Ricky Bell is a free spirit. His parents introduced him to climbing at an early age. They were climbers themselves and fostered a love of adventure in Ricky and his sisters, often bringing them on climbing and camping adventures around Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland. As children, Ricky and his sisters were encouraged to climb on a homemade ‘treehouse’ built by their Father. It was the same height as their house. Ricky loves to travel, he is a champion at it, and has climbed all over the world. But it’s not about competition for him – it’s all about independence and being free. Now he is most passionate about finding new boulders routes in Ireland.
Ricky gets to work at what he loves and is an instructor at Awesome Walls, in Finglas, where children as young as 5 come to climb as well as the best in Ireland. Ricky tries to train three days a week, both indoors and outdoors, and in Extreme he wants to face some of toughest challenges in Ireland like the Holy Jesus Wall on the Island of Owey, Ireland’s ultimate granite wall. His van is his life – he just packs it up and heads out seeking adventure and a challenge to pitch himself against.
“It’s really cool because I do it completely for myself. If you look across the world, there’s people who are amazing at rock climbing. You don’t have to beat them… I just want to get better at rock climbing… You do get a buzz when you’re scared and high off the ground. It makes you feel independent and the fact that not a lot of other people can do it – feels really sweet.”