About

Ah yes, the obligatory About page – where i explain what the site has got to offer, the direction it’s heading, how you can help, all that malarky. It’s one of the most visited pages on ChezdelaBloc and up till now, one of the poorest. So this is the latest attempt to explain why i’m adding more filler to the internet and how this may be useful to you.

Me

In my mid-twenties, coming from very urban beginnings in Birmingham, i made a bold move at the start of 2009. I upped sticks, packed my stuff and moved to a small village, knowing no-one, with nowhere to live, hoping it would all come good. Now, I own a house in Llanberis, a formerly great village in the heart of Snowdonia slowly making it’s comeback to the forefront of the modern rock climbing scene. In that time, i’ve raised my bouldering grade substantially, joined a local swimming club, become a member of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team and got a dog. (To see the latest ticks, there’s a link to my latest ticklist here.)

DSC03923

Not content with just exploring Snowdonia and the surrounding area, i started travelling more as well. To date, foreign trips include France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Sweden and Canada and it’s not slowing down. I try and get in at least two foreign trips a year, preferably to somewhere i’ve never been, in search of more boulders, higher grades and an experience of what the world has to offer. You may wonder why a climber has moved to North Wales and yet is still so desperate to get away to travel. There’s a feeling inside so many of us, a deep desire to see as much, experience as many different things, places and cultures as possible, no matter where you are or for how long. This is my attempt to explain this, one trip at a time.

Oh and i started writing a blog…

The Blog

I cannot remember what made me start posting general updates of my various excursions, it just kinda happened. After a while, the only posts i made were when i went somewhere cool and exciting, as a way of entertaining anyone who stumbled across the site, and updating those who know me and wanted to know what i was up to. This didn’t last, and at some point (i’ve no idea what caused this either) i decided to try and post more regularly, aiming for once a week. If i’d done something, i’d write about that, if not, i’d just ramble. Hopefully it was interesting for someone.

Cutting loose on a dyno despite rather expensive shoes...

But there was always an alterior motive. While i was working at Joe Brown’s, i was often asked for information about Fontainebleau, being the resident expert for a short while. After three or four episodes of writing local info down on scraps of paper, it occurred that i could post it online and give them a website. This grew, to include the areas i’ve been over the years, both recently and in the distant past.

The name Chez de la Bloc is supposed to mean “Home of the Boulders” but i’m fully aware this doesn’t quite work. Still, with that info you should get an idea of what i’m aiming for. I have big plans to get out, and being predominantly a boulderer visit South Africa, Canada, India and plenty more, not to mention get to know that other crags much better. With every passing year, more and more venues establish themselves (look at Cresciano, Albarracin and Rocklands over the last few years) and i remain determined to find out what all the fuss is about.

Anything else useful?

Well, that kinda depends on you. Things crop up that i say over and over and they normally evolve into a page on here. There’s a page for Kit, with a Rock Boot Fitting guide, an info page on Pads and about 1000 words on chalk bags… I’ve written some Articles too, and they’re included, with varying levels of quality and length. Some are definitely worthwhile so check it out.

Reaching for Mike's Hold of Doom

One of the best pages, in my humble opinion, is the Links page. This one stems from my poor memory and my inability to keep that many pages close to hand in my mind. So i wrote them down. There’s some good time-killers in there, and some interesting bits and pieces.

For those after something more obscure, there’s the Philosophies page – with some of the more unusual ideas i’ve had in the past. I still maintain that the Minus Two To Five Scale should be used in business and economics but that might just be me. If you’re really bored, or intrigued, have a look.

You want to help?

Great! I get next to no feedback and this is an epic challenge. Send me an e-mail at chezdelabloc@gmail.com and i’ll be in touch!

 

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A home for European bouldering reviews and info

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