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Fun in the Blue Mountains

25 Oct 2008

Sydney opera house

A week has already gone by of pure and simple fun in Australia.  First stop was Sydney soaking up the sun, second stop the Blue Mountains.  Nic and I can hardly believe our luck meeting up with Adrian and Claire who live in Blackheath, the heart of the local climbing scene.  Ado is one of the most active new routers in the area and here's a picture of me on one of his beauties, Slipstream, a 5 pitch climb in the atmospheric Grose Valley.  This pitch is a sustained 50 metre 23 (or 6c+) on ironstone edges.  Only 4 other climbers have been on this route and Nic was lucky enough to be the first person to piece together the crux 26 (7b+) arete just below this pitch.

Katherine Slipstream

We've clocked up 4 climbing days so far and my muscles are already aching!  There's too much climbing to be done!  I got more pumped than I would have liked on the first 2 days, but when classics are there in front of you, its hard to say no.  The Bluies are characterised by sandstone escarpments overlooking endless gum trees.  Whilst many of the famous areas are single pitch sport climbs much of the real Blue Mountain experience is to be had on the multi pitches.  Adrian has been giving us a whistle stop tour and there are 2 days left before we fly down to Melbourne.  Let's see how my arms and fingers do over the next few days..

Taipan bound

15 Oct 2008

Taipan

Taipan wall is a wall of dreams.  It glows golden for miles and miles around, its beautiful.  However it makes Ceuse look like a playground crag.  Given its size, there are very few routes that wind their way up and the routes are hard!  The first time I visited the crag, just looking at it was all I could do, the second time I was barely able to pull off the ground on the small side walls and the third time I managed a route but it didn't seem to tackle the main sweeps of rock.  This trip I hope to tackle one of the main challenges!  To me its like setting a Himalayan objective - just getting to the top will be enough, by whatever means.  A wall like this gives the word climbing its real meaning. 

Lovetoclimb t-shirts available

13 Oct 2008

You may (or may not!) be interested to know that I've now got some high quality lovetoclimb t-shirts in some great colours in both men's and women's styles. See here>> for details!

T-shirts

 

Touching number 10

10 Oct 2008

Touching number 10

When I first entered the building I was aware I was talking about coaching and climbing to Neil Gresham.  Sorry Neil, but I was trying to focus on what was around me, we can discuss the other stuff some other time.  I know climbing is the reason we were there, but some of the people there, let's face it, you can see down the pub.  There were a few new people to meet, famous faces from the climbing world and then of course Gerry Sutcliffe, the Sports Minister.  It was a great occasion and Leo Houlding gave a superb speach summing up what it is to be a climber, whilst at the same time drawing out issues facing us as climbers today as funding has been drawn away to Olympic mainstream sports.

Let's get down to the details...  Downing Street is a beautiful property and and incredible 240 staff work there full time.  Priceless art adorns the walls and one of the first things you pass as you enter the hall and swish along the corridor is a Henry Moore reclining woman.  Spotless decor, chandeliers and interior design to the highest standards.  To be honest I learnt more about Downing Street chatting to David the facilities manager for half an hour afterwards, when everyone else had left.  Jonny Garside (pictured above - photo by Alex Messenger thank you) knows a bit about art and right at the end mentioned 2 'Turners' I had missed.  Believe me, I'm no expert, but when you get the opportunity to see things like that...  Anyway David was marginally frustrated I'd not noticed them the first time round but he kindly whisked Jonny and I through to the White room to observe the said Turners.  This is the room where Nelson Mandela and other such dignitaries have gathered, met, discussed and stood.  On the way back down we stepped past pictures of all previous Prime Ministers aligning the stairwell, important figures staring back.

It was a wonderful priviledge visiting Downing Street.

Lovetoclimb in Turkey

06 Oct 2008

Mel 6c+ Turkey 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mel redpointing Kapt'n Kirk 6c+

So here we are, Steve (McClure) and I, post the first lovetoclimb holiday, back in Blighty, wrapping up against the crisp autumnal air.  After breakfasts outside, having golden crags to ourselves and swimming in sparkling fresh water, we have a warm glow inside.  The coaching holidays were a great success with many people either reaching new highpoints in their climbing or revitalised with climbing inspiration.

Over the next week or so I'll gather up shots from the 2 weeks.  I'm afraid my photography skills are terrible and I'm about ready to put my camera in the bin, but some great shots are floating around.  I'll also write a piece about the week... look out for that.

Meanwhile......... 

Downing Street invite  

.... this is where Steve and I will be on Wednesday.  How exciting.  We are rather clueless on what's exactly happening, other than its a celebration of British Mountaineering.    Will report on my next blog!