Monday, November 24, 2014

More pictures!!! Part two.

Moving on from the big stuff, my next stop was South Africa. Six weeks of hardcore bouldering at the world famous destination known as Rocklands. Psyched!!!!

.... South Africa baby!!! Photo: Wiz Fineron
So much rock! So much climbing! Can you spot the famous boulder? Photo: Wiz Fineron
Campusing around at night on what was meant to be a rest day. Rest days are so hard to have when amongst so much quality rock. Photo: Bjørn Helge Rønning
One of my favorite problems of all time. Shosholoza 8a/+ (ish) When I managed to climb this bloc I was so psyched, so I re-climbed it about five minutes later for the camera! Two perfect moves. Photo: Caroline Wagner
And the next move. Perfect. Another great photo by Caroline Wagner
Steve Bradshaw attempting the 18m long highline above the camping. Photo: Wiz Fineron
Wiz sending the highline. Managed to walk back and forth on this rig 3 times. I first tried a highline back in 2012 at Mt Arapiles, Australia and have wanted to try again ever since. Psyched to have sent it! Photo: Steve Bradshaw

Working on the project of the trip. The Vice (8b) proved to be right at my limit for the trip spitting me off the last move to the jug too many times to count. Photo: Caroline Wagner
Sneaky... Photo: Wiz Fineron
Hold on Simon!!! Oh wait, too late.... Photo: Wiz Fineron
Eat your greens! Power food. Photo: Wiz Fineron
Another big move to a small crimp. Catching the crux move on Green Mamba 8a+ Photo: Caroline Wagner
Some very impressive rock art. Photo: Wiz Fineron

After six weeks of thrashing our selves on one amazing problem after the next the power had gone and so had the skin.  Having managed to climb more than twenty 8a or harder problems I was happy with how the trip went and with my body feeling completely beaten, when the time came to leave I felt satisfied and ready to move on.

Lesson learnt... Dynos are not good for the skin! This happened on the second to last day luckily. Only one solution really... Tape up and keep climbing. Photo: Wiz Fineron
Check out the video I made with some of the problems I caught on film:

From South Africa, I continued my travels returning to North Wales for about a week of organizing (mostly climbing) and also had the chance to compete in the Deep Water Solo comp held in Exeter.

Photo: Wiz Fineron
Deep water soloing in Exeter... Who would have thought. Photo: Wiz Fineron
I never seem to hang around in the UK for too long, so by this time it was time to get moving again. I heard the weather was pretty good in Ceuse so the tickets were booked and off I went!
Hard life really...

The perfect place. This was my second time in Ceuse and it has become one of (if not) my favorite places in the world to climb. Photo: Wiz Fineron
First day back in Ceuse on Dolce Vita 8a+. Photo: Melanie Jackson
Living like kings this year in Ceuse! Oh yes. Photo: Melanie Jackson
The main project of the trip. Mr Hyde 8c+ on the Biography wall. Photo: Alice Thompson
In the past I havnt been very good at projecting, especially in areas where there is so much climbing to be done, so that was the plan for this trip. Having already climbed a lot of the classics up to about 8b last year I told my self that this time I was going to try something hard. No excuses.
Being there in September and October was perfect as the season was coming to an end and the school holidays had finished. This meant for majority of the time we had the luxury of having the whole of Ceuse shared between about ten of us. Amazing.

Amazing climbing and amazing skies. Perfect. Photo: Wiz Fineron
Another classic shot from Ceuse! Photo: Melanie Jackson
The project state of mind was going well so after sending Mr Hyde, the psyche was high and I moved on to the next one. Next up was La Part Du Diable 8c. Another great line on the Biography wall.
Psyched to have climbed another great line on the Biography wall after a few days of work! Photo: Melanie Jackson
Too much fun! Photo: Angus Kille
The crew. Good scenes in Ceuse!
My favorite wall!! So many great climbs. Photo: Luke Clarke
On top of Ceuse! Beautiful. Photo: Melanie Jackson
The last project of the trip Chronique De La Haine Ordinaire 8c. The days were getting pretty short by this time resulting in the odd try at night. Hard bouldery sequences can be pretty tricky in the dark...

 After finally getting through the bouldery sequence at the start I held it together and climbed to the top. Clipping the chains I felt exhausted both physically and mentally. Its amazing how much mental strength it takes to project a climb over and over so with this one out of the way I was finished. My time in Ceuse this year had come to an end and it was time to move on again.

:P .... Photo: Melanie Jackson
 Now for round two in Spain!!! So psyched.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Big, bigger, and biggest!

The last few months have been pretty full on, bouncing from one continent to the next. Since my last blog post in May it's been a non-stop climbing schedule for me starting off with multi-pitch/alpine climbing in France and Switzerland to hardcore bouldering in South Africa, Deep Water Soloing in Exeter and finally Sport climbing in France.

Its been one amazing adventure to the next so instead of me writing about it all, here are a bunch of pictures that will hopefully tell the story much better than I will. Enjoy!

First stop, Samoens, France. (Multi-pitching)

The plan was to try a route called Bin Fizz as a warm up route to the main objective of the trip. Unfortunately we only managed to get up the first three pitches of this route before having to bail off and run back down to the car before the storm hit. Not a short approach!
South Face of the Fizz. Photo Calum Muskett.

Not a bad view. Photo Wiz Fineron
The death gully as I called it. This is where Calum came in to his element. Choss. I was sh##ing myself, and we hadn't even started climbing yet. Photo: Wiz Fineron
3rd pitch of the route. Amazing water warn slab. Photo Calum Muskett
Smearing to the max! Photo: Calum Muskett

Next up, Ratikon, Switzerland.

This was the main event of the trip, to climb the famous Multi-pitch, Silbergier. An impressive looking route with it all. Hard climbing, big run-outs and amazing views.

Good old 'Monique'. Citroen C1 doing us proud on the crazy drive up to the Ratikon. Nobody told us about this? Photo: Wiz Fineron
Not a bad place to go rock climbing at all. Photo: Calum Muskett
Psyched!!! Ready to give the Crux (8b/+) pitch a good go. Managed to send this thing on my second attempt. It doesnt count until I climb from the ground though... :P Photo: Calum Muskett.
Oh yes..... The weather. Not the best that's for sure. Photo: Wiz Fineron
Getting caught in a storm at the top of Pitch 4 again. Yes... that is hail. Photo: Calum Muskett
Looking up at the terrifying second pitch. A very thin and run out 7c+ traverse. Photo: Calum Muskett
Checking out the second pitch. Definitely more scary on second. Photo: Calum Muskett
Calum in training. Cake, cake then more cake!!! Photo: Wiz Fineron

Calum trying to stay warm at the top of the third pitch. Amazing water warn rock and a good view of the approach in the background. Photo: Wiz Fineron

The clouds are coming in again. Photo: Wiz Fineron

What a view. Switzerland on one side and Austria on the other. It didn't quite look like this on the day of the send :P Photo: Calum Muskett
The clouds have arrived. This is our view from the ledge at the top of pitch 4. Still two more to go! Photo: Wiz Fineron

The day of the send. Back on the rock after a forced one and a half hour break due to rain. Thank god for the sheltered ledge. Scary and cold climbing in a white out with some decent size run outs. Photo: Calum Muskett

Trying to stay warm for the upcoming crux pitch!! Legs in the haul bag is the trick. Photo: Calum Muskett
Just keep on climbing. Believe that its dry and it will be... (I think) That's what I told myself anyway. Here I am on the 4th pitch looking up at the crux pitches to come in the fog. Uh Oh! Photo: Calum Muskett

Back on the ground. So psyched to have achieved the goal of the trip. Silbergier (8b,7c+,8a+,7a+,8b/+,8a) done and dusted! Thanks so much to my partner of the trip Calum Muskett for keeping me alive on these big walls the past few weeks.
Pitch three 8a+. Photo: Calum Muskett
Next up some proper alpine climbing in Chamonix. I had to use those axe things and even those spiky things that go on ya feet. Team extreme that's for sure. No better place for it but on the peak of Aguille Du Midi.

Thats right... I'm alpine climbing. Atop of Aguille Du Midi about to take my first steps in Crampons. Psyched. Ok fine, I did fall over once but that's it. What a beautiful place. Photo: Calum Muskett

Stunning. Photo: Calum Muskett
Up high on Ma Doltan of the South Face. Granite crack climbing...  Uh Oh. Great fun. Photo: Calum Muskett

Calum in the awkward transition between crampons and climbing boots. About 8 or 9 pitches later we should be at the top. Photo:Wiz Fineron
Oh no, what you doing Calum? Taped hands mean...... Photo:Wiz Fineron
Yes, crack climbing. Horizontal roof crack climbing as well. So hard! Good effort Calum. Photo:Wiz Fineron
Climbing with Mont Blanc in the background. Nice! Photo: Calum Muskett
A lot of rock fall going on nearby.  A little too close for my liking. Photo: Calum Muskett
The view from our hut for the night. Cold but beautiful! Photo:Wiz Fineron

The next morning it was time to get back on the ice and snow. The usual route was busy so this was Calums idea of a short cut. Pretty dam fun.
Psyched to have successfully squeezed my way up that chimney. Not long to go now. Photo: Calum Muskett
What a poser. The summit is in site! What a great adventure. Photo: Calum Muskett
Well that's the end of the big stuff for this year anyway. Just want to say a huge thanks to Calum Muskett for giving me this opportunity and for keeping me safe when I had absolutely no clue what I was doing (which was most of the time). Lets do it again!!

Stay tuned for part two including Rocklands, UK, and Ceuse!