I'm a woman

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

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Post Script fron USA, by Stevie PS Haston.

The States was good, or should I just say the outdoor show, as I only went climbing twice, and only close a few hours outta town. I returned to Europe which had duller skies and missed the states straight away, ah! Anyway in Italy now, which aint bad, it's got coffee for a kick off, and off to Germany in a couple of days where of course they got beer, Utah take note, 2.5 and 3 percent is yellow water! 

 Obvious this is the new guide book to ice and mixed in Utah, it's by two really great guys Nathan Smith and Andrew Burr. Buy it, 20 odd bucks for great photos and info. I very much like my photo got Nathan looking like a saint!

 This is my bessy buddy garage in Salt Lake, 'alright Steve, we got a meter of fresh coming in tomorrow, your in the wrong place buddy'. This is my kinda garage, a very common sight in Utah, two different sorts of board, finger boards and sliding boards, oh yes!

 Mixed climbing boot from Scarpa, very very nice, will do a review sometime. It's very good product, that is the short review, ok.

 This was a bit of a laugh, Basketball, more interesting than cricket, and it doesn't rain all of a sudden. Bit of a cultural shock, can't personally describe it as sport, it's more an entertainment, and a bit of tribal bonding, not bad though. I sussed the best player out fairly easily, and asked how much he earned-16 million dollar. He smiles a lot. My boss keeps asking me to smile when I do gear videos, well I got the answer for you boss-pay me 16 million.

Stayed in a wierd hotel, truckers, and people of the night, 3 fights, coffee and food were some kind of unrecognisable shizer. Anyway Utah is at its best outside the city, protect it you Utahrians. 

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Utah Ice and stuff, by Stevie back in Italy Haston.

 So last day in Utah was a big day. Woke up too early hassled my mates, they said I'd got the time wrong, which I had, did yoga till they woke up. Went round to the importers to get gear, Liberty Mountain have pads of gear and are really great guys, followed these guys to Provo Canyon, which was in surprisingly good nick.

 Ice climbing gear is very important, good ice climbing gear climbs by itself. Our new Grivel Teck Machine just won an award from Climbing Magazine USA, . You have to say that it's a very good axe which allows instinctive placements, and superb ergonomics. Anyway we had a half day doing loads of ice and trying out gear. For some of us it was just another day in the office and for others it was reaffirming their belief in climbing and the gear.

 I had a very good time in Utah, it was unfortunately mostly work, and have to thank Gary for making it all possible. Its very odd to realise that I have a hell of a lot of friends in the States, and I haven't even been there for a dozen of years! Looking foreword to going back and doing a bit of climbing, or maybe a lot of climbing!

 This is a general view of the little ice climbing school, not bad at all. Its a short drive a short stiff walk up hill and seven or so pitches up, with lots of mixed variations if you want. No wonder the SaltLake region produces such great climbers from time to time.

 This is Oliviero sampling the Utah ice, we had two Alexis as well, the y were well spoilt Alta and Snowbird for skiing the day before and perfect plastic ice today.

A view of the whole thing, not bad really, I did 11 practise pitches with a funny ankle, not bad for a sea level Maltese boy, Cascades like this are inspiring and so is being in good company. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Rants, Pants, Stevie Haston.

Short little blog, cos I'll be travelling for a few days. This blog is all about things going wrong, which in my case is practically all my life! Today I went ice climbing with Nathan and Jake and had a great time. Forgot my camera so you can't see the blue sky and dry air of the high road to reach this little frozen cascade. It was a lovely cascade, cold temps turned into rubber ice and then falling ice, but it was good. Scoped out some other stuff to climb. I was in borrowed gear, and it all worked. So where's the rant I hear you say? Well, I shoulda had a bit more climbing in right, I shoulda gone down the Indian creek, and done a few cracks in the sun, where's my rack of a trillion friends and cams? My gear is in France, I'am on the other side of the pond, I'll be back t'other side of Pond in a couple of days having used up my carbon footprint for 10 years, and what climbing will I have done?

I want to climb! My belief in my right to climb is normally absolute, it's self entitlement gone mad, it's always worked, so why is it failing me now? In the past it was a self for-filling  prophecy, where are these for-filling feckers when you want them.

A bit of ice climbing tomorrow, then a bit of work then fly. Will I come back, I better had as I got alotta friends here

Friday, 23 January 2015

new strength new year by stevie new haston

The Bald eagle, USA symbol, I kinda just think of cracks as the symbol of America. Dawn Wall was just done by two American young men and it's been everywhere in the media. Perhaps climbing will get a boost, who knows.

Hung over today, was out partying last night, feel the need to train, but I'd probably chunder like an Australian cement mixer.

Can you imagine doing this after a night out on the bing, makes me sick just thinking about it! Need to get strong, need to get off my arse. Maybe I,ll do a bit tomorrow, the hotel where I am has a small door way edge, where I did a few hundred pull ups the other night when I couldn't sleep. It felt great to be doing that simple excersise. Long live pull ups.

So another day of work over, and another day closer to going home. Except where is my home? Salt Lake City has been so nice to me I feel like staying, so many friends here, and two in particular who I never want to leave! Anyway the climbing community seem to remember me very well, and they remember me fondly which is great and a pleasant surprise. In there honour and to respect their feelings I will become strong and do some great climbs. I didn't know I'd some how become a fitness guru, so I can't disappoint now can I. Lots of Is there in that last bit wasn't there. Let's talk about other people, America is full of great places to climb and great climbers, but in Salt Lake you are so close to the desert that its taste-able, cracks, towers, fear, loathing, stars, sand, sweat, tears, hot mexican food.
October is a good month to visit and by October fitness should have returned, be great to come out here and do a couple of cracks.  

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Work climb work, USA. by the Stevie workist Haston.

Here I am in the USA, and its to be honest, really great. SaltLake city for the Out door show and the people are very friendly and warm. I will be at the show, and I am there to work, please come to see me.

I am here with Liberty Mountain, at their booth. There is a special deal on a grivel twin gate, a safe great biner for 5 dollar, come and buy one, there's only a few hundred and it's a great price for a brill biner.

Good times. Good friends. It was snowing, this morning, it's sunny.
Met some friends in Salt lake already, wanna meet every body.

Sorry about the photos can't work out my computer, my phones don't work, come and talk to me at the

Sunday, 11 January 2015

To bolt or not to Bolt, by Stevie Haston.

 Bolting isn't easy. There's a lot of problems that people don't appreciate. Today there's problems with the metal, corrosion, stress corrosion, there's bad placing of bolts, people argue about length between bolts, and there's an often overlooked problem-glue.

 This is good glue, but the container has ruptured, this means that only one part of a two part glue has been used, there fore rendering the glue just so much expensive mush. The glue would never harden, the bolt would just pull out! Luckily I felt something wrong with the squeeze, and noticed the  colour of the glue was wrong. My clothes and gear got ruined, but I didn't put really bad bolts in!

 This is a route called 21.12.12, it's just over two years old, and I still haven't done it! Neighbouring 21.12.12 is 12.12.12, I did this two years ago -an interesting 8a, the names are the dates on which they were bolted, funny numbers eh? 21.12.12 is 8a+ or 8b, and is really good overhanging wall climbing, tecky and fastidious, it's breaking me, there's a wet section on it that doesn't seem to dry, although I haven't tried it in the summer. It's in the guide book as 7c, a bit of an error eh! My bad.

    21.12.12. is brill, delicate, foot intensive, lots of memory.

There's a little boulder problem to gain  the chain V6, which involves stuff you cannot see, a finger tip mono being the choicest, and the shake out before this section is not so great for Hippo Haston. Anyway if you go to the White Tower, there's loads to do, six 8's, and three new 7's, Flying thru Fog, Frothing the Froth, and Jap's Eye next to Wee Man in a Boat . Wee Man in a Boat has been suggested as 7a+, and not 6c+, my bad. The oranges and lemons are all out, and there are still some daffodils out at the White Tower, at Sopu the neibouring cliff 10mins walk away the daffodils are sadly gone. The sky reflected the sea in a painting Turner couldn't have done justice too.     Why is the world so beau, and humans so stupid, the beauty of humans is only skin deep, natures is millennium and millennium, luckily we had a good day sharing the cliffs with the wind, a Kestral, and the smell of Thyme.

Friday, 9 January 2015

My Bigoted Beliefs, stevie the Supremacist Haston.

Rock racism, as in stone racism, is easy to understand for me, because I really like some bits of stone way better than other bits, because of the way they look. Rock racism for me, as in music racism is  a bit more difficult. I like some countries music, but not their country and Western. Racism as in race, as in running racism, is a bit more difficult to understand because running is full of much cultural, and physiological nonsense, coloured by racism, and masked as nationalism. And obviously Mountain running is what I love the best, and Kansas and Holland just don't hack it!  
Are you confused yet? My own racism which I have never questioned much, began to bother me recently. 

Notice the preternatural chalk ball, no wonder Gozitans can't climb, they are simply ill equipped, or over equipped, I can't even close my legs!

My country at the moment is a tiny island about 12 km by 8km, being an island it is surrounded by sea, so we don't get many foreigners, my mind is closing up into a small area. Mentioning it is surrounded by sea, is me admitting I think you could be stupid! Prejudice, racist, bigot, yep-thats me. Gozo has great stone, Gozo isn't even called Gozo, that's some kinnda Ferengi name the Maltese forced on us, or was it the colonial British? Gozo is really called Ghawdex. We, as in us Ghawdexians, are some of the most racist people in the world, we don't even like people from the next village, which is often only a half kilometre away, our cliffs are all ten minutes from each other, and don't talk to each other either.

Anyway being a Bigot, or a Big Bigot on a Tiny Island was fairly comfy until I realised that there is more to this racism and bigotry malarky than I thought. 
Recently some of my family, friends and even parts of my brain, became infected by Fear of the Foreigner, or FOF. We made a guide book recently which was called  Some Sport Climbing in Malta and Gozo, it has unfortunately become a success, and gee whizz, other climbers are coming!
 Lets go back a tadge- when the guide book was being finalised I got a shock when I saw the cover, it only said "Sport Climbing on Malta", what I fumed, where is the crucial Gozo bit, the big Gozo bit? The other two guide book authors looked at me nonplussed, what was I going on about, well it's obvious innit, they are Maltese and one is borderline English, and comes from Sliema! So  after a bit of huffing, and puffing I had my dictatorial way, and Gozo went on the cover, racism won a victory.
 Now then, I thought this racism thing was done and dusted, being a lazy blighter after all, I just got rhythm,  and a preternatural ability to climb large roofs because I have a penis with an opposing thumb-you didn't know that did you-Gozo racial secret-sorry Ghawdexian secret. Anyway, wait for it, wait for it, too many foreigners have been coming, from the big island Malta, and then from further north, you know 'Italy', I say it with a whisper, or a lisp cos it's a big word. 

Other people of a more unsavoury nature or colour, have been coming from further north, these people are so pale its hard to see them against the clouds, but they are there, believe me I have seen them with my own three eyes. 
What is to be done? FOF fear of the foreigner is being rapidly replaced by FOF OF a splinter group, the Fear of the Foreigner who over Fraternises, Jesus Mother of Mary, is the Pope a Muslim, when will it end? It was something like this that led to me, the truth is out, I am only half Gozitan, I'am going  to resign from my coverted position in three climbing associations, we certainly don't do things by halves here. 
Incase you missed it, this is for Je suis Charlie. I am hopefully a Half Charlie thanks to my mixed parentage -what a weird phrase-. Please come to Gozo and be nice to us Gozitans, leave some Euros, take some sun, maybe even stay. Peace.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Visiting the USA, by Stevie star spangled Haston.

Little Leo.

 I am bound for America, which is great, half of my friends are in the US. Going to the Outdoor show in Saltlake, shame it's business, but you know that's how it goes, come and see me. At one Outdoor show I met the greatest climber in America, forgive me for picking my own greatest climber and redefining America. Peter Croft is, or was a Canadian, and for me a 'Great', as in 'big thing' in North american climbing. A sterling soloer, maybe golden, adjectives don't really hack it when you have a climber of Croft's caliber in mind. Anyway I'am in training for America. Weak beer here I come.
A Crusher Prototype Board.

Today, 100 sets of between 10 minimum, and 16 maximum pull-ups, 50 sets weighted with a 12 kg belt. It all went splendidly, which surprised me. Diet not so good, had a relapse, a bit of wine, dairy is still in, Almond milk got all coagulated and weird, gifts of Stilton and expensive Port, also hard to resist!
A miss placed hobbit from France.

 'The Gift of Small Things' is one of my routes, but I love small gifts, above is a mug that I love from one of my daughters, it helps me train. There have been so many gifts in my life, given me with love, thank you.

These are under one of my cliffs, their gift is their colour. Are you training? I saw the Afghanistan blue of the sea today, the Turner sky, trampled flowers by accident, for I cannot levitate, and felt thankful for the Gift of Small things.  Some small things are very big.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Good intentions, some abstentions, by Stevie no pensions Haston.

 I had a project, my best project it was called Ludwig, it was next to a neighbour called Amadeus, it was my best project, I'am kinda getting used to the idea that I will never do it! Well it was, or is at least 9a+, but you know it fit me man, it and me we were made for each other. I might have to come back again as a ruthless serious climber type, in my next life that is, this life was more about  exploring failure and going snow boarding, and dancing rather badly while being inebriated.  

 My project this year is to be very fit, and have slightly less silly fun, but more serious success. Day five, I bolted a route, I don't want to bolt routes any more, and I bolted a route. There's no support for climbing here, and this is at a time when touristic climbing in the Med is at a bit of sticking point because of corrosion and failure of bolts in a few locations, and yet climbing is fundamentally important on my island as a sport for locals and touristic money. 

 Today was complicated, and then suddenly it's simple, the wind, cold today -clean-brisk-urgent, the rock steep-interesting-demanding, me I was covered in dust, went to chum my old partner Inigo, training at the gym. Climbing is important to him, photos are important to him, life is important to me, him, our mates, and the world is overhanging us with it's shit, Putin legislates for Omg labelling, and another big empire actively protects poisoners.

Have you drunk this stuff? Kefir is really good for you, give it a try! Ask your grocer or supermarket to stock some, if you like it. 

 This is a bit of tree resin, it makes climbing a bit easier, lots of people use it but they don't tell anybody. It's a beautiful thing, when it hardens into rock it's a gem called amber, sometimes complete with recognisable ants, and such, all visible, all wonderful. 

This is a little mini landscape, wind eroded, a window into the past, the sea bed eons ago, sometimes I'ave pulled up on these shells, the crux of an arete way above the sea, a v9 sequence is pulling up on a small bit of a fossilised sea urchin. Tomorrow, 1000 pull ups, 500 of them with a 10 kg belt, a good intention, will it happen. Will a small island get a sport that its inhabitants have been doing for millennium, the fishermen and fowlers here have been climbing grade 5 for thousands of years and we have trouble today getting it recognised as a sport! Well, welcome to the modern diabetic, overweight world of people. 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Training, tenacity, temperament. By Stevie temperamental Haston.

It's day three of 2015, I don't want to train anymore! Its day three of 2015, I don't want to diet any more!
I feel pathetically weak, mentally and physically.

When the going gets tough, the sensible give up, and so why I am I thinking it's tough, well I have not eaten much, and I have the character of a Sherman tank (that's not good, by the way), where's my tenacity, my mental fortitude?

Living on a soft island lost in a soft climate, where the last time they had tenacity was when they repelled the Ottoman empire in 15 something, is not the ideal place to be tough! I have had tenacity, a long time ago it was, when I used to solo a lot of Alpine faces, and maybe when I did Ultras and mountain runs. I have to find it again. It's day three and I have to dig deep, gee whiz, I'am doomed!

Training, tenacity, temperament, mantra. I can't do today -the training bit, trial pull ups indicate I am nowhere near recovered, but I'll go out like I did yesterday and kill some fat. It stopped raining and I found a beautiful wall of pink eroded sandstone that might make some short, strange routes. I lost some weight, I am going to stick to my diet, dare I say it even when I go to Italy.

Gozo coast looking down towards the Azure Window.

Loosing 1.9 kg by the beginning of day three shows a bit of tenacity, so I'am not now going to stuff my face with chips beer and pizza. Instead a few grade 6 balance walls will sort out the day, and train tomorrow with gusto. Gusto is my new mate, I hope I bump in tenacity.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy 1000 pull ups New Year from Stevie spitters are quitters Haston

Have you made your new years resolutions? Are you going to stick to them? I always make new years resolutions and sometimes stick to them. Sometimes I fail, but in the failing at least I get somewhere along the long trail to the promised land. The promised land of great routes, huge roofs, bigger than huge, grins bigger than your face, wear the banana of success, yes man I want the banana. 

I want to be a monster again. Or a semi monster. I'll settle for a semi as I'm ancient, I'ave seen oak trees grow from acorns, Iave seen climbing grow from fairly attainable goals to where you really have to get down and do your training to do those beautiful routes, so today cos its raining and tomorrow it will rain I did my thousand pull ups. Thanks Mr Crusher for the Board, its still going and so am I. This year I'll be 58 and of course I'll still be doing big roofs hopefully gigantic ones. It was - 1.6 in my village by the sea which is as south as you can get in Europe. Hope the Alpine boys and girls get their snow and ice, I don't want it down here thanks, I want those huge hulking Quasimodo like ceilings, where you take swinging whippers like the clanger in the swinging bell. Hope you all do something this year, life aint forever.