Saturday, 26 May 2012

Talkeetna at last!

After a couple of hectic days of shopping for 5 weeks of food and waiting on some delayed gear (UPS had it at their Anchorage depot but wouldn't let us go and collect it till they'd tried to deliver it the next day, go figure...) we've eventually made it up to Talkeetna.  Not entirely sure what food we've got in the end but I'm already looking forward to the thought of the first meal when we fly out!

We're all signed in with the National Park, got our permits and hopefully, weather permitting we'll fly into the Denali range tomorrow morning.  From the few people we've met who have come out of the range it sounds like conditions are pretty good so fingers crossed the weather turns good.  See you in five weeks!

Nick securing the vital expedition supplies

Slowly working through the list

Busy season on Denali, guess we won't be on our own...

Last minute kit faff

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival

The North Face have organised a really nice festival this Autumn on the small island of Kalymnos. Beach parties, sport climbing in the sun, good food and company, all sounds pretty nice! Shame I'll be flying to Nepal that weekend...

You can find out more info on the weekend here and to get you tempted have a look at the short promo video below.

I'm heading off to Keswick now to take party in the 'Evening with the Alpine Club' at the Keswick Mountain Festival. There's going to be Chris Bonington, Mick Fowler, Simon Yates and myself on stage for a open discussion/Q&A session all chaired by Lindsay Griffin. When you look at the years and depth of experience there I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to be bringing to the table and definitely feeling a bit 'out of my depth' so to speak but should be good fun!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Last few weeks

The last few weeks have been pretty manic with work and trying to fit as much training in around it as possible, easier said than done!  Thankfully the motivation has been there to get out and I'm really loving the running and road biking at the moment.

The only climbing I've been doing over the last few months has been good sessions down at Harrogate Climbing Centre but Cat and I did manage to escape to North Wales on Saturday afternoon and had a brilliant 'trot' (not quite fully embracing the whole fell 'running' just yet ;-) but I think it may happen... ) round the Snowdon Horseshoe.  Sunday was leisurely start followed by long breakfast and eventually we headed over to Gogarth to be met by a howling wind.  The thought of getting cold, blown about and soaked by sea spray wasn't the most appealing when I'm just about to head off for six weeks of that in Alaska so we headed back to the slate quarries and had a nice few hours there.  Great to be out on real rock again and actually see the sun for the first time in ages! 

Cat seconding the classic Goose Creature E3 6a

We fly to Alaska on Monday, everything is turning into the usual last minute rush which seems to be par for the course for these trip no matter how organised I try to be!  It'll be great to get back out there again and fingers crossed for some good weather.  

My new Tendon ropes turned up today, I've been using the 60m version of these super skinny ropes for a couple of years now are have been really impressed with how well they have performed and still going strong after a couple of Scottish winters and a number alpine hits.  We'll also be taking their lightweight 8.9mm single line to Alaska along with a tag line to have all options covered (baggage permitting!).