I spent ten or more years as a rock climber, several of those full-time. Until I decided to get a career in 1998/9, climbing was still my main interest and, essentially, my identity.
In the mid-90s I worked nights so I could spend more time at the crag, interspersed with working at climbing shops and outdoor centres, and writing occasionally for magazines and websites, to make enough to pay for gear and petrol money. I trained like crazy (I built three bouldering walls during this period), with occasional breaks for injury, getting up to F7b(ish - UK E5) onsights and F7c (UK E6) redpoints before losing direction somewhat in '98, just as I was approaching my long-held F8a target. I rode mountain bikes
through that winter, partied a bit too hard and lost sight of my goals completely. This was my first proper encounter with mental health issues, possibly exacerbated by losing some of my identity when I stopped being "a climber".
When I regained direction, I prioritised my career as a developer over my prior obsession with climbing and drifted away from the sport. moving to London and then to Sydney.
These days I climb occasionally, though climbing around Sydney is a completely different proposition to climbing in the UK, where variety is a given and travel times are manageable. Around Sydney we have every type of climbing you want as long as it's sandstone. And generally it's big, hard to get to and the temperature is too damn hot.
Nevertheless, as of Jan 2012 I've developed a hankering to climb again, so soon the crags will echo to my swears, curses, rants and stupid puns.
This page will outline some of my past highlights with climbing and what I'm getting up to these days.