mercredi 16 juillet 2014


It's so long since I last wrote in my blog, but we've been ticking over in the Gorges du Loup. There have been some fine additions at Mesa Verde, for example Beer Fest (a short, powerful 7b+ equipped by Julien Bouquignaud), Pas de chocolat pour les Nicois font du ski (a long 7c equipped by Guillaume Ciais) and 3 hard test pieces between 8a and 8b equipped by the super prolific local legend Axel Franco.

2 views of Beer Fest. Hardin at the start and Yannick at the end (thanks to Marie-Jo Centofanti/Voyages a le Verticale).

At last we've finally reached the end of the school year and are ready to set off on our travels. First destination was Britain for a long weekend, visiting family and friends. Ewan and Brenna McCallum were as generous as ever putting us up in fine style in Liverpool again. It was lovely meeting up with my little sis Jessica, for Sunday roast at the The Walton Arms in Warrington, where Elaine and I had our wedding reception nearly 33 years ago. Also it was great to see Nige Hunt, who popped down with Jenny and his two boys, to have a beer with us. Pete Chadwick impressed us with his baby sitting skills, though we quickly made our excuses and left when he started singing "Old McDonald had a farm" to Naz's baby Sam.
We all live in a .......
Where we had our wedding reception in 1981!

Of course a trip to Liverpool wouldn't be complete without visiting the Hangar. We love that place! I'm sure if it was down here we wouldn't go climbing outdoors as much. It is brilliant to go and do new circuits every time we go there. Well done to Ged and his staff for making so many great problems and being so friendly. Elaine's finger was still swollen after straining it the week before at Mesa Verde, so she decided not to climb (which was probably the sensible thing to do, but I know she was very disappointed and frustrated).

We also went down to Wales. No we didn't get to climb the classics on the Cromlech again, as it was raining steadily all day, but we did get to call in at DMM (makers of the best climbing gear in the cosmos and owners of the coolest logo ever - "Climb now work later"). We chatted for ages with a youthful and fit looking Paul Simkiss. It was just like old times, with lots of banter and plenty of Politically inCorrect jokes thrown in for good measure!

OK so now we are back in France and should be heading off in the camper van tomorrow or Friday towards Asturias. Richie Patterson has produced an ace looking topo for this area in northern Spain. Between now and September 2015 we're going to Climb Now and Work Later. Bring it on!

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