Computational Chemist. Grew up in the hills, then did my undergrad and PhD at arguably the flattest university in Britain, and took every opportunity (though there weren't as many as I'd have liked) to vanish into the mountains! Now further North and the hills are nearer...
Best Climbing Experience
Many, many happy days in the hills, but here are a selection, most of them repeat events:
*Waking up in a bivvy bag high in the Alps to see the sun rise on the snow-clad peaks opposite.
*Plunging towards the sunset down through the bracken from the Aonach Eagach to the Clachaig and a well-earned pint.
*Sitting on top of Stanage in the sunset, setting the belay or coiling ropes after a good day's climbing.
*Seeing someone I've taught to climb from the first time they roped up making their first hard lead (the fact that he fell off it in short order is neither here nor there; he got back on unharmed, led it, and then did his first multipitch the next day).
*The moment when that key nut just locks into the crack after a long runout.
*Sitting at the bottom of a seacliff watching the wild waves waiting for my partner to finish the belay.
*Survival-bag sledging most of the way down Nevis (cutting the zig-zags on the tourist route) to save time after a winter's day.
*Bouldering by car headlights on the Cromlech boulders because we didn't want to leave the Pass!
*Laughing into the teeth of the storm as I descend having snuck a big route in before the weather breaks.
*Any part of the two weeks that I've spent on Skye, a truly magical island.
***Heading out of Cambridge northwest along the A14 on a Friday night to where the horizon is normal (i.e. non-flat)
Favourite Climbing-Related Discussion Topic
Mostly a lurker, but will jump in to various discussions as I see fit.
Interests Outside Climbing
Christianity, Chemistry, Photography (mainly Sports Photography), Rowing (well, Coxing), Classical Music, SciFi/Fantasy.
I suppose that it could be said that my climbing is part of a more general love of the outdoors and the Wild, whether traveling through it or just sitting contentedly in it, encompassing everything from a gentle ramble in the fens or along a beach up to desperate alpine summits, enjoying the awesome beauty and majesty of creation. This is why I don't emphasise indoor climbing, nor care overmuch about grades.
About My Photography
Prolific and improving - though due to time restrictions (mainly called working for a PhD) I haven't been able to get to interesting bits of the country as much as I'd like recently, so don't have recent relevant pictures to show, though am making something of a name for myself locally as a sports photographer!
Click to list photo comments written by me. (8 comments)
I've voted for 110 photos, average vote 4.8.
(80% superb - 16% good - 3% average - 0% poor - 0% rubbish)
Anything Else We Should Know
Former President ('11-'12) of the Clare College, Cambridge Rock-Climbing and Trekking Society (RATS) - and before that Trips Secretary ('08-'11) and Treasurer ('05-'09).
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Been Climbing For
11 to 20 years
Winter - II
Trad - HS
Alpine - PD
Winter - III
Trad - VS
Not a fan of plastic!
Once a month
In the UK & Europe
Hard to say - more interested in climbing a long mountain route in a stunning location than working the grades
so I'd say that something like Agag's Groove or the traverse of the Cuillin (which is the longest thing on my wishlist) would rate pretty highly.