Two Ambitious Bike-and-Climb Expeditions Officially Underway in Europe

Young British climber Anna Taylor aims to summit 100 routes all over the UK, while Germany’s Stefan Glowacz and Phillip Hanns hunt down multi-pitch first ascents in the Alps. All three climbers will access each destination by self-propelled, or “fair,” means.

Anna Taylor, 100-peak ‘Mountain Rock’ link-up

Last year, Lake District climber Anna Taylor made waves as the first woman to complete the UK’s 83-route Classic Rock circuit. By the end of the challenge, she had climbed more than 10,000 vertical metres and cycled more than 2,500km.

Now at the ripe age of 24, Taylor is back at it. On July 24, she set out to attack the 100 climbs listed in Steve Broadbent’s Mountain Rock guidebook.

“As far as I know, this is the first time this link-up has been attempted, so that should make it even more fun,” she noted. “The climbs are spread out over Scotland, the Lake District, and Wales, and I’ll be cycling/walking/running every mile between them!”

She will receive marginal support from her fiancé and fellow crusher, Matthew Wright, to charge up her cycling computer, cameras, and other devices. She described charging as “a real pain in the ass when you’re alone with just a pair of power banks.”

Taylor may be young, but she has already established herself as one of Britain’s most adventurous — and promising — gritstone climbers. She has the benefit of legendary mentors on her side, including (but not limited to) the likes of Leo Houlding and Neil Gresham.

Last year, she soloed 68 of the 83 Classic Rock routes and tackled the rest with a handful of familiar partners. That’s a theme she’ll likely continue in this rotation.

At the time of writing, Taylor was 10 days and 480km deep, with no days off.

“End result – knackered,” she wrote. “It’s nice to still feel quite functional having not yet had a rest day. Tomorrow won’t be one either, as hopefully, the weather is going to give us a window of opportunity to get the final Cairngorm climb done. Fortunately, it’s one of my all-time favorites, so I won’t resent the slog up to Lochnagar too much…”

Stefan Glowacz & Phillip Hanns, Wallride 2 expedition

Just to the east, German expedition climbers Stefan Glowacz and Phillip Hanns are headed for the first stop on another bike-and-climb challenge, the Wallride 2 Tour. Both headed off toward the Swiss Alps from German’s Starnberger See lake on August 1, bike packs stuffed and solar panel sleighs in tow.

Last year, the pair put together the wildly successful inaugural Wallride, a 2,500km fair means expedition in which they established epically long multi-pitch routes in three Alpsian countries. By the end of Wallride 1, they’d gained more than 50,000 vertical metres.

In keeping with last year’s format, Glowacz and Hanns will seek out virgin rock and establish a handful of long, new alpine routes. Physical taxation aside, Glowacz has said that the biggest challenge is finding undeveloped dream lines within an abundantly developed area like the Alps. Planning, stocking up, and training for such an attack takes the better part of a year.

The pair have kept the specific objectives of this summer’s expedition to themselves, but the first stop on Wallride 2 is the Wetterhorn massif.

In a March 2022 La Crux interview, Glowacz waxed poetic about the initial experience and teased at Wallride 2.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of one or two anecdotes about the Wallride. Be it the bivouac at the Croda Bianca during our first ascent in the Dolomites, the descent down into the Engadin over perfectly developed flow trails, or the quiet moments before sunset somewhere high up in the Alps,” he explained.

“The Wallride was the fulfillment of a childhood dream.”