I'm a woman

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

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Adventure with small and large people, by Stevie Haston

Over the years I have had the joy of introducing many people, old, and young to the outside and inside world. Along with the joy comes responsibility, that is onerous but normal. Who is to blame if something goes wrong?

This is Harmony trying to post her self back to the normal world of boring school lessons. Harmony is one of the latest in the line of our family who can trace her spirit back thru the mists of time to people who worshiped Odin.

Leo is six and really likes chocolate cake, but we all suspect he secretly likes chopping peoples heads off with swords. Socializing him not to decapitate people is a challenge!
What are you supposed to do with people and kids, keep them in cotton wool and teach them to surf the internet instead of the sea?

The water is cold, and the legal waters are hot for people who get it wrong. In Italy  multiple people are being charged with manslaughter, for the death of young Tito a 12 year old. His death was avoidable. But is the crime/mistake, not that the boy was not just taught how to check his own gear?

Laurence is an 'adult', she is about to slide down the mini toboggan and plunge into the cold water, its tremendous fun, but should you take kids in there?
Is it wrong in todays odd world!

I was roaming the cliffs and swimming the sea without mates from the age of about 7, somewhere along the way I developed the idea that it was I who was responsible.

Anyway this is fun, but I take less and less people out, and so the fun in the world will shortly all disappear, will it not? The smiles of the explorer are pretty to see, but they have cost grey hairs for sure. Tears are not as pretty.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Yag McSherry is dead, by Stevie Haston

Yag McSherry was killed in a hit and run incident in Ireland. A stark sad fact to mark the end of a fine free spirit. He will be missed by many who climbed, surfed and partied with him. And those of course who loved him, like his wife Jo.  
(c) Steve Downes

He was a prime mover in the Liverpool /Birkenhead group of climbers in the 80s before moving to surf in Ireland. He was light and strong and made many things look easy, soloing the Overhanging wall at the Breck being an example in bad shoes. I once went into the Padarn Lake Hotel where I met Yag at the bar, he was naked except for a Red nose charity emblem (it was red nose day) the red nose bobble was on the end of his .....As I said he will be missed.

Friday, 23 August 2013

The rocking horse of fitness, by Stevie Haston

Fitness is an illusive Eldorado! Sometimes the more you try the further away it seems. I dont normally make mistakes with my fitness plan, but often don't execute it that well. At the moment it's a bloody rocking horse, or a see saw, back and forth, not good.

This hedge hog is in protection mode, an incredible effective response to perceived attack. The human body and it's many different mechanisms is about as prickly and tricky to work around. When you climb things that are too hard for you, and you can set up all sorts of defense strategies. Sometimes you don't pull hard enough because your body knows more than you that you might hurt yourself. When you diet and go too hard your body might thing you are in starvation mode and sacrifice muscle! It's all a bit complex.    

People who don't climb much and have to maximize their free time like my daughter who has three children can easily put too much pressure on themselves, and so finding the right level of trying can be very hard and illusive.

This hedge hog is more used to big weird monsters looking at him, and so is relaxed enough to move naturally.

This 'route pig' is not really relaxed enough to execute dynamic moves when he knows he hasn't the strength to monkey up the rope repeatedly. The 'route pig' needs more strength, less weight, more flow, it is actually all there, and he still can't get it. He will have it if he's clever, but he is too impatient, he needs to box clever, the sweet science, not the brawler. Any way, to plateau is normal, it's all part of the game, and dont forget the game can be a right frustrating pig at times. Don't let it get you down ....just break on thru to the other side. 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A long climb with a short daughter, by Stevie Haston

My daughter Kate is visiting, and she wanted to do a multi pitch kind climb, so we headed over to the Pic de Orlu.  We have long routes there up to 1000 meters of abordable granite in a forested mountain region, it's cute, and doesn't feel too macho, like a lotta alpine stuff. 

There are meadows by the river and very good bouldering even in the summer heat thanks to the strong breeze going up and down the valley.

Anyway we wondered up and as my middle daughter is a good slab climber being Welsh, we decided to fore sake our plan and go for Durandalle as its the most open and has the cleanest slabs. A feature of much of the climbing is it can look a bit vegetated even though it takes clean granit, but Durandalle looks the cleanest, so it was Durandalle for us.

 Pillar Sud looks a bit broken and easy and is 1000 meters to the top, it doesn't look super good but you could do a lot worse in life than poodle your way up this meandering arete, in fact I'll recommend it. Mainly easy with bits of grade 5 it tops out on a pointy summit with a good view; there you go.

 Typical Durandalle, easy angled rough textured slabs which are always interesting. No faffing 15 draws, two 55 meter ropes, a helmet or two and water to taste. It's rigged for abbing from up to pitch 16.

In the sun you get hot, your feet swell and the continuous grade 6 slabs get tricky! Rap down in bare feet if you don't want to do the last exposed ridge an decent across a moorland and thru a forest. The up and over option is best, but we were sunburnt and plan to go back on a cool or cold day!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Are you tired? by Stevie very tired Haston

If you are tired, why don't you rest? If you do too much, you need to rest! Why are people doing so much, it is like a consummering in sport, as well as the rest of their lives.
If you train hard, you probably need " rest days! No one I know rests for 3 days! I do, and I'ms till tired! People eat shit and expect to be healthy!
I eat really well and I am run down and still tired!
The solution for me was to eat raw vegetables with a few organic eggs a day and cut down on my sets in training!
10 sets of power pulls and 10 sets of core! And 10 hours of sleep.
Train hard, rest hard!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Carpal tunnel Syndrome and Dupuytren's Contracture in Climbers, by Stevie Haston.

Dupuytrens, and CTS find a much higher place amoung the climbing community than in the general public. I suffer from both as does my wife. You might have it, or just one, and so heres my tip, cut out gluten and for sure the Carpal  TS will lessen, or disappear. The Dupuytrens might stop, and might get better. I have done the experiment three times, and it has proved totally right and extremely quickly with the CPS. It is harder to be sure with Dupuytrens, but Laurence and I are convinced. If there are Doctors out there be sure to take note. Now I know that most Doctors out there, are just interested in making money, and not curing anything, but please take note anyway, even if it is just to help yourself! 

Monday, 5 August 2013

Being strong means strong habits. by Stevie Haston

(c) Inigo Taylor

This route is amazing, I aint going to do it unless I start sorting everything out. Dreaming about it, aint going to cut. Being deluded, aint going to cut it.
 So? Yes, basically it's called good work, plus good food, plus good rest. And lets face it no one is going to help me, so it's down to me! The world is fucked, but my little self centered, ego centric world, is going to revolve West to East, the tide will obey my commands!   

 The tide will obey my commands, cos I will only ask it to operate in a cycle, West to east might not happen so scratch that! This Lilly does what it can, it has good soil and tries to do its job. I water it. If I didn't water it, it would die.Its healthy because I look after it, and help its natural ways.

This sporting machine is totally the most powerful thing, it was trapped in the house, it can jump, but it can't find its way out of the house. Climbers are like that. We can all climb, but we develop bad habits, and very few know how to maximize, or indeed get out of the climbing wall/bouldering/training thang. My route is 3 to 5 months away! 3 to 5 months of good habits, good food, and good sleep. Instead of going to the cliff, I stayed at home watered my Lilies, and decided to train for my route instead of training myself to get to the first crux and fall off and get all bent out of shape. Good habits, good food, good sleep!   

Friday, 2 August 2013

Forever Young Mike Owen, by Stevie Haston.

I bumped into a couple of old mates the other day, which made me happy. Mike and Elaine Owen were part of the Welch climbing scene in the late 70s and 80s, and now like me they are part of the French climbing scene. Mike is a bit younger than me and Elaine of course is 21, they are the same as they ever were, but probably climb better. Why do they they still climb so well? Their climbing spirit is the same, their technique is better, and of course France is a bit more clement than the UK. Mike regularly climbs in the 8th grade, and was one of the early E7 leaders in Britain, he has been an inspiration to me for a long time, his accurate footwork is matched with a strong work ethic, and I hope to bump into him when we are in our 60s still climbing 8s.    

This young spider was hunting around my Lilies, and Mike was hunting in my cave, he is trying to catch El Chico a rather tough sneaky 8a+.

Mike is rather like the Spider, his stealth kept him out of the lime light in Britain and let the noisier climbers get their acclaim. Talking to this climbing couple brought many things back, so thanks Elaine and Mike. Elaine remembered that the first time they saw me was on Left or Right Wall in my underpants in 1977 or so! Mike had a good laugh comparing how badly we used to climb and how youth is so very wasted on the young.