Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Mangalitsa" is a pretty fancy name for a curly haired jack-off

This post is nothing to do with climbing, which is a relief. It is about the awfulness of cute, furry creatures that attempt to destroy you with their fluffiness. The next time you're overwhelmed by a comical tapir, a cute but wonky rhino, or a, well, whatever the heck THAT is, you will know where to go.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Third time lucky

Whilst making my way through a chicken samber at the Cafe Bombay (with a saag paneer and garlic naan to share), I was taken to task for the recent run of rather downbeat emails. I was compared to either Marvin the Paranoid Android, or Eeyore the donkey. The point was clear enough. However I can hardly be blamed for feeling a bit down about the weather and many aborted attempts to get to Ashop Edge. This last Saturday, however, was excellent! There were about 15 people climbing all over everything, we did a handful of new routes (S-E1) and the Red Arrows did a salutary fly by as various teams climbed. It was quitre a moment that is unlikely to be repeated: cameras snapped, people waved and the sun came out. We also managed to solve the "mystery" of Ashop Crack's recent upgrading in a recently published selected guide: it's now the easiest E2 in the UK!

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's a steal

I've learnt that the best way to get some climbing done during the British summer is to ignore the forecast and go anyway. Saturday just gone was a perfect example of this. Greenfield Bakery is a great meeting place: with a selection of sweet and savoury pies, and parkin that can be bought by the pound (£1.40 per slab) what's not to like? We ended up at Nab End in the rain, then retreated for Mars Bar Cheesecake in Marsden, and then went on a magical mystery tour of Strange Yorkshire Crags like Honley Quarry. As you can see, the lads are trying to get the place sorted out.. and it would be great if they got some support. It's a smaller version of Baildon Bank, and just ignore all that stuff about asbestos.
Inevitably, we ended up at West Nab. The picture shows what is known as the "Cock Crowing Stone" (don't ask) but despite the hard to avoid mental images, it is the gateway to the best and least discriminating bouldering in the UK. It was a glorious evening, no one fell in the moat, and we had a reet good laff.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crisis? What crisis?

Over the past couple of weeks I've been heartened by the predicted great weather. Talk of barbeque summers and other such cliches have raised my expectations. However (and you knew that was coming) the facts have not borne out the predictions. Despite that, we learnt from last year's month long epic that you really have to ignore the weather forecast, meet up at the bakery anyway and just go climbing. Usually it worked out OK, and this year it's been no different. In between the downpours, we've managed to get to Deer Knowl, Shining Clough, Deceptive Buttress, Bareholme, Laddow and the Dark Peak's very own DWS venue for some topless action (including the ladies)
The latest action included Den Lane, The Church Inn, West Nab, The Church Inn and you can work out what happened for the rest of that day. A roaring fire, £1.50 a pint, and a landlord that didn't mind a damp husky under the table. Brilliant.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Glacial retreat

I heard - on the Glossop grapevine - that the ice has gone from the Northern Edges of Kinder, so it seems appropriate to get back to work. There are plenty of reasons to choose the northern edges, and a predicted sizzling summer is prominent amongst them.
It's been a long time since I did anything on the guidebook. Apart from a brief flirtataion with Bareholme a few weeks ago, I've been idle & I can't work out if I feel guilty about that or not. There are aspects of doing the guide that will be hard to leave behind once it is over, but other aspects (like being free to go to Wales and do whatever I like on a nice weekend) which I look forward to.
As things stand, the moorland guide is number three in a queue. First comes the revamped Roaches guide, then the new Froggatt to Black Rocks book, then ours. This means we have until the end of September (again) to get it finished. I can't say I'm disappointed by this turn of the screw.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Ice Men (and ladies) Cometh

Given the choice of staying in on our own and fiddling with our Xbox 360s, or having a laugh with our mates, we all met up at Greenfield Bakery for the ceremonial Filling of Fat Faces.
The routine goes something like this: buy a cheese and onion pie, a couple of butties, a bun and some gingerbread, and then top it all off with a brew. I also bought a whole Madeira cake (75p). Thus fortified, we went to Standedge. The whole area is rather mysterious and rather strange. One person who'd promised to come with us backed out at the last minute when he found out where we were going. He'd had a bad experience with a feeling of being followed, and the disappearance of his walking stick, and he was in no mood to return.
The rest of us had a laugh, culminating in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th "ascents" of the Pennine Way stomach traverse. Bravely led by Andi Turnip (or was it Mark Sharratt? I can't tell the two apart) the deed was done. After some excellent bouldering, we went to check out West Nab. "No bloody chance, youth!" and so we buggered off to Holmfirth to introduce our friends to Cliff (www.kirklees climbing.co.uk We all had some memorable moments, then we went to the pub, drank beer and finished it all off with chips cooked in beef dripping. Apparently, we are all on youTube, standing on a trig point.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Redemption songs

We're in that really curious stage of publishing called "proof reading and editing". It's a great way of finding out exactly what we've achieved and what we still need to do. There are gaps opening up everywhere, and they must be filled or we'll all be going down with the ship!
It is also fun. I can see sections of the book coming together and that gives me a feeling of progress and redemption. It's taken 10 years to get here, and I needed a sign that things were OK. It's fun to be able to send scripts out to people for checking, and then get them back with additions and compliments. It's going to feel that it's all been worth it. Next up, winter bouldering on Standedge, Bleaklow, the Glossop circuit and Bullstones.