Ruby Petch

Name: Ruby Petch

D.O.B: 15/12/2001

Hometown: Barnstaple, North Devon

Sport: Climbing

Originally a comp kid until the age of 16 i competed in both local and national comps. Being based in the South West of England I quickly realised that I was surrounded by some amazing rock so decided to pack the comps in, learnt to drive and got outside.

I have been predominantly bouldering outside ever since. In my opinion the South West has some of the best rock in the UK although conditions can be fickle the summer days on the coast are unbeatable.

Get to know Ruby

Tell us about your successes so far?

I seek out the striking lines, this often draws me in to the high aesthetic climbs, some notable climbs include ‘Bad breath’ E6 6B a stunning line in Cornwall with the drop zone being a shallow rock pool and ‘Brainstorm’ 7B+ a classic highball in Albarracin, Spain.

 Developing and adventure bouldering is an avenue I have found through being surrounded by a large coastline of potential. Climbing on the exmoor coast in particular is often overlooked due to its conditions, arduous walk ins and unforgiving tides. Walking over an hour to isolated beaches in search of the next project but often finding nothing is all part of the mission. A few of my favourite first accents on the exmoor coast include ‘The Eye of the Storm’ (7B) a crimpy free hanging prow and ‘Lizard Brian’ (7B) an exposed 7M highball.

 Some for my top local classics include ‘Excalibur’(8A) at Tintagel, ‘The Revolution is nigh’ (8A) and ‘Corridors of Power’ Hartland (7C).

What are you working on? What are your goals for the future?

I have plenty more established projects to come back to in the summer so hopefully get a few of them ticked off. There is plenty more exploring and development to be done on the coast, we are looking into getting hold of some kyaks or a boat to make access easier to the beaches we are yet to explore. Definitely more logistical planning involved but would be a cool project for the summer.

Summer in the UK and the South West in particular is just the best place to be however the winter is a different story. Living in the van is definitely more challenging in the winter. Having done our fair share of rainy, dark days in the van, the goal is to never spend a winter in the UK again!

Why do you climb? What do you love about climbing?

Climbing has provided me with a framework for my life from a young age and guided my life into a direction I could never have planned. I have been living in the van for the past 5 years which has allowed me to see past the norm. Not only has climbing taken me to some cool countries, it has allowed me to really explore where I live, giving me a reason to go to some of the most inaccessible beaches on the coast where most just would not think of going.

Over the past year I have had a finger injury closely followed by a knee injury forcing me to take a step back from climbing for some time, although it was gutting to have such a setback it has given me time to understand why I climb and made me appreciate the sport and people within it even more.

Which SCARPA shoe is your favourite?

I have been wearing Scarpa Instincts since I started climbing outside, the Instinct VS WMN have proven to be the best all rounder for me. I also wear the Drago LV when I want something softer.

Tell us about your best day climbing?

One memorable climbing day was when I did the FA of Lizard Brain. The day started off with a group of us heading down to one of our favourite isolated beaches on the Exmoor coast. We beat our way through the overgrown bushes off the coast path, scrambled down the fisherman lines carrying pads, gear, a beef joint, bread and a cast iron pot for cooking.

The tide was turning as we arrived on the beach so we lit the fire and started cooking the beef. Once the tide came off the project we dried out some of the footholds and gave it a couple warm up burns. I managed to stick the halfway crux move, at this point I knew there was no turning back, I put the knee bar in and shook out as prepared myself for the headwall. I will never forget the rush of endorphins I got as I pulled over the top, I looked down at the pads which looked so tiny and the fire was smoking on the beach. We ended the day eating the slow cooked beef with bread watching the sun beam across the sea as it set.

Another day I will never forget was the day I sent ‘Excalibur’ (8A) at Tintagel. As I was pulling through the crux I heard a loud pop from my ring finger. I continued climbing as there was no immediate pain and being my high point I could not let it go. As I topped out I felt the finger getting stiffer and then the pain set in. It turned out I fully ruptured my A2 pulley which was my first proper injury.

What do you do away from your sport?

My time away from climbing is spent cooking for friends and family, wood working, swimming in the sea, handstands and generally enjoying the outdoors, walking my dog and looking for new rock.

Where is your #NoPlacetooFar?

I would say anywhere there is rock, I really like going to places that are maybe not quite as well known, getting to know the locals and putting up new lines.

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