I'm a woman

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

Friday, 29 June 2012

Jean Pierre Bouvier Aka the fly,by Stevie Bumble bee Haston

Well known as La Mouche in France, Jean –Pierre is one of the legends of bouldering and small rocks. He has been climbing for 40 years and is well admired for his sick strong fingers. Over the years he has put up 8c’s and 8c+’s on routes and they always have tiny holds. His latest creation is an aller-retour of one of his own traverses in the magic wood of Fontainebleau. Fou-rire, or mad laugh in English is 8b going one way or 8c going the other, there and back is obviously harder and Jean-Pierre gives it a route grade of 9a. About 40 moves for his 40 years climbing, Jean-Pierre has now 55 years altogether.

Nice one!

For pretenders of the art of the impossible this punishing parambulation can be found under no 24 black at Franchard Cuisiniere.


Thursday, 28 June 2012

The axe is gone, by Stevie Haston


The axe was bought, the money will go to three weeks in Spain and one hard route. 


It's made me very happy to get this gift from an unexpected yet familiar source, thank you very much. The agent for this massive transaction was Jordan, thanks Jordan.



Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Sore elbows, Pull-ups and climbing by Stevie Haston

Two of my friends have sore elbows at the moment, while thousands of you out there in web exercise space also have them. What do you do? You can either stop climbing, and exercise altogether, and in three weeks try again. Generally the pain returns. You can try a longer lay off, which is more sensible, but might not work either.

If you don’t want to stop, try to choose  routes that don’t have repetitive moves that hurt. If you still want to do exercises, that target climbing goals, switch from pull ups to hangs, or to half pull ups. If you insist on doing pull ups, vary the grip every set, and / or use gymnast’s rings that move, or Metolius rock rings which also move. There is a link between pain and the angle of the wrist and elbow. There is much less chance of pain with a so called neutral grip. A neutral grip in pull ups would be if the palms face each other. This is hard to do on most hang boards or impossible. But even a slight turn of the wrists towards each other will help.

I do lots of pull ups but I change my apparatus all the time, this seems to stop the tendon from rubbing all the time in the same place, and thus save me irritation.

Pain killers work in dulling pain, so be careful if you take them to carry on exercising as generally you only make things worse in the long run. Anti inflammation also work but again watch what you are doing as very little of the drug gets to the site of the problem. Anti inflammation plaster stickers work better in my opinion, you can try these, and it saves your liver a nasty job of filtering. One I have tried with good results is called Flector.

Good old fashion ice works also, as does hot and cold, why not try them before the drugs eh.

A last thing I have noticed is that the pain seems manageable if you switch to rowing motions. Now then there are a hell of a lot of different rowing motions to choose from, you can if you are very strong do pull ups as rows too, try some for a few weeks. One arm bent over rowing might be one of the best and most neglected of climbing exercises of all so doing them is a smart move anyway. And remember that neutral grip is less pain inducing than standard grip, so dumbbells are better than barbells. There are some bars that are less prone to hurting you, some curl bars provide a more neutral grip, try these out.

Goodluck!  

Monday, 25 June 2012

Training problems and expectations by Stevie Haston


Training for climbing is a royal pain, unless you keep your objectives simple. It’s a Royal with cheese, if your expectations are too high.
A few months ago, I had a very good result in my climbing by taking a short cut. I relied on my base ability, did lots of climbing and then dumped weight. It worked, I got King of Kings, one of the best roofs in the world. But I knew I was going to have to start almost all over again to get the big grades.
My shoulders are weak in comparison with the rest of my body due to running and neglect, and the routes I want to do are very powerful and involved. Anyway I did some old nutty routines today and felt great. I say nutty because they are not supposed to work, like most of my stuff doesn’t work, ha ha.
The only thing that has gone super well to plan has been in increasing finger strength. The Transgression board really helps calibrate what’s going, I can see I am stronger on smaller holds. However most of my gains, I am assuming, are in muscle recruitment. So I will stay at this level of stress for 1 month, to try and make some genuine gains in forearm muscle, before I go up a notch.
Exercises I did today after some steep climbing:
            where a few dead lifts at 320lbs,
a few heavy rows at 200

narrow grips power pulls at 100

stiff arm pull downs but inverted to the front
                              stiff  arm pull downs to the side inverted
Burpees with dumbbells in hands, plus shoulder press, these made me feel sick. I supersetted these with, inclined sit ups with dumbbells, punch to the front, twist to side, super sickyiky.
Finished off with hanging knee raises on slopers, till fall off. Meanwhile my companion “thee Yoga teacher”, does a bit of gardening and redpointed an 8a today. I have been calling her Astrid the Asteroid lately because she put on some weight, well she put me in my place today, called me the “beefalow” as I failed to redpoint.
PS.Woke up today, stiff as Tutan kharmun’s pickled staff, moral of story is expect slow steady results, by slow heavy training.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Stretching for the next hold, by Stevie Haston.



Flexibility is not the most important thing in climbing by a long way, but it does have its uses. A year running around the Italian Alps has left me very stiff, so I have had to start trying to get flexible again.




Poor flexibility, low finger strength.......



Poor core strength, 2 inches to go.....

Friday, 22 June 2012

Mike Westmacott is dead , by Stevie Haston

Mike died at age 87 after a productive and interesting life. He will be missed by much of the old guard of British climbing which is naturally being winnowed by age. Mike was on the successful first ascent of Everest which was done by a huge nationalistic team with the help of additional oxygen. Some of the most dangerous climbing was done in the ice fall, opening the approach, and here Mike did his job well. It was probably his normal approach to things in general, Mike tended to do things well. I thought he was a fantastic bloke and a stalwart of climbing in Britain, my condolences go to Sally his wife, and his many friends. An obituary can be found at the Bmc web site
Mike was educated at Radley school , Oxford and as an officer of Sappers in the second world war. He was a president of the Alpine club, and it was there that I last saw him.


Monday, 18 June 2012

Breakfast of Champions, by Stevie Haston

Yesterday no breakfast, today breakfast!

Yesterday no breakfast, a few 8's then training with Mark. Today Breakfast ! One egg, notice the egg shaped head is developing, E.T had an head like this.

There are over 50 thousands Americans who wear furry suits while having sex. They are called furry's.
And to think that climbers invented it all with polar fleece and Patagonia Retro pile. I think I'm better off with the egg.




Stephan Brosse, is dead by Stevie Haston.




Stephan fell off the Argentiere when a bit of the cornice snapped off, he fell to his death. Killian his companion was unharmed, they were going for the traverse of the Mont Blanc range in 2 days. Stephan was a record ski alpinist, and he jointly held the record for Mont blanc with ski, and the Cham-Zermat. The mountains are forever dangerous but Stephane loved the mountains and loved racing.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Snake at Sabart, by Stevie Haston


Une couleuvre de Montpellier à Sabart en plein déjeuner....
A huge couleuvre having her lunch in Sabart...biggest toad I have ever seen in Europe, this type of snake can grow to 6 foot-2 meters. This snake is actually venemous, although when I moved this one off the path, it pissed on me a very disagreable stinky fluid. Very rare to see big ones now, they scare people and couleuvre verte sometimes go for you if you disturb them. We have a tiny snake here locally a pretty little asp which looks innocuous but can kill a cow, I had a few in the garden to my surprise one year and had to move them.
Apart from the snake interlude, the team had a fairly bad day-too heavy etc. Went on Carcajou, it spanked me like always, still might try it some more even though it is harder since a hold broke, beaux mouvements durs et gymnastiques, une vrai bataille.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Special ice axe for sale, By Stevie Haston


Special signed presentation axe for sale, money needed to go climbing. Don’t want to sell this really, but will take offers. Climbing is the priority for the next year. If you buy this axe, you are contributing to my climbing. Gripped Magazine just bought an article and a few photos, they are contributing to my climbing, thank you Gripped. With the help of friends earlier this year, I bolted 40 routes, it would be nice to add another 40, don’t you think.
Make an offer, make my day, make me happy, make a climb!
stevie.haston@orange.fr
And  Well done to Pamela for her new route, looks good!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

5 minutes training plan, versus the 5 years plan, by Stevie the train Haston.


Now if you were wise you would go for the five years plan. But hey who is wise, and who is Swiss.
Laurence's favorite board

So this morning I instigated the 5 minutes plan. Me and my training buddy, who is a trainer and coach; argued about it, and we decided to try it. We are both in a hurry.
French triple comp winner gave me this board for helping him.

The 5 minutes plan has a great deal in it’s favour, ie it’s 5 minutes long, but your still not going to like it. Tools of the trade are a finger board, and a watch, chalk bag, and a bit of paper. Best probably to have a guy with a loud voice shouting ‘venga’,or ‘to the death wimp’, into your ear. Right start on the minute, and do some finger pull ups, jump off and rest the remainder of the minute. On the minute start again, you do this 5 times, that’s why it’s called the 5 minutes plan. If you are strong use a weight belt. If you are super strong use Jupiter.
This old wide board is good for doing type writers

Now then you might be surprised to know that this actually does work. But obviously being bonkers we did this before going climbing, and then after the climbing; and I did the 5 minutes plan, 5 times, and then lost my piece of paper. So I don’t know how many times……..
The transgression
Anyway my fingers are stronger than they were 5 weeks ago…..
In 5 months they will be stronger…….
wood is kindda good

This is the 5 minutes plan.
Do not ponder the complexities of this plan.

Then and now, by Stevie now Haston.

Photo Chris Griffiths


Here are two photos separated by 30 years! In the first photo you see an amateur climber enjoying a really great day with C.Gore a good comp climber of those years, Kim Carrigan top Ozz climber, Shagger top Party man, Chriss Griffiths photo man, and meee of course doing a Y Fronts advert-Calvin Kline not being invented or needed at the time . Second photo is 30 years later! This is basically for those who are always asking is it too late. It's not never too late, but you do have a chance, if you at least start! Get going.

Today with a less demanding party scene, you should be able to rest more-that’s a joke! Seriously, with boots that work, a greater repertoire of knowledge, and things set up in a convenient way, you should be able to climb really well.
In fact I might hazard something a little controversial and say that if I had the legs of World Cup boys, that is if my legs were less muscular I could squeeze another grade out easily. So there you go, what is stopping you?
It’s a really wild thing to realise.
Liberate yourself.

Friday, 8 June 2012

He who pulls the strings, by Stevie cat couch Haston

Bug assassin

He who pulls the strings.
Its raining today, so watched a few films. The three versions of Universal soldier. Fist of fury. Om bak. Rocky One. 
I'm exhausted.

A few hundred sets of core work has left me with abbs of steel, the films have left me with a brain the size of a pea, perfect for the project.

"All the knowledge you need comes from the breath of life" Guru Nanak.

"Knowledge and wisdom obviously  do not  come from shit films" Stevie the wise.



King of Kings, by Stevie Haston

 Ola, to the more than 2000 Spanish climbers who clicked onto the blog in the last two days, thank you! I wish you more fun and success on your beautiful Spanish stone.
I like the two Spanish magazines, Desnivel and Escualar. Desnivel is the only climbing magazine in the world which features mountain running, as it should. Good to hear that Killian is going for the big mountains, good luck. Wish I was as fit as Killian.
Venga, venga! A muerte!


Smile, its the same price!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Chimpanzodrome, by the Stevie the Gorilla Haston

Happy Gibbon
Do you ever visualize yourself as something else? Often? All the time? I was thinking about being under twenty last night, the moon was out down blasting weird memory rays, and a barn owl kept on cruising the lane, like the ghost of yesterdays dreams.
So yes I would like to be young hitch hiking through Spain, in the mid seventies without a care,  and the world could have been younger in my dreams, also. And then, maybe I could have done great ascents////
Female Gibbon
So I visited my barn, tried to tidy it up, it was a mess:::////
Mark was wandering around looking like one of the walking dead, Laurence was mixing cement. I stared at my damp neglected campus board, the numerous weights rusting in the hay, lead weights had peeled off a decayed divers belt, a mess//////

So I cleaned it up, and visualized myself as a Gibbon, not a Chimpanzee, and certainly not the baboon I am, after all, the ground liking Gorilla is gone, I hope.
Female Gibbon on acid
Chimpanzodrome  was/is a nasty overhanging 7c+ from the old days, probably the first 7c+ ever to be used for training, soloed, and once done with a bag over the head. Yesterday I felt Gibbonesque, the rise and fall of the Sabart roof was the breath of the dragon. I need to get swinging, I need power, I need bananas, Swingdance coming soon, I am de King of de Jungle, an overhang VIP.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Missing the Desert, by Stevie parched Haston

Ruby's café with a pearl on it.

First ascent for Meeee! Signe du Taureau

Where's the surf, bra?

Tricks is hard for people with sausages and hams

Missing the desert I bet it's heating up! 




Monday, 4 June 2012

Rock climbing shoes, La Sportiva, which one? Stevie ‘pro choice’ Haston.


Choosing the best shoe is getting increasingly hard for me, is it for you? First advice is; go to a good shop with many brands, then spend hours getting on your own nerves, and the shop assistants nerves, to make up for this buy two pairs of shoes. Seriously, I mean it. The best shoe for you has a lot to do with the shape of your foot,  La Sportiva have different shaped shoes, so they will fit more feet, but hey if you look like Big Foot, well.
If you are really interested in climbing don’t buy an entry leval shoe, you will out perform this shoe in a couple of lessons! Maybe you shouldn’t buy the top end either, but I am not sure about this, as I am increasingly liking the Speedster and the Futura, which I thought were to advanced for me.
What you climb, is also important as to what you wear, rock type makes a big difference. Comfort is important too, as in all day shoes, as apposed to quick bouldering, or spurty routes. But comfort is secondary to success.

Even when you have narrowed your choice down, try a different pair in the same size, check the camber on the sole. Check every thing. Check your own feet, sometimes it’s your foot that is the problem, one foot may be very different from the other.
If you have pain in a shoe, stretch it out by wearing it in the house, a bit of pain in the comfort of your house is easier than climbing. If you cant get your shoe on at the cliff because of a blister, or some other problem, try a thin plastic bag.
At the moment shoe choice is crucial for me, my friend Mark had a different shoe on each foot also the other day, and I am starting to appreciate some less radical designs for toe hooking. Its complicated, take two shoes that look the same, the Speedster and the Futura. The Futura is a vamped up model of the Speedster with an insole and a Velcro tab which help give it a more fixed fit. But I like the Speedster just as much now, its very, very sensitive, it’s a case of I had too start understanding their potential.
So the choice is hard, think about it a bit more.  There’s a couple of different kinds of route on my blog at the moment, like the Off width cracks, they really need a different kinda shoe, clearly wearing a Futura on them would be a mistake! But I am really keen to try the Futura out on some tricky slabs.
  

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Roof climbing in Russan, by Stevie up side down Haston

Roof climbing in Russan, just a photo of an 8b a forgotten cliff...

Friday, 1 June 2012

Century Crack and others...by Stevie off Haston

Here some old pics of Off-withs....


Thanks to Richie from wild Country for the 2 friends six's, ta very much...


Hope someone gives me some money (a lot) to go to the US and send Century Crack to hell...

And to climb more towers, the Black, and Salathe and see my mates...blablabla


Thai Boxing



Belly full....

CC