Saturday, 23 January 2016

Old Games, New Diversions

Perfect snow-shoeing conditions in Andorra
We have been back in the Ariège a little over the week - winter has started to bite a little, with a good depth of snow on the mountains though the colder days have been interspersed with warmer spells. This has meant we have been able to snow-shoe and rock climb within days of each other, both in near-perfect "Goldilocks" conditions. One especially memorable day in Andorra was probably the best conditions we have ever come across - and only a short tramp from the ski crowds and we were in a pristine white wilderness with just animal tracks and the silence for company.
Poets - sample screen shot from the Rockfax Kalymnos App
The big new is that next week should see the release of the Rockfax App for smart-phones and tablets to sport climbing on Kalymnos. I have been working on this for four years and it includes a massive 2600 routes - which is a couple of hundred more than the recent 'definitive' guide to the area. It will be interesting to see the reception the App gets - as ever there will doubtless be a few folks that moan and a lot that enjoy the work we have put into it.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Catalunya Cruising

Casa Mauri - really out in the wilderness
We had to move house at Chez Arran due to a long-standing booking so we thought we would take a trip over the mountains and into Spain to visit Colin Binks who is stopping at Casa Mauri - Jane Newman's place above Tremp. It is something we have been meaning to do for a long time.
The 1st attempt failed because of an epic snow-fall the morning we due to travel - we turned back just above Ax-les-Thermes, but the 2nd attempt went better and we drove though spectacular scenery and along quiet roads to arrive at Jane's place which has the most amazing setting.
Climbing in the Collegats Gorge
We have had a few days reacquainting ourselves with this great area, we spent a lot of time around here more than 10 years ago, before other destinations and projects got in the way. I have been climbing with Colin on some very varied rock-types, it has to be admitted the grades are a little on the tough side even compared to the Ariège cliffs, which have always been regarded as a bit stiff.
I have been photographing all of the cliffs as we have gone along - old habits die hard, and the shots may come in useful down the line.
Colin appears to have got himself semi-permanent a job here helping with the reconstruction of one of the buildings/garden areas so I am sure we will be back sooner rather than later.

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...