27 Nov 2011

Fallen Canopy

I have been looking forward to the red and golden leaves falling in a few wooded venues, The misty wet conditions in the Moors have been a bit frustrating at the moment! 
Also the Anston guide needed some pictures, with better light on some of the rock hidden deep in the canopy of the woods, thanks to the high winds, most of this has fallen and little did I know how amazing the conditions of the rock in Anston was at this time of year! 
James keeping his cool
Dan holding the swing on the second crux
Perfect Conditions at Anston

20 Nov 2011

Jurassic Coast

Finally got some problems done on the jurassic coast, the rocks have only been waiting 170 million years to be climbed on, but the wait was worth it, conditions were not perfect but we got plenty done, and the quality exceeded my expectations, with the usual "I'll piss that"! 20 minutes later walking away frustrated, I already have three quality projects started, never-mind the rest of the blocks. Looking forward to a night bivi and fishing in summer, watching the sun rise on the blocks while cooking last nights catch for breakfast, what more could you ask.
 James gets a full workout
 Powerful Project
 Short but very involving
Thin and delicate

11 Nov 2011


It's been a long day today, but quite productive, I have never in my life passed so many blocks without climbing on them, a first, no time? too much to take in on a first visit, tides were not a worry this time, but navigating the rocks was tricky and for some reason I had taken the pad just in case something took my fancy? Some of the lines were amazing and the I was surprised how good the condition of the rock felt considering the weather? the best laugh of the day was, I had not put the cars hand brake fully on and a woman came running out of a house shouting as my car rolled slowly down the hill! towards the cliff edge, funny, felt a lot more worried how I was going to get down the cliff to get to the boulders.
Blocks everywhere
Perfect Sandstone
Millions of boulders

Miles of rock!
Superb arete
Nice roof
The plateau high up looked good, access however would have to be roped

6 Nov 2011

Do boulders have feelings?

After another day of exploration on Friday, I was full of doubt about what I was doing. I had been chewing it over it since the last time we were there. The problem? Worrying about disturbing the micro-environment by cleaning long-forgotten rocks. The rock had a new purpose other than the home to moss, woodlice, beetles, and ferns. Selfishly evicting them all, for some personal enjoyment raised questions. Was it ethical? Will anyone else be as motivated to seek out these sandstone puzzles in the woods? Will the eviction be pointless? 
Driving home with photos of new blocks and pictures of species I did not recognise again filled me with doubt, still the motivation to climb them had not faded and the memory of the day exploring forgotten blocks seemed all the more worthwhile. I'm sure the blocks might be happy of the attention? or they might remember being blasted out of the rock face to be roasted for iron 200 years ago and not be happy to see vertebrates again!
carabus problematicus 
James in the new SLF tick protection suit
The direct went quickly, the arete drove me nuts!