Bermudian stars in climbing calendar
A Bermudian has been chosen to grace the front cover of a calendar featuring pictures taken by the world's best rock climbing photographers.
Jazmyne Watson, 20, is pictured clinging to one of Bermuda's first established “lines” or climb paths, “Night Dive”, over the waters of Hogfish Bay in Spanish Point, which will be seen in countries across the world.
The photo is on Women of Climbing Calendar and was taken by head photographer for Climbing Magazine Andrew Burr, who featured Bermuda's burgeoning scene last year.
Ms Watson told The Royal Gazette: “I was fortunate enough to be climbing with Andrew Burr while he was in Bermuda taking pictures for a new issue. I initially assumed that the shots were only for the magazine article, but I am very excited to see that one of the pictures has made it to this calendar as well, recognising Andrew for his great climbing photography.
“Night Dive was first climbed by [Bermuda resident] Grant Farquhar in 2003 and remains one of the classics of Bermuda's deepwater soloing scene [unassisted climbing over water] and one of my favourite climbs of its type.”
Ms Watson first got into climbing at the age of 13 when her father introduced her to the Olympic Club climbing wall and she quickly developed a passion for the sport. While the title of youngest-established climber in Bermuda goes to Timothy Claude, Ms Watson was, and remains, the youngest female. Soon after, she graduated to the rocks at Clarence Cove and St David's Head under the guidance of climbing instructor John Langston, as well as others from the crew of climbers in Bermuda.
“As my experience on rock grew, I developed preferences for some of the different domains of climbing available on the island,” she said.
While she loves deepwater soloing, her “first big achievements” were in sports climbing and so that's where her passion lies.
Ms Watson performed the first female ascent of what she describes as “an iconic line” at St David's Head, which she tries to repeat whenever she is in the area.
From there she gathered many more ascents of sport climbs and established a few of her own deepwater solos before moving to Canada to study where she found opportunities to explore “incredible crags and my most impressive climbs to date”.
Ms Watson has many reasons for her love of climbing. She explained: “Externally, every climbing community I have come into contact with, and especially the crew in Bermuda, contains an incredible mix of fun loving, enthusiastic and supportive people who want to share their passion for climbing with everyone.
“More personally, climbing for me provides an exciting physical and mental challenge which is rewarded with elation when I reach the top of a new line. Climbing represents a kind of freedom, a temporary isolation, where I lose sense of everything aside from the rock ahead of me and finally climbing empowers me with a sense of control when I recognise that the only thing between myself and a big fall is the strength of my fingertips and my determination to reach the top of the climb.”
• For more information about Bermuda's rock-climbing scene, visit: http://climbderock.wikifoundry.com