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.

Biding Time

This autumn has been a bit of a washout so far.  I’ve not heard of any big routes being done on any of the big faces as it’s either been too hot, wet, windy or snowy to make going into the mountains for a big route a sensible thing to do.  It has given me the chance to focus on some other aspects of climbing and also given me time to get stronger and fitter through numerous Drytooling and Sport climbing sessions and the odd foray to the ever fruitful and reliable Tacul Triangle.

Sending my M10 project at the Zoo after numerous falls including one where I had my finger through the chain!  Photo, Ross Hewit

Me and Ross bundled up for a blustery day on the Tacul Triangle. This was the first time Ross had been in the mountains for 4 months. So I thought we’d do something easy to warm up…….

James Clapham on point on the First Pitch of Les Temps est Assassin on the Tacul Triangle. Photo Ross Hewitt.

Myself on the 2nd pitch. When this route is in good ice conditions its apparently a grade 4 romp. As you can see from the photo the tide was well and truly out and all that was left was a verglased corner crack which took neither cam nor hand nor tool very well.  I was left high and dry so to speak. Ahem.  Still, it made for a great fight and I was pretty happy to finish it off after nearly falling off several times along the way……Scotty tech 8 maybe? Photo Ross Hewitt

So all in all not much to report in the mountains apart from there is a lot of snow and most things should be in pretty good condition due to the freeze thaw cycle and the snow limmit being around the magic 24-2700m mark. I’m feeling pretty primed and ready to go as soon as the weather gets good!!

I Leave you all with this… for those of you who haven’t heard or seen what myself, James Clapham and Gavin Pike are off to try this autumn here’s the best photo we have so far……

Talung, in far Eastern Nepal, stands at 7349m and is yet to receive a successful ascent of its north face despite a few very strong Czech teams making attempts. Myself, James and Gavin hope to make an alpine style ascent of the prominent 1800m North Pillar. Fingers crossed for a good trip! Photo Copyright Billy Roos

General Update

The scottish boys stood on a big pile of rubble at Bouchy, wondering why the loweroffs are so close....

So what have I been up too over the last few weeks….. hmmmmm. This and that you know, rock climbing, working, etc.  Me and ally walked up to the bottom of the Dru to get on the North Coulior only to find that the glacier to the base of the route wasn’t having any of it and had decided to put a large gnarly crevasse in our way. Still as always its a good place to bivy and we were treated to an amazing sunset but the access is a no go for this autumn.  Apart from that I’ve been rock climbing with my mate’s Ross Hewitt, Sandy Simpson, and Ally.  We enjoyed two days of granite sport climbing up at the Getroz and Bouchy…. heres some photo’s…..

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It’s been a Funny Kinda Summer.

Kev Avery getting all mixed up on the Tacul Triangle During one of the good weather days we had. This was a funky pitch of Scottish VI6 above the German Gully.

I think the only way to describe this summer is wet. It seems like we haven’t really had more than a handfull of really good weather days to play with so for me getting out and doing the routes I really wanted to do this summer has been quite hard.

However, every cloud has a silver lining and with all this wet weather the mountains have been looking very white which is a good sign for the coming autumn. So rather than worring about what I haven’t been able to do I have been training and enjoying the time when I have made it up out of the valley.

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