orn Peter Anthony Rhodes in Kent in 1983 a glorious early childhood was followed by a move to Penrith with the family aged 9. My early teenage years were filled with football at first before seeing some light with regards to team sports and moving on to mountain bikes. Trials became the plat dâ??jour and I rode seatless bikes almost exclusively until my second year of university. I can still (just about) handle one now, a vital life skill in my opinion.
Dad used to take us to the wall and small crags as kids, but leading was never my forte, my younger brother used to put all the ropes up indoors! It wasnâ??t till my second year of university in New Zealand where the trials bike started to take a back seat. I bought a harness as soon as I arrived in Hamilton and set out to learn to climb with serious keenness. There were a couple of American friends in the same boat and so with the wonders of the Internet and some basic knowledge we were off and enjoying the joys of kiwi sport. On my summer holiday back home I bought some trad gear, put Dad in the car and we went to Brown Slabs. With my knowledge acquired mostly from Pass The Pitons Peteâ??s encyclopedic big wall posts we were safe if a little slow.
Back in New Zealand for my second term and much keener (the trials bike stayed at home!) I met a chap called Stephen Barratt and together we were unstoppable! Hundreds on hundreds of routes were climbed in that 4 month period. A trip to Castle Hill in the South Island started to show me how climbing offered so much more and driven by Piton Petes overly long wafflings I had El Cap squarely in my sights! If no partner was available I would go and solo sport climb on slings with a clove hitch belay and a huge stick to reach between bolts! It was perfect and a good sign of things to come. New Zealand also taught me slackline, that was a special treat.
Back to Lancaster for the third year and with a little trepidation I joined the climbing club. Needless to say, too much climbing, enough drinking, a 2:2 and too many memories saw me off to the states after it all, firstly for summer camp and then my first time in the Big Ditch with my good friend Dave. We learnt non-stop about how to climb properly, and by the end of the trip, although ready to leave I knew Iâ??d be back (Dave knew he didnâ??t really like jugging and hasnâ??t returned yet!).
Since that fateful Autumn Iâ??ve been back to the valley 3 times and have climbed El Cap 10 times. Iâ??ve done it in the craziest 12 hours of my life, and Iâ??ve done it in 8 days on my own. Most of them are stories worth telling and all and vivid memories. For the in between times Iâ??ve tried to climb as many places as I can. The country list is growing and Iâ??m finally getting towards a reasonable portfolio of WOW photos and a half respectable CV! There are many more to come. Hopefully Iâ??ll be able to write a few of them here, and talk about them all in the near future. Plans for upcoming trips begin with Patagonia in January and spiral out from there.
While not climbing I earn my money in rope access and try to get outside. My wonderful fiancee Kate and I are based in Edinburgh, where we can mountain bike, kite, run and jump as much as time allows. We have a cat called Daisy and two giant TVs. Life is good.