Nick is a ball of energy, constantly on the move and striving for a lifestyle uninhibited by commonplace and boredom. As one of Britain’s most accomplished climbers his list of hard trad ascents, new rock routes, ice climbs, Scottish winter ascents and high-alpine expeditions is borderline excessive, and it’s clear his motivation is far from dwindling.
“My climbing is dictated by the seasons and my motivation,” says Nick. “If it's cold I wear gloves and several jackets and climb ice or go out in the hills… if it's warm I wear shorts, a chalk bag and go climb rock… And if the bird restrictions are off I go climb cheese and talc and slither in guano at Gogarth.”
Nick, who grew up in Cheadle, Staffordshire, started climbing in 1993 while working as a Physical Education instructor in the prison service. The demanding job equipped Nick with important skills to cope with the harshness of modern alpine climbing and ultimately propelled him forward into an extraordinary climbing lifestyle. Nick left the prison service in 2003, by which time he was already fully immersed in the climbing scene.
When not away on expeditions, Nick bases himself in North Wales. The location suits his preference for exciting traditional routes and he has amassed an impressive head count of E7s, especially on the North Stack wall at Gogarth where he has climbed almost all the famous E7 6b test pieces, including The Bells! The Bells!, The Hollow Man, Flower of Evil, Demons of Bosch, The Clown and A Wreath of Deadly Nightshade.
He is also a prolific first ascentionist, particularly on scary sea cliff “death choss”. His routes in North Wales include, among others, All the Pretty Horses (E6 6b), Cities of the Plain (E6 6b) and No Country for Old Men (E5 6a/b), all on the Equestrian Walls at Porthllechog, and Blood Meridian (E6 6a) on the infamous Stigmata Buttress at Craig Dorys.