I'm a woman

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

Friday, 24 April 2015

10 year old does 8c, by Stevie 58 Haston.

 A 10 does an 8c, it's big news. Then no body talks about it. Then everybody will forget about it. But I will for a laugh, just for a laugh you understand. Firstly the 10 year old can clearly climb as you can see in her videos, and yes she's a girl, which is more impressive. A few years ago, like maybe a decade I found kids ascents really super impressive, now I just find them totally impressive, in more than several ways. The biggest impressive thing is that there is no analysis, or measuring, or weighing, other than it's a new record!  

 This little route is 8a in the guide book, it's 8a because I can only get my ring finger in the mono. The ring finger is an easily snapped finger, so this route is a bit dangerous for me. The 8a grade or mark is by way of a warning more than a grade.  The 8c route the tiny impressive little child prodigy did,  is called Welcome to Tijuana, it's a very good route, and has been done by other very able youngsters. It's been done by a british climber who is well established and old too, it was done as one of the first female ascents (remember?) In the old days just the talk that a girl had been on it would automatically initiate downgrading procedures! Anyway is the route 8c? That's my simple question. Here is another, as the kids do it by a very different sequence of moves is it harder for them than some big tub of a beastie climber?

An odd bit of stone is the above, it doesn't ponder anything, not even alive to thought, I dropped one of my rock shoes into one of the "Moulins", and had to go rescue it. I slipped the last few feet and couldn't get out, that would have been a fine fate for a heretic like me, an apostate of true grades.  
Many routes are downgraded, the previously 9a Eclatamasters has just been downgraded by a few french climbers despite one of them being a girl-good on her. Era Vella 9a has been de mooted to 8c+ a few times, but nobody is interested. Meanwhile Hubble defies grading, or has it gone up from it's lowly 8c+, to the first 9a in the world, due to the fact that only Brits can do it?

This decaying carpet of rock would be easier to climb if you were very light, as in few kilos lighter, it's fragile, weak, requiring the gentle touch of a butterfly. It had a Golden Oriel streak across it moments before I took this photo. And this particular rock is called Greensand, don't ask me why? Or perhaps you should ask me why, because it's clearly not green! Just as Welcome to Tihuana is probably not 8c! But not because a 10 year old girl did it, and not because I am a cruel and heartless man, but because a friend who is my height says so, and "he who shall not be named" is the great arbitrator of grades pertaining to rock. So holy is this man for all grades-for all gods must be men nowadays-that his image is forbidden by the Holy Book and the Internet and any Trade agreement between North Atlanitic countries.  

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Czech direct, by Stevie Haston.

There's no snow here, perhaps it melts due to the large orange ball in zee sky?  Above is Inigo Taylor, a photographer who does  not want to give his labour away for free. Photographers are pressurised all the time to do this, and sadly they do it all the time, and they then kick the stool from under themselves, and find themselves with their little legs kicking! In this photo (mine) he is attempting a route called Czech Direct. It goes over the little roof, the last protection is a knotted sling just like they use in zee Czech republic, it's fun, it's a lotta fun. It's also a piss take name of a route on Denali where a couple of American Alpinists (there's a misnomer already, there's no Alps in zee America!) decided unilaterally that they had reinvented alpinism! Maybe they had reinvented Sierraism, or Solipsism, Saloperie-ism.

This is a Gozo Wall Lizard and he unilaterally reinvented slithering, he spat the word out with a lisp, a bit of lizard spittle, and then slithered off.

This is Inigo bravely going where Gozo fishermen have bravely gone before. Thanks to Rob and Stephanie from Grimsby for being nice climbing partners, hope you have a good day at Sopu Tower.

Monday, 20 April 2015

1000 pull ups 1000 climbs, by Stevie the centurion Haston.

Did a bit of training, 1000 pull ups and a bit of change. The bit of change today added up to a couple hundred extra, the extra pounds around my mid drift, and my mono pack probably means I am strong. Strong that is for an old bloke without a screaming reason for being brilliant anymore! A bit sad really not to be in contact with my mojo, but that's how it is, hope it comes back. In the above photo we had just found a great 28 meter pitch up fab rock, we will go back, and bolt it make it more enjoyable and safe. Cant think of a fab name for such a fab climb!

 I first climbed this little prick of a rock when I was a little pip-squeak, got up, felt like I'd conquered the kingdom of god, and couldn't get down for ages, nearly blubbered my eyes out. Was nearly the same deal a half century later.

Said goodbye to my american friends, Crusher and Fran, hope to see you State Side this summer, if I work the summer show. Thanks for enjoying my island, and adding to the magic with your presence.
Here's a photo for you, to remind you to come in the  Autumn and swim!  Please come again, and bring more American climbers.  

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Talk the Talk, by Stevie chatty Haston.

We salute you for being religious

Talking the talk, walking the walk, other carbage, other people’s words, other people's understanding. I hardley understand myself  after 55 years. Went out with some kids the other day, all university guys and dolls, seemed like infants to me, they were telling me how to think , and other stuff, got fed up with them at times, then became paternal, I hate being paternal. A girl was telling me about being vegetarian, and I was thinking about how I was a vegan and a veggie for longer than her entire life, but kept mum, when what I wanted to do  was talk about the killing of snails and other animals that the veggie industry, and just running across a field will do. But you know I just didn’t have the courage, to rant in a logical way, so I kept mum. Anyway there are a few veggies in the family and we talk about me coming back to the faith, and I will, but there are a couple of things I will have to come to terms with first.
We salute you for being Roman

We salute you…for being wombats, or for trying to get a bit part in the new Star wars movie.
So this week on my favorite island, I was passsing a bakery,  and the employees where bringing the wood in for the wood baked bread. But of course in this twisted world, the wood was treated wood, from old buildings and renovations, and thus poisoned. The bread on  the maltese islands has sometimes been tested to be over any acceptable levels of lead poisoning, but they still seem to be poisoning you, me and their relatives , because they don’t care. There's alotta cancer on the Maltese Islands, my Mum died of cancer. Any way in that Maltese way I didn’t report it to anyone, partly because you never tell the police anything, and also because you know that the Police wont do anything. Still in the end after the Easter Procession when Christ resurrected himself to save us because ‘we know not what we do’, I thought I would share it with you, and of course tell you that people use way too much pesticide here, but you will forget what I write, and eat the bread etc.
Had a good day today with my Maltese climbing chum who is trying to help Maltese climbing, he took me round, tried to help visiting climbers, wasted his own time and Jeff my other mates time, but the result was two lower offs, and 7 bolts in some very over hanging rock, back ache for me. 

Found a way through a big cliff at an easy, but scary grade  which should be classic, it's nice to be giver.
Done over 40 days of Yoga at day break, feel good about that, and the guru (who is dead but speaks to me) has influenced me, he gives me strength with his words, thanks Guru. My Mum who is also dead was talking to me, she helped, she was always kinder, and nicer than me, or my Dad, thanks Mum. Went to Church, prayed for Mum (I am not a beliver), had a really nice time, listened to other people praying,  everybody was good that day, Easter is good. I prayed for people in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Sudan, and other places I don’t know about, let my Mum and the Guru guide me.
Went climbing looked at the flowers, looked at the cliffs, looked at the sea, it was good.

This post is a repost of an old piece and a few things are different. 
1. I am now a vegetarian again!
2. We buried my aunt Maria who was a sainted lady in the sense she never harmed any one, and did lots of good, she died of cancer amoung other things. She will be missed greatly by me as she looked after me when I was vey young.
3. There is more cancer in the family.
4. I am 3 years older and none the wiser!
5. I am increasingly worried by governments who masquerade as democracies, and who just do the work of big corporations.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Grandads Rage Against the Machine, by Stevie Stately Haston.

 It's been a weird week, this week that was. It's been good and bad, there's been a mood of grey, and a sad air, and then of course luckily the sun shines and hope pervades. Please God, preserve me from the ordinary 50 shades of grey that can cloud our dreary existence.

 So, I met a couple of old guys, and we teamed up for a natter on the edge of existence, and perhaps ours, after all we are getting on. They were fishing off the 30 to 40 meter cliffs.
The older of the two, and of the the three (if your paying attention) was called Gerald from Valetta, a sprightly 74 years. I had watched him nimbly solo up and down a grade 5. He was a great lad as was his mate. Gerald was fascinated by our climbing antics. Gerald watched me attentively and kept asking questions, and then worked everything out for himself. He had worked on church domes in the casual style of the Maltese, i.e. total Insha'Allah lack of Health and Safety.

If any body knows Geralds last name, or knows him,  tell him to come back to us, and I'll take him on a route. He climbs the cliffs for pleasure to fish, and meditate-a lovely man. As we shook hands I noticed a missing thumb, he had lost it in an explosion.

So why is this spying going on? Blips of 21 hits a few times a day, repeatedly! Am I that much of a threat to the New World Order? Haven't the "Powers that Be" got anything better to do than spy on a climbing grandad? What do they think I am going to do? Tear down their stinking edifice with my rusty Zimmer frame? Get a real job NSA, or whoever it is! It used to be groups of 34 hits, at least that made more numbers on my blog! Try this W   A  N  K  E  R  S, thats code for desist.

Help needed with Rock by Stevie helpless Haston.

A bit of new route exploration, it will become a world class climb.

 Had a great time on the day of the referendum about hunting, which of course turned to total Scheisse when the results came in to allow the continued killing of birds about to breed! Anyway, the sun shone, there where families enjoying the countryside, it was great.

 I need help with this fossil! I don't know what it is! I have never seen anything like it. It was found in the lower Coraline layer on Gozo just before the layer of Silver Dollar sea urchins that marks the change to Globigerina. If you are a geologist, and don't know, please ask some one who might. 

 Crusher and Fran  flew all the way from Colorado in the USA, to see and climb on my island of Gozo. Happy tourists spending money on our island climbing who will spread the word about how good the climbing is. 

This place is magnificent, it's called Fruit Cake Land, great climbs, a world class experience. Fishermen use this spot and have been using it for a very long time. I have climbed there since I was a kid, along with fishermen of all ages, 30 meter routes by old guys and kids in bare feet. The tradition of climbing is thousands of years old on Gozo. If you are a hunter and want to climb instead this year, contact me, maybe we can go climbing together. Peace to all, and a peaceful clean countryside for all of us to enjoy.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

American climbers eat rock. by Stevie Hungry Haston

 Enormous hunger, gigantic thirst for life, fun, and rock. Yep, a lot of my friends seem to be hungry, and greedy for enjoying life's finer things. Two mates came over from the States to climb, and so far they seem to enjoy the rock, Fran and Crusher have been my mates for a really, really long time. 
And we have climbed together, and discussed stuff for a really, really long time. Last night, we were  talking about the 'Endless War' that's ravaging the Middle East.

 Fran and Crusher enjoying rock

There's a point when discussion, however heated, can stay a discussion, or rage into argument. I hope I always stay under that point, on the right side of that point. And that's the point!

This is a photo of me finally doing the crux of Hore Hound, a nasty tweaky 8a. The fact that I can now do it fairly well, suggests to me that it's not 8a. So it might go down in the next guide to 7a, or 6c +. That's my little joke for today. You have to laugh, don't ya, cos politics makes me want to scream,  and stamp my feet. Better to go climbing with friends, and have a laugh at the idiot who wrote the guide book!