Simon "Kook" Newstead
I started climbing just before uni and foolishly opted for Aberystwyth over Bangor which meant I missed out on three years of schooling in Parisellas Cave, I love the climbing there. I just love the climbing in Wales actually.
After Uni I took my first trip to font and fell in love with the place and then a short while later moved up to Sheffield in attempt to get stronger and better. To a certain extent I've achieved both but I'm still a punter at heart. I'm just occasionally a punter that gets lucky.
My climbing inspirations include the big names such as Sharma, Ondra, Nicole and Graham as well as some relatively unsung heroes such as Dave Noden, Chris Davies and Mickey Paige. In general though I just get inspired by seeing other people try hard. For me one of the great things about climbing is sharing the experience of battling away at a problem with others.
I like steep, powerful, gymnastic climbing and being relatively large for a climber it's probably more suited to me. More recently though I've been pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying more technical, high ball and crimpy problems. Its opened up a whole other side to climbing that I'd never really explored before. That’s another thing I love about climbing – the diversity of experiences that come just from scaling, or attempting to, different pieces of rock.