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Thomas

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A little bit about Thomas Simpson

Instructor photo

I’m a recent addition to the climbing team, here at Ice Factor.  I’ve been climbing for about a decade – seriously.

I spent a lot of time hill walking in my teens, around this time I started reading Mountaineering novels. Rock climbing seemed like a great way of learning the rope work and technique required for higher aspirations.

I started out at a local climbing wall and ventured outside, fairly soon after. I’ve been hooked ever since!

I’ve been coming up to Scotland for the last five years winter climbing and have finally made the move North from Cornwall.

I’m actively involved across the spectrum, from deep water soloing to dry tooling, bouldering to big walling. There’s something different for every season!

Disciplines: Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing, Guiding

First Summer Climb

Athos (VD), Haytor, Devon. My first lead, a brutal insight into granite jamming.

First Winter Climb

Cascades de Lilaz (WI 3+), in Val di Cogne.  I spent Christmas in the snow, climbing alpine ice falls with friends.

Hardest Route You Have Ever Done

I guess this depends on the style of climbing…  Technically, Made in Mascun (7C+) at the El Delphin sector in Rodellar is my hardest redpoint.  The steep roof climbing lends itself to my style.

However, on-sighting Elixier s’Astaroth (ED+, 6b+), on the Grand Capucin in the Massif du Mont-Blanc felt pretty testing!  Snowy walk-ins, long hours and glaciated bivouacs definitely add something.

Smith’s route (V, 5) on Ben Nevis is my most challenging ice route to date.

 

 

First Fall

Overhang crack (S, 4a) at Sheep’s Tor, Dartmoor.  I got my shoulders stuck in the chimney at top and couldn’t free my arms.

Favourite Piece of Equipment

A DMM rhino with a twist lock gate, fantastic for belaying and abseiling long route as a safe guard against complacency.