Monday, 23 December 2013

Resolutions and Training!

Training at home is underway, with the haul bag training program pumping my body, and the Christmas Boulder giving me some grief. I have managed to figure out the second move on the climb, after trying for hours I managed to get my, fingers to hold in two very tight crimps, I am now at the point where I will need my bouldering mat, only one day to wait for that. I have been looking up some places in Spain for Will and I to travel to (Spain was Wills idea) and Cataluña looks to be the most travelled destination for climbers going to that region, although not a multi pitch infested place, but with 143 sport climbs from 6a to 9b it looks like something we should try out! Will is soon to be joining me on this rock starved Christmas and we are to be writing down are training plan and our goals for 2014. Keep you updated!


Thursday, 19 December 2013

The Mind Game

(Not A picture of me)
The Mind, well you’ve heard it all your life, is a powerful thing. It can do almost anything, it controls you, it is you and you know no better of it. To think is to use it, to breathe is to use it, it is in a constant state of running emotion. I believe this to be the reason I, like others, look to literally ‘feel’ our mind. I suppose you could say the ‘rush’, but it is more than that. I feel this in a moment of complete exposure. I  don’t have a ,choice, my mind can’t take me that way, I have no happy, sad or angry emotion, my mind can’t take me that way, in fact the only two thoughts coursing through my mind is filling the space under my feet. Up. And how far down? Combine these two thoughts and you have the feeling that we all search for, the moment we hate and love at the same time. That balance. Its the fine line, the uncertainty of the balanced moment that makes it. You can’t explain it, and if you can you haven’t found it yet.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Yosemite, Christmas Boulder

The world has gone vertical! Two Amazing lines in the one week? First Pete, Now Tommy? Very different I know, but all in all a fantastic week for the climbing world! Still the Christmas Boulder sits without a first ascent, it was the first day without an attempt today, due to my lack of cash I have been needing the work hours, I got my training in though, and of course my perusing of many climbing articles and books, I have been looking at some gear for Yosemite, and I posted a question on Portaledge advice on UKC, got a huge response and there seems to be a few ledges, both affordable and of course  robust. Fish seem to do the lot! From, the Econoledge which sits at £299 (with fly) to the Double Whammy at £926, this seems to be the better bet with a larger amount of people giving this a good response. Quite a few people said that they got their ledge posted to the Yosemite Post Office along with a lot of their gear, which seems like a fantastic idea, to cut luggage and the hassle of getting the gear two ways across the world! I also looked at the BD double and the North Face A1, and at the moment I have to say that the fish gear looks to be the best contender..But who am I to say? Blog soon!



Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Headless Horsemans Arete Topped Out by Pete Whittaker

All, I have to say in this rather short and Hero worshiping post is...Well Done, Take A Bow.
So back for Christmas! Coming home to a flat landscape is very strange, but living in Derbyshire means its not far away at all! Having been reunited with my car as well, I took a trip out to the peak district (not a patch on the lakes I know), but its still pretty awesome up there. The Roaches was my first port of call, but with the weather being 100% piss, there was not a great deal of climbing done other than a few small boulders and an abseil.

Being back on gritstone is a godsend! There is something about the rock up in the lakes that I cant seem to get on with; with grit you just seem to stick to it and its so much more reassuring. The main aim for the holiday period is squaring away my first E grade. My sights are set on elder crack at curba, but my main project is flying buttress direct at stanage. This route has a huge overhang with limited protection but once the crux move is done it turns into a great climb. Hopefully if I do it I shall upload some pictures!

Update On Christmas Boulder

The Christmas Boulder has been somewhat cleaned and slightly chipped for realistic handholds...still grading it 7b+,I have managed to connect the second and third move but the holds are so crimpy that my balance and strength has to be just perfect! I am training hard, its a good incentive, this boulder (Buildering) project is hard enough to last me the whole holidays, and keep my fingers strong and my balance improving! I have set up The Haul Bag Training Set, which involves this:

Put 5kg into a Haul/Dry Bag

Finger Lifts x25(using your fingers and elbow extension only,  lift the haul bag)

 Finger Straight Arm Lifts x15 (Elbows stationary lift your forearms up from a 90 degree angle, to your chin resting on fingers)

Finger Holds x2.00min (Hold Haul bag for 30sec on two fingers on each hand alternatively)

Haul Bag Hold (feet) 1.00min (crunch position, hold bag aloft with feet, back off the ground and hands by your side)

Push Ups x2-25s

This was a simple training routine hoping to keep me in shape and strengthen both core and finger strength ready for my return to the lakes. Keep you posted!





 (A picture not really showing you the climb very well, but it gives you an idea)

Sunday, 15 December 2013

The Christmas Boulder

I’m home! For Christmas anyway, and again can’t seem to get climbing out of my head for one minute! I live in Norfolk and as such lack any kind of rock to climb, and you will even be hard pushed to find a centre. I live on a farm in the fens, which is probably the most out of the way of rock climbing you can get! But, that doesn’t mean I won’t try and find some! What? You say, well our farm buildings are very old, and the bricks that make up the office wall are half chipped out, hollowed if you will, and it is an amazing boulder (buildering) project, for the rock starved Christmas holiday’s! I have managed the first two moves with the second being a rather trusting dynamic move that requires a lot of finger strength and some gnarly balancing but still have a long way to go, which is perfect! I will try and film myself climbing it and put up an edited film in the near future! I am going to make a bold statement and say that it is close to that of a 7b+ with the wall in terrible condition, a wire brush is needed to chip away years of decay. I am currently sitting on £0.98 which is a small fortune...I need to work. Many hours of thought sitting in a tractor will have this route sorted out by the time I leave for new years! Blog soon!



Friday, 13 December 2013

Fear From Thought

From the boulders left laying at the bottom of Stanage Edge to the unclimbed routes in outer Patagonia, to be able to distinguish fear from irrational thought is a skill learned only from that moment that pure desperation runs cold through your veins. Irrational thought when climbing is of course part and parcel of each and every bold climb we do. Questions are asked but are only replied by the next move we make. I suppose when I top out on a climb and everything fell into place, all questions answered without a shake of a leg or wrong move made, my thought process is one of elation and happiness, this I would believe to be true with anybody else. But its these flawless climbs that create the fear that we gain on the climbs that don’t quite go according to plan. I know that I overestimate myself at times and say to people that doing a certain climb would be ‘easy’ or ‘something I would do to warm up’ but in my heart of hearts I know that it could really push my limits. Fear is derived from elation, elation is derived from accomplishment. Every time we accomplish something big in our climbing careers our estimation of ourselves can start to become a blurry line. Without knowing it we can start on something that will get our hearts pumping, our muscles tensing and our head reeling. But that, is the art of climbing. Knowing where you sit, that’s thought. Not knowing what’s next, that’s fear.

And we love it.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Crazy bastards!

My name is Will Lord, and like joss I'm also in my first year at Cumbria. I've been dragged up climbing walls since an early age but it wasn't until about two years ago when I really started to appreciate it. I come from Derby so the whole of Derbyshire grit is on my doorstep, so I've been spoiled!! Climbing in the lakes therefore is a totally different prospect and it takes some getting used to. But the lakes has also been a second home right from the start; pretty much every family holiday was spent in the Langdales so coming to live up here is heaven.

I've spent 7 years within the air cadets with the prospects of joining the RAF or the army but still undecided. Through a leadership course with the cadets I was lucky enough to go to Everest base camp which was a dream come true! Seeing these awesome mountains has sparked this bug of wanting to climb the world. The thought of travelling the world to pursue something I love is unreal, and the majority of the time I find myself in the middle of uni lectures just daydreaming about the next purchase of gear or hanging off big cliff faces!

I was lucky enough to see Chris Bonnington at a talk in Sheffield about 10 years ago. At the talk was a small video about Yosemite, where I first saw a picture of El Capitan! Since then it's been a fascination of mine. It seems such an epic adventure and the climbing looks insane! What makes it even better is that any sane person would think people like us are out of our minds, and we probably are to be honest!

Photo 1

Thursday, 5 December 2013

With New Eyes

Don't travel if your defences are down
Travel light, follow that of what your looking for
I assure you that you won't find nothing if you miss your path
Be cultured and willing,  within your bounds of your personal knowledge of self.
because if you never say, okay , yes or why not!
your doing yourself a great disservice for the world is full of nasties, that make sunny days
Brighter, those moments last longer and those seconds slip a little less easily than they did a moment
For if you travel, you will find no personal or social gains.
Gain what you can because even if you travel with less than a penny.
You will be the richest man in the world.
Sleep heavy, as those eyelids may not droop for hours....As this life is one of unpredictability not choice.
But if there is one lesson that I can teach you. Its that your traveling now. So treat each new situation, as if you were stepping into another dust filled, noise drowned, weird smelling port.

With New Eyes

Day 4

Day 4

Day 4 of  this blog going live, at this stage its a place where I can write my thoughts not create awareness. But I think I am on a strong path, funds are dangerously low, but I have figured out ways of making more, a little job at a shop above a climbing wall and hopefully some work at home, but first I have assessments to do! Home on the 11th...should be fun, and a great time to get my head straight and sorted.

Joss, out.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Careful Deliberation

This being a dream of self immersion in to the climbing world, I have to face one of climbing's biggest heart stopper. Soloing has always been a great interest of mine. Its not so much how the individual climbs the said route solo but what he/she is thinking.  Soloing is one of those few things in life where your next move, next decision is so carefully thought about. When its you, and you alone who can choose the pace and placement without words stifling your mind, its the simplest idea, fraught with so many possibilities, with a singular thought pattern that hangs over the rest. Will I Fall? Don't Fall, Fall And Die. That is why I believe the soloer has not just a different frame of mind but a different way of life. It's all about perception, you fall from 13 meters you die. You fall from 800 meters you die, thinking. That's where the human line sits, the one we each for as certified thrill seekers are looking for. Its just in this line of work, its clearer to see. They have no backup no parachute, no slings and ropes. Having that frame of mind where there may be even just be a 0.01% of safe, changes the pitch of the seesaw to almost tipping point.  There is no place for ego's up  here, ego may of got you there, but it won't get you out. I am even going to say all human emotion leaves you. Showing it or giving it. The face shows nothing but the path up. Your Face shows nothing but deep thought and careful deliberation.

We Explore A World Seen By Many Touched By Few

 Although seen as one of the most popular climbing destinations in America,   Yosemite resonates with the individual in completely different ways. Some go there to push the limits of human ability, some go there simply for the magnificent beauty that the park beholds. Me?

I want to go there to change. As cheesy as that sounds, I believe, like many others, that life is all about connection. To immerse and surround yourself with people who follow the same passions as you, that talk the talk you talk and walk the walk you walk. I want to be just another climber in Yosemite, yes. But from my perspective to immerse yourself into a culture you have blend in and become part of it.

My Name is Joshua Guyer, I am a student at the University Of Cumbria studying Outdoor Education, I am currently in my first year here and I  am situated in the Lake District. Couldn't be in a better place. Napes Needle, Pavey Ark and Ravens name just a few of the best climbing destinations in the UK. I am a student and part and parcel of that comes the lack of money and good sense. I have managed to acquire some basic kit with the money I arrived with, Some Cams, Wall Nuts, Touque Nuts, Slings, Quick draws, and the most recent purchase a haul bag. Which, added in with the beer money sits me at a Cosy £51.00. A small fortune for a student with the simple hope of staying alive until Christmas, but a Greek amount for a bloke who plans to fly to America and climb some of the biggest walls in the world. I receive £50 a week for food, I believe I can live off £30, so every week I will be saving £20. At flights sitting at about £600-£700 a pop I have a long way to go. But I am making progress with getting a job at a local climbing wall and Christmas will be over soon which will spread out the money..

As you can see money is going to be needed, but I am going to try to live off the bare minimum while in Yosemite, almost nothing, how long I stay there is a completely different question, and I'll sort that out when I get to it, but for now, I have Assessments to be getting on with.