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.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Ice Fest 2012 Update

After a long drive with little sleep we arrived in Vallouise which has a nice old village centre, we found the gite and Dave P and met the others.

Sunday, we headed to Fournel and Nik and of climbed Davidoff 4+ to 5, with Dan and Will following in another pair.  Nik and I then went for another walk to see what else looked interesting for later in the week. More about that later.

Monday we (Dan, Will, Nik, Tommy, Paul and myself) headed to Cervieres.  The long approach allowing for a good test of skining in on our skis and getting use to skiing in powder (only a little way) with a heavy pack.  The climbing for me here was a lead on an unnamed 90 degree pillar with a thin curtain start, having a proper moment at the top, which after a lot of yelling at myself to ward of my fear I pulled through to the belay.  I then followed Will up Cascade du Bourget, 4 to 5.  The ski out after the initial crashes under the crag in the tracked powder proved to be fun and easy and encouraging for Denali.

Today (Tuesday), we headed for Ceillac, a longer drive on some impressive winding roads and reading a list of great Tour de France climbs on the road signs bought us to the car park and easy acces.  Will, Dan and myself headed for Sombre Heros, 5. Dan making a great lead on the crux pitch and Will on the next tricky little pillar.  I was doing my best to get film and photo footage.

Next we went to climb Le formes du chaos. After 3 pitches (about 120ms) on some interesting and thin and wet ice, we decided to call it a day as the light was fading fast and we didn't fancy negotiating the melting ice in the dark, we retreated happily with a descent days climbing under the belt.  I also managed to knock some large chunks off on my ab. :)

More to come, some photos and film to follow as well.

Friday, 13 January 2012


the key to training in a busy world or one where you may have over done it over a few days.

Today was meant to have a 2 hr ride pre-work as I have a late start, late finish.  But with not enough sleep and two days of pretty full on mixed training, the body needed a rest.

Enter stretching session and maybe a cheeky easy ride tonight. :) But stretching I find very important and rarely do a session only on it, but seem to always be stretching something throughout the day.  Keep bendy folks it does help when sat in the saddle hour after hour or on that long ice or rock route.

The weekend holds a couple of riding slots anyway.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Avalanche Gear for Skiing and Denali

Hopefully this will never need to be used, but always better to have than not.  Avalanche Rescue pack from V12 by Ortovox.  It is very green.  The shovel should help build some sweet kickers as well.

Lets hope it only ever gets used for practice and building those kickers. :)

Cycleworks Night Ride

After a few weeks of with Christmas and a bit of an elbow injury I have been back on the bike.  The Voodoo Wanga is single and rigid at the moment. Makes for some exciting riding.

Cycleworks Night Ride from Scott Swalling on Vimeo.

Ride on.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

2012 The year ahead.

Keeping things brief.

Loads more work on the house, and still not burn it down. :-)

Well having just joined Cycleworks for a second year of MTB endurance racing and some shorter stuff on and off-road a long list of already entered or soon to be entered events is below:

24hrs Exposure 24hr UK and European Champs (by SIP Events), Single Speed Cat, 7/8th April
Gorrick 100, 7 Laps Open Men, 6th May
Twentyfour12, 24hr Solo Open Men, 7/8th July
Gorrick 12:12, 12hr Solo Open Men, August
Brighton Big Dog 8hr, Solo Open Men
UK Single Speed Champs, Sept (Unless falls to close to W24C 2012)

World 24hr Solo Champs, Canmore, September 14th/15th, Single Speed Category.  This will be huge and the training more serious.

This year, I don't want to just do well, I'm hungry and know I can get higher on that step.........the bloody top.

Also, another great series at Eelmore and maybe Goodwood, lets crush boys!

The two major stand outs here are.  Off on an expedition to Mount McKinley (Denali) at the end of May with a pretty strong team.  This will be a huge experience and a bit life changing I imagine.  It will be tough and test us all.

Secondly, I am off on an ice climbing trip soon to Vallouise, France and I want to consolidate Wi6 and maybe just maybe get on a super route or two with Mr Bergo (this is probably the first he knows about this). :)

Other climbing goals will be do more with Nik and consolidate E3 and maybe nab an E4, we will see.

It will be a busy year, so stay tuned.



Well 2011 was actually a good year in the end, with quite a number of goals achieved, despite some serious injuries from a broken ankle to a separated collar bone and a still annoying pulled tendon that comes and goes.

Saw a number of intended routes from trad to alpine get done. The Forbes Arete being one. Trad, bumped a grade with a couple of E3's, ice I managed Wi6 and felt very comfortable on it. Lets be fair, this can change in an axe swing.  In Scottish mixed I managed VII/7 Central Grooves with Rob Gibson and didn't cry. ;-)

I moved away from bolt clipping and bouldering as it doesn't capture my imagination enough, not to say I don't like, I just like the others better.

All in all a good climbing year.

What a great year, despite the injuries forcing time off, rehab and a training and race reshape twice in the year, things went well, OK very well, look at the results below:

Gorrick Brass Monkey's Rnd2 (4hr winter enduro): 11th Open Men (Single Speed)
Gorrick Brass Monkey's Rnd3 (4hr winter enduro): DNF (body a bit broken)
Gorrick 100 (100k 7Lap solo race):  13th Open (1st Single Speed)
24hrs of Exposure UK/European 24hr Solo Champs: 2nd Single Speed, 13th Open Men
Twentyfour12: DNS Broken Ankle
Single Speed World Champs: Approximate Top 20 (no official scoring after 3rd place)
UK Single Speed Champs, Approximate 14th (no official scoring after 3rd place)
Brass Monkeys Rnd1 4hr, November, DNF after snapping crank bolt on second lap.
Brass Monkeys Rnd2 4hr, December, feeling grim 27th (on single speed).

Also pitched in with my bit to help the Cycleworks boys top the table at the Eelmore crits, well done boys, lets smash them again.

Quiet importantly Nik and I didn't burn down the new house and it has been bubbling along nicely and is very much a home, even if part garage at present, that will change...............maybe! :)

I am fired up for 2012 and watch for the post of what is coming up, it should be a busy year.


Flying to 2nd SS at Uk and Euro Champs.
(Photo: Joolze Dymond)