Dave Who? Dave Barrans - That's Who!Interview

© StuM

Sale Gosse  © StuM
Sale Gosse
© StuM, Feb 2009
Dave Barrans has had quite a run of form on the competition circuit recently. He qualified for the final at the Vienna Bouldering World Cup last week in first place, with a very good chance of success, until a shoulder injury dropped him back to 6th place overall (still beating the likes of David Lama, Christian Core and Adam Ondra).

Competing alongside Dave was fellow Brit Stew Watson who also climbed well, placing 8th overall.

Barrans has enjoyed multiple competition successes recently, winning the Plywood Masters comp at BoulderUK and coming 5th at the Kitzrock bouldering competition in Kitzbuhel, Austria.

He is no slouch on the rock either, having made an onsight ascent of Little Women E7 7a (UKC News Item) back in January and climbing boulder problems up to Font 8A+/B.

The 27 year old Yorkshireman from Oxenhope works as a route setter, mainly for Manchester climbing centre, and tracked him down to find out a bit more about him:

Dave Barrans missing out on £50 by a few seconds!
© The Climbing Works - Sheffield

Dave Barrans on Aegialis 7c  © StuM
Dave Barrans on Aegialis 7c
© StuM, May 2007

Interview - Dave Barrans

Jack: How long have you been climbing?

Dave: I've been climbing for twenty years roughly, I can't actually remember starting though. I started out with my dad, climbing all around the UK and in Europe on family holidays.

Jack: Where do you climb mostly these days?

Dave: I train mostly at Manchester climbing centre, but can often be spotted out on the crags of Yorkshire.

Jack: What type of climbing do you tend to do most?

Dave: I do a bit of everything, but mostly bouldering and sport climbing.

Jack: Favourite routes/problems/styles?

Dave: Anything that is a good line, arêtes and tufas are always hard to resist. I'm good on pinches and compression problems, although I'm not too bad on everything else as well!

Jack: Any big achievements you're proud of?

Dave: Making a world cup final was pretty special, especially qualifying in 1st place, although I don't think I will be fully satisfied until I win. I feel proud every time I put GB top on, not many people can say they've represented their country.

Jack: How is the competition scene doing in the UK?

Dave: There's a really good scene at the moment, it's competitive but really friendly and supportive at the same time, everyone likes to see each other do well. There are so many local bouldering leagues running throughout the winter, which are well attended and really friendly, it's a great place to meet people and improve your climbing. There's a lot of juniors really mixing it up at world level, all pushing each other on, the future looks really good.

Jack: So what is your ambition for 2009?

Dave: To make a world cup final (already achieved) and to be British champion.

Jack: And what is your lifetime climbing ambition?

Dave: Win the world cup, be able to climb the best lines at any area whatever the grade and rock type.

Jack: You sound like Jerry Moffat!! If you could give one piece of advice to a young climber – what would it be?

Dave: Always work on your weaknesses.

Jack: What would you rank as your top 5 favourite climbs? Your most significant ascents, but not necessarily your hardest.


  • Neverland (Font 8A) in Fontainebleau – the most unbelievable feature, and my 1st 8A in Font.
  • 8 Ball (Font 8A+/B) Gardoms - my hardest send.
  • Magnetic Fields (F8b) Malham – my first F8b - and in less than 2 hours.
  • Little Women (E7 7a) Stanage - onsight
  • The Matterhorn (Hornli Ridge) Switzerland – aged 18, lots of soft snow and a bit of an epic!

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4 Jun, 2009
Seems like Dave is a man of actions rather than words! Still, good stuff and always inspiring to hear about someone who is going really well. By the way, excuse my ignorance but what is a compression problem?
4 Jun, 2009
A problem with lots of squeezing, as opposed to just pulling down hard.
5 Jun, 2009
5 Jun, 2009
A very modest, easy-going, crushing machine. Andy F
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