I'm a woman

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

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Last of the winter wine, by Stevie Sentimental Haston.

Thanks for every body who has donated to Gozo and new routes on Gozo. Donation button on right top of page.
Gregor your route you donated for, was done yesterday, Viva Cologne is a very beautiful, 7a, exposed, but well protected, a classic!

So it's the end of the year, well it isn't, it's just a phrase isn't it. Xmass, New year, they are all constructs, games, illusions, tom foolery, still anything for a festa. 

I have a lot to be thank full for. So thanks. 
 Thanks Martin for helping me with Sector Titan.

I used to keep a garden, well two gardens really, the flower garden for the visual and sensual pleasure, like perfume, and the language of the bees, and insects, the fluttering of the flying things the flipper of the Butterflys, and the wild hovering of the Sphinx Moro. Keeping the climbing alive sometimes feels like being a busy gardener, lots of work, and dirty cut hands, and listening to the ancient story of stone.

 Martin again, Mr T 7a classic stamina.

Thanks Jeffrey Camilleri, and Ken for all your help.

 lots of colour as usual, a bit too Turner in the last week and not enough Gauguin.

The sky here is a pleasure, it's a meal, morning and evening!

 We have slightly different vegetation here.

I saw a rat at the White tower the other day, he was dragging a Carob bean pod away, he stared me in the eye, daring me to fight him for it. I haven't eaten Carob for years, this new year I will. And I'll try some of Ken new goats milk, from the original Maltese goats we used to have. We loose so much every year, we must make a fuss when people try to do, or preserve some of the good old things.

 its never leafless here, but some trees shed their green!

It's hot today on the last day, tomorrow I work! 
Better enjoy whats left of the day.

 Abseil off the car wheel. Grooves and Aretes.

Is the word arette from the French for spine? It's used in climbing for edge, or outside corner in climbing, or spine of the ridge. Arettes are so much fun, and or scary! Desmond Decker the Sca Singer who produced the first reggae hit died today. Desmond Decker lent his name to hitting the Deck! To "Desmond" is to hit the deck, as in "deck it" as in Cockney patois, its funny how he lent his name to such a serious happening. Sad that he's gone, he had a tremendous affect on London music, and integration of culture in London. 

Sublime, seriously sublime.

The feeling you get when climbing is so underrated, it's more than good, or Ok. It's a deep feeling like stuffing your face with Pistacio ice cream, beating a chess Master, and sinking a tumbler of single Malt while watching a horde of Gengis Khan's finest surrounding you, all in one blizzard of emotions.

I have to go to a funeral this afternoon, make merry while you can folks. Life is short, and not all of it is roses, and sunrises, indeed their is inevitably a final sunset!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Icons of an overhanging church. by Stevie upside down Haston.

Gregor and his climbing Wall in Cologne (Koln) have donated to my climbing project on Gozo , I'll be buying some Titanium, and glue for the new year. Thanks to any body who donates, Donation button is on right top of page.

 A street car named Desire, no it's a route called Bernd!

Gregor wants me to call a route Viva Cologne to celebrate their donation and I will do so! If any body else who has donated wishes me to name a route for them, please tell me. It's the least I can do, and some of my names can be a bit crass!

 Gozo remains beau even now.

Visiting the crack of Bernd, it felt a bit easier. Storms this week might stop play. My old stomping ground in north Wales had record rain and floods, 1100 cm of rain! It's not like that here, you can climb because we have over 300 days of full sunshine!

A fairly typical photo of Fruit Cake Land, this is an easy passage, believe it or not!

Tempus Fugit, and all that, use your time, climb if you like to climb. With the death of Motorhead head man Lemmy, an age seems to have passed. Men deceive themselves into thinking they are important. Climbers have some of the largest egos, more in proportion to a Blue Whale than a small weak Ape! Congrats to the Slovenian girls for knocking down 9a lead, and an 8c onsight. Inspiration is always welcome, thank you. 
For this new years resolution I will give up cows milk, do an 8c, and grow a Mullet. Failed last year, need support this year!

Monday, 28 December 2015

The Abyss stares back. by Stevie Wall eyed Haston.

Freddie the happy fisherman, fishing at the top of one of my routes.

I dislike Nietzsche, primarily because I can't spell his name right, but hey the guy could string a few words together, right! You know the old chestnut "do not stare into the abyss, or the abyss will stare back", climbers like that one, or pseudo pullers. It turns out Nietzche was a bit of a fraud, or like Freud the psychologist, a bit of a psycho with a penchant for the perverse.
The Abyss quietly doing nothing!

Spent a few days exploring cliffs and rocks, and angles of dangle!  And did a few other things bolt related. Did a few pull out tests on some bolts, which was interesting. Some of the local stone is very soft. 

A beautiful easy new route, with stone immaculate. A classic, 30 meters.

The MCA (Malta Climbing Association) is giving/ donating 6 tubes of glue, thanks very much Ken and the guys. I really appreciate it, as other sources have dried up!  

Scarpa  Furia, its a toss up between this, and the Drago, as to which is the best boot of the year!

After the recent storms I went on an old project and it felt a bit easier, maybe I am climbing better, I certainly can't be stronger. Possibly it was that the fierce waves have cleaned the rock. Above is a photo of a shoe that makes me climb harder. People don't want to understand that a good shoe will add two grades to your climbing, over a bad ill fitting shoe! Wake up guys pay the cobbler!  As Nietzsche said "its all about the Cobblers".

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Climbing in the sun, flooding in Uk. by Stevie Haston.

Donation button to help me make climbs etc, on top right of page, thanks everybody who has contributed. Should be doing a bit more work soon, some belays on a few popular climbs will be changed to Titanium as well as finishing sector Titanium.  Thanks Rob Fox for Donating.

This is the web site our little web site, click on and have a look it might be helpful if your planning a visit;    http://gozoclimbinginfo.com

 Sopu tower, home to lots of grade 5s and 6s.

I have two daughters living in flood prone Llanberis area! I have loads of friends living in the aptly named Lakes, can we blame it all on the rain or can we blame some of it on bad planning in these areas? I have always tried to live on hills because I like views but clearly you might be safe from flooding on a hill!

 local cake, modelled on a weapon, it was a hoop filled with chemicals and sticky inflammables, thrown over soldiers or sailors. Big hoops that would catch a few people at a time. Not nice as weapons, nice if you like cakes!

My fellow islanders likes to eat cakes, so we are often fat! We are the fattest in Europe with the highest rate of Diabetes, perhaps we need some education, some moderation, and some sport consideration!

 xmass present of brushes to my self.

Climbing is a good sport, it's varied, and promotes self reliance and fitness, with problem solving thrown in for good measure.  Personally I am looking foreward to another year. Last year twice to the Americas once to east Germany, this year I won't sadly go ice climbing-well, I'll just have to suck it up, and climb in the sun!

 follow these to climbs.

A Welsh team will be visiting Gozo, my Daughter Kate will come over for a week also, climbing with her ancient creaking father. The Gozo Climbing Association Web site is up, take a look please, like it if you find it likeable. The most important thing the Gozo Climbing Association has done is to switch to Titanium for a longer lasting and safer material. A small measure of progress is taking place. And some of this is due to all you- so thanks for being there, and reading my blogs.

 sunset, sun rise at the moment, always colourful.

Each day seems very precious, it should be. As the old saying goes, this isn't a rehearsal, it's the only life we got. Go climbing, be good, pick the weeds out of the holds please, trim the verge on our paths, leave the odd flower to brighten our passing. Help create climbs for others.

 a big block with two routes higher than it looks, the routes start three meters further down by the farmers pond, don't drop rocks into the pond please!

The sea is 19 degrees C at the moment. The air temps for climbing is perfect, perhaps too hot in the sun without a good breeze!

bees still alive, local strain of honey bee is ancient and more healthy than common honey bee!

Thanks every body who has helped me, and the Gozo Climbing Association.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Once a future King, by Stevie Has Been Haston.

It's hard being a has been, but at least you were a once been! The public, I hesitate to call them people for humans should be kinder, seem to take cruel pleasure in a fallen sporting "hero" or celebrity caught drunk, fallen over, ass over breast, on the pavement, with their knickers visible. Occasionally this mean spirited, ungenerous trait floats to the surface inside my retina, and I have to blink really hard to get rid of it.

The great boxer Prince Nazeem, in slightly less svelte pose.

I remember, for I am old, many quick slips on the slippery slope towards ordinariness. But the above seems like an avalanche. Maybe it's better, or way better than the slurring speech of the great Mohamed Ali, once Cassius Clay. The disturbing German tendency to laugh at other peoples misfortunes Schadenfreude , seems to be spreading. So we can laugh at Nazeem gaining some buoyancy, but not some one hitting the ground, and going splat! After all we are English, perhaps it's Sharon froide we have caught not Schadenfreude! 

But only those who have risen to great heights can fall a long way! Although you could perhaps argue that its only the heavy that can really splat from any height at all.

There must now, in our modulated, politically correct lives, be an ideal weight, perhaps an agreed level of sporting prowess that we must not exceed, and a regulated clean toothed smile that we must flash. Where are the UIAA regulations penned by this Uber Mensch in his Union of International Associated of Alpinists, because I truelly wish to conform. What after all is an Alpinist? The Americanoes do not have Alps, so can perhaps not have Alpinists. An Alpininst is not, as one of my intellectually impaired girlfriends said, a man who is "all penis"! She picked up the huge volume entitled how to become the Complete Alpinist with a wicked dirty grin. Alas she was disappointed with the bland, boring content!

And the moral of this little piece of gibberish is, hope you didn't over eat at Xlarge portion Xmass, for gravity is cruel my heavy friends. Welcome to Schadenfreude.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Happy days to you, by (from) Stevie content Haston.

 Gozo  Free diving is brill.

Donate if you can, or want, to good routes on Gozo. Donation Button at top right.

The Balmy weather continues. The climbing is if anything too hot in the sun. Yesterday after a quick two warms up we were in the shade. We met a young British couple climbing on a 3 month holiday, how clever, how wise of people so young, to do the right thing. Your youth is precious. And so is the sun. The suns power and glory is being squandered by the government here, as elsewhere, More Solar Power next year please, less reliance on wars, and killing, to turn the Establishments profit.

 Ah, the Sun.

I am gratified to note that four people have donated to helping me make routes, and use better materials. These are Mr Ashton, Mr Gore, Claudio Cecchin, Paul Sammut and Ian Parnell. Thank you all.  It is interesting to note that Ian Parnell is the editor of the UK  climbing magazine Climb! He is the second editor to donate, Ian Smith of Climber Mag has already donated twice! It is immensely pleasing to me that these two people, think I am worthy of their gifts. Indeed I took Ian Parnell up a route called the "Gift of Small things", Gifts that are well meant, are big things!

 the 50 meter abseil into sector Calypso.

Paul gave me some money, he is my NewYork "cuss" and we climbed among other things the Last Rhino. This big route of three parts took 5 days altogether, Paul has donated twice and given his time also. 

Sopu tower, grade 6, pleasant, delicate, perfect.

So yes the year in passing has been mixed, and I am very thankful I live on a small (tiny) island with peaceful folk. So Gozo thank you for giving me a home in troubled times. The Sun I salute you as I do every morning, the yoga Sun Salutation should be done by us all! Sadly Malta is now officially the most Obese country in Europe! It is also at the top of the Diabetes.  So next year Government of Malta please consider Climbing as an interesting cure for these two Big problems. Because Climbing is the Gift of Small things!  

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Summer is coming, by Stevie sunny Haston

 the view from the 17 th Century sentry box on fungus rock.

Pay Pal button is working at top right of page, donate if you want good climbs and good bolts.

It's very warm today, a big El Nino will ruin the ski season I suppose, who knows now a days.  I was enjoing very warm conditions, and went soloing, and to do a bit of work. The work was to lever off a big flake of rock on one of my routes. A bit dangerous, glad I got rid of it, more than two meters high, and a meter wide! I watched a climber pull on it a few months ago, it's off route, but people will wander around! Any way it's gone. Then I did another, that one took me an hour, it moved, and rattled but wouldn't come out. Soloing stuff afterwards was easy.  

 BerndArnold, East German route developer, and ace climber.

The year is nearly out and gone, just a religious festival, and a weird arbitrary new years day to go! Solstice is my celebration. It felt good to know every day will be lighter now.

 A little rainbow, rainbows symbolise hope, we all need a bit of hope. Good luck to you all.

This year will be climbing, climbing and more climbing. 

 Titanium bolt and rams horn lower off. good stuff, not cheap but it will last.

Next year there will be a festival in Gozo for climbers, and before that I would like to do a fair few routes, and make a few things safe. Please donate to my bolting projects, button at the top, they promised it will be alright now.

 A beautiful fossil on one of my routes, a giant worm I think!

We seem to live in changing times, the next few years will be a fight for various freedoms. Democracy and the rule of law are almost dead. You are lucky if your governments pay lip service to anything. So climbing for some people will be their big escape. 

sector Titan, brilliant stamina routes for the winter.

Any way putting out the feelers to all my mates, all the old climbers, all the vets, and all the young climbers who like exciting climbing, and a nice chilled place, Gozo Climbing Festa, Festa Tal Biceps, 2016. Give me feedback guys, and girls.

Ginger bread climbers and climbers dog.

In 3 weeks I got a bit of work, I,ll be pulling the stops out to do a hard route before then, you got to be positive, you gotta train hard, you mustn't get injured, and you can't drink! Well perhaps one for Auld Lang syne.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Titanium costs money, please donate for bolting. by Stevie Haston.

My donation button is on the right hand side at the top , donate to my bolting, and climbing if you like these pages and what I do.

 the magnificent limestone of the middle part of Sissyfuss, 4, 4+,6a, 120 meters.

I'ave just extended Sissyfuss for everybody, but I haven't bolted the lower pitches, because I have no titanium left! I put up routes like Sissyfuss, in easier grades, for others. You might imagine or understand I don't need perfect protection on easy routes.  So if you like quality routes please consider donating towards the future of your sport!

 belay stance, after approach pitch on Sissyfuss, cold windy day.

Climbing all over the world has relied on the efforts of a few, the money generated by them in tourism goes to everybody in the community, and to people who sell gear. The equippers,  and life time climbers are some how expected to keep supplying routes, and enthusiasm for everybody else.  I know its an unfair world, but we have to support climbers who actually do stuff, not people who just talk.

 Sissyfuss, 4+ pitch.

Sport climbing is in danger because of the corrosion of bolts world wide! It's not a joke. There will be accidents in Kalymnos, and other high risk areas like Spain, through France, Italy, and down to my tiny Island. In places like Thailand some very kind people have been using Titanium for years now, with good results. It's time everybody who goes sport climbing contributes. Just the price of a coffee, or a beer, every time you go will sort it out- yes it will sort it out. A good chain costs eu 48, that's a chain your grand children could be using.

 Sissyfuss, still the 4+ pitch.

Sissyfuss is a big route, a little classic of Gozo, and Malta, it has no bolts on the grade 4 approach pitch. It has no bolts on the steep sumptuous second pitch, although there are a few threads. The last pitch needs 3 more bolts! I don't need any bolts on this route, obviously, but you might, and it will be more accessible and practical for everybody.

Mr T one of the best 7a's you can do!.

Mr T takes 11 titanium, one chain titanium, 3 days work, 5 ascents now, it's a pearl, it's a peach, it's perfect. And it cost a fortune. Please Donate. Thanks once again Martin Roberts, for your time and effort. Martin owes me a thank you for giving him the line, not enough beers mate. Anyway enjoy my routes you people, Happy Xmass, Winter Solstice, and whatever the other religions celebrate at this time of year. I will celebrate by doing routes, as usual.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Donations to my bolting and a bit of info. by Stevie Haston.

 Titanium bolt on the left, polished 316 on the right.

So I have had a few more donations from, Ian, Solly, and Laura, thanks very much guys, it's really appreciated, I was bolting today and it's really hard work etc. Laura was asking me for some more info about bolts and I wrote to her and then decided to write about it more in general for other interested climbers. Laura is coming to climb on Gozo so I told her the situation, she has read the UIAA report and is concerned. Well everybody should be concerned. Malta and Gozo are in the top bracket for corrosion cracking according to the UIAA report. I can confirm that and had already made recommendation and made a bolting policy to try to address the problem. Gozo among many other places has been good in trying to sort these things. We only want Titanium on our island from now on, and thats that. It's the only material in a good design which should last for years and years, and give us some confidence.

 I am running out of Titanium, and need to make another order, please think of donating on my button at top right of page.

10 mm expansion stainless steel bolts should not be trusted on Gozo and Malta, in my humble opinion. We had one snap with just side ways tension! 12 mm expansion is no longer used and we have not had one break but we have replaced many. It is bigger than 10mm (obviously) and this fact, quality, and other things being the same, it should be better, and last longer. The worst bolts are mismatched combinations of metals on expansion bolts, and these you will see by their rusty colour. These are not to be trusted. A bolt can be bad, and still be shiny on the outside, but the crack will be in the threads under the hanger!

 This is me on Sector Titan, 6 routes done so far, "titanium 2" bolts.

In Gozo we have replaced nearly all the worst bolts, and are working hard. There is some 304 series which I want to replace, but I don't have the money, or the time. I would need to make time and have money. I want to replace, or beef up every chain with at least one point in titanium as a priority, so that you can at least be totally secure in your lower off.

 the quality of some routes on Gozo is amazing.

Do not trust plated rusty hangers. Do not trust 304 here. We have not had any of the glue inns break, so this is a good sign, but I will never say never. I won't be happy till every thing is titanium, and of a suitable design, and length, with the right glue, and the right equipper.

 top of a 30 meter gently overhanging 7c.

I have seen lots of complaints about the cost of titanium, and yes it is expensive, but so what, it's the best, "cough up", donate. I have seen an editorial in 8a.nu complaining about replacing bolts, I am sorry that's a bad editorial, he should simply show parts of the reasoning by the UIAA writer, and quote a few people like me, who have seen lots of bad bolts around the world.

 a good days climbing is hard to beat, donate the price of a beer every time you go out, the problem will be sorted out in a few years.

I must thank everybody again for donating. Strangely I have had no donation from the Maltese, just from Americans, UK, Germans,  Swiss, French. Come on you Maltese it's your Island!

One of the best views around.

It's a good feeling, climbing up rocks, testing yourself, but Russian Roulette is not that much fun. Rusting Russian Roulette not good my dear fellow climbers.  We have a great sport, lets keep it great.
Have more fun and success.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Help me create climbs. By Stevie Haston.

 local fishing boat with basket traps.

Right my Pay Pal button is up and running, I expect to be overwhelmed by contributions. If you have climbed on Gozo and enjoyed it, or whether you expect to come, and have a good holiday with some rust proof bolts, please think of adding to our great climbs.

 Mr T, and a strange mythical creature taking his light image!

Gozo has gone Titanium and this will take a lot of work, one way or the other. We hope to make some climbs that will benefit the climbing community, increase tourism, and cause more fun, and success for everyone.

 The kind of route you can expect, 35 meters of slightly overhanging rock.

Today Mr T was red pointed by Martin, it was very impressive, and while he was on the top crux, three dolphis where lashing about hunting, very cool.

Mr T is a very pumpy 7a, its extraordinary.

A very nice day was passed, I was in the company of a nice man, and no horrid people, no social chit chat, or unnecessary pleasantries were exchanged. Just rock, sea, and sky.

The view from the top of Sector Titan.

What can I say, one more good climb done, one more little journey for climbers in serene ambiance, one bit of peace in an increasingly at war planet. Peace and love to you all, except for the cnuts, death and transfiguration to them. Sorry didn't mean that last bit, it just slipped out. Peace to all, even the Cnuts.