Dan Turner - The Interview

by dan crossdale
Posted: 3rd Oct 2014
Tags: Dan Turner

Interviewer: - Roberto the Stallion Haigh
Interviewee :- Mr Daniel Turnip Turner.

What got you into climbing?

I was really into Tennis, but after breaking dozens of rackets and getting disqualified from too many tournaments, my Mum refused to take me. So I had to look for another sport to get obsessed with.

You hint that you may, on occasion, get "overly-motivated" but you proved very popular at last years Battle of Britain Final in Nottingham, as the massively psyched Angry Dan. Do you have plans to re-enter this year, and shall we expect to see the return of the Begby 'tache?


Yeah enjoyed it last year so probably will enter again this year. Not sure about the Tache, it takes a couple of months to grow!

We will take that as a yes then! ;-)

How and when did you start climbing?

I started around 14 when a few friends, Tim Patty, Sam Duff and Chris Freeman took me to the Penrith Climbing wall. I got obsessed quick. That wall was mad, it was such an amazing scene and for such a small wall its crazy to think it created some WADS; Jungle, Dave Jones, Freemans who have all either climbed Font8B or Sport 8c.

Who have you climbed with?

Not sure I can really say I climbed with him but once I was at the Shelter Stone at Trowbarrow and Gaskins walked past to climb on Red Wall. I followed him up there and harassed him for 30mins before he had enough and left. Does that count?

Which crags in the early days?

My early days were spent at the Bowderstone and Reecastle. I kind of grew up on the Bowderstone, it’s such an amazing boulder to progress through the grades. There are endless pointless possibilities to keep you entertained and wanting more. Also you can never get bored winding up tourists.

The other place I did a lot of climbing was Reecastle. Reecastle has to be one of the best single pitch trad crags in the country. I still remember the first time I went to the crag. Jim Arnold my Science teacher and part time Lakes Hero, took me there after school one summers evening. We did some warm ups, then his wife led ‘Finger Flake Finish’ and she suggested ‘why don’t you have a go at leading it on my gear’ I was like ‘Awesome but I want to place my own gear’ . I led it, all my gear fell out, I got so pumped and had a total epic nearly falling off the top with a definite ground fall if I had. I came down, Jim’s Wife was sitting on a rock, looking a scary colour of white. I don’t think they took me again.

Dark Angel, 7c+, Ravenscar, FA Tom Newman

Fave crag?

Bowderstone is obviously pretty special to me but in the UK I would have to say Crookrise. Not massively extensive but what is up there is totally amazing. Worldwide; Rocklands.

Who are your climbing heroes?

They are obviously the usual suspects, Webb, Wood, Nicole, Nalle, Graham, Macleod but I often find it hard to relate to full time climbers and their achievements.

My main inspirations are probably a bit closer to home.
Tom Newberry, I have always been inspired by Tom, probably one of the best and weakest climbers we have in this country. I really enjoy watching him work out crazy beta and breakdown boulder problems, plus he has the best gurn in climbing. UK’s answer to Dave Graham? Freemans twins, those boys are so light on the rock and have a really good approach to climbing that I wish I could adopt. Cal Coldwell Storey is always inspiring and terrifying to watch climb.

The 4 Yorkshire dark horses, Birch, Clifford, Dunning and Swanny- that was a great era for Yorkshire bouldering. Pretty cool to think that Matt put up the ‘Swarm’ one of the most famous US hard problems, Tim Clifford but up Singularity unrepeated Squamish mega project and Dunning putting up hard Yorkshire boulders but also repeated Hubble and Dreamtime. All done keeping pretty low key.

What are 3 of your biggest climbing achievements?

I think my biggest achievement is still to come but so far.
1. Putting together ‘This is Yorkshire’ a bouldering film my good friends and I put together to illustrate some of Yorkshire hardest and finest boulder problems.
2. Rhythm,8A+/ 8B, Flasby Fell, maybe it’s not the hardest bloc I have done and in the big picture not particularly significant but I really felt I had to learn how to climb better and improve my approach. In the process I also witnessed one of my closest mates Mark Katz doing it and I will never forget that moment he topped out. Sounds lame but that was pretty special.
3. 3 8’s in a day. I have wanted to do that for a long long time.

Isles of Wonder, 8b, Ogwen, FA Pete Robins. Photo Credit: Rob Lonsdale

Hardest boulder problem?

Lobster Claw, Depot Beastmaker Board. Tim Palmer= Hero

Longest time spent on problem?

Rhythm, 6 sessions over 2 years.

The one that got away?

I don’t want to talk about it, it still hurts, I can’t even watch videos of people doing it. I will return to Magic Wood at some point- dam you Tom Williams.

Best advice ever given?

Tim Stubley (My mental Coach) ‘You will make more friends if you just keep your boots on your feet’

What’s your diet like?

Redbull is addictive

What’s your secret to success?

I am not sure I would call myself successful, but I guess early on, having a supportive parents, that built my sister and I a massive board at home, driving me everywhere and letting me go off on trips with the Freemans when I was young.
More recently; having a supportive Girlfriend, not being fazed about driving half way across the country to go climbing for the day and climbing at the Depot Leeds, that’s made me a lot fitter and stronger!

What’s your advice to a wannabe “superstar”?

‘Enjoy your body, use it every way you can, don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own - Thanks Baz

Besides climbing what else have you been up to?

Working, that takes up most of my time. However, I am proud to say that I love my job and I lucky to do something I really enjoy. Spending time with the best girl in the world, Sarah, and pretending that I can do DIY. Other than that, doing quite a bit of fell running and I try and ride my BMX when I can.

What inspires you? Where does your motivation come from?

Big walk ins, big boulders and big lines. I think I am naturally very motivated, it scares me that one day I might not be motivated, that day will suck.

You recently did 3 8s in a day, tell us more about this achievement… are you becoming more of an all-rounder?

Yes I would say that with my track record of 1 E4, 1 E5, 1 E6, 1 E7 and 1 E8 and my 7 Sport routes that I am probably up there with the best all-rounder the world has ever seen. Ha. No I would say I am definitely not an all-rounder, but this summer I have really enjoyed sport climbing and doing some trad climbing. Next summer I think I will fully commit to routes.
3 8’s in a day is something I have had in my head for a long time and have really wanted to do. I also wanted to do it in the lakes. I did (in order); The sit to Impropa Opera (Bowderstone), Disorderly Conduct (Reecastle) and Keep on Keppin’ on (Thrang). It was a great day and managed to share it with good mates, Rob Lay and Tim Stubley, thanks for the support and making sure I didn’t abseil off the end of my rope. It was also quite funny that Birkett and Mary turned up at Reecastle, they are full value and another one of my hero’s.

Impropa Opera Sit Start (Bowderstone). Photo credit: Tim Stubley

Who are your sponsors?

Blurr Stuff, Lyon Equipment, Organic Climbing and Depot Climbing Wall. Big thanks goes out to them, I really appreciate the support.

You’ve just moved house. Got a board/scene yet?

Yeah man, stoked. Moved to Dales and bought a house with my girlfriend, I can see Lanny Bassham from my bedroom window. Yeah of course, the board went in the first weekend we moved in. Rumour has it projects at the schoolroom are warm ups on this board 

If you hadn’t got into climbing what would you be doing now?

In my head, been on the Surfing ASP world tour with the boys, going deep and get barrelled to an inch of my life….. but probably still trying to mend my tennis rackets or failing to do tailwhips on my BMX.

What do you have planned next?

Just got confirmation that I am doing two months in the states at the end of the year. I am going to VEGAS baby!
Longer term;
Is 4 8’s in a day possible?
Maybe get into some comps?
Classic rock record?






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