Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Lecture in Manchester ........

Ok, it's a bit late for me to be posting this on my blog - I blame the sunshine for making me go out climbing instead of taking care of the slightly more mundane bits of life!
Mountain Equipment Store - Manchester
Anyway - I'm going to be appearing at the Mountain Equipment Store on Deansgate in Manchester tomorrow night at 7pm. Entry is free but the shop would really appreciate a call to let them know how many chairs they'll need! So please give them a ring if you are interested in coming along to see some great pictures (thank you Lukasz) and hear about some of my adventures.

The number to call is 01618398468 and you can find a map here.

At the moment this is a one off - but it might become a little series around the country in the autumn teamed up with other M.E. Pro Partner Andy Houseman. Would you come along if we did?

Monday, 21 March 2011

Winter is over.......bring on summer.

Seems like the days of wearing big heavy boots and carrying huge rucksacks have been swopped for bouldering mats and tight rock shoes. All good things must come to an end ....... although there is still loads of snow in Scotland! Finding it hard to commit to heading back up north - think I need to apply to ESSO for sponsorship.

I've had a couple of days out in the Peak for a spot of bouldering, first at Ramshaw and then to Baslow on a very murky day. Managed to find about 6 dry problems but 2 of them were a bit too tricky. Currently hanging out in North Wales, after surviving my lecture at LLAMFF - think it went down OK, (un)fortunately the sun was shining so numbers were down a bit.

Yesterday was a bit of a washout after the very late and very loud party combination. Today was a different matter with a trip out to the Rainbow Slab Area with Dave Rudkin. We knocked off a couple of warm-up routes and then headed for Released from Treatment. Top quality expedition on the main slab.

Monday, 14 March 2011

LLAMFF - This Weekend........

Since arriving back from Norway I have been in a complete spin! I'm appearing at LLAMFF on Saturday evening........and until I got home I hadn't even started putting together my show.
Of course I have been thinking about what I'm talking about and what photos I'd need and all that, but that's the easy part - actually trying to sort it out and do battle with Power Point is a different kettle of fish.
Luckily I have Lukasz on the end of a phone to get pictures and a bit of film, Ruth on hand to make the compter work and when all else fails I've got a promise from Dunc at Mountain Equipment to help out - well actually Rich Woodall promised him and is now he's off on paternity leave!

Anyway, I think it's all coming together and the line up is looking good for the weekend. Lukasz is on earlier in the day, Steve McClure and Lucy Creamer are just before me and the Keith Partridge is on just after and rounding off the evening is The Pinnacle - and that's just the saturday!!

Go and check out the LLAMFF website for the full programme and information on how to get tickets........... please don't heckle too much folks!
Look forward to seeing people at the festival and in a much more relaxed frame of mind after my talk - at the fricsan for the party!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

The Land of the Giant Cod

Having been home now from Norway for a few days I think I've just about caught up on lost sleep from all the  travelling and my skin cells feel like they've replenished after the battering winds and waves of spindrift.
Looking back on the trip it's totally refreshed my mind about everything I love about winter climbing. The totally raw experience of heading out early morning with your mates in the darkness not knowing what stories you were going to come home with.
Over the last few seasons I've been totally focussed on doing hard new lines or hard repeats in Scotland. Becoming obsessed with blogs and weather forecasts trying to pick the ideal time to pounce, to seize the moment. I'd forgotten all the joys of discovery that I'd experienced in years gone by.
Having spent 2 weeks in Fort William prior to heading to Lofoten mostly drinking coffee and kicking my heels in despair at the poor weather I was all too pleased to head far far away.
Meeting Pete Benson in Oslo airport with the news of rising temperatures in Lofoten was not the what any of us wanted to hear.
But hey, we couldn't complain what a stunning place. I can imagine it's like Scotland was 50 years ago as far as winter climbing goes, lines to be had everywhere.
We got blasted from every direction with wind and snow and lots of head scratching went on, not just from us but everyone else on the meet. There were a few epics and late nights descending in storms for most people.  The beauty for me was being able to just head out and have fun with your mates, then sharing the stories back in the bar, and not being obsessed with grades and how hard things were.
These meets are always great for meeting folk and sharing new ideas as well as grabbing inspiration for the future.

Many thanks to the Norwegian Alpine Club for their amazing hospitality
and Mountain Equipment for making it all happen

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Latest Lofoten

It was another day of no climbing yesterday, but last I heard they had a plan to get something done today after their scouting. Lukasz has been a busy bunny and put together another little film from their route a couple of days ago:

LWimages RAW - Building Steam... from Lukasz Warzecha - on Vimeo.

Friday, 4 March 2011

More stuff to look at....

The weather is once again rubbish out in Lofoten, which means that Bullock has been behind his laptop whilst Andy, Lukasz and Pete have been out to scope out some potential venues for tomorrow.
They managed to get a route done yesterday and you can see some details and photos and words on Nick's blog. Recommend having a read.

Fingers crossed they manage to get out and battle up something else tomorrw.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Lofoten so far...

The weather out in Norway is not at it's best, in fact seems to be rather Scottish! Lukasz has put together a little bit of film from the first days adventure. Andy, Nick and Pete Benson went to try a route put up a few years ago by a swiss team, but were turned back a couple of pitches from the top by the conditions and the huge amounts of spindrift which threatened to drown them!

Yesterday the weather was really awful so they mostly drank coffee! The original plan was a bit of sight-seeing but when I asked why they weren't out and about checking out the sights Andy replied that "You need to be able to see for that."
So think they are out for some more adventures today, meanwhile have a look at this film and see if you can spot the green suit near the beginning.

LWimages RAW - Day in Lofoten... from Lukasz Warzecha - on Vimeo.