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Needle Sports' Staff - Matt de Vaal

Matt started climbing on the gritstone out crops of the North Yorkshire moors near his home in Wenslydale. He has now been climbing for over 10 years, mainly on rock, but he has been known to wield his ice axes when conditions allow.

Matt enjoys long multi-pitch climbs most of all and this has taken him to some of the best free climbing walls in Europe and North America.

Matt is one of a small team now working on the next edition of the FRCC Borrowdale guide book (due 2014) and is trying to tick off as many E3 and E4s as the valley has to offer.

 
Some of Matt’s climbing highlights to date include: The Nose and Salathe Wall (5.9, C2), El Captain, Yosemite, USA; Hass/ Brandler (7a+), Cima Grande, Italy; Bouldering in Hampi, India; Multi-pitch ice climbing in Rujkan, Norway; A winter ascent of Botterill’s Slab (V, 6), Scafell, Hell’s Wall (E6 6c F7C+), Bowderstone Crag, Borrowdale. Combined running and soloing in the Borrowdale valley - Little Chamonix, Troutdale Pinnacle and Bowderstone Pinnacle (from Shepherd's Cafe and back again, 1hr 43mins.

Matt is our Shop Assistant Manager.

Matt starting up the crux pitch of Botterill’s Slab (V, 6), Scafell, winter 2009/10.

Photo: Wes Hunter.

 

Above: Matt on Super Tegolina (6b+), Lastoni de Formin, Dolomites, Italy. Photo: Wes Hunter.

Below: Matt on the third pitch of the Hass Brandler, Cima Grande, Dolomites, Italy. Photo: Duncan Booth.

Time out on the Directissima (6c+), Naranjo du Bulnes, Picos de Europa, Spain.

Photo: Duncan Booth.
 
  Left: Matt at Camp 6, the final bivi on the Nose (5.9 C2) on El Capitan, Yosemite.

Photo: Dave Harbourne.

Above: Matt under the crux headwall pitch of Salathe Wall (5.9 C2) on El Capitan, Yosemite, USA.

Photo: Dave McLaughlin.

Below: Matt bouldering at Hampi, India.

Photo: Dave Harbourne.