Monday, 26 December 2011

Merry Christmas to all My Readers

Twenty one years (starting with Costa Blanca Rock 1990) - approaching twenty guidebooks (must do a count one day) around 80,000 books sold over the years. Cheers and a Very Merry Christmas to anyone who has ever bought one of my books, and all those who have said positive things down the years too.
I aim to get three books out this year, which will be a record if it happens, lets see what we can do.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

In the Bleak Mid-Winter

Left: Arhi parking - where is everybody?

21st of December - tomorrow is the winter solstice, and the shortest day. The forecast for this week was pretty unsettled, and we made the usual mistake of looking it it through English eyes. In the event it has been a little breezy and there has been some showers, though always at night - the days have been warm and sunny with a pleasant breeze, like good summer days back home, though without the humidity. It sounds particularly unpleasant back there; several weeks of sleet, freezing rain and a lot of greyness - yeuk!

The are a tiny number of climbers here, possibly less than a dozen at a guess, though it may well busy-up over Christmas. The settled weather means that the cliffs are as dry as I have ever seen them in December - which is great. My route tally for the trip is in the low 200s and I am approach a little target I set myself of 500 individual ticks on Kalymnos.

We had a Swiss couple stopping next door for 10 days and they were stunned at how quiet the place was and how good the climbing was too. Turns out they are great fans of RockFax and the guidebooks which was nice. The were interested in the publishing schedule including the new Costa Blanca guide and especially the one to Ariege - an area they had never heard of - not for long though!

Right: Kantouni beach - heavy rain forecast!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Kaly Musings

Photo: Patmos 30 miles away and the granite island of Ikaria 30 further. Looks like a lot of rock out there!
We have been here 10 weeks now and I have clocked 196 routes so far, which averages three a day for the whole trip. The weather has been the best I can remember - not that my memory is that good, but the cliffs seem drier than the last two Decembers, and I think we have had three or four damp days. When we arrived back in October the place was the busiest I have ever seen it (a victim of its own success) - it was really rather unpleasant, I think we may come a little later next year to avoid the rabble.

Currently I am on about 480 'unique ticks' (approaching 30% of the total) on the place and 99% of them have been great. Only three or four have been verging on 'poor' though these were mostly new routes that will doubtless clean up.

I suspect that there are other Kalys out there on the horizon, but off course a destination needs a certain number of routes (maybe 250+) to make it worth a visit by itinerant climbers - and 250 routes is a lot of hard work! Of course development here continues apace - the photo on the right shows one of Claud Idou's recent crags - looks like five lines of about 16 clips each - should keep us busy next trip!

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...