Sunday, 20 December 2009

Kyloe In The Woods - 20th December 2009

Decided at 6.10am that it was a bit too snowy & icy to head over to the lakes as planned so opted for a later start and a look up the woods.
It was certainly still cold and snowy on the side roads as we got to the parking spot. Quite a few cars were parked up so we expected the crag to be fairly busy but we were surprised to find only 3 people on the rock, the other cars being from folk out with their dogs.
Another pair turned up just after we got there, giving a total of 7 climbers. Unusual as it was certainly cold but dry and perfect friction!!

Managed a few of the classics before soft skin and numb toes got the better of me!
Swan Wall Direct
Pink Gin
Red Rum sit start
The Elf Direct
Bad Finger
Bad Company
Monty Python

Ali managed a longstanding project in Bad Finger, then got on to Bad Company and made good progress before the cold stopped play!
Paul and Joanne were working the moves of Cubbys then moved on for a quick burn on Monty Python before heading back. Paul was very close and will get the tick next visit I'm sure.

This way to the crags!!

Perfect conditions.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Scottish Tooling Series - Kinlochleven, Saturday 5th December

Traveled up for the last round of the Tooling series at Kinlochleven. Nathan and Stave (Lynch) were in with a shout for another podium spot, Scott and Steve (Wilkinson) were psyched to do well, where as Ali and I were going along for the 'see how it pans out' session.
The problems were great (the ones I actually got on!!) but I was taking it much slower than the others as it was the first proper go back on the tools for over 4 months.
In the end Nathan finished in 12th, Scott in 18th and Steve W and I were in 21st. In the Vets Steve L bagged 2nd and in the Women's Ali got a 4th place in her first go at these comps!
This left the boys with the overall results of:-
Nathan 2nd and Steve W 13th. Steve L 2nd in the Vets.

Check out Steve Lynch styling the problem!!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Hungchi Trip - Link

It's been over a month since I got back from Nepal and it seems like a distant memory with getting straight back into the swing of work!

Will put more photos on the Hungchi blog as soon as I get the time:

View of Hungchi across the Ngozumpa Glacier.

Friday, 5 June 2009

October 2009 - Hungchi 7030m

The trip is on! Flights are booked and the itinery sorted. Now all that's needed is the fitness.
More details to follow shortly.

The Rest of 2009 - so far

Lots of climbing weekends have been had since the last time the blog was updated, work's been getting in the way of the write ups!!
The winter season finished a little premature but still managed to get up the Ben a few times with Nathan, Steve Lynch, Steve Hartland and Ali on the last trip. Got Smith's, Comb, Green, etc climbed before a quick sun rock trip to Costa Blanca.
Since then there's been a couple of trips to North Wales and numerous Lakeland escapades! Nathan and I have also discovered a new tooling grotto down near the cove. This is a great tool bouldering area where 'burly' is the name of the game! Photos to follow.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Pinnacle Ridge, St Sunday Crags - 22nd Feb 2009

Had a trip over to the lakes for a scramble on Pinnacle Ridge on St. Sunday Crags as most of the snow had started to disappear and what was left looked very unstable. Collected Kieron on the way down to Glen ridding car park for the meet up. Steve, Martin, Chris and Tony were already waiting so we headed further up the valley to park then headed for the scramble.
The weather looked good, nice sunny spells but there was a cold strong wind blowing as we got further up the valley. Overall a great day out with a good bunch. Need to do more of this!

Steve getting to grips with the ridge.

Ali taking a quick break!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Third Day On - 21st Feb 2009

Early start for the third day on to get down to the cove for low tide. This had to be a steady session as the arms were feeling it after the previous two days. 

Ali was feeling it too and the warm ups were slow and creaky!
Once I got into the swing the session was more laps on the standard traverse and the low traverse. Need to get more time to train I recon!

Ali was pulling well, making big links through to the drop down.

Ali moving towards the Fig 4

Comp Night - 20th Feb 2009

Wasn't sure that a comp was what i wanted to be doing as my second night on. Went down with a view to having an easy session on the comp problems which worked out well.
Ticked around 22 or 23 of the problems first go but stopped before the end as i was getting too tired.

Ali climbed well again, resulting in a first place in her category again!
Stayed for the prize handout which was good crack, the Climb Newcastle boys put on a good series. I just need to train a bit harder for next seasons rounds.

Climb Newcastle - 19th Feb 2009

First trip to the wall for a while. Went down with Nathan and Ali for a quick session after a busy week at work. Just needed to get the body working again!
Had an OK couple of hours on the new pink circuit. Ali and Nathan were both climbing well.
Finished off with nice hot choccy!!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Crispy temps - 10th Feb 2009.

Travelled up to Glenshee last night for a work thing! The day dawned with clear skies and sunshine, -8 on the car's thermometer. Later on I headed round for the west side and Kinlochleven, more work! Passing Laggan and on towards Loch Laggan the temps reached -11. Shame the camera was nice and warm at home!! Looking into Creag Meagaidh from a distance, the conditions were looking good. Might have to get in there soon.

Too much snow!! - 7th Feb 2009.

Travelled up to Aviemore on the Friday night with Kieron & Steve hoping for a steady Saturday in the Northern Corries but the weather had other plans! The snow started falling about an hour or so south of Aviemore, continuing all the way there and through the night. After a slightly slower start than planned we were semi up and at it to be told the road up to the car park was closed with no specific opening time. Drastic action was required so we headed into town for a big breakfast.
By lunch time the road still wasn't open so we got back in the car, tail between our legs, pointed it south and headed for home. A long way to go for a couple of beers and a big breakfast!

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Freezing at the Cove! - 31st Jan 2009

Decided to head down to the cove for a steady tooling session by myself even though it was really windy and pretty damn cold!

Felt lousy warming up but seemed to get more into it as the session progressed. Ended up doing 3 laps on the traverse with 15 mins rest between burns. After a tea break I managed 3 laps on the half version of the low level traverse with similar rests before the cold was getting the better of me and a hot coffee in town beckoned!!

Friday, 23 January 2009

The Boys are off to France - Jan/Feb 2009

Steve and Nathan leave for France tomorrow, two weeks of ice action await! Tales and photos of the trip to follow...............

Tooling Action - 18th Jan 2009

Back from the ice and straight down the cove for some tooling action with the Squad - Nathan, Steve 'The Machine', Ali and Lucy.

Was feeling tired from the week away and the journey back the day before so wasn't expecting great things. After a quick warm up I got on the standard traverse which was completed with out too much of a struggle, well, a fair struggle! Steve was keeping it steady so as not to 'tweak' his shoulder ahead of the ice trip with Nathan. The Girls were getting stuck in, Lucy getting to grips with the initial moves again while Ali was pushing past the Fig 4 move which was the stopped from last time. Nathan was working hard too, this being the last session on the tools before the French trip.

After another brew stop I worked the moves on the low traverse which was still needing the full link tick. Another brew and it was time for action, the initial moves through the standard traverse felt sketchy (again!). A quick shake after the drop down moves and it was off into the land of 'mega pump', the moves flowed and eventually (and thankfully!) the finishing moves arrived. The two traverses feel about similar in terms of difficulty but the low version is more sustained.

Two days rest for me now!

The rest of the squad worked some moves for a short while longer then it was time for the off and a warm up! 

Euro Ice - 9th to 16th Jan 2009

The time had come to get some Euro ice action in! Ali and I got flights to Geneva with a view of seeing what goes as the snow had been plentiful to say the least. If all else failed, at least there'd be skiing to be had.

First call was Chamonix to catch up with a couple of friends who'd recently moved over. After a catch up and an early dinner, we decided on Cogne for a few days then review the situation.

As it turned out the conditions were great, blue skies and sunshine though there was still a lot of snow around.

Routes climbed included:-

Cascade de Lillaz - II 3. (Good conditions)
Lauson - II 3. (Quite thin in places)
E Tutto Relativo - II 4. (First pitch well banked out with snow. Scottish conditions on last pitch!)
Cold Couloir - III 4+. (First pitch only, looked 'interesting' above due to snow conditions)
Patri de Gauche - II 4.
Valmiana - II 3. (Brittle first pitch)

Ali on the second pitch of Cascade de Lillaz.

Pattinaggio Artistico Direct II 5+ (Right) X Files M10 (Left - with the ice touching down!)

First pitch of Patri de Gauche.

Climbers on the first pitch of Stella Artice.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

More Tooling - 3rd Jan 2009

Today was looking like a good day early on, nice bit of sun with very little wind and an early afternoon low tide. Headed down to the cove with Nathan and Ali for another work out.

After a quick warm up I hopped on the 'traverse' and wobbled through to the finish. Nathan jumped on next and was cruising through until a foot 'pop' pulled him of balance and off the route. Not having climbed for over a week combined with a 'party New Year' wasn't slowing him down any! While the boys rested the 'pump', Ali got on and steadied through to the 'fig 4' move where her memory for moves (laughing!) kicked in and she was off.

A warming tea break and the squad were back on the tools. Ali got back on the 'fig 4' move and fired through the drop down into the slot, setting up for the long pop she ended up flat on her back on the beach. A large lump, formerly the slot, was lying beside. Luckily there was no real harm done, other than what will be a big bruise to the knee! This altered the route slightly as this was the demise of a fairly important hold, however, the challenge was now on for the ascent in it's new state!

I was first up. Being shorter in arm than Nathan I found the new sequence very reachy but sketched through to the last arete drop down before the pump got the better of me (slight annoyance!!). Nathan pulled it out of the bag and powered through, even using a 'non sequence' which actually seemed to suit him better, styling to the finish. Ali worked the moves some more before the call of the warm car became too strong.

Another good day had by the squad. Last training on the tools before Italy.

Ali cruising the starting moves.

Nathan powering through!

Feeling the burn (again!) on the Low Traverse.

Friday Night Bouldering - 2nd Jan 2009

After a day of rest on Thursday, the venue for training was Eldon Wall with Ali and Emma. I was opting for a quick stamina session while the girls went for a finger work out on some problems.

Two laps on the 'pockets traverse' with a 10 minute rest between was enough for me. The girls worked on 5 problems before it was time to call it a night. 

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Tooling Action - 31st Dec 2008

Another cold (very cold!) overcast day. Air temperature was showing -2C but still headed for some tooling training. Eventually got warmed up with some short 'up' problems and copious amounts of flask tea. Ali worked bigger overlaps of  the traverse, making major improvements through the 'figure 4' section. I completed one lap on the traverse then some low and very low variations.

Starting to feel the burn!

Fig 4!!