I'm a woman

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

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Italy is numero Uno, by stevie haston.

Went to northern Italy for work and pleasure again, both good. It rained again also, but the flowers were bright and plentiful and the mountains looked very big with their mantle of snow on. I did my normal run passed the Jorrasses and for a few moments had a bit of static as I looked up at an unclimbed couloir that was claimed and named as a route the other week. So three nice guys fail on a route, but decide to claim it anyway and there is a report in Planet Mountain and UKC web sites condoning it. Gee, is there any point in actually doing anything anymore. Come on, the thing is still waiting to be done. I paused, shook my head, and then I thought about the talented sport climber who just added 70 bolts to the Maestri route on Cero Torre, the climbing world is loosing its senses and it’s getting worse. Anyway the north face of the Blanche got a ski decent just this month, first time since the first, 30 years ago, so on the way back down I paused, thought about that, and it cheered me up. And strangely enough, a few days later I was up at altitude in a hurricane doing some film work, which although really unpleasant made me feel a lot of respect for people who do give mountains their due place and respect and don’t stop before the tape looking around for applause.
The big personnel news which is pretty depressing for me, the route I really want to do is humiliating me, and it looks like I will have to get better or more likely just bin it, because its too hard for me. I have made no head way on it, created more mental barriers for myself, and worse, realised it’s super morpho for me. So in reality, I am on to a thrashing to nothing. If it wasn’t for the fact that its brutal character has imprisoned my desire I would defo say I have given up on it, but I’ll try a bit more just to hurt myself. It’s only had two ascents by two of my heroes at the peak of their game, both lads with a bigger reach and 15 pounds lighter than me. Think about those facts, and you might be as depressed as me! They both regularly placed high in comps and this power endurance kindda route was there bread and butter. However to justify the likely hood of failure I have convinced myself that it could be beneficial in a training way rather than an ego way, just use it as a gigantic exercise machine and a mental game, and award myself points for doing bits of it, or good links. As its on the way from work to the apartment its almost sensible. This route is defiantly tilting at windmills at the moment, but I always did like that book.

Met a great guy called Max who was trying a very nice power endurance 8b+, he was helping his mate do a route and between burns sat in a fold up chair reading a book on Adolf Hitler. It turned out that he was the same size as Laurence so with his help we were able to convince Laurence to try a route she had secretly had an eye on. Max was also able to give me some great beta despite being 5 inches smaller than me, grazzie. His optimism and happiness were contagious even though I was tired and I look forward to seeing him get his route, which he most defiantly will unlike me! We were discussing how hard it is being mountain climbers who are into redpointing and how are habits of security impede our ability to take risks and climb well on sport routes. Anyway his ability to switch on was much better than mine but I am having a bad patch, this bad patch doest extend into me being sour though and I am getting a lot of pleasure from other peoples success, just wish I had some of my own. I’ll have to start training with Ernest and stop eating and become obsessed and mortgage my soul again.

My boss was a demanding tyrant as usual, but I love him like a father. Once at a meeting 10 years ago I doodled a cartoon of him, a distorted huge head, large hands, small ears, and one of my sub bosses looked over my shoulder and started giggling and then big bosses son started laughing too until the meeting was disrupted and I was dragged over the coals. But to this day on his door he has the cartoon, a big brain and small ears is no good, so he altered the cartoon to a big brain and huge ears because that’s what the boss should be. Bravo Boss.

Because of work my head was always full of great gear, work, more design, efficiency, costs, communication, too much coffee, so I would run a bit or do a lot of Yoga to try and relax. But to very little avail, I’d wake up at 5 am and start thinking or wanting action of some sort. In the end I looked at my training and decided to work a couple of things in a complicated exercise plan and cut down on duration but up frequency, day on day off, but each second day on different by 50%, in exercise and intensity. This is to try to iron out my weaknesses, by sacrificing some of my strengths; loose some power and hopefully gain some power endurance. I need more crimp strength too even though I have gained,. If I make a small gain and loose 10 lbs, I might become an interesting mutation. Lets see, 12 weeks or more, and the transformation to wingless bat, half gibbon, should be complete.