Wednesday, 30 June 2010

New Toys

I recently received support for my winter kit from Grivel so this meant a visit to the prosthetics guys at Raigmore Hospital the other week. we had a bit of a discussion on angles etc for the axes and the guys got to work chopping my Quantum Race tools up and I picked up the finished products yesterday. Trying out the mixed version of my prosthetic

Today I headed down to the Ice Factor to try out the results. Its really handy having this place local to test these out instead of realising faults while in Norway or Italy etc. The guys there (Jamie B , Andy , Kieran) were good enough to help out with belaying and taking the pics.
The shorter ice version in action

They both seemed to work fine in here but I'll need to wait till winter to really find out.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Trying, Failing and Accepting

I've had almost two months off work now to try climb E8 and sort out some other parts of my life. It's given me time to accept that for the time being settling into a relationship isn't going to work for me while I'm pushing myself trying to find out just how far I can go with my disabilities. it's selfish of me to keep trying as my attitude is one of not letting anything distract me and even the pettiest squabble can put me off so it's not worth it. I also feel closer to accepting the fact that I'm getting a bit older now and any chance of a career in the fields I'm interested in are slipping away, all this has the positive side effect that I'm more capable of focussing my energy on climbing and committing myself more to it.

Trying Marks line in Glen Nevis -Pic-Alan Fox

I've been trying a lot of new routes in my time off, trying to find different ways of using my left hand to allow me to climb better and it's working.Mark McGowan pointed out a route to us in the Glen that he reckoned was worth a look so Johann and myself tried it the other week and it was utter nails (sure E7) I couldn't do one bloody move but it's well worth another look and I'm sure Johann will send it soon. I was beginning to worry that if I was to climb harder than E7 that I'd be doomed to climbing slabs for the rest of my life. But after another visit to Ireland with Di Gilbert to meet up with Ricky again that fear has been quashed. I tried a few lines without success due to my hand ,though no matter how hard I try to just accept this it still pisses me off and I get extremely angry with myself.
Top roping Tolerance E8 6c, Binnien, The Mournes . -Pic- Ricky Bell

Tolerance is a mega bold route with a terrible landing if you blow it on any of the hard moves but it's an absolutely stunning line. I have a struggle with two of the moves but I'm sure I can manage them in cooler conditions. It's great to have focus back on one or two particular routes again as it allows me to concentrate and not have that 'whats next?' feeling.
It was another great trip to Ireland, every time I go I enjoy it more and I'm more keen to go back. The place is awesome, the climbing is perfect for me but it's the people on these trips that really make it memorable. The scene there is like nothing I've seen before, utterly unique.........
The Team at Fairhead shortly before heading for the Athletes dinner of Fish, chips and lager.....

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Revenge of the Fallen

Today I managed a new route at my old haunt, The Quadrocks. I had noticed it last night while belaying friends on one of my routes on the main face. Early today Hector and myself headed up before the heat of the day really kicked in, even with factor 50+ I'm still burnt.I took a few shots on top rope then decided to go for it as it was getting ultra warm.The line goes up the right side of the existing E3 route The Arete and I graded it E3 5c.
Last of the hard moves on first ascent of 'Revenge of the Fallen'

Cheers to Hector for belaying and taking the pics.