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. Jerome Cooper, a climbing insomniac with a passion for Fallen Angels.
Name, Age, Main activity when not climbing;
Jerome Cooper, 30, when not climbing?!?
Your favourite Lake District Route and why?
Tough Question. It seems each time I head out to climb this changes. There are so many hidden Gems in the Lakes it difficult to pin a single route down. Fallen Angel E4 6a*** on Pavey Ark definitely left a lasting impression. It was one of my first E4’s and it didn’t go without a fight. It features a puzzling crux sequence followed by a spicy run out. What’s not to love!
What does finding a true trad partner feel like?
When you know, you know…..
I’ll happily climb with anyone who has a cheerful disposition and a sense of adventure.
What climbs keep you awake at night?
The one’s I haven’t done! Obviously this results in many sleepless nights!
What’s your worst climbing habit?
This one’s easy. I have tendency to pull on to routes prior to fully reading the route descriptions. The inevitable result being some fairly adventurous route finding dramas!
What’s your most treasured piece of kit?
This may seem odd, but it has to be my chalk bag belt. Out of all my gear it’s the single item that I have kept with me since I started climbing. It’s literally been with me on every route I’ve ever climbed.
Which notable climbers would you invite to your dream crag day out?
Gwen Moffat, Don Whillans, Andy Kirkpatrick, Dave Birkett
What about the current state of climbing makes you unhappy?
To be honest, there isn’t anything of importance about the current state of climbing that makes me unhappy. It’d be great to see more routes cleaned up though!
What’s the most important lesson trad has taught you?
Always bring that extra slingdraw…… you will need it.
More seriously though, it’d be learning to trust my own judgments. Knowing when it’s safe to go, or when it’s better to save a route for another day.
To what do you owe your climbing mentors?
So much! They’ve been a constant influence on me since I started climbing and I still feed off their love of the sport! Sometimes it helps to be pushed!
What’s the worst climb you’ve ever done?
Whatever it was it must’ve been wiped from my memory. I’d be almost certain it wasn’t in the Lakes though.
What single thing would improve the quality of your climbing?
Being Ron Fawcett.
Tell us a lake district secret?
Never! Go find your own! The more you explore, the more you know!
If you could bring something of climbings past back to life, what would it be?
It would’ve been amazing to witness some of the first ascents of some classic routes. I wouldn’t exactly be envious of some of the Lakeland pioneers options for protection though!
What does the future of climbing hold for you?
A lifetimes worth of adventure, exploration, opportunity and growth.
Starred routes, scary routes, easy routes and everything in-between!