F10 Athlete - Malcolm Bass
Athlete Profile: Malcolm Bass
Tell us a bit about yourself…
Since I was a little boy I have always loved exploring the outdoors. Camping, hill walking, climbing, fishing, cycling, I loved them all. In my late teens I got more into rock climbing on the North Yorkshire Moors, and then into caving in the Yorkshire Dales. I spent a few years intensely involved in cave exploration and then cave diving. We explored a lot of previously unknown cave passages, exultant at going where no one had ever been before. We took this exploratory urge back out into the light and began looking for new winter climbs in Scotland and trying to make first ascents of faces and mountains in the Himalayas and Alaska. Early successes included the first ascent of the South Face of Yogeshwar (6670m) in India (with Simon Yearsley and Julian Clamp in 1992) and first ascents in winter on the remote cliffs of Scotland's Ben Alder. Since then I have been on eight trips to the Himalayas and three trips to Alaska. Every trips has been a success in that no one has got hurt and I have travelled and climbed in great company in some of the most dramatic parts of the world. Every trip has taught me an enormous amount about myself , the world, and alpine climbing. I love how attending to the little things make a huge difference. In terms of summit success the stand outs are : the west face of Vasuki Parbat; The Prey, a new route on Alaska's Mount Hunter; first ascents of DunlungKhangri (6365m India) and Haizi Shan (5880m, China); and a pair of new routes on Kahiltna Queen in Alaska. These were climbed variously with Simon Yearsley, Pat Deavoll, and Paul Figg.
Between these big trips I live with my partner Donna James, an international triathlete and triathlon coach. Running and cycling with Donna is a constant challenge to my fitness. I work as a Clinical Psychologist in NHS Mental Health Services with people who are traumatised, self injurious or suicidal. Their daily courage in the face of adversity is inspirational. I am a supporter of ClimbOut, a web based community of climbers with mental health problems.
And on some winter weekends I head, usually with Simon, to the snow and ice covered cliffs of the Scottish Highlands where we hunt out, and attempt to climb, new routes in this fantastic landscape. Pleasing successes include The Long March (VII,8), Realisation (VI,6), Free Range (VII,7), Turkish (VII,7) and Wonderland (VII,7). There are lots more unclimbed lines in the project book, so lets hope this winter is a good one.....
Your best Adventure to date:
The first ascent of the west face of the 6780m high Vasuki Parbat in the Indian Himalayas. I climbed this with Paul Figg in 2010. It was a climb that had everything: hard mixed climbing at over 6000m, great ice pitches, and a rock climbing crux. It took us eight days to climb the 1600m face to the summit by way of sitting bivouacs and magnificently situated tent sites. Excessive excitement was provided by Paul shrugging off a direct rock fall hit, and me taking a big fall on the steepest pitch. After topping out we enjoyed a day traversing the superb knife edge summit ridge before descending by a different line to give a traverse of the mountain. We were nominated for the Piolet D'Or for this climb. (this is the mountain face in the picture)
Bison grass vodka swigged directly from a freezing cold bottle that has sitting in the boot of the car whilst we have been out climbing on a bitter Scottish winter day.
Favourite F10 product:
My favourite F10 product is the super light weight single skin tent which Simon and I are working on with F10. This is going to be perfect for long climbs in the Himalayas.