I'm a woman

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

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Syria, then we take Berlin, by Stevie Haston.

If you live in Belgique you might have been locked in your house for three days! By the end of the week Cameron AKA Pig stuffer to his friends and behind his back, might declare we are at war. 

 Theres a storm brewing, its supposed to be force 7 so I went to get my gear out of a project. It would rust otherwise. 

Calm as a duck pond, unlike the Middle East.

The storm in the East isn't going to go away anytime soon. Theres gonna be a bit more than rusted gear hard for me to concentrate today. But that was the point to get away hang upside down, dream about nice things and wreck my body.

A roof is sometimes good to distract, This roof is a master piece. Afterwards I take Berlin!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Clash of the Titans, by Stevie the Midget Haston

 Jeff and I, me and Jeff.

Started work on Sector Titan today. It's going to be bolted all in Titanium, thus securing more peace of mind. It's a great cliff, quality stone. 

 this hard crack is going to go soon.

Good routes, good climbing, more fun and success, better bolts, stunning sunsets, an ocean of perfect beer, these my friends, are just some of the things, that are supercallfragelisticexpaladcous. If I spelt that right there's a blue moon out, or a politician with his Hapton Wick in a Pigs mouth.

 Bernd, Alex, and Jesse. the two guys just donated to Gozo climbing, and their gift will make a route.

 Not so perfect, but it will do.

Clash of the Titans, Titanic, give us a name, Colossal Tit (named after Cameron), send in your names for Sector Titan. 

 two of the three aretes that haven't been done.

This isn't Sector Titan, this huge clif 140 meters high only has one route, an old trad route thats not very secure, one of these aretes might go but there is a weeks cleaning on it. 

Friday, 20 November 2015

Je suis Arab, by Stevie Haston.

 the 60 meter abseil into the Underworld.

Bernd and Jesse had there little adventure in zee Underworld. I payed the ferry man, he let us out.

 sombre cliffs surround us.

The inside of the big cave, was dark, the waves not to bad, but they still echoed, it didn't feel friendly. We chose a few mellow routes; Everlasting, Stix and Stoners, and Vampire Lats. I should say Vampire Lats is 7b, mellow if you'r a Vampire slayer.

 Bernd looking at a fossil on the entry to the Underworld.

Berd told me off about the bolts, he said the run outs were too spicy for ordinary people, I countered that they were "perfectly spaced, they were all paid for by me, placed by an expert with love, knowing how your hand would tremble with gratitude when you heard the reassuring click of the draw, announcing temporary safety".
 view from the top of Underworld, not bad!

Not feeling too perky we opted for early beers, and ruminated on steep stone as we took in the banalities of ordinary city life gorging itself on "terror porn".

 the door leading to the Underworld?

I still haven't done my last big link in the Underworld, Cyclops Slayer into Suffragettes 8b+, it's assuredly ++++ on zee arms, and I am frightened of the pain.

just a sign.

The sign above, is to show something, can you guess?  Je suis Arab. Hey, but, "Je ne suis pas Saudi", OK! What are we doing being in bed with the Saudis, the pushers of Wahhabism?

Thursday, 19 November 2015

It's the Hammer, by Stevie the Mallet Haston.

 a pleasant grade 4.

A good days climbing with Jesse, Bernd,  and Alex. I had to climb with the Master, as he was chomping at the bit. The plan was to tire him, so he could climb with Jesse, and I could equip afterwards, it didn't work.

Scarpa Boosters, used to the max. Give me another pair please!

Bernd wanted to climb an arete, he has a fetish about aretes, well he would wouldn't he, he's done more perfect aretes than anyone in the world. I took him up Heart of Glass, he was pleasantly astounded at the quality! 

 top of Helwah.

We finished on Hewah ta Tork, which is one of my favourite routes, it looks horrifying, and is only mildly so! I abseiled in, and got drowned for a bit in the washing machine at the bottom. Bernd was reluctant to come down, it did look a trifle skidoo.

 Helwah ta Tork 6b+

My boots were soaked, water milk shake paste in a bag also, so Bernd donated his chalk, and we belayed out of the splash zone on the second bolt. After this it was tip top, spectacular on crispy wafers of burnt biscuit, and oven baked croissant, and a few layers of frosted sugar coated donut thrown in for good measure, all rock of course.  

nearly taking the plumet.

Me on zee nasty last move of Heart of glass, above photo! Tomorrow the team heads for the Underworld, it has an appointment with the three headed Hell Hound. Bernd is looking forward to it, well he would, wouldn't he?  His remark after seeing me at the top of Helwah was ace, "its the Hammer Stevie", indeed it is Bernd, "its the Hammer".

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Gozo climbing is good ya, by Stevie Haston.

 We have nice sunsets here, this is a sunrise.

The world is going to hell in a handcart and Iam going climbing. Mind you I always go climbing. When the Banker who advised Bush admits that the Iraq war was about oil, nobody gets upset. When a horrific killing in Paris takes place everybody takes notice. 

 The UIAA report showing stress corrosion cracking

The UIAA report on bolts and suggested materials for bolts is very clear on which material you should use. What is it going to take for people to wake up?  Bolts unless they are made of the right material are ticking time bombs.

 Jesse and Bernd after climbing beers, yes we have great climbing on Gozo. Bernd said Fruit Cake is as good as anywhere!

When I took the decision to use solely Titanium I was a bit scared that I was going too far, but yesterday I did a little check on a few bolts. Some expansion placed less than 2 years ago are extremely suspect. They were in a very worrying state-they are in one of the most exposed places, they get sun, chemicals, high humidity. I have left them, I am sure they will just disappear soon! I did an analysis of two, and they would in my opinion have taken falls. But not for long.

 this is 316 stainless placed at the same time as the expansion, in the same place, perfect!

In the same place as the Bad expansion bolts, are several Stainless 316 which vary from perfect, to 10 % showing "tea staining" these are perfectly ok for their job. They should be good for certainly a few years, but they need monitoring.

 less than 2 years!

A rusty bolt and a shot bird!

Climbing is a great sport, there were a dozen climbers from abroad climbing yesterday, having fun and contributing to the local economy. But who will maintain the bolts, who will supply the high grade expensive material, and who will do the work. Because I want to go climbing!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Gozo, peace, and safety. by Stevie Peaceful Haston.

 titanium bolt on left, expensive and necessary, stick your hand in your pocket and donate!

Obviously the western part of Europe is sad at the moment. The Middle East has suffered much more. And the World as a whole is a fairly sick place. Greed, power, and some fundamentally stupid ideas, doctrines, and in appropriate emotions, are sweeping across the Land.   

 Fungas rock is banned to climbers to protect its plants and lizards, permission only please.

When we are all locked away in little boxes, and can't climb except by scratching at the walls of our cells, we are gonna shake our heads and wonder where it all went. We are literally flushing our freedom down the toilet by letting our civil liberties be taken away from us. It was the first thing Hitler did in 1933! 

 climbing is great, for a few seconds we escape the laws of gravity.

I have two friends over, climbing and freedom has been a cornerstone of their lives. One is from America, one from former East Germany. Oh how the media taught us to hate the Commies, the Red peril, the Evil Ivans!

 Sunset here is free, when they work out how to charge, they will.

My father once had a friend (my father didn't have many friends, and this was before FB!) His friend used to have a job in a German Submarine. My fathers job was on a Merchant Marine surface vessel. The German bloke did his best to blow my dad out of the water, and into what ever hell would except him. After the war they made friends, why not? 

 East German Bernd, southern States Cowboy Jesse

The german submarine guys dad had taken part in the Hamberg Naval Mutiny that led to the end of the First World War! You won't read much about that. Yep the First world war was ended by a strike!

go on strike, enjoy a bit of sun before your locked away in a box, go climbing.

Please donate to the Gozo Titanium bolt fund. We want more fun, and safety in climbing, as we do in the rest of our lives. Please do not subscribe to Payed for Media. Please question why we need to loose Civil liberties to be free.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Gozo Climbers Choose Titanium, by Stevie Haston.

After considerable thought, and consideration, looking at all the facts, I have decided only to use Titanium in Sport routes. For climbing in tropical areas above, or near the sea, there can be no other choice. Experience has proved this time, and again. Bolts which protect climbers snap, and are prone to weakness due to adverse conditions, and chemical processes, especially if the material is stressed. Most if not all of these genuine fears can be eliminated if you choose Titanium. A recent report by the UIAA has categorically said this is the case. The Gozo Climbing Association may be the first in the world to politely insist/suggest strongly that all routes from now on be equipped with Titanium grade 2. 

The bolt on the left is Titanium, and the one we have chosen. Please note that climbing is a dangerous sport, particularly if done by the careless, unskilled, or accident prone. No climb is 100% safe, no bit of climbing equipment is indestructible, so be careful.

What does this mean to climbers? It means that every route from now on should last for around 50 years, without an upgrade. Previously routes became dangerous at the whim of chemical corrosion and stress. Hopefully this upgrade should make climbing less of a lottery. While there is no one hundred percent rule in climbing we think that this is the minimum standard. The UIAA seem to think so too. The UIAA is the Union International of associations of Alpinists and is the top body for making guidelines.
From now on we would like visiting climbers to adhere to these suggestions, we also wish to keep records on the date of placing so as to keep track. So please climbers, keep me updated if you do any new routes. We hope this news is welcome, and hope other areas will follow suit. Good safe climbing to all.