Monday, 30 November 2009

The Start, "Why"??

Since I took up climbing ,and in particular soloing, I've been asked "why"?? I've spoke a bit about why I climb but I've never really thought about the real base reasons why I chose climbing over any other 'sport'. There are quite a few reasons I can think of offhand. I never really gelled with any mainstream sports at school and increasingly played truant to head to the moors and glens surrounding my hometown preferring long walks to long division. I always knew I was different to everyone else around me and am to this day constantly reminded of it so I needed to play a game that was as far from the crowd as possible. I tried a few things but nothing seemed to compete with the freedom I felt in the hills. There was no judgment there, no rules precluding me from participating just me and wide open ground. It seemed that whatever I was going to do had to be in the countryside and preferably with as little human intervention or rules as possible. After a while I started trying to cover more distance in quicker times ,testing myself, which was great fun but it still lacked something, one more vital ingredient.....risk. In 1998 I went up Curved Ridge with a friend, November, 1st scramble, no ropes and pouring rain and a new door opened. It went on like this for a couple of years and scrambling/climbing was an innocent hobby and I had no idea what a driving force and necessity it was to become in my life.

Tam and Wullie above the Quadrocks after I'd done the first ascent of 'The Whispering Eye' , I've never been involved with any other sport that gives you days like this or bonds friendships stronger.

When I started seeing the one girl I've loved I was still climbing on occasional weekends and going on some trips but while the train wreck of our 'relationship' continued I got more into it I guess as an escape from the reality that I was losing her and couldn't stop that happening. After we parted ways my climbing took over my life and took on a whole new darker dimension. It became a way to try justify our split and to fill the void she left, which was big as I was 25 at this point and until then hadn't really felt anything. I decided then that climbing was going to be the only way for me do deal with the bigger issues in my life. Since then I've climbed thousands of feet ,solo, in an effort to break the chains that still hold me to that pointless emotional baggage, sometimes I manage to break free, other times it holds me tight in its grasp. But I can use it to my advantage as it drives me even harder than my disabilities do.Maybe that's why climbing is the only thing that works as 'therapy' for me as it takes me literally away and above all that useless social stuff?
Dave on Ben Nevis last year.Days like this form a large part of why climbing means so much to me.

Some days though just being on my local moors is enough, just to sit up there looking over at Arran makes me feel so at peace, especially if the wind is howling past to add to the atmosphere......


  1. Hi Kev

    great stuff on the blog, keep it up!!

    Can you give me an email or ring - I'm wanting to feature Single Handed in the new Stone Country book and wanted to talk to you about it?


    John at Stone Country
    07 777 679352

  2. Hi Kev
    what was the E6 you were soloing on in Glen Nevis.