Gareth Steven Parry
Hometown: Bury, England
Currently Resides: Rusalka, Bulgaria
Local Crag: Veliko, Bulgaria
Favourite Crag: Anywhere with Tufas
Climbing for the first time as a 12 year old on a gritstone outcrop in Cadshaw, Gaz’s love for climbing started at an early age in the Welsh Mountains scrambling with his dad. Back when climbing walls were basically non-existent, bricks and rocks would do, Gaz stole the knives from lunch and scraped the mortar out of the joints to make crimps. But in 1989 his passion was inspired at the Yorkshire Open watching the likes of Mark Leach and Ben Moon. Soon after witnessing Jerry Moffat’s win for the UK, Gaz was hooked and now has become one of the most renowned climbers in the UK himself, British Boulder and Lead Champion and the only Brit to take the Arco Rock Masters title in 2007. This past year he climbed his hardest 8c+ Supersonico in Val de la Gallinera, Spain.
What is it you love most about climbing?
Travelling, discovering new crags, bolting, red pointing, setting, comps, meeting new people. I guess there is nothing specific, really, I just love the world of climbing.
What is your proudest ascent in climbing?
I have two really, both at the opposite ends of the spectrum. In 2003, I went to Greenland on a North Face Expedition with a strong team that included Ben Bransby, Matt Dickenson, and Ian Parnell. We had a back up team of Sandy Ogilvie and Ben’s dad, Mathew. We had huge success with the first ascent of the Devil’s Thumbnail, the highest sea cliff in the world at 1490m. On the morning after our summit success we learnt the terrible news Matthew had been killed in an abseiling accident the day before. It was a trip of extreme emotions.
This year I climbed my hardest first ascent to date. Supersonico 8c+ was a 4 year long project that included finding the crag, bolting the lines and realising its most stunning feature. You can watch a film about it on ……
What’s your ape index?
What do you do when you’re not climbing?
Rest, renovate my house, ride horses, make plans and work for Scarpa or the brands I import to the UK: Flatholds, Revolution, Flipp Boulder Padds and Faza Brushes to name a few.
What is your favourite type of type of climbing?
Steepish, sport, around 8a or 8a+ which means it is near my limit but possible to on-sight. Maybe a crag I have never climbed at. Chalk on the holds and clips in the bolts. For me it is all about the moves.
Describe some of your biggest achievements in climbing?
Winning the Arco Rock Masters 2007 would have to be it. Still the only Brit to hold a Rock Master title. To win, I beat Nalle Huckataival by one move. After years of comps and 7 British titles, a world cup podium finish in front of a home crowd this was the icing on the cake. That period is still the golden moment of UK comp climbing, 3 senior men won Gold at international events. Mark Croxall, Andy Earl and myself traveled and competed together for a number of years.
What is it about climbing that keeps you doing it for so long?
!!! Now that is a hard question….everything. I just want to see everywhere, climb everywhere and live everywhere.
Why do you love 3RD ROCK?
The ethos and design behind the brand is second to none. 3rd Rock is small enough so that as an ambassador you can give feedback that if worthwhile it will be implemented in future designs. The design, fit and pattern cutting is exceptional and means quality and a great fit.
What is your favourite 3RD ROCK item?
Nova Pants, look good feel great. The waist-band is one of the best I have ever had in a climbing trouser and the pant works exceptionally well with a harness.
Can you offer your best training secret?
Get an office job (in a climbing area) and a training plan.
If you could summarise your outlook on life in a sentence what would it be?
Do it now before it is too late
Goals and projects for 2016?
Climb hard and train hard over winter, I have a project in Bulgaria that will possibly be the hardest sport route in the country when climbed. I tried it a little over the summer with local hotshot Fazata. It is always good try try a project with friends. Renovate my houses, climb more, work less and travel more. We also have a film in the pipeline with David Petts who filmed Supersonic, hopefully we can bring some of the Bulgaria climbing to British screens.
- First Ascent of The Worlds Highest Sea Cliff. Devils Thumbnail, Greenland 1400m
- Sport 8c+ Redpoint
- Sport On Sight 8b
- Boulder Flash numerous 8a’s
- Boulder After work 8b
- Trad E9, On Sight E7
- Competiions- Arco Rockmaster 2007 1st!
- Norway Masters 2007 1st!
- British Lead Champion 4 years!
- British Boulder Champion 2 years!
- British Speed Champion 1 year!