Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Dreaming of the HubenDolomites

High above Canazie
Canazie and Marmolata
The ten days in Austria were great despite a breakdown in the weather towards the end of our stay. In the event our route south via the Timellsjoch Pass was blocked by snow so we had to detour via Innsbruck and the Brenner Pass joining the crowds heading south.
We stopped in Canazie, under the mighty Marmolada - a really fantastic part of the world. It is more of a mountaineering venue though we managed to find enough sport climbing to pass 10 days using the excellent Rockfax guidebook.
Huben, Ötztal, Austria
Although the season is coming to an end everywhere is still pretty busy, especially the passes which are heaving with cyclists, motorbikes, coaches and hoards of people.
At just under 5000' Canazie has been lovely and cool, but now we have to head downhill towards the hot lands - first stop Arco.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

On The Road Again

A quiet moment in the park

Climbing at Oberried, Ötztal
Seven weeks in the UK - a bit of a chore but there were lots of things that had to be done, including all the usual dentists, doctors, opticians, and visiting the mummies.
I got out climbing in the Peak on a few occasions, and that is the same as it ever was, a sociable time in a variety of settings from the magnificent Stanage to some less salubrious holes in the ground - all good fun though.
I made a decision to dump my slide collection built up over around 30 years - a rough count came up with around 25,000 images. I put a picture of them ready for the tip on FaceBook and got a torrent of comments suggesting I hang on to them as they were of historical interest. Anyway, I got in touch with the Mountain Heritage Trust in the Lakes and they said they would be happy to hold them in their archive - so we drove up and delivered the lot.
And then it was off again - Sheffield > Hull > Rotterdam > Karlsruhe > Ötztal - back to Austria, initially for 10 days in the Tyrol. It is still busy and warm, but autumn is on the way and soon everywhere will be quietening down.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Home(?) at Last

Stanage Edge
Learning to Fly
After wandering up through France we made it back to Zeebrugge for the ferry and sailed into Hull the following morning to some refreshingly cool drizzle. Of course Blighty it the same as ever, unsettled weather, busy roads and of course the crowds.
Saltburn by the Sea
We have raced through all the usual jobs, doctors, dentists, opticians, garage (managed to buy a new car!), visit the parents and of course get out climbing in the Peak with the 'Usual Suspects'. Visits to Harpur Hill on the hotter days, clipping bolts, and trad climbing Stanage on the breezier days fitted the bill.
I have sold a heap of stuff on EBay and made a move towards shifting the thousands (c25,000) of slides I have amassed over the years - apparently the Mountain Heritage Trust might be interested.
Alan James (Rockfax) gave me a lesson in drone flying, the Mavic has a high quality camera and the drone is a great way of getting tricky crag shots and unique angles on action ones. 
Already we are thinking about the autumn - no plans as yet but we will be heading south before the end of the month - bring it on.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Bootiful Burgundy

Classic climbing at Remigny.
Our path northwards towards the UK passed Colin's as he headed south to Spain so we decided to hook up for a week in Burgundy.
With it being July it was as hot as expected but we managed to climb every day bar one - we had the Sunday that was Bastille Day off just to stay away from busy roads and crowded cliffs.
We called into the area back in December when it cold (-4C) and foggy - this time it was a lot better. Thirty one routes, four new cliffs and everywhere pretty quite.
Tomorrow we head for Zeebrugge and the ferry to Hull whilst Colin is away into the hots lands of northern Spain.
Butterflies in Burgundy
It will be eleven months less one day since we left when we arrive back in Hull. Once home we will allow ourselves a month to get the multitudinous list of jobs out of the way - and then I think we will do it all over again.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Weaving a Way North

Warming up near Bourg Saint Maurice
I had to check the diary - almost five weeks since we left Chez Arran and we have had a pleasant perambulation though destinations old and new.
We started in Orpierre which was nice and quiet for a change, then onwards to Briançon. After 10 days there we move over the Maurienne valley for a week or so. Another set of passes got us to Bourg Saint Maurice and a new set of cliffs to go at.
Currently we are in another new area - the Bauge mountains in the grip of a heatwave, 32C today made the climbing hard work. 
Apprentice Grimpeurs 2 (5c) - Falaise de Croe
Three weeks left before we have to catch the ferry, should be able to squeeze in a few more venues. We are meeting Colin for a week south of Dijon - that will doubtless be hard work - but the usual fun.
After that it is back to Blighty to get all the usual jobs done - the dentists and the opticians are already booked!

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Homeward Bound - Slowly.

The campsite at Orpierre - surrounded by cliffs
Almost a month since I last blogged - we have been on the move is my only excuse. Marmaris, Kalymnos, Manchester, Ariege, Orpierre and now Briançon - no wonder I occasionally get confused as to where we are when I wake up in the morning.
We have 10 days in Briançon then a week in the Maurienne, and after that, a blank slate with a rough plan to be back in the UK by mid-July, just before the schools break up and everywhere starts getting busy. The aim there is to get trained up in drone flying, and to help Alan (James) with the next Peak Limestone guidebook.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Turkey Time

Amphitheatre at Aphrodisias
Sunset near Ephesus
After continuous climbing for two and a half weeks with Colin the Peleponnes and another then another 10 days on Kalymnos I felt a bit 'climbed out' so we decided to visit Turkey on the way to Sherri's mums in Marmaris and on the way back to collect the car in France.
Crowds at Pamukkale
Poppies and mountains
Touristing isn't something we do much of but we thought we would try a few of the famous sites of 'Asia Minor'. In the event it was an interesting experience but not one we will be rushing to repeat. The places and spectacular and thought provoking but two of the sites - the Roman remains Ephesus, and the Travertine springs at Pamukkale were packed with almost unimaginable number of tourists pouring through all day long. The exception was the magnificent Aphodisias - a huge site of spectacular remains and completely deserted - touristing for agoraphobics!

Dreaming of the HubenDolomites

High above Canazie Canazie and Marmolata The ten days in Austria were great despite a breakdown in the weather towards the end of ...