Winter 2016

Well here I am…. sitting in another climbing wall cafe… at another climbing wall… after another days coaching, today I’m working with what will hopefully become the next generation of coaches in the UK. But like so many days over the winter there is no time to reminisce as its time to move on, this time to Scotland for the YCS final at Ratho!

YCS Final

Focus, Determination, Desire, all ingredients on display at this years final.

This is what winter has felt like, the warm shores of Portugal seem so long ago. Replaced by working my butt of day after day and week after week, trying to save up some cash for once in my life. It turns out it is not easy nor is it much fun! Fortunately I love my work and could not imagine how I would cope if this were not the case. So far this Winter I have managed to cope pretty well but I am starting to feel a little run down from lack of rest days. All was good but just as I feel I’m about to crest the hill and start feeling the benefits of work (enjoying the adventures cash can provide) something else slaps me in back pocket. Typically that would be my beloved van! we are currently at around £5000 on repairs over the 2 years I have owned it and its driving me bonkers, but with out wheels I would be pretty stuck.

Since last autumn we have moved out into the Wild West and life has been fantastic, simply not knowing what is around every corner has re inspired me to try more varied stuff and surfing new beaches and breaks has been fantastic plus christmas was rich in waves.
Wild West Storms

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With Storm after storm battering the west coast of the uk many stayed indoors but this gave us an excuse to explore the rarely firing north coast and we scored some fun days. Even the local sheltered spots came alive, producing fun but punishing shore breaks that certainly required a bit of getting used to after life on the gentle rolling waves of Rhossili.

Fun Beach Break

Tufa my Husky and best buddy was having a ball with life in Pembroke exploring new walks and playing on new beaches but unfortunately shortly after xmas she managed to tear both her ACL’s in her rear legs. This resulted in a horrible few months of surgery and seeing tufa essentially becoming restricted to life on the sofa. Fortunately surgery seems to have saved the day and she is walking well again with the occasional trot. As I right this she is belly up asleep next to me and seems happy as a pig in ……

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Tufa chillin on the beach, but maybe her shadow is giving away a secret….. Batdog!

The local area is stunning and dog walking is a great way to explore there neighbourhood. We live close to the coast but as with most of Wales every nook and cranny is stunning packing so much variety into a relatively small place. Im hoping that i can take some time off this summer to take advantage of all this for some Photography, As lately that has suffered with a lack of time, with most of the opportunities coming whilst walking Tufa. Of course another major benefit to life out west is the opportunity to reopen my Pembroke Trad climbing account. Since moving to the Swansea area what feels like many years ago sport climbing has been the dominant goal but recently I have felt the need for a little more adventure and Trad climbing could be just the ticket so as I’m living so close to some of the country best sea cliff climbing I can settle some old scores.

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Winter walks with Tufa

A quick stop in the Lakes

A quick stop in the Lakes

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First attempt with 10stop filter

So mum and dad got me a cool 10 stop filter for xmas giving me the opportunity to try some long exposure shots in the day time. I Enjoy messing with new bits of kit and trying to be creative whilst experimenting. I’m going to be honest, so far to no real success. I have taken quite a few cool pics but it is slightly harder than i imagined. Having to imagine the scene as opposing to seeing it causes some issues also so far i have been taking pics on the go (as in I have not been out to take pics I just have the kit around so I’m often rushing)

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Mum and Dad chilling with the puppies

so any way, winter has been a busy time traveling all over the UK from Northumberland to Poole and back again. hopefully know the weather starts warming up I can finally start reaping the rewards of a long winter. Anyway back to work and hopefully a great result at this years UK final for the young climbers I have the privilege to work with.

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Funky lighting from the 1st round of this years YCS