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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October 7th, 2018 by Matthew Phillips

A while ago the GB Paraclimbers were joined by the Epic TV film crew at the famous climbing location ‘Stanage Edge’ in the Peak District.  The purpose of the day was to start on some easy routes to introduce trad climbing to those members of the team who has not yet tried it and to attempt one of the top 50 classics ‘Flying Buttress Direct’. 

We all met at the car park opposite Stanage Edge early in the morning and met the crew, a gathering of the equipment and making sure we had everyone we set of up the hill to the crags. The film crew’s drone soon went up to film our progress and the stunning scenery surrounding us. The morning was spent on the easier crags getting use to trad climbing and warming up. After some lunch we moved on to Flying Buttress Direct and spent the afternoon there. As daylight faded we made out way back to the cars and set off for Stanage Edge where we intended to do some night bouldering on Deliverance. 

We finished the day with a few of us stopping at a lovely Indian restaurant in Hathersage with the film crew before departing our ways.

The finished product is a great watch and what I like about it particularly is the way they have captured the rapour and closeness of the GB Paraclimbing Team. See for yourself below or on the EPIC TV Climbing Episode 1263. 

 

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May 1st, 2017 by Matthew Phillips

Easter weekend saw my dad and I take to the road and head south west towards Dartmoor. It was the first opportunity I had had to get outside and hit the rocks this year. With the car loaded to the roof with boulder pads we had a quick and uneventful trip down to Exeter. Leaving the main roads we took the narrow and winding Devonshire lanes and made our way across Dartmoor to Widecombe-on-the-Moor and our destination Bonehill Rocks. 

We had arranged to meet up with paraclimber’s Georgia Pilkington and Mikey Cleverdon, this is one of the thing I love about the climbing community there is always a friend or friends to join you for a climb. After meeting up we started on some easier boulders to warm up. Perfect conditions to boulder, cloudy but not to warm but most importantly dry. 

We started on the Cube, unfortunately Georgia had to go but Mikey and I continued and a fair bit of time exploring the The Bridge V1 and Under the Bridge V6. Moving on to play on The Dark Side and finishing the day trying to crack the Slopey Traverse V5. It was the last climb at the end of the day that I managed, much to my delight to send it. 

After a great first day we made our way to our hotel to a well earned dinner and bed before setting out in the morning to see what Hound Tor would bring.

Day 2 saw us struggling to find a car park space at a busy Hound Tor, made famous by Sherlock Holmes in Hound of the Baskerville. Finally we found a grass verge up the lane and parked up and walked up to the Tor with boulder mats on our backs and rucksacks on our fronts in true climber style.

A few hours trying various boulders and making notes to return to tackle others, such as Shark Fin and projected Cream Traverse V7 which perfectly suited my climbing style being on super slopey holds, hope to return to this one soon. We departed late afternoon to join the horrendous bank holiday traffic heading north. A good weekend and a good start to what I hope are many more trips this year.

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February 18th, 2017 by Matthew Phillips

I am excited to announce a new sponsor, to join those already supporting me. Just Kampers are a local company providing all things Volkswagen to customer’s here in the UK and oversea’s.

A lot of climbers wish for the sort of life style where they can roll out of bed and straight to the base of a climb in beautiful countryside on a regular basis. This is why camper van’s are so popular among climbers everywhere and why I feel this is a good partnership.

Just Kampers, was established in 1989 and, is a well-known brand in the Campervan industry. Principally a supplier and manufacturer of parts for VW’s it caters for vehicles from the early beetle right through to the latest T6. As well as supplying mechanical parts, it also holds a full range of conversion parts and camping and leisure products. Their aim is to allow those of you with a passion for adventure the most wonderful way of travelling to and staying in the places that allow you to realise those dreams. They are inspired by the outdoors and the people that enjoy their passions within it.

A statement from Just Kampers said “We are exceptionally proud to sponsor Matt and have the pleasure of knowing him personally. We have been continually inspired by Matt’s attitude to training, competitions and his ability to move past and control fear. He stands out as a talented, dedicated and confident climber who we are sure will go from strength to strength. We are honoured to support him over the next year and wish him every success.”

 Click to read Just Kampers Sponsorship Announcement

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