I got into climbing through the same route as many people of my generation did by attending a climbing birthday party. I then slowly began to do more indoor top roping at the local sport centre and then got into bouldering further down the line. When I left college I found a job in Sheffield so it would allow me to move closer to real rock and decent climbing walls.
I mainly boulder these days with the odd dabble in sport climbing. I’m only really interested in climbing outside and try to get on rock as much as I can. Indoor climbing and training enables me to use smaller chunks of time to the maximum to stay in shape during the week or when the weather doesn’t play ball on the weekends.
Get to know Joe
Tell us about your successes so far?
For me I like to be able to climb large amounts of fairly hard boulders quickly. I think its the best gauge in climbing ability to be climb a grade consistently on different rock types and styles fast.
So one of my main successes is that I have done well over 200 8s. I have also given projecting a go to see how hard I can climb after larger amounts of time spent which allowed me to make the 4th ascent of Mortal Immortal (8B+) in the Peak District.
What are you working on? What are your goals for the future?
At this point in climbing I’m working on becoming as robust as possible to extend the length of time that I can climb relatively injury free alongside my job. I’m very grateful to SCARPA for continuing to support people who have very little time to go outdoor climbing compared to many.
Collecting 8s is one of my favourite goals in climbing so would love to keep adding to the count and following in the footsteps of my good friend Jack Palmieri.
Why do you climb? What do you love about climbing?
I enjoy climbing mostly for the physical and mental challenge it provides. Then also the fact that it can take you to some wonderful places.
Which SCARPA shoe is your favourite?
For me it had always been the Instinct VS.
I remember trying a pair when they very first came out and it was genuinely the first shoe I’d ever tried that properly fit all aspects of my feet.
I struggle with fitting heels nicely and this is still the only heel that really works for me. I’d be completely happy with just a pair of these in my bag for any occasion. I do keep a set of Dragos for intensive toe hooks but bar that it is instinct all the way.
Tell us about your best day climbing?
Very hard to pick one as there have been many. One of the standouts would have to be when I climbed the Hourglass in Vastervik.
I had been on a trip there with the goal of climbing many boulders with that being the crowning jewel.
Unfortunately at the start of the trip I had picked up a very nasty split which meant I couldn’t try the boulder at all which made hopes of climbing it look unlikely. By the last days of the trip I’d more or less managed to heal the skin which allowed me get it done with very little time and skin to spare.
Clutching victory from jaws of defeat on what still to now is probably the best boulder I’ve seen, while on holiday with my partner Kay seems a good contender.
What do you do away from your sport?
My main other hobby besides climbing is motorsport. I spend some of my free time at home building and maintaining my track car which I take on track days around the UK. I would in future like to get my race licence and take it to some club racing series’ too but it would require a significant time sacrifice from climbing which I’m not prepare to make at this point. Maybe when I next get injured.
The rest of my time is spend working in the safety at height industry which unfortunately means I am away from home many weeks out of the year.
A long road trip in a large campervan around Scandinavia would be my ultimate trip. I’ve been to Sweden a couple of times and loved the country so would love to explore more and its neighbouring countries.
The rock is a good as Switzerland but there’s no one there. The right to roam laws there would make staying in a van so easy and convenient too.