We talk to the climbers racking up in the valleys, roosting in the crags, and reliving their ascents in the pubs of the Lakes this summer. This week we have Oli Grounsell, Young Gun, Worldwide monkey and Lake District ‘Novice.’
Name, Age, Main activity when not climbing;
Oli Grounsell, 23, erm?
Your favourite lake District Route and why?
I won’t lie I’ve not climbed in the Lakes as much as I would have liked. Done quite a few good routes for sure but the obvious ‘best’ would have to be Birketts Nowt Burra Fleetin Thing (E8 6c) on Cam Crag. Ended up at Cam Crag on a late September weekend with the Lakes very own Caff a few years ago. The weather was perfect and walking in in the morning I just knew we would have a good day. The arete is in a spectacular position, kind of like the Lakes own Divided Years. We had a few burns from the ground getting higher and higher. Obviously Caff cracked it first and then I followed suit.
What does finding a true trad partner feel like?
Ask Nathan Lee, he’d be able to wax lyrical about climbing with me.
What climbs keep you awake at night?
I’m pretty good at sleeping. At the moment I’m not too sure, I got very close on Bat Route recently and would really like to finish that off in the autumn. Such good climbing in an amazing setting. Hard to complain about UK sport climbing when climbing routes like that.
What’s your worst climbing habit?
The grass is greener on the other side. I.e always thinking I could be doing something better.
What’s your most treasured piece of kit?
My friends ex girlfriends beanie. Great colours.
Which notable climbers would you invite to your dream crag day out?
I’d rather go climbing with my mates.
What about the current state of climbing makes you unhappy?
Whenever I go to a crag and I feel the presence of climbers is too notable.
What’s the most important lesson trad has taught you?
Never underestimate the rock.
To what do you owe your climbing mentors?
One of my earliest climbing mentors was Jon Cowley, I was about 12 and doing lots of climbing indoors. He took me an my friend Finn out at the weekends and introduced us to trad climbing in the Peak. He made sure we were safe and I think instilled lots of really good practices which will stay with me forever. He really did open up a new world to me at a young age so I have lots to thank him for.
What’s the worst climb you’ve ever done?
It’s all money in the bank isn’t it?
What single thing would improve the quality of your climbing?
Tell us a Lake District secret?
I can’t. They’ll hurt me.
If you could bring something of climbings past back to life, what would it be?
Socially acceptable to be on the dole.
What does the future of climbing hold for you?
Last year I did quite a few big walls in Mexico, I really enjoyed this style of climbing and the time spent with a good friend(s). I think also because you are so tired the post climbing satisfaction in this style is really high, with the high lasting for quite a few days. In my general climbing, this multi day satisfaction is something I find harder and harder to find, even on routes I would consider an achievement.
Imagine Copyright: Eleanor Rigby