Light, responsive, magic, very expensive, makes steep ice more pleasurable.
Allows you to understand ice more and therefore climb better. You can climb ice rather than smashing it to bits, you use features rather than creating your own ladder of holes. For me it makes ice a little more interesting again, and has rekindled my awareness of what is possible. This axe will easily allow others users to break into a new grade, but beware it doesn’t come with a full set of experience and survival knowledge. Maybe I’ll do a full review somewhere, but basically my advice is get some, and go somewhere, and climb something real steep an Alien looking.
I like running, trouble is I like other stuff too. What to do with your time, how to divide time, share it, apportion it, is always a major problem. I try to keep a lot of time for myself, but seem to be running out. And of course the worst is that some activities are counterproductive, they don’t actually help each other or go hand in hand; you know all this. So the other day when I went climbing at a hard venue I couldn’t get my lightest harness on because my legs are too big! Too much pizza, too much running! So what? Well I like being reasonable at stuff, I don’t like being a total woose, and the other day at the cliff, I could barely lift my treelike legs to the appropriate footholds. Yes so I am ok at running you say, well not exactly, I am worse than a scrubber at running. I was a few months ago just below the top standard in climbing and now I have screwed it up. To become a reasonable runner I would have to do some serious redesigning of the Haston chassis, so will I?
I have some desire to enjoy this incredible winter, I live in an astounding place, with extraordinary mountains all around, but in which way shall I enjoy it? I was invited to race an 18km run over snow the other day and knew I would come nowhere, so declined. I could have done it for the camaraderie I guess. It boils down to ego and wanting to look good, and it’s sad that I am not over it at my age but there you go.
Big legs, alpine climbers legs are not compatible with hard rock climbing. Rock climber’s spindles don’t work well potholing thru sodden powder at 3000 meters. Flexibility is not normally encountered in runners, you just can’t seem to be very good at more than one thing, it’s a big pain, and my body doesn’t help, it wants to be big, it doesn’t want to be light. So much sport seems to be dependant (to me) on being an exact shape or weight. Anyway going back to when I used to do a little Marshall arts I only did well at welterweight, when I ran at my best I was 8 lbs lighter, When I did my best Alpine climbing I was 128 lbs, hard to believe when I look at myself in the mirror, but easy to understand when I look at my watch at the end of a run. So the answer is simple, get rid of zee fat, that’s right folks, I am going to chop off my head, 16 lbs of useless fat.
This snowboard took my eye and opened my mind. Made in Austria by the reputable brand Volkl, it uses natural materials like bamboo and hemp in its construction, and also has an interesting curved base and a good flex for powder. The base is very fast and the board altogether is very light. Its well worth checking out, and maybe buying if you want to support this kind of environmentally friendly product which also rides very well. At 162cm it is very good for most people and also comes in a shorter length for smaller and lighter users. I have tried the longer version which suits me more in the deep snow we have (another foot and a half of fresh this morning), anyway all in all, an interesting board.
The guy with me is Lorenzo Belfrond, he is a master photographer and his work is much in demand by snowboard mags, apart from that he is very handy on a plank and is one of my few mates.
Happy Xmass, from the International Jamaican Federation of Ice Climbers against Global Warming, please donate generously. At this precise moment in time (somewhere in December) we implore you to cut your carbon footprint by not exhaling, and of course by not using de car to go to work, in fact don’t work cos it is bad for the environment.
At this time of year many members of our community have trouble with frozen dreads. There is no easy solution, but it is recommended not to dance too crazily next to people without eye protection.
A big thank you to our brothers in Scotland who sent over those men’s skirts, we have sent over some banana hammocks over in our colours Black Yellow and Green, small size is not too big, we hope.
Finally Ali G came over to show some solidarity, he did some rye fooling and has shown no inclination to go back to North London.
Finally plus 1, we are urgently looking for more female members, no previous ice climbing experience necessary but must be fit if you know wat I mean.
Remember our motto dont worry about a thing, be happy.
It’s snowing, its dumping, and its only November. There’s ice, frozen waterfalls to be climbed, and a question that I need to answer. Will I climb in the mountains this winter? Yes or no? I am living in Coumayer, Italy at the foot of Montblanc and every day I stare at some great routes that I have dreamt of climbing and some I have climbed but wouldn’t mind doing again. Shall I stay or shall I go?
I left the Alps because it’s too serious for a man who loves mountains, steep powder, and wild ice. Somehow I am back here earning money and trying to admire from a distance, but I can feel myself loosing my grip, the urge is like the heroine itch, it’s more than a reminder.
Worse, is I am fit, fit for mountains. Anyway as they say over here, what will come will come. To be alone in a cruel winter, traipsing along those great ridges in splendid isolation is more than my heart can bear, so yes I guess I might do some.
But what and which and how, because I know why, because I never liked alpinism I always loved it. So I was up dreaming, planning and scheming, checking maps, guidebooks and photos. Making plans, appointments with destiny. Dramatic nonsense, overblown soliloquies with my own half listening ego. Yes ,yes, but there are routes that aren’t very hard, routes that are just exciting exercise, still memorable, and since the Tour de Giants I really feel the need for accomplishing slightly more grandiose things than short climbs beside the road. My time is running out, between earning money and pleasing other people I have hardly any time for myself.
I have been waking up at 6 at the latest every morning doing some yoga, and then either training or going to work. Its working in many ways, this routine. Discipline is key, a monks life, Spartan flat with wet running shoes, damp sweaty clothing, rotting in corners. How fit am I? Very, but not as fit as I would like to be, can I get fitter? Yes, more hard work, more discipline.
So what’s with the Yoga Stevie? Laurence my climbing partner is training to be a Kundalini yoga teacher and I had in many ways exhausted my own possibilities, so stretching is replaced with Yoga, as it’s my mind that needs to become supple and my breathing that must come under my control. Laurence is happier and I am happy for her, the mountains have their winter sable wrapped around their shoulders and look majestic. Running is at the moment replaced with uphill walking it’s called Denivelé in French, I did 4000 meters of snow covered hill twice this last week and felt my body waking up, I will do more.