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!!