Wednesday, July 13, 2011

2011 World Championships, Arco

Very last minute that I've been able to attend this, but leaving in the morning!

Video stream possibly here, not sure: otherwise on Italian TV.

Qualifiers on Friday afternoon. Its going to be HOT!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Everything still hurts today. But this time I don't want it to go away as right now, it's reminding me of what so far was the performance of a lifetime (though actually the pain in my neck I could do without). Finally after a string of terrible results in Internationals I've had a decent one. Everything was different about this comp and I know it's down to the experience gained last year and a winter of getting my head around things. This weekend, the podium (as for the 19 others in the semi-final) was so close you could taste it! One more top would've been the ticket into the final and on a different day... It feels more than just a 'maybe'.

 Problem 4 in the Semi-Final - Thanks to Heiko Wilhelm for the use of the photo.

Most of the pain today seems to be stemming from the full body whiplash I gave myself falling sideways off problem 1. As I crawled off the stage all I can remember was being told the dismount "looked well cool". No worries so... :o) Only a few thousand people watching anyway.

Everything's clicked into place a bit more this year, it's just a real shame I've not been able to do more events.

Otherwise, the week continued to get better... Planning for our new climbing wall in Dublin came through, so we've finally been able to release the location and rough opening date.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Paddy vs. The World

An Irishman has qualified for a World Cup semi-final at the Sheffield round.  Am currently sitting in 9th (before the semi's) beside Daniel Woods from the USA.

Watch it or else!!!

Starting at 10.30am


Monday, May 2, 2011

Time is running out...

Brilliant 5+ arete in Glen Sannox

Been in Scotland for the last month or so and currently on Arran. Not been climbing much so a bit unfit at the moment. Did manage to squeeze two sessions in at Dumby while I was in Glasgow being shown around by Will Atkinson

Managed to tick Malky (7b+) - really good thuggy line and also Sabotage (8a). Keen to head back up soon.

On Arran it's all about new problems, have a fanastic project at the moment, unfortunately it's nails. I've only managed to unlock about one move per session on it and time's running out, it will be a class problem on lovely sandstone once it's done though, probably about Font 8b or so. Unfortunately I'm only here until the weekend...

In the evenings after work I've been out exploring - ticking a few lines on the 'Project Boulder' in Glen Sannox, the easy left arete and the main prow of Chasing Daylight being the best of them at about 5+ and 7a/b respectively. Wouldn't be surprised if these had been done before.

Some vids to follow at some point anyhow.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Massive New Bouldering Wall for Dublin!!

Wow - Dublin, you're in for a treat!


GRAVITY CLIMBING CENTRE - Coming soon to Dublin

Good morning Dublin! We are very excited to announce the imminent arrival of Dublin's newest and largest climbing wall.

Behind the development is one of the most experienced teams in the climbing world; joining the Irish partners (to be disclosed soon) are two of the team from The Climbing Works - the Worlds Biggest Bouldering Wall.

On offer will be a massive variety of climbing surfaces, angles and features. This, combined with regular route setting, will ensure there is something for everyone right from complete beginner, up to international competitor. Beyond the huge array of bouldering, the centre will also feature a separate kids area, the cafe and much, much more. In other words, we're bringing you an amazing wall which we hope will become central to the Irish climbing community - somewhere you can call your own even.

To keep track of things as they happen, check out or why not join us on Facebook.

The Gravity Climbing Team

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Well, this past year hasn't run from or to January 1st. It's run from CWIF to CWIF. It began in March 2010 with being asked to step in for Andy on the ClimbNewcastle team. Next thing I knew I was in the Semi-Final with 15 other individuals who can often be found sneaking into the world top 20. I didn't expect to be there and performed like the amatuer I was, in my first International event.

The year then led through some serious Ups and a couple of Downs most chronicled here. Then came March 2011 and we were back at the beginning again. Except this time I had a little more experience under my belt and just scraped into the Semi. On this occasion however, I came out like the rabid little badger I imagined I was (in my head anyway), and qualified for the final in 5th place. Unfortunately, by the final I'd lost a bit of momentum and a pretty weak performance followed, 6th it was. However, it was my first International final and I'd managed to put a few big names to bed to get there. A little experience goes a long way and from here I can't even see the horizon...

Working Class (Font. 8a+/b)   Photo: Naomi Hart

I tweaked my shoulder at the comp so took a couple of weeks off before finally cracking and heading to Bowden. Having tried it briefly on the previous evening and a good few goes flapping around in the heat the next day, the clouds rolled in and conditions got better. Working Class Font. 8a+ was in the bag. While getting a few pics later in the evening I went for broke and tried it from the sitter, dropped the last hold on the first go and with it the Font. 8b. Arse!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Legends, Heroes and Villains

Nigel Callender Monk Life - Photo: (C) Paul Ogden 2011

Every blue moon you do a route or problem that really means something to you. For me, most of these have been steeped in history, usually involving one or more of the few true 'heroes' I've had over the years. Stuff like the many Tom Ryan routes on my local crag of Ailladie back in Ireland, stuff like Jerry's Roof in the Pass or the (very) few terrifying Pritchard routes I've done on slate.

When I moved to Newcastle, there was one line that stood out. It was Malcolm Smith's 'Monk Life' at Kyloe. The perfect line of sustained hard climbing on a beautiful scoop of bullet hard sandstone, tucked away in a remote Northumberland wood. Add to this the history of the line - this was Smith's famous 10 year project, the only previous repeaters true Legends of the UK and international climbing scene from the past 10 years.

As a teenager training in my garage on freezing winter evenings I always felt that if Malcolm had the drive to be pushing himself to the limit, training on his own, far from the supposed training meccas of Sheffield and elsewhere, then I could try just as hard and anything less was accepting failure and rejecting what may just be possible.

Flash forward again 10 years and I'm stood below the line created by the man himself. The one that's seen off all repeats except for a few people who incidentally make up most of my list of heroes. Each in their own way having shaped my own life in climbing over the years. Some more directly than others, one in particular to whom I probably owe all of this. Stay motivated Andy.

For me, unlike the others, I have it easy. I know it's possible, I've seen the videos and been told the sequence, no excuses.

Monk Life, Font. 8b+, Kyloe in the Woods.

F.A.  Malcolm Smith (2003),
        Andrew Earl,
        John Gaskins,
        Micky '8c' Paige,
        Nigel Callender.

Six sessions, 26 years of preparation. I hearby announce my retirement.

Monk Life, Font 8b+, Kyloe from Nigel Callender on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 22, 2011