I'm a woman

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

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The new Queen of Sabart, by Stevie Haston

Laurence just did Reine de Sabart, a very burly 8b grade rock climb, its her hardest route. Reine de Sabart, translates as queen of Sabart , but really it might as well be called King Gong of the universe, its a 26 meters roof after all!

So Laurence why haven't you climbed this well before?
Ans: I have climbed even better before but I was just bigger, bigger legs from mountaineering, snowboarding and stuff. I am now a bit nearer what a climber should be. And of course being a yoga teacher has contributed greatly.

So will you do harder routes?
Ans: Hopefully yes, this felt very nice and liberating, but its a matter of time money and getting round a few things.

What is Reine de Sabart like as a route?
Ans: Oh fantastic, one of the great routes worldwide, I nearly got it a few times two years ago and then dropped a trailer on my foot, it felt easy today, but as I got near the chain, there was an almost mad impulse to blow it. I was much stronger two years ago, but little details like hip flexibility and being slightly calmer work much more than you would think. Kundalini Yoga has helped me immensely and that even mattered more than having a husband who climbs well. 

Why are girls and children climbing so well?
Ans: Because they are closer to the ideal weight, but obviously some lucky men  are the right weight too.

How strong are you?
Ans: Not very strong, I have strong fingers, a strong core and obviously I know how to climb from years as a climber, but there is a good connection between the three elements, perhaps my mind is fairly strong too.   

You won and competed in ice climbing are you a competitive person?
Ans: Competing was purely for money, the comps were not very interesting, real ice climbing was at that time the most interesting side of climbing, engagement of fear, beautiful ice, and the chance to explore. They were good times. 

And now you don't climb ice or go to the mountains.
Ans: I simply can't afford to go anywhere except local rock climbing but if I improve at rock I might visit Spain .  

How old are you? Your height and weight?
Ans: 48 years old, 159cm, 48kg.

What would be your maximum level?
Ans : I don't know, at this weight 8b/b+, with more training and a lighter frame, a bit harder... who knows? If I take the time of work. Many people can  climb much harder than they think or have done, but they lack time, support and most important the desire. Climbing is a passion after all. Good, fantastic routes like Reine de Sabart really help. My problem now at Sabart is Trilogy a harder route but my heavy weight husband has pulled off the finishing holes, so it is harder...