Thursday, 31 October 2013

There and Back - Kalytastic

We are back again and it was as easy as ever. Train to Manchester (£7) and 3.45hr flight to Kos, we booked into a small guesthouse at Mastichari. A beer at a beachfront bar sorted us out as the lights from Kalymnos glittered across the water.
Sunday we got the 11:00 ferry, collected the hire-car, booked into Babi Bar and popped out for a quick five routes.

We usually arrive around the start of October, but it normally hot and busy so we decided to leave it until the end of the month this year, especially with the Climbing Festival organised for the busiest week of the year. It turned out to be a good call and already the place is cooling down and emptying on a daily basis. Some of the shops/bars in Masouri have already closed as the season draws to a close.

The climbing is as good as ever of course - a gentle start is needed, to grow some finger skin and get fit - a steady 30 routes so far up to 6b has started the ball rolling nicely!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Mountain High

 The flights down cost £14:95 each - it would have been rude not to! Ariège has been the same as ever; peaceful and with great weather. I know we are never here in the high season, but the tranquility of the place is always quite remarkable.
We had one cold wet evening which dumped snow on the higher hills so we had a plodge around the Plateau de Beille before it all melted away. There will be loads more where that came from once we are back here at Christmas time.

Left: Autumn Crocus at the Col de Agnes- 5200'

We had news that the Ariège guide won a "Highly Commended" at the Outdoor Writers and Photographers annual bash - recognition is always nice.
The climbing has been excellent, everything is very dry and in good condition. I had a hope of getting up on the Dent d'Orlu and doing one of the longer routes there but Colin is still hors de combat - maybe next time?

Right: Plateau de Beille- 6500'

One more day then a quick visit back to the UK to repack before heading for our Autumn Break in Kalymnos. We will be arriving about 4 weeks late than normal; Octobers have always proved hot and crowded and with the Festival this year sounds worse than normal. Hopefully by next week they will all have gone home!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Say Hello - Wave Goodbye

Chamonix was great, and the journey home was very steady, the Zeebrugge to Hull crossing was calm and another complimentary upgrade came our way - which made it all the sweeter.

Then it was four days in the UK and off again. There was the usual rush round to do jobs, pay bills, sort stuff, see friends, pack the bags, book hotels, car-hire etc - and away.

Left: White Cat saying "Can I be your friend, please?" ("of course" is the answer)

A couple of days on the grit were as pleasant as ever, good company, great routes and even feeling like I was climbing moderately well - the 70+ last month in France/Switzerland must have done the trick.

So it is off the Ariége for 10 days, then home for a week then back to Kalymnos for the rest of the autumn.

Cats are waiting and they won't wait for ever!

"50 Years Ago Today"

Big Chris and Smaller Colin - 50 years on and still getting wet! Colin was heading back from Spain to the UK so he called in and we spen...