UKC

An Interview With Tom Bolger

© Pete O'Donovan
Tom Bolger, Lynne Malcolm and Dillan, one of the three canine rescue centre dogs they’ve found a home for  © Pete O'Donovan
Tom Bolger, Lynne Malcolm and Dillan, one of the three canine rescue centre dogs they’ve found a home for
© Pete O'Donovan

I am proud of moving to Spain

Tom Bolger

Tom Bolger is one of an elite group of British climbers. He has climbed F8c+.

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:


A very happy Tom Bolger, immediately after his ascent of Cadena Perpetua.  © Pete O'Donovan
A very happy Tom Bolger, immediately after his ascent of Cadena Perpetua.
© Pete O'Donovan
I'm from Yorkshire, wasn't born there but grew up there - near Keighley.

I'm now living in village about an hour north of Lleida, about 10 minutes from Santa Linya, 20-25 from Terradets and 15 from a less known crag called Disblia which has equally amazing routes.

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 want to climb the whole way out of Santa Linya and to do this you need to be climbing 9a+

Tom Bolger

I am currently teaching English in Lleida.

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.


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Tom Bolger is a British expat who moved to Catalunya to focus on his climbing career. He's redpointed numerous ninth-grade routes up to 9a+ (Gancho Perfecto). He's also a former GB Climbing Team member.

Tom's Athlete Page 22 posts


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9 Jun, 2009
well done to him, sounds like he's living the dream. a bit of info about how he's coping with the language would be nice.
9 Jun, 2009
So who are they? Tom Steve Mc Jerry Ben Neil Carson Malcom Smith Gaskins Some maybe's Gresham Nic Sellers .......starting to struggle...
9 Jun, 2009
Who was the chap who went off to be a boxer for a bit? Didn't he do some "stiff" routes?
9 Jun, 2009
Rich Simpson Stevie Haston Dave MacLeod John Dunne
9 Jun, 2009
Paul Smitton Steve Dunning Ryan Pasquill
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