Monday 31 October 2011

Sunday at the Roaches

A bit of a murky morning turned into a stunning afternoon at the Roaches with Jim, Dan and Lukasz. We went to an area I haven't bouldered at before underneath the Clouds. The best problems of the day were one  under the 4th Cloud - which involved getting onto a hanging slab and then trying to get to the top of it! The other was at the 2nd cloud a highball called Finger of Fate.
Nice photo from Dan.

Saturday 29 October 2011

RIP Jimmy Saville

I remember writing in to Jim'll Fix it as a small boy - wanting to be a space cadet - he never wrote back! Some might say that my dream came true.
Jimmy lived in Glencoe - and I had the good fortune to meet him in the Clachaig Inn with Louis Theroux whilst they were filming that programme a few years ago, all good banter. Seemed like someone who could have a good laugh and I thought about this film made around Fort William. Check out the scenery and get psyched to get up there.
RIP Jimmy! 1926-2011 - pretty impressive for a bit fat havanna smoker!

Thursday 27 October 2011

More sunshine, more gritstone sending.....

Yesterday I headed out with Ruth and both my personal photographers!! Lukasz and Dan, who amazingly both put their shoes on and did some climbing.
We scooted off to Cratcliffe for some high quality bouldering and we were joined by Elinor, Wilson and baby Bella who made her feelings on the place well felt for the first half of the day and only seemed happy once she was about to be leaving for Bakewell Tart/Pudding.

We went all over Cratcliffe and Robin Hood Stride seeking out the classics, I've only been once before and was thunderstormed off, so it was brilliant to have a good tour round. Did loads of great problems, attempted a whole load more and am psyched to go back soon.
Lukasz had been set a challenge by Paul Diffley not to look at the pictures he was taking whilst out for the day, like going back to the days of slides and having to wait for development. So he hasn't sorted his photos out yet, but Dan has sent me a few through so here they are.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Monday's photos!

Crag classic - Conan the Librarian

You were of course right, the mystery crag was Over Owler Tor, where we polished off a load of boulder problems and the classic route of the crag Aeroflot. We also went and had some entertainment at Mother Cap and Mother's Pet Crag. Was pretty damned windy over at Mother Cap and poor old Mac dog took a bit of a savaging from a passing nasty boxer type thing - vicious bugger!
Photos thanks to Ruth.
Might get some more photos from Dan which I'll add in later.

Bit less chalk on this one - David

Here are some of Dan's photos - check out more at
Thank you.
Aeroflot at Over Owler Tor

Oyster Cap

Oyster Cap

Monday 24 October 2011

Mystery Crag Number 2

Another day out with Dan, another bit of esoterica - not quite so far away from the beaten track today, but which crag was I standing at the bottom of today??

Answers welcome! More soon.

Monday 17 October 2011

Preparing for winter..

.... in the style of a lumberjack!

Garden full of logs thanks to New Mills Town Council, so today I set about making them burn-size. Thanks also to Catrin for the loan of the chainsaw - not sure I should be let loose with such a dangerous piece of kit. I'm sure lumping the logs around counts as training for swinging tools around too, doesn't it?

Hmmm, I wonder if Mountain Equipment would do a line of checked flannel shirts??

Friday 14 October 2011

Indian Summer Returns

Today saw the return of the indian summer, and so I took full advantage. After a couple of full on training days this week it was a relief to be able to head out into the sunshine and climb some great routes with Neil J and Ruth. Despite a murky start in New Mills we headed over to Hathersage and decided on Millstone as the venue of choice. As the day progressed, the sun came out for a stunning afternoon. We climbed Embankment Routes 1, 2 and 4, Great North Road (good traditional climbing that is!), Knightsbridge and Great West Road. Then had a bit of a boulder on Edge Lane and Technical Master. Way too terrifying to get too high on Edge Lane, but maybe one day I'll get brave and go for it, probably want a rope and the shothole cams though even if they don't make any difference to the top out moves.

Anyway, here are a few of Ruth's pics from the day - she was getting a bit arty with trees!

Technical Master - it's a long way up with a dodgy bouldering mat not to mention the spotter!

 I'm actually working this weekend - typical now the sun is shining! Will be out and about in the Peak somewhere.

Monday 10 October 2011

Back to the south...

Just arrived back from Edinburgh after the film festival weekend. Thank you to everyone who came along to my lecture and sorry if it was a bit long - who knew I could talk for so long!! Once my bit was over I could relax and enjoy other peoples films and talks. Especially enjoyed getting to finally see the whole of The Swiss Machine, the film about Ueli Steck - and what made my weekend was that there is a bit of footage of him climbing my route The Secret in it too. I am now inspired to get on the training wagon and really try and get myself in tip top shape ready for the winter. I might even drag a pair of running shoes on......... although I promise not to run around in tiny running shorts in a Ron Fawcett style.
Here's a little section of The Swiss Machine film see if you can spot The Secret - blink and you'll miss it!

Sat waiting in my inbox was an e-mail from Dan, with some photos from the last couple of weeks. We have been out on some guide book photo missions up on Kinder - one day was amazing the the other was completely the opposite hence the change from vest tops to wooly hats.

Here's a few of them......

Thursday 6 October 2011

The nerve centre....

I'm sure most people realise that without Ruth I would be in a technology desert - luckily she seems to be on hand most of the time and has spent all afternoon behind at least 2 computers trying to get my lecture for Edinburgh Film Festival sorted out. What have I been doing??? Ermm, unpacking a box of shiny new kit from Mountain Equipment and bringing her cans of coke on request.
As you can see I've donated her one of the beanies - a Committed beanie - in green of course!

Ruth would like to send a HUGE thank you to Dunc at Mountain Equipment for the loan of the iMac! Anyone who has a spare one knocking around feel free to send it over, it'll have a good home and keep the other Mac company! (That's the hound for those unacquainted!)

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Edinburgh Mountain Film festival - this weekend

Almost time to be heading up the road to bonny Scotland for the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival. Check out the little preview film below. Loads going on including Catherine Destivelle, Johnny Dawes, Lukasz Warzecha and even Me! I'll be speaking on Saturday afternoon in the section  from 2pm. Tickets are still available I think so would be great to see folks there. Mostly winter but also a little bit about the Long Hope Route - from the perspective of being the "apprehensive" second!
Go to the EMFF website for more details on everything that's going on -