Why climb mountains? Because they are there!
How it all Started:
One of my friends (Paul) persuaded me to go out and try the indoor rock-climbing wall in the eXcape building in Milton Keynes (it isn't just a wall, it has artificial rock faces and automatic belays - so you can climb by yourself without the requirement for someone else to assist you). I liked it...
Shortly later someone at work mentioned that he was into rock-climbing in a big way and that he climbs in the Peterborough club often. So I thought another trip to the climbing wall in Milton Keynes was in order so that he could show me how to do it properly!
We went there one a week (with a few other people from work) for a few months
I have been here quite a few times now as it is my local site and there aren't too many mountains to climb in Milton Keynes (just lots of roundabouts and concrete cows).
It has 8 automated belays and lots of defined routes (with varying levels of difficulty from beginner to insane!). It isn't too expensive, the staff there are all very good and helpful. It is actually owned by a shop and there are lots of other mountaineering, outdoor and snowboarding/skiing type shops in the eXcape building so it's nice to have a wander around anyway.
Derbyshire (29-06-2002) (Pictures):
I headed off to Derbyshire with Dave and a couple of his climbing buddies for a bit of proper climbing in the great outdoors! It wasn't like climbing the wall in the nice, warm eXcape building - i.e. I was worn out by the looooong walk from the car park to the rock face, it was really windy, a bit chilly, muddy, the rock face was very different - but I loved it!
Lake District (03-08-2002 to 05-08-2002) (Pictures):
This time for a few days with Dave and a couple of my friends. It started with my alarm going off at 4.30am (I really should not have gone out the night before for a late meal with some people from work), then me picking up my friends in MK before rocketing up the M1 to Northampton to meet Dave. Then we went up in convoy (me in my dirty red Golf and Dave in his shiny blue M3 BMW. I managed to keep up - he must have only used 1/4 throttle!). Dave had been to the site before, so I followed him up the M1 for a few hours- the Lake District is a long, long way away! Later that day we got there - to a nice little cottage up in the peaks - at the base of a mountain. This was to be our home for the next few days
South of Spain (29-03-2009 to 04-04-2009) (Pictures):
Basically... Dave was heading off to Spain for a weeks climbing and asked if I wanted to go - so I said yes! The only problem was that the first day of the holiday co-incided with an Adventure Race I was doing (Questars 2009 race 1 of 3), but that was okay, as I flew out on the next day and