Thursday, 28 April 2011

Living the B-Team Dream

Hope you enjoy. We certainly had a good craic. What every trip is remembered for!

A Holiday Squat

The first night in the shed was the hardest. Trying to get used to the idea of the place was probably the main reason my sleep was not ideal. That and the mice scratching on the wood and foam roof.

Arriving at the shed your presented with ramshackle ‘building’ that has over 50years worth of accumulated tat lining its walls. A place that smells of wood smoke and candles. A place that seems to attract the standard odd-balls, and the travelling seasoner. Some of these have been at the shed on and off for nearly two decades! That in itself completely baffles most people when you tell them about it when you get back to uni. But as you spend more time sat in one of the plastic chairs on the decking looking over the hills, or crouched next to the stove on a stool, you learn to love the place, gain a bit of understanding. The shed is a squat for all intents and purposes, but it’s not a squat you see on tv or read about in books. It’s a commune for the free spirited not the alcoholic tramps. It’s a place of simplicity. You own everything and nothing all at the same time. It’s a place of contradictions but that’s what makes it special. Meeting people that come and go over a trip you exchange the standard small talk but everyone has a sense of belonging. We’re all in the shed together.

At night beds and chairs are moved out the way to make way for the people that come not just to stay but to socialise. A buzz comes over the place as people from all over come to eat and drink. Swedes, Aussies, Slovenians, British. Food is put on the BBQ and shared, nothing is yours alone. Stories cast out over the firelight shadows. Laughter is the currency of this place and other places around the world like it.

Now it might seem strange to have spent a holiday living in a squat but not only did it mean board was free. It means you value the comforts of life more when you get back. Water from a tap, light switches, warm food. All the commodities we take for granted in the western world become sensational! Now I’m not suggesting everyone go find a squat and settle down. That would be ridiculous but spending a few days ‘roughing’ it makes the rest of life that more vibrant. Try that sometime. It’s well worth the effort.

Photo: Having a bath in the Shed (S.Bennett)
A video of our alpine trip this Easter is to follow when I get the music sorted.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Coming and Going

The past two weeks have been pretty hectic, with increasing uni workload and trying to get out climbing at every opportunity ive managed to get some good routes done. Ive also managed to lose my head a bit but have taken some biggish falls to try and sort that out.

Am still trying to get out as much as possible but with my trip to chamonix coming up tomorrow ive got less and less time. Going to get out on the grit once more tomorrow afternoon i think for a quick blast before hitting the road for 2 weeks.

Friday, 1 April 2011

High Peak Triathlon 2011

Last week with the prospect of the weather turning sour myself and Sharpie decided to  get on with a plan we've had on the abck burner for a while. To enchain 10 Eastern Grit crags in a day by bike and in doing so climb 20 routes from S-E1 (it was up to E2 in the end).

So on the wednesday night in the pub (location of all of the best hatched plans) we decided to go for it the following Sunday. Planning at this stage wasnt our fortey and as such we left the crags, routes and road journey till the next day. On the thursday night we got together and planned to hit up Bamford, Stanage, Burbage North, Burbage South, Millstone, Lawrencefield, Yarncliffe, Baslow, Curbar  and Froggatt (the routes are listed at the end of the following video).

Needless to say 40miles cycling for me personally was hard as i havent ridden a bike for a long time and my bike wasnt really up to the challenge but we both came through unscathed but needing a break in our relationship. So that we didn't bottle it we ended up collecting some charity money for Edale Mountain Rescue in the process (we raised about £40 in the end, not amazing but something to give back to a service i hope i never have to use). It was a good laugh and was something I'm sure I'll look back on fondly. If the routes had been ones i hadn't done before it may have helped in this respect but visiting 2 new crags was a nice change.

In other news i have been address my scaredy-cat-ness by getting on steeper more well protected routes. Going to Higgar and taking fake falls then doing the HVS, E1 and quality E2 (The Mighty Atom) helped get my brain in good order. Following this with a quick hit at Stanage yet again one evening and ticking the brilliant route Desperation (E1 5c) has started to build my belief in my gear and improve my comfortablilty with the idea of falling off. So at the moment am looking for safe 5c/6a routes to have a bash at in the Peak. Any suggestions?