vendredi 11 octobre 2013

Climbing outdoors is my favourite waste of time.

Climbing outdoors is my favourite waste of time. Some people would say that it is completely pointless; you don't "win" or improve your "best time" or "score" and everybody thinks you must be "mad" and have a "death wish"! Most people simply don't understand. I suppose I can't blame them really; F1 is utter rubbish to me. Luckily, we're all different.

Climbing is so great because you get to visit beautiful places for free; meet like-minded, calm people from all round the world; you can get mega fit and it is very relaxing for the soul. An extra bonus is the complete lack of rules and regulations that makes it the perfect antidote to normal, everyday life. Quite simply, it puts everything else into perspective (everything else is just "grains of sand"). All that mindless rushing around we do each day is the real waste of time.

Robin and I went back to La Turbie to while away Tuesday afternoon. We were psyched to hurl ourselves at the unfinished route from the week before. The weather was superb, despite the forecast. Once again the warm up from hell was desperate. Monte Queue is a very polished sand bag 6c+. Robin has it well dialled and he is taller than me, which makes the crux section easier for sure. He despatched it effortlessly, whilst I had to fight and pull out all the stops to hang on (especially as my feet shot off twice!).
Robin demolishing the warm up from hell!

Then it was back to the serious business of trying to finish "Oeuvre Complete" (after the pumped forearms had recovered enough). Robin should have done it. He fell off the last move, due to a dodgy barn door sequence that he had to refine. Me? Well I fell off much lower, but I did make some good progress.
Robin on Oeuvre Complete (he is less than half way up this 50m monster!).

So, we left the crag with our bodies having taken another battering but we'd had another great time, even though we didn't achieve success this time round. We'll be back there again next Tuesday. Who knows, we may just pull it out the bag! That's what makes you keep going back for more.

Elaine and I had a very entertaining afternoon at Jurassic Park last Sunday. It was quite challenging doing my favourite 8a+ in a mega thunder storm! We spent Wednesday afternoon struggling with very humid conditions at Mesa Verde. But it was so much better than just staying at home or going shopping.

We didn't get to Le Discret last Saturday. I had a cold and the weather was too iffy. But we're going tomorrow to have some more fun times. Bon weekend amigos!

vendredi 4 octobre 2013

Don't mention the "K" word, thank you very much!

It's about this time of year that my smug mate, Chris Craggs, posts on Facebook that he's booked his trip to Kalymnos. Now Chris is very, very lucky because he is a retired teacher (though, even luckier (jammy b.....d), he managed to get out well before retirement age!) and he can now travel around the world climbing wherever, whenever. So, around October/November he heads across to the climber's island paradise Kalymnos for a month, two months, or as long as he and Sherri fancy going for. He posted some time during the last week! Mmmmmm.

Last Saturday, at the excellent and quiet "Le Discret", Alex (also smug) Zuttre casually mentioned that he was going to Kalymnos for 2 weeks. He flies tomorrow from Milan Bergamo (closest airport to here with flights to Kos) via Ryanair for peanuts, because he can go outside school holiday time. We have a week holiday from the 26th of October, so I looked at flights from Bergamo. Elaine and I can get to Kos for less than 35 euros for both of us. The problem is that Ryanair flights finish at the end of October, so we wouldn't be able to make it back. I haven't worked up the courage (yet) to tell my fantastic boss that we've got no option but to spend the entire winter out on Kalymnos, just climbing!

Anyway, here is a special photo for you Alex. Bon grimpe!
The fantastic Aegialis (7c) at the Grande Grotta, Kalymnos. Just who in their right mind would prefer to be working?
Changing the subject (only slightly - remember I am obsessed). It's been good to go to some different crags lately. Even Fatman and Robin have made another return. They have been seen on "Oeuvre Complete" at La Turbie, secteur Jacob. This is a 50m long stamina fest with the crux right at the top. It gets a very stiff 7c+ grade, which is very frustrating when you blow it way up there! Great to do "Vent du Terre" in a day (also 7c+) at Le Discret last Saturday. The plan is to go back for "Hilti Base Jump" (8a/8a+) tomorrow. However, the forecast is for rain most of the weekend.
You can be easily distracted whilst your mate works a 50 metre route. Fatman belayng whilst Robin tussles with "Oeuvre Complete" at secteur Jacob on Tuesday.

When did it last rain? Correct, last Sunday, then the Sunday before that and the Sunday before that as well. Why does it always choose to rain at the weekend? Have a nice weekend everybody.