Sunday, January 29, 2012

"The Gathering" movie.

A couple of weeks ago, Justin Tracey and Jenny Crook from "Reeltime Adventure" asked if it would be ok to film us on something. We were ok with this and so they came up to Lochain and shot us on "The Gathering".
     Here's the end product, a great little movie which does the route justice.

The Gathering, VIII 9, Second Ascent from Jenny Crook on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Change of Allegiances

Over the last three years, i have been been lucky enough to be supported by Marmot. This sponsorship has no doubt been key to allowing me to climb as much as i have since i left school, and i owe a lot of the mileage i currently have in the big mountains to this fact. Big thankyou to Marmot and especially Martin Panton, who has always offered good advice.
     Recently however, i have been talking to the Mountain Boot Company (MBC), the distributor for OR, Scarpa and Grivel amongst other brands, and have decided to take up a sponsorship deal with them. This is exciting as these three brands in my opinion make some of the most advanced climbing gear in the world at the moment, and MBC are a company that are definitely going places, and are an ever increasing force within the UK. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Northern Corries

After the extended warm and wet period of the last two weeks, myself and Greg have packed the climbing in to the last two and a half days.
      On Friday we headed to Coire an Lochain, for what was a sociable day with many friends. Adam, Greg and myself climbed "Daddy Longlegs" VIII 9 and "Fallout Corner" VI 7, and i soloed something easy in-between.
      On Saturday myself and Greg were tempted in to Sneachda to look at something new, but on arrival we deemed it out of condition so walked back over to Lochain and climbed "The Gathering" VIII/IX 9, which was a great route.
       On Sunday we had a late start, and arrived in the corrie to see a lot of black rock. Just for the sake of doing something, we climbed a line at the very top of Y gully left hand. It looked a bit scrappy but it was something to do. I won "rock paper scissors" and headed up, soon realising that rather than being scrappy, it was in fact an incredible quality, long pitch of climbing. Nothing hard, and with good gear. Not sure if its an existing route or not, but probably one of the best pitches of 6/7 i've done in Scotland.

Greg on the great first pitch of Daddy Longlegs

And again, the tricky move on this pitch is just above Greg.

Myself on the crux pitch, which starts with a wide boulder problem.

And again.
And higher on the same pitch. Credit: Mark Chadwick.
Adam on Fallout.
Greg cruxing on "The Gathering"
And again Credit: Justin Tracey - Reeltime Adventure.
Myself on the awkward crack and groove of pitch 2.

And higher up the same pitch Credit: Justin Tracey - Reeltime Adventure.
Myself on the brilliant route we did on Sunday, which tops out on the RH side of the cornice, just left of Grumbling Grooves.

Its been great over the last few days to hang out with Charly and Matthias, two Austrian climbers i first met last year in Patagonia. Its brilliant to see such talented foreign climbers enjoy Scottish climbing. Ive seen some phenomenal climbers climb, but Charly is definitely up there amongst the very most impressive.

Charly casually onsighting "Torchlight" at Birnham yesterday

It was great to blow away the Christmas cobwebs, and i'm now really looking forward to the international meet next week. Although slightly jealous of what Mr Griffith got done at the weekend!...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On t' farm

I got an email from someone the other day asking about jobs in Chamonix. After writing as helpful a reply as i could, (which must have read quite depressingly....), i got to thinking just how incredibly lucky i am to have a job that i can come back to, almost as little or as much as i want when in the UK.
         John, the farmer i have worked for on and off since school days is a bit of a legend. This November i basically said to him i wanted to work as much as i possibly could, until it got cold in Scotland when i'd want to be climbing, he said OK and that was that. Although it doesn't always work out as well as that, and there are times when not much work is going, i don't think there can be many jobs around where you can do that!
          Farm work is physical, interesting, varied and as far as casual work goes, well payed. Over christmas we've been keeping the farm ticking over, and i've been milking every day which has timed well with the warm and wet mingfest that Scotland is currently undergoing.
       The forecast is looking better for next week, time to head north again i think!

Id drive tractors over tranfer vans any day! literally.

The cows aren't usually covered in this much shit, they've just been refusing to lie on their mats recently.