Friday, 24 August 2007

Back in Spain and its raining!!!

I don´t believe it, we are back home at The Orange House and its raining and really windy, what did I do in a past life to deserve this? (don´t answer that anyone!).

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:-

This is one of my favourite shots, when the cloud started to clear around the Old Man, I was snoozing in the tent on top of the cliff and I got a call over the radio from the boys saying "wake up, you might be able to see us". If you click on the photo you can just make out Mark´s white helmet.

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 Coronation Street
The boys on Shibboleth
Rich on Elder Crack
Mark on Suicide Wall no 1

I will be away for the next week as my eldest Dan is playing cricket for Spain in the European Championships down at La Manga. Wish them luck everyone, they will need it!

I will update the blog again when I get back, that will be in a little over a week.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Hard Rock Fest - same again next year!

This blog will now be updated once a week!

Look at that happy face!

We finished the last climb on Berryhead on Friday afternoon and had some time to enjoy a lovely meal on the way to The Mill Adventure Centre. Rich was falling asleep during the short drive but strangely he came alive when we arrived at The Mill. "Can you set a route for us Rich?" asked Keith. "Of course I can" replies Rich.

Prize giving

Jon Tate during the dyno comp

The whole weekend went really well, although more people would have been nice! Thanks to the following :-

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.

Keith from Rock and Rapid Adventures working out the comp scores

Friday, 17 August 2007

Day 36 and its all over!

Champagne time! I can't believe its all over, well for this year anyway.

The boys started climbing with Ken Palmer todays Celebrity Climber (sorry Ken) at about 12 miday. The film crews turned up just in time to see them top out!

For those that can WATCH ITV TONIGHT AT 6PM!

Thanks to those that called me today to wish the boys luck, a super large thanks to Stephen Reid from Needlesports as he now has to send me a rather large cheque - he promised the boys £5 per route.

I will be posting more over the coming weeks about Stephen as he is one of the two guys that has completed all the routes. His story is a great one!

Please if you can, keep reading this blog as I will be updating it lots over the coming weeks with more stories of the trip and with more photos.

Thanks to those that have put comments to keep us going. Thanks again for the donations everyone. Thanks to Ju and David for the cup of tea in Torquay and the use of the pc.

I will be posting the address on here very shortly where to send cheques for those that want to donate that way.

A few more photos from today...
Does he deserve a big kiss? I think so!

The Final purile tick!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Day 35 End in Sight!

Started the day with amazing sunshine although a bit windy! we all slept at The Count House at Bosigram. Lovely views...
Three members from Cornwall Search and Rescue came to give support, and handed over a really great letter. - Andy I hope you dont mind me reading it out but it moved me to tears this morning.
Dear Hard Rock Challenge Team
On behalf of Cornwall Search and Rescue Team, and the wider Mountain Rescue community, I would like to offer our heartfelt thanks for what you are doing.
Many in Mountain Rescue have followed your progress with great interest, recognising what a truly amazing achievement it will be when you complete your final climb.
To undertake all of the Hard Rock climbs, and to do it in just five weeks, take passion, courage and determination. But it also takes something else; an aweful lot of planning and support. That is why our thanks go not just to Rich and Mark but to your dedicated support team who have played a vital part in your success.
Whatever the total amount you raise may be, £3,000 or £30,000, does not lessen your achievement in any way. You have done a hugh amount to raise the profile of your causes - especially Mountain Rescue - and you are no doubt aware, every penny raised is desperately needed and will go directly to our central aim of saving lifes in wild and remote places (be it the moors of Cornwall or the Mountains of Scotland).
So as your challenge draws to a close, may we thank you once more, wish you the very best of luck with your remaining climbs and hope you enjoy the well deserved after party.
Yours sincerely
A Brelsford
Chair - CSRT

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!

Two dodgy photographers (aka Mikey Robertson and Mother Si)

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Day 34

Its raining in the South West :0(

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

Day 33 - Sleep...................

A very happy Rich after his "complete personal tick"!
Sleep! - Well thats about all Rich has done today, it took us 5 1/2 hours from North Wales to Plymouth and I was alone in the front of the van!

Last night was lovely as it was our Wedding Anniversary we went to the 24 hour Tesco in Bangor and bought one of those instant curries! Rich ran back to the van and closed all the blinds, lit a candle and put on some nice music! Very, very romantic and a Tesco's carpark was the perfect venue for a perfect wedding anniversary.

Tomorrow we head further South and if the rain stops Bow Wall at Bosigran could get ticked!

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

DAY 32: Bye Bye North Wales


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

Day 31 Final Edition

So, do you think they did it?

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)

Goodnight everyone

Day 31 3rd Edition

Right! Simon just called to say they are back on it! After 4 hours this morning they gave up! But sounds like Mark is moving past the part that stopped them! Its is really black up there at the moment and I am praying to the cloud gods to give them a break!

Day 31 2 Edition - Not looking good!

I dont know how much more of this I can stand, and I aint climbing!

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!

Day 31

Some very tired boys on the FORTH! time walking up to Cloggy! Go boys go, I just left them and they are completely knackered! At least they have sherpas this morning in the shape of Rich´s daughter Trish and her friend Mat!

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!

Mark Lassoing on White Slab almost in the dark!

Great weather in Wales!

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Day 30 Final Edition

The Grooves - tick
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?
Slanting Slab
Great Bow combo
Dwm - with Adam Hocking
Mousestrap - with Glenda Huxtor
Cenotaph Wall

Suicide Wall
Bishops Rib
Bow Wall
Moonraker - last day - Friday the 17th!!!!!!!

Ye ha!

Day 30 edition 2

Oh my goodness this is getting exciting! They came down and did The Grooves at Cryn Las and called me to say they were heading back up to Cloggy, what did I tell them!

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!!

Day 30

Well last night was a bit of an epic! the boys went up to climb Great Wall, the hardest route in the book and the one I think they have been dreading! It was too wet! to which I replied "It aint going to get any better" but instead they set off up White Slab, still a really hard route and twice as long!

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

Firday - Mid Day Update

Hi All,

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.

Mother Si



Ok for those that have not realised yet, we are trying to raise a massive 30, 000 pounds for Mountain Rescue, England Wales and Scotland.

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

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


Wow, they have done them all in Scotland! I didn´t think they would but what a great feeling now!

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!

The boys in the sun at last! on The Bat!

Rich on the treverse pitch, he was not used to his feet sticking!
Mark on the classic photo from the book - Second 5b pitch.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Day 27

Sat in my favourite internet cafe in Fort William called One World! I started a tab 2 weeks yesterday and came back in today and carried on as normal. Nice guy!

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.
The Boys yesterday after completing Goliath and King Rat in a gale!
Rich leading the Aid pitch on King Rat.

Day 26 - A Long, Cold, Windy Day

At 6am Sam and Sarah got the guys up, fed anf watered them in time to kick them out of the van and sent them on their way on the long walk into King Rat and Goliath at 8am.

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,

Mother Si.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Day 25 - Not Really Going to Plan

Having just spoken to Sam it would appear that today hasnt quite gone to plan.

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.

Mother Si.

This is from a while ago, when the sun was still shining!!

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Day 24 last edition

The boys have now completed 41 routes! wow, we are going to make it!

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)

A few days ago Rich climbing with Celebrity Climber Alan Hinkes - Mikey Robertson photo

Day 24

Sat on the PC outside the bar at The Glenmore Lodge (doesnt open till 5pm! bummer!) Boys sat off at 8am from the ski station to climb The Needle.

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

Day 23 edition 2

We are now sat having a strong coffee in V12 to keep me awake for the long journey North! Gulp!!

Welsh weather not looking good.

Keep watching this space.


Day 23

Sat at Petes Eats AGAIN! deciding what to do, looks like we might be heading North again! I am a bit fed up with all this driving at the moment, but needs must!

Here are a few more photos from the last few days -

Sir Chris with Tufa

The boys after Kipling Groove

More Windy weather!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Day 22

The boys with todays Celebrity Climber Gaz Parry
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

Some more pictures

Well i have left the guys to it for a few days while i head to a friends wedding this weekend. Lets hope they manage to navigate around North Wales without me! At least it means i have the time to upload a few extra pictures!

Mother Si.

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.