Ethan Walker scoops Best Climbing Blog of 2014
- Tuesday 13th January 2015
Jan 13th, 2015
Ethan Walker has scooped the Best Climbing Blog award for 2014 in the Trespass Blog Awards beating a rack of other strong contender blogs along the way.
Ethan's home page on his blog
Ethan, for those perhaps unfamiliar with his exploits, is a darned good climber on the rock too having redpointed F8c, headpointed E9 and bouldered Font 8b+. All these ticks are in the Peak District and all have been accomplished in the last year or so. Very few climbers have such climbing credentials. Clearly Ethan’s climbing exploits have been a rich seam for Ethan to mine but there's more to Ethan's blog than just describing what he’s been doing on the crag.
We caught up with Ethan as he was about to set off on a full-on week route setting.
Great news winning the Trespass Blog Award for best climbing blog. It must a nice feeling to know that a. folks are reading your blog and b. that folks like what they're reading?
Ahh thanks a lot. It was a pleasant surprise!
Yeah it's definitely good to know that people are actually reading my waffle and taking an interest in what we get up to. I certainly don't consider myself any kind of genius when it comes to writing, not by any stretch of the imagination!
How long have you been blogging, what got you started and what do you think makes for a good blog item?
I first started the blog around 5 years ago now I think... It was mainly just a way to keep track of what I'd been up to, more so for myself to be honest. Kind of like a personal diary.
Then once I began to get support from my sponsors it started to get a little more serious and took off a bit more.
A good blog item hmmmm... I think the first thing that comes to mind when I think of a good blog post is pictures, plenty of pics or some kind of media. If you haven't got that then your writing better be blooming good to keep people interested.
Also, it speaks for itself but actually having something worthy to talk about is a must! Sometimes it can be nice to just sit and read a nice long report or story but it's important to not ramble on too much as well! Decent photos go a long way to breaking up paragraphs of text.
Do you work to a formula or just switch-off and let go when you’re blogging?
It depends. Sometimes it'll all just come out naturally and totally unforced. These are the best ones and most fun to write generally. But then every now and then you'll struggle to get down what it is you are actually trying to say. I'm sure anyone that writes a lot can relate to this.
It's a massive help having a vague plan in your head but it's mainly about finding and keeping that right balance of text, photos and a good story.
Blogging is obviously a great way for climbers/athletes such as yourself to share what you're up to but you put that bit extra in your blog as well that has probably connected with the readers. Your last blog post was about 'letting go'. Tell us a little about that and whether or not it was hard for you to include personal stuff and whether there’s anything that you wouldn't include in a blog post?
Well I always think that yeah, it's nice to read a trip report or about a bunch of routes someone has done. But I equally enjoy reading about the real ins and outs of climbing. The mental battles, emotions, the pressures and struggles. Quite often it's reading this deeper stuff and things along those kind of lines that gets me psyched and fired up.
I hoped with my last post to be able to motivate and encourage people that were in a similar position to myself. It's good to know that at some point everyone is in the same boat when it comes to projecting! Even the mighty Ondra has been through it!
Anything I wouldn't blog about....? Going to the toilet?
Do you find blogging cathartic - perhaps a nice way to balance the pressures of hard climbing?
Ermmm, I just enjoy putting together a collection of thoughts and sharing it with other people. It gets me hugely psyched reading about other climbers stories and adventures. Sitting down to relax on a rest day, with a good brew and writing up about your latest send and the experience you went through to get there can be very satisfying. You always hope what you write gets people motivated!
Ethan trying desparately hard not to 'let go' at Raven Tor. Photo Jon Clark
So there you have it, the blogging word according to Trespass #1 climbing blogger, Ethan Walker.
To follow Ethan’s climbing and blogging click through here…
Thanks also to Jon Clark for the image.
Ethan is sponsored by Mammut, FiveTen, Nakd n Trek, Scheckter’s and ProBalm
A full interview with Ethan will appear soon in CLIMBER.