I'm a woman

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

Friday, 23 October 2015

Towering Towers, Knotty problems. by Stevie Gordian Knot Haston

 The ethics of the Saxon Swiss have always been strict. And where you have strict ethics, you will always have infringers. If I'd been brought up with these ethics, although I find them terribly admirable and too use an old fashioned word "Manly", I would have bent the rules. I am only Mildly Macho after all-Mildly Macho was an old E6 of mine some where in a forgotten slate quarry, the crux protected by RP Os- the smallest nuts made. These brass nuts were nearly as small as my own physical nuts above Dresden bolts recently.

 Old routes, old fashion balls, although Saxon Estrogen seems more courageous than Maltese testosterone!

Not being able to read German is a bit of a handicap, every night Bernd gives me a few books to read and I try to absorb something. In one book  I noticed a hysterical bolt chopping saga, on a magnificent bit of rock, it must be said, but the length of the controversy seemed outrageous. So I took a deep breath and asked Bernd, he said he was embarrassed about the whole incident and sadly it was not isolated! Obviously we have these things all over the world and looking back they can seem very very trivial and childish. There was one in Yorkshire UK  recently where bolts were threatened to be chopped, and by someone who doesn't climb anymore and who has placed many more contentious bolts. Hypocrites are everywhere. Including me.

 Violet groove , 1967 desperate!

The Saxon Swiss rules need relaxing to allow for the newer generation of climbers, this is the opinion of Bernd Arnold, the last of the old bergfuehrers. It is my opinion too, for me it is blatantly obvious! The old guard sit in their committee while climbing dies. Climbing here is the most magnificent celebration of life, exuberance, and joy, please don't let it die Herr Committee. 
 At the belay, no warm up, bug eyed on the crux.

The Violet groove with Bernd was handsome- homespun, courage on my part. Cold fingers, no warm up, knots for pro, hands and feet all about face. I just couldn't fall off despite what my body wanted to do. Bernd patted me on the back. "Did you see the Hell Hound?", he asked. "I had", I replied, we laughed, for the name of the cliff is the Hell Hound.

Bernd, 68 years old, he did this route in 1967 on leave from national service.

I love this place. The Hell Hound has yellow eyes, sharp teeth, and smelly breath if you want to know. I haven't seen those eyes for a while, but they used to haunt me in my younger days. The Hell Hound will get me, no doubt, but I'ave given him a good run, gotta keep Rover fit, don't we?

Mellow viewing through the looking glass.

Magic place, I will be back.