I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
No reproduction on other media without the photographer's permission.

Friday, 19 May 2017

It's horrible being human by Stevie sometimes more Haston.

 Chris visiting the Underworld.

25 mins yoga, felt hard!

 a remembrance of bad things past?

Some pull ups felt hard!

 Good things present.

Breathing exercises felt hard.

a window in your life is necessary.

Laughing at and hating certain politicians was all too easy.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Tiranic Barracuda, by Stevie chubby Haston.

It's cool being 60, it's not cool being useless at climbing, and having a bad thumb. Still all that is better than being dead, one must maintain perspective.

 Optimistic hippy mode, vibe, thingy, peace to you all.

Went climbing, I thought it would be a hard day, but it was a bit pathetic, when your egos reach exceeds your ability, its bound to hurt.  

 cool people do cool things even if they are a bit pinko.

The North coast of Gozo has some class climbing but today I couldn't do it justice.

 The local Cop shop! Gozo style.

It was humid, I was fat, gravity was unkind as always.

 A card from a lovely young lady, thx  Lena.

We did seven routes but not the one I really wanted.

 the Titanic Barracuda laughed at me!

I even tried supper boots, nothing helped!

 Scarpa Chimaeras are the best boots I'ave ever had but they can't change a pigs ear into a silk purse!

Alex did some nice climbing but took a slight excursion into orbit when she was careless. Sector Vortex is cruel.
a fat old bloke, admitting defeat, heading to a more amenable sector

It looks like training is back on the menu boys.

Friday, 12 May 2017

60 and feeling frisky, by Stevie over the hill Haston.

 Dwarf Iris, tiny little things the height of my thumb.

Good wishes to every one, not exactly to all people but you might take my meaning. Hope the bad become good and the good give some of their goodness to others.

 Going for a swim under these big blocks.


 at one end of this block we saw two or three bolts, this route fell into the sea!

 Big old me, 60!

 How to burst a wet suit!

 Large fish trap!
Locally made, I week x 3 people.

With Manuel who made this trap, its very skill full job, my Grand dad used to make baskets and curtains but he couldn't make this.

Anyway just a big thank you to the people who read my blog, family, and friends, co workers, climbing buddies and even people I cross swords with. Be good, and if you are a crooked politician resign please!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Selective Amnesia, by Stevie (?) Haston.

It seems increasingly important to have at least a selective memory nowadays. If you climb in a country with only a few good routes, or live in a country with a corrupt government, how you see things, and how you grade, or take pleasure becomes plastic, and variable. Special glasses are now being sold by governments, guidebooks, and marriage brokers/dating agencies!

 slightly out of focus photo, no problem, put your glasses on.

A visiting climber the other day cornered me, and told me my grades were not right! I was a bit hurt, and I explained they were correct as far as I could make them, and I had a bit of experience in this department. Still he wanted to inflate them by at least a grade, I replied "be my guest"-you see, that was easy.
If you go to some places you get holiday grades, here I am afraid you get grades, bog standard, good old French Boux grades, you know, like where they were invented! Fake grades now, what ever next.

 Looking up the 140 meters of Bernadino F.

Grading is hard, it's obviously a bit subjective! On the big cliff the other day, I had some slight anxiety for a few seconds as I started the four abseils, and when I started on lead on the second pitch. Normal fear, changes grades, abnormal fear changes grades abnormally.

 Solly showing no fear and being strong, later that day affected by the sun he slowed down!

In France a great country that I do miss, they had an adjectival grade which was on top of the Tec grade, a bit like the old UK system, I loved it. The top grade was Abdominal, or ABO for short-oh how I loved that grade, I used to seek them out when I was fit, and felt the sap rising. Nowadays I would probably collapse into a catatonic state if I was teleported onto one. Grading climbers as I used to say, might be easier than grading climbs, and is just as applicable.

 the sharp feature above Solly has been climbed, Bernadino goes to the left, and belays about where the rope is!

Kindness should be graded, empathy should have numbers, we should all have them tattooed on our foreheads so we can judge each other a bit easier, what do you think?

 Dustin helping out, he wants to do that route he said, but its a bit too hard I think.

Is love graded? I suppose it might be, by some people. The prostitute lover of a previous Prince of Wales kept a stud book grading her lovers, but sadly that has disappeared, I guess it would, wouldn't it. It was alleged she got off a murder as well, due to having, em, forgive the pun, connections!

flowers should be graded?

The sun was shining a bit too fiercely, but the sensation was deep, the flowers looked very good by the car, the beer tasted extra good, and I slept the sleep of the just. How good was that? 9 out of 10, only joking! 

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Executioners Song Fernandez, by Stevie Haston.

Solly's grandad got executed on 18th of July 1938. He was killed, murdered call it what you will on Sollys dads birthday, who was six years old that day! Sollys dad always hated his birthday, because it reminded him obviously of his fathers murder by the Fascists. It was no coincidence that he was killed on his sons birthday, it was just another added bit of nastiness.

 Climbers bitch and moan a lot mostly about nothing.

Anyway some time ago I did a route, and called it Bernardino Fernandez, to commemorate Mr Fernandez, and it was a dare I say, it a very great route. Today Solly the grandson did it, and he was happy-so was I.

 I need a manicure.

Climbers are very shallow kinds of people for the most part nowadays, if we have any character, we hide it in the hills, and cliffs, and mountains, we don't do anything with it. Sometimes people are called on to sacrifice a bit more than a broken nail or two.

 The gear for the route, it's 4 rope lengths. 140 meters but on a engaging cliff.

We went for a swim at the bottom of the cliff, cold water concentrated the mind for the route, its fairly serious, with some dodgy rock that needs delicate handling. 

 the sea is ultramarine, its another life.

Life is very tough for some people, and very serious, that's why years ago, I decided to grab a few handfuls of paradise before I died. Hopefully I have also added to other peoples lives a bit with some lovely routes. The sacrifice that some people made years ago, and still do today is beyond me, I don't have the commitment. I am indeed a fair-weather politician.

 Solly abseiling down in a semi religious way.

The route is 5a, 5a+, 6c,6a, and it's a bit engaged, and it'
s a bit hard. I got roasted in the sun while Solly made a pigs arse out of a silk purse, on the last pitch. No complaints-there were beers on top-thanks to Alex and Dustin.

 Solly on the 6c pitch-it might be 6b+ but is scary!

The rock in some places is like frozen salted snow. But the climbing is really wonderful, and it takes a big well shaped buttress.

 I was on this belay for a while!

One day many people will do this route, it's the best multi pitch in the Maltese Islands, with the approach by boat it's even better-a great day.

throttling it.

This is what I think of the Uk, and USA government, without the complicity of these governments, the Fascists wouldn't have got in power in Spain, and they would not have stayed in power as long. The simple story of Spain is that Franco got in, but he was let in. Germany used Spain to kill and train its budding Airforce, while Russia put in forces on the other side, does this sound all too familiar. There were also volunteer forces including the famous International Brigade I even have known a few of there grandsons. Anyway, because of the fear of the dreaded Communist Franco was allowed to get in and allowed to stay in! There is a mirror of this going on now in the East with Turkey, and Israel. But you came here I suppose to look at climbing photos, well you can look, you can ignore my words!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Titanic Barracuda By Stevie small fish Haston.

Making routes is sometimes tougher than actually climbing them,  people don't know how tough, they don't care, they just do routes, and think they magically appear. There is talk of an App to Malta climbing being done by a guy who hasn't got his hands dirty, if this happens I will be very cross, as it is cheating the guys who did all the hard work. If this guy includes Gozo where he has done zero work, I will be titanically pissed off !

 a belay for equipping!

A few years ago an App was done for Maltese climbing by some Spanish lads, I asked them not to include Gozo, and they complied with my wishes, as they had done nothing there! At the moment there are at least 200 new routes on Gozo that will get into the next guide, they can't get into an App as I am the only one who has the info. These include new routes, old routes, and recordings of Fishermens, and salvage mens routes,  probably closer to 250 routes extra. There's a lot of work been done as well as path cleaning, and maintenance, some of which was done by me, but also by Jeff and Simon from Malta. Anyway, I don't like being ripped off, OK! 

 Solly finding he has fore arms made of wood, in sector Vortex, a new sector with, 4 new stellar routes that haven't been recorded.

The new guide book should be very good especially for Gozo.

 Young Dustin, doing a few warm ups before his route!

I am still hurting from a broken thumb, and a few other minor things, and a bit too fat, but feel my old energy coming back. I soloed a new grade 6a today, it's funny, but I have been soloing 6a now for almost my whole climbing journey. It is a pleasant surprise to be soloing 6a routes at 60-I feel happy about that. 6a is 5.10 for you guys in Trump Land.

 a slightly overhanging route, I had a puke due to spinning around while jumping today, first time its happened.

My friend Solly did one of the unrecorded routes today, it was a snaking groove on lovely marble like rock, he was stoked, but it's Trad protection and even that is not very good, it's a hard lead. One day it should be a clip up, so other people can enjoy it.

 the rock is real pretty, this is a different shade, its hard to know whats going on down there, you lose touch with everything.

Two beers down the gullet, I feel happy, but tired, lots of german climbers here, no english, whats up guys?  

this will be one of the best routes on Gozo, it will feel a bit like a french route, but with that added zest.

While Solly was climbing there was a huge ball of Barracuda behind him swirling around, it was very spectacular. I wanted to get in among them, swimming in a big vortex of Barras is an incredible experience. These Barras looked very big though, first time I have seen big Barras this big Balling. It looked a bit scary. Anyway guys hope your all fit, and being good and having fun.   

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Death by Water, by Stevie thirsty Haston.

So Solomon,  and Stevie went climbing, sounds a bit like the Chuckle Brothers play politics. The result was both spectacular, and hilarious.

 Solly after taking a whipper.

Solly wanted to get involved, he wanted to dig deep, he wanted to feel the rush, etc. What he got was really high blood pressure, massive bulging biceps, veins looking like twisted knots, and a heart that I could see from the belay stance threatening to blow its way out of his chest. 

 Houston we have a problem.

Solly's first fall nearly broke his legs, he was jumping for a big water warn bucket, when the majority of his body seemed inclined to remain where it was. The result was a stutter just a half inch before the bucket, then an infinitesimal static shutter frame of a man poised, with the guillotine starting its decent towards his neck! I quickly took a bit of rope in, and lent as far back on the belay as I could.  It was close, he bounced onto the ledge, I was a relieved, impacted femurs into the pelvis are not my speciality.

 Solly begging me for a rope to be thrown to him!

After Sollys heart rate came down from over 200 beats per min, or was that a second,
and I stopped laughing, he went back up! I had naturally told him off, and this time he put a few more wires in! He did the jump, and proceeded into, or should I say voyaged outwards in a Bomb bay chimney of infinite beauty. 

 Stevie checking it out.

The route because of it's nature and gear, was more than problematic, the rock is so rough that rope drag became an insuperable problem. Solly was boxed, beaten, bruised, and actually relieved to come gliding down the blue line to the inky silken convoluted wateriness  which was a bit out in space, but away from the muscle busting torture device.  He did look like he needed a nap.

Stella routes here there are in abundance.

I had a go, and it was much harder than it looked, bridging, changes of positions, and slow climbing, were something was always maxed out, and tense. The escape out of the top of the Bombayment was tricky, and had a distinct lack of footsies! The remaining easy bit took familiar ground on large but sometimes suspect concretions of  fossilised sea gull shit and vomit, or was that frozen Nouvelle Quisine spray painted gray with sand on top. Anyway I opted for no protection to lessen the mounting rope drag. At the horizontal top, taking in the rope was like a heavy gym session, bent over rowing with a sandy thin tope is not nice! Anyway to cut a long palaver short Solly survived, and we drank a lot because we were very strangely thirsty after our salty experience!