I'm a woman

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

Friday, 30 December 2011

La Sportiva Electron GTX, By Stevie Swift Haston.

Another great running shoe from Sportiva. The sole is a very deep, undulating waffle, wave thingy. The sole is the interesting bit, it initially put me off because it differs from more trad soles but I have learned how to enjoy it. The idea is that it will bend and conform to shapes and angles in the slope and it does do this very well. The rubber is very adherent and it has a very good grip on slabby rock. I sometimes don’t take a pair off for a week, as it is a good approach shoe and good to look at. It comes in Goretex in this model,  and non Goretex in the Quantum, and a few colours, it is worth checking out. The best thing for me is it is polyvalent and will take a good distance on the tarmac in its stride. The sizing is a bit different, it feels more tight for a given size, so it might be better for people with a narrower foot, bear this in mind. I found this shoe to run well especially if the course never got super rough and had fast sections,  not too icy, or muddy, good luck with it.
Check www.lasportiva.com for more details.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

PEACE on Chirstmas by Stevie gone caving Haston

Wesołych Świąt!

 Καλά Χριστούγεννα
Fröhliche Weihnachten

Friday, 23 December 2011

Recent La Rambla, ramble, Stevie Haston.

The stupemdous Rambla and the great Dani Andrada

Enzo Oddo (French) does the Rambla 9a+, he is 16 now, not bad at all.  Some good French lads cranking at the moment, but as with most countries the industry is not supporting the climbers, and climbing is not reflecting the standards of these fine athletes. Ondra continues to dominate the field but has unfortunately chosen to pursue bouldering for a short while. His success at this is not a great surprise to many given his brilliant background but his recent flash of a Font 8b+ standard is not moving the bar but breaking it. With his inevitable return to rockclimbing,  9c will come. It is a happy thought perhaps that 16 year olds are cruising La Rambla, and with that one I will leave you for a bit of inspired training.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

1000 pull ups, by Stevie Haston

Tools of the trade; pull up station, carpet, music is optional.

It’s raining, or snowing, or something disagreeable. My partner is sick so I don’t want to drag her out belaying (I must be getting soft) so training. 

1000 pull ups all kinds, not too bad, in fact better than expected or dreaded. Was able to pull up on ‘Kirsty's pinch’, but only after listening to the song line, ‘Save me from the nothing I have become’. Right arm one arm up very bad, mental note, must watch more internet porn! Felt naffed off before, now feel totally energized.

Save me from the nothing I have become. There’s oceans I’ave never swum in, snow to surf (its dumping in Italy), there’s a project I need to do.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Yoga climbing, by Stevie novice Haston.

Always listen to the guru, you can do it this way or
 The Yoga breathing is working for the climbing, but its not working so well for my swimming, phooee! The problem with my climbing now is that I am relatively weak. The Yoga has worked because it has maximised my potential at this level of strength, but I cant do any better. In fact I think I am really lucky to have squeezed out my last few ascents. So in truth it’s back to some basic training because I lack the ability to do a long sustained sequence, or a hard powerful pull, or two.

or this way
In my underwater swimming its very different, much of the success of the sport could be in controlled by breathing controlling the mind, and therefore the success of the dive. In this respect diving is much more like engaged (or run out climbing), but whereas my ability to control fear in climbing is very high, my ability to control panic with diaphragm contractions, at half way thru a dive is very low! It’s depressing as my normal level of control within the fear department in different sports is high. Anyway I will keep trying hard at both my climbing and swimming. In climbing the correct form of mind control has escaped me most of the time  for the very hard routes, so although its not doing me much good now, if I can continue with my training perhaps by the time I regain an optimum physical form I wont waste it!

 or this way
For other people this ‘succeed mindset’ I think is a must acquire accoutrement because nearly everybody I’ve seen climbing in over forty years hesitates, and in climbing as in much else he who hesitates is lost. The problem with climbing is you are right to hesitate because you don’t want injury or death. However sport climbing is safeish, so clearly don’t hesitate ‘go for it’, venga, Dai dai, allez, good luck, clip those chains. For me its back to basic training, power pull-ups, and core, and timing. And if you think this is all guff, think back to some of your failures, or failures you have witnessed, and watch for the slowing down, and the stop in time, before the slump on the rope, or the harmless fall that seemed so terrifying. Good luck with controlling your inner voice or more prosaically stop being a scaredy cat.
or like that!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Grivel G20 Mono crampon, by Steve Spiky Haston.

‘The Winter of our content’ is apon us and we must sling some spiky things around, upon, and anon. Anyway the G20 is the business for sure, it’s the best Mono around, but still manages to be useful as an ordinary crampon on more normal climbs. Its boot compatibility is the best on the Market and it is the lightest crampon that I have ever used apart from protos and personal weapons of Mass destruction. This crampon should be happy from Scotland to the Grand Jorrasses. 

Check details on Grivel site http://www.grivel.com/

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Zee Mystery of climbing, by Stevie the sage Haston.

In 6 weeks I haven’t really been climbing but I managed 8a+ today. How is it possible? Some years I tried fairly hard, and never made it past 8a+, what is going on? I guess I am very fit, both Cardio wise and in a muscle sense, but this seems too good to be true. For the last 10 years I have been thinking that climbing is quite complex, but in some ways you might be able to say it is simple. Or is it complex and simple, depending on you, yourself, and more importantly the link between you and your mind. My mind and body are in tune at the moment (I hope it stays that way), my body is not very strong but it seems to know what it is doing without to much instructing from the computer, and more importantly I think the computer is not overloaded with info, or talking to the body. If this is too deep for you, don’t worry, don’t take any notice. If you think you understand, try following thru with it for your self. I am doing a lot of mind disassociation at the moment, thru walking, running, yoga and swimming, and success in climbing means very little to me. It could all be nonsense of course and that in reality 8a and 8a+ are not hard.

“The most important muscle is the mind”, Wolfgang Amadeus Gullich-muscle perfect climber.

 Who knows? I have noticed that when I practise yoga breathing my climbing is always better, and I have been doing a fair bit recently. My wife Laurence who teaches Kundalini Yoga is helping me thru some scepticism, and laziness,  with my Pranayama, and I am making a tiny bit of progress, I will continue with it because it helps me in other ways,  rather than just climbing.

“Try to use the mind more, and not the muscles”, Jacques Mayol –free-diving legend.

I was recently thinking about not climbing for a while, but to days success cheered me up no end. Just before climbing I was thinking how my climbing was not rewarding, and how I just climbed in many ways only for duty, and other reasons.  So when I arrived at the chain I actually felt pleased at how everything had turned out, it was just really nice,  no stress, no fooking furries, so I’ll have some more of that , I think, yes please.
So a few months climbing and watch how things are going, and see if I can get up to a decent standard.  Oh well here we go again, but this time we will try it in a more gentle way.  

“The most important thing is not muscles or mind, but that far place where you are in harmony, it is not Shangri-la, it is within you, but finding it, you need more than Google, you need a guru”, Stevie the sage Haston.

And what is a decent standard Obi one? I wont talk about climbing because it is something I am too good at, so instead I think my journey will be 40 meters horizontal, 40 meters depth and over 4mins static breath hold. And perhaps I will never arrive, but I will try, and if you don’t try you cannot succeed, and if you fear failure, you will surely add to your burden. And of course the greatest journey starts with the first step, and everything starts with the breath, and you will surely die when you stop to breath. 

“What is old age? Old is a shallow breath. People who take deep breath never feel old. They can be old but never feel old. Is your breath of life conscious and deep?” Yogi Bhajan

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Adventure Guide Book to the Maltese Islands, review by Stevie Haston.

The Maltese Islands are a very short hop for Brits, or North Euros in general, and as a big plus, the flights are reasonable in price. For these two reasons alone Malta is worth thinking about for a week, or maybe two, a nice little break from rain. This small pocket sized guide book is a very convenient reference for climbing, deep water soloing, bouldering, hiking, and Diving. There is alotta climbing on Malta but with the addition of the other activities covered in this book, the place seems more attractive to me. The advice, access, and general layout of the book are great and very helpful. The part on deep water soloing is not covered in the specific climbing guidebook, so this book might be interesting for people who don’t know what to expect. The deep-water soloing thing is pretty good, and is getting better all the time. Young Jonnie Dawes has just paid a visit and did a knew E6, other people to have passed thru are Sonnie Trotter, every body likes it, so maybe it’s worth a try. Water temps can be a comfy 22 degrees in November, dropping over Xmass, and not picking up till after May, Anyway there you go, a very practical little book on lots of diverse activities. You might be tempted into taking a Diving course, as the visibility is some of the best in the world, and there are many wrecks, caves and lots of interest, mostly from the shore which can make things very reasonably priced. Malta and Gozo are defo worth a little trip of a week, things are layback, and not too serious, so check this guide out, and the more comprehensive bigger general climbing guide.