Alex Barrows

I started climbing aged 17 after going to the local wall with my school. Having caught the bug my first few years were predominantly focused on classic traditional routes. Nowadays I mainly think of myself as a sport climber, though I spend a lot of my time bouldering too since weakness is probably my biggest weakness! At the moment I’m living in Sheffield doing a PhD and climbing as much as I can.

I’m a huge fan of steep, burly, 3D climbing – toe hooks, kneebars and biceps galore. Preferably with a huge dose of pump too. It’s not just steepness that gets me going though, any classic, hard pitches on amazing looking walls get me inspired for climbing and training. If they’re nice and long then all the better, for me that really gives the opportunity to get into the headspace that I love. The times I’m happiest are when I’m away on trips fully engrossed in the climbing and the lifestyle that goes with it. I’m a big fan of training too – I’m not talented enough to rely on that seeing me though and structured training is my way of making up for it!

Abroad I’ve redpointed up to 8c+ and onsighted quite a lot of 8as and a couple of 8a+s. In the UK I’ve climbed up to 8c with a rope on and recently did the 2nd ascent of Pilgrimage, Malcolm Smith’s epic boulder/route out of Parisella’s cave.

My focus in the near future is pushing myself on hard sport routes and longer boulder problems. Onsights, flashes, quick redpoints or projects – I want to do it all. 9a has a nice ring to it too…

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