 5 routes are Ultima ola 8c+, Ingravids extension 8c+ Santa lena 8c/+ Favelita 8c Cadena perpetua 8c.
Tom Bolger was talking to Jack Geldard.
Thanks go to Pete O'Donovan for the photos.