Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Colin flew into Svolvær after a trouble free journey, and we nipped out the same afternoon to do the classic Pianohandlers route on Pianokrakken. The weather was great and to our surprise we had the crag to ourselves - a rare thing in the high season.
10 days in and the weather has been quite unsettled, with a number of grey days, though there has been little 'real' rain as we have manage to get out and climb on a regular basis.
The whole place is busy with tourists and camper-wagons but there doesn't
appear to be a huge number of climbers about - the camping area at Gandalf has never had more than 3 or 4 tents there,
Colin leaves in just over a week, then we can go back to working on the book and taking it easy - the forecast is much better too!
Talking of 'the Book', work on the Lofoten rewrite has progressed well and most of the popular areas around Henningsvær are pretty much finished. We will need to spend some time visiting the remote crags out West and for that we will need some proper summer weather - we have all on July and part of August to work with, so bring it on.
Monday, 6 June 2016
|Down some lazy river - summer in the Ariège|
|The call of the Grit - mint conditions on Stanage|
Then the sun came out,and a jolly team assembled on Stanage for a day on the Grit. It was very convivial, loads of routes were done and there was plenty of time do discuss aliments, injuries and operations - the joys of growing old.
Anyway, the big bags are packed - time to head for the far north again. For the second summer we are flying into Sweden en route for Lofoten as the car hire prices there are about 1/3 of those in Norway. It currently looks a bit cold and unsettled up there, I don't think the short Arctic summer has started properly yet. We will need to pack plenty of warm clothes but hopefully we won't need snowshoes or skis!
Thursday, 19 May 2016
|Our place in the country|
|Escaping the Gorge de Joncas|
I had never been to the area but there appeared to be quite a bit of climbing scattered around, so it had to be worth a look. Keith's pad was very well appointed as well as nice and central, it suited us just fine - apart from my involuntary descent of the stairs on our first night there - the bruising has nearly gone!
Just under two weeks more in the Ariège then it is time to think about heading north - the Artic beckons.
Wednesday, 4 May 2016
|Looking down towards Barry de'n Bas in the Ariège|
Then it was an easy flight to a windy Carcassonne and onwards to Chez Arran. The cats met us on the drive and were starving - good job we had stocked up with cat food and treats 'en route'.
It is great to be back in the mountains, the high peaks still look pretty snowy, we need to head up there to have a look around as soon as possible.
We have both been stuck by the amazing greenness of the place - spring is here and the fresh growth and the bird song are fantastic. We have a month to play with before heading north to the midnight sun - a bit of climbing would be nice.
Sunday, 17 April 2016
|Telendos with humid cloud cap|
I have continued to climb and as always have especially been on the look-out for routes I haven't done before - I have completed almost 750 different climbs on the island now and there are still new places to visit, such is the continued pace of development.
|Still looking for new routes to do|
Monday, 28 March 2016
|Easter Sunday on Skalia Balcony|
This is the fourth spring we have spent on the island but the 1st when Easter has been so early - Greek Easter isn't for another month yet - and the place is virtually deserted. The lack of flights from northern Europe into Kos appears to be the main reason. Colin and Andy flew in via a change in Athens and we are all enjoying the peace and quiet - having crags to ourselves that are normally rammed. I guess the hoards will be arriving some time soon!
Thursday, 17 March 2016
|Day 1 - Route 5|
Back to Kalymnos (or at least s far as Kos) was pretty easy - though as there’d been no boats for two days we thought we might be stuck in Mastichari. In the event the place looked pretty much shut up and the famous ‘Pirate Boat’ - the Anna Maria was in harbour. After some consideration, and with considerable trepidation we hopped aboard. The crossing wasn’t quite as horrendous as some of the tales we have heard, but it was pretty bumpy and quite a few of the locals (it was packed) started throwing up. Plastic carrier-bags, paper towels and wet-wipes were produced rapidly to stem the tide!
Day one was five easy routes on Sea Breeze just to start the skin growing game, finishing off with tea on the terrace and a classic Kalymnos sunset - it felt nice to be back and to be a little bit ahead of the crowds that are forecast to be arriving this weekend (plus Andy and Colin on Monday) - always assuming that any of them can get across the water!
|Same as it ever was!|