An eclectic mix of writing, covering climbing equipment, technique, life & death (and all the stuff inbetween).

Breakfast on my shoe image Dark-Half  | May 29, 15

Breakfast on my shoe

The plane buckles in the sky and drops through dead space to splash down on cloud with a big dipper lurch.  I’m going to die. There is vomit on my left shoe.I’m racing above the alps - twenty thousand feet or so - I don’t know - the pilot’s not told us, but we’re high, Mont Blanc an iceberg in the cloud below.  Beneath me now I can see the North Face of the Driotes, its North East Spur the size a black lego brick, imagine my younger self astride it, unaware...

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Twinned with your darkest thoughts image Dark-Half  | May 20, 15

Twinned with your darkest thoughts

The other night me and Ella jumped into the car and drove East; away from the burden of school;  away from the long train of stressful GCSE exams passing slowly through her life; East - to the City of Hull.  I love having time alone with my kids, time to just talk about stuff, stuff they need to know like “Dad have you ever taken drugs” (“yes”), or “Why did you and mum split up” (“well…”).  Trying to be honest.  Trying not to give them easy answers - easy for me or them.  I love...

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The Artist image Dark-Half  | May 18, 15

The Artist

Death comes by tweet.  Death comes by forum; by Facebook post, by comment.  Death comes by email or page refresh, breaking news or old school text, few to learn of it by ‘Did you hear…’ or “Did you know…” But for some, death does not come unannounced and that just makes it all the more tragic.For some, the untimely death is almost an accepted certainty, part and parcel of almost every significant event in their lives, maybe even the very context of a life - the spice - the price; their swashbuckling bravado in the face...

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Running with it image Literature   | May 12, 15

Running with it

This week I finally sent off the PDF files to the printers for Me, Myself & I, having faffed around for six months with them (my deadline was September 2014!), in no small part to the help of my mate Andy Cherry , who took time out of his finals to finish the files.  The long wait for people to see a hard copy (all should have had an iBook/PDF version long ago) is maybe the drawback for me with Kickstarter/Indigogo etc, as although my head wizzes with ideas, only a few get started, and even few finished. ...

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Close to heaven image Dark-Half  | May 11, 15

Close to heaven

When I wrote my book 1000 Climbing Tips I joked I’d stick in a bit about love, after all love and relationships have a greater bearing on all climbers than knots - but I didn’t. I joked later that I could do a book about relationships and love instead, a top tips book, but my partner at the time just laughed at me - not a good sign (but she was right to laugh).  I tried to defend myself that although I was not good at either, I had made a study with my very analytical brain of...

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Painkiller X and Painkiller Y image Dark-Half  | May 08, 15

Painkiller X and Painkiller Y

It’s one of those days where we all waste too much time getting down about politics, writing on Facebook and twitter, ranting and raving, crying - good and bad - feeling happy, sad, indifferent, wishing we’d not voted, or wishing we had, wishing we could - or pretending we did. Today is a day of reflection about the future, how unfair politics is, five more bad years or good years depending on your viewpoint.I wrote a while back that people who say ‘Why vote - they’re all the same” are just lazy or stupid, or...

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Exped Asshole image Q&A  | May 07, 15

Exped Asshole

When I do business talks, the one line that always gets people nodding in the room is when I say “If you like the people you work with it’s fun, when there’s an asshole it’s work”.  Unfortunately having to deal with difficult people often comes as the downside of big trips, the bigger the trip, the bigger the number, the greater the chance of having to deal with troublesome people.Now not every troubled person needs to be an asshole, some are only wankers, and if not a wanker, then just a knob, and if not...

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The Code of Me image Dark-Half  | May 05, 15

The Code of Me

I love writing code; HTML, CSS, jQuery, PHP; adding tags and classes, conditionals and Id’s; watching blank screens pop into life; raw sterile code refreshing, again and again, slowly, slowly, bit by bit, into something beautiful and creative.  Every day I sit and tweak lines of code, for this site and others, to get words to appear where they should, or not appear where I don’t want them to, moving pixels, head full of Twitter cards, Google speed tests and validation.  I fiddle so you can read it on your phone on the train, or in...

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Feeding the addiction - Podcast image Dark-Half  | May 03, 15

Feeding the addiction - Podcast

Did this long podcast a few weeks ago with Ben Schenck at in the US, which I’m told is interesting and funny and worth a listen too (you can download an itunes version here if you fancy listening to it on the car or train).  Can’t remember much about what I said , but includes the usual I guess (climbing) as well as some odd and strange things - including giving Alex Honnold some advice!

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it’ll be good for you! image Q&A  | Apr 15, 15

it’ll be good for you!

HiI guess I feel that I have to give my kids the basic tools they need to survive in whatever life they choose to live (both psychical skills, as well as emotional ones), and then let them live it.  As a parent, it’s hard to see them fall and not rush to them, but let them stand up by themselves (I know that sound like I’m Bruce Wayne’s dad!), and the process of taking them into the outdoors is very much like this, where there is often very little room for sympathy (when you’re...

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