I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
No reproduction on other media without the photographer's permission.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Utah Ice and stuff, by Stevie back in Italy Haston.


 So last day in Utah was a big day. Woke up too early hassled my mates, they said I'd got the time wrong, which I had, did yoga till they woke up. Went round to the importers to get gear, Liberty Mountain have pads of gear and are really great guys, followed these guys to Provo Canyon, which was in surprisingly good nick.


 Ice climbing gear is very important, good ice climbing gear climbs by itself. Our new Grivel Teck Machine just won an award from Climbing Magazine USA, . You have to say that it's a very good axe which allows instinctive placements, and superb ergonomics. Anyway we had a half day doing loads of ice and trying out gear. For some of us it was just another day in the office and for others it was reaffirming their belief in climbing and the gear.


 I had a very good time in Utah, it was unfortunately mostly work, and have to thank Gary for making it all possible. Its very odd to realise that I have a hell of a lot of friends in the States, and I haven't even been there for a dozen of years! Looking foreword to going back and doing a bit of climbing, or maybe a lot of climbing!


 This is a general view of the little ice climbing school, not bad at all. Its a short drive a short stiff walk up hill and seven or so pitches up, with lots of mixed variations if you want. No wonder the SaltLake region produces such great climbers from time to time.


 This is Oliviero sampling the Utah ice, we had two Alexis as well, the y were well spoilt Alta and Snowbird for skiing the day before and perfect plastic ice today.


A view of the whole thing, not bad really, I did 11 practise pitches with a funny ankle, not bad for a sea level Maltese boy, Cascades like this are inspiring and so is being in good company. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Rants, Pants, Stevie Haston.

Short little blog, cos I'll be travelling for a few days. This blog is all about things going wrong, which in my case is practically all my life! Today I went ice climbing with Nathan and Jake and had a great time. Forgot my camera so you can't see the blue sky and dry air of the high road to reach this little frozen cascade. It was a lovely cascade, cold temps turned into rubber ice and then falling ice, but it was good. Scoped out some other stuff to climb. I was in borrowed gear, and it all worked. So where's the rant I hear you say? Well, I shoulda had a bit more climbing in right, I shoulda gone down the Indian creek, and done a few cracks in the sun, where's my rack of a trillion friends and cams? My gear is in France, I'am on the other side of the pond, I'll be back t'other side of Pond in a couple of days having used up my carbon footprint for 10 years, and what climbing will I have done?



I want to climb! My belief in my right to climb is normally absolute, it's self entitlement gone mad, it's always worked, so why is it failing me now? In the past it was a self for-filling  prophecy, where are these for-filling feckers when you want them.


A bit of ice climbing tomorrow, then a bit of work then fly. Will I come back, I better had as I got alotta friends here

Friday, 23 January 2015

new strength new year by stevie new haston


The Bald eagle, USA symbol, I kinda just think of cracks as the symbol of America. Dawn Wall was just done by two American young men and it's been everywhere in the media. Perhaps climbing will get a boost, who knows.


Hung over today, was out partying last night, feel the need to train, but I'd probably chunder like an Australian cement mixer.


Can you imagine doing this after a night out on the bing, makes me sick just thinking about it! Need to get strong, need to get off my arse. Maybe I,ll do a bit tomorrow, the hotel where I am has a small door way edge, where I did a few hundred pull ups the other night when I couldn't sleep. It felt great to be doing that simple excersise. Long live pull ups.


So another day of work over, and another day closer to going home. Except where is my home? Salt Lake City has been so nice to me I feel like staying, so many friends here, and two in particular who I never want to leave! Anyway the climbing community seem to remember me very well, and they remember me fondly which is great and a pleasant surprise. In there honour and to respect their feelings I will become strong and do some great climbs. I didn't know I'd some how become a fitness guru, so I can't disappoint now can I. Lots of Is there in that last bit wasn't there. Let's talk about other people, America is full of great places to climb and great climbers, but in Salt Lake you are so close to the desert that its taste-able, cracks, towers, fear, loathing, stars, sand, sweat, tears, hot mexican food.
October is a good month to visit and by October fitness should have returned, be great to come out here and do a couple of cracks.  

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Work climb work, USA. by the Stevie workist Haston.


Here I am in the USA, and its to be honest, really great. SaltLake city for the Out door show and the people are very friendly and warm. I will be at the show, and I am there to work, please come to see me.


I am here with Liberty Mountain, at their booth. There is a special deal on a grivel twin gate, a safe great biner for 5 dollar, come and buy one, there's only a few hundred and it's a great price for a brill biner.


Good times. Good friends. It was snowing, this morning, it's sunny.
Met some friends in Salt lake already, wanna meet every body.


Sorry about the photos can't work out my computer, my phones don't work, come and talk to me at the
show.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

To bolt or not to Bolt, by Stevie Haston.


 Bolting isn't easy. There's a lot of problems that people don't appreciate. Today there's problems with the metal, corrosion, stress corrosion, there's bad placing of bolts, people argue about length between bolts, and there's an often overlooked problem-glue.


 This is good glue, but the container has ruptured, this means that only one part of a two part glue has been used, there fore rendering the glue just so much expensive mush. The glue would never harden, the bolt would just pull out! Luckily I felt something wrong with the squeeze, and noticed the  colour of the glue was wrong. My clothes and gear got ruined, but I didn't put really bad bolts in!


 This is a route called 21.12.12, it's just over two years old, and I still haven't done it! Neighbouring 21.12.12 is 12.12.12, I did this two years ago -an interesting 8a, the names are the dates on which they were bolted, funny numbers eh? 21.12.12 is 8a+ or 8b, and is really good overhanging wall climbing, tecky and fastidious, it's breaking me, there's a wet section on it that doesn't seem to dry, although I haven't tried it in the summer. It's in the guide book as 7c, a bit of an error eh! My bad.

   
    21.12.12. is brill, delicate, foot intensive, lots of memory.

There's a little boulder problem to gain  the chain V6, which involves stuff you cannot see, a finger tip mono being the choicest, and the shake out before this section is not so great for Hippo Haston. Anyway if you go to the White Tower, there's loads to do, six 8's, and three new 7's, Flying thru Fog, Frothing the Froth, and Jap's Eye next to Wee Man in a Boat . Wee Man in a Boat has been suggested as 7a+, and not 6c+, my bad. The oranges and lemons are all out, and there are still some daffodils out at the White Tower, at Sopu the neibouring cliff 10mins walk away the daffodils are sadly gone. The sky reflected the sea in a painting Turner couldn't have done justice too.     Why is the world so beau, and humans so stupid, the beauty of humans is only skin deep, natures is millennium and millennium, luckily we had a good day sharing the cliffs with the wind, a Kestral, and the smell of Thyme.


Friday, 9 January 2015

My Bigoted Beliefs, stevie the Supremacist Haston.

Rock racism, as in stone racism, is easy to understand for me, because I really like some bits of stone way better than other bits, because of the way they look. Rock racism for me, as in music racism is  a bit more difficult. I like some countries music, but not their country and Western. Racism as in race, as in running racism, is a bit more difficult to understand because running is full of much cultural, and physiological nonsense, coloured by racism, and masked as nationalism. And obviously Mountain running is what I love the best, and Kansas and Holland just don't hack it!  
Are you confused yet? My own racism which I have never questioned much, began to bother me recently. 


Notice the preternatural chalk ball, no wonder Gozitans can't climb, they are simply ill equipped, or over equipped, I can't even close my legs!

My country at the moment is a tiny island about 12 km by 8km, being an island it is surrounded by sea, so we don't get many foreigners, my mind is closing up into a small area. Mentioning it is surrounded by sea, is me admitting I think you could be stupid! Prejudice, racist, bigot, yep-thats me. Gozo has great stone, Gozo isn't even called Gozo, that's some kinnda Ferengi name the Maltese forced on us, or was it the colonial British? Gozo is really called Ghawdex. We, as in us Ghawdexians, are some of the most racist people in the world, we don't even like people from the next village, which is often only a half kilometre away, our cliffs are all ten minutes from each other, and don't talk to each other either.


Anyway being a Bigot, or a Big Bigot on a Tiny Island was fairly comfy until I realised that there is more to this racism and bigotry malarky than I thought. 
Recently some of my family, friends and even parts of my brain, became infected by Fear of the Foreigner, or FOF. We made a guide book recently which was called  Some Sport Climbing in Malta and Gozo, it has unfortunately become a success, and gee whizz, other climbers are coming!
 Lets go back a tadge- when the guide book was being finalised I got a shock when I saw the cover, it only said "Sport Climbing on Malta", what I fumed, where is the crucial Gozo bit, the big Gozo bit? The other two guide book authors looked at me nonplussed, what was I going on about, well it's obvious innit, they are Maltese and one is borderline English, and comes from Sliema! So  after a bit of huffing, and puffing I had my dictatorial way, and Gozo went on the cover, racism won a victory.
 Now then, I thought this racism thing was done and dusted, being a lazy blighter after all, I just got rhythm,  and a preternatural ability to climb large roofs because I have a penis with an opposing thumb-you didn't know that did you-Gozo racial secret-sorry Ghawdexian secret. Anyway, wait for it, wait for it, too many foreigners have been coming, from the big island Malta, and then from further north, you know 'Italy', I say it with a whisper, or a lisp cos it's a big word. 


Other people of a more unsavoury nature or colour, have been coming from further north, these people are so pale its hard to see them against the clouds, but they are there, believe me I have seen them with my own three eyes. 
What is to be done? FOF fear of the foreigner is being rapidly replaced by FOF OF a splinter group, the Fear of the Foreigner who over Fraternises, Jesus Mother of Mary, is the Pope a Muslim, when will it end? It was something like this that led to me, the truth is out, I am only half Gozitan, I'am going  to resign from my coverted position in three climbing associations, we certainly don't do things by halves here. 
Incase you missed it, this is for Je suis Charlie. I am hopefully a Half Charlie thanks to my mixed parentage -what a weird phrase-. Please come to Gozo and be nice to us Gozitans, leave some Euros, take some sun, maybe even stay. Peace.


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Visiting the USA, by Stevie star spangled Haston.

Little Leo.

 I am bound for America, which is great, half of my friends are in the US. Going to the Outdoor show in Saltlake, shame it's business, but you know that's how it goes, come and see me. At one Outdoor show I met the greatest climber in America, forgive me for picking my own greatest climber and redefining America. Peter Croft is, or was a Canadian, and for me a 'Great', as in 'big thing' in North american climbing. A sterling soloer, maybe golden, adjectives don't really hack it when you have a climber of Croft's caliber in mind. Anyway I'am in training for America. Weak beer here I come.
  
A Crusher Prototype Board.

Today, 100 sets of between 10 minimum, and 16 maximum pull-ups, 50 sets weighted with a 12 kg belt. It all went splendidly, which surprised me. Diet not so good, had a relapse, a bit of wine, dairy is still in, Almond milk got all coagulated and weird, gifts of Stilton and expensive Port, also hard to resist!
     
A miss placed hobbit from France.

 'The Gift of Small Things' is one of my routes, but I love small gifts, above is a mug that I love from one of my daughters, it helps me train. There have been so many gifts in my life, given me with love, thank you.



These are under one of my cliffs, their gift is their colour. Are you training? I saw the Afghanistan blue of the sea today, the Turner sky, trampled flowers by accident, for I cannot levitate, and felt thankful for the Gift of Small things.  Some small things are very big.