Saturday, 28 August 2010

Genuine Swiss Movement

A 7:00am flight from Manchester meant an almost sleepless night, the plus side was being on Azalee Beach, in the heart of the Grimsel Granite area by mid-afternoon. A four pitcher was cracked off in good style, then back to base for a snooze!
Friday we dodged the showers up at Susten and Saturday was wet, not a Bank Holiday surely?
Sunday dawned clear blue, and turned out to be primo. We expected things to be wet but found our chosen route almost bone-dry; Foxie (5+) is nine pitches on the most perfect granite imaginable. We swung leads and did it up and down in 2.5 hours whilst Sherri collected bilberries for tomorrows breakfast - I guess it has to be muesli!

Monday, 23 August 2010

The Old Ones Are the Best

Work on the French book has kept me indoors, or at least that and the indifferent weather. Despite the the general clagginess weekends have almost always been fine, chance to get out on the good ole' Grit. Colin and Mark have been making the regular trip down from North Yorkshire, and of course the usual suspects have always been out and about.
I even found three more routes on Stanage that I hadn't done - 1037 is the current tally though they are drying up fast now.
Colin had 10 days off and the forecast is pants - more like October than August say the weathermen. Pembroke, Cornwall and Jersey were all mooted, but in the end we booked a flight to Switzerland - for the day after tomorrow!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Mr Motorvator

I have been thinking about getting a 'smaller' car for a while now. In the event, the salesman was very persuasive at Europa Subaru in Sheffield - I think he saw me coming - never mind, at least we can get all the camping gear in the back! With a top speed of over 150mph and a 0-60 time of around 5 seconds it is an incredible piece of machinery. Of course it isn't about the numbers; the Impreza is a lovely colour!

Not surprisingly the summer is turning into a wet warm and windy one, but Colin has got 10 days off towards the end of the month, we need to go somewhere rocky - and of course this year's expedition to Kalymnos is only six weeks away - bring it on.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Same as it Ever Was

Back home for 10 days now and it has been a pretty standard UK summer; mild and cloudy, midgy and muggy! I enjoyed a lovely Sunday on Froggatt with Colin cracking of eight routes Severe to E1 and despite the humidity the friction was pretty good.

Work on the French guide continues a pace, with the help of expat guide Alan Carne the Verdon section is starting to look really something!

Wednesday was forecast to be the best day of the week so we headed to Cheedale to retake some of the shots we got back in February now that the cliffs had dried out. Walking through the sticky slop and dripping rhubarb I realised some things never change. Interestingly there were about a dozen teams on the Cornice and Two Tier Buttress, though with one exception all the folks I saw were sat on bolts. One guy hadn't actually moved when we walked back the other way an hour later: I wonder where all the 'climbers' have gone?

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Back to Base

A 5 a.m. start and a steady crossing of the Skaggerak on a big Fjordline 'cat' at speedy 40 mph led to a five hour drive across Denmark in the pouring rain. Early evening saw us boarding the DFDS ship Dana Serene (another free upgrade!) and setting of into a choppy black night - the early start ensured that we slept like a couple of babies.
The UK look green and surprisingly quiet - and that was it, two months to the day - back home! A bit leaner, a bit fitter and a bit poorer - Norway does that to you!
The novelty of a clean bed, a bath and a big TV are all very nice - better not get used to it though!

Pootling about the Peleponnese

Sampatiki - a great place to stay Colin on another classy 6a+ An easy journey got us from Kalymnos to Athens where we collected Andy...