An eclectic mix of writing, covering climbing equipment, technique, life & death (and all the stuff inbetween).

Falling house image Climbing  | Sep 22, 11

Falling house

Yesterday was by far the toughest day yet - and I came within a whisker of bailing - but now I’m lounging in my portaledge ( got to bed at midnight so having a lie in), and I’m glad I didn’t.What made yesterday so hard was hauling, which is always tough even when there are two, but alone it can turn into a really nightmare. The problem is that the terrain is very featured (lots of loose hanging blacks) and every time the bag got stuck I’d have to rap down and free it, the jug...

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Stay on topic image Dark-Half  | Sep 20, 11

Stay on topic

Been a very relaxing day - in fact a bit too relaxing - spoilt a bit by the fact the weather has been really quite nice (think of a cold but clear autumnal day), with just a few showers.  Anyway have spent the time well, sorting out gear, and drying off my camping stuff that was festering in my car (although I am feeling a bit dizzy after gluing rubber drysuit cuffs into the sleeves of my Patagonia Super alpine jacket with seam grip).  Last job was boiling up all my eggs up to take on the wall,...

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Parachute image Climbing  | Sep 19, 11


The weather looked like it was taking a turn for the worst, and with my haul bags yet to make it to pitch 5 (1st wall bivy), and hauling looking like a big job due to the nature of the terrain (solo hauling can be a bitch), I’ve headed down till Wednesday.And so I’m sat in a little camping cabin, with a bunk bed, kettle and a table (even has a table cloth) - and it feels like paradise.  Funny that I was only camped out at the base of the wall for 3 nights because it felt...

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Ups and downs image Climbing  | Sep 19, 11

Ups and downs

Will keep this short as my back killing me (carrying to much gear) plus my cup of tea is getting cold in the jetfoil (wish I’d brought a cup as having cuscus floating in your tea just Isn’t nice).Had a bad night as the tarp was flapping, so ended up having to get out of my sleeping bag to put it away (of course I only did having been kept awake for several hours trying to ignore it).Today was my big day - hauling all my gear on the wall. Didn’t quite turn out like...

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Busting moves image Climbing  | Sep 18, 11

Busting moves

Climbed two more pitches today - the climbing slow and careful (much of the rock is pretty fragile) a mixture of easy’ish aid and free climbing, but all in a XS setting (ice falling from the summit, dripping water, loose rock everywhere).  I’d not recommend the route (or the Troll wall) to my worst enemy, but it’s not dull - I’ll give it that. Also note to anyone who reads that the route has bolt belays. This is true, but so far all bolts have been of the peak limestone variety circa 1980 (two home made,...

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Road to hell image Climbing  | Sep 17, 11

Road to hell

It stopped raining today and finally made it up to the wall with the rest of my gear, plus even had enough energy left to do the first pitch. Not to bad really as I was considering knocking it on the head.Parked at Fiva farm and the farm manager (and old guy with a missing finger) told me that he remembered the Brits climbing the wall for the 1st time in the 60’s. He also recommend that I didn’t go to the wall, but I promised if it was dangerous I’d come back down (the bit I’...

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The Long Rain image Dark-Half  | Sep 14, 11

The Long Rain

“The rain continued. It was a hard rain, a perpetual rain, a sweating and steaming rain; it was a mizzle, a downpour, a fountain, a whipping at the eyes, an undertow at the ankles; it was a rain to drown all rains and the memory of rains. It came by the pound and the ton, it hacked at the jungle and cut the trees like scissors and shaved the grass and tunneled the soil and molted the bushes. It shrank men’s hands into the hands of wrinkled apes; it rained a solid glassy rain, and it never stopped.”The...

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On hands and knees image Climbing  | Sep 13, 11

On hands and knees

Back in the campsite feeling well and truly rung out.  Today I had to carry the first of two loads up to the base of the route, probably the equivalent of three trips up to the Cromlech.  The way up is always a nightmare (winter or summer), generally due to the awful state of the screes, which are just loose, ranging in size from forty degree quicksand to wobbly grand pianos.  Carrying a fifty kilo haul bag up such terrain just sucks it out of you.  What made it worse was the normal path that leads...

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Coming Back image Climbing  | Sep 12, 11

Coming Back

Finally arrived in Romsdall yesterday evening after a week of travelling (I think I’ve got pressure sores on my ass after 1000km+ of driving!). It feels amazing to be back here after my past three visits over ten years, amazing beyond the fact of just going climbing. There are places you visit in your past, things that you do, that you believe are close to you, that you’ll never go there again, or do those things.  For some it may be dancing the night away, hitting the road without a care in the world, being...

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Ambition image Dark-Half  | Sep 12, 11


Last nights talk at Norway’s Fjell film festival - an awesome event staged in the Jotunheimen mountains (the ‘gorms on steroids) went well (even if I say so myself) - which is a relief - and it seems that the Norwegian sense of humour isn’t that different to ours (my joke about sticking my dick in a toaster seemed to work anyway).  The only mistake was I ended up looking at the wrong clock and was told I had fifteen minutes left - when I thought I had thirty. Somehow I crammed it all in, although...

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