From pioneering deep-water soloing to climbing some of the most difficult ice climbs in the world, Tim Emmett is without a doubt one of the most versatile climbers out there. We sat down with Tim to talk about some of the most memorable climbs of his 20+ year professional climbing career.
“Era Vella”(5.14d/9a, 50m)
Going out to Spain for five weeks to try and climb one route, was a new experience for me. Walking away at the end without sending was something I had prepared for before I embarked on this quest, but it’s still a tough pill to swallow.
The flip side is that it stokes the fire for perhaps something deeper and more meaningful. A life adventure into the unknown. A quest to make the impossible, possible. When you reach out this much, the probability of failure is much higher than it is for success, but imagine if it might, just might, actually be possible.
That’s where I am right now. Enjoying the process of lining up as many things in my favor as I can with plans to return to Margalef this fall. What if a dream can be made real?
“Spray on Top” (7 pitches, FA)
Helmcken Falls, Canada
Three years after first stepping into the cave with Will Gadd and being so intimidated that I nearly turned around and walked away, I returned with my Slovenian climbing partner Klem Premrl, and spent two weeks attempting to find a way to the top of this huge cave. Climbing to the top of Helmcken Falls was so far outside the realm of possibility that when we finally did it I was shocked!
“Nightrider” (5.12, 30m)
Haans Island, Vietnam
Climbing in Vietnam is a mystical journey amongst thousands of cask limestone towers, warm water and life on a boat. Deep water soloing in Ha Long Bay is a unique experience with vast amounts of potential. I love waking up in the morning and jumping off the boat into the ocean and exploring the magical islands for immaculate tufa infested climbing. Make sure you visit Haans Island for the local test piece, the stunning Nightrider (5.12, 30m). The vertical face is like climbing up a giant candle, with continuous flowstone and every hold a pinch, its amazing! We did the first ascent with only 8 bolts at 2 am with my good friend Neil Gresham. It has since been re-bolted with a few more.
Squamish, Canada (Butt Face 5.9, 13 pitches)
One of my favorite outings! I can get from my house to the top of the Chief in less than a couple of hours. You can either pitch it with your friends of go for a scramble, both liberating and rewarding experiences. Reaching the top to watch the sunrise or sunset and then running back down to the bottom can start or finish your day with a beaming grin.
Kedar Dome, East Face, 6984m, Indian Himalaya
Climbing up a 7000 ft face in the big mountains is no joke. The 7 days it took to reach the summit showed me a new way of thinking. It burst open the doors of possibility. A journey deep into my soul, a true spirit quest where I felt like we were climbing to survive. Get to the top before you run out of food or the weather changes while forging a lifelong friendship with my climbing partner Ian Parnell.