Friday, 30 September 2011

Back to the Blue

The flight was 40 minutes late leaving Manchester, but other than that, the trip was as smooth as ever. We missed the 2:00 ferry (for the 1st time in four years) but chilling by the harbour at Mastachari was no big hassle.
I bumped into Richard Peart at the ticket kiosk. I haven't seen Dick for a few years, I first climbed with him in about 1967 - he took me (a terrified beginner) up Haste Not on White Ghyll in Langdale. I can still reminded how all the runners fell out on the crucial traverse, to say I wasn't a happy bunny would be an understatement! We had plenty to talk about.
The fast boat was exhilarating and a bit bumpy as it skimmed the waves, then we slipped into Pothia. Mike Kardoulis (the AutoMarket) boss met us on the harbour front with this years banger (a battered blue Panda in contrast to the normal yellow one) and greeted us with a very appropriate "Welcome home".

Friday, 23 September 2011

Another Year, Another Camera!

I have had my Nikon P7000 most 12 months, a great camera with which I have taken around 8000 photographs. At the end of the Swiss trip I noticed the selection dial was playing up, not allowing me to use the video setting. so it was back to Harrison PhotoVideo. The camera is still in warranty but it is very doubtful whether it will be back in time for the Kalymnos trip. With that being the case I had a look what the market had to offer and came up with something different, a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V. It is a 'bridge camera' midway in side between a compact and a DSLR, and it has some impressive capabilities. Most notable is the lens that runs from a wide 27mm to a super-telephoto of 810mm. I'm not sure how they do it but the results are pretty amazing - see the two photos. High quality video, panorama stich and a few other whistles and bells too - it'll do!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Nose to the Grindstone

Back from La Suisse (a journey as smooth as you could imagine) and we only have 12 days before we head to Kalymnos, so as ever, there is a heap to do.
Peak Limestone is pretty well ready for handing over, so I need get Costa Blanca and Ariege ready to take Greece with me and get them ready for publication some time next year.
Sunday, as ever, was Grit Day, but with heavy showers forecast we all headed to Burbage North. It is quite a while since I have been there, and a pleasant and social time was guarateed, with climbing and ribald leg-pulling in equal measure.
I did 11 route (mis-counted - I thought it was a dozen!) and I even led Tiptoe for the 1st time - since I put it up in 1972, in the intervening 39 years I have only ever soloed it - must be getting soft!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Swish as it Gets

The flight was on time, though the Sunday night Zurich traffic was a bit grim as was the midnight arrival at Meiringen. Monday was damp on and off but it was good to get organised, stocked up and to have a quick walk round the area just as a leg stretcher.
Tuesday was perfection, bright, sunny and cool at 6000' as well as incredibly quiet. We did two routes one of eight pitches and one of four, both on immaculate granite before heading back down the hill - suddenly the hassles were all worthwhile.
On top of that the forecast looks brill and it is pi55ing it down back in the UK!

Six days in and the sun is still shining. Did a 1400' route on the slabs above Raitrichverbodensee yesterday - brilliant. I think Sunday will be a day of rest!

More granite and a smattering of local limestone just to keep in touch, only a couple of day left now - but it has been great.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Some you win.......

The last two Septembers we have had great trips to the superb granite slabs of the Handegg area in Switzerland, and we fancied sneaking in one more. We are due out there on Sunday but in the event the forecast for whole of next week looks atrocious (though we still have the flights) so for the 1st time in 25 years we have cancelled - bugger!
We have looked at the options, but all of the Med is still far too hot, and the high hills far too unsettled - so it looks like we will be stopping at home.
I have been working flat out to get Peak Limestone ready to hand over so at least the pressure is off there. As ever Graham and Dan (the Parkes Twins) have helped get more shots for the book, we have visited some pretty esoteric places in our travels!
Anyway we are heading back to Kalymnos in four weeks so that is something to look forward too.

I had a days driving up at at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, under the auspices of the AIM 'Skills' programme. The weather was kind and it was an excellent chance to see what the Sti could really do; 300 bhp, four-wheel-drive and fat tyres all add up! The fact that we could raid Colin's garden on the way up and visit my parents for fish 'n' chips on the way back were bonuses.

Update: the forecast for the Alps is much better again - trip back on!

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...