Settling Back Into Blighty

With a near constant barrage of facebook status updates from my friends in Chamonix ticking off major ski descents my FOMO (feeling of missing out) is sky high.  Unfortunately for me the ‘Life of Riley’ caught up with me at the end of this winter and I had to make the decision to head back to the motherland to ‘do some work’.  I’ve been back in the UK for a month now and its not as bad as I remember it!  The weather has been good and I have manged some awesome trips out and about in Devon and further afield in north wales and Scotland.  My climbing arms are getting their life back after what seems like an age without so much as touching a bit of rock to climb on (nearly a 8 month lay off!!).  I even manged to on-sight an E5 at Dunkeld the other day.

Last week I attended an IRATA level 1 Rope access course at Scotts Access Services in Consett, County Durham.  I’ve wanted to do this course for a while and it feels great to have finally completed it.  It was a fun week and I learnt a lot about how the industry works and some more advanced techniques which could prove handy in my day to day climbing. Thanks to the team at SAS and the lads on my course for making the whole week a load of fun!  I would thoroughly recommend SAS to anyone looking to do any of their IRATA tickets.

The training room at SAS in Consett.

The training room at SAS in Consett.

The lads learning how to do a basic haul.

Joe showing the lads how to do a basic haul.

This weekend, as a reward for passing the test I headed out to Lower Sharpnose Point near Bude on the north Devon coast.  This is a crag I’ve wanted to visit for many years and I was not disappointed by the utter quality of the climbing.  It had everything I’ve wanted from rock climbing and the rock and style of climbing suited me perfectly.  I felt so at home swimming up the impending walls that are littered with perfect jugs and cracks with the sun on my back and the sea lapping at the rocks bellow.  I was seriously inspired by the middle fin despite not managing to get a route done on it due to the tide.  I’ll be back there in the not to distant future with my sights set on some of the harder classics of the crag.

Heading down into Lower Sharpnose.  Spot the Climber!

Heading down into Lower Sharpnose. Spot the Climber!

Josh getting ready to show his Rope Access skills to get us to the bottom of the crag.

Josh getting ready to show his Rope Access skills to get us to the bottom of the crag.

Myself nearing the crux of the utterly classic E1 The Smile. A good warm up for the day. Photo courtesy of Heather Ohly

Myself nearing the crux of the utterly classic E1 The Smile. A good warm up for the day. Photo courtesy of Heather Ohly

Josh heading into the Crux of The Smile

Josh heading into the crux of The Smile

Heather Ohly finishing of the Awesome looking Crooked Mile (E4 6a) looking very comfortable.

Heather Ohly finishing of the Awesome looking Crooked Mile (E4 6a) looking very comfortable.

My self on Diamond Smile one of the best pitches of E3 I have ever done.

My self on Diamond Smile one of the best pitches of E3 I have ever done.

A good day had by all, thanks everyone involved.  Now all I need to do is find a J O B! Any suggestions welcome!!

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