I'm a woman

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

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

6OO pull ups is not good, by Stevie bad Haston.

 My climbing buddies let me down today, bah humbug! So I thought, bugger them I'll train. Well it started easy and then got hard, well surprise, it's always like that! Anyway I didn't make it to a thousand like I deludedly thought I was going to, but now that I look at it it's fine. Any training is better than feeling sorry for yourself, and blaming other people. I am gonna however 'Big Down' the people who owe me money, pay up please!

This is a bookcase ladder across a stairway gap for bar pull ups, theres options on this for pull ups chin ups and neutral grip.

 I don't have my training boards with me, or my old barn, but I do have one Crusher wooden Board which is great, and which I always recommend to people, it's a MatrixBoard. Theres a review on my blog somewhere and one at Crusherholds.com

The sky this morning was cute and it turned wonderfully warm, perfect for climbing, not too hot. Shame I was training, but you gotta stick to the path of righteousness, and I have been slipping lately! I have been sick, had a bad knee, sore knuckle, been depressed etc. Anyway I feel great now that I trained, way better than pissing about climbing easy stuff, and enjoying myself in a lack luster way.

I do wish I had all my training stuff and a good buddie to climb with, but you know, you can't always get what you want. Those words sound familiar, they might make a good song perhaps! I decided when I knew my knee was ok, and not mashed up that I was going to try to do an 8c again, so it will happen. It might be soon, or more likely it a few months, but it could happen even when I am 60. There's nothing to stop a determined, fit, motivated, energetic, healthy, flexible, experienced, strong fingered Mudder Plucker. Have I convinced myself yet?    

Monday, 2 March 2015

Gozo, Gonso, God damn, by Stevie Haston.

 Climbing on Gozo is a bit weird sometimes. These Lads are playing at the bottom of one of the cliffs, they are not training to be part of ISIS, it's bang, bang, ratta, tat tat on auto. They aren't that bad, just noisy. There will be a referendum on hunting soon, and both party leaders have said beforehand they will be voting for the hunting. These supposed leaders of our morality and polite politics don't hunt themselves, but just want the hunters vote! Anyway the motive is Green, the spring is very green, there's been lots of rain, the green of eco parties does not exist, it's all a sham, here as else where.

 The motive is green in the Trench new sector, this route a 30 meter 5+ is crazy free, and you end up standing on a horizontal giant fig tree, thus the name Gormengast, it's a great route despite it's weirdly glad in green look. The Trench has many 30 meter pitches, 5+ to 8a, it's not in the guide.

 This photo shows one of the myriad mythical Cart Tracks of the island, no one knows who made these tracks, and no one knows when they where made.

Two moths not Myths, they are stuck together, it's spring I guess. Lots of flowers and good temperatures for climbing.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Podcast fun talking to Chris Kalous

Here's a little (well long really) Podcast with Chris Kalous, done in the States. 

It was a lot of fun, talking to a guy who goes climbing, knows what he's talking about for the most part, and is now in Sirunana, hopefully enjoying himself.

Anyway Chris has got a whole load of good interviews on his site, they are more in depth than you normally get in the mags and less narrow in content. So check his stuff out. 
The weather were I am is horrible, it's blowing hard and raining a bit, but in truth it's not the living end, and that interview made me realise I am a bit soft compared with what I was. Having just been sick, and had a throat /chest infection on top of a squashed Patella, I am now gagging to go climbing, so all you people who owe me money, givus  spondooly nowous.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Hans Rudel, Killer par excellence /climber, by Stevie the wimp Haston.

Hans Ulrich Rudel was the most highly decorated fighter in the German forces during the second World War. He was the only service man to be awarded the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross, with Golden Oak leaves, Swords and Diamonds. If you want to read about him you can in the two books below. He also wrote a book about climbing high volcanoes in the Andes. He is perhaps the most heroic, or certainly one of the most successful predators of many a war, depends on how you look at him. 

I'am not an advocate of war or killing,
 but I am great admirer of courage and skill, and luck. Hans Rudel must have had oodles of luck and exactly how did they get his balls into a Stuka dive bomber is a question I keep asking my self. There's a bit somewhere in one of the books where Mr Rudel waxes lyrical about flying blindly, but in formation through fog, wing tips six inches apart, it's scary.  

  Hans was a teetotal  athlete who was careful about what he ate, he loved walking, swimming, diving, and the mountains, he was also a confirmed Nazi from what I have read. I found these books very interesting. The foreword to Stuka pilot was written by Group Captain Douglas Bader DSO., DFC. a hero/ killer from the other side during the great conflict of tribes, economics, politics and unreason.

This is the battle ship the Marat which Mr Rudel sunk. Hans was credited with destroying 500 tanks, 2,000 ground targets, two cruisers. He was shot down 24 times and lost a leg. There is much to write about him, his complete cavalier attitude toward death and destruction leaves me aghast.  If you are reading this please understand I am not a Nazi, I find this mans bravery in a class of its own and only wish to offer this story as an interesting counterpoint to American Sniper. The fact that Hans loved the mountains and sliding through the snow at Barriloche might have made him easy to talk to I always thought, the fact that he had a signed photo from Hermann Buhl on his wall would perhaps have greatly endeared him to me. There is no Hollywood film about him by Clint Eastwood, and it's a very good job that Hitler didn't have a few other lads as capable as Hans Rudel, a man who only drank fizzy water.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Gozo weird Wied Mielah, by Stevie ordinary Haston.

You must check this link out, I mean it! In Wied Mielah I'ave seen a parrot and a dolphin, naked mermaids and other things. Its one of the great little spots of Gozo and it used to be a sewage out pipe, pumping raw sewage and toilet paper, into the Med. Happily today theres just a few plastic bottles from the tourists. 
Here the unforgettable link to possibly the biggest Mola Mola fish ever seen!


Wied Mielah is a strange beautiful place. It's very old and has a feel to it, Salt has been gathered here from way before the Romans did it as a mini industry. Some of the climbs are really great, they can be easy, but oh so pretty. Recently I ave been giving away posters of myself doing one of the routes there, which has reminded me how beautiful the place really is. Last year when this film was taken I swam around here a lot doing a few little free dives and exploring some very big caves, it was very magical. There are a few bollards carved into the rock in a few places, evidence that there were bad weather mooring here in ancient times. All these routes both above water and below are fun to explore, be my guest.

 Spunky Arete 5+, or 6+ depending on who you talk to is a great route, on a big sea day climbers have been known to get a shocking enema which they never forget.

Possible scene of new adventure.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Piolet Tech Machine de Grivel by Stevie Haston.

Heres a little vid from Desnivel Mag Spain, thanks to  Dario the editor. Funny how I still get on with some editors after all these years. This is a short vid, more tech info on the Tech Machine is around, but I'll say this- the Tech Machine is the easiest to use production axe Iave ever used, bar none!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Mellieha Cave by Stevie caveman Haston.

This photo gives probably the best impression of one of Malta's top cliffs, Mellieha Cave. I guess you could call it steep.  It's on the big island Malta, not on my island Gozo, but I go over by boat to hang out (or upside-down) with mates. My fellow guidebook writer Jeff found this cliff, though obviously it was around a bit longer than that, like a millennium, or several. Anyway it's an old cave, or sink hole, where some, or all of the roof fell in. It's hard to spot even from 50 feet or so away! 

this is Down in a hole 8a, nasty powerful morpho crux, it is stopping me and a couple of others from adding this scalp to the mantlepiece. A real Rael Classic!

Jeff and a talented visiting spanish climber Rael, put up some hard routes here, with back breaking cleaning and bolting, a big thank you is owed to these  two great climbers Jeff and Rael. There is one project that is probably 8c to me, and a visiting climber might find the 8a's fairly hard with out the weird beta that is some times required to do the upside down knee barring and other shenanigans. Routes range from 6b+ through to 8c and they all seem tough to me, classic thuggery can be found on Crazy Monkey a 7a forearm fest, Cave Man 7c, and the startlingly beautiful Black Magic woman, a route I bolted.

 A fairly naughty bolt, 1 year old. Don't worry this one is getting zapped! Please donate to our bolt fund.

I,ll be doing a bit of writing about bolts soon, so those with an interest, or information, feel free to contact me, the more info I get the better and more informative I can be. And remember folks if you see a dodgy bolt on Malta or Gozo please inform me or anybody in the Malta Climbing Association.