Wednesday 15 September 2010

Turn, turn, turn

Callow Bank, November morning
Every year, around now, I take great delight in being a gritstone climber. As August slides into September, the summer ends. Holidays are over, its back to school, to work - another disappointing summer over, and a long winter ahead. For most, a good excuse to moan. For the gritstoner, every chilly morning, every dark evening, the strengthening wind and the first falling leaf - all are reminders of the cold, crisp magic ahead. Come November - not so long now - and a clear sky will freeze the moisture from the air, leaving the Pennines sparkling like crystal under a cold, blue dome. The hills will be full of colour - great swathes of bracken red as a fox, beech leaves twisting copper and gold in the low sun. I can't wait.

In the meantime, things are busy. I've got lots of photography projects going on, including shooting a walking book, and some work on the new RSPB/ NT Eastern Moors partnership. I've also just finished a big article for next month's Climb magazine. New editors Dave Pickford and Ian Parnell have got some exciting ideas and its been great working with them. I'll expand a little more on the piece nearer the time, but its about finding my way to a fulfilling ethic on gritstone.

I'm also still teaching Rope Access - having just set up a new company with an old friend. Access Techniques Ltd will be running regular IRATA rope access courses from next week. Aide and I had both taught regularly for ATS over the years (something of an institution in the Sheffield climbing scene - being the first rope access training venue in town, and next door to the Foundry) and when they ceased trading it seemed like a good opportunity. Our new venue near Bramhall Lane is a much better building than the old ATS warehouse - being bigger, higher and with more interesting steelwork - and I'm looking forward to running some exciting courses there. Whether you're an old hand needing to reval, or just curious to find more about the industry, get in touch with us via the website.

Aide sorting gear down at ATL

Yet despite a busy year, I've somehow managed to keep a reasonable climbing standard. Back in June I managed my first sport 8a - The Ogre on Chee Tor, and in July I managed a clean on-sight of Supersonic at High Tor, which whilst not especially hard has been a long-held ambition. Last week I spent in Mallorca on a Deep Water Solo stag trip. Its not something I've ever been massively drawn to but can highly reccomend it - amazing. I'll post some more later, but here's a taster. Looks shit doesn't it?

Cala Barquez, Mallorca 12m high, sea temp 29 deg.


Fiend said...

Nice one, looking forward to hearing more about the DWS.

Butters said...

Yet another great blog - they may be few in number but they are always interesting.