All photo's are Copyright of Scott Swalling or the tagged Photographer. (Background photo Scott Swalling Photography).

About Me:

24Hr MTBike racer and general bike rider, climber and mountaineer. Good coffee drinker and cake eater (any cake, seriously, don't leave your cake laying around). Also, I like to try new things that challenge me.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Interlude from proceedings

I know I haven't finished the Kandersteg 2, maybe 3 part blog. But I will.  I also learnt recently, that for my age I still bounce rather well.

A couple of weeks back after getting over bear flu, I headed out to the Cycleworks demo day, they had a Air 9 Carbon there I just had to ride.  The bike was amazing, one of the best bikes I ave every ridden, possibly the best MTBike.  Set up in rigid and single speed it was the perfect machine for darting around the trails of the Surrey Hills and I suspect further afield. Duly added to wish list.

The only downside was I managed to get my first crash for  2011 out the way and in the process partially separated my left clavicle from shoulder.  This hurt alot for a week or so even with copiuos amounts of painkillers, you know the amounts that have unpleasant bodily affects.

It soon started to settle down and my appointment with my new best friend (a recommended Osteopath) arrived and after the first session it felt better, was strapped well and I knew the exact extent of the injury. Partially (tiny tear) torn ligaments, bruised tendons and muscle.  Right I can work with this information.

However, no MTBike riding or climbing for two weeks will be painful, can I take a pill for that?  The good news is I can ride the roadie and the weather has just become mint for road riding................and rock climbing.

Oh well, at least it wasn't broken.

(clearly, not my collarbone)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Kander-what? Kandersteg!

Kandersteg, a swiss mountain town nestled at the end of a pastoral valley in the Bern-Oberland.  Home to langlauf (cross country skiing) and more climbable ice than you can shake a Nomic at.

Last year sometime Rob invited a few of us to join him and Ramon in Kandersteg for some winter fun, it did take much convincing to be honest.  Fast forward, Tommy, Pete and I are in The Red Peril and on our way to Kandersteg and arrived somewhere around 9:30 am and The Red Peril promptly broke.  Insert cursing that you find appropriate for my character.

Anyway, after finding Rob taking time out to get a new do, we found some food, some coffee and decided even after driving through the night, climbing was a good idea.

In an attempt to keep things readable I'll try to break this up a bit.

05/02: Tommy and I climbed the first 3 pitches of Ausstiegsvariante Links.  I was completely knackered from the drive through the night and the pleasant 3M felt more like a Wi5.

Sunset at the end of the first day.

06/02: Tommy, Pete, Rob and I headed to Ueschenen.  The approach was first Rob comfortably negotiating the icy/snowy road in his Landy whilst the 3 of us thought of other places to be.  Pete at one point was thinking of walking long behind the Landy.  Then and easy walk to the crag thanks to Rob's driving.

Anyway, at Ueschenen, still feeling tired I did not get on well. Dogged an M7, got completely shutdown by an M8- (my arse) and then couldn't finish another M8, even after several goes and two big falls.  I elected to take a few photo's and watch Rob send Pink Panther in fine form and different style to "his" first ascent of it. (Pic below)

Rob on Pink Panther, Ueschenen

07/02: After a late start, we decided to check out Blue Magic and Rubezahl at Staubbach.  But both these routes proved to be quite wet and it would be a late start.  Tomy and I checked out Baretritt after a bit of sledge fun. But found this to be too wet and falling down.  So some more sledging fun, a wonder through the woods and we found Rob and Pete about to get on Arbonium, so we elected to climb Rattenpissoir 5+.

I climbed the first long pitch to a wet cave belay, I did have a bit of a am I good enough moment, but soon gathered my senses and then climbed to the belay like a man possessed and running it out alarmingly as Tommy would point out, when he arrived at the belay.  The second pitch appearing too wet and Tommy already soaked we bailed and headed for the Chalet and food.

08/02: We drove into Gasterntal to look a new area Rob had spotted.  Gasterntal is an amazing area with a terrific atmosphere.  Whilst the new area was a bit wet and maybe a bit smaller than first thought.  The true adventure on this trip was digging the Landy out of super soft powder (we should have been skiing) twice.  The first time I seemed to be ending up in photo's taken by others, rather than getting their help.  Hmm? ;-)  (Below the Landy appears through one of the tunnels on the road down from Gasterntal.)

More to come.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

3 Rnd Gorrick Brass Monkeys

Wow, its been a while and I have been pretty busy.  Between Nik and I settling into the new house, work, MGA, biking and climbing, life has been moving on.

Well after 3 days of feeling rubbish and one day of feeling ok, after a stomach bug I lined up for the final Brass Monkey round, the only SS in the big boys race from what I saw.

Anyway, long story short.  On a really great course on a chilly but dry day, I got spanked.  The food I was putting in was only serving to replace what had been lost in the week and on lap 3 or 4, I bonked and had to pull the pin.  I rolled over the line to finish whichever lap, ambivalent to the fact that I was even in a race.

So a disappointing end to the series, but after a great second round finish.  I think I can build and start causing others pain.  Some short Gorricks first, before it gets serious at:

See you on the trails, yes I do have bog wheels.