It is rather rare these days to get slideshows in North Wales, as despite being one of teh major rock climbing destinations in the UK, it seems that it no longer has the appeal for the climbers doing the lecture circiut. Admittedly, a few people like Kirkpatrick and Andy Cave have done shows in Rhyll. However, Rhyll isn’t exactly the north wales climbing heartland, its more just an extension of liverpool. So when I saw at work that Neil Gresham was doing a talk at the Brenin, I decided to nip over and see the show, and lend some local support, this was possibly augmented by the fact that at the moment I have no TV.
The last time I saw neil was a couple years back when we were on a Nation Source group looking into the formation of coaching awards at a national level. A testiment to how hard it is to move NGB’s in a new direction the set date for the awards inception is 2013. Before that I remember hanging out with Neil when he was a DMM rep, now Neil works as a supported athlete for Sportiva and runs coaching course. Neil was up with Sportiva giving a lecture at the brenin, for staff from outdoor shops who were on a training course with Lyon Equipment. I was looking forward to seeing just what he’d been up to in all those years.
The answer is he’s been busy. His talk was an interesting one, as he has lived through some of the most dramatic changes in climbing. WHen he started out he was into cragging, and as the years passed by he got into bouldering, sports climbing, continental style mixed climbing, Deep Water Soloing and training. His intro describe well how the game of climbing has changed and morphed into what it is today. He has always been a bit of a jack of all trades, and like the modern king of this all round climbing Dave Macloed, he has been masters of them all.
I was disappointed that he didn’t talk about his ascent of Indian Face, but from his talk he had enough to fill the time. Interestingly, and he really didn’t drill hoe the point, he was often a pioneer within these sub-sports, which whilst now are totally excepted, back when he was exploring these new and exciting sports many climbers snubbed at there relavence to ‘real’ or ‘proper’ climbing.
The main focus of his talk was exploratory climbing from Ice Climbing in Iceland, Deep Water Soloing and developing new rotues in Kalymnos and China. It was a diverse talk, and one with so many good images that I ended up playing the game of naming the route, as the images were just a back drop for the narative.
Anyway thanks for Lyon Equipment and Sportiva for getting him up here. I am sorry that I didn’t mention it on here before hand but I was asked not to. As Lyon equipment feared they would get all there people in there.