I'm a woman

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

Thursday, 28 November 2013

My mate Jeff, Maltese climber, by Stevie Haston

Jeffrey Camilleri climbing in the Underworld.

Here is my mate Jeff, a native Maltese climber, me and him, climb together sometimes and try and do something constructive for our islands. We don’t always succeed but we always have fun.

Tunisia gets nuked.

"We just got back from the THE UNDERWORLD greeted by this sunset  -  As many know this is a  place in the middle  of a huge sea-cliff, where  the rage of the sea pumps  huge waves crushing under and around the dry rocky platform…

Besides the mystic view of a torrential sea river running into the depths of the cave ,is also currently 15 routes offering every type of angle imaginable. Many climbers have visited the cave and everyone’s experience surely varies! Few of them though return with enthusiasm and vigor to try and test themselves against something bigger and wilder then anything else on the islands. 
Inigo developing superhuman powers.

Question is why?  Most routes go on for over 30 meters. The moves can always be mellowed down with crafty technique as whoever watched Stevie walking upside down these creations of his own making knows. A few sessions at the UW skyrockets your stamina and makes you a better climber before you even realize. 

Today, me, Inigo, and Stevie  tried the latest route Stevie opened here –The Kinky Dwarf, possibly the longest and most exposed safely bolted 6c route in Malta. I surely don’t view this great place as a hostile place, but a hospitable place where patience and perseverance are required to try send the routes here, where none are similar to each other, and all are magic. The two new 8a routes we were trying are too good for words and wouldn’t be out of place at the best cliffs in the world. One is a 45 degree overhang the second a twenty meter horizontal roof.’ Jeffrey Camillery.
Inigo suffering a thyroid problem on the dwarf

Anyway thanks Jeff, he is basically trying to figure out why no one wants to climb on the one of the best cliffs in the world! Climbing is bizarre, climbers are bizarre, the world is bizarre and the Kinky Dwarf is the bizarrest , you must do him, he wont give up without a struggle and he has a vicous spiteful character. Jeff is the provisional president of the Maltese Climbing Association and moi is the Honorary President, we are the most reluctent  Presidents in World history. Hopefully we will get Malta a decent climbing wall, and some bolts for its sometimes fantastic rock. We want to see another generation of local kids breaking into the sport but its not happening at the moment.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sport climbing guide to Malta&Gozo available for sale, by Stevie Haston

The guide book to Malta and Gozo is printed, 168 pages in full colour featuring over 500 routes.  You can get your copy ; to order the guide kindly send an email to tufapublications@gmail.com with your address. The book costs EUR25 + postage and packing. Thanks for your support! Have more fun and success!

Here the Team at the lunch party in Malta, left to right : Jeffrey Camillery, Stephen Farrugia the designer, Stevie and Simon Alden.

The team with Inigo Taylor, the photographer…

Book signing….

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Climbing politics and nonsense, by Stevie Haston.

Stevie comparing fat fingers with relatives from Gozo : On the left Salvo and he has soloed pigeon crack, he is 76 year old now, and Tony who used to do pull ups with one of his son on his back.

So the guide to Malta and Gozo is printed, and will be out this week, it's not bad, in fact it's very good, and will make for a nice little visit. But the politics go on as they do, people want bolts closer together, they want standard sanitized over protected virtual climbing. The world is changing for the worst, and the people who could fight a rear guard action against this emasculated pathetic world, are now passing to the other side, or getting gentle and senile.

The new Maltese president.

The circus on Everest is yearly increasing with the last vestige of adventure stripped away, you don't even need an axe anymore, just a jumar and oxygen, and a few drugs. The money that is made on Everest by the big operators is staggering, and no wonder they fight for there right to bank it!
Anyway just because I have my name on a guide book, don't for one second think you don't need a brain, and some ability, some understanding of the climbing dangers you are in. Today a 7c of mine turned into an 8a for someone else, despite being bolted really well! 

Anyway I am unfortunaly part of this crazy world, and somewhat involved in popularizing climbing as I think it's ace, it's not fool proof, it's just ace! Today a mate from Italy did one of my 8a's, and thought it is the best route he's done, what more can I want, just fabulous wealth, and my chicks for free!

I finished bolting a route in the underworld the other day, and it's class, need to red point it now, and a few others too. Not climbing great at the moment, but it's still there. There is the perennial problem of sorting out my weight, and getting in gear. This year has been a bit all over the place but I haven't giving up, or in. And a bit of politics won't  mess things up, earning money might help. 

Give that man a job before he through himself under a buss!

As I have grown older people for some reason people think I am passed it, and employment is rare, what is rare is finding anybody that can do what I do, and that isn't boasting it's called applying for a job, as May West said "if you got it, flaunt it". So if you need a job done, and you think I might fit the bill, but I ain't cheap.

The weather has been horrible in Europe, but here in Malta climbing just goes on, and that's because we ain't really in Europe, don't tell anybody. More fun and success to you.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The value of Climbing, by Stevie Average Haston.

froth, rock, fear

The value of climbing is not that it’s the greatest thing since powdered ecstasy  joy and happiness, but that it puts day time television and politics into perspective. It’s been raining, so  I put on the TV for the weather, and watch instead discussions about plastic surgery compared  by super enhanced bimbettes  pretending that they are shocked and disgusted.
Any way down in the Underworld it wasn’t raining but it was decidedly damp and moist. The sea was running into the cave with a bit of force and thwarted our attempts to bolt a line that I had started earlier, my companion Inigo was winging with some justification, he ended up miserable scared and dejected belaying me for hours on horrible rock with sky hooks that pulled through the rock like it was digestive biscuit, I naturally think it will be another great route, it will clearly never be featured on daytime TV.

Dead Kennedys
As a reward  to Inigo I forcibly suggested that to escape we do a route called Dead Kennedys, It is magnificent but foreboding overhanging nature combined with rock that is not  guaranteed quality, has repelled all suiters, I personally love it.  My appreciation of loose rock has been surgically enhanced by my betters over the years, and my hairstyle is a bit 17th century in that I use powdered limestone to pick out high lights and compliment the colour of my pale northern skin.
Idiot ledge.

The best part of Dead Kennedys is that the belay is a bit of old pipe hammered into a crack, it wiggles seductively if you fondle or grasp it in an urgent way. On Inigo’s ascent he experienced a reluctance to fully submerge himself in the loose charms of the seductive horriface that is the dead Kennedy’s bombayment. His growing pump was reaching massive and spectacular proportions, this was not helped by a severe case of sowing machine leg, I naturally helped matters by cackling! On arrival at the pipe, we inspected his swollen concrete like forearms. His face was drained, he had infact experienced ‘a Whitey’, his hand with a watch had gone blue due to the enormous influx of blood from his head and looked like a cartoon hand, we both agreed that he needed brandy.
the 9.15 at st pancras station is arriving.

At the unfashionable cafĂ© come bar where we drink there wasn’t a tattoo or bit of designer clothing in sight, we drank cheap booze, and Inigo smiled and informed me that dead Kennedys was Ace and Marvellous and Cracking and other stuff.
Team gozo hair dresser

We forgot the sea coming in like a runaway locomotive crashing into the Time Tunnel of the UnderWorld, we forgot the booming noise and the change of air pressure and decided to go again as soon as we could because it's brill. 
The Underworld sweet like a mill pond

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Going wrong, by Stevie Haston

Stevie rope soloing the route, © Inigo Taylor.

When things go wrong they generally do. Do you suck or do you blow? You need to blow out the dust from drilled holes for bolts, and not suck! Anyway glue gun broke, not good. It's really hot here the glue goes off really quick .
© Inigo Taylor

Bolted three new routes, and started on one that is about a 45 meter  pitch and overhangs about 40 meters as well,  bit of a  crazy pump for someone, not too hard 8b+? We will see. Things are always easy before, never easy when red pointing, and then easy afterwards.
Inigo, Mad man bolting,

The Underworld cliff was magic the other day. Inigo has gotten over his fear of the place and seems at home there now. Funny how some make progress and others don’t. Inigo has done 7a in his first year, some people don’t progress this high in 20 years! Interestingly a 9 year old girl did 8b  this week which should put  lot of posturing men in their pathetic place. Look to what you wish to do and not the past, progress and have fun!
© Inigo Taylor

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Guide to Sport Climbing in Gozo & Malta, by Stevie Haston

© Inigo Taylor

Back in Gozo for a couple of weeks of sport climbing. Yesterday at the white tower with Francesco Barbieri on an attempt to climb "Apricot Tart" 8a, one of the beautiful lines of this sector…

© Inigo Taylor

Looking at Sopu tower sector from the White tower…. The new guide book will be out this month so pre-book your copy here…and come and discover the sport climbing on Malta & Gozo, more than 500 routes...

And have more fun and success….
© Inigo Taylor