Monday, 25 June 2007

Wet, wet, wet.

The two weeks of grey weather followed by the wettest June ever (wettest MONTH ever according one report) have stopped me getting back up north for the final bits of checking. Grabbing the odd day in the Peak has had to do, though at least I have all the shots I need for the new guide.
Today was the wettest yet, it rained from dawn to dusk, sometimes light, sometimes heavy - but it kept on coming. News reports suggested chaos in downtown Sheffield so at 5:00 we decided to pop to the park to see what was happening - impressive stuff!
I returned a couple of days for a look to compare what had happened and the place was back to normal! The solitary silver birch is a useful reference point. All clear at our end of town but it still sounds rough in the lower Don valley and further down stream - ans there is more rain on the way.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

The New Stanage Guide

It arrived at last, and has been very well received. It is good to see my years of research come to fruition; Nial has done a grand job with the book, fresh, up-to-date, anecdotal stories a-plenty, plus inspirational pictures, just the ticket really. Stanage finally has the guide it really deserves.
A slight surprise is the lack of new routes since the 2002 guide, I think we must have pretty much squeezed the place dry working on that one.

Negatives: almost (almost) too few to mention,
  • I am not a fan of the front cover, it doesn't encapsulate the Stanage Experience the way a guidebook cover should.
  • The bouldering circuits, I will hold judgment on these, a very brief dip in found the layout and the information confusing, maybe that is my old brain. I'll be interested to see the environmental impact in a couple of years on the more isolated areas too.
I was pleased to see that despite being the villain (in some eyes anyway) of the Stanage Saga, my contribution to the cliffs superb repertoire (over 100 new routes) hasn't been ignored. I nipped out on Tuesday to do a new Direct Finish to Fern Crack HVS 5a that we explored (sounds better then top-roped) at the weekend - so it is out of date already!

The Sheffield launch was a convivial (and bloody hot) do, stories were swapped, beer quaffed and curry troughed. The pub was bulging with faces old and new, including Ron Townsend (first new route on Stanage back in the 1940s!) Dave Gregory (who has been involved with Peak guidebooks for 50+ years) and Malc Baxter who's superb drawings have graced generations of guidebooks.
I think it is fair to say a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

One Big Step for Mankind

An e-mail from Lofoten guide Thorbjorn Enevold brings worrying news from the far north -

"Latest news about the goat, most important. The landing platform on the Lillehorn, where you normally land, (if you have not climbed down), has fallen down this winter. Now the leap is a true jump, with a much smaller place to land. The climb itself, up from the shoulder are also more difficult now. And last, but not least, the traverse on the 1910 Route has also changed.
The jump has completely changed. We will not do the jump with normal tourists anymore."

There were those of us who though the original leap was too wide for safety and sanity so now it must be really wild! The initial shot shows me on the 'Big Horn" last year, it is the smaller right-hand one that has changed - sad news!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

In Deep Water

Mike Robertson's superb looking Deep Water is about ready so it is back to ClearPoint, the printers we have used for a few years now, down in Nottingham. It is getting to be a regular habit nowadays, but its great to have the printers close enough for us to go and check the books before the presses actually begin to roll. At less than an hour to get down there we feel it is time well spent.
After a thorough check that all the corrections have been done and no last-minute errors have crept in, Alan signs off the sheets and its all systems go. The half million pound machine starts to roll and the book appears in all its glory (well as big confusing sheets actually).
Its should be in the shops in a few weeks.
We bid farewell, but should be headed back in just over a month for the Pokketz printing.

A month in Switzerland

Gornergrat - rammed A month passed in Switzerland and it has been very pleasant, climbing, hiking, chilling and even doing a bit of to...