Thursday, 13 September 2007
Good news is that after lots of emails flying backwards and forwards to John Porter we now have a slot at this years Kendal Film Festival.
Sunday 18th November - 12.30pm Malt Rooms
I am so happy as it means a few things :-
Firstly, I get an excuse to come back to the UK, everyone thinks I am mad but I do miss the old place, and even though this year I saw it at its wettest I still loved it.
Secondly, we get to see all our friends again. We made the most amazing contacts this summer and hopefully we can call them friends and continue to see them lots. Sir Chris was a charmer which I am sure most people that know him will confirm. David Simmonite and I get on like a house on fire. In fact I am sure Rich would say too much as one night when Dave slept in Cheryl we stayed awake talking until the small hours like a couple of teenagers!
Some of the Mountain Rescue people we will stay in contact with, especially the young couple from Cornwall as they offered to take us surfing next summer. Julian from Wasdale we will also meet again and hopefully next time he will go climbing with us.
Stephen Reid was a great support during the challenge and it was so nice when I was alone in the van and I would get a phone call asking how we were getting on. I even remember on a very wet day in Aviemore when he had taken the trouble to check the weather report for me for North Wales.
Alot of these people we will hopefully see at Kendal and if not during one of our less stressful trips to the UK.
Monday, 3 September 2007
I have just finished an article for Mountain Rescue Magazine, it was nice just writing down everything in one go, I didn´t even need to look back at my journal! I will post it whole on here once the magazine has been published.
Rich now has the daunting task of going through the 100´s of hours of video tape. Not a job to be taken lightly. Simon did try to keep a log during the trip but time ran out on us everyday.
One thing writing the story out in full did, was bringing back some of the not so nice memories from the trip :-
Out of touch with the real world! - I never realised before how much we rely on mobile phone coverage and the internet. It was such a weird feeling know that people could not get hold of me. I did put an automatic reply on my emails which explained why I could not get back to people, but I still worried. It didn´t really bother Rich as he leaves all that stuff to me and Mark did have his small pda which he used in the back on the van whilst on the move!
Places like Petes Eats which is a cafe in Llanberis, ended up been a god send! they even trust you to tell them how many minutes you use and pay downstairs. The internet cafe in Fort William was also great, the guy even set me up with a tab which he kept open for 2 weeks inbetween the visits.
No sharing with Rich - Some days if I had time between cleaning the van, shopping and cooking I would take Tufa for a walk. The one that stands out the most was my day in The Cairngorms. The boys had set off for the second time to climb King Rat and Goliath, I chilled in the morning on the campsite and then decided to have a bimble around the loch! little did I know it was a 9 mile round trip.
I was so amazed by the view but was very very sad that I had no one to share it with. I even got a little tearful when I looked up to the crag he was climbing on, knowing that I was not going to see him for a few hours.
We will go back to alot of the places we visited this summer and I am determined to take the time to enjoy all the beautiful places together.
A few more photos from the collection :-
Friday, 24 August 2007
Feels weired to be back and a bit sad really, so much planning and now its all over. Rich is happy though, he went climbing last night with Keith (better not tell him its nice in the UK at the mo!) and he put the draws in his 8a, he claims his climbing has suffered during this trip and says his legs have grown.
Here are a few more photos from the trip:-
Tufa chewing on an antler that we found on the road to Ballater. Anyone going up that way I can recommend the local campsite. It is council run and the guy Dougie was lovely, he charged us 10 quid only and then gave it us back to put in the pot.
This photo was taken on the way out of Wasdale campsite. I had never been to The Lakes before and really liked the place. We will be going back next year but not rushing around quite so much!
I am just going through David Simmonite´s photos and will upload some of them in the next hour, he reallys not a bad photograher (she runs and hides!).
The boys on Shibboleth
Rich on Elder Crack
Mark on Suicide Wall no 1
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Jon Tate during the dyno comp
Paul and Dave at The Mill - See you next year guys
Celebrity climbers - Steve McClure, James Pearson and Mikey Robertson
The Crew - Thanks guys and well done for not feeding Tufa any burgers!
Attendees - Thanks for showing up and buying tickets and taking part
Cotswold for the prizes and Auction items - lets hope we see you all next year as-well!
and most important thank you goes to Keith from Rock and Rapid Adventures, we really could not have had such a great weekend with you.
Friday, 17 August 2007
The Final purile tick!
Thursday, 16 August 2007
The Routes climbed today were Suicide Wall, Bow Wall and Bishops Rib.
Soooooooooo, that only leaves one left to climb, didn't think I would be typing that!
Wednesday, 15 August 2007
We are sat at Auntie Barbaras preparing the slide show for The Hard Rock Fest. Rich is seeing most of the photos for the first time! he says "where is that then? oh yeh now I remember!"
We are leaving in a few hours and heading to Land End, that means that this trip I will have driven from the very top of Britian to the very bottom. I have a rough total for the miles and its over 4,5ooo.
Someone asked me the other day how much this trip had cost me! Alot was the answer! He then said "well why didnt you just donate that to Mountain Rescue?" good point, why not?
This challenge was firstly a summer holiday/climbing trip paid for by us all, petrol, food, accommodation etc. Then the idea to try to raise money for Mountain Rescue at the same time came about.
DMM, North Face, Evolv have all given equipment and clothing but no cash. The photographers have also given of their time for free. Lots of other people have given time and effort and we are very grateful.
This summer has been an amazing one, very hard at times but so worth it!
Tuesday, 14 August 2007
Then Suicide Wall also at Bosi, then a drive to Chair Ladder for Bishops Rib.
Berryhead Route Moonraker is last on Friday as the press should be present!
Please come and join us on Sat or Sunday if you can make it to the party (Hard Rock Fest) The boys will be doing a talk with Slide Show on both days.
Some thank you's. I will remember more so please dont get upset if I miss you out!
Jane Newman for doing an amazing job of looking after The Orange House for me.
Andy at the CIC hut for my flapjack.
Auntie Barbara that was the best shower in a long time.
Mum for all the love she keeps sending us.
Littleduck keep up the good work!
Simon Fisher (mother si) because he really does not have to do any of this!
David Simmonite for the giggles.
Ray Woods for hanging around yesterday.
Keith at Rock and Rapid Adventures - dont worry they will come!
and anyone else who has put money in the tin etc etc
Some more photos from the last few days!
The boys on a very wet Cenotaph Corner. Marks lead!
Dwm, what a great route they both said and Rich's complete tick!
The "Welsh Girlies" yesterday after Moustrap! (Silvia Fitzpatrick and Glenda Huxtor)
Monday, 13 August 2007
Rich and Mark are now climbing Dwm on Castell Cidwm which leaves one more route to do in North Wales, Mousetrap at South Stack, Gogarth, which they are with Silvia Fitzpatrick and Glenda Huxter at 5pm this afternoon.
Dwm is extra special for Rich as this is the only Hard Rock route he hasn't done in the past, so that would make him the third person (that we know about) to complete all the climbs in Hard Rock.
Then it is down South to Chair Ladder and Bosigran with the final route on Friday, Moonraker at Berry Head.
Sunday, 12 August 2007
Shall I tell you?
Of course they did! What another bloody relief! they really do deserve a medal for today.
I counted up in the van before that they have now climbed for 31 days with only 3 days off due to bad weather.
They have climbed routes that people would not touch at all!
I am sooooooo proud! (Rich love you babes x)
I got a call about an hour ago (whilst in the launderette) saying "its not going well!, They cant get up Slanting Slab as the water is running down it like a water fall!"
It rained so much in the night that I am not surprised, sp they came down and they have just done the Combination climb so only one more left on that bloody horrible crag!
Simon has just called and said that they are really really cold although it is not raining (yet) cloud looks really black from down here! They may try to get back on Slanting but if not we have to get them down quick and they have to climb Cenotaph Corner.
I feel so sick with worry for them, need some more crossed fingers folkes!
Here is the photo of me yesterday in V12 The best Outdoor shop in Llanberis. I was reading the guide book for the boys. Thanks again Rob, and for the free coffee this morning.
Here are a few more photos from the past few days!
Saturday, 11 August 2007
Great Wall - tick
Vember - tick
Boys on the way back down (in the rain) what a great day!
I really did not think we would get this far and am so happy for them both.
So whats left?
Great Bow combo
Dwm - with Adam Hocking
Mousestrap - with Glenda Huxtor
Moonraker - last day - Friday the 17th!!!!!!!
Then got a call to say the guide book was in the van! silly or what! and could I read the description out so they knew where to go! I was in V12 at the time for the famous coffee, and Rob kindly let me use a shop copy. I read from the book and Si recorded my words using Marks mobile held close to his phone.
I then got the first of some exciting text messages.
1. Rich is 25ft up The Great Wall.
2. Rich has just finished 1st pitch, said was OK but tough work! Marks lead looks wet!
3. Mark half way up top pitch. Looking OK loads of gear in, she is going to go!
4. Both topped out abing off now, wil probably do Vember then home.
Wow feel a bit sick after all that.
I am now going to feed the ducks with, Di, Vic, Hannah, George and Olivia . Phew!!
So day light ran out and they had to finish in the dark, then had to run back down the path to the car! Finished the day at 11pm, very tired and Rich was very miserable! His last thought before bed was " Wales is going to be the end of us".
We had looked at the forecast yesterday and its bad! Rain and showers today and tomorrow and then really really heavy rain, we are going to run out of days!
This moring did not start well! Rain when we woke up, they boys however, after another Petes Eats breakfast, started up the path. They only got a short way and I got the call, "come back to the car park we need to come back". I went to collect them thinking "stay there the weather will improve". But they gave up listening to me ages ago.
I dropped them of in the pass to climb 2 more if possible, The Grooves and Cenotaph Corner.
Guess what though! the weather has improved and I am now in sunshine, looks like they will have to go back up that path again!
Please everyone, keeps your fingers, toes etc crossed as we really are up against it this time and I personally am worried!
Friday, 10 August 2007
Sorry no pictures at the moment but i thought i better give you an update. Other than the tour of North Wales finest Climbing Cafes (Petes and Erics in a morning), the guys are doing ok.
We decided on Vector this morning as the weather on Cloggy and the Pass was crap. However, driving through the pass the brakes were slammed on and we shot into the CC hut as the guys decided Diagonal might just go.
They ran to the bottom of the crag and shot up the route, finishing just as the rain started. It was a great effort and showed that with roadside crags as long as you are willing to change your plans and can react quickly, there are always routes to be done.
Back in the car then and to Erics for a quick tea, before returning to the original plan of Vector. Unusually for this trip the sun came out and it was quite warm for a bit. The guys enjoyed the route with both of them commenting that it seemed much easier than the last time they did it....maybe after 46 routes they are getting better!!!
Well there is no rest for the wicked and after a call from Sam telling us to get our arses back to Cloggy, they have all disappeared for an evening on Great Wall. What with the rain this morning and it being E4 6a, fingers crossed....unfortunately this is probably the best weather they might get!
Will update you tomorrow and let you know how they go.
Here is the link for the England and Wales Click here, you do need a credit card to donate.
If you do not want to use a credit card or you find it does not work, then please email me and I can tell you if you have a tin close to you, or I can give you an address to send a cheque.
If you want to donate to Scotland again please fire off an email and I can give you a choice of ways to donate.
You can also come to the party next weekend in Devon, that would amazing as we have so many great things going on and some great guests that it will be a shame if we don´t have a good crowd!
my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much to those that have already donated, I know the target is a large one but we see this as a long term project and once the book is out and the DVD, the money will continue to come in for a few years yet.
Thursday, 9 August 2007
45 routes done and only 15 left, 11 in Wales but that includes the hardest one at E4, then only 4 in the South West, and Rich says he could do those in the dark if he had to! Lets have some more dry weather - please!
Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Proud is a word I don´t think I have used yet, Well it´s about bloody time! Boys we are so proud.
They must be so fed up, yet their strength of character is now starting to show, especially as the last 2 days have been “a long slog” to quote Rich. Not once have I heard Mark whinge, Rich a little bit, but then he has got me to moan to. They came back Monday after a 9 mile walk, to find the crag in too much cloud and very, very wet! (no climbing) When they got back to the van they were both wet through to the skin and still they gave us a little smile. When asked are you enjoying it, they have both said “not really”. I just hope that when looking back all the bad stuff will disappear from memory! The boys have wanted to do these climbs for so long it will be such a shame if they can´t remember them, or found that it was not nice climbing, also they have climbed so many of the routes “out of condition” that they will have to come back and do them again when they are dry etc.Boys now completed Trapeze in the sun shine! not what they are used to at all and they had a great time, Rich said that was one of the best routes so far.
It was 8pm before they got to see them again, (the climbing days are very long in Scotland, for not many routes, the memories of 6 routes in a day in the peak are long behind them!) they were a little wet, very tired and Richard was complaining of frost nip in his fingers......but they did it and two more tough and remote routes in Scotland are in the bag.
So the team packed up and headed over to the west coast to pick off the last two routes in Scotland. The guys are currently on Trapeze and will be walking up to the hut on the Ben tonight to attempt the Bat first thing in the morning.
More stories and pictures to follow,
Monday, 6 August 2007
It started ok with the guys very kindly receiving a lift further up the trail to Loch Dubh from the Balmoral ranger, kindly organised by Colin Munro from Braemar Mountain Rescue Team. The lift saved the guys an additional 4 miles on the walk-in which was hugely welcomed!
However having arrived at the crag, the guys couldnt actually see the routes as the rain came in. So after waiting a while to see if conditions were going to improve, they walked out and have set up base in the campsite in Ballater.
Having checked the weather the team are hopeful they can get King Rat and Goliath done tomorrow before heading over to the West Coast for The Bat and Trapeze on Wednesday and Thursday. We will then return to Wales to clear the route left behind.
Fingers crossed for some better weather.
This is from a while ago, when the sun was still shining!!
Sunday, 5 August 2007
They climbed The Needle in horrendous conditions and came back looking like drowned rats, "I even had to use my bloody knees to climb today! when we will we climb a route in condition?" said Rich - bless!
Tomorrow still on track for King Rat and Goliath.
Good night everyone Sam :0)
We are hoping they will be back about 4ish! We have a new support team member as Simon left us for a wedding. Sarah came up from Wales yesterday and tonight she is cooking tea so I have a night off, yippee! Thanks Sarah nice to have you on board.
Tomorrow hopefully they will climb King Rat and Goliath another long day, followed by a trip back East to get them up The Ben again for The Bat and then if they are still able to walk and climb we want them to climb Trapeze.
Below are a few words that I thought might give you more of an insight to life on the road!
The boys are now into a routine of been told what time to get up, what time to eat, what to eat and more importantly what to climb! They are still really bad at getting out of bed in the mornings, and we can´t blame that on tiredness, as they have been that bad since day one! Rich has resorted to sending Tufa into Marks tent as he seems to be the worst. They are better now with their gear, although they do seem to lose things in the van (how I do not know as its such a small space).
We all left Scotland quite depressed and fed up due to the horrible conditions and I don’t think I helped as they would come back at the end of the day happy to have climbed anything and I would say “you mean you have only done one route?” I thought at the time that the move South was wrong, but now I know it was the right thing to do. They are so much happier now the routes are been ticked off quicker and the weather has been kind in The Peak and in The Lakes.
Also the ´climbing celebrities´ have really helped moral. Lucinda Hughes climbed at Stoney Middleton on Alcasan. Next up Chris Bonington (Sir Chris) climbed Praying Mantis at Goat Crag (what a lovely chap!), then a dash across for Alan Hinkes on Castle Rock. Sat in the pub that night with Stephen Reid I could see the boys faces with a different smile. Gaz Parry on Dream of White Horses in a Force 8 Gale was a laugh, but thanks to all our new friemds.
The climbing photographers have also been amazing, following us around out of their own pocket! Dave Simmonite (Big Dave to me!)coming all the way to Scotland. Keith Sharples hanging around on a rope in the Peak and lovely Mickey Robertson coming all the way to the lakes for the Chris and Alan shots. Thanks so much to you guys (big kiss!)
Simon and I have tried to make life easier for them, and the daily routine for us has been - up first to make them breakfast, bacon butties and real coffee on the good days and cereals on the bad. Sandwiches are made and packed in their bags and they are sent on their way! Simon has followed them on just about every ´´ ´walk in´ to get photos and footage for the documentary. Which leaves me behind to clean Cheryl and believe me she needs lots of cleaning, wet dog and shoe smell – yuch!. I then try to get internet access to update the blog, go shopping for food and cook a meal for when they get back in an evening. What a life! I have never looked after anyone this much in my life! (Mum are you proud?)
The driving has been a bit hard at times, especially the drive from Arron to Carnmore, we left at 8pm after a nice meal on the beach, at about midnight Si had to go and sleep and he left me on the worst roads I have ever driven on! So narrow at times that I had to slow down to 20 miles an hour, so remote I was a bit scared if we broke down and then the bloody deer kept jumping out in front of me! We arrived at 3am, Rich moaned that he had hit the roof a few times whilst trying to sleep up top! I stopped driving and just burst into tears. We looked at the map in the morning and realised that we could have taken another road and saved an hour! Never mind!
Scotland was an amazing place to rush through, and certainly made me want to go back, especially to The Outer Hebrides, I just got a really nice feeling when get off the ferry on The Main Land (silly name for an island!) and I was a little sad to watch all the boys climb “The Old Man”. I have always wanted to climb him, but as Rich says “ it just means we have to come back”. I have also loved our few days in The Lakes, sat in the valleys was a pain as no phone reception, but gave me some time to just chill and read my book.
Saturday, 4 August 2007
Here are a few more photos from the last few days -
Friday, 3 August 2007
Check out Gaz´s blog. They climbed Dream of White Horses in a force 8 gale and rain! Dave Simmo and I got blown around big time, I am still wet and cold although I have been in Petes Eats for the last hour.
This morning the boys completed Gogarth and yesterday ticked off The Big Groove and The Grooves at Lech Du.
Tomorrow not sure what will happen we have to wait for the weather.
My Hero! Force 8 gale winds and driving rain!!! (Dave Simmonite)
Thursday, 2 August 2007
Random Road Sign of the Trip!!
The boys set off for trapeeze
Mark looking not quite so keen on climbing in the rain
Rich on the Almscliff Traverse
Mark on the Traverse
Sam cleaning Cheryl
The support team trying to get everything dry!!
Rich fights his way through the trees in Cheedale
Mark on the Cheedale Girdle
Julian Carradice from the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team joins the guys on Engineers Slabs
Mark and Julian at the Foot of Engineers on Great Gable
Sir Chris working the bottom pitch of Preying Mantis
Rich gives Chris Bonington some climbing tips while Mike Robertson snaps some piccies for the family album.