Saturday, 27 August 2016
The Arco guide book now has thousands of high quality routes, its a must. But not now in this heat, its really hot, even in the shade, but its still so cool to be here as part of this gathering of the climbing clans, its mostly Italians but Germans and Austrians too.
Disco Jesus and lots of other people from the past seemed to be dancing last night. It was a hard working gig for me.
I always climbed well in Arco but I never got the classic big monsters at Massone. Need to try harder.
Need to spend month in the autumn.
Arco is beautiful if you didn't know. It was the scene of the first big comp back in the early 80s and its still going on. Climbing and biking are good for this town. So I am here with Grivel selling our gear.
If you can name the three in the photo above go to the head of your class! Or at least to the hall of the mountain dwarf.
Big party last night, Corrado the DJ was famous in Italy, he put some good stuff and people were dancing in the streets and squares. Its very summery and Italian, kids, food etc I did a climbing wall demo/thing and top roped a lot of kiddies up a wall future rock stars.
Thursday, 25 August 2016
What's the first thing you notice about Turkey? You might notice something different from me, or more interesting, but for me they are a genuine, happy honest people. Perhaps not all obviously, after all, between politicians, thieves, and the undecided, are a few percent of even the angels.
I like Turks even though they are my country's traditional enemy, of course we don't really have any traditional enemies, we don't really have the energy.
Istanbul is a country masquerading as a city, upwards of 15 million people, humans no less, and guess what, some are muslim. Yep, there's shock horror, women wearing veils!
I have a great route called Helva ta Turk, it's 5.10 or 5.11 depending how gripped you get (E2 or E3 in little Briton money). It's above the sea, it's rough, got texture, it's drippy, it's got run outs between bolts. It celebrates the failed take over of my country by the big knurly Turkish Empire. Please come to my island, and climb my route my Turkish friends. It's a great route like your country.
The more you travel the more people you realise there's only two kinds of people, "Cont, et non Cont" as the French would say. I love Turkish Airlines, they give you metal cutlery, trusting you not to spontaneously cut their throats, and take over the plane.
I am not religious as you know, but I worship blue-sky and sea, and frozen snow glacial ice.
Sunday, 21 August 2016
I am not a wise man, or a very organised one, neither am I powerful or rich, but isn't there a more sensible way to organise sports competition other than buying into the commercial nonsense that is the Olympics. The Olympics are a business riddled with corruption, and a farce. Lots of people won't like what I say, and even I choke in saying it, but really we do need to be reminded that sport is sport, its fun and games, not nonsense. It's not selling a circus with drugged up lunatics who trash places for fun.
Water from above clean looking a beau, underneath trash!
One of my friends posted a photo of the water around Rio full of plastic. It's not unusual, the sea is full of plastic, and effluent. Maybe we should clean it up. Four years ago there was a London olympics, while we were being sold Austerity, and whatever other bollards the Tory party were serving up. Money perhaps better spent else were, like on the poor, or the sick. Is it really important if some one shaves a few hundreds of a second on an arbitrary picked length of special bouncy rubber between disco moves?
Making sense to you? Is this spread by mosquitos or by insectacides
As a life time sports man, I am humbled and over joyed at the physical capabilities of some people, but I think my own food and water I drink should be higher quality than TV presentation. Do you remember the Beijing 6 circles of nonsense, which was just a Coke a Cola advert? Increasingly it becomes more, and more nonsense. Are we all so dumbed down that we need these advertorial gladiators, or even more dozy sports like synchronised, underwater macramé, to impress us, and get us off our fat arses? No because they don't even do that, do they? We are obese as nations. While Jamaica can get a hundred times more gold medals than America per population, despite being really, really stoned, and so can Wales, and Slovenia, it begs the question, what are the populations of Russia and America doing nowadays? The answer it would seem is, eating nachos, and drinking extra large portions of cola, and becoming diabetic.
Yesterday I went swimming, and did a few routes, I watched thirty boats moored under a cliff dropping rubbish into the sea, the boaters think they are sportsmen, women and children. Underneath the boats you will find beverage cans with contents carefully managed to hide the fact it's Maze, or corn sugar. You will find burger wrappers, wet wipes, cigarette buts, and nappies, aluminium foil, they even have barbecues on the boats or land to make fires, the burger wrappers are carefully worded to hide the fact that chemically the burgers are 65 % fat, and also made out of Maze and corn, because the poor sick cows are fed stuff that kills them. You can't see the damage we do to our world, and indeed people don't want to see it. But hey do something about what you eat because the Olympics do not mirror real life, they are an aberration. Real life is today is just making it up the stairs because you are a hundred pounds overweight, and taking multiple meds for high blood pressure, and other preventable nonsense.
Cheers, and really stuff the 100 meters where the sun don't shine.
Thursday, 18 August 2016
I bumped into an edifice while in America, Henry Barber! Known as Hot Henry Barber in the 1970s, his impact on climbing was deep, he left a hole that was hard to fill. The only person with such a big hit on climbing among the elite was Peter Croft years later. For me though Henry was the guy who made the whole thing a more serious game. It already was serious, after all, all the hard leads in the UK at this time involved serious injury as a consequence, but Henries majesty of movement in the various sub games was what I wanted to emulate.
There were many guys to look up to in the UK, many bold confident climbers, but Henry was good, and it wasn't his home ground-he was playing away. He was involved in the first visits to East Germany Elbe Sandstone, and brought over to the UK and Mountain Magazine tales of German superiority! No body wanted to know then, and the history of climbing is still badly Anglo /American slanted.
Anyway Henry came over while I was working, and cheered me up, and replayed my own Dresden Sandstone experience. Henry has an out of print book out there some where, with that stunning time all recorded. It's very hard to understand Henry's influence, but it lives on in those few who still solo on cool headed routes, and multi pitch, where it's not gym training, but mind control that is required.
Henry is big, he all ways was big, it's not a joke he is an edifice, he is like a big rock buttress standing proud. He is some one I'ave always looked up to, thanks for coming to the UK in the late 70s Henry, and showing us how to play the game. Climbing 5.11 is not really the same as in the mid 70s, we had just got Chouinard Hexs, and were just learning how good they were, cams weren't thought of yet. It's hard for kids today to understand seeing Henry climb, or hearing him speak, he had walked the walk, and talked the talk. Oh yes, and where I learnt to climb, North Wales, my mentors adored Henry. There you go, one day I would love to go back to German Sandstone with Henry, and do the definitive documentary on the history of modern rock climbing. Henry was a dream seller, I bought the dream.
Tuesday, 16 August 2016
Having just a package of traveling, and climbing work, my standard has gone backward. You must train to a peak, and perform. Any down time over 5 or 6 days will show regression. You know this? The human body and mind are surprisingly versatile, but can't do the impossible. The mind is more susceptible to shut down than the body I think. I can often disconnect my mind from the grind and the pain, especially in Ultras or big mountain shenanigans, but my mind is easily overrun by a quick flash or panic which will interfere with motor skills. Motor skills are climbing, or a lot of climbing.
You might be wondering why Maggie thatcher is masquerading as a Moustache wearing right wing dictator. Don't worry, its just a foible of mine, its one of my thoughts on how politics manipulates sport. The germans had an interesting Amphetamine in wide spread use in world war two, which was reportedly as strong as Crystal Meth to day. Is this the drug that Mr Buhl used on Nanga Parbat? One of the three drugs that he used? Today climbers regularly use three drugs on Everest and other big peaks as well as Oxygen at 2 litters and more a min. 4 drugs?
The Olypics are on, and really, it's business as usual. Records are tumbling, even when we know for sure that most (if not all) were established with a bit of pharmaceutical help! You see it's not sport, its the propaganda value of the winning, the artificial creation of fake nationalism. People who say politics has no place in sport have obviously missed the logic boat. The world not just my stamina is regressing. The politicians have finally one when when Mo Farrer runs for England but would be called a dirty immigrant in most of little UK. The Unthinking Kingdom that is not the United one.