Friday, 19 August 2011

A week to remember

Well what a week ive just had!! In climbing terms it has been phenomenal. In general terms its been more jokes than live at the apollo.

Spending the week at Pembroke with a good tide and weather forecast was always going to bode well but as we left Cardiff, we were a bit hesitant as to what was in store for us. The first few days of the trip were spent hiding from the rain in the abandoned firing raid shelters that scatter the Range East coastline of St.Govans head. It was whilst walking back to the car after a pretty successfull day that the first occured. I heard a voice say my name but assumed Liam was just catching me up, but when it was shouted i stopped and turned around. Just in time not to be run over by a mahoosive bull full on charging me. It must have been my red tshirt.... a little more than a bit of poo came out and we carried onto the car park as quickly as we could without looking like weirdos running from cows.

The next day dawned clear and bright so our faces dropped when the spaz wagon refused to start. A rapid hunt around our campsite found some jump leads and a famous climber helped us jump the car. When i say helped, he did everything whilst we looked on in awe at how long his arms were and big his hands are!!

As soon as the car was back up and running we hit the road to Mothercareys, a magical place where another adventure ensued. I had just finished leading the first pitch of Deep Space and being a little pumped i wanted to just get into the half way cave and set a belay up to bring Liam up. But my plan was foiled by a fulmar in the little cave. A fulmar for those that dont frequent the sea cliffs of the UK, are a sea bird that when disturbed projectile vomit with great accuracy at its 'attackers'. I happened to be that attacked and recieved on a number of occasions a spurt of acidic fishy orange liquid fired in my direction. Wonderful! The smell stayed with us all week, mostly as Liams leg got nailed and he had trousers on so they stunk to high hell for a good while.

After a couple of days more normal cragging we headed down to Trevellan as the tide started to come in. Liam quickly dispatched the classic Trevallen Pillar. But it once again wasnt the climbing that stole the show. A pair of other climbers (a short dude with shit loads of hair on his head, back and chest - Little, and his tall, bald tin friend- Large). Little decided to scuttle around the bottom of the crag as the waves broke around him cackling in a high pitched squeal. This was just brilliantly funny and made another normal day turn into something special.

Our final escapade of the trip was a daunting one that we had postponed all trip. Preposterous Tales, is a route that begins by traversing into the mouth of a blowhole. And then with headtorches on, you venture into the bowels of the earth in search of a way out. No doubt to say that it was wet, greasy and the most awe inspiring place ive been for a while. It was crazy, the sea was crashing below us into the back of the cave and shooting water up into the void we filled beneath the grounds surface. A shaft of light, snaked its way down into the hole and this is what we followed out into day-light. If you want to understand in your adult state what beign born is like, jsut go down there. It gives you all the ingredients, wetness, dark, the foreboding nature of your setting and the movement toward light and a new life. Its fucking mental!

Unfortunately the escapades ended here as Liam had a coach to catch but what a trip. The people we met were amazing! And really did make a climbing trip into something more!

Liam fiddling in gear on Bloody Sunday (E4 6a, Huntsmans Leap)

Large getting his gurn on (Fascist and Me E4 6a, Trevallen)

Bird puke belay (Deep Space E2 5b, Mothercareys Kitchen)

A pleasant E1 arete at St.Govans

Space Cadet (E3 5c, St.Govans)

Psyced for Preposterous Routes (Preposterous Tales E2 5b, Bosherston Head)

Entering the Blowhole (Preposterous Tales)


Friday, 5 August 2011

Domesticity or my lack of.

Over the past 10days ive been house sitting for a friend, with this house comes 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 horses and a snake. Its not your average domestic setting but it does represent the standard. Now up until now I assumed I wasn't the kind of person to enjoy normal life with 2.5 kids cats, dogs, house plants and neighbours, and i was right. Its been a good learning experience, I definitely don't want to do all this in the near future! Since my relationship broke down with my now ex-girlfriend, I've been able to go climbing, take pictures, go running and listen to music. But my god its good to be able to have a simple life. So the plans for the next few years (a good 5 or 6) is to try and maintain this simple life, maybe introduce some responsibility towards the end but nothing as hard-core as kids, mortgage and pets. Our generation can't do what the previous ages have tried, we don't live in a world with an economy to support us buying houses and still living a life worth living.

And so we come to the crux, a life worth living. We all could try and jump on the property ladder, pay our wage to the banks and have a 'settled' existence. But that is not something I can see me doing or something I would be proud of doing if i looked back on my life on my death bed. I want to hobble into the light of death, with new knees, hips and a mind full of memories of stuff I have achieved in my life and people I have met. None of this try and preserve myself for old age, fuck that. Old people should be fucked, they should have lived a full life! (This sums it up).

Annyyywwaaayy, my cameras coming out of the cupboard soon so hopefully ill be posting some good pictures of my travels and a life lived, not endured.

Edit Note: After writing this post i came across this article which claims that many people being born now will live until they are 100. Is it just me or is this a bit disturbing. We often see our relatives getting a bit old and decrepit at the age of 75 onwards. Our medicine may be improving so that people survive longer, but it does seem that after the age of 80 people are just surviving, there aren't many elderly people who are rocking the boat. They seem to be just there. Now I'm not proposing euthanasia, that would be ridiculous! But would more people reaching 100 be a good thing? For me I don't want to live that long, becoming a burden on my family and most probably the only one of my friends left alive. No friends and subject to mind-numbing day time TV, no thanks.  Going out with a bang, yes please.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Once again lack of posting....

Once again, a lack of posting on my part. What can i say, its summer, ive been climbing...and drinking. Mostly drinking to be honest....whoops.

Managed to get over to the Frankenjura for a couple of weeks before my graduation which was jokes. Got some good routes in and keen to go back for a longer stint next time, project some steep bouldery limestone. The 'jura is really really cool to climb in, its all reasonably close to the campsite (Gastof Eichler) and so we managed to limit driving to every other day when we visited some further away crags or we were feeling uber lazy. Climbing wise managed to get a few 6c+'s done and a 7a second go but as they use the UIAA grades they were all 8- until we got home to check. Anyway here's some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

When it rained, it rained....(Photo: O.Burrows) 

Steep pockety limestone...gorgeous!! (Photo: O.Burrows) 

Paul hanging out on a F6b+ (Photo: O.Burrows) 

The Team Assembled on the Ferry before the 15hour drive......Autobahn!! (Photo: O.Burrows)

Since the 'jura ive managed to get to Pembroke a couple of times, hitting up the North for the first time. Carreg y Barcud being the highlight. However the South still holds my heart with the proper routes, steeper limestone, bigger seas and awesome beer in the Inn. I can also finally understand peoples enjoyment of coasteering on the North. Its the perfect setting, loads of little islands, clear sea, reasonably sized rocks to jump off and obviously the sun. Still shit myself when i jump in, not from fear of hurting myself (although it does hit a chord with this time last year) but because of the fucking seals! Saw a couple and their HUGE! I know they wont eat me or anything but my god they scare me. Massive pussy but hey we all have our weak points, mine is animals, especially those larger than me that are in water (this includes sharks especially basking sharks, they have massive mouths!).

Back to life, I'm house/dog/cat/horse sitting at the mo (yes a bit ironic considering the last statement I made) to earn a bit of dollar so i can go back to Pembroke and have some petrol money for my new pimp mobile (M-reg astra thats literally amazing!) when im in North Wales in september! Life is looking up, how does the saying go.....Young, Free and Single. But instead of chasing girls perpetually i think my heart lies in chasing routes and the 'buzz' of being alive.