Ricky Bell

I’ve spent most of my life in Belfast but for the last few years I’ve been living hobo style out of my little van spending more time floating around Dublin. 

My folks took us everywhere when we were kids. Mum, Dad, Cath, Bec’s, a Ford Seirra, a little trailer tent and wee spaniel Max - The Burren, Wicklow, Donegal, Fair Head, The Lakes, North Wales, The Peak District, The Cairngorms, Skye… wobbling up and learning the ropes on classics.

I lead my first route in the Mournes when I was 11 years old. I’m 31 now and still have similar feelings to climbing granite in the Mourne Mountains. 

Since the age of 16, I was endorsed with the independence to go on climbing trips to sunny sport crags and sandstone boulders in France with some older climbing friends. My Mum gave me a needle and thread and got me to sew my passport into my back pocket. I went back to France every year for the next 4 years before realising there was climbing elsewhere in the world. 

I’ve been lucky to have climbed a lot in Europe and on some of the best bits rocks in the States but climbing in Ireland is still the thing that gets me most psyched. 

We’ve got some amazing climbing in Ireland and for a long time now I’ve been on my own wee mission to climb the best routes and boulders here. There’s a lot of potential. This is my main focus in climbing - finding and developing new routes and boulders. When I was a kid I used to dream that the Gaia block and the Dreamtime boulder where in my back garden. It’s sorta still a bit like that.

I've always been a foot warrior at heart and am very psyched to be supported by Scarpa -  the Instinct VS are my all time favourite rock shoe!



What I'm up to do the next wee while....

I'm not long back from America where I spent the last 3 and a half months climbing in and around Chattanooga Tennessee. I made a load of little Instagram videos to promote what I was up too when I as out there. Check them out!

The plan for the coming month is - the Fair Head meet at the end of this month  - I'm catchng up with Dan Varian and Alaister Lee to help out a bit with a filming project they are doing. then I'm heading over to the North wales trad fest. I'm giving the talk on the Saturday night!... Should be fun, little nervous! That's on the 11th of June in Llanberis.

Then the plan for the rest of summer is just simply climbing in Ireland. I've a few trad route projects that I'd like to get done this year and a few secret crags I've been developing.


Another interesting thing that I hope to finish off this summer is a film project that I've been working on for a few years now. I hope to have some short films to put out there this summer. I'm excited about this wee project! It's in a similar vein as "in the middle" that I made a few years ago...

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