Ultimate Outdoors and David Curtis Talk Climbing
First things first, do you climb?
Yes, I climb with my friends. We climb everything we possibly can. Mainly traditional climbing, placing your own supports and protections as you go. When the weathers not so nice we go mixed climbing or dry tooling. Or if we’re lucky, ice climbing. I love the freedom that climbing gives you, with a rope and some gear you can get to places that most people will never see, it’s incredible.
When did you start?
I’ve been climbing on and off since I was about 15; however it’s only been in the last 2 years things have really picked up, we’ve gone from top roping indoors to leading multi pitch traditional routes outdoors.
How did you find it?
It was the Air Cadets that introduced me to climbing. They were kind enough to show me the basics, helping me with knots and my technique. We taught ourselves to climb outdoors, with lots of practice and reading a lot of literature on the subject, before setting out.
Did you find you progressed easily once the basics were learnt?
Once we’d got the basics down its surprising how quickly we progressed. The techniques are all very similar, with the ropes and protection a priority no matter where you are, so that really opens up where you can climb. Whether it be a short crag in summer or a long multi pitch winter climbing route, it’s easy to adapt to the situation.
What are your top 3 sports to do?
Mountaineering, climbing and skiing I’d say are my favourite 3 sports. Sometimes I end up climbing up a pitch, and then skiing down which is pretty awesome. It tends to be much quicker too!
There are so many mountaineering, climbing and scrambling routes in the Lake District, we’re spoiled for choice. At the moment, we are slowly trying to work our way through them all, and loving every minute of it.
Do you have any plans to try something new? What is it?
My friends and I are planning on testing our skills in the Alps this year, with glacier walking, ice climbing and an alpine ridge climb all on the cards. We can’t wait!
If you could give advice to someone unsure about taking that first step into the outdoors what would it be?
Find some friends, pick something suitable and just go for it!
Thanks to David Curtis, Gateshead