Right then, here is a little bit about myself! I was born in Polokwane in South Africa where I spent the first 11 years of my life in various countries throughout the African continent where I was introduced to the outdoors by numerous trips into the bush and particularly the great mountain ranges where I spent most of my childhood. I moved to the UK in 2001, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2004 in which a family trip to Sardinia, that really kicked off my climbing obsession!
I then started following my Dad to the local climbing wall, top-roping routes to begin with and then gradually progressing to leading. I took part in the BICC’s in 2005/6, in my first climbing competition up at Ratho and ended up finishing 4th which was a great boost. I was then picked for the British climbing squad for that year. I had a great time but in the end realised that competitions were not for me and what I really wanted to do was climb on real rock! Which for me, is what it’s all about!! Since then on I have spent most of my time concentrating on climbing outdoors, visiting as many new areas as possible, meeting loads of amazing people, climbing on loads of different rock types and experiencing the different styles that climbing has to offer. I’ve also been to the height of 5,900m with an ascent of Cotopaxi in Equador in 2005!!
Sam on the classic scarefest of 'The End Of The Affair' E8 6C, Curbar Edge, UK
I would like to improve all styles of my rock climbing to become a top all round climber. I have steadily improved and worked my way through the grades. I climbed my first 8a in 2008 and my first 8b 1st red point on New Year’s Day in Siurana 2010. I have now climbed over 80 routes of grade 8 and above and have on sighted/flashed up to 8a. Significant routes have been Zona 0 (8b), Melancholie (8b), Les Chacals (8b), Photo Shot (8b), Supercool (8a+), Grooved arête (8a+), Nemesis (8a+), R&P (8a+), Priez Pour Nous (8a+), Chimes of Freedom (8a+), Overnight Sensation (8a+), Statement of Youth (8a), Raindogs (8a) and The Thumb (8a).
I am also a very keen traditional climber, on sighting up to E6, and have climbed over 30 routes between E6-E8. Such as Master’s Edge (E7 6c), Balance It is (E7 6c), Janus (E7 6b), Yukan 11 (E7 6b), Gathering Sun (E7 6c), Top Loader (E7 6c), Apoplexy (E7 6b 3rd ascent), as well as some North Wales classics such as Heart of Stone (E7 6c), Beginner’s mind (E7 6c), Ring my bell (E7 6b) and Pretty Girls Make Graves (E6 6b). I also recently completed my first E8’s being My Piano at Nesscliffe and End of the Affair at Curbar. I enjoy Bouldering and have climbed a number of V10’s and V11’s including The High Life (V11), Cave Life (V11), Lou Ferrino (V10) and Ben’s Roof (V10).
My brother, Ed Hamer who is also sponsored by Wild Country and Red Chili and is in the GB Junior Indoor Climbing team. He has on sighted 8a and red pointed numerous 8b/8b+’s. Bouldering wise he has done V12 and climbed E8 on trad. We climb together whenever possible. Over the past few years we have spent most of our school and now university holidays sport climbing in various world class areas of Europe. This has included trips to Sardinia, the Gorges du Tarn, Frankenjura, Zillertal, Arco, Costa Daurada, Kalymnos and Fontainbleau, interspersed with road trips around the UK. This summer we are heading around Europe for 3 months in our new van, taking on some of the best sport crags in the world.
We are also keen to put up new routes in unfrequented parts of the world, for instance the Sudan/Eritrea where my father currently works as a mineral exploration geologist. And we have both benefited from the close support of my parents, who are keen mountaineers and this has enabled both me and my brother to pursue our passion for rock climbing.
My personal goals for this year are to consolidate red pointing 8b/+, head point E9, on sight E7 and crack off V12. You can check out all of my significant ascents on my profile on www.8a.nu
I also have a blog that I update regularly at- www.hamerboys.blogspot.com
Sam on the Moffat testpiece Messiah E7 6C, Burbage UK...