2016 review in photos

2016 has been a hell of a year, with lots of ups and downs! I’ve climbed classics, made finals, won a race, met great people and never stopped moving, constantly traveling. 

January, winter mountaineering, ice climbing and skimo training all throughout the Welsh hills. 

February, Won the skimo Scotland race, up in Glenshee Scotland.

March, after breaking my wrist I spent the rest of the month hiking and exploring around Wales.

April, got a second diagnosis on my wrist and figured out I had part torn a main tendon as well, but kept the adventure and training alive by running and traveling.

May, road tripped through Switzerland with the crew exploring Graubuenden and climbing up in the glacial valley of Morteratsch. 

June, spent a week on my own up in the Engadin for some solo adventures making the most of the last  snow for a spot of skimo training.

July, Spent most of the month training in the gym and climbing indoors getting back up to strength. Also met this lovely lady there, turned out to be quite the keeper. 

August, spent another week up in the Graubuenden on my own for some solo alpine climbing, ended up climbing Piz Kesch and Piz Julier.

September, two boulder trips to Magic Wood, re-climbing some of the classics making the most of the good weather.  

October, drove across the whole of Switzerland to go for a boulder with an old friend in Brigg Switzerland before heading of to LA

November, trip out to Boulder Colorado to climbing with Paul, Dave and Jeremy in the Basin 

December, skiing and ice climbing on the little bit of now and ice around. Photo soloing the Silvaplana ice fall in Switzerland. 

Big shout out and thanks to all my sponsors, family and friends for this crazy year!

Looking forward to another fantastic adventure filled year, bring on 2017!

What’s in my pack, single pitch Sport Climbing.

This post is about what I take for a classic day sport climbing at the crag, in places such as the Pyrenees South of France or El Chorro in Spain.  This will explain the essentials I always carry with me and why. Also it will look at what I might wear for such a days bolt clipping at the caging.

 

  1. Metolius Bravo Key lock quick draws. I usually always carry between 14 – 20 draws, as terrain and route length can vary vastly. 
  2. Evolv Addict slipper, I am a big fan of warming up in a comfy shoe that I can wear all day. The addict is also very good on slabs with its flat profile. 
  3. Evolv shaman 2.0, This is my go-to shoe for hard sport climbing. It has an aggressive profile which is good for steep climbing more than vertical. This shoes really suits my style of climbing very well.
  4. Natures bakery Fig bar’s, I always carry a few figbars in my bag they are great for a snack in-between, also they come gluten free, vegan and are verified non GMO. 
  5. Metolius 3/4th Grip gloves, I belay a lot and with these beauties, they save the day and the skin on my hands when on belay duty.   
  6. Grivel Twin gate carabiner with a grigri 2 belay device with assisted braking, and a Twin gate as it’s the safest biner on the market.
  7. Grivel Twin gate quick draw, this is what I put up at the lower off on a project if i'm working it on top rope, to not wear out the lower off.  
  8. Grivel Twin gate adjustable lanyard, 
  9. Metolius bravo biner, screw gates are always handy when lowering off, threading a belay lower off. 
  10. Metolius comp harness, this is my go to harness. it is absolutely boom proof, Lightweight with 4 super strong gear loops. 
  11. Bellagels belay glasses, definitely a neck saver. 
  12. ClimbOn bar and sunscreen and finger tape, ClimbOn Bar and sunscreen are the best on the market and all 100% food grade.
  13. Warm up kit is made up of a tera band and Metolius GripSaver ball to warm up and warm down my fingers, this is important especially on them crisp cold winter days. 
  14. Chalk bag and chalk, My go to chalk is Metolius Power chalk, it has a drying agent in it, which I like as I get very sweaty hands. 
  15. Sterling 70m nano, this is a great all round rope, super durable and light. 

16) Zeal Optic Ace sunglasses, which are polarized and Biodegradable

17) Kailas Quick Dry singlet good for hot summers day. 

18) Kailas Rock and road shorts when I want to get my legs out for a tan 

19) Kailas 9a climbing pants, stretchy and light water. Super comfortable to wear under a harness 

20) Kailas Polartec power dry tee, this tee is grate for them hot days, it is designed to keep your skin dry when you sweat, ideal for a hot summer's day.

21) Kailas Hoodie

22) Kailas Men’s 3L Hard shell, 100% water proof, always good to carry on with me as you never know when a freak storm can move in, especially at a mountain crag.

23) Kailas Men’s rock climbing jacket, which is windproof and super flexible.

24) Kailas Ultra lightweight Down jacket, this is 800fill goose down, super compressible, and fits nicely in to the bottom of my pack and is super light weight. 

(Not pictured)

25) Kailas Guofu 28L rucksack, this is a light weight pack, with its roll top closure system it allows to be packed down easily. Also its super abrasion resistant thanks to Cordura fabric, which is super hard wearing grate to be thrown around at the crag. 

26) Metolius ropemaster rope bag. Always carry a rope bag with a tarp to protect my rope form dirt and grit, this will increases the life of the rope. 

27) Hydrapak SoftFlask 750ml, I usually carry at least one 750ml SoftFlask's with me for hydration. they are super light wight and packable. Also as they are soft and flexible I have no problem squeezing them in even when my pack if full to the brim.

28) Small first aid kit, Such as the Ultralight/ watertight 7 form Adventure medical kit. I also add a small headlamp, to avoid them steep dark hike outs under only the light of your phone. 

 

April and May, No rest for the broken....

The last week of March was a game changer for me, working long days and training twice a day feeling super fit. I found myself on a long board cursing down hill relaxing taking in the evening sun.  For some reason that night something felt different, I felt unsure. But I went for it any way to wined down after an intense day at the office, only to find myself 3/4th of the way down the hill doing 18mph with a speed wobble, normally I would slowly brake with one foot. But I was wrong after 5 huge lunges I find myself flying through the air, going face first down the tarmac, saying to my self while in the air “don’t hit my head, don’t hit my head”. I was lucky I didn’t hit my head, but instead put most of the impact on my left wrist….. not to mention all the deep road rash on my arms hip and knees (I was wearing two cotes, which ended up looking like an exploded chicken). This whole scenario landed me in the emergency room as my wrist went numb, after siting around for 3 hours Matty the legend who drove me to A & E and hung out with me collected two pizzas for us to tuck into :) Then another 3 hours went by, and I got an x-ray which didn’t show any brakes, I thought to myself how lucky I was and I’d be back climbing in 4 weeks once the swelling went down the cuts healed. However the day after the accident I realized I didn’t have any power in my left had, tasks suck as opening an already open jam jar became a struggle, this went on for 3 weeks.

During those 3 weeks I didn’t train (pull-ups, pushups and hangboarding), but I compensated by walking a minimum of 10 miles a day. At this stage in my recovery my wrist still aching. At Easter I thought I would go to get a second opinion from my DR in Switzerland, after a few checks he sent me straight for an MRI and a CT scan. A day went by and I was thrown another bombshell. The scans revealed I had torn a piece of bone and a small tendon in the base of my palm off. I was sent to get my arm put in plaster for another 4 weeks.

Some where over the UK 

The flatter side of Switzerland

Funny thing this whole recovery business. Week 8 after my accident I got my cast removed by the hand specialist who told me I had another 12 weeks of recovery to go. That meant recovery until August! As an addition to the tear and the brake I bruised all the floating bones in my wrist to the core (which takes longer to heal than a fracture)

As much as it sucks to be injured, life throws things at you, good and bad. I’ve learnt many different ways to cope with feeling down about not being able to do the things I love. I’ve spent time with friends, family, met new people and gone to many places. Life doesn’t stop giving even when it feels like the world is caving in. Living in the moment gets me by just fine.

Some of my adventures while in plaster were, hiking up the north snowy ridge of Tryfan and light one handed slab climbing (it felt so good to move after 3 weeks of forced rest). I also squeezed in the one random midnight adventure aurora hunting.

taking in the last bit of snow up in Ogwen North Wales (photo: Dan E)

Sunset slab climbing up at Penmaenbach in North Wales

sunset view form Penmaenbach in North Wales

Wee evening paddle board session on Llyn padarn

interesting cloud formations in the night skys.

Now it’s May and recovery is going well, light physio exercises, and gently easing back in to climbing. I successfully finished year 2 of my product design degree, and as I still need to take it easy on my wrist I went for a body board session at Surf Snowdonia as a reward to my self! All I can say it was epic and y’all need to check it out!!

Scoping out the perfect line....

On Monday I am Alps bound, for an epic climbing / alpine adventure!! I will be updating daily through snapchat! (Add me at: mit3334)  

February / March adventures - finding the balance

February was a hectic month for me , with university, work placement, training and fitting many adventure in around that. finding the balance whether it is to sleep an hour less to get up early to go on an adventure go climbing or just training its all worth it! Having been doing a 9-5 desk job for the past 6 weeks I have come to the realisation that being stationary all day is definitely not my cup of tea. Like Will Gadd once said “ An object in motion tends to stay in motion and an object at rest tends to stay at rest” 

Over the past month working it showed me that trying to make the most of every day and every free moment is what counts, weather that is driving in to the mountains looking for snow in the middle of the night. Or even after them long nights out dancing and throwing down shapes on the dance floor, getting up after only a few hours sleep on your day off before the sun rises and get in to the mountains breathing fresh air in to my lungs and making my hart pump to go skiing, climbing or running. Its days like these which keep me on track.

Below is a collections of photos and a video from this months adventures from the city life to mountain lifestyle! 

Classic sun rise adventures in North Wales 

Classic evening training session at the SDC wall. Photo: Ian M

Midnight skate on the hunt for snow in the hills Photo: Enfys 

powered by fig on my epic weekend ski, climb and run adventure

powered by fig on my epic weekend ski, climb and run adventure

Not much snow in the valleys of Ogwan with the clouds rolling in over tryfan.

Welsh Ski mountnering at its finest

More total white out adventures up in the Carneedd dafydd. 

Definitely bringing the summer vibes back to Wales on a cold cloudy day. 

Quick weekend trip down to the capital. London 

Quick evening ruin around llyn Idwel 

The snowdon lady out as its finest.

Random midnight adventure up in Ogwen, in searching for the stars. 

Orion's belt on the right of Tryfan on an evening stroll with the stars.

Some cool projects coming up, watch the space!

January, skiing, ice climbing, skimo Scotland and a shoe review

Heres an insight in to my adventures over the last month. It started with a plan to go skiing and ice climbing in the Engadin Switzerland, then drive back to the UK to start uni again and go ski tuning and winter climbing in the full Welsh winter conditions. Back indoors puling on plastic training and a wild weekend adventure to the Scottish ski mountaineering championships.

Julier Mountain pass Switzerland 

It all started in the middle of December, with the plan to go home over Christmas to Switzerland and go skiing and ice climbing. I arrived home in Switzerland after a long sluggish drive form Wales due to high traffic… I spent two days at home were I competed at the Swiss indoor dry-tooling competition before relocating up in to the mountains. Having seen the forecast I knew there wasn’t going to be much snow as it was way to warm, but what I didn’t expect, was it to look like spring whit the tourist boards advertising to go biking and hiking due to the lack of snow. I spent my first few days skiing, on the few slopes that were open to get warmed up, and then transition to skimo training running up the side of the ski slopes. 

Swiss dry tooling championships (photo: Tim E)

Not much snow up in the mountains

Only skiing on man made runs

Skimo training up in the Bernina range 

As the day's went on and the snow didn’t come. So I went to search for some ice to climb, having already had to resort to the glacier last year it i didn't expect much different again this year. My sister and I ventured of to the base of the Morteratsch glacier. This time we didn’t ski tour in, we hiked on a rocky path as there was still now snow. We had a good few hours climbing around on the glacier. 

(photo Sina M)

Finally one week in to January it started to snow, nothing to be excited about for freeriding but enough to give every thing a good snow coat. As the slopes where still busy from new years holiday crowd, I resorted to running in the woods for bits of my training. Check out my short film below for an insight in to how little snow there was. The Engadin from above.

running in the Morteratsch woods (Photo: Max M)

Back to Norht Wales

After another long drive, I made it back to Wales to be pleasantly greeted by nice weather and snowy hilltops. Being back in wales also means starting back with university, so I trained during the week and am weekend warrior on weekends. Through out the week the hills where filling up nicely with snow which meant slowly things where getting in to condition. 

Sunset over North Wales

First weekend back Tim Hunt and I had a successful day out winter climbing on Saturday. We climbed the classic route tower gully flowed by a white out lunch of  avocado on pre toasted toast and a long walk out over the devils kitchen and down banana gully. 

(Photo: Tim H)

climbing the icey step

total white out descent 

Sunday the objective was to climb a gully and skimo along the top then ski down the Carnedddau. This was a grate success with only a minor hick up. Once we reached the top of the gully we put our bags and skis down on the plato of the mountain to have lunch. But as we are leaving I pick up my bag with my skis strapped on. But one of my skis detached its self form the bag and starts skiing down an avalanche prone gully on its own…., to cut a long story short I climbed halfway down the gully waist deep in snow where my ski came to a halt thanks to a big rock, retrieved it climbed back up then we skied on. Grate snow conditions for a Sunday ski session. Check out the little film by Tim Hunt.

Tim following up the gully 

cracking skimo training conditions (Photo: Tim H)

Throught out the next week I was training indoors and running in the morning ready for Skimo Scotland the following weekend. 

Skimo Scotland weekend was an epic adventure, both tim and I had deadlines to meet on Friday before we could leave for Scotland, so we worked all day till 5 pm for the hand in then packed up the van and headed for Scotland only arriving at Glenshee at 1am. Which was fine as the race was only scheduled to start at 3pm that day.  After a chilled morning in the van we got our skis out and skinned up and around the ski resort to get wormed up before the registration. 3pm hit its race time, I have my skin tight lycra suit on, then the whistle goes and we are off, I knew I wasn’t going to be the fastest but I could make up time in the 5 transitions we had to do form climbing skins to ski mode and back to climbing skins back to ski mode. I ended up winning the one lap race with a time of 38 minuets. Sadly we didn't take many photos that weekend. The next day we ended up going for a winter mountaineering hike in a total white out which was fun before driving 6 hours back to Wales to start Uni on Monday morning. 

walking out of the mountain in Scotland.

Coming in fast on the final stretch of the Scottish skimo race. Photo by: Drew photography

Evolv Luchador Review

The Luchador as an all-round technical shoe, it is slightly down turn but when on your feet, almost feel flat with a semi asymmetrical toe profile. It uses TRAX high friction rubber, this is a grate shoe for everyday climbing, but also technically advanced climbing.

Toe box ( Knuckle box )

I found that the toe box of the Luchador SC did a good job of pushing all the power right in to the edge of the shoe. This was a big plus for me, as I focuses on my footwork a lot and rely heavily on feeling stable and strong pushing of small edges.

Comfort and fit

The Luchador is super comfortable strait out of the box. This is due to its ergonomic profile which isn’t to down turn. The padded toung with a one side opening adds for a more sock like feel to the shoe. The shoe felt packed out on my foot giving me a tight fit all around and on my heal.

Evolv used there own TRAX rubber again, with a 4.2mm sole section on the front, so it doesn’t wear out that fast. Having climbed in theses shoe over the last few months, indoors and outdoors. I find the performance fit of the shoe stays intact. This is my go to shoe for indoor training sessions and long sustained routes with good holds.

Conclusion

Over all the luchador is a decent all round shoe. The toe box dose its job well of harnessing power, the fit of the shoe is comfortable so I can wear it for an long indoor session with out having to take it off. The slight down turn gives it the upper hand on steep overhanging climbing. Personally I would recommend this shoe to a friend as a good all-rounder.

2015 in photos

As 2015 comes to a close and we look onward to 2016, here are 12 photos which sum up my 2015 year of adventure, fun and travel.  Travels to over 7 different countries from Italy, the US to the the far ranges of China! 

January, Making finals of the British tooling series in the UK

February, lots of awesome sun sets While winter climbing in and around North wales

February, lots of awesome sun sets While winter climbing in and around North wales

March, ended up being lots of pulling on plastic and training, due to bad weather and lots of uni work.

April was another wet one with lots of pulling on plastic, but was able to squeeze in some outdoor sport with V in the few sunny days.

May getting out in-between uni climbing lots of the classic routes on the North Wales slate.

May getting out in-between uni climbing lots of the classic routes on the North Wales slate.

June was the first time I had a chance to compete on an international stage at the Kailas bouldering competition in China.

July I started doing a lot more yoga in the US. ( yoga definitely improves your climbing ) 

August was a moth of traveling for me.

September was a great month, of playing in the mountains, trail running, climbing and biking but also starting back with university.

October, was a month with lots of sun and lots of outdoor training. (morning runs before uni) 

October, was a month with lots of sun and lots of outdoor training. (morning runs before uni) 

November was a very wet month despite that I trained hard indoors 5 days a week. 

December, it was a great month. I competed at the Swiss Dry Tooling championships, and have been climbing, skiing and ice climbing in the mountains despite not much snow! 

Thanks to all my sponsors, friends and family for a grate year.

See you all in 2016, bring on another grate year!

What is in my pack: Alpine climbing, part two of two

What’s in my pack: Alpine climbing, part two. Here is an insight in to how I layer up for my alpine climbing endeavors. I chose layering up with lots of thin layer rather than two big layers for better climate control. These are my favorite essentials.  

1. Kailas Extreme Seamless Hard Shell:  This is my outer layer which is also breathable, with filtertech fabric.

2. Kailas Poartech Wind Proof Soft Shell: I use this as a mid-layer. On dry days I don’t wear the Hard Shell.

3. Kailas Ultralight Primaloft Jacket: This is my insulating layer which fits under the everything else.

4. Kailas Fleece Jacket: This is what goes over my base layer and is my second layer.

5. Breathable Bass Layer: This is the first part of my layering system, and is the most breathable. It make sure I don’t overheat when moving around in the mountains.

6. Gor-tex Hard Shell Pants: The outer layer protecting my legs.

7. Softshell Pants: These go under the hard shell. In summer I use this without the hard-shell.

8. Breathable Base Layer Tights: The first part of my layering system for my legs, this is the base of all layers. From here I can build up without an issue.

9. Two sets of gloves: The big set are gor-tex and primaloft insulated for the cold snowy icy days. The other small gloves are windstop and are used on warmer days, and dry conditions. Also I find when the doing lots of technical rope work or hard mix climbing I prefer the smaller thinner glove.

10. Energy gels and Figbars: When out in the mountains I pick my food strategically to save weight and space. When moving fast and light through the mountains I pack 2 GU energy gels and some GU chews also some Natures bakery FigBars to snack on in-between. Nuts and dried fruit are also good to snack on thought the day.

11. Canon S120: This snaps reasonable good photos, and shoots pretty good video.

12. Headtorch: This is definitely an essential piece of any alpine climbing kit. This one uses 3 AA batteries, compare to rechargeable ones when it runs out you can just change the batteries. I always keep spare in my first aid kit just incase.

13. Small firstaid kit: Slways carrying the essentials for emergency situations is important. From blanket to plasters and bandages.  

14. Zeal Optic’s sunglasses: Snapshot, great glasses that are super durable, for being thrown around in a pack. I’m always wearing sunglasses when I’m walking/climbing on a glacier.

15. Watch: I always carry a watch with an altimeter and a barometer.

16. Grivel Buff: This is super versatile for wearing under my helmet keeping my ears warm and protecting my nose and mouth in the crazy weather days.

17. 750cl water bottle: I like to always carry a big bottle as I sweat a lot, so I don't dehydrate.

18. Kailas Guofu 28L pack: I use a variety of different alpine climbing packs, depending on how long I’m going for and what I’m doing. They range from 18L for moving fast and light on my own to a 45L for a multi day climb. However the 28L pack is my go to all-rounder of choice.

KAILAS bouldering competition

The whole thing started with a Skype call and a simple idea. Fly 7000 miles to compete in the KAILAS bouldering competition. I would meet a whole new team, compete in a foreign country and test my limits. 

I wanted to do this. I knew I did, but it also meant skipping school. I needed to get permission to miss University hours, to fly half way across the world on a trip that couldn’t be any less educational. I don’t know why or how, but they said yes. I would be able to pass my year and fly to China. 

So, after two days of organizing I found myself at the airport boarding a flight to Guanzhou, China.

Flying in to China

I’ve never been anywhere as far as China before, so I knew it was going to be an adventure. I was to fly Zurich to Paris and then catch a connecting flight to Guangzhou. I left with only hand luggage and a good start for a fast transfers. It all seemed to be going really well, I boarded my Zurich flight only to be told that there would be a delay of at least 45 minutes. Miraculously, I made my connecting flight! I took a quick nap on the plane from Paris but every mile I flew, I became more excited. I saw the Tibetan mountain range, it was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. An endless stream of unclimbed peaks. 

Finally, 11 and a half hours later – touchdown. I met some other KAILAS athletes at the airport including Austrian Andi Afschnaiter. We were going to meet Sam from South Africa but she ended up being stranded in Kenya for the night, too bad. 

That night we, the KAILAS team, went out for a Chinese dinner. Dumplings, rice noodles, the whole shebang. After that we called it a night. After the short three hours I slept on the plane, I couldn’t be any happier to go to sleep.

Some stunning tibeten mountains

DAY ONE

Jetlag woke Andi and I up at 4AM and the first thought that came into our heads was to scout the area. We finished up our morning with a Chinese breakfast including onion and egg cakes with noodles. 

After checking out the KAILAS HQ where we met more of the office team and got a look at the behind the scene at production. We got a look at their flagship store located under the office, this including the bouldering gym in the back! No climber can ever resist a nice bouldering gym, so we spent some time warming up for the competition the next day. 

Baggio, KAILAS owner, took us for lunch at a local restaurant and introduced us to some local specialties. These included sea worm, which tasted great but looking at it raw may make your stomach turn. 

Andi and I then ventured off to check out the technology market in a high rise. The indoors market consisted of a variety of stands, the higher up you went, the cheaper the prices got.     

After more than an hour of wandering and many shouts in our direction, trying to sell us the best tech gear, we headed back to HQ. Once again, the jetlag hit us and after a short nap we found out that Sam had finally made it! The next dinner included a variety of dumplings, fish and risenoodles. I’ve come to accept my love of all these foods. 

Andi, Baggio and I in the KAILAS flagship store

Andi, Baggio and I in the KAILAS flagship store

DAY TWO

It started off with an early breakfast and then we headed off to one of the largest convention centers in China where the competition was taking place and the sales meetings were being held. Sam, Andi and I were all competing in the pro category. Qualifying only started at 3PM for the women and 5PM for the men. In other words, we had some time to pass. 

We got a good look at the KAILAS products and were able to scout what would be released in the coming year. We got the chance to watch a fashion show for all the Chinese retailers. It was epic, like no fashion show I’ve ever seen before. Not that I have a lot of experience. Anyway, there was break dancing and motor bikes. I’m pretty sure that’s not everyday fashion show stuff. 

3PM arrives and Sam started climbing. She did really well, she missed the finals by one spot which is pretty damn awesome.  

And then 5PM struck and I was sitting isolated, preparing for what was to come. It was the first time I was competing at a timed pro bouldering competition. As time ticked down I felt the pressure weighing my down. I wanted to do well. I wanted to place. 

My number is called out and I ran ahead, T-four minutes to complete the first problem. After feeling strong and getting the bonus with the final hold in sight, I go for the jump! I’m so close I can taste it!

Photo by: Forrest

And then I slip. 

I hit the matt and look up, the timer says three minutes left. I gave it four more attempts, always getting close to the finish line but never quite making it. The timer buzzes as I fall yet again on the last hold. 

I get another four minutes to recover until I’m out on the second problem. This one was a dyno from 2 crimps to a sloper. I figured I could statically do the move with my height advantage being 6 foot tall. I pull on and make the bonus, throw my left heel over my hand and pull to reach up. I was so close, I touched the sloper! But my heel slipped off the tiny crimp and before I knew it was eating matt. Again. 

I tried to think of all the different ways to get there. I gave it a few more attempts but didn’t manage. This comp. wasn’t going my way.

Back in isolation I felt my arms screaming in pain, the pump was kicking in. But I told myself, two problems to go. I can be in pain later. 

Photo by: Janine G

Photo by: Janine G

And then I’m out again, third problem. I pull the crimps through out, go right into a shoulder move and hold the lock off. I reach up, my foot slips and I slam head first into the wall. 

I’m back on the matt, by now I was pissed. My heart was racing and my time was running out. 

It ran out, all of it. In recovery I thought how to drain the blood from my arms. No time though, the final climb awaits. 

A crimp fest with high rockups. I knew I could manage the crimps and I was going for the bonus but my foot kept popping off in the last second. 15 seconds on the clock, I tell myself. 15 seconds is all you need! I go for one last try and give it my all, and it works! One more, I tell myself. One hold from the top and my foot pops again. And I’m on the matt. Again. 

So much to placing. 

All in all, it was a learning experience. I got a pretty good grasp of what my weaknesses are and what I need to train to become more successful. I didn’t end up qualifying for the final but that’s okay. I had fun thats the main thing.

Air time, Photo by: Forrest

DAY THREE

It was another early start, todays goal was to go sight seeing in the morning and make it back to watch Andi in the finals after lunch. 

We explored some markets and checked out all the fake goods they had, ranging from Sounto watched to Rolex’s. After that we went to the sales meeting for lunch and started prepping for the finals. And by prepping I mean we took out some cameras. 

At the finals we went to cheer for Andi. He did great on the first problem! The second looked promising too, popping off the last hold over and over again.  Overall he came in second. 

We watched the prize ceremony and headed out for dinner where we met up with the KAILAS competition organizers. We all squeezed into a round table and ended our dinner with a walk around the canton tower exploring more of the area at night. 

canton tower

DAY FOUR

The last day, There was a photo shoot planned in the morning followed by some sight seeing and souvenir shopping. We took some turns into some crazy markets and walked down corridors that were filled top to bottom with stuffed animals. 

Time was flying and before we knew it Andi, Sam and I were heading off to the airport. 

I had a great time on this trip. I learnt so much, not only about China and KAILAS but also about my fellow climbers. It was a great experience, not only did I learn about my strengths and weaknesses but I also made some great friends along the way. 

A huge thanks to Janine and KAILAS for organizing the entire trip. Also Lisa and the whole team for making us feel so welcome and making the trip unforgettable.