I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
No reproduction on other media without the photographer's permission.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Attila Gyetvai, goodbye. By Stevie Haston.

Sad news was brought to my attention, Attila died in a rockfall accident on the Aiguile Noire.

For Attila, he loved his mountains.

I don't know what to say. To love Mountains, is to love life. Thanks to everybody who knew and loved him, climbed with him. Thanks.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

The Importance of Joy, by Stevie Haston.

This summer continues on un abated-its steaming. Fires, heat waves, adverse weather, even dear old England looks like it did in 1976 or probably worse. I digress from my ode to Joy. Oh to climb on lovely rock with a grip that wont let you go, with a scene that holds your breath. Yea to that and more. So yesterday I had a very good ballad like  dive with Alex to start the day early. An hour and a bit cruising from one wreck to another, the cool water embracing us in the deep, and then us floating mid water looking into deeper waters, meditating. Flying is possible for humans, wing suits for the brave Scuba for the less risk loving.

 Hege enjoying herself.

 Ida smiling.

The sea and the cliff meet but the cliff can continue down, it's funny how above water gravity becomes a very big worry but under the water we can glide and swoop.

 A Ton shell, these when the snail like creature dies are taken up by hermit crabs, but they dont last long and turn to sand which then turns to dust fairly soon.

Anyway a day of joy, a dive in the morning, three new routes and then another dive!

 a few things that live on a table, and are sometimes given back to the sea. Well thats not true the Zee stone has been with me for a very long time- it was a gift the man who bore it before said it had too much power for him.

 taking turns cleaning while the other hides from the sun.

Theres two more new routes in this little sector which will provide lots of joy. We watched the amber Jacks hunting in the water. But maybe the best things where a live "biggest Ton shell ever"with its zebra like foot,  and a Triton shell which is the biggest by far since I was a child. 

This turned out to be a very nice 6b with tuffas below.
So 6a, 6+ , 6b, 6a, lovely perfect routes, 30 meters of climbing. You can live but Joy is fleeting, so when it comes embrace it.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

The value of Confidence, by Stevie Haston.

Being what some people think of as an extremely confident person, I am sometimes aghast at how over confident some people can be. Confidence should always have a double dose of reality thrown in. It is OK to be confident in a running race, worst case, you pull a muscle or you shoot your mouth off predicting, and fall flat on your ass. What is the right level of confidence? When you preview your attempt, where should your limits be. As some one who has broken his leg on two different occasions soloing, I'll admit to getting it wrong when I was younger. Overconfident was perhaps my middle name, along with Danger.

 I had a very well earned beer today, I got down past 30 meters again freediving. 

 My island is surrounded by cliffs and sea, it's only natural to explore both.

 Chilli Sharman.

Climbing, and Freediving are a bit spicy, is confidence to be let loose? No of course not. I was reminded of this recently because a few of the old crew were climbing on Cloggy in North Wales. Cloggy is one of the ultimate "strap your balls on cliffs"! It's not my favorite, I left it to my betters, or more ambitious friends. The tales of Masters Wall, Indian Face et al are indeed legend. Anyway a climber called Caff, perhaps the UKs finest Trad climber had left unfinished the route called Masters Wall. He had a terrible epic on it when a kid, and nearly died! The years go by, and he straps the ostrich eggs on to tick this wall clean-he only has this route Masters Wall left. But he really finds it difficult, and fails again!

 Fins, Flippers call 'em what you like-they are tools of the trade!

Masters according to Caff could be harder than Indian Face! Masters Wall was done by Jerry (no fat) Moffat years ago. I was  above him and to the right doing a route with the deceased Jimmy Jewal. I shouted encouragement down to him when he ground to a halt way, way above and to the side of his gear! He looked like he was going to die! My encouragement was soft, assured, and hopefully correct, I did not want to give him an incorrect amount. Anyway to cut those nano seconds which lasted for eons down to a few words, he sucked it in, and stood up on those smears in those awful clunky Fire rock shoes and I new he was good.

 Climbing shoes-what would I do with out good ones?

I have made a bit of fun at Jerry's expense over the years, but not that year-he was supreme, confident, and a great climber.

My light clips, they give me confidence, just as flowers do and my breathing tasks ever morning.

So Jerry Moffat it looks like you did a very bold route all those years ago. We in Wales, knew you did. We were perturbed by the unjustified grade explosion that came after you.

Back to being 30 meters under water on a single breath. It is mostly confidence. I knew I could do it, but tension creates it's own horror, you cant equalise your ears! Anyway it  was done. I was down there on the wreck of the ship the Karwella-it was very cool in that water down there. When I came up Alex was there, she had lost sight of me. It's a funny thing this vanishing act you do, for your buddy you vanish until you reappear at 20 meters!

Anyway guys, and girls watch your over confidence.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Climbing when you should be Diving, Diving when you should be running. By Stevie Haston

Life is far from perfect! Perfect does exist, but for only short bits of time. Perfect is a brief smile, its a joke, a long smile becomes a gurn, a long joke is a Trump or a Mrs May!

 The Long Goodbye is the longest traverse on the Maltese Islands and involves two swims. Its mega and lasts a bit longer than a loooonnnngg smile!

 Here you go-have a fig says the suspicious man in the Bush.

 An Eco belay-two holes!
 A bit of filming for German TV, no animals were hurt in this film, but one drone was hung drawn quartered and then drowned!

 Never trust one belay the Instruction book says-I didn't write that book and its wrong!

 Alex climbing up from a very nice dive under the cliff of Fishermans and Pirates. A big cave with very nice Fan Coral and shrimps. We also dove through giant boulders the size houses, and lots of illigal fishing gear. Underwater it did indeed look like the rigging on Pirate ships!

The Dag contemplating  on a few world leaders, and farting some disgusting gas.

If there were time enough....I would write a poem describing the worlds beauty. If there were time I would plant a beautiful hanging garden, or three. If there were time I would operate on  a certain Orange Frogs brain and find the malignancy.

Enjoy your span on this fast fading green and blue with a little white ice, afore she dies. Go climbing! Look around befor they turn everything into a supermarket carpark! 

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Fishermans and Pirates by Stevie Haston.

It's getting hot on the small rock I live on in the middle sea!
You must in the shade climb says Yoda. So we went to Fisherman and Pirates sector. We even met one of the fabled climbing fishermen!

 Christina climbing towards me. 

At the moment the wind is a bit odd so its choppy and you must watch the swell which isn't the same thing-thank god we don't have tides to deal with.

 Mandy following a really nice easy route! Pure joy to climb on this sector.

 Christina, giving me the evil eye as I take a photo of her as she embarks on a tricky but beautifuly sculptured finish.

 A bit of hanging belay practise for the girls to show them how awkward things get.

Mandy following a superb 6a+,it needs bolting with Titanium bolts if anybody wants to donate to my bolting fund, Donation PayPal button at top of page!
The last week after the Climbing Trade show has been fun. I miss the sophistication of those Northern Euros and all the great design, but I love the simpleness  of going climbing and freediving.
I had the honour of meeting great climber as you can imagine at the show, but on returning to my island I bumped into two great free divers! Mr Nox from southern France has lots of inspiring vids on Youtube to look at, and Jesper Mr Innerdive who has a freediving school here on Gozo and the odd vid down there at 50+ meters depth! It was an honour to meet you guys.  

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Good Stuff. By Stevie be good Haston.

The Summer Trade show was great, saw lots of good equipment from the Out Door industry. Saw lots of friends, who are still active happy and alive!

So what pleases me-lots but I'll keep this simple, cos simple is often best.  Clever stuff that makes climbing or any other sport more fun.

Some math One light quick draw=55grs
                    20   light quick draws=1.100kg

Are light carabiners weaker?  Not the Grivel one above, its 22kn across the major axis and gate open 8!

Is it hard to clip, not for me. Yes I am an expert but its easy to improve your game. Clipping biners is not an a mysterious art form its a simple learnable process like easy climbing. Learn and improve! How much weight do you save? You save a bit is the real answer, but that bit is the bit you carry! The weight you save is the bit that pulls your ass down on an overhang! 

If you chose the right gear everything from packing your bag for that flight to the walk up to the climb of your dreams becomes easier. Easy!  

Friday, 15 June 2018

Climbing versus Trade show, by Stevie win win Haston.

So, I am on the road to the Summer Climbing Trade show, but thought I'd give you a few photos of why there is an Out door show!

 Ali following, he can't swim that well,so he is a bit scared!

 A 70 meter groove that got away, it's very neat and tidy, will go back!

 This is me in a wet suit, water was 19, it's now 23°C, so might go back in a banana sling, and get a bit higher!

 Diego the dog, he is a few kilometres away from his food bowl, but he does like swimming and climbing. 

 In the Italian cafe yesterday, I noticed this, its a farming thing, the big girl cows are scary, they joust a bit, and its a spectacle, not sure about it, I went once, and it was ok, lots of drinking etc.

Working like a dog!

So I will be at the Trade show, visit me at the Grivel booth. Happy show to everybody.