8 December 2009

1000 Miles

Steve Johnstone winning the final and the Scottish Tooling Series

Driving from Guildford to Glen Coe is a mission, it takes about the same time as driving to font. I have been to Font a lot more than i have been to Scotland.

Right now I'm crouched over my laptop in the passenger seat of Scott's van, M5 past Brum heading North. The reason for the trip to Scotland is to check out the Scottish tooling series comp at the ice factor and then, if the conditions allow, we will try and find a mixed route to climb. Recently I have spent a lot of time on the computer trying to tie together various strands of this winter. Luckily I have got time for this as I'm not working but for some reason I don't seem to have as much money as before. The money I have saved from working this summer is leaking in to visa applications (75 quid the Russian embassy wants!!) flights, car hire and I still need a pair of ski boots. I had better savour any climbing I do this season.

When I get back from Scotland I have got a couple of days to get down to meet Malc at l'Usine (Grenoble) for a competition/meet that some of the French mixed climbers have arranged. While planning this trip I noticed on facebook that Jeff Mercier has completed a 2 year project at l'Usine, he has graded it M14/15 and interestingly he seems to have done this without figure 4's. Will have to get the low down on this line for sure, no chance of me not using a figure 4 though! Following the competition Malc and I have a few days to investigate what has been developed in the Southern Alps. Finances and timing mean that I will probably have to pass on the opportunity of climbing with 2 of the darkhorses of European mixed climbing. I hope I will get another opportunity.

Christmas - bring on those mince pies

Then it's the Russian trip. So far:
The visa is [almost] sorted (fingers crossed)
Flights payed for
Accommodation in Moscow arranged
Russian climbing federation are booking the sleeper train on the Trans-Siberian railway (Unfortunately it looks like I will be asleep for the journey)
BMC registering me to compete in the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup in Kirov.

I was a little bit under-awed with the trip until I received the official invitation in Russian and looked at the tourist sights of Moscow then I got a spark of excitement for visiting a new destination. The Moscow comp falls on a weekend when Ouray, The Ecrin, and Kandersteg comps take place. It's a shame these comps are on the same weekend as they will all be worth going to. But I can't fund (time or money) getting to the IWC at Daone and then back to Saas Fee let alone round the World. Hopefully I will be able to have a week in switzerland when the Saas Fee comp is on.

Bratislava Tooling Comp

Then the icing on the cake is Canada for Feb but there is a lot of water to pass under the bridge before that dream comes to fruition.


Now I am siting in the back of Scot's van (M40 past rain) on the way home having come second in the comp (a stupid mistake stopped me finishing higher). It was really good to see the support that the comp received and I don't think that the ice factor would fit many more competitors using the current format. There were almost 20 problems/routes of all different styles and difficulty to give a good days climbing.

Me in the final

A whirlwind couple of days traveling between Newtyle Quarry, Bramaer Mountain Sports and White Goods (I bet Shelle and Scott would be the first people to visit Newtyle and WG on consecutive days!!!!) not the planned schedule but the Scottish weather! at least I have a pair of ski boots now. Scott made a blinding effort on Jaz and almost got it ticked on his second go. I had a quick blast on Happy Hooker, I have been on it before but it was still a good test and I needed two goes to repeat it, it felt tough for M7.

No comments:

Post a Comment