25 January 2010

Kandersteg Mini Trip

Following Saas Fee my energy levels were flagging after all of the no climbing that I had done, the 0300 finish on Sunday was the final nail in the coffin. Following a late start Sunday morning Steve and I had a short day checking out a route then Steve sprinted up a pitch of very wet 5.

The planned ascent of Buck Dich didnt happen today but the unplanned decent of the toboggan run made the walk up the hill worthwile.

Me on easy approach ice (photo Steve Johnstone)

The first mixed pitch on Buck Dich and my high point before the pump stopped play. (photo Steve Johnstone)

22 January 2010

Small margins

It would be nice not so have to hunt for positives to take away from the Saas Fee competition but I'm used to it now after competing in 5 World Cup comps over 2 seasons and never making the final 8.

Today I tied with 3 others in 10th place (9 qualified from my group to go to the semi) the clip that would have got me through was clipped a couple of seconds after my 6 minutes climbing time was up. I feel it was my best climbing performance of the World Cup but clearly I need to be significantly faster/stronger? to avoid the possibility of failing by small margins.

The UIAA World Cup series has 4 rounds this year. 70 men and 25 women from 21 countries took part in the Saas Fee event. The top three climbers (Steve Johnstone, Malcolm Kent and me) from the Ice Factor (Scottish Tooling Series) competed at Saas, I'll let you check their blogs for a different take on this comp (links on left).

now..... how to get back on the real routes asap.....

21 January 2010

4 x 4

Shortly after taking this photo I wanted to take some other shots so followed Mac's Opal Astra tracks from the previous day in to the Gasterntal. After rounding off two corners of my Land Rover I learned that a different driving style is required for a heavy 4x4, using torque and grip is much better than momentum.

To the Saas Fee competition next.

Kandersteg strikes again......
the M10 section! of an M10 at a new area (not really Kandersteg)
Michael M9 *** 1st rp (Uschinen)
Good but unsuccessful climbing on M7+ pitch of M8+ to right of Obsession (Kiental)
Necrophilice Wi 6- (Gasterntal)
Klara Winter M8 flash/done before? Matador M11 1st rp (did start last year). Powerbat M9/10 popped off after Manu Cordova on sighted the route (Uschinen)

19 January 2010

Necrophilice in the Gasterntal

The top 4 pitches (Necrophilice 315m V 6- B. Rathmayr, A. Jenni)
A very good route that sees few ascents for some strange reason.

Mac chasing the sun up the penultimate pitch.

Plans changed earlier in the day and a late start on the route ensured a dark decent.

10 January 2010

The Ни́жний Но́вгород Change

Me in Kirov. Thanks to Dennis Van Hoek for the photo

Malcolm Kent as the tankers rolled through Nizhny Novgorod Station

The Chandelier in front of Lenin

One of the many icons inside the Moscow Metro

Intercession Cathedral (St. Basil's)

The Kremlin

7 January 2010

Is it worth the effort?

View from the sleeper train on the Trans Siberian railway. I'm not sure how long I have been in Russia but it as been a maelstrom of travel.

The hotel in Kirov complete with Christmas lights, note Malcolm Kent and Dennis Van Hoek taking the air on the veranda (or maybe their hands have frozen to the railing).

It's great what you find out while travelling: Christmas is celebrated on the 5th (6th?) in Russia!! Knip is cut in Dutch! and written Japanese is minbendingly complicated.


I thought I had a chance of finishing the competition in the top 8, actually came 24th today (didn't qualify) wtf! Don't really know how I did so badly, the route was technical but i was positive, climbed steadily and had loads left in my arms when I timed out??? I was hoping to put on a good show for all of my friends at the comp and prove that we can climb ok in the UK. Try again in Saas Fee?

And it is totally worth the effort going to the comps.