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  1. The First Ever American Ninja Warrior

      In the seventh season of the worlds hardest obstacle course, it had remained unconquered! Back again for my 3rd year in a row. Las Vegas, Nv. One of my least favorite places to be in the middle of the summer. With the temperatures reaching a scorching high of 46 celsius, it was far from bearable even in the middle of the night. Luckily the competition doesn’t begin until night time and continues on till sunrise. With the heat, sleep deprivation and nerves its no wonder why this obstacle course had yet to be defeated. Talk about putting your ninja skills to the test. On the first night of the competition, I was able to assess the upcoming obstacles, although its too late to actually train physically I could begin to overload my mental muscles. The hardest American Ninja Warrior Finals in history was ahead of me and the other 100 athletes were ready to face off with the unbeatable course. Stage 1. Balance, speed, agility, coordination. Are the basis of the skills needed to accomplish this course. Although its only the first stage it cannot be underestimated. With my mind calm and ready for action, I smoothly pounced and leaped from obstacle to obstacle executing each move as intended. The main concern for me and most ninjas on stage one is the Jumping Spider. After sticking the crux landing on the initial jump I knew I had stage one in the bag. A minute later I was at the first of four buzzers with plenty of time to spare. After a historic number of athletes who completed stage one, all 38 of us moved on to the next challenge. Stage 2. With some familiar obstacles from last season, a few tweaks and turns made for an intimidating course. The second to the last obstacle “Roulette Row” was the Ninja Killer. Once all 38 athletes made their attempt, only 8 remained, me being one of them. I finally earned the chance to showcase my abilities on stage three and hopefully push forward to stage four and win the title along with the grand prize.

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  2. David Mason Getting Sweaty

     

    A Gritstone Afternoon from David Mason on Vimeo.

      A warm and muggy Saturday afternoon on God's rock! One well known problem at an esoteric venue and two esoteric problems at well known venues. Made in Sheffield, Houndkirk Tor. FA Jamie Lilleman.
    Wangatan, Secret Garden. FA Jamie Lilleman. This hasn't been repeated for a while, if at all, it's now clean and ready for mauling!
    Jason's Mantel, Burbage South Edge. FA Jason Myers.

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  3. The best crag in the world?

     
    I write this Blog having just got back to our Gite in Gap after a great day climbing in Ceuse. I’ve only ever had 1 day at Ceuse and that was way back in 1995. I am now wondering what I have been doing with my life for the past 20 years! Many claim it to be the best sport-climbing cliff in the world and it would be hard to argue with this claim. Bullet hard limestone, stunning location, world class routes in all directions and at least on the routes I climbed today a definite old school feel about them. We headed up to the Berlin sector and warmed up on a technical 6b+ face climb that really reminded me of the Styx wall at Buoux, keeping you on your toes, literally speaking all the way to the belay. Blocage Violence and Changement le Look both 7b+ quickly followed. Does sport-climbing get any better than this? Both uber-classic routes and the latter a gift from the French legend and early Ceuse pioneer Patrick Edlinger. I absolutely love this style of climbing, which requires good technique, strong fingers, a steady head and is no gift at the grade either. Proper old school sport-climbing and an antidote to the over bolted, over graded and bland sport-climbing often found elsewhere in Europe. Roll on tomorrow…
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  4. Ben Moon Lecture at Kendal

    Ben Moon

    Climbing Legend

    Born in the suburbs of London in 1966, Moon started rock climbing on the sandstone outcrops of Kent and Sussex. A pioneer in the sport-climbing revolution of the 1980s and a bouldering legend in the 1990s, he is one of the most iconic rock climbers in the sport’s history.

    25 years ago, he was the first person to climb Hubble at Raven Tor. At its inception, Hubble was the hardest sport route in the world, now widely recognised as the world's first F9a. And of June this year,  Ben made an inspirational ascent of Rainshadow (9a) at Malham Cove in Yorkshire.

    Ben Moon hit the climbing headlines this June, redpointing Rainshadow at Malham Cove, his second route graded 9a. Incredibly this was just a few days before his 49th birthday and 25 years after climbing Hubble, his first 9a, leading to an outbreak of mass motivation/depression among middle-aged climbers across the world. A true legend who transformed the standards of top-end rock climbing, Ben is also a successful businessman who has developed his own brand of climbing clothing and equipment while somehow managing to train hard and be a family man. We should hate him, but of course we don’t. Find out what makes Ben tick at this one-off lecture for Kendal.

    book your tickets now HERE

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  5. A Summer of ups and downs Michiel Nieuwenhuijsen

    In mid-June I was in Font, the season was over and I had no expectations. Just a week chilling in the forest, one of the nicest places I know. But despite the heat I was able to send my ‘summer’ project Chaos (8b). I felt really strong and confident about the summer to come, 3 weeks sending in Silvretta. But things turned out different. The day after we returned from Font I dislocated my kneecap, never go to the beach, what does a climber have to do on the beach anyway ;) I couldn’t walk, couldn’t drive, couldn’t stretch my leg, nothing. Straight away I knew that Silvretta was off the table and I was worried that the whole summer would be a big (climbing) deception. I know I shouldn’t whine too much, because I hardly ever have injuries. Recuperation still was boring, went way too slow and my mood was (occasionally) poor during it. Big thanks to my good friend and colleague Mathieu who helped me with this as a physiotherapist. The knee was slowly doing better and I was still motivated for climbing. The alternative destination was Sustenpass, the high altitude and short approach made it ideal. Things couldn’t worked out better. Sustenpass really fits my style and despite the knee (which was feeling better every day) I might have been in my best shape ever. Every day I could send whatever I wanted, a great feeling. The only downside of Sustenpass is that it gets pretty cold in the evening, good for climbing but not the best for that summer holiday feeling. After a good ten days of sitting every evening in down jackets we decided to drive to Italy. We ended up in Val di Mello, weather wise the opposite of Sustenpass. Not the best for climbing but really nice for a summer holiday: sun, ice cream, pizza, and espresso, I will definitely go back to Mello one day when conditions are better. In the end I ticked fifteen 8th degree boulders, including my first 8a flash. I also want to highlight Dulcifer (8a+) because of its beauty, maybe the best line I ever did on gra

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