I'm a woman

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

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Happy 21.12.12, Happy winter Solstice, by Stevie Haston

Winter solstice today, I'm looking at the last 12 months and I had a great year, about 60 new routes in Gozo, all on interesting rock and of high quality....King of Kings is certainly my favorite  roof....a project done in Ari├Ęge....a new kitten...lots of new projects....

I've lost a little bit of muscles and become more flexible which make me a better climber....and I will get stronger slowly but surely...

Climbing is getting more important to me as the world seems to implode with stupidity. Wars to bolster the economy of the West, make me ashamed. That's it, I'm going bouldering today, to lazy to go climbing.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Keep training or die, by Stevie Haston

Tools of the trade : You need to take care of your fingers after climbing, file them, tape,  wooden board are good, cream....

 Did 1300 pull ups yesterday after climbing as I got no partner today, and I had a shock on one of my routes as a bolt seemed to move, looks like the glue was bad anyway glad I found it, I will replace it ASAP. It is a bit of too much of a job bolting and checking and cleaning and doing, a bit of help might be a good idea, this is to whom it may concern.
Fingers are getting a bit stronger from trying a hard verticalish route, it is hard without a rest for 7 bolts, I wonder how hard it is, have never done anything this hard in this style before. It is defeating me, lovely route, I'll be sorry when I do it.
Tools of the trade.

Training was about two hours, used a bit of weight on some of the sets, the two belts only add up to 11KG, but the Matrix board is mean, I think I'm getting somewhere, as I can one arm a hold smaller than campus edge now, it is looking very good for the spring, mustn't get injured!
Keep up as the Guru will say.

The Blury photo is a route called Back door Betty, a weird chimney thing that is not without interest, about grade 5+, you climb inside the cliff, I like it.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Cross Press ups, by Stevie Cross Haston

The cross press up is just a press up with a side twist, it seems to make a nice combo. The way I work it is  I do one press up and twist to one side(keep knee straight and pull your navel in), then do two press ups and one twist to the opposite side, then three press ups and twist to the opposite side. 
You can have fun to and work on your balance

I go up to ten press ups and then another 10 again and come back down, total 110 press ups and twenty side twits. You get   a rest from the press ups in the twist, so you are able to do big set fairly comfortably, and the twists stimulate a lot of core. 

I like these a lot, and you can concentrate on form more than just banging out a lot of press ups, and remember to breathe. 
At the moment I am doing lots of days on, so not following a very rational based training thingy, so occasionally I do a few sets of pull ups, and a couple of cross press ups sets, or I might combine a few cross press ups in my yoga. In the old days I would have kept a weight belt on, but this can lead to back pain if you don't watch it, if you do watch it, it can lead to a really high level of strength....
Or you can do a yoga front platform with Agni Pran for 3 minutes(breath of fire if you are familiar with this Pranayama) 

Good luck and have more fun and success....

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Crusher Matrix Board Training, BY Stevie Haston.

A perfect, bolted a brilliant route, radiant sunset. . Got home and did 1500 pull ups on the board..... Still haven't mastered the small sloper with one hand, anyway there is always tomorrow... 

I was going to post a beginner hang board routine, an intermediate, and a so called expert but I had a bit of Gozo Wine to celebrate the 1500 pull ups, so I can't really sort it out.
My diet....a heart of stone....

Took some narcissus bulbs home and thought of spring, and I thought of how I love life when it is good like today even if I do have a heart of stone.

Carnivorous flower

I'll try to sort some routines out for you all but really you will all you have to do is do!
Today I did a lot, me happy if I can keep it up for a couple of months I will improve. Simple Innit?

Stevie needs desperately a new rope....

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Thanks to the Swiss lads for their donation, by Stevie Haston

Thanks to the Swiss lads for their kind donation to help me out, so I can bolt some more routes in Gozo. Thanks Michel and Peter it was great to climb with you both, glad you enjoyed climbing in Gozo and the Underworld....Hope it's not too cold back in Switzerland! It's not snowing here in Gozo....

Friday, 30 November 2012

Climbing in Gozo, by Stevie Haston

Peter enjoying some crimps...

Left  France in the snow, arrived in the sun, all of Northen Europe was under water or snow....So I went fro a swim and felt smug, why not! 

Next day two swiss guys contacted me and we went climbing, great lads, competent and good fun. They enjoyed my cliffs and my climbs. Best climbing on the Islands they said and they were miiiiine, I felt good about their compliment and glad I did the work. I did screw up a bit, put them on what I called a hard 7 which was about 8b, little joke you understand, well they thought it was funny! Anyway that was Peter a mountain guide and Michel zee gardener. Took them to the UnderWolrd, twenty foot wave but still good, a bit bit scary but good.
Michel zee swiss gardener....

Malta and Gozo are looking good all green and lots of flowers, Narcissus are out and dotting the cliffs, they is also a carnivorous flower which is pretty too. There has been a big storm but three of my cliffs are sheltered and the temperature is good so might try some of the harder ones...I have a few 8a and above to red-point which is good but I feel low and having some hand and finger problems, we will see. 

I wake up early before the sun and do an hour or two sometimes of Yoga. I did so much stretching one day that I had some leg shake climbing for the first time in a thousand years, felt ashamed.

Put my Matrix finger board up, and ready to go looking forward to seeing what 100 weeks will do, the last training seemed to have gone perfectly and I peaked just right and got a good route, maybe that's why I'm a bit down. Hope to get a little more finger strength going and it will look good.

Went on a fingers nightmare like a Cimia horror and was feeling solid on the crimps, still they are not done till the fat lady rolls over and dies, cheery oh from the  Bozo from Gozo

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Just landed in sunny Malta, by Stevie Haston

 Just landed in Sunny Malta, 26° Simon my private chauffeur is here...taking me to the ferry for Gozo for some new adventures....Can't wait to get unto my new project in the Underworld with my friends Simon, Jeffrey......
 The top pitches of the Underworld....
 Simon Alden equipping on fruit cake land, just flew over it....
 With Jeffrey in the Underworld...
 Jeffrey climbing Superfurry animal....
 Miiiiinnnnne precious, the Underwolrd...

 Best climber in the world...
 Old fashion style...retro pegs...

More news soonnnn from sunny GOZO Malta.....

Monday, 26 November 2012

Its Fffing raining. by Stevie sunny Haston.

It's raining, and what's much worse, it's damp, yuk! I have fallen back in love with an old project, and found two more, but bad conditions mean, damp holds.  Laurence has got lots of work, so me fly south, me stay away long time. Nay matter packed a Crusher Finger Board, industrial quantities of chalk, because its 22° and sunny when I land. My plan is to bolt the extension to my roof King of Kings and make around 70 meters of overhanging climbing, wish me luck. 
I have had six weeks of great climbing saw one of the best autumns ever, and lost weight, and got fitter. A few short trips to Spain shocked me, what is up with their grades, 8as that are 7c! Duh! 8cs that are 8b! I might start using this system it's easier, and easier is good, right? How can you have Pedreza grades, and Montserrat (monster-rat) grades, and Margalef grades? Campaign for real grades anyone, oh no thats way too hard for modern day commercial web sites.  

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Inch Reine, by Stevie Haston.

This is a great route!
It's long, difficult, super tekkie to start, then just mellows into outrageous thuggery.

You need super strong fingers. You need super strong toes. You need three arms. You need a very good core, possibly bullet proof. 

 You need a massive memory, otherwise the easy bits will kick you in the nuts. 

 You must be calm in the middle of a huge storm of stone.

You must rest, refill your arms and empty your head of doubt. You must do the last bit with drag cos you were too thick to change ropes.

 And you will be content.

Possibly you will be happy. There might even be a hint of pride!

Arab Spring Exercise, by Stevie Inshallah Haston.

Here's a crafty bit of exercising. Sorry about the gnome outfit, but hopefully you will understand the photos. People are continually arguing about specific exercises like pull ups being useless, and that out sport of climbing is movement based, well you know what, just argue away, and I'll get stronger. Guys who run the hundred meter dash, do squats, how about that!

 If you follow the photos, it might become obvious to you that there is a sticking point here, in this one. This is definitely a fail point on a route. It's mainly down to shoulders, but timing and twisting strength come heavily into play.  

 The last final bit is a very nice triceps push. You can make this very much harder by slowing bits down, or changing position and height of feet.

More fun and success is what I'am after.  There are a few interesting names asssociated with exercises like the 'Egyptian move' in climbing, which is very hard to do for a lotta people, and strangely, practice in isolation makes it very much easier. Another exercise, non climbing, perhaps to many is the 'Turkish getup', I have always liked the Turkish getup, as it uses alotta 'body english'. Anyway now I give you the Arab Spring, it is super good, and leaves me optimistic.
 Last photo is 'toeing the line', you do some pull ups, and then rest on your toes, then do more, 10 sets is normally sufficient to make you feel sick. Enjoy!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Crusher Matrix board, by Stevie un-bored Haston

The Crusher Matrix Board is just what I need at the moment, and I will recommend it . Some people will say that a board is a board but thats very silly. The fingers are the primary link in climbing, if you have strong fingers at least you can hang on. Thats why climbing finger boards are often called Hang Boards. However you should ideally be able to pull as well as hang, so you need a bit of width to un traumatize the shoulders. Crushers Matrix board is 700 cm wide, which is a comfy width for pull ups. 

There's a stack of well designed holds, all in super gentle on your skin wood. The guy who makes them  is a climber who understands fingers and has spent alotta time on this board. there are different combos to use, theres a slot which allows pinches, theres a ton.  

 Big jug in the central region for big one arms. Big slopers for comfy pulls at the side.

There are some difficult holds. The monos are what I got the board for, they are preety much first joint and every one but experts will need a foot stool to take weight off on the two sets of small holds.

Mr Crusher has got a wealth of information on his web site, which includes advice on how to use this board, you should check it out. There are other boards too, but this one is in my opinion the most comprehensive. It is also very reasonable in price, I dare say it is the best bang for your buck in finger boards.
Another thing is its very light, I am taking one on a trip next week, because fingers first, eh?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A red day, by Stevie Haston

It's a red morning, the night faded into a lighter shade of black, and then blossomed, and then the grey sky was bludgeoned and bruised until you just stopped and gaped. Not bad I thought, a fox looked too, he knew better, 'rain tomorrow' he clearly indicated with a sniff of distain.
 Right, a red day means a red pointing day,  so we will go to a cliff and grip the grips, and pull the ears off the ogre. My monster is huge, and stronger than me, so I will use all my cunning. 

As I drink my coffee, I go over my plan, Move fast, change direction, be sure, with luck, the ogre will only feel where I have been, I will be one step ahead . He won't have time to react, and change his shape, and confound me. Then I will pluck out his red eyes, and chain him. 
Until the next time...