Monday 21 November 2011


Just had a great weekend at Kendal Mountain Festival. Saturday morning was a good mountain bike ride with a large team. Then I saw James Pearson's talk called "Progression" which was a nice window on how he has restructured his life and come to understand what he needed to do to make a breakthrough in his training (and whole life) which he has marked with his excellent repeat of Tim Emmet's "Muy Caliente" in Pembroke. I also got to hear more about the amazing trip some of the North Face climbers did to Chad to climb in a forest of remote sandstone towers see a video here:
Saturday was a late night socialising but we were up early to watch my pal Sal on Channel 4 who were doing a report on the Adidas Coast To Coast race (4 days on foot, in a boat and on a bike) which she came second in. Then another bike ride before breakfast (they broke me.... legs like jelly no fuel in the tank.... much pushing of bike!), breakfast a Wilf's, tea and cake followed by Nick Bullocks talk on his lunatic climbing life- refreshingly honest and open with no bullshit as ever. Then more cake (Sal's birthday was a good excuse... as if I ever needed one for cake) and another catch up with old friends and new (Kendal is great for that) before seeing the "Best of...."
The Race for the Nose was good, The Ditch was scarey (yes... I enjoyed a paddling film... next thing you'll see me in a boat), Ice Revolution I'd really wanted to see as that cave is just a nuts place to climb! Finally the winner of the people's choice award (and if you can't trust the judges you can trust the viewers!) - The Long Hope. Hot Aches production of Dave Mac's ridiculous free ascent of Ed Drummonds achingly long route on St John's head in Orkney. Part history, part travelogue (for both Dave and Ed on their own journeys) I've got a copy of the DVD too (more once I've rewatched it). Stand out moments are Dave starting the E10 crux pitch already boxed after a couple of hundred metres of chossy sandstone, all on either side of E5, with a rack that Andy Turner (his bemused partner) says looks more like what you'ld take on a V Diff. Battling his way up and reaching the sanctuary of a ledge he stands recovering and my friends and I all mentally screamed "Put some gear in!" Not one of us could have contemplated standing hundreds of metres up on the ledge unprotected.
More goodies on the DVD but whilst I'm not a huge climbing DVD viewer this is a great film. If you know a climber you have an easy tick on the Christmas present list!! Get it from Dave's website.

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