The late mountaineers

Tom Ballard's surely soon to be confirmed death on Nanga Parbat makes me so sad. When his mother, Alison Hargreaves, died on K2 in 1995 I was on holiday in Cornwall, and still remember opening The Independent (when it was still a great paper) and reading a two-page spread about her quite amazing achievements. They... Continue Reading →

Stuff on climbing risk

I am not a 1980s climber; I am merely a soft, middle-class, comfortable climber with aspirations to go sport climbing in the Spanish sunshine more often. The climbers of legend were all dropouts of various degrees, who were disillusioned with the system, rendered unemployed by a combination of Conservative policy in the UK, and by... Continue Reading →

Lead climbing at Plas Y Brenin

Going on a course to improve your skills in a hobby has a few downsides automatically: the kind of people who go on a course, rather than just having fun doing their hobby and naturally either improving or giving it up, are probably not very confident in their own abilities. The other alternative is that... Continue Reading →

Rainy mind, sunny day climbing

We have been on many trips recently, mainly climbing related. Yesterday we left the children with their aunt, and spent three and a half hours driving to North Wales. We stayed in the Tyn y Coed hotel, which was very friendly, although the beds were rather soft. The objective of the trip was a simple... Continue Reading →

Family travel roundup

I'm not sure travelling with small babies really counts as travelling. You don't lose yourself, breaking links with the everyday to go on a little daydream of difference; you're rather reminded how much babies like having their own familiar things around them, and how difficult they are when they don't. For Easter, we drove to... Continue Reading →

Babies in Burbage

Since I mostly failed to take any photos, here'a  brief account of our baby's first "climbing trip". We left Milton Keynes at 8 am, as planned. We were going to pick up a friend and her baby from Sheffield, but our car is a little too small for three adults and two baby seats, so... Continue Reading →

Chamonix – Arete des Cosmiques

The weekend climbing the Arete des Cosmiques from 14 th September to 17th September was everything I expected, while also being even more frightening than I had prepared myself for. I am feeling the need to document every single action, because I have some vague impression of it all being terribly significant in the future.... Continue Reading →

Blog at

Up ↑