Monday, 23 March 2009

Another Baby Put to Bed

Western Grit is just about packed up and ready to go to the printers, and should be out in about a month, which is bang on schedule. It continues the approach we used on the Lofoten guide and despite some initial worries it looks quite superb - Jack Geldard has even suggested we might get 'done' for making the crags look too good!
I have lost track of how many guidebooks I have written now, but there is absolutely no doubt that if Ken Wilson and his cronies hadn't stuck their oars in and managed to sink my little black and white Gritstone Select guide that I wrote for Cicerone Press, then I wouldn't have called Alan James around for a meeting on April 1st 2001. I wouldn't have gone on to win three awards, pack in teaching and spend the winters in nice places working on more guidebook; funny how things turn out - cheers Ken!
We have three more weeks down here to get the final few shots for the Cote d'Azure guide, then I want to reacquaint myself with the Verdon. We have booked into a place in Moustieres for a couple of weeks so that should be good.
Then there is the summer - where to go?

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Callanqueing Around

A long-weekend in Marseilles seemed like the easiest way to get the required information and photographs for the new book - so we booked a hotel on the outskirts and tootled across there on Saturday.
Then it was down to work, Morgiou, Sormiou, Luminy, Les Goudes, En Vau - it has been a busy few days - and hot too! The fact that it was the first warm weekend of the year meant that are was heaving with city-dwellers heading out - I had forgotten how much I dislike crowds!
Despite that the Callanques really are a beautiful part of the world, and nowadays they seem pretty much a closed book to UK climbers - as an example a search of photos on UKC for "Kalymnos" produced 150 images, and for "the Callanques" a big fat zero!
It is a pity that the city is so close, and the fact that you have drive through the grottier end of it to reach the climbing is a bit of a downer. Mind you once over any one of the various cols it is a whole different world - a magnificent wilderness.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Weather Forecasting

A week ago they (Meteo France) forecast a couple of days of rain, these duly arrived exactly as predicted, and for just over 36 hours it rained on an off, sometimes heavy, sometimes light - then it stopped, again - as predicted. Compared to the usual ridiculous guesswork back home, watching the TV, checking the various sites plus the radar, then making tentative plans - and they nearly always get it wrong! How hard can it be?
The rain meant I could get a heap of work done proofing Western Grit and also that all the rivers in the Esterel had more water in them than we have ever seen - a great excuse for a walk in the hills.
The good news - Meteo France is forecasting 10 days of sunshine - cracking stuff!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Beach-walks, hill-walks, exploring, bouldering, researching, climbing, writing, editing, photoing and photoshoping.

Projects and places; Lofoten, Mallorca, The Peak, Lancashire(!), Catalunya, Verdon, Kalymnos, Cote d'Azure. Planning, travelling, book reviews, more climbing, sorting, shuffling, blogging, hiking, logging, chainsawing too.

Publishers, printers, deadlines, places to go, people to meet, rocks to climb and books to write, awards to accept - how did we ever have time to go to work!

Its a tough job, but someone has got to do it - glad its me! ;-)

September Snows

View-point at 10,945'  We left the UK towards the end of August and the first 10 days were as expected, with everywhere being hot an...