Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Its getting ccccold!

Well seeing as Ed wrote a blog the other day and he reminded me to put something up on here, which I haven't done for a bit. So anyway it definitely got rather chilly this last week and people have been out making good use of the dry weather which is great to see! The hard grit trad seems to be quite popular at the moment with hard stuff being done all over the place. We've been quietly ticking away too...
Here are a few ticks from the last couple of months

The Driven Bow 

Nadin's test-piece Paralogism 

Cemetery Waits

Hen Cloud sunset 

Geckoblaster up at Shinning cliff

Shine On

Inertia real

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Autumn updates

So its been over a month since the last blog and quite a bit has happened over that time!
Firstly I spent another week down south, meeting up with Tanja and some London friends, where we mainly did some easier routes down at Dancing ledge, Winspit and some dws at Fisherman's ledge. Also had a couple of nice days over on Portland, a place I hadnt been back to in about 5 years. Its such a great place with a huge amount of rock! Was a fairly steady week in climbing terms due to injuring my wrist the week before but did manage some quality lines. A flash of Hall of Mirrors (7c) at The Cuttings was a surprise and a rather stiff test on Zinc Oxide Mountain (7b+) the following day. Deep water soloing The Conger (6b) and Freeborn man (6c) were also a high light!

Freeborn Man crux

Awesome position!

Dancing ledge heat...

Chalk them hands

The Conger

Fisherman's Jump!

Swanage harbour 

Since then a couple of days over at the Roaches doing some classic onsight ticking such as The Swan (E3), Elergy (E2), Hunky Dory (E3) and Track of the Cat (E5) all of which have been great to get the head back in the game for some harder stuff this winter.

Beautiful outlook

Classy moves on Elergy

Then finally, this weekend Ed and I drove up to Yorkshire and had a day at Ilkley and a day Caley. Another couple of places that we kept meaning to get up too for aaaages.
Managed firstly to do Desperate Dan (E6), a classy Fawcett solo from way back and then down by the quarry entrance a neat little crimpy line with a fairly sloping landing, ominously named Deathwatch (E6/7). Ed finished the day doing Ringpeice V8+
After a rather uncomfortable night in the van, we then spent a day over at Caley smearing up some classic Extreme rock ticks Psycho (E5) and the scary Adrenelin Rush (E5) and then finally the awesome and high The Great Flake (E6). This didnt come easy after taking a big plummet near the top, while trying to down climb unsuccessfuly! Thankfully no harm!

Bongo up at Ilkley

Cow and Calf sunset

Psycho and Adrenaline rush

Getting high on The Great Flake

Oooooh ho...


Friday, 23 August 2013

Lulworth DWSss

A couple of weeks ago, just after returning from my Canada trip, we made a quick decision to head south and get involved with this Deep water soloing malarkey. I couldnt get the van packed quick enough and we headed down the motorways straight for the famous Lulworth cove near Swanage.
We arrived at about 7 in the evening after a fairly hefty drive and I could not control myself with excitement!
We headed straight down for Stair hole, almost running to get on the rock and after that first route (horny lil' devil) the tide was set and we ended up having 3 of the best days climbing I've ever experienced.
It was sheer joy climbing these routes totally free above the blue sea.
Long live DWS!
The following week we spent a few days surfing down at Sennen cove at Lands end, managed a day over at Nare head, Cornwall dws cliff, then the last few days over at Berry head in Devon.

Here's a neat video edit, the routes that got sent and some photos from the trip! Enjoy.....

Crazy Notion 7a+
Animal Magnetism 7a+
The Gates of Greyskull 7b+
Stage Divin 7a+
Anarchy Stampede 7a
Window of Opportunity 7b
Hornier than thou 7b+
Z-cars 7b
Horny lil devil 7a
Adrenochrome 8a
Mark of the beast 7c
Pump up the beast 8a (ed!)

Nare head:
Lemoria 6b
Ong Bak 7b+

Berry Head:
Rainbow Scoop 6c
White meat 7a
Cod Tympani 7a+
White rhino tea 7a
Pink roadster 7a
Cutlass 8a from Ed

Mark of the beast crux!

Al showin his skills

Gates of Greyskull

Ed on Adrenochrome

Topping out...yeeeeah boi!

Nare Head in Cornwall

Lemoria 6b

Ong Bak 7b+

Lulworth youths

Horny lil devil

Cod Tympani (cheers Andre Hedger for photos!)



Al becoming the hunter!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Canada trippin

Canada July 2013

Vancouver and Squamish :

At the start of the summer I was asked by my good buddy Finn McCann to join a four man team consisting of Murray Smith, Andrew Wilkanson, Finn and myself on an expedition to Canada, with the main goal of climbing The Lotus Flower Tower. I jumped at the offer and we flew out to Vancouver at the end of June.  We hired a car and drove an hour up the road to the granite mecca of Squamish, a huge chunk of rock in a beautiful location. We then spent the next couple of days ticking off some of the classics and getting used to climbing together as a team.  We managed to climb the amazing crack line Exasperator (5.10c or E3) and then brushed up on our big walls skills with the awesome and world class The Grand Wall (5.11a or E3/4) on the Chief. A 10 pitch, 300m line all the way the main face with incredible exposure.  To finish off was great to see Dreamcatcher and I managed to send a cool route just to the right of it called Young Blood (5.13a/7c+).  I had remembered seeing a video of it a while back, of some nutter soloing this above some crazy netting system! Shhhhit that must have been scary! It was all a perfect start to the trip and was a great place to hang out for just a few days. 

Exasperator 5.10c, Squamish 

 Young Blood 7c+


The Grand Wall on the Chief 

Muzz high up on the Chief

Belly Good Ledge..scariest part on the whole climb!

Whitehorse, Whatson Lake and the Cirque of Unclimbables :

Next stop back to Vancouver and a flight out the next day, 2 hours north to Whitehorse in the middle of the Yukon.  After two days and a lot of food shopping we caught the Greyhound bus travelling 5 hours east to the small town of Watson Lake and it was definitely feeling like we were heading out into the middle of nowhere!  After a slight delay while trying to track down our Pilot we jumped on his Float plane and flew an hour into the Nahanni park reserve. This was quite a challenging ride, my stomach feeling like it had been turned upside down! Luckily it wasn’t just me who felt so shitty (Wilky!). We were  more than glad to land on Glacier Lake and were dropped at a beach by a little shed. We then left half our food rations there and headed on up. The walk up to our basecamp, the Fairy Meadows was horrendous! It made the Ceuse climb look like a walk in the park. It took us about 7 hours the first time mainly due to the ridiculously heavy bags we were carrying. It was quite a sight to see those meadows, when we arrived later that day I can tell you! This was our home for the next 14 days and we pitched camp.  The weather was awesome and we decided to have a crack at the tower the following day. After a slightly delayed start due to some rain and an hour walk up to the Tower we were heading up the first few pitches of the route. We got to the half way ledge late that day and decided to spend the night on it. Unfortunately the weather turned for the worse and it ended up being one of the coldest nights of my life! Early the next morning we were engulfed by a snow storm and were all frozen to the bone, so we decided to bail and abseil back down. 

This was taken at about 1am in the morning! Was as dark as it ever got

The Team! 

Finn showing his skillzzz

The stunning Cobra boulder

Cobra's initial corner

Finn using them palms!

Norwegian mates taking a shot of us at the top of pitch 3. Gives a good scale of the wall! We look tiny!

The Lotus Flower Tower from the meadows 

Our climb!

The Fairy Meadows! So beautiful...

The next few days it snowed and rained quite a bit and we used that time to make a visit down at the lake, to stock up on supplies. The weather then cleared up and we decided to attempt the wall again but this time a lot earlier with a nice 12:30am wakeup call! A rather cold and dark few hours of climbing on the first pitches we were then greeted to a beautiful sunrise.  We climbed well and made it back to the halfway ledge in good time. A rest and quick bite to eat we then attacked the awesome looking headwall. This consisted of a system of cracks running up the wall as far as one could see. We made slow progress while trying to pick the right crack system and eventually made it to the top after quite a lot of effort! The Lotus Flower was in the bag. All we had to do now was get the hell down. By this time it was pretty late and we were spent, so had a forced rest/ freeze on the summit! By around 3am with just enough light we then started the long abseil back down the whole route. Thankfully the sun was out again. We made it back to solid ground a few hours later completely knackered but so happy to have made it. The last few days we all just slept, ate, relaxed and then enjoyed some of the great bouldering and sport climbing in the meadows. The highlight being the incredible “The Cobra 8a” boulder. Our time in the Cirque had come to an end and we packed up and we headed back down to the lake. 2 days then followed waiting for our pilot to arrive and we flew off to The Inconnu Fishing lodge which was all part of the deal. It was an amazing place and was soooo good to have a hot shower, sleep on a mattress and eat some good, fresh food again! The next day was spent fishing for lake trout from a boat. A perfect end for me!

We then gradually retraced our steps and made our way back to Vancouver and caught our flight home. 
It was one awesome and epic adventure to one very special and remote part of the world!
Looking forward to more of these...

Bolt pose in the Cirque

Looking down the headwall above the roof

Pitch 15

Pitch 17

Bouldering in the Meadows

Arrrh! Glad we weren't up there!

                                                         The Cirque plastered with snow 

Rappin down the tower

View from the top of the Lotus

Top headwall

Our Float plane

Me and Wilky...eeeeeh

Our kitchen area

Leading a yoga sessions!

Horrendous mosquito's!   

Our haul of kit up to the meadows! How did you manage that Finn??

Finn leading pitch 5

Caught in a rainstorm!

Our little furry friends

Team psyche!

Frozen night on the ledge!

Two and a half weeks worth of food

Hot cakes and French Toast for breakfast....mmmmmm

Norwigian guys having just skydived into Inconnu Lodge...Amazing moment!

Muzz finds a friend

Catching my first Canadian lake trout!

10 pound trout caught by Norwegian Tag! Psyched!

Inconnu Lodge transport

Games room at the Inconnu Lodge