I'm a woman

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

Friday, 15 June 2018

Climbing versus Trade show, by Stevie win win Haston.

So, I am on the road to the Summer Climbing Trade show, but thought I'd give you a few photos of why there is an Out door show!

 Ali following, he can't swim that well,so he is a bit scared!

 A 70 meter groove that got away, it's very neat and tidy, will go back!

 This is me in a wet suit, water was 19, it's now 23°C, so might go back in a banana sling, and get a bit higher!


 Diego the dog, he is a few kilometres away from his food bowl, but he does like swimming and climbing. 


 In the Italian cafe yesterday, I noticed this, its a farming thing, the big girl cows are scary, they joust a bit, and its a spectacle, not sure about it, I went once, and it was ok, lots of drinking etc.

Working like a dog!

So I will be at the Trade show, visit me at the Grivel booth. Happy show to everybody.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Sizing climbing shoes. By Stevie size matters Haston.

So as if sizing climbing shoes isn't hard enough, it is getting hot and the problem gets bigger!

 Secret Stuff is effective for lots of chalk use, use all the secrets of climbing and use them well. The end result is did you clip the chains and have a good time!


 Right nitty gritty time. Shoes have got better recently, they have got very very good! Thats good news. There is no bad news. There is a problem though, climbing shoes pinch, hurt, or are trouble some to some degree. Again the good news is that this problem is almost gone if you climb lower grades. If you start edging or toeing harder grades you enter the twilight zone of differing degrees of discomfort. The modern thought is that shoes are so good that it has almost disappeared-well. Discomfort is dependent on a number of things, mainly you fitting in to that tight shoe brilliant climb harder shoe.


 Edge rubber, brill in that it gives good support and better edging and will last longer but it won't stretch as much-OK.

 A soft shoe is the opposite of what beginners choose but could be the answer. Why lots of reasons but mainly it gives and is kinder to your feet.

 Width matters! Above are two shoes same size in this case a 41 but different widths, which one do you want to be waiting on a hot day?

 Instinct VS from Scarpa is a brill boot which fits my foot really well, and is the perfect fit for me, but I normally choose a shoe with softer rubber, and synch it up tight because I have a foot with special odd places, so I have trouble outside edging.  I can also tolerate some pain, so I go with pain. In summer (here it is very hot, 30°C) I like a shoe with a bit more room, and I normally don't climb very hard in the summer anyway.


Furia S is very much a killing shoe, and along with the Chimera it is one of my favourites. It's a slipper and the Chimera is a lace up, in sumer I'll choose a velcro over a lace up.
Older fitting practises have changed, you don't need to hurt badly, and people who are still growing should probably go for softer shoes. My advice has always been to get the absolute best fitting shoe. If you have to get it tight because your standard is high, and the route demands it, take them off after you hit the chain, or ledge. Multi pitch, or all day shoes are a different kettle of fish, comfort over performance. Take care folks and enjoy your climbing. Don't let adverts fool you, don't let shops, or mags push you, don't be kippered by shop staff. The good news is that there are brill shoes out there, and they don't need to hurt. Well maybe a little, and your wallet might take a dent because you do need shoes, plural!  

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Rocks, Food, and taking risks causes death. By Stevie Haston.

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Apple Crumble rock! This kind of rock is very hard to climb. I forgot that I didn't have a harness for this route due to a senior citizens moment, not very Health and Safety!
Are you unimpressed with the Nose record? I don't have any hidden agenda, its just a question! Where you less impressed with it coming down a few days later, and then a few days later again? I was fairly astounded by some people remarks that speed was dangerous particularly John Longs. John Long was largely responsible for starting the whole shebang with their drugged up one day ascent four or five centuries ago!
Ice is beautiful and nice, its more dangerous in a drink than when you climb on it!

The opinions of journalists, or ink sellers, and other assorted writers should not be taken as truth just because they are good at putting shiny nice words together. One climbing writer who I like is against abortion, should I never read his stuff again? I think I will. One writer I like tells massive fibs! Shall I read his stuff, I think I will, but I have always regarded it as fantasy, or fiction. The Nose record to me, is just the record for 880 meters of steep granite in a restricted park, in a politically dubious country. Still it's fairly impressive, the Eiger times are way, way more impressive. And if you think I am anti Yank you are wrong, the Freeblast solo was a record that seriously impressed me. Selling words is a funny thing. Climbing Mags are not, and never were good at it.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Fit for purpose, by Stevie not fit Haston.

I am a bit fat- I don't like it. I am a bit unfit-I don't like it! I can do my work, but it hurts, training is out-just can't get my shoulder to work. 
I hate having an excuse, hate having an injury. What can I do? Nothing much.


Pierre Allain, a great underrated French climber, seen here doing the odd pull up at 82, what I love about this photo is his smug look, his touch of pride, his happiness at being able to do a pull up.

What is being fit? What is the purpose of being fit? 

At the moment I live on a small island with some small steep cliffs surrounded by sea. I think I should be fit for my island and my work. So I should climb, and be aquatic. How fit though?

Fit for Gogarth, is not being fit for Sport climbing!

Getting out of shape, or getting injured, or being lazy is easy. Getting fit requires a bit of effort-getting seriously fit requires serious effort!

lovely rock.

The appropriate level of fitness I need now is something like this.

 5km sea swim
40 meter dive
Half marathon
20 rope lengths of climbing

lets say 20 pull ups set
100 push up set


Fit to eat! "Not nice for Mr Pig to be eaten", says Yoda.

Is my proposed level of fitness possible? Yes of course it is! Why do I want it? Because,  that's what I want.
And I also want to do the Peutery Integral on the Monte Bianco, and not look like a truck driver! 



Friday, 25 May 2018

Old lives, new dreams, by Stevie Haston.

If I said I had many lives it wouldn't be a boast, if I said I had many unforefilled dreams it wouldn't be a lament. Regrets, sure, thousands! But climbing the rock that is so hard, so marvellous, so slithery, yes climbing slate was never a regret, even when I fell, and the fall seemingly went on forever. 


Partners in crime were Mad Madge Maginly, The Captain (Cliff Philips), the Yob (Mr Howard), Chipper Jones, Ray Kay the rhyming climber, et bloody al.


 I got the feeling this was taken by Paul Whilliams, it's of me on one of his routes, he said something like "it is has the wildest heel hook in the world", and I retorted, "it would have been, for a man with two wooden legs", he didn't laugh!


Me and Mr Crook, he is politely laughing at one of our shared stories, some of them weren't funny!



 Mr Crook can share my shivers if we talk of the dalles Grisses, in a former life he was an Alpinist. There arnt many who really know what your talking about, and those that do, they have lived their lives and dreamt their own dreams.

today we live other dreams, here I am a few days ago with Chris and Ali, on a new route called Three old fossils.

Lives have to be lived, but there was a time that my candle was burning at both ends.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Rock of God, by Stevie Haston.

I been travelling. North Wales was great, perfect temperature for climbing, but books have been my CO2 friendly mode of exploring other places and listening to clever people. Being poor my options are few, but hey at least I have options, try living in Gazza.

 This book is very interesting, probably not the kind of book you want to be reading sitting next to a Scouser with six kids in adjoining seat, and a long tattoo stretching up his kneck with knives portrayed in it.
 One of my local hangs! If I am feeling good to the planet, I'll walk here.

 With  Ben Moon, I am always confronted by morphology, Ben is really made for climbing, being lithe, I am born to move Fridges and washing machines around.

 My Great  Bulkness, rock that is shiny in the sun, the Tube that is no longer where it should be, and tip toing in the steps of my old friend Cliff Phillips, AKA The Captain, perhaps more "Captain, my Captain", rather than a piss take on Royalty.

 The magic angularity of climbing Slate is a Kaleidoscope of callisthenics and Shape Shifting.

 The last pitch on a six pitch route, or day-40 meters of sublimeness.

Hobbit toes, climbing hobbits, it was lovely to be part of a landscape. The holes that were dug by the dwarves of North Wales, these pits of industrial Britain were part of the Empire, the Empire that they are forever trying to resurrect in the mind of the electorate, to convince you to vote for Money, and cruelty over peace and harmony. Obviously, a long time ago I voted with my fingers and toes, and went the way of the Dervich. Climbing was my running away to Sea, it was my running away to work with the circus. Long live Climbing and all who sail in her.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Three Old Fossils, by Stevie Haston.

Chris and Ali came over to do a bit of climbing so I went for something special as Chris has done a fair bit with me. The weather was brisk, there was a bit of a risk, but I felt frisky, and looked foreword to my Cisk - Cisk being the local beer brand.

 I got tangoed on this bit-Ali about to get an enema.

It had to be a new route, so we went for it despite the two others looking a bit green and Ali not being a great swimmer.

 Chris seconding a real plum pitch to a hanging belay -his first!

 Listen guys we have time you just go back down and do the top pitch of Titan, Ok!

Chris, giggling a bit-he loved this pitch as I knew he would.

 Ali, Chris visible behind, at peace with the ledge and the sea.

Returning to civilisation never feels that good for me, but the lads earned their beer.
Anyway the new route is called 3 Old Fossils! Its brill, 5a,5a, 6a,6a, I recommend it, but be prepared to be exposed! Its steep in places.