Sunday, 18 November 2007

Back to the Printers Again

Back to Clearpoint in Nottingham to see the presses rolling with Trad + (and add a few last minute corrections - try doing that with a printers in China!). They have a new printer for doing the proofs and the colours were quite superb - at Clearpoint they take always a real pride in giving us exactly what we want - which is great. The large image shows the printing room with its huge presses and the smaller one a sheet of 32 pages out of the book. Trad+ - fresh off the press.

Then it was on to Cordee in Nottingham (I knew that the SatNav would come into its own) where we had a very useful meeting with Richard Robinson and picked up 30 boxes of books (filled the estate car to the roof!) before cruising back to Sheffield managing to avoid the worst of the traffic. A useful day’s work, I pity the folks who travel the motorways on a daily basis!

The forecast for the weekend was poor so on Friday I went a walk with Dave Gregory. I had hoped to get up to Kinder to photograph the south side crags for the new Western Grit, but in the event it was cloudy. Instead we started from the Surprise View car park, went down through Lawrencefield and Padley Gorge and over to the Tegness Quarries, a place I hadn’t been for 30 years. We returned via Longshaw and quick loop into the upper end of Padley Gorge again. I told Dave about our travels the previous day, and in contrast we didn’t see a soul all day - though I bet the motorways were still busy!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Autumn is Here

A few cold crisp days was enough of an excuse to get away from proofing Trad+, tweaking Northern England and working on Lofoten. Friday was especially nice, myself and DG (Dave Gregory) dumped a car at the Surprise View then drove round to Moscar Top and walked back over Stanage - a gentle seven miler. The day was brilliantly clear but the NE wind had a savage edge to it, mind you it was over our shoulder most of the day, so that was nice!

I took a few photos of the ‘water-holes’ carved in the boulder above the northern end of the cliff - done to provide water for the grouse apparently, over a hundred years ago. It looks like there are 33 of them - they are all numbered, but quite a few are no longer visible, doubtless they have become overgrown. They are beautifully carved with elegant curved channels carrying the water into the central ‘basin’ one day I am going to try and find them all - I might even draw a map!

Heading past Higgar Tor we encountered a couple of folks with five BIG dogs, three Rotweilers and two Alsatians, roaming back and forth, we mentioned the presence of sheep on the moor - but, as ever, they assured us that ‘their’ dogs didn’t chase sheep!

Sunday was a bit greyer, but Colin and Mark were down from North Yorkshire, and decided on Burbage North, which as it turned out was a good choice, what with the wind still nagging out of the north west.

I never cease to be amazed how busy the Peak is at weekends, a cold grey day in November and I ended up parking over near Higgar Tor! The climbing was good if a little chilly, certainly way better than being indoors - and the valley was buzzing - walkers, climbers, boulders, bikers - all out making the most of the Sunday.

I watched with dismay as a dog chased sheep down in the valley bottom (so maybe some do!) before heading back to the car, where to my surprise the thermometer showed a chilly 3.5 degrees - amazing we got anything at all done really!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Different Worlds

It is probably many folks idea of paradise, 30 degrees every day, sea warm enough to swim in, hotels right on the beach, amazingly cheap - what more could you ask for? On the other hand a different perspective may see it as a sweaty, barren, over-crowded holiday camp in the sun!
The hills are something different, over 6500' it is cool up there, with swathes of pine trees, masses of cliffs and small towns with shady corners. I suppose it is good that different folks like different things or the hills would be as crowded as the beaches!

I managed to track down what look like the four main climbing areas;

Crags at Ayacata

1) Fataga: - a bit like Arico on Tenerife - accessible and about 70 decent looking sport routes with afternoon shade.

2) Ayacata: nice roadside crag, not many equipped routes, but the ones here look worthwhile and quite high. LOTS or rock in the area.

3) Roca Nublo: the 80m spire of rock visible from much of the island. About 20 routes, some quite large. Cooler than the other cliffs.

4) Tamadaba: supposedly the main climbing area on the island - but - two hours from the coast and a huge and utterly confusing area. It is basically a high plateau with the cliffs around the rim and approached from above. Very difficulty to find your way around - could do with a decent guide!

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...