Dec 24 2007

Busy busy busy

Category: home,Mountaineeringash @ 12:24 pm

Thurs: Work, xmas do, hospital appointment, Albion Band in Southport.

Fri: Work

Sat: Finish xmas shopping, climbing at Awesome with Mark, fantastic night out with Creed – back trashed midnightish

Sun: In North-East lakes by 0930, Mardale round talking in High Street in icy conditions with 40-50mph wind all day – with Martin F.  Joy.  Back, scran, straight out to Southport where a ‘Manhattans Indie Room’ reunion was happening.  Danced like a loon for quite a while.  All bloody food shops shut when we left.  Damn these Sunday Nights!

Mon:Tidying, final planning for Scotland etc.  Jobs to do then the Ship tonight.  Yay!

Dec 20 2007

Scotland Ahoy!

Category: Mountaineeringash @ 11:33 am

Apart from being slightly vexed about my webmail playing up and my site being semi-functional due to Nige  upgrading php on his server (damn you and your sensible security-concious ways!), I’m spending my time getting excited about the Northern mission that me, Blind Clare and Phlegm are off to do.  Right VERY north, up to the North Coast of Scotland to generally be ‘weathered’ on for a bit.  Hoping for some serious wildness, new hills, and mucho merriment.  All being well should also land for New Year at Sam & Reds over in Northumberland, afore driving back South the day after to get back for work on the 2nd.  Joy.  Well, Joy for the hills anyway!

Dec 16 2007

Lakes, with many different people.

Category: Mountaineeringash @ 10:42 pm

A weekend of two days.


Drove up early to meet work collegues in Coniston.  After bacon sanger and brew, we shifted to the Walna Scar, and headed via Wetherlam to Swirl how and over Wetherlam, repeating a route I’ve done a few times before.  Quite a variety of fitness in the group, but everyone got Wetherlam in.  Paul – fellow leader on the day – took the bulk of the party back down the valley whilst I pushed on with 4 others over Swirl How and over the Old Man.  Got advice that the coppermines path was iced up pretty badly (seen that happen before), so we kicked straight off the top down to the Walna Scar.  Made good time, back to the car just as light was running out.  Down to the Black Bull for a Bluebird & scran, then over to Si Waterworths in Ambleside to consume wine, show each other impresive bits on YouTube, get ideas for the Gathering & fall asleep watching A Fish called Wanda.

610  622  607Sunday:

Took Rachel – daughter of Liz from Lathom – known off and on for a good few years – out for a intro climbing day.  Plan was to do some easy multipitching, but was bloody cold in the Langdales, and reasoned that it probably wouldn’t be the best introduction.  So, as a compromise we did Jacks Rake on Pavey Ark (going for the atmospheric/exposure ticks), then down & over to the Kendal Wall to do some basc skills instruction.  Back down & home for 6 ish, caught up with the Gran who’s going back into hospital this week. Top 2 days!

Dec 11 2007

Edinburgh and Blind Clare

Category: homeash @ 6:26 pm

Most excellent weekend of eating, eating and more eating in Edinburgh.

Dropped the motor at Burscough then over to the Junction to get to Preston.  Hurridly bumped into Lucy on the train as I got off (she was getting on), then over to pick up my connection to Edinburgh.  Didn’t take too long to get up there, straightforward ride which allowed me to actually spend some time reading – first time in a month or so.  The Daddy got me a fantastic book about discovering Wild Places in the UK, so spent a while discovering a few places that I hadn’t heard of.

Clare met me at the station with a tremendous grin, then after a swift car ride back to hers to dump rucsac, we wandered down towards town with a mate of hers to grab a few beers.  A couple of pints in, chatting away & talking random words when I thought that I recognised a bit of head.  Convincing myself – but getting wary looks from Clare and Andy – I started shouting, with escalating volume  …. ” Ben … BEN …. BEN!!“.  Until eventually, Mr Ivitsky turned round. Long time musical top bloke, ex-feller of Liza & purveyor of fast bikes and the growing of trees, I got chance to have a good catch up with himself, had been a long time since had seen him.  I used to see him with Liza every few months, but as I got busier, time got more short and over the past couple of years had only seen him a few times.  Was excellent to catch up, traded numbers and so forth.

Saturday morning, kicked Clare out of bed at 9 on a mission to Xmas shop.  We failed impressivley, Clare got nothing (actually ended up £40), I got the Ma a presant, myself a bow tie (starting the long, dangerous path into eccentricity), and a variety of other random things.  Did manage to be convinced by Clare to eat a Hog Burger … most of a pig in 2 bits of bread. Back to the flat then a session at Ratho -the Scottish Climbing Centre.  Chuffing big, although at a cost.  Most people were belaying in Down Jackets …. and this place is indoor!  Bagged a stack of 6b and 6c routes (top roping all of them though), and did the main wall, which must be a good 25/30m high.  Proper big.  Got memories of the descent from Mount Brassica when I was near the top.  Need to do more big stuff to get used to this again!

On returning from Climbing we had to finish off the pudding that we were creating for that nights meal (we’d already made a cake beforehand).  Got a bit carried away with the cream on the cake.  End product was about 80% cream, 20% cake.  Ooopsy.   Sat night was a formal (ish) dinner with Clare’s mates.  Ate royally, met a stack of people, and did the standard thing of falling asleep whilst in conversation.

Sunday was a slow start.  Watching the Wombles on VD before getting up was pretty cool, as was the trip into town round the main Museum ( looking at dead things), and the Elephant House for a brew.  On the way back, we stopped into some more mate’s of Clares for Sunday dinner – full roast with a death by chocolate pud.

Starting to feel full now.  Waddled back to the flat to get stuff, rolled downstairs and walked ( at a strain) to the car.  Clare was a star & dropped me off back at the station so I just had to fall onto the train.

Straightforward journey back, fully under the knowledge that I don’t need to eat for a week or two yet.

 It’s now Tuesday, and I’m still full … hardly eaten anything yet!

Dec 03 2007

Here, there … and nearly minus a wheel.

Category: home,Mountaineering,Scoutingash @ 2:06 pm

Bit of a manic weekend.  Pet sitting on Friday night whilst the parents waited for hours with the Gran in Southport hospital, then caught Liz on stage at the Civic.  Good show, considering it was a panto!

Went for a run on Saturday – wanted to find out how long it’d take to the Beacon and back.  If fit, I think it’d be 1 hr 45 ish, but took me about 2 hours to get round.  After I recovered from that, over to Southport to visit the bank, visit the Gran, and swing by B&Q to get more ‘bits’.  Tom round on Sat night to chew the cud – off to Switzerland on Thursday to go adventure again.

Sunday took Ormskirk Network over Blencathra.  Straightforward enough getting up there although the bus started some wierd knocking noise …. me and Phil Wells had a shufty looking for things that may be loose but all seemed ok.  Got up there, bagged the peak via sharp edge in the ming – half way along it started to snow & turned the rock very greasy … roped 4 people over bits of it to ease their passage. Bopped the top, got some pics, then down to the bottom again.

Swang past the Sportsmans for them to have a pint & me to grab a brew, then started south again, with this knocking getting louder & vibrations getting more worrying as we carried on.  Decided to not risk it any more & pulled over at Tebay ( at it was now black & cacking it down).  Rang rescue, and had tea whilst they came up from Barrow.  After a full 5 seconds looking at the bus, the very nice man pointed out that the wheel nuts were somewhat loose on the nearside front wheel.  A change of wheel, checking the other nuts & off we went again.

With a lot less noise and vibration.  And a full complement of wheels.  Dropped punters off, then the bus, then home.