New podcast!

My new podcast is now live! This is a bit of a departure from what I’ve done before in that I will be interviewing scientists and technical specialists in Antarctica. The podcast is called ‘Iceworld’ and it’s being done on behalf of the British Antarctic Survey. Episode 001, ‘Maps’, is live now on iTunes and Podbean as well as online.


If you’re interested please have a listen. It’s been a lot of fun doing ‘Vertical Voice’ and I’ve learned a huge amount in the process, knowledge that hopefully I can put to good use with ‘Iceworld’. Feedback from listeners has been particularly useful; thanks to everyone that got in touch. I’d love to do both podcasts, but this just isn’t possible for logistical reasons. There is a good chance that I will manage a second season of VV some time in the future (at least 18 months away), so stay subscribed if you want to know about that.

There will be no blog for the new show; the British Antarctic Survey twitter, blog, facebook etc. will post each time a new episode is released. They are worth following for the pictures alone.

Like my mum says every time I disappear out the door with a rucksack on;

‘Be safe, have fun.’


Episode 006 Iain Cameron

Scotland’s snow patches are well known to mountaineers and walkers; those dank, at times grotty north facing hollows where the soil is thin and a chill lingers in the air all year round. Usually we rack up, step over the gap between snow and rock and get on with our route. For Iain Cameron though, these places hold a fascination, which has led him to become an authority on the survival  of these patches from winter to winter.

In this episode I sit down with Iain to talk snow tunnels (link is to recent Guardian article, with some great photos), the late Dr Adam Watson (Iain’s obituary of the man is here), snow patches, Scottish glaciers and lots more!

Sorry for the lack of new episodes recently; I’ve been mega busy. Anyone who enjoys this episode may be interested to know that I will be starting a more science-focused podcast soon, covering the scientific work being done in Antarctica at the moment! I’ll make a post on this site linking to the new one once it’s up and running.


Episode 005 Helen Rennard

In this episode Helen talks about winter climbing, the loss of friends, her motivation for the routes she does and why rock climbing just doesn’t have the same pull for her. We also talk about her recent round of the Munros,  her background in running and anorexia athletica. For anyone who wants to know more about this (from a climbers point of view), have a ready of this UKC article.

We also learn about Andy Nisbet’s caramel shortbread habit, that some members of the British curling team also winter climb and that the Rab Photon is too thin. Sorry, Rab; the truth can hurt. Don’t be sad though, the vapour-rise stuff is still top notch.

This will be the last episode for a while; if you’re interested in hearing more about winter climbing, alpinism, mountaineering etc. then subscribe on iTunes so you don’t miss out when I get some more done (probably in eight weeks time).

If you have any requests for future interviews/know someone who would be interesting to have on the show then drop me a line using the ‘contact’ tab. I’ll be in my van in the alps this June/July, so suggestions for who to interview on my way south are much appreciated.

Episode 004 Jimmy Marshall (Paul Diffley)

Today’s episode is a guest feature; Paul Diffley of Hot Aches Productions has very kindly made available the full audio of his interview with Jimmy Marshall.

There’s not much to say about this interview; the historical importance is immediately obvious and Jimmy has the most wonderful, flowing voice, making it a joy to listen to.

If you enjoyed this interview and want to watch a very beautiful film, consider getting hold of ‘The Pinnacle’. It’s great for drumming up winter psyche as well.


Episode 003 Simon Yearsley

So far, Simon is the only person I’ve interviewed who has been on pain killers for a fractured wrist. Whether this makes for a better interview is up to the listener.

Here it is.

Simon talks new routes, long time climbing partner Malcolm Bass, being sponsored by Montane, kit design and risk taking.

If you’re visiting Scotland and want to hire a camper van, here is a link to Simon’s business. Scotland isn’t short of top places to park these things and climb; you know it makes more sense than going to the alps.


Episode 002 Robbie Phillips

In this episode hard sport, trad and big wall climber Robbie Phillips takes some time out of his hectic schedule to talk about ‘Blood Moon‘, his alpine trilogy (two down, one to go…) and many, many future plans. Along the way there is some chat about winter routes (seconding Greg Boswell on Anubis, anyone?), ground-upping Paciencia, mysterious benefactors and how he ended up wearing ‘the least seductive pair of assless chaps in existence’.

Episode 001 Simon Richardson

Hello and welcome to Vertical Voice.

In this episode I sit down and have a chat with Simon Richardson. Simon just published a book (Chasing the Ephemeral); this is in addition to his work on numerous guidebooks and ‘Ben Nevis; Britain’s highest mountain‘ (with Ken Crocket). Simon talks hard winter, expeditions (he’s heading to Alaska this summer) and first ascents in the Mont Blanc range including Perfect Storm.

Simon runs, a great resource for conditions information as well as news on first ascents and hard repeats.


***Full disclosure; if you click on one of the links above, I get absolutely nothing from Amazon or anyone else, regardless of whether you buy/do not buy, so click away knowing that you aren’t supporting me in any way, shape or form.***

*£*Even fuller bonus disclosure; Simon has sent me a copy of his book but that was after the interview was published. I’m not turning down a copy of a cool book in the interest of retaining editorial integrity*£*