The Bristol Send Train

Bristol has always been the home to a strong group of climbers. With the likes of Chris Savage, Hazel Findlay both pushing the boundaries in both Sport and Trad. As time goes on and the young get strong It’s time to make way for the new generation. The likes of Cailean Harker who has recently made Bristol his base, James Squire and now fellow British Team member Hamish Potokar. The things these young guns are doing nowadays is truly inspirational. How things have moved forward hey.

After hearing about both Hamish’s and Cailean’s ascents of the Joker I was pretty psyched to get in on the action. Along with not been able to get out much recently and the Christmas break, I was itching to get on some rock. With a dodgy Friday forecast Cailean and I were unsure of where to go Thursday night. The only place that had consistently good weather was North Wales. The psyche was high and I was keen to drive anywhere.  Fortunately by the next morning the forecast had improved and we didn’t have to drive quite as far as North Wales.  As Cailean was keen to get the Ace done and I hadn’t been on the Joker, Stanage was an obvious choice.

We arrived at a slightly damp Stanage but after 4o minutes of sun and a good breeze it was game on. I felt strong on the left hand crimp so I opted for the campus method. My flash attempt was really close, with my hand tickling the top.

You could say I had a real case of “First go Psyche” as my next few goes I didn’t get anywhere near. It wasn’t long before I started getting close again, but then it started rain. Luckily not very hard and not for not very long either. Although Cailean did try to finger tape his jacket over the holds. After being forced to rest and the rain shower had passed, the conditions just became better and better. Cailean was talking pictures and I felt myself not fully committing so I asked him for a spot. Just before I pulled on he said about not giving my a “Dabber”. He was referring to when he did it a couple of weeks back, he hit the top and as he swung out his legs hit his spotters. I laughed and said yes I wouldn’t want that. But sure enough He jinxed it and I hit that top, took the wild swing and my trailing leg hit his hand. As soon as I felt it I dropped of laughing. “What a Punter” I think he did it on purpose ;-). I knew I could do it though and a couple of goes later I hit the top. “Thank god for that” Cailean said. I think I was getting a little worried I wasn’t going to do it.

Cailean on The Ace

Cailean on The Ace


It wasn’t long after that and Cailean ended up going through one of his tips. As The Ace is pretty condition dependent we decided to move on. Cailean went on to smash Help the Young sit start and I sent Brass Monkeys.


A good day and well worth the drive up. It just shows a bit of optimism and a lot of psyche you can get out climbing at least somewhere that’s dry”””ish!





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