Life’s too short… A Summer roundup


That’s 8 fingers

  • Climbed F8a

After warming up and falling off Nightglue F7a+ in early May, and not being able to do more than 10 of the moves on Over The Moon Direct, I committed 15 sessions to Lower Pen Trwyn (LPT), and sent it. Pretty happy with that, considering minimal training and niggling elbow injuries. Hardest grade I’ve ever climbed and now I have a fingerboard in the alps, I should come back with a little more than zero strength in April, so 8a+ next.

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Mid Technical Crux – OTMD – 8a

  • Onsighted some E4s

I didn’t climb much trad this summer, but had a great day out being belayed by my girlfriend Jacqui, who then almost followed E4 clean having not climbed for probably 3 years. Effort.

Slate Climbing Sunset

Sunset after an evening climbing with my girlfriend

  • Bouldered f7B

This was an anticlimax really as I was trying to get Jerry’s Roof f7C done in the autumn, but a sore wrist put an end to specific power endurance training and therefore it never got done, despite the moves all feeling totally fine after about 4 sessions.

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Mid Crux – Jerry’s Roof – V9

  • Worked 3 days a week on average

My contract with the Military was 3 months late in coming through, so I was actually free to work with my own clients and therefore had a very successful Summer. I’m also grateful to the other instructors in North Wales who trust me enough to send work and clients my way. 3 days a week on average was a perfect compromise, I earned enough to pay the bills, and put a fair bit of time into climbing for myself.


Sea Cliff Climbing Course

  • Started a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science

I’ve enrolled in a Master’s program in the Clinical Sciences and Nutrition department of Chester University. The course is fairly intense as my background is not like the others on the course (medicine, physiotherapy, sports science, etc.). I’m currently writing a 4000 word assignment on the BioChemistry of Metabolism. Incredibly interesting stuff, and very useful for clients and personal training alike.


It’s easier to learn a 45 move climbing sequence

  • Development Climbing Coach Award

I’m currently going through the process of becoming a qualified development coach. Although I’ve been coaching in my instructional role for many years now, it’s nice to have an official ticket that represents a level of competence. The scheme is great and makes up for a lot of the soft skills that are lacking from the Mountaineering Instructor Award (MIA).


Coaching at Castle Inn Quarry

Now to concentrate on the ski season, which kicks off on Saturday. The ever reliable Val d’Isere has come good again, looking like a huge number of slopes will be open and perfectly groomed for this weekend. Early season is some of the best piste skiing you’ll ever get.


Non Rock Climbing Activites (rain stopped play)

Rain in Snowdonia

Wet wet wet (not the band)

In Snowdonia, we’re familiar with the petrichor must, rain falls abundantly.  Luckily we don’t get those overcast, grey, drizzly fortnights like London, when it rains here it rains proper.  It’s usually over and done with fairly quickly and I can be back out climbing almost straight away.  For the bad days, here’s a list of non rock climbing (so as to not increase psych for climbing and exacerbate the withdrawal issues) related activities that I have been immersed in today, they could give you some ideas of stuff to do when your day is overwhelmed with floccinaucinihilipilification.

1 – Antagonistic Shoulder muscle exercises and stretching.

For me this basically isn’t fun, but essential.  I’m putting a lot of work in my rotator cuffs, catching up on all the work that’s been omitted over the past 10+ years.  Rock Climbing, like many other sports, overly strengthens your internal rotation shoulder muscles (pecs, lats, delts), these are all big powerful muscles that grow pretty easily whilst climbing often.  The antagonists that battle to counter balance these powerful lumps are relatively small muscles, namely your rotator cuffs: Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Subscapularis, Teres minor.  Today’s rain has inspired me to re-read “7 Minute Rotator Cuff Solution” by J Horrigan and J Robinson.  A great read not only for the always injured like me, but also for essential injury prevention that climbers need.  So I’ll be stretching the internal rotators and strengthening the external ones.

2 – A 3D puzzle.

Church Puzzle Snowdonia

Found this bad boy in a charity shop for £1… win. One piece missing… lose

3 – Write an article using big words.

Like being “filipendulous”, which is very relevant to the rock climbing courses I deliver.

4 – Easy Work.

Terry James Walker Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing Instructor Work, not too taxing!

Do a bit of work on your outdoorsy website, send a few emails and maybe find some potential clients and increase your summer opulence.

5 – Restring and clean guitar?

Washburn Guitar

Washburn Electro Acoustic, aesthetic and sounding great

6 – Bake bread

Homemade Bread

Home baked bread… Hmmmm

When I get bored, I get hungry.  Being well prepared for days indoors is vital.  Some warm bread for chunky sarnies can prevent unfortunate incidents of exophagy.

7 – Surfing in the Rain

Terry James Walker Surfing

A bit of surfing on small waves. (Pic from a sunny day)

8 – StumbleUpon


An amazing website for times of utter and extreme boredom.  Head over to enter your interests and click stumble, you’ll be engrossed for quite a while

9 – Ebay for stuff ending in the next 1 minute


A real frugality-fest, just by looking in the climbing category and sort by ‘time ending soonest’, you can grab some absolute bargains.  Good luck.

10 – Light a fire and drink tea

Log Fire Cottage North Wales

Probably my favourite ‘activity’. Log burning fire, way better than a television

Let me know of any interesting rainy day things that you guys and girls get up to, these things run out fairly quickly!  And lets hope for a super sunny summer.  T


Rain Rain Go Away


Pretty shocking few days here so far this week.  Lightning strikes abundant around our cottage yesterday.  Rock is currently dripping all over the national park, sea cliff and coastal crags.  It was super dry on Sunday, so should only take a few days to fully dry out again, with no seepage.  Then time to get back on the rock and continue to get back a bit of fitness after a winter of getting heavy ski legs.

Met office says it’s looking up for tomorrow… So maybe a bit of slate action. Dead keen to get on The desolation of Smaug! If possible this week.  Till then, I’ve gotten pretty bored and set up a blog… Oh dear.

indoor rock climbing

50 degree board

Training later, going to hit the steep board and try and hold on for 5 minutes at a time to build some stamina… More boring than trying hard moves but definitely gets my climbing going at this time of year.