I'm a woman

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

Monday, 23 June 2014

Pantani. by Stevie Haston.

Born January 13 1970, died February 14 2004. His feral grimace lives on in the back of my mind, and his tragic death, alone on Valentine's day, a broken, poisoned, sad man, still makes me wince at our hypocrisy towards drugs. The great footballer Maradona said we were all guilty, and complicit in his death!
As drugs take a far greater part in climbing (Pantini was the greatest mountain climber of all time) when are we going to wake up. Recently an Italian climbing friend said that he got out of cycling because it was too pharmaceutical at an early age, only to be completely shocked to see what was going on in climbing. I personally was a great fan of maestro Pantani, as I was in no doubt that he was on more than porridge. 
He was the last guy to win the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia in the same year. Valentine's day has never been the same for me, since the death of the Pirati.   My bikes are covered in cobwebs, the tires are rotting, a bit like my ice axes really. 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Kefir is king, by Stevie Haston

It's summer again and some peoples allergies are hitting the roof, so why not try water based Kefir? Some of you might be lucky enough to know milk based Kefir which has a fantastic history, going back to the Caucasus mountains, where it was stolen from a Muslim prince by a swindling Russian government agent, a beautiful seductress...... just google the story its brill, and should be a film.
Anyway my pollen allergy has been very much reduced by water based Kefir. The above jug is lemon and ginger flavoured and is a very good substitute for commercial sodas, and as it's not milk based, but water based Vegans might appreciate it. Kefir, for unbelievers, aids the gut in getting rid of toxins, and thus so the reasoning goes, helps your immune system, tackle other things, in my case the evil pollen!   

Above is Nigelle de Damas, a weed that grows in many places in southern Europe, its seeds are called black cumin and is eaten as a spice with apparently good effects. It was used as a cream in Egyptian times, and might be another of those great helpers. Anyway there are loads in the garden, and was brought back to this part of France by the crusaders if not before.

This is the weird Kefir granules, or should I say magic granules! It's defo worth trying, don't take too much,  a small mouthful to begin with, until your gut gets used to it. It's very good for runners, but I am drinking it very much as a substitute for water at the moment and I hate giving money too commercial soda makers and clogging the world up with plastic or aluminium.

If your interested, google it all up and try, oh and don't use a metal spoon it kills the culture. Good luck with it, More fun and sucess.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Scarpa Stix, review Stevie Haston.

Took the Scarpa Stix for a quick test today. I could just say it was magic, but that would be doing them a disservice. It's the best slipper I have climbed in, and I am a big slipper fan. It's got a big bonus, it some how climbs like a good edging boot! It's really sensitive, although Scarpa's Instinct S might be more supple, and subtle due to a thinner sole. The Stix has 3.5 mm of Vibram XS grip 2,  the Instinct 3mm, unless you really want that extra few percent performance of feel the 3.5 is going to last you longer. There's a slight difference in top toe rubber, not that big a deal but the Stix has a few ribs of blue that you can see in the photo that help you drag the top of your foot real well.     

Anyway, first route for my pair of Stix was an 8a! Second route for my Stix was an 8a, just as my shoes were warming to their task, I was powering out. The cliff has lots of toe drags, heel hooks and scums, and the shoes low profile helped in the pockets. The snug heel was an improvement on most of the shoes I've warn lately and I didn't slip out of it. I'd love these shoe with a velcro band but in this version it has the harder Edge rubber so if you like that rubber or have real tiny edges to tip toe on, you're lucky.    

Sizing for me was 3 1/2 sizes under trainers, I wear mine real tight, I have heard 2 sizes down is real good for most, but as I have always said shoes are your most important buy, so take your time and really think about it.

I am really looking foreword to pushing these shoes in the next few months. The toe is really good for me, and it will still take a small pocket,  and it edges on both sides really well, and all in a slipper!

The convenience of slippers is one of their best virtues but normally you give a bit up for the privilege, not exactly so it appears. Above you can see the vacuum fit I strive for.

I finally put them through  a severe test but it was me that gave out. On a normally brutal series of slaps, I found myself using my feet more. This was on a route I'ave red pointed twice, but never dominated with any real margin. I look foreword to trying finally to subdue this beast, with some élan rather than my normal brutalisation. Check these slippers out at Scarpa UK, or Scarpa. 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Edelweiss 9.2 rope, by Stevie Haston.

If you haven't climbed on a 9.2mm you will get a shock, they are impressively light and responsive. I normally climb on thicker single ropes, but wanted a boost to my climbing, and this 9.2 and a 9.5 will definitely do the trick. Thicker ropes will often last longer especially if your heavy or your not careful with abrasion and rope drag. Having said that lightness is key and King, on the on sight and for long red point stamina suffer 'fests'. This 9.2 is in a 90 m version and the package is tiny, so this rope and a big bunch of light draws will take up less room in a plane or as your kit than a 10mm with sturdier clips, it's obvious but there you go, how often do we compromise. I don't intend to compromise this year. The added benefit of a 90 m rope is you can use it double and still get up lots of trad routes in the alps or bigger cliffs, just understand some simple math-thats right its 45m doubled! You can do 45 m abseils or if you are pushing it slightly longer with stretch! 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Time to train. by Stevie the slob Haston.

Pinch an inch, you can loose ten pounds! That was an old one when I was young, they didn't need fat callipers, or need to charge you 60 baloons, they just told you the truth. Any way its closer to 14 lbs I can loose, and loose it I will! While I'am loosing it I'll use it as a weight belt. 

Here's two of my weight belts, they are a bit heavy for me, after doing a bit of gardening and a bit of wood sawing could only do a few sets! I ran out of chalk and was looking in different chalk bags, when I felt a weird kinnda chalk ball thing at the bottom of one, took it out and it was  a natural chalk ball , a dead rodent, without a head. Thanks cats. At the cliff I can do 8a, which is very disappointing, but finger strength is not too bad, power and stamina are really low, flexibility is high and reflexes very fast, whats in store this year? Training is what's in store! It's the same as it ever was! 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

My Shit Life So What, by Stevie Haston.

My mates are all banging on about how I should write my story, and I always say nobody is ready for that kindda truth. Do you know Frankie Boyle? He's a startlingly brilliant comedian who wrote a best seller about a life that's fairly ordinary, but hey it's funny, like bustta gonad funny!
Climbing auto's are like old bangers that don't work, they're rusty affairs, but remind you somehow that climbing is still good even though the writer gave up climbing years ago, or couldn't even break the speed limit.
My life was/ is shit and in between I climbed some stuff, in really beau places, occasionally, like every three years or so,  having a moderately  intelligent conversation.
How do you tell the truth in  an ocean of confused mémoires, there's so many versions of what's what, what's hard, who's the best,  an ocean of blurb, and badly written blurb to boot. That boot is a EB by the way, or is it a Tricuni nailed leather boot....its not a toe hugging , sticky rubber covered grade enhancer...... depends on which year doesn't it? I put a pair of nailed boots on a few weeks ago and guess what happened? Nothing happened, I couldn't climb at all well, ageing super vet turned into ageing Clark Kent, complete with silly specs.
Will I ever write this book that spans over forty years of climbing? Will you ever hear the true or semi true stories? I doubt it. Cos one, I'll get sued.
Since you won't read my great book, read Mr Boyles' funny little scribbles, they are funny, very funny, pity he never climbed anything. Pity most climbing books are a waste of paper.....  

Friday, 6 June 2014

Have a rest Therese James, from Stevie Haston

Therese rest in great peace.

This link was shared by her brother Gill, watch it if you require some peace today, its very restful and might bring you peace from the relentless pounding......

Monday, 2 June 2014

I want to be bigger, by Stevie small Haston

I wanna be bigger, bigger than the fame,
Bigger than the lights, bigger than the money
Out on the stage
I wanna be bigger, bigger than it all,
Bigger than the glory, so I could never fall,
Bigger than the sky, bigger than the clouds,
We never coming down.

Read these words by Steven Cooper, and if you don't understand them, just enjoy them. Akon did a great song with them and you might like that also. Me, I got up and played with a dog, cos he wants to be bigger also,  he bit me, and attacked me, then I went and kicked the long bag listening to the song. The dog bit the bag a bit, to keep me company.

I always wanted to be bigger, cos I was a small, squinty eyed ugly lonely boy with weird habits. And did I tell you I stuttered, no, well thats why I labour a point sometimes I think, cos I know people have stopped listening to the stuttering boy. Anyway lots of my mates are dead, never had many, maybe they did the right thing who knows. They wanted to be bigger, and alotta them were, maybe not bigger than the fame or the money, but they  were bigger, Bigger.

Here is a final link to Melvin Manhoef with part of it played over by the song, I wanna be Bigger, don't watch this if your squeamish, or don't like fighting, or maybe you should. This vid might make you train really hard or puke up some of your liberal misconceptions, 3 mins will do.   Climbing is entertainment just like fighting in a ring, except the most violent of the two is not the kick boxing, it's the climbing, none of my friends died in the ring! 

"Apollo who", was a great line from a great film, when is climbing gonna have a film like that, and where is our song, Bigger?