Kev cranking

Q&A with Kevin

How did you get involved in climbing?

My family are from Northumberland and we spent most summer holidays walking in Scotland where I also got my first real taste of climbing at the John Ridgeway School of Adventure in the North West of Scotland. I was instantly hooked. Back home in Northumberland I started bouldering and soloing (County ethics) but climbing really took over my life whilst at Exeter University in 1977. This was before climbing walls were invented and we trained on the outside walls of the Halls of Residence and the library.

What is your favourite type of climbing?

I love trad climbing and bouldering, although I do my share of sport as well. I’m particularly drawn to sea cliffs – a hangover from my formative days in Devon and Cornwall – although I’ve climbed on virtually every crag in Scotland. Since moving up to Scotland in the early eighties, I became obsessed with climbing first ascents as there was so much unclimbed rock and I have done over 800 new routes at the last count.

Where do you climb the most?

Although I climbed all over the UK, Ireland, Europe and America, Scotland is easily the best climbing venue. I have spent the last 20 years climbing on the Scottish islands, particularly the Bishop’s Isles (Sandray, Mingulay, Pabbay and Berneray) south of Barra. Nowhere else compares! Here’s our last trip.

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