I'm a woman

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

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Setting yourself goals, by Stevie Haston.

Some days getting up in the morning seems really hard! I don't get them kinda days, I am not saying I am immune, but I try to stay away from depression, and hating jobs. Some of you are probably laughing, because you know I don't work very much!

Enjoying what is left of my life is my prime goal….

It's very hot, and climbing can seem unbearable, but there is so much to do, exploring, looking at lines, doing the odd set of pull ups, I haven't really had a goal in climbing since I did the route Bernd, it was so good and hard, it pretty much burnt out the circuitry in my already frazzled brain.

Looking through the looking glass…

I was looking at a friend Chris AKA Bladders photos of climbs of Chris Gore on some Grit classics and this brought lots of things back. Like how stupid we were climbing Grit in the sun, EB boots, unprotected landings, fear, yes huge whopping amounts of FEAR.  Anyway Goals, enjoy myself as much as I did 40 years ago, do shit instead of thinking about it. Be fit, creative, and generous, laugh and smile, they don't cost much!

the climb Spunky Arette is crying out for a solo or three.

A little light soloing 6c is good for you even when they are  a bit slimy, solo more, life is a bit of a solo performance, you are an island, sure you must love, but nobody is really there to catch your fall, or bring you up from deep down in the water.

Ahh new routes… what would I do without new routes…do more new routes.

Anyway doing new things is great, went bubble diving with my friend Alex, and enjoyed it. I did a bit of tight and nasty cave diving years ago in the UK, but I missed out on recreational swimming about enjoying oneself. So its funny how after more than 30 years I can remember my side mounted bottles, and the calm you need. You need calm, or CALM in big 40° proof bottles. This morning I was down at 30 meters, no tanks, and no noise from air bubbles, and it was magic. The solitude, the serenity, it is overwhelmingly stupendous. Anyway you can't push the boat out all the time, now can you, so enjoy the journey to the goals. Goal for me is to dive a bit deeper, another few meters on my island, and another 15 seconds will give me more awareness. Look out for an article in Climb Mag on soloing with reference to Free Rider, I was asked for a slight contribution, hopefully the editor has put this solo in its place away from American hyperbole. Just try and remember when Mayol went beyond 100 meters  in the sea, he knew some one would go more, and yes it was his friend. Things are ever thus, and Mr Mayol most ardent wish was not to break records, but to play with dolphins. It is a great thing to play with dolphins, having swum with one of the biggest jamborees of dolphins I ever heard of, I can attest to it being a pleasure. If I could have days like that again would I give up climbing, no of course not. Why, because you can have both. But you better hurry, dolphins are going the way of the dodo. Be careful who you vote for, and how you spend your money.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

America is coming, by Stevie 5 th of July Haston.

OK America Iam coming over! Salt Lake City Out Door show here I come, my American friends are flying me over, so let the good times roll.
 Shame Iam a bit out of shape other wise it would be straight over to the Meadows to do that run out 5.11 that Bacher put up all those years ago to embarrass people. I still have a bad thumb which is making things problematic.
 A perfect 6a we did a while back.

Went diving and swimming today, it was relaxed with kids and visitors, the sea breezes kept the temps dow. Politics aside we need to do something about Global warning my American friends. Me too, my carbon foot print will be over loaded.

 Do you trust stainless steel bolts?  Do you its a serious question, I use Titanium, donate to my bolt and climbing fund , top of the page.

So whats up, not a great deal, I been diving and initial success was surprising but now I'am stuck, Free Diving is like climbing but more so. The mind is a strange device, its more like a break on a wheel.

 New Ice axe from Grivel, Grivel are 200 years old next year!

Grivel are 200 years old soon, thats not bad, shows something I guess.

 Good ropes are a fundamental thing which you should never think about, gear is not to think about, good gear just is.

The last year for the Salt Lake show, I believe it will go to Denver next year! The end of an era!

 Albert driving the boat around to Santa Maria Caves, Albert is a cool happy guy, he made us lunch and marvelled at a shell I brought up, I want to be Albert!

Saw a few fish today, lots of people enjoying the Blue Lagoon and other places, I also saw lots of rubbish on the sea bed! Wake up people I can't pick it up! I would like to pick some up, but I get fed up, just like I get fed up picking it up near the climbing cliffs.

A nautilus shell.

Here you go guys, this is what your climbing cams are based on! This little beauty is incredibly fragile and I have never seen one like it. The spine was also thick, or wide, just like a soft rock cam! This is for Fred who works for a rival company and has just produced some great cams. If you see this and know who Fred is, tell him.   

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The Darkness Beckons, Cave diving book review by Stevie Haston.

Sorry for the delay in this review, but I have been reading it-yes this is sometimes what a reviewing person might do! Anyway this book is a fantastic read, and is not only a must read for cavers, and divers, but a must read and have for climbers, because every page is soaked in sweat, and adventure.

 exploring rocks, caves, and cliffs-Alexandra.

The Darkness Beckons is a huge thick book, it's full of the history of the sport of diving, it's full of wonderful photos, and is a loving testament to the shared brotherhood of the sport throughout the world. It's kind of like climbing was-not that climbing is passé, but it is overhyped at times. Cave diving is a bit like soloing, it's pure and committing, and an individual small journey, an odyssey in a world where everything is now a package holiday!   

 the first (?) cave dive, Mr Casteraete my "hero"and muse since I was a boy.

This great book is too big to take in one sitting, but if you'r like me, you will have many long reads, and then just keep dipping back into many individual journeys down water filled dreams, or nightmarish tunnels. The modern photos of clear water can not convey the grimness of many dark tight little worm holes that have been done, but it's all there, mud and glory, and clear crystal water too. Neither can the images of sublime overburdened divers at great depth on occasion, convey the crazy pressure on mind, and body that these aqua knights boldly venture into.

the beautiful climbing cover of the Darkness Beckons by by Mr Farr.

If you are squeamish you shouldn't read this book, but it seems to be one of the last frontiers of human endeavour, so for me and many of the people I know, it is a must purchase acquisition. When Honould soloed El Cap the other day there was a lot of American Chest beating about it being sports greatest achievement, and I certainly cried bollocks, if you want to know why read this book, there are hundreds of instances of great daring do on the brink of the sports upper curve!

 A great historical photo from Balcombs collection, Balcomb was instrumental in beginning cave diving in the UK.

There is a great deal of vicarious pleasure, and misery, and sadness to be had in this book, it's as big as the Bible with better stories, please buy it and enjoy it, the author Mr Farr deserves some recompense for his dedication to the sport, and for his measured, and devoted recordings, and research. Martin Farr has been involved in cave diving since a young man, and shows no danger of giving it up, I for one thank you very much for sharing your wonderful world with me.