Thursday, August 21, 2008


Originally uploaded by Beastmaker. inc
she's a rippa

propa bo

propa bo
Originally uploaded by Beastmaker. inc
strong kleptomaniacs are advised to walk up all the other crags test pieces before running up this one, and full respect if you do.

the fine art of resting

Suprise suprise its the wettest August ever on record. That means that in the last 250ish years of accurate readings no amount of rain has surpassed the barrage of liquid depression hitting the North, the list of font 8a-8c problems that stay dry in the rain and dont seep is shorter than a primordial dwarf. sometimes it can get you riled trying projects in england and thinking how easy life could be if you had the support that other sports take for granted and a drier climate. unfortunately this gets me no further so heels just have to be dug in and teeth just get gritted, still, the harder the fight... If i want to climb hard on paper i know where to go, paper will never beat rock where my hands are involved however. right now i just want to remain inspired by spending my freetime trying the things that truly inspire me, Be it 2 more sessions or 2 more years i will climb the queens project from a sitter. At the moment it is very 'hard' and it's why i have to train. "Hard" being the rabbit to the greyhounds. Today i walked through half an hour of rain and got licked by 3 hours of light showers just to get the top of my project dialled. It must of been about 10 degrees and cacaphonically windy.

The top is now tapped into the engrams which is good as manditory double dynos at the same height as the top of careless torque but with a worse landing arent something i want to be thinking mid move on. that said it will be a very very cool ending. Ending being the conclusion of something started nearly 2 years ago and which now feels like all i need is one more session as i've done all the moves as of today. unfortunately i've only managed 2 sessions on it this year due to RAIN and Uni work, also a kick up the arse hasn't hurt in the last week. Time has been called... for now but i'm going to make a special effort to travel up come october and november. Prior to today I took 4 days off due to Field work and a funeral. this lead to a few personal things ringing home and my arse being kicked into gear, along with some wonderfully scary phantom injuries which always arrive after time off. Weight is now being sensibly dropped and germany is 5 days away, i have done zero route training and feel terrible after too many days fieldwork in the lakes. All the bounce from 2 weeks ago has left and their is no taste more bitter than losing form. what is lost can be found again sooner though, and i've got a pretty good idea where to look.
Ned will be in the driving seat whilst im away and Dave is making good progress on the building front.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Firstly the weather is really making us pay for a 0.3degree temps rise lately, the azores high has gone on strike and is refusing to take its northern summer vacation and the scandinavian high pressure has migrated over to its estranged iceland, this is rather efficiently funneling barrage after barrage of fronts over Blighty, which seem determined to keep me in the garage on the Beastmaker campus set up of 2000 models. 147 has been cracked off on the 35 degree slopers and it is one of the finest problems known to man. other records are being chased down with the regularity of raindrops on english soil.
By some freak coincidence it stopped raining on friday so i went out to do some fieldwork for my dissertation but got sidetracked a little so this only happened after climbing Torniquet and Mentally sending Shadowplay on my second session of finding holds and envisioning how to pull on in all the positions, the mental send went smoothly with a minor concentration lapse coming into the top of torniquet as i got one blank bit of wall confused with another for footholds. Next session i reckon ill try pulling on in the positions which in reality is probably approaching 8a alone. Little women is pissing me off royally as there is one move still evading me, i feel my finger is still holding me back on the crux crimp and its probably a stupid problem to try on the way out of injury town but its getting personal now after session number 2 and next time things are going to get slappy.
on the plus side the jura is now only just over a week away and my pocket strength is off the scale thanks to being injured. im toying with dropping my 3kg of blubber zone and really punching some stuff out but the question arises as to whether it is better saved for a bigger fight. Watching the olympics has inevitably helped training psyche and Usain bolt is the gaskins of running. Shadowplay is an inspiration to have in such an unlikely setting, Its not in another country, but it is in another world. A world where the crux of hubble feels pretty easy and where footholds mean a slightly more vertical patch of rock. for a replica of the crux move i'd recommend glueing a 2p slightly sticking out of a 70 degree roof as an undercling (for LH) and for footholds i'd just hit the board with a large hammer and use the dinks, then practise locking this off at shoulder height and grabbing a very slightly incut box of matches way up and right. there are another 3 moves of similar difficulty. I am under no illusions that at this present time there is no chance of me climbing this problem, which gives me roughly the same chance as any other climber on the planet. Oh and its a good line too and it never gets wet (Major plus in england), so no excuses there. Its safe to say i will mostly be undercutting alot on the sheffield board next year. the worlds best boulderers can carry on running 9.8 seconds and happily looking to the right whilst gaskins trots home in 9.6 on the left. If we sell enough fingerboards i'll be giving him a donation out of sheer respect.
Ned is probably coming up for a business meeting next week, items on the agenda are crushing multiple font 8a's and trying to send a project thats nearly in Johhny G territory.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Rustic Scenery

Rustic Scenery
Originally uploaded by Beastmaker. inc

pure rage

So after a strict rest day i was ready to try and really crush one of the hard projects i had found the day before around the ship boulder area. Think roof prows and 70 degree walls on lovely bitey crimps. after warming up the breeze dropped, as did the penny. Midges, SHITTING ARSEING SODOMISING SATANIC MIDGES, now i can normally stand the odd one and i had my avon skin so soft on, but these are the Scottish Shinpu, a devine wind sent to stop English raiders at all cost. the first hour consisted of running about then darting in and trying to get my shoes on and chalk up before they came. I have never been so Mad in my whole life, like kicking a bull in the bollocks i was off. I can take so much but Midges biting inside your nose would even get on Muhatma Gandies tits i reckon.

SO i ran round the hill finding even more projects pencilled in for october, when i hope to actually be able to pull on some rock without being in a real life zombie movie where going outside means being eaten alive. Screw AIDS can't we eradicate the great satan that is midgies first.
I am so annoyed at not being able to climb some of the Projects that a new level of rage is being brewed within and turned into training fuel. I escaped home to a Hot Sweaty bowden and got within a CM of working class about 8 times, which i was suprisingly happy about rather than peeved, i felt a session had been salvaged where most of england would be inside. 5c is feeling like a warm up again and i unleashed some of the emergency crimp (aka lockdown) at Bowden.
its good to be back.

Ben Alligin bloc

Ben Alligin bloc
Originally uploaded by Beastmaker. inc
A small section of the Ben Alligin Bloc Field

The Proper North.

Downjackets in summer, a boulderers dream in torridon as i arrived at 8pm after 7 hours driving on the scenic route with Momma n Poppa V. Scotland has so much rock but very little non epic bouldering, also it seems to be mainly consisted of rock types which don't hugely lend themselves to bouldering, billions of years of weathering destroys hard problems. Torridon looked to be the exception to the rule and even if it wasn't Malcs arete and The mission looked nearly worth the journey alone, the bouldering is practically roadside and with the tepid breeze casting all around i was smiling all the way to the blocs. So malcs arete is the best 7a+ in England (Scotland being its biggest county) i reckon i'll get nutted for that but hey ho, its got a proper malc power move in it which no amount of technique can fag up. The mission is a different blend of whisky altogether and i have a nice video of me doing this in the sunset. Its subtle like West Side Story only way better rock and moves, it is however, still slightly eliminate. I used a brilliant non sharp sequence on the last move which involved some serious burl but its not always about doing things the easiest way.
It was one of those evenings when you remember why bouldering is pretty special sometimes. all the walkers are back off the fells safely tucked away, too late for trad climbing and too cold, silence all around the valley and a blood red setting sun from striking through a Radeon dominated, unpolluted Sky. Made all the more special because i had to fight a bit due to it being 3rd day on after massive 1 arm fingerboard sessions. So that combined with a warm up send of Frantic (torridon's hardest problem, which is a bit of a dirty coal lump in the diamond problems of torridon) meant i was onto projects and never has that phrase been more true. The ship boulder area is literally a needle in a haystack on haystack of escarpments with boulders below, all the rock is clean and superb.
So i took the next day off to rest and explore the newly found boulderfield of Ben Alligin, which after an hours walk looked tiny, then i walked nearer and it got bigger, what looked like the only decent size bloc was the size of a 3 storey house, so Billions of boulders isn't far off. Unfortunately in terms of blocs in my desired grade i have never experienced such a sense of being overwhelmingly underwhelmed i felt like i was trying to drink sea water, and despite 4 hours of trapsing round it i found nothing which made me want to return the next day or even get my shoes out my pack, the landings are death on bigger blocs and a chopper would be fucked if it tried to land, so they need alot of work and if your trying something at your limit then these things need to be preconsiderations. anything else all looked a bit carrock fell/ welsh so if your into blinkered lines or going sideways these few square miles would be heaven. Not my cup of tea though, infact its safe to say the only worthwhile contribution i made was in the form of a large turd (a good poo with a view mind). From a geomorphology perspective it looks to be a relict Rockglacier fed by massive rockslope transitional faults/ rock avalanches and is very impressive, reckon Ballantyne might have written a paper on it i'll see.
I ran back to meet family Varian and nearly broke my legs a few times down boulders and morraines (one advantage of having elephant legs), Another spectacular sunset means that flickr has some more colours in its Database. Oh and some chump got lost and a massive mountain rescue operation was launched, and i met some locals and had a bit of vodka ice tea, i was to regret not going to there party and getting trolleyed the next day mind.

Monday, August 4, 2008

fixing up looking sharp

First Major news is that we are upgrading our Cad Cam machine even more so its fully pimped out ready to make the 5000, this means production of all models will be going by october, and even if i only sell 1 5000 to myself i shalt beeth happy as i'll know it was worth it to create such a cool thing. until then hold your hearses

On the climbing front my middle finger is fixing nicely and feels pucker, this means i can crimp again, however dragging is the new black and now i can do both rather nicely a happiness been restored into my climbing, injuries really make you feel the benefit when they're not there, i enjoy training round them (by not using them and abusing everything else) more than laying off as i think it makes you stronger.

Simonside got a visit on tuesday after a rather beastly fingerboard session the day before. things started well with some milktray chocolate delights for the journey there (layer 2 was saved for the way home) my 7b+ project was wet so we went upto potts buttress which is a brilliant few blocs, i got spanked by return of the spring as my arms weren't working and the wind got so bad it was blowing 3 tied together pads away. We then cleaned up some nice 8c projects (no joke) on a new simonside bloc, which will be amazing if the chicken heads stay on. Unlike Pebble patrol which lost a crucial(ish) one before the guide but springer thought he'd fire it in as an overhanging sandbag. after a bit of nipple tweaking and 1 finger crimping a new sequence was found and clamped up like a fat kids nipples in a secondary school changing rooms. It was nice to get some bite back and crimp again as its been months, it ended up being a curious yellow style snatch for the top hold where you need to hold the moment you hold the hold and say CLAMP MUTHA DUCKA and pull in the beak. it climbs about 1 foot right of the old line at about 7b+. if your over 75kg you have a good chance of destroying this problem so i'd suggest an automatic tick in that you could quite literally rip it off the wall. got it all on vidoe but i can't edit it due to slowness of pc and lack of decent editing software, which should be ammended soon.

I coasted down to kentmere yesterday and started my dissertation properly, managed to do LOTS and will be going back right after i get back from Torridon and Reiff where i'm hoping there are some decent sandstone blocs and projects around the 7b+ to 7b+ region.

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