Monday, 27 February 2012

A Change is as Good As...

Saturday; Water cum Jolly with Graham and Dan on a photo-shoot, it was freezing but they were as keen as ever and I managed to get a great set of shots of several of the routes down in the muddy dale. At least some will make it into Peak Limestone.

Left: Dan - happy as pig in plop!

Sunday: a lazy start and we trundled down to Portsmouth to catch the ferry to St Malo, the roads were quiet. As usual Sherri manage to charm an upgrade out of the staff on reception and the crossing was as smooth as silk. A beer in the piano bar then to bed.

Monday: on the road by 8:30 then it was the long haul - nine hours and 530 miles later (I love the French motorway network) we arrived at Chez Arran, amongst the snow plastered mountains. Within 10 minutes Sherri had a found a cat, don't tell Squeek!

Tuesday: hiked through the snow to tick six routes on perfect granite at Auzat - mint!

Wednesday: snow-shoed across the white Hell of the Plateau de Biele - 6,450 feet (we walked in our boots really).

Right: Sherri and White Cat (that's its name!)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Froggatteering

A glorious though cold Sunday saw most of the usual suspects gathered at Froggatt, Dan and Graham ticked some impressive hard routes, me and Steve had lower aspirations but still had a great day, ticking classics in the HS - HVS range.
Bizarrely, despite the magnificent conditions, there were few other climbers around, just lots of boulderers, ramblers and orienteerers there enjoying the bright crisp conditions. A UKC Photo-meet was also in evidence, they kept popping up in the most unexpected of places and cracking shots off - it will be interesting to see some of the results.
A couple of days ago we booked a ferry to St Malo for next weekend, it is time to head off to Ariege for a spring break - lets see what the weather brings, fingers crossed for a smooth crossing and snow-free roads.

Left: Steve on Green Gut

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Focus!

10 days in:

Echo
Guadalest
Crag X
Castellets
Toix West
Toix East
Olta
Abdet
Aventador
Bernia
Wild Side
Toix TV

I need a vacation - three months in Ariege should do!


Left: Sherri the Rope Girl at Aventador

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Back to the Blanca

A very easy journey and we were back where it all began (Christmas 1987) - the Costa Blanca. It is so easy to forget what a glorious part of the world this is, a stunning climate, superb scenery and of course, great climbing.
The flight down only took 2 hrs 8 minutes (tail-wind) and the car cost the princely sum of £69 for two weeks hire. After a couple of weeks under the grey grizzly skies of the UK, the warm sunshine and blue skies were a tonic (it was worth the cost of the fare just to sit in the sun according to DG - who hasn't climbed outdoors since the end of September!).

Left: Chris on Neu ne Marc (5) Guadalest

We kicked of with a couple of gentle days climbing at Echo and Guadalest - the dozen routes were did were easy (up to 6a) but so much better than just another day down the climbing wall!

Update: Thursday saw a sprinkling of snow on the highest mountains and Friday night the puddles froze around the pad! Still sunny enough to climb on sheltered crags though.

Right: Almond blossom and snow

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...