May 10th, 2018 by Matthew Phillips

I have had the DMM Flight Bag, courtesy of DMM Climbing for a few months now and thought that I would try a product review on this blog.

The bag that arrived was in Red but they are also available in Green or Grey.  The quality of it looked and felt very good the seams were nicely finished and strong. The bag’s dimensions are just right for most airline cabin luggage and there is plenty of pockets ans storage. My specific bag was personalized for me by DMM’s own embroider’s who had done a brilliant job.

Opening the main compartment which has two zip’s to be able to open it fully laid out. On one side is one compartment with a net closing the compartment off with a zip all the way round. The compartment is big enough for climbing shoes, chalk bucket and chalk bag and takes up the whole of this side of the bag.

Fully OPened

On the other side which is open it contains 2 straps with clips and also a sheet for use when outdoors to keep your ropes neat and clean. Also at the top of this side is a small pouch. This side is large enough to store your ropes. There are also a couple of clips for keys etc.

Moving to the top of the bag there is another pouch which occupies the top 1/4 of the bag. In here I have my tape, thermoband,, sleeve for my prosthetic arm and snack bars. Perfectly adequate for most small items. One one side of the bag is a holder for a litre bottle and on the other side two side handles which allow you to carry it in a horizontal position.

Tiop Puch

There are some great straps in order to attach a helmet and some straps to hold a decent sized rope.

The rucksack straps are well padded and large enough to be comfortably worn. They have a chest and waist strap which holds the rucksack firmly against your back and a mesh back board to allow your back to breathe.

All in all I really like this bag, its size and features. You don’t need anything else. It costs approx £85 – £95 and can be purchased from a number of climbing outlets.

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January 31st, 2018 by Matthew Phillips

No feet allowed

I was lucky enough to be invited by Shauna Coxsey for the second year to the BIFF Final 2018 at the Climbing Works in Sheffield. This event is unique in climbing compeititons and full title is Beastmaker International Footess Festival. I love the irony of me a climber with one arm taking part in a footless competition.  It consists of a number of rounds and then a grand final at the Climbing Works. The Grand final is for the top 10 in each round and by invitation. The rules are simple not feet allowed. All the proceeds go to Climbers Against Cancer.

Ringing Ned’s Bell Challenge

This is a great fun competition and nothing is taken seriously. The problems are crazy and the challenges even more so. All the problems
are to be tackled without using your feet and optional are silly costumes. This year we had the Incredible Hulk and a flying Nun. The challenges ranged from a 360 spinning volume where you had to rotate it whilst staying on it, a deadhang challenge and Ring Ned’s Bell. This challenge was my highlight as when I took my go Alex Megos had set the record with 39 rings. I gave it my all and beat him with 42 rings. It did not stand for long but I go to beat Alex Mego’s which is all that matters.

The other highlight of the evening was appearing on the One Five Nine Show with Leah Crane. The show was live streaming the final and it was great to appear on the show. You can see my appearance on Youtube.

The Super Final was amazing, the great reveal was a Infinity Campus Board. A huge drum with two campus boards mounted side by side. The finalists went head to head until one dropped off. Well done to Jim Pope and Rachel Carr who were crowned this years Mr & Mrs BIFF. ALso well done to GB Paraclimbing Coach Belinda Fuller who came third in her first BIFF.

Interview with BMC TV

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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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June 30th, 2016 by Matthew Phillips
Landing at Verona

Landing at Verona

Last weekend was the first international competition with the GB Paraclimbing

Team. We left for the airport very early on Friday morning and after a smooth flight arrived in a very warm (34c) Verona Airport in Italy. This was where we were meeting the rest of the team.

After meeting up we went to collect the hire car / minivan and hit the autobahn for our 2.5 hour journey into the Italian South Tyrol district. Arriving at Campitello di Fassa we headed straight for the wall to take a look. Three of us also had to under go medicals to check out our disabilities. The Doctor still did not find a right forearm on me.

We found a very nice Pizzeria in the village and had a very pleasant dinner getting to know each other as this was the first time since the training day the team had met up.

Saturday morning saw a quick breakfast and then down to the wall. Our Team Coach had already been down to register us and so we found a corner and settled in until the competition started.

Team and Coach Group Photo

Team and Coach Group Photo

My first qualifying climb appeared to be fairly easy and I topped it with no real problem. The second qualifying climb was a little harder with a small dyno at the top to the last hold. However, no real issue gave me another flash. Having made the final I had my first experience of isolation and came out pumped to flash the final route which I did.

After a long wait for the awards ceremony I finally received my first Gold medal for the World Paraclimbing Cup.

A celebratory dinner at a Pizzeria and Steakhouse in the next village made for a pleasant evening other than the issue that our minivan had now gone into ‘limp’ mode because the hire company had failed to maintain their vehicle properly and not filled up a fuel additive. luckly, the journey back to the village was all downhill so off we coasted.

Sunday we woke and had breakfast in a small cafe in the village. I then went back to the hotel to rest whilst our coach tried to get the hire company to take responsibility for the vehicle breakdown. With an ‘international incident’ brewing (joke) Mercedes Italia and Mercedes UK cam to our rescue. An engineer of theirs brought the additive out and reset the vehicle.

Impromptu Bowls waiting for delayed flight

Impromptu Bowls waiting for delayed flight

Monday after a quick trip on the cable car to the summit of the mountain we started home. A tour round Verona before going to the airport to find our plane two hours late due to the French air traffic controllers striking again. Some impromptu games with a ball and tiled floor (don’t ask) the team amused themselves until the plan took off. We arrived back in the UK at about 0230 in the morning.


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