My journey to climbing started at a humble climbing gym. This is very much the modern way.
I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and like many Capetonians enjoyed a healthy outdoor lifestyle, which for me included; running, hiking, skating and surfing. Climbing was not very accessible growing up, there were no indoor gyms and all outdoor climbing was very sub-cultured and traditional based. As a result I was never able to progress beyond easy mountain scrambles, which were always self led.
After arriving in the UK in 2005, I was mainly engaged in road running, both socially and at club level outside of my full time profession as an architectural designer. I took part in the London Marathon in 2012 and challenged myself to a Spartan obstacle race the following year – the multi disciplinary training for this inspired me and got me dreaming of greater challenges.
It was, however, after a trip to the Lake District in the summer of 2013 with two good friends, that we stumbled across the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub after a hike up Bowfell and the images of climbers and beautiful rock faces captivated my attention. It was at that point that I decided to take a beginners climbing course at the Westway climbing gym in London. The addiction was instant and the drive to improve consuming.
Within a year of top-roping I was lead climbing and itching to climb outdoors and once I touched rock as a climber, I realised my true passion – combining my love of the outdoors with the freedom of climbing.
I have not looked back and the journey continues to evolve; sport, trad, bouldering, Scottish winter and alpine. The many facets of climbing both inspire and challenge me to improve.
This is my journey.