In 2015 Angus fell off 1000 Setting Suns (E9 7a) at Nesscliffe. Despite a nasty fall Angus ticked his first E9 the following day: the bold and technical arête of Rare Lichen (E9 6c) at Clogwyn y Tarw in North Wales. His sport climbing was keeping stride with his trad and later that year, on a trip to Geyikbayiri, Turkey, he climbed his first 8b and flashed 8a.
In 2016 Angus moved to Llanberis, in Snowdonia, to work as an outdoor instructor and to immerse himself in the climbing scene. He quickly totted up routes, such as Lord of the Flies (E6 6a, onsight), Overlord (E8 6c) and his second E9, Gribin Wall Climb (E9 6c), where he messed up his sequence on the dangerous crux after the lead ropes got in the way.
“I chose to improvise instead of down-climbing,” says Angus, “which was a bit mad but a really memorable moment. After you finish the crux, you run it out to a ‘glory’ size 3 RP. On the picture, you can see that I didn’t place it—I was so relieved I just forgot!”
Early the following year Angus flashed his first 8a+, the Colonel, again in Geyikbayiri, before returning to summertime North Wales to tick more classics, including making the fourth ascent of Steve Mayer’s Nightmayer (E8 6c), which he climbed using someone else’s kit after a chance encounter with Nick Bullock at the base of the climb meant he could try the route on the last day of a good weather window. It was also in 2017 that Angus gained his Mountain Instructor Award, a big professional landmark after years of hard work.
Later that year, in the Frankenjura, Angus climbed his first two 8b+ routes and then onsighted numerous 8a routes, both in Geyikbayiri and in Chulilla, Spain. In March 2018 he reached new heights by sending Mind Control (8c) in Oliana, which he described as the culmination of three winters of sport climbing.