Thursday, 24 September 2009

Hammer Time Again

A birthday surprise - I was about to organise a day out climbing for Thursday when Sherri handed me a envelope - a day's rallying instruction at Prestwold Hall - a driving school near Loughborough.
Over five exhausting hours I drove an array of cars; an Impreza or two, a Focus RS, a bone-jarring 1.4 Polo and a full on rally spec Evo (photo above). We tackled twisty courses, (36 corners) on both gravel and tarmac - and after plenty of instruction, the odd stall and 360 degree spin I felt I was finally getting there.
Then the instructor took me for three high speed circuits to show how its done - bloody Hell!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Away From It All

The best Sunday for quite some time, a glorious blue day, we thought about trying somewhere a little different - so it was off to the Western Peak just for a change. The team (me, Dave, Graham, Dave, Steve and Dave - a bit confusing on the crag) headed for Hen Cloud; not to the vaunted classics of the Bachelor's Area but away to the right where the routes see little traffic. We did a set of great little routes, as ever with out-of-the-way spots the routes were a bit dirty and some of the grades were on the dodgy side.
The find of the day was Short Man's Misery a superb little arete. It needed a bit of gardening to remove some stubborn heather sprigs, but when clean gave a great little route that saw half-a-dozen ascents in rapid style. The grade in the current guide of HVS is a bit a sandbag, we thought it a stiff E1 5b - and then only if you are 6 foot+!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Fair Enough

Two days, two routes - very shoddy. Mind you they were 10 pitches each! The first was Fliegender Teppich, a superb big slabby affair up on Gerstenegg (see photo left) and yesterday we did the ultra classic of Fair Hands Line. I first did the route with Dave Gregory 10 years ago - it has got a bit harder in the meantime, but we managed OK.
The was some concern when we got back to the foot of the railway descent to find no sign of Sherri and our shoes. Turns out she expected us to arrive at the top and had taken the bags up on the funicular to meet us!
Everywhere is superbly quite now, and the weather continues to sparkle.
Seven days in so Wednesday was slated as a rest day - only Colin's idea of rest is to be dropped of up at Grimsel so he can amble the five hours back down the pass to the campsite!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

One Way Ticket to Hell

The promised glorious weather has arrive and a gentle day was called for, it being Sunday and all. We drove up to the top of the Susten Pass, 6950' to revel in the crisp air and magnificent views, then retreated to the roadside crag of Hell to crack of some of the excellent routes on offer there. With it being the weekend, the road was a constant stream of hundreds and hundreds of motorcycles, throwing themselves lemming like at the Grimsel/Susten/Furka triangle of passes. The ambulance passed us three times whilst we climbed - they were being kept busy by someone!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Very Swish

The flight to Geneva was a bit delayed, but at £34 return from East Midlands, who is complaining. At the Swiss end things were as efficient as you might have expected. We rolled into Camping Grund at 9:30 and moved into a little cabin (very Norwegian) with views of the nearly full moon and scudding clouds.
Despite a bit of a grotty forecast Thursday dawned bright enough to tempt us up to Azalee Beach. Impressive clouds and the odd spot of rain didn’t deter as we cracked of a couple of excellent routes (7 pitches in all) and Sherri stocked up with breakfast berries. We retired for a brew and to sort out the shopping. According to the news, EasyJet are pulling out of East Midlands, I hope that isn’t within the next two weeks!

Friday was slated to be the deluge day, but again it stayed dry and warm with just a few spits and spots out of a heavy sky. We visited a roadside crag just a few km from Meiringen and did half-a-dozen steep and worthwhile climbs. Sadly logging them is tricky as it is another great cliff that doesn't appear in the UKC Databases.
By dusk it was tipping down, bowing a gale and the temperature had dropped to 8C - the front had finally arrived!

Back to Blighty

Yarncliffe Quarry - hot After a great 10 days in Chamonix it really was time to get back on the road - a steady ride to Zeebrugge and th...