Friday, 13 April 2012

Kinda Enjoying this...

I headed to the Snowdome again last night for another lesson to improve on my Skiing technique before the big trip, I was pretty excited at trying the new movement Jams out and my new Black Diamond Qaudrant boots. Anyway I geared up looking around for the instructor for the night, there was a fairly old guy sat next to me putting his gear on too, I was thinking he must be doing the same lesson as me, he turned to me and said are you here for the training, yes mate, well I'm your instructor and its just me and you.... Happy days, Ive payed to be part of a group lesson and amazingly got a three hour one on one session. Anyway I explained my motives and my goals and where I needed to be, His face when I mentioned that in six weeks I would be in one of the harshest environments in the world was a true picture of amazement and he gave me that look of "are you mad mate".
We made it onto the slopes and clipped into the skis, and onto the lift we went, I asked if I could stick on the low slope for a while to find my feet again, to be honest I was a little nervous and tense, but after a few runs I started to relax and feel comfortable with my turns, Ive got to say the Instructor was pretty cool and he new exactly where I was going wrong and helped me correct my habits quickly. After around an hour I was totally in control of my skiing and could turn and go where i wanted and has fast has I wanted.... wooo hooo I was buzzing. then bang he hit me with it, right now we are going on there, pointing over towards the main steep freestyle slope. OK I said with a little gulp in my mouth, anyway we made our way up on the lift, as we passed my usual get off point i knew there was no return but I had to do this, I need to be ready for Denali and I don't want to be a burden to the rest of the team when it comes to the skiing. I eventually arrived at the top of the main slope, chricky this was steep, there were lots of cool looking kids up there on their boards and skis just shooting off down and hitting the jumps. Anyway I just went for it and to be honest I found it OK, a little different with the turning but after a few runs it was fine and I even managed to somehow hit one of the jumps,  (not meaning too) but I did land it and stay upright. If you could imagine a scene from national lampoons Christmas vacation then that was me.

I spent the last hour just going from the top to the bottom getting my confidence and balance until it came natural, at the end of the night I didn't even need to think about turning, it just happened.
It was an awesome night that I really enjoyed, there was alot of progress and I was really happy with what Id achieved, I was a little concerned though that I enjoyed it a little too much because this probably means I'm going to have to fit another sport into my busy lifestyle. I will be getting down there as much as possible over the next six weeks so come Denali time I will be ready......

Sunday, 8 April 2012

In search of a new problem..

Headed over to the blacknor Boulder beach today with Sam and Mike in search of a three star first ascent, Sam and Mike have been visiting here for a while now putting up some nice new problems. I felt pretty tired today having climbed the last two days so didn't climb as well has i wanted but still a good day all in all, I had a play on Sam new V3 called "JC5A, a nice little problem with a dodgy top out. I managed to put up a nice new V1 called cornflakes and a high ball called "Crumbles". Not a three star route but worth climbing, easy but a crazy height and landing. ( Maybe shouldn't have with Denali less than 7 weeks away).Overall a nice chilled day out, It has allot of potential but need allot of work on making some of the landings a little safer. Over the summer I'm sure between us we will find some classic lines.
A couples of days rest with the family then I'm off to the Portland to check out some of the new problems in the southern cuttings area. (Weather Permitting!)

Mike on the second ascent of "Crumbles

Sam on his very own "Sit, Slap and Slip" V4

Me on " JC5A" V3

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Wet and Windy...

Myself and Phil headed over to Portland today despite the rain, wind and cold temperatures in the hope that the sun would show its face so we could get some routes done. We arrived at the cuttings with the wind blowing hard but luckily no rain, Phil was psyched to get on "Under Duress". A tough 7c+ with a nails crux, All excited we walked into the bottom of it but it was very wet on the crux section. we decided to head on down to the boulderfield instead for an hour or two in the hope that the route would dry out. Down on the boulderfield we both managed to send "The cutting Room" V6", an awesome route with a very scary cliff edge landing.
A few hours passed and Phil was able to get on his route, Cold belays and lots of working out he managed to crack all the moves other than one, returning tomorrow should see the redpoint and a great achievement for Phil. I attempted " The cutting edge" but not having sport climbed in over 5 months I didn't have the stamina to stay on the wall, bit gutted but I guess something to work towards.

Looking forward to getting out again tomorrow, A few of us are heading down to the Blacknor beach to put up some new boulder problems, should be fun and looking forward to finding a three star route.

"The Cutting Room" V6

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Phat Slapper

After a crazy night down town and being tricked into a very hot Thia curry I wasn't feeling the strongest this morning, but being psyched and the sun shining I was determined to get out and get something done.I headed to my usual hunting ground the cuttings with Alisha, I wasn't planning on spending long down there but just enough time to give me my fix for the day, I decided to check out the small area up on the main crag. Lots of hard routes that require good technique (That's me out of the game). Anyway I warmed up on a really crimpy V2 called "Phat Traverse". I the jumped on the classic V6 called "Phat Slapper". This was pretty tough and to make things worse quite high too with the crux being at the top, After a short while working it and falling off the dynamic last move I finally managed to send it.
Not much climbing got done after this really, we sat, looked at the guide book, eat cakes and enjoyed the sun before deciding to head of for a walk along the cliff top. I had a look at the three Star V7 called "Collo Della Terra" which looked amazing so bring on next weekend where I can hopefully get somewhere on it.

Also a good friend of mine Paul is on his Everest attempt now so please all check out his blog at

The highball V6 "Phat Slapper"

Portland coast through the eyes of
An Angel

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