Tom is a keen trad climber and has established many first ascents all over the world, mostly involving some kind of crack climbing. In 2011 he teamed up with Pete Whittaker to take on the world's hardest offwidth crack Century Crack, which is documented in the film "Wide Boyz" from Hotaches. His current project is to make the first ascent of “The Crucifix” in the USA.
Why / How Did You Start Climbing: It started climbing at school in an informal bouldering competition. I did a bit better than expected, so I thought I might continue! I loved the adventure and the challenge of trying to “win” against the rock... although that became “problem solving” rock!
Favorite Climbing Destination: Utah, USA
Memorable Climbing Achievement(s): Making the first ascnt of Century Crack.
In 3 Words What Describes Climbing To You:Challenging, adventurous, unique
How Do You Train: A mix of things, but mainly I try to train specifically for whatever project is coming next. There is no point in working on my power if I'm going to be ledge shuffling ground up trad for the next few weeks.
You Whip, You Slip, You Blow The Move... What Motivates You To Try Again: It’s just a problem to solve...
What Do You Do When You're Not Climbing: A bit of work, bit of reading and spending time with my family.
“Climbing Destination?…The World!”
I grew up on Reunion Island, where I discovered climbing when I was 12, via school. Immediately I got thrown into the competition world, I was good at it and very competitive... When I was 16 I left my island and my parents to go train in a French youth climbing center, which propelled me to the senior lead French team. At 17 I did my first World Cup podium, and that was the beginning of 10 years of competitions. I studied at the same time and became a biology teacher. In 2011, I won the Chamonix World Cup.
I had done a lot of podiums, but never before been on the very first step of a senior International event, and that was the moment where I realised I had done what I wanted on the competition scene. I am now living what I call my second life as a climber, as after finishing competitions I started to focus on outdoor, trad and adventure.
It is definitely a different challenge to learn to be a proper trad climber, and I am still there, having done quite a few of the routes I dreamed of, with the Quarryman and the Voie Petit. What's next? More adventures of course!
Why / How Did You Start Climbing: I was playing tennis, sailing, dancing... when I discovered climbing via school. I didn't realise what was happening until I was climbing 6 days a week!
Favorite Climbing Destination: The World
Memorable Climbing Achievement(s): The Voie Petit, The Quarryman
In 3 Words What Describes Climbing To You: A Life Style
How Do You Train: I have a home climbing gym!! which allows me to get fit in between trips.
You Whip, You Slip, You Blow The Move... What Motivates You To Try Again: I am stubborn :)
What Do You Do When You're Not Climbing: A lot of DIY, cross country biking