Showing posts from July, 2007

Scatwell Bouldering

Richie Betts on 'Road to Domestos' Legoman Mike Lee on his new Font 7b... A new Inverness venue thanks to the efforts of Richie Betts and Mike Lee has resulted in some rare summer bouldering news! Richie had scrubbed up a fine boulder in the woods round Scatwell (Strathconon area) and passed on a line or two to young Mike, who despite the Lego-man hairstyle (Mike, see a hairdresser, son) has cranked out a hard-sounding Font 7b called 'The Catch', which seems to be the testpiece of the area... can't wait to get on it, sounds like a roof-monstrosity. Richie himself wins the prize for the best named problem of the year ... 'The Road to Domestos' (roll your eyeballs) which looks like a great font 7a... he says it's a super funky slappy affair... anything funky is bouldering-speak for damned fine...let alone super-funky .

Tibet in the Lakes...

Lakes boulderer and translator Tim Carruthers has announced the release of his translation of the full autobiography of Heinrich Harrer: Beyond Seven Years in Tibet . Here are the details: This is the first publication in the English language of the full autobiography of one of the world’s best known adventurers: Heinrich Harrer, who died early in 2006. Best known in book circles for his bestsellers Seven Years in Tibet (1953) and The White Spider (1958), this book brings to life those and his many other adventures. Heinrich Harrer, traveller, explorer and mountaineer led one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century. He famously spent seven years in Tibet (made into the film in 1997 starring Brad Pitt as Harrer himself) and was tutor, mentor and a lifelong friend of the Dalai Lama. He made the first ascent of the notorious North Face of the Eiger in 1938 (told in his book The White Spider). The Eigerwand had been a scene of carnage in the years preceding Harrer’s


In between days of drizzly rain or tropical downpours, it's hard to commit to Scottish climbing: the mountains are wet, the bracken is too high and tick-ridden to walk anywhere off-piste and the weather is too muggy for bouldering or sport. So oddly Dumbarton Rock has been an interim saviour until things dry out properly. The hefty breezes and morning showers cool the basalt enough to make it fairly gritty and the slopers don't feel too bad. I started work again on the harder 7c extension to Consolidated, the one which drops down to the triangular block and fights it sway to the cave, which I'd never really 'consolidated' enough to complete. Three sessions have re-wired old engrams in my brain, one session with Mark Garthwaite proving I should stick to the short-man's complex sequence of endless 'adjustment' moves (Garth stretches and spans through ridiculous long crucifixes, making it shorter but maybe more sapping in the end...), so I found myself twi

Chasing the Birdman of Easter Island

The logo for Stone Country finds its source on a remote volcanic's the story: Easter Island Chasing the Birdman of Easter Island I was chasing the Birdman of Easter Island at 30,000 feet... nothing but endless cumulus shrinking in perspective, the comforting thrum of the Airbus maintaining its faith in degrees of magnetism and riding out the turbulence with ease. Then it comes into view through the porthole windows, easily encompassed by this small frame, as absurd and tiny as a beer bottle top afloat a reservoir. Five hours in a jet-plane from anywhere... this is true isolation. Easter Island is the story of what happened after Hotu Matu'a first arrived in his astonished canoe on the sands of Anakena beach sometime in the first millennium CE. The story of its people - the Rapanui - is a tale of paradise, loss, rebirth, tragedy and persistence. From the basalt 'Moai' heads that populate the island with noble countenance to the sports-autocracy of the Birdm