Monday, 24 March 2014

The Time Stealer

I don’t like to make this blog too baby obsessed, after all, I am a climber and climbing is what I do and why I set up this blog. If only...

I guess it is time I reluctantly admit there are probably more people out there interested in cute photos of the LadyBaby that there are people who’d like to look at yet another piece of ice.  And given she occupies the entirety of our lives now, she may as well occupy this blog too. So, for them, I present a few gems from the last couple of weeks.  She seemed to like the papoose (rucksack thing) which bodes well for going to The Lake District later in the year.

In other news, I might soon have a good post on a mega whisky tasting session I have coming up with James.  It seems he has gone a bit mental on the whisky front since Norway.  Speaking of which, Holly and I went gin tasting at the weekend – a spirit with much more going on than cliché and stereotype would have you think.  There were no tickets, just a list of names at the entrance – my name appeared not to be there, until I realised was down as  Mr Onice.  Nick Onice.  Never had that before!

Training has taken a boost these last couple of weeks as my old pal and climbing buddy Nick (with whom I did my first and only alpine season with – Chamonix for six and a half weeks back in 2006) has started coming over on Thursday night to use the wall. Yes, that’s right – I am finally using the thing!  I have written up a pretty mean circuit training session of 90mins.  We are still getting to grips with how best to use the wall itself, but it’s certainly great progress.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Fair Play

You may have noticed me bemoaning my recent crampon failures.  Well, I complained to Grivel and they have sent me an entire brand new set – you can’t ask for more than that. So a big thanks to Grivel, and more specifically Adam at The Mountain Boot Co. (UK distributors of Grivel).  I am returning the broken pair so it can take pride of place in their broken kit museum.

Interestingly, the connecting bar has been modified to the new ‘twin bar’.  This is apparently to better accommodate the new generation of B3 boots that are more flexible – such as the Scarpa Phantoms, as used by none other than little old me.

It’s nice to see a company not only standing by their products with great customer service, but also acting quickly to address design concern about them – this new bar seems to have come as standard for a couple of seasons following at least one similar breakage as discussed on Dane’s Cold Thistle blog.

So fair play to Grivel, TMBC, and Adam. Thanks.

The Yellow Dragons
In other news, I ran my, rather hilly, half marathon in 1hr 43min 50sec.  Not bad off the back of minimal training.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Lessons from The Norge

Lessons from The Norge:

  • These trips are expensive whichever way you shake it. Even more so when you drive 2300km.
  • I love ice climbing and also hate ice climbing. Mostly I love it. Even when it feels like I hate it.
  • I can climb to a decent level without ever doing any rock climbing, not that I want to.
  • I am starting to think WI5 is not that hard – I must find a WI6 next year.
  • The Ice Training Rig works (although it doesn’t train one’s calves).
  • One should take spare crampon parts.
  • I am now very good at abalakov threads – first time, every time.
  • I like pesto pasta, or at least used to. I love whisky.
  • Norwegian speed limits really are very low.
  • I have climbed in North Norway, Canada, Rjukan and Cogne – the potential of the area we went this year is literally unparalleled.
  • Fjords are really deep. And full of starfish.

Good admin is important

 Attention now turns to the next thing, whatever that may be.  I have a half marathon on Sunday. My training will consist of four 3.7 mile runs.  After that, well, I’d like the next challenge to be climbing related but it is going to take a hell of an effort just to get back to where I was, let alone improve.  I am fairly psyched to stay (or get) fit though, which is good.

In other news, Willow stealth attacked Holly with an outstretched finger this morning, causing a nose bleed. We may have a job integrating this one into a civilised society.