All Work And Very Little Play!

Over the last two months I have been doing very little climbing (apart from training), and far too much working. With the winter season quickly approaching, I am doing all I can to save up enough dosh so that I can take the full winter season off and still afford to go on some pretty cool trips that I’ve got in the pipeline.

Waiting for the combine to fill

Still going strong with the combine at 1am


As I work on a local farm in my off season, which happens to fall on the time of harvest. I never struggle to find work before the winter kicks off, and for the past 4 weeks harvest has definitely been all go go go.

Managing to get some training in on the job

In between 18 hour shifts and endless days in the tractor I have been trying to keep up some steady training in my personal training cave (with the usual suspects, Dougie, Adam, Mike and Ross) along with numerous cycle, swim and running sessions. I believe for the harsh Scottish winter climbing days, it is not just climbing strength that is needed but a high standard of cardio is also welcome when you’re wading through deep snow in sub zero temperatures approaching or descending from your routes.

Dougie training like a Boss

On the odd day that I’ve not been working on the farm, which has usually been when it is raining, I have been trying to make progress on my new project at the tooling cave near Dunkeld. The route is quite a bit harder than anything else I have tried in this style (mixed/drytooling) before, and I am looking forward to the new level of fitness and technique that I will need to gain to complete this intense and sustained line.

Me cranking with the weight vest on, while Mike pushes it outside with the farmers walk

Hopefully I will soon be writing on here about my success on the route, but until then you’ll have to keep an eye open for updates.

Brian talking about Grivel crampons at Tiso POE

The best exercise for working your pump and grip strength. The dreaded Farmers Walk!

Last week I spent 4 days travelling around Scotland working with Paul Prentice and Brian Hall for the Mountain Boot Company. We were doing staff product training on this year’s Scarpa and Grivel range, and it was awesome to go around the mass of Scottish climbing shops and talk about the gear I use every day in the mountains and what sort of things/routes I use it for. It also made a nice change from bouncing around in a field all day with a tractor and a plough!

Working on t'farm with plough

As the autumn weather slowly sets in and the days get shorter, I will be doing less farm work and more training and climbing in preparation for the winter season. So hopefully there will be many more regular updates on here to read and to help others get massively psyched for the best time of the year that is swiftly on its way!