"Since I was 10 all I wanted to do was to climb. Even before I was born I climbed the North Face of the Eiger. So I think it’s not much a surprise what I do now."
Tom Ballard was born in the Peak District of England in 1988 before moving to the Highlands of Scotland in 1995. Here he went to school in the sight and smell of Britain’s highest mountain – Ben Nevis 4406 ft. He has never had any other wish or thought, than to be a climber.What sets him apart is the pure enjoyment and satisfaction he finds in being on his own. As the mood takes, from boulders to alpine faces, he enjoys it all. At the moment he is most content and happiest in solo alpinism. Although mixed climbing runs it a close second. A creative climber he gains satisfaction in either creating new routes or making free ascents of climbs that formerly used aid.Mixed climbing suits both his temperament and physique. Besides his own creations at Nellenbalm, Val Udai, Uschenen, Grotta Prinoth, Bus del Quai and Eptigen, he has climbed Vertical Limit M12, Low G Man M14 and made the second ascents of Spiderman M13, Superman M13+, and Ironman M14+.
The winter of 2014/15 saw him attempt to solo the six great Alpine north faces, so eloquently defined in Rebuffat's ''Starlight and Strom''. He started with the Comici with the Constantini finish on the Cima Grande, had a windy time on the Matterhorns Schmid and a cold time on the Badile's Cassin. Inspired on-sighting put away the McIntyre-Colton on the Grandes Jorasses whilst his eight hours on the Dru's Allain turned Chamonix heads when it turned out to be the first winter solo. Feeling more dead than alive he rounded off his sextet with perhaps the most iconic of all North faces with the 1938 route on the Eiger. Messner was so moved by his style and ethics that he generously said that he had thought that modern alpinism was moribund. Now he could look forward with good heart as it was alive and well - in the guise of Tom Ballard.
The Telegraph - Tom Ballard: The new king of the Alps
The BMC - Climbing in his DNA: Tom Ballard ticks project Starlight and Storm
BBC - K2 climb: Tom Ballard plans to follow in mother's footsteps
Planet Mountain - Tom Ballard, climbing in his veins
Rock and Ice - Tom Ballard Establishes World’s Hardest Dry Tooling Route
Desnivel - Tom Ballard resuelve 'French connection' D15- en Dolomitas
UK Climbing - World's First D15 for Tom Ballard
Planet Mountain - Tom Ballard claims world's first D15 dry tooling climb in the Dolomites
Gripped - Tom Ballard Sends New European D15-
Planet Mountain - Tom Ballard and his plan B: Pizzo Cengalo and Pizzo Badile solo one winter's morning