I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
No reproduction on other media without the photographer's permission.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Being Benevolent, by Stevie Haston.

I would like to be more benevolent but just can't shake that selfish skin off. I try. People are benevolent in ways people don't understand, it can be "a vision thing", or it can be a steady good work thing. I was thinking of this yesterday when I met Ben Moon. He was "Benevolant Ben" when he gave us 9a! Before that we were stuck, especially me, I was stuck in a mental trap of climbing was fixed, it was a static thing. But climbing is fluid, it is History, present, and future. And the future will not mean just gold medals, and some weird competition format. 

Alex on Nea a lovely VS in North Wales I first led this when I was 14 years old!

Leo 10 years old looking good after finishing Nea, and about to do a 50 meter abseil!

Harmony on Slape Direct a very confusing route, she loves climbing, and doesn't question it! 

Pull Leo, its not free mate!
Leo looking pensive, and trying to decide if he really likes me, as I want him to retie the knot just like I tie it. He tied it perfectly, but not like me!

Leo and I scouting for new routes, its a wet slab where he and I have to be careful!

Gifts come in many forms. Life is both a gift and a curse, the magic is seeing the gift and not wasting it.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The first 9a, by Stevie Haston.

A chance meeting with Ben Moon on top of Gogarth-wow, so funny, so wonderful. Ben is a truly remarkable person. If you have ever read "Meetings with remarkable Men" by G.I.Gurdjieff you might relies that neither Ben, or I, are in there, but I'll make a case that one of us, or some of our mates should be. Ben is re-defining age at the moment. He very prematurely gave up climbing years ago, and had to become a business men, but a few years ago he resurrected himself, and tore a huge 9a to pieces. Chomp, chomp.

Ben and I." Tuck your belly in Stevie" Ben is whispering. 

Ben and I were talking about "trad climbing", or real UK trad climbing which although lovely, is tricky especially equipment wise. Anyway the upshot was that he had missed out a bit, but the rest of us didn't , I did too much "trad" and perhaps Ben did too much sport, but between us there was an awful lot of climbing done. Dare I say it "a Remarkable amount of climbing".
P;S Good luck with Northern Lights you know we are all rooting (routing) for you.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Good things come to North Wales, by Stevie the Dervich Haston.

After being ripped off by Ryan air for the umpteenth time, Iave finally given in, and have become a normal malcontent, who wishes to do bad things to their planes, infrastructure, and boss!

 The latest Ryan air scam is to separate couples seating, so that you have to pay for adjacent seating-who ever dreamt that one, needs slow disembowelment. Scum comes in many forms, but Ryan takes the biscuit.

 A lovely elves gate on the path up to the Devils Kitchen. Walking up to the lakes with one of my daughters Kirsty we were treated to extra ordinary weather and I realised why I spent ten years their running climbing and doing other things.

 Alex trying out the Ordinary Route in trainers, I couldn't lure Kirsty up it-shes not a climber -shes a caver!

 Kirsty in front of a brilliant boulder that the father of her kiddies (sorry don't know the latest politically correct/non bullying word/ for lover)  would sell his back teeth to climb, even I wanted to strap on my shoes, it overhangs lot! This boulder has apparently rare flowers on it-they are indeed so rare that they rant there! So because of the invisible flowers, you cannot, or are forbidden to climb it!

 The famous view of the Llanberis Lake.

 Up the Pass, Alex and I got our bodies up the stupendous Left Wall. Gone are the days when I used to solo this, or do other routes with my young daughter Katie with a rope, but no gear!

We finished the day off with a walk to Vivian Quarry with the route  that made me a bit known-the Dervich. The Dervich was a route that some how launched a thousand other routes. I noticed a very dubious story in the very well produced guide book to local slate climbs about me. This is probably makes at least a dozen stupid inaccurate things I have seen recently about me.
The weather did us proud, North Wales was shrouded in beauty, it was bedecked in flowers and the sky reigned blue-happieness was easy.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Titan escapes Underworld, by Stevie Haston.

Unbelievably it was forecast to rain, and it did. But we were mostly under a huge capstone of sandstone and we got away with the approach and 60 meter abseil. It was a bit of a gamble but we won, the reward was a great day out visiting two big cliffs linked by an exciting ledge scramble of 600 meters!

 Preparing an abseil. The team were a bit anxious, the abseil has a big feel and overhangs a bit, and the odd flick of rain licked our skin.

 Mandy entering the Underworld, if you are not  up to this traverse it could all go wrong in a big way!I arrange two ropes to make it safe!

 this photo shows how beautiful the rock is, but somehow doesn't convey what is probably the most beautiful corner of Gozo, and the most select.

 Christina about to down climb into the time tunnel, a rogue wave got her as she landed.

 We wandered around to the back of the cave thinking of Cyclops etc, you can hide a fleet of busses in this cave easily.

 The two hobbits gaining courage to do the first bit of a route called Everlasting, with a troubled sea beneath them!

 Christina seconding the big pitch of Titan, it has a big feel, and it was raining!

leaving the top of Titan things are not exactly over because you have to escape along this slot with 70 meters of drop underneath you!
Thanks girls for being brave and enjoying one of the secret places!

Sunday, 13 May 2018

The Dalliance of eagles, by Stevie sparrow Haston

The Dalliance of Eagles, if you recognised that quote you can buy me a few pints, and recite pleasant word shizzle to me. Anyway had a post birthday dive (scuba tanks) where we played dead on some weeds at -15 and watched hundreds of medium sized Baracuda mess about over us! Very good except I then had to go and do 8 pitches of rock in the sun with dead legs after the nearly hour long dive.

 Yippee eye o, etc.

Some extra photos of yesterday! It was a good day, its always a good day to do a new thing even if I may have done something like that a few thousand times.

 Deep water soloing etc.

I got all excited looking at photos on the web of a cave I had an association with in the late 1980s, Redmire Pot. Its a tight nasty pot with some tight diving in. Its there in the back of my mind, but when I saw some photos I didn't recognise the entry! I recognised the sump or syphone entry. I googled tops and couldn't make much sense of the down stream sumps, in Birkswood cave. Time flys or gets foggy, but I can remember the fear I had in it, and I can remember having to suppress a tear which was forming as I dragged a bottle through a particularly tight slot where I kept on slipping down into the tight bit.

 Deep water soloing. when is it High soloing over nasty pointy rocks 

Caves, climbing, deep powder, a good beer. More please.

 Entry to Titan area. There is a 50 meter abseil in option its better to climb in, possibly!

 Me or Alex (?)

 Moi, equiping on perfect rock

Alex starting the 40 meter last pitch of Titan.

Entering a new time of my life, I feel like a dinosaur. Dinosaurs finally mutated a bit and became birds, I think I will follow suit!

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Happy beer day by Stevie Haston.

Happy days are better than sad ones, they don't have much to do with birthdays, or weddings, its more a lets do something enterprise for me, happy days are when I do something which other people might share like a new route. So we did a new route!

 My face was a bit zapped by jelly fish recently, one across the forehead which hurt like being electrocuted, one across the lips which really stung and an unexplained one under the eyes which looked worse than it was.  2 meter tentacles were hard to avoid!

 Alex looking down on sector Titan, silly girl!

 Putting some gear in a new route, it was called Beer hunter! 4 rope lengths, 5a, 5a, 6a, 4c.

 I want to go that way!

 Lovely rock, perfect weather etc.

Me doing a bit of extra curricular exploring!

Alex led me up Titan which I added an extra bit of protection on to make it more amenable. Thankgod it was better because I had a drill a big glue gun two batteries and extra kit-20kgs.

So thanks to everybody who wished me a happy birthday, please come and do my birthday gift to you all, its a good route.

I did a bit of exploring for the mega traverse before thirst for beer took over! I need bolts!

Monday, 7 May 2018

Summer time climbing and the sea by Stevie Haston.

It's fully hot, the island is heaving with visitors, and I am searching for places away from people!

 It's a while since I was fit, "being really fit is relative", as I said to one of my students. What is fit? When you can climb most of a day, you are fit. When you can swim for a long hour in a slight sea, you are fit! When you can walk 12 miles to market, or a fair you are fit! Markets in the UK where within a 12 mile radius when people used to walk, they might have had to stomp home with their purchase, mind you.

 Being fit is useless without the right skills, and tools-these are boots for rock dancing!

I haven't been climbing very hard recently, hard climbing is relative as well, 8a never used to be hard in my good old days. A bad shoulder is hindering me, it aint stopping me, it aint even lessening my enjoyment! 

 Don't know what Alex is saying, I think it was something like, "you arnt getting me in, it's freezing"

 Barbara doing her yoga, yoga comes in many forms!

A certain amount* of walking is necessary for every one I think, it is great for fitness and keeps you grounded, you are literally and metaphorically grounded by this most human and necessary of human activities                                                                                                 

* I wrote amour in stead of amount earlier, slip of typing but the walkers were french people who loved the walk, a good 10 miles of sea, a little rock gorge and 450 foot high cliffs, "je adore", viva la France and every one else who loves the unspoilt out doors!