Monday, February 11, 2013


If you want to go on big climbing trip or an expedition book your flights (and your mate's so they can't bail) that way you're both committed and will have to find the rest of the money somehow.

Last week my credit card groaned as I shelled out for flights for this year's climbing extravaganza. The plan is ten weeks climbing and big walling in California with Duncan and Ollie. Then at the end of October Dunc will fly home, whilst Ollie and I will travel on to Patagonia for seven more weeks of alpine fun. I hope the weather down there is as good as it has been this last year. Needless to say psyche levels are running dangerously high at present.

Dream one (borrowed from Goggle).
Dream two (also borrowed from Google).
It was soaking on Saturday, but rather than go to the wall I was desperate to get out. Sometimes it's just nice to be outside, whatever the weather. Duncan and I donned full waterproofs, pooled our racks and slogged up to the Grochan. Stroll On was steep and dripping. I picked up my aiders and set off, methodically working my way up the route. Four hours and one fall later ("Think light thoughts, think light thoughts. Ping! Bollocks.") I thrutched my way to the abseil station. With daylight fading rapidly and Duncan having only a basic understanding jumaring we decided it would be better if I stripped the gear by abseil. Cheers to Duncan for belaying. I can't imagine it was much fun. At least belaying on El Cap will be a million times more fun, as you'll have someone else to talk to, it will be be warm and sunny and you'll be on El Cap!

DC psyched for aid...
Whack and dangle (Don't worry no whacking was done on this climb.)
To any ethical purists out there worried about me damaging Stroll On. I climbed the route 'clean' placing cams and wires so my ascent will have caused no more damage than any free ascent.