Sunday, 19 June 2011

Fathers day at Hedbury

Today I headed down to Hedbury with Phil, Paul , Bill and my Little one Alisha, I didnt have any plans for any routes today, was looking at just going with the flow and climbing whatever, we stared off on Jumping the Gun, a really nice sustained layback 6b, Phil decided to climb it the real way placing natural protection rather than using the bolts, he manged to get some good gear in all the way up the route, I opted for the cowards way and clipped the bolts, We left a top rope in so paul and bill could have a go, Bill managed to get to the top which was pretty impressive to watch...We then moved on so phil could climb the classic 6a+ moves of masses, he also climbed the traditional way rather than using the bolts.

After a bite to eat Alisha decided to have a go at the grade 1, she done really well and after a few winges it wasnt long before she was at the top telling me she was hungry and wanted some more food....gotta love her.
I then tried the tough 6b+ "Mindless Optimism". I blew the onsight when my heel hook slipped causing me to pop off, after a short rest I manged to get the tick second go, did feel pretty tough for 6b+ though.

Me and phil decided to head on round to the big cove to try "figurehead". an e2 that runs up the arete of the big atmosheric cove, apart from the exsposure and a few loose holds the climbing itself was pretty easy, all the gear was good too...

Want to thank alisha for a great fathers day today... Thanks Darlin... also the other guys for another great days climbing.

Although a long way off the talks of an Everest trip in 2013 is on the cards too so watch this space...

Phil Traditionally climb Jumping th Gun

Bill on "Jumping the Gun" 6b

My Alisha on "Very ordinary route"

Me on "Mindless optimism" 6b+

My Alisha on "Very ordinary route"

Phil leading up "Figurehead" e2

Paul on "New age, New stlye"

Me and Alisha

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Pointe Lachenal

Today we decided to head back up onto the hill with the weather being so great, we were also joined by kat, she met us at our hotel at 0630 before heading around to the auguille du midi cable car station. Due to time limit we decided to make the short trip across the glacier to climb the "Traverse of the Pointes Lachenal". An easy chilled route with some amazing veiws of the east face of the tacul, walking across the glacier I was happy to bump into an old freind sandy allan, Sandy is a very accomplished mountaineer and a great guide, I was lucky to spend some time with him a few years ago where he taught me allot about the mountains. we talked for a short while before saying our goodbyes. After about 1hr and 15 minutes we all arrived safely at the summit of Pointe lachenal 3613m.

After taking a few photos we decided to push on, There was short abseil down the other side into the snow arete which lead to the final point of the traverse, due to time we decided to descent the steep snow face back down onto the vallee blanche, this was probably harder than it would have been if we would have continued over the next summit.

walking back across the glacier was pretty tough with the sun beating down on us, but we kept a steady pace and was soon fighting our way back up the midi ridge. Overall another good day in the mountains with good company...

Also the end of a good training trip for paul where I think he has done really well and certainly grown and improved in his own abillity and confidence in the mountains... well done mate.

Now time for a few drinks before heading back home to England.....

Paul and Kat at the foot of the midi Ridge

Paul moving up the slopes of pointes lachenal

Paul on the summit of pointes Lachenal

Kat just below the summit of Pointes lachenal

Kat on the summit of Pointes Lachenal

Summit time

Paul and kat traversing the summit ridge just before the abseil

East face of mont blanc du tacul with mont blanc looming in the distance

Paul on the short abseil from the summit

Kat descending the steep snow slope back down to the vallee blanche

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Pauls alpine training trip - First day in the mountains

Weather was perfect for todays plans, after popping to the local supermarket for food we were soon waiting in the que with all the tourist for the cable car to the top of the midi, being un-acclimatised The thought was in my head about the headache I knew i was going to get after a few hours at altitude but with us only doing the cosmiques I wasnt to concearned has I planned on being down for lunch, we arrived at the station at the top and soon geared up.. this was it, pauls first steps out into the unknown, and of all the places it was the exposed ridge of the midi, he did really well and moved down the ridge confortably and was happy with the exposure, we stopped a few times lower down so I could get as many pictures as I could for him.. we took a steady walk on round to the foot of the route where we lost a few layers of clothing and refuelled on water.

Conditions were probably the best I have ever had on the cosmiques, the skys were blue with only the odd cloud on the horizon, we moved pretty fast moving together on the rope until we came to the more exposed tougher sections were I placed the odd bit of protection... we done this for the most of the route only pitching the crux and last exit chimleys, I was a little pissed at the fact the crux is no longer a crux with the amount of hacking some twat has done giving perfect crampon slots to basically walk up the wall, why ruin such a great route?

Anyway we finished on up to the summit where i could see the look of amazement and acheivement on pauls face which was a pretty good feeling for me.. I congratulated paul on his acheivement before heading back down the valley to shift the headache and introduce paul the double americain express burger... which amazingly he managed to eat every single bit... christ...

Weather is looking good for tomorrow so we are going to head up again and do the Traverse of the pointes lachenal. we will need to be quick though as we have to ready to leave for the airport by 6pm..

Pauls first steps into the unknown

At the foot of the Cosmiques arete

Moving up the first snow sections of the route

Me near the top of the snow slopes before gaining the ridge

Paul traversing the first tower

Taking in the veiws

Coming off the first abseil

The classic cosmiques shot

Paul coming up the crux section of the route

Paul on the exit chimleys moving towards the summit

The face expression says it all

Me in the famous Cosmiques shot

Me on the crux of cosmiques which is now ruined due to
 Man made crampon placements
 More photos to come when we can figure out how to get them off the camera....

Pauls alpine training trip - Same old Cham!

After arriving in chamonix around lunchtime we had great expectations on shooting up to the midi for the afternoon to get paul on his first alpine route the cosmiques arete, this was put to bed though with the low black cloud and moody looking mountains, instead we decided to head down to Les Gaillands where we could do a little multi pitch and also brush up on pauls abseiling skills and other mountain techniques before heading up onto the hill. we managed to do quite a few routes wich were all pretty cool, we were also joined by Kat for a short while late afternoon where paul and kat sailed up a nice sustained arete while I soloed up next to them :-)

We packed up just in time as the rain started to come down. after a quick shower we headed for a bite to eat and a few beers hoping for good weather tomorrow.

Paul cruising up "larere des bucherons" 5c

Paul practicing his abseilling techniques.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Rain, Rain and Rain.

I wasnt sure whether today would happen or not after opening the curtains this morning and seeing the wet roads, the dark sky and water drops on the winscreens of the cars but I was pretty keen to get out climbing so thought I would make to journey down to swanage in any case. The plan today to was to head down to Flake ledge at swanage with paul to get some more training in with him before we head out to the alps next weekend, We had also planned to meet my other friend paul and some other guys down there. I arrived at the carpark and the sky didnt look to bad however the wind had picked up and I was a little concearned at climbing down on the sea cliffs with the waves splashing in around us, Once both pauls arrived we chatted for a while and decided it would be best to head on into the hedbury quarry where it would be a little more sheltered from the wind. While walking in I was trying not to notice the big black wave of cloud heading our way. Whe arrived at the quarry and I was very suprised has to how many other climbers were out, we headed straight into the far end where all the lower graded routes lied, we climbed all the routes there in the rain which made them that little more interesting, I also traditionally climbed one of the grade 5 sport routes which was really nice using the natural rock rather than the bolts, Paul also managed to do is first outdoor lead today so a big well done to him. Also a big well done to the other paul for finally ticking moral flexibility.
The rain got a bit to heavy and the climbing became a bit dangerous so we decided to call it a day, I spent a short while after showing paul how to takes rope coils and use the italian hitch which he seemed to pick up pretty quick.
All in all even though it rained most of the day it was still nice to get out climbing, roll on next week when I am off to take Paul on his first alpine trip.... fingers crossed for good weather.

Paul on "Sea View"with a diffrent start from the original route.

Paul on "Sea View"with a diffrent start from the original route.

Paul on "Moral Flexibility"
Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are
naught without prudence, and that a momentary negliance may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; Look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end