Back in the Shire.

After a long winter of skiing powder and difficult skimo conditions its been awesome to kick back and enjoy some sunny days in the shire… Devonshire that is.  It was time to do some work and MOT my little van so I made the decision to scrap the last few weeks of the spring season to go back to the UK do some work in Devon for my Mum.  Shes recently bought a church (!) and needed some help with painting some of the rooms so I’ve been busy with my brush and roller freshening it up.

With the good weather and long evenings its provided a good opportunity to keep up the rock climbing with multiple trips down to Anstey’s cove and a few days bouldering on Dartmoor. I’m starting to feel the benefits of getting out even just from the handful of times that I’ve had the chance, which is good!

Anstey’s Cove is a pretty special place with a huge range of climbs of all different types. DWS, Bouldering, scary Trad, easy Trad, and sport climbing of nearly all grades, what more could you ask for for a crag! Oh yer a nice beach? Yep got that too! I’ve been focusing on a classic 7c+ called Avenged which has eluded me in the past and alas continues to. More of a warm up route for most of the people hanging out down there these days it still feels quite tough for me. Its good to have something to aim for and hopefully I can get it sent before I head back to Chamonix next week.

I’m really looking forward to this summer in Cham especially the rock climbing. I really missed climbing last summer whilst I was in London so I’m ready to make the most of it when I get back. I’m also very excited about taking a trip to Kyrgyzstan with a good crew of folk this summer.  Hopefully it will restart my greater range climbing with a more manageable trip. More details to come…

For now I leave you with some photos of the past few weeks.

Breche du Carabinier, Solo Mission

Sometimes my lack of organisation leaves me going to bed without a plan for the next day.  I don’t like it when this happens but sometimes its just sweet to pack your bag and go out and see whats occurring . In my haste to pack in the morning I forgot to take the SD card from my computer and put it in my camera. Luckly I had my phone to snap a few shots…

A few different route possibilities passed through my head until I settled on “having a look” at the Col Du Diable which my friends Ross and Tom had skied about a week ago. In the back of my mind I kinda knew the snow was going to be….bad. I climbed to the Breche du Carabinier which is between the Grande and Petit Capucin.  The snow in the couloir was pretty much completely transformed which made for easy bootpacking and with the Grande Cap towering above you it gives great ambiance.  From the Breche I looked up at the Col du Diable and immediately decided I could get in in better condition at a later date. Plus the snow in the Carabinier couloir was softening up to perfection and i didn’t want to miss it before it turned to soft.  It was good skiing by myself for a change and it was nice to hike up listening to my tunes and pass by yet another beautiful day in the mountains.  Even  got back in time for some bouldering this afternoon!!!