Ever climbed up a sheer rock face? No, us neither. But Tom Randall has. Describing himself as a trad climber or adventure climber; a style of rock climbing in which the climber places all the gear required to protect from falls and then removes it when the passage is complete, Tom has climbed 5.14 off-width, bolt-protected sports climbs and a number of Big Walls.
As a professional climber, Tom has established many new routes all around the UK and abroad but specialises in crack climbing, at which he is astounding. Though he performs projects individually, Tom is also one of the off-width climbing team The Wide Boyz, who not only perform death-defying climbs like human-squirrels but also do it really really quickly!
Along with Pete Whittaker (his “partner in climb”), he recently completed The Staffordshire Nose challenge a staggering 2.25 hours quicker than the previous record! In temperatures of 21 degrees, the tenacious duo scaled all 31 routes in only 2 hours, 44 minutes and 28 seconds, destroying the previous record held by Pete Bridgwood and Andi Turner’s of 4 hours 58 minutes.
When he’s not undermining Newton’s theory on gravity, Tom is helping other climbers surpass their limits. Putting together training plans for, among others, world podium positions, alpine climbers and professional athletes. He is also the owner of The Climbing Station in Loughborough. Feeling inspired? What are you waiting for? Get climbing.
Do heights scare you at all?
Yes, embarrassingly! I started climbing as a way to try and tackle this fear, and whilst I’ve got considerably better with them over the years, it still gets to me. In all honesty, I find it quite hard to deal with sometimes as my career constantly exposes me to something I find scary. I suspect that this may be one thing I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life.
How do you stay motivated to keep going during a difficult climb?
Well for me, it’s a bit like meditation. Not in the way that it’s peaceful and serene – but more that it allows me to switch off my overly active mind and concentrate on something very immediate. The focus that’s required for climbing is amazing and I enjoy this immensely.
What’s the greatest challenge you’ve ever faced?
Probably trying to complete the East and West Brown and Whillans Challenge with Pete Whittaker. We had 24hrs to complete 135 rock climbs (all fairly tricky) and run around 23 miles between them. A lot of this was done at night and without ropes, so there was an interesting mix of danger and endurance…. not one I’m planning to repeat in a hurry!
Which is your favourite protein bar and why?
‘The best for me is the cocoa orange – I mean it’s a classic flavour combo, isn’t it? Maybe we should think of it as a very healthy version of Terry’s Chocolate Orange… that we can have every day and not just at Christmas?!’
A healthy treat you can have every day? We’ll go along with that! Get your Protein Cocoa Orange on our web store!