Keith Sharples 2014 calendar shoot
We've really enjoyed getting involved with Keith's annual climbing calendar over the last few years, so we jumped at the chance to celebrate his 10th year of doing it. Each year we try our best to challenge him in getting some more alternative images amongst the mix, even managing to sneak drytooling in there last year with the shot of Ramon at White Goods.
This year he called us up and it just so happened that we were heading to Anglesey the same weekend as he was heading to Wales for another shoot. The first thing that sprang to mind was some deep water soloing and we had just the route and model.
And so it was, that on a misty Monday morning we headed out to watch Ben on Electric Blue, en masse and delighted to see the sun breaking through to reveal a gorgeous, perfect blue sky. First climbed by Stevie Haston in 1983, Electric Blue (E4 5C) at Sea Cave Zawn, Rhoscolyn has become known as one of the finest deep water solos. Ben takes up the story of his day in front of the camera.
"It was the last day of the Alpkit group trip to Anglesey. I had been climbing the last two days on some amazing sea cliffs with fellow team member Dan, so my head was in the full swing of things by now. The day before at Castell Helen we bumped into Keith and we were both psyched for the climb in the calendar to be Electric Blue.
The morning was cold and misty, classic British crushing weather, so we had a slow morning drinking coffee and eating bacon cobs. Finally we made our way to the crag and by midday the sun had come out to watch me climb and dry the rock. But photographers are fussy (Ed. err perfectionists Ben) needing to get the best light and the right moment, so I had to wait for 2 hours before it was time to crush.
To be honest it was not that hard lying in the sun by the sea. I had a good team watching me, plus some sea kayakers that I did not know about until I got to the top. The climb itself is brilliant and I recommend it highly. It starts over rock but you soon are over deep water and you can start to relax and enjoy the climbing and the position. When I got to the top Keith was happy with the shots and my job was done. So, a good day out, amazing weather, brilliant climbing and good friends to watch me."
You can catch Ben (Mr June) Meakin in this year's calendar available now.
If you're into, or going to try out deep water soloing check out our DWS chalk bagsmade with a lightweight, quick drying fabric.
Check out Keith's take on 10 years of making the calendar.