January 16th, 2019 by Matthew Phillips

It’s a new year and so now would seem like an appropriate time to layout my plans and aspirations for the coming year. 2018 was an action packed and competition filled year, culminating in the finale of the world championships in Innsbruck in September of 2018 an event that I won and that highlighted a peak in my competition performance so far. Throughout my climbing career to this point competition has been the main focus of my climbing goals, something no doubt motivated by my many years as a competitive swimmer. However while competition in 2019 still remain at the forefront of my aspirations, especially with the World Championships in Tokyo this year, a competition that I am incredibly excited for. I am also looking to turning my attention towards more outdoor endeavours wanting to push my climbing on rock to new extremes. 

 

Climbing outdoors has always been a focus of mine and I’ve climbed all over Britain and the rest of the world. It’s something that I’ve always enjoyed. But due to my hectic competition schedule and the fact I’m still a full time student without a driver’s licence often limited the chances that I had to get out on the rock. However all this is set to change, very soon I’ll be leaving school. New Year’s resolutions have never really been my thing but this year it was time to set some goals. Time to push the limits on rock and travel around the world and adventuring.

 

I’ve always been a mostly indoor climber only going out when opportunity arises. Now I want to send hard and in as many disciplines as I can. I’m looking to get more involved in trad, something I have done once before with my current goal being to lead Flying buttress direct something I nearly managed on my last trip to Stanage, before being rained off. I’m also looking to push my sport climbing challenging myself to climb 7b this year. Most of the climbing that I’ve done outdoors has been bouldering, I’ve compiled quite a list of blocs to tick. Such classics as Deliverance and Captain Hook are problems that still need to be completed. Overall I’m looking to push myself in all outdoor activities and push the boundaries both in the UK and abroad.

One of my first trips in the planning is to follow in the footsteps of Sierra Blair-Coyle and explore the climbing and bouldering that Iceland has to offer. Some areas are relatively unexplored by the climbing community and so I hope come back with a few first ascents.

So a quick summary of what to watch out for in the New Year. I’m super excited to see what the year brings and the challenges that I’m gunna face as I leave school and start adult life for real. A philosophy that I’ve always loved is the idea of creating stories, something that will last when you can’t adventure anymore, something to tell people, something exciting that will last. So here’s to 2019 and creating those stories

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