Currently Resides: Sheffield
Local Crag: Peak District
Favourite Crag: the Cornice at Cheedale
Michaela started climbing as a troupe with her two sisters and dad growing up. Smitten from the beginning, she always wanted to climb more. Now a Team GB member, winner of multiple competitions and finalist in the World Cup 2014, she’s more motivated than ever.
What is it you love most about climbing?
I think what I like most about climbing is that is such a big thing. You get so many different types of climbing and so many types of experiences. Whatever you want or need it that point in time, climbing can give you that. Bouldering is really physical, sharp bursts of energy, or trad climbing which is really mental. I love all the things that come along with it, going on trips and having really wild experiences with people
Who was the biggest influence in your climbing?
My old coach Mark Pretty. When I first started wanting to get better, I did a lot of training with him and we would hang out a lot. I really like his approach to climbing -- that he gets on with it and he’s really humble. He just wants to chat about it and climb. He taught me how to do cryptic crosswords when they were resting in between campus boarding. He believes in working hard to get better, not necessarily relying on talent.
Proudest ascent in climbing?
The one I’m the most proud is Made in Mascun, 7c+. I had in my mind that I really wanted to onsite it and I kept looking at it, thinking not yet not yet. But then I decided to do it and it was all wet. I got every single sequence wrong and had to go back and forth and back and forth, the route was completely horizontal. It took me maybe 40 mins. I’ve never tried that hard in my life. I was resting on heel hooks by my face, and I did it.
I told everyone to do this route because it’s just an experience, like putting yourself through the ringer. It feels like you’ve been through a fight by end of it.
What’s your ape index?
What do you do when you’re not climbing?
Doing a PHD in nuclear waste disposal – getting a view of the nuclear industry. It’s really interesting to learn something about that because it is sort of the only option, to do low carbon energy emissions, but nobody wants to do it because it’s all about money. It’s interesting but it always comes second to climbing.
What is your favourite type of route/type of climbing?
I’ve always like overhanging powerful hanging between small holds, kind of like board climbing. Improbably technical climbs where you think there’s absolutely no way you can do that. But I don’t really have a favourite type, but if I had to pick it would be overhanging between small crimps.
Describe some of your biggest achievement in climbing?
Making the world championship final last year bouldering 2014. I wasn’t going to go because I thought I wasn’t good enough, but I actually managed to get to the final. It completely changed my opinion of myself and my climbing.
In 2015, a climb in the peak district Love Amongst the Butterflies, it’s really technical and in the past I’ve been bad at technical climbing.
Hunger – a trad route Golgarth. It’s really hard.
What is it about climbing that keeps you doing it for so long?
When I actually do go climbing I feel more alive than I do in ordinary life. Ordinary life is okay, but when you go climbing, everything is bigger and more colourful and more intense.
Why do you love 3RD ROCK?
Firstly because all of the clothes are really well designed, the clothes are made to last, not like a lot of clothes. And being environmentally sound isn’t something you often come across.
What is your favourite 3RD ROCK item?
Can you offer your best training secret?
My training secret is just to try really hard, like really really hard, more hard than you think you can.
If you could summarise your outlook on life in a sentence what would it be?
‘What will undo any boundary is the unaware that is it our vision and not that which we are viewing which is limited.’ We just need to stop thinking like - I can’t do this.
Goals and projects for 2016?
Do the bouldering comp season for the World Cup a few trad climbs: Point Blank in Pembroke, Skinhead Moonstump in Gogarth. And of course, Mecca 8b+.
- Team GB Member
- British Bouldering Champion 2014
- World Cup Finalist Munich 2014
- Bouldering – The Dark Room 8A in the Peak District
- Flashing Highball E6/7a+ Mint 400 at Frogatt
- Love Amongst the Butterflies at Cheedale, 8b.
- 7c+ On-sight Rodellar suffer-fest "Made in Mascun"
- Trad on-sighting number of E5s including ‘Hunger’ at Gogarth and ‘Out of My Mind’ at Pembroke