I'm a woman

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

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Training for training, by Stevie the train Haston.

Training, the everlasting need to train, if you don't train you will not do. I am off for 10 days travelling and working and I will need to fit some in. I won't have my sea to swim and dive in, so I will hold my breath and walk between connections for short distances. I'll do Yoga in the morning and at night.

Pull ups, always do a few pull ups

 I will need to do two work outs, for my fingers and arms. In fact I must, as I am getting weaker. Yoga, flexibility, breathing and inner calm have all taken precedent over pull ups and finger boarding. It was necessary as I had lost a great deal, well I got it back now its time to get the fundamentals of strength back.

 grrr, wrist training.

It's hard to train for cracks when you have a real lack of them! I love doing Planks, and I like doing the odd push up. Sooooooo. In different fighting styles they tell you to punch with different knuckles. But …. are any of these the correct ones? A long time ago an old gnarly man told me to to use them all, so from time to time I do. If you rock from back to front knuckles you get strong hands, if you go a bit further you get strong wrists. Useful for crack climbing? Yes a bit, better than nuffing!

 pressups on different sets of knuckles

 Old standards can be good tests.

 Training to repent my sins-training.

 placing cams, falling on them, breaking them-training.

Training should be as specific as you can make it. Really it has to be. But if you can't climb the rope to get back in place to do the specific move you are not gonna be specific. So you should be able to climb a rope, in this case its a skinny one, good cramp inducer.

 working moves along way from home-training!

Climbing different angles is very necessary if you want to climb different angles, Core muscles start to be the big dictator when things get steep.

home training.

Always alternate front core, and back core. Watch your back, train in control. Do not get injured, the first and most fundamental rule of training is don't get injured. Iam sure you know the second and third rule of training-thats right don't get injured.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Make America Great again,Titties and beer. By Stevie Haston.


I am off to America for the Salt Lake show. With apologies to Frank Zapper, I'am possibly wrong, correct me, always liked his lyrics, I do not like Trumps lyrics. Please god of what ever faith, make it not so. Do not let America fall into the same trap that has just befallen the UK. Anyway looking foreword to a great time, meeting old friends and doing some work. 

 The odd week of being a vegan does not seemed to have turned me into a long haired hippy, or a liberal without a backbone.

Last year the guys at Liberty Mountain took me into the best Canyon I'ave ever done, this year I'll get a day at City of the Rocks, perfect grant, in a mellow setting, with Red Kites circling.

 the new sector, Titties and Beer.

 This is the left hand section, lovely ledge to belay from. its good rock steep with fossils.

 the ledge.

 I bow to the great one.

My Yoga is going well, I wish I had been more diligent in my poxy life, I have gone backwards so many times in my life. I would love to move on to further good climbs. The cliff I have found is very inspiring, but might need very high levels of stamina. Anyway we will see. I have promised to start my book properly if I can get deeper than 35 meters, and its suddenly looking possible, which is a bit of a shock as I didn't want to write my book!

the Grivel Thor hammer, a very good hammer, on a very practical leash, I have no trouble saying this is a great little set up.

When I come back from the states I have a few weeks work, but am very much looking forward to climbing and equipping my new cliff. Since I did my last route called Bernd, the biggest roof crack I'ave so far done, inspiration has been absent. Bernd was just too good. Well there are a few more songs in the old fiddle yet I think.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Equalisation, by Stevie unbalanced Haston.

To be stuck in your training is a bit sad, but I am stuck. The answer is to get pro advice, but it costs money, and I aint got any! Whats he talking about, I hear you ask.

 It's to do with water, and gases, and pressure. It's do do with Eustachian tube and equalisation of pressure as I go down into the depths, it's difficult to master. Masters are all ways good to consult when you are trying to master something.  I was thinking about Ian Vickers the great UK climber, comp climber, and master on sight climber yesterday. He still climbs really well, and what his body doesn't know, isn't much. A Master.

 am I the only person who does some yoga in new shoes, and whisper to them what I want them to do for me?

Years of training, and I know some things, and not others. The records keep tumbling, and surely knowledge must be growing. Well no, knowledge isn't really growing, not in the esoteric sports like climbing, and Free diving, its more that people aren't doing the bad things, and they are so much more consistent. 

 When I started climbing no one warmed up and no one stretched!

Not many people are very flexible, but lots of the successful girl sport climbers are. Why don't the boys bother? Too busy doing macho Campusing?

At the moment Iam doing a lot of Yoga stretching. An hours breathing a day and maintaining my climbing, but Iam going to have to vamp it up.

I tried a route called Realisation years ago, before it had a serious attempt, and it was like looking into the future, or looking down into the infinite depths. I thought I was 6 or so months away from that sort of level. I may have been wrong or right, but I won't have been out by much. If I had the courage and the money to have pulled my finger out, it would have been very interesting, ahead of its time. The chance disappeared, it disappeared for many, it will continue to disappear. The path to righteousness is full of broken promises. Do your training! Iam doing some really strange things at the moment, as I said. I do not want to not do, what I want to do! So I will Equalise. I will optimise my training, make the effort, continue to make the effort.  

Sunday, 24 July 2016

New cliff of the millennium, by Stevie Haston.

I found a great cliff the other day and was full of joy. But on the return, swimming back, my joy turned to sadness, and then pissed offness. Loud disco music, rubbish, humans, booze, cigarettes, shit, as in shit you know real human poop near sun bathers!

 Abseil class, Diana takes her first ginger steps.

 A roof of almost perfect proportions, the Gina Lollobrigida of cliffs.

I have to thank Simon Peck and cousin Paul for helping me with gear and support this last month thanks guys. I think this cliff my warrant some urgent attention.

 the planet from the right side, no stupid humans down here!

 limpid water.

 going through a little sump or dive thru, into the murk of a over used bay, I surfaced into tourist and boat carnage.

Generally the visibility goes over 25 meters, exceptionally to 45 meters in the sea here. But with boat traffic, tourist rubbish, Tuna farms (if your unlucky enough  to have one near you) the viz can be disappointing. Humans are generally disappointing in my estimation, don't you think? The sea is so good, it's life, its actually breath. Bottom trawling, acidification of the water, pesticides, pollution are killing life. One of the worst causes is sun tan oil, a small amount is very destructive to sea life.

a charcoal and rubbish bin meters away ignored by bad people.

I found a great cliff, I hope after I put up routes never to see climber rubbish there. The degree of rubbish is growing. Beer cans are favourite, wet wipes and toilet paper, plastic bottles and suntan oil, its horrible. I am sadly used to it, but every now and then I fume. The bays and busy places need water sweepers and rubbish collectors. All the fuss thats made over Everest when its only wealthy people who go, here we have an island, a resource for locals and visitors alike who's cleanliness leaves a little to be desired.  

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Working class climber, by Stevie Haston.

 Tools of the trade…

The victory of Brexit, and the rise of Trump are hard for everybody to understand, but one should look at the poor working class, and those trapped below that level to understand there isn't much hope for them. When hope is taken away from people they will strap the bomb of a suicidal ideology to themselves.

 Jo Jo Font Legend.

I am an inner city boy despite growing up part of the time on a small island paradise. I will just explain some of the differences between Gozo and London for a child. Gozo was paradise, I had no shoes but never felt poor, I could swim in the sea and never had toys. London was smoke indeed it was nicknamed the Smoke by us east enders. London was alcohol abuse, and many people being out of work, it was real poverty, it was people who where less educated than on my small backward island. How was this so? Because no body cares about the poor. If you are lucky to move up, you try not to look back.

 A certain politicians deceased former girlfriend.

My escape from this merry go round of London depression was to climb. I literally climbed out of the city, the labyrinth of social traps that would at the very best keep me a drone serving the classes above me.

 To the Edelweiss Crew, I like my sky blue.

The man I am is not a lazy one, give me work and I will do it, but take away my hope and I will bite back. I have spent time traveling recently and you can see the discontent of the poor, and the fed upness of the those people just above, caught in a hamster cage of work and high tax in France and Italy. Politics should be for all the people, not just for one select group of lucky unscrupulous people. The shit food in most American and European supermarkets is made by 10 to 12 companies, thats all, where's the choice!  

A carpenter Bee, busy at work.

I just found a great cliff this week swimming around, its gonna have a dozen easy routes and about 4 really hard routes, steeply overhanging bursting the pump for a real long rope length. I'll put the work in,this cliff will be great, it will be my little contribution to joy. Because if we don't have some of the good old stuff, we will turn into the Mob. My generation of climbers turned into Punks in the Gym, we invented the modern sport of climbing, other people added more joy, but there is a lot of sadness and hopelessness out there. I wish every body more fun and success, but please do not repeat this month, Turkey is taking it a bit far don't you think. Notice nobody is talking about invading Turkey. The UK government is trying to force nuclea ballistic missiles back on the plan, with this money most climbers, and non climbers could have a weeks paid sport for the rest of their lives! 

Friday, 22 July 2016

Grivel Ares harness and Lynx multi pitch pack, By Stevie Haston.

 The Ares Harness.as modelled by …

So Grivel have three harness, the Apollo, the Ares, and the Posiedon. 
The Apollo is designed as a rock harness more than anything, and the Poseidon is more directed at Alpine and Ice climbing because of it's less absorbent and hydro phobic leg loops. Lets take a look at the Ares which is the in-between harness which I like. Why do I like it, two reasons. First reason is the leg loops are a bit bigger than the Apollo, and despite anything I do, my legs are always a bit bigger than a rock climbers. Second reason is there's is more room for your bits, and I really would like to say I have over large tackle, but I haven't. If you are wearing a bit of a hefty pair of trousers there's often too much material rucking up as well. And girls, don't disregard this advice on any sexist grounds, a misplaced leg loop is not girl friendly either.

 the Lynx multi pitch pack

 The Lynx is a much overlooked bit of kit, I suppose it's very specific, but it can be very useful on 10 pitch routes. It's got a water bladder function, and great racking of gear capability. It is a great seconds pack on day routes,  or even for the leader.

 Lynx bag, small capacity, many features.

There's just enough room for two light weight jackets, a couple of litters of drink, and a bit of food.

high clipping option, and free hips often really useful to have.

There are internal pockets, and an ice axe loop. The shoulder straps can also detach as a double shoulder gear rack, which can be really good if you a have a big trad rack, and have to keep shifting it because of chimneys and cracks. 

Anyway there you go, two bits of kit that you might overlook because you really don't understand their slightly specific function. Worth taking a closer look at in my opinion.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Some great Grivel gear by Stevie Haston.

 This years gear from Grivel was good, I,ll just high light a few which I think are really good.

 Small safety carabiner called the Clepsidra, it fits the Grigri two.

Screw gates, twist locks, safety niners, they all serve the same function-you want that biner to stay locked. The Grivel twin gate locking niners are very good but we listened to the customer and made one smaller- its now a mini, or a didi, lighter with more clearance. Its a very neat belay binder that also won't revolve thru a Grigri because of a widening bump we added, so it ensures it's never cross loaded and always aligned perfectly. Captive eye at the bottom clips in to your belay loop.

 The Tau safety binder, a new concept.

The Tau is brill, its neat its slim and it is a safety binder. It's 55 grams, and it has a very clean nose due to the key lock system. The biner will rotate because the nose is normal size. Its another new safety binder, if you have trouble with the twin gate niners (I don't) you might prefer this new one. I just like its simplicity.

 The Stealth Helmet.

The Grivel Stealth is a good looking, really light, well ventilated helmet. Its a very good price too, check it out. 190 grams ! 

 Grivel trail poles

These poles are simple and great. They come in one piece, two piece and three piece or sections. I love the single piece, but they are impractical to carry or transport especially on planes. Single piece are always very strong and lightest. So for ease of carrying poles are sectioned, but the rub is they get heavier and weaker. Well these are strong. They come with a choice of two different baskets a trail,which is very small and a snow basket.  

 this comp trail sac is small, weight 275 grs.

This is a brill bit of kit, there is not much room on this at all, but enough for things like the Tor de Giants 300km and more hills than you really want to know about! If you find one better than this, tell me. If you are really small or a bit big, it might not fit. Check it for size.

Salamander Helmet on the left.

The new Salamander Helmet is your standard dragging and Alpine Helmet,its a really great price very good value. Its got the same fitting cradle as the Stealth Helmet, simple and light. 360 grs.
And to finish, Helmets save lives, you might not see everybody wearing one in photos, but where things get loose or stones might fall, the prudent and wise where helmets or at least tell their kids to wear them!

Scarpa Chimera review, by Stevie Haston.

 I desperately wanted to steal a pair of Chimera's, they are that good.

The Scarpa range of shoes has just been added to by a new king shoe, the Chimera. This shoe fits me like glove, it's common to say this but this is not exaggeration, or hyperbol. My first rule of shoes is, if it doesn't fit you, it won't climb well no matter how expensive or well thought out it is. With this being said, there might be more chance in fitting you than some. This shoe has an interesting lace system that gatheres the shoe bow around your toes nicely. The interesting use of three different kinds of rubber makes the shoe flexible where it should be and flexible and soft in the right places also.

 lots of toe rubber for dragging and toe hooking.

The interesting lacing system shown above really worked for me, people are often two lazy nowadays to appreciate a good lace up, relying more on sticky rubber than technique, but in doing so they loose hight. Even I often favour a slipper over a lace up, especially on a long day or when its hot. But hey you know when your lazy, and anybody that buys this shoe won't be a lazy person they are going to be a rock assassin.

 you can point in this shoe even if you do have an ankle like a Rhino!

The Chimera is a turned down, high end shoe designed to help you climb. You can see in the above photo the pull under the shoe fixing the heel. The heel is very important for me because I love heel hook of all kinds, and heel scuffs and scums, and heel toes, thee moves require a firm well fitting stable shoe-thats the Chimera!

 did I say you can point…

I was looking at this shoe with Heinz the designer, and he was really proud and enthusiastic. His face as I muscled in my rhino feet looked worried, but then we both new that that heel would never come off, its sticky tactile and is firm, locked on.

there you go the Chimera

  Nathan ran me through all the stitching, and very complex things that make this shoe work, which will undoubtedly make it very expensive. The choice with this shoe will be -can you afford not to ware it, not can you pay for it. I had a talk with many old climbers at the show, and we were all agreed that shoes make a huge difference, and the more you wear and climb in good shoes, the better skills you get.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Mark Cole adieu, by Stevie Haston.

 Mark memento mori card.

Mark Cole was a lovely young man, he is no longer here. I remember him at a certain age, like many of my friends, stuck in time, somewhere between passion and growing up. Mark was very kind to me and deserves my thanks, so thank you Mark, thank you very much for your kindness.
a small journey that I am on, our lives our journeys, it is nice when we touch people or make contact with love.

Mark had a family and lived and worked in Europe rather than the UK, I offer my condolences to everybody who was touched by him. Mark also was a force within the Edelrid company where he did much good work. I was very sad not to see him at the Summer trade show. 
On the back of Marks photo is a little bit of writing from Saint Exupery. I'll just quote a few lines.
     "In one of those stars I shall be living
      In one of them I shall be laughing….
      You will always be my friend
      I shall not leave you". 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Summer show a few products, by Stevie tired Haston

 New small Clepsydra binder.

 New Stealth helmet 190 grs!

 Trail pole from Grivel, old trail pole with a new stronger system of sections, a very, very strong practal pole.

 Mountain Runner light. This is the lightest of three that we make its a comp race model, its brill.

A beer in a Wolfgang chalk bag,

The show was very good, lots of great gear, not just from Grivel, but from others to. I,ll get something together soon. Catching up on sleep, and looking forward to some cliff climbing, and some diving before I go to America in a couple of weeks. Thanks to everybody who made the German show a success.