Tuesday 29 November 2011

Training plans

I've just spent half the day slapping a vast number of holds onto the bouldering wall at Manchester Climbing Centre - massive thanks to them for letting me. The first thing they are going to be used for is some dry-tooling sessions with the boys from Manchester Grammar School. But then I'm hoping to get some hours in on my own tools climbing around in circles and remembering what exactly I'm supposed to do with them. So far I've been lucky enough that winter has not arrived but I think I ought to start putting some tool time in, instead of just training and climbing.

After a weekend spent at Plas y Brenin's Big Winter Climb running some workshops about training - I'm starting to feel the psyche return.
Heading over to White Good tomorrow with Ian Parnell - that's going to be a shock to the system!!

Monday 21 November 2011

Lycra Delivery....

Oooooo missus! Yes a box of lycra arrived through my front door this morning.
Massive thank you to the lovely people at Gore Bike Wear who sent me through some kit. Hoping to get out and try some of it out this afternoon. All seems to fit really well - sizing charts do work!!

The Contest Jacket and Contest Thermo Jersey are perfect and the great bright red colour should mean I don't get runover anytime soon especially when teamed with the Yellow Path AS vest!

After a weekend of socialising at the Kendal Mountain Festival it'll be good to get some exercise I reckon. Top weekend and amazing to finally see The Long Hope, absolutely gobsmacking film and obviously went down really well with the audience as it won the People's Choice Award.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote and really happy you enjoyed it. Well done Paul Diffley and Hotaches team for putting it together.

A mention too for my Mountain Equipment Pub Quiz team (Neil, Ewan, Nick, James and the mascot Jimmy Crankie!)who stormed to the win on Friday night - sorry I wasn't much use answering the questions! Good fun evening had by all I reckon and the boys all went home with a brand new ME Firefox jacket made of the latest Gore Active Shell fabric.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Chris Walker Memorial Trust....

Thanks to Dan for these pics from sunday's outing to Bridestones, I told you Ruth was spotting - although I'm not sure whether it would have been better to have camera and spotting duties the other way around.... once the camera was set up of course and just needed a button pressing!
Looks a much bigger boulder when Ruth's climbing it too!!

Onto other more important things...... a couple of years ago a good friend Chris Walker was killed in an avalanche on the Buchaille Etive Mor. His family and friends set up the Chris Walker Memorial Trust. Chris was great - top banter, top bloke and super psyched mountaineer especially in the greater ranges. Here's the official bit from the Trust:

In order to assist other climbers who share the same passion for the mountains as Chris, the Chris Walker Memorial Trust has been set up.
The CWMT will award an annual £1000 grant to help fund expeditions to the Greater Ranges. We welcome applications from aspiring Greater Ranges climbers who need help to fund expeditions with the objective of establishing new routes, repeating rarely attempted lines, or visiting unexplored areas. The closing date for applications will be 1st December each year, after which the trustees will meet and make their decision.

The CWMT will also be liaising with the national association of British Mountain Guides in order to provide a grant to subsidize the cost of the avalanche training part of the Guides' scheme for 2011/12.
In conjunction with the CWMT, the British Alpine Ski School (BASS) are annually offering a free place on their 'Ski Performance Course for Mountaineers'. The closing date for applications is 11th September each year. This years place being awarded to Jon Gupta.

If you might be interested in applying or finding out more then please go to the chriswalkertrust.co.uk/.

Go somewhere cool and remember Chris.

Sunday 6 November 2011

Bridestones Beauties.

Today was a perfect autumn day - clear blue skies, chilly morning, and a trip to a crag I haven't really climbed at before. Okay I have been once about a million years ago when I was a complete bumbly and couldn't do hardly any of the problems, and it was damp, howling wind kind of a day. In contrast today there wasn't a breathe of wind and I regretted the thermal trousers after about an hour. Probably not ideal grit conditions, and on a couple of problems that was a bit of an issue but on the whole it was so good not to be freezing I didn't really care!
I had seen pictures of Horror Arete in guidebooks and was pretty psyched to get that done, first go I had a bit of a commitment fear but fired it off second go with the addition of an extra pad - call me a wimp but I don't bounce like the youth! No pictures of me coz Ruth was busy spotting/ telling me to get on with it and not be such a wimp, but here's a couple of her making a sterling effort via the short-arse method! I'm starting to get concerns that she'll be burning me off if she carries on getting better again at this rate...... perhaps I need to make her train hard enough to break again???

And she's off!

Yesterday I was up in Kendal at the wall relaunch helping out with Lyon Equipment and I managed to get onto a workshop with Leah Crane - really useful stuff and definitely made me think about some of my climbing strengths and weaknesses....... more weaknesses!

Friday 4 November 2011

Winter Photography Workshop - with Me!

I mentioned a few months ago that Lukasz was running a photography workshop in North Wales with Dave Macleod as the model - well the weekend was a great success and everything went pretty smoothly (well done Ruth for keeping the timings together!). So the plan is to run a winter edition up in Scotland with yours truly as the model. Not sure I'm quite the consummate professional that Dave is, but luckily winter is a bit different so thankfully I probably won't get asked to run laps on a boulder problem as the sun goes down!
This course is a little different form the last as in includes an extra day of winter skills at the start to make sure everyone is switched on and ready to tackle thinking about cameras (f-stops and all that - isn't that right Lukasz and Dan?) instead of thinking about tripping over crampons!
Check out Lukasz's blog for all the details, 2 places have gone already so if you are interested get on it - and remember christmas is just around the corner........
Details here.