Climb Magazine December 2009 Previewby Climb Magazine Nov/2009
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Take a look at what's inside the new look November issue of Climb Magazine. Check out what's coming up in the December issue of Climb Magazine. This month's articles include Leo Holding's Asgard Project, Stevie Haston - F9a at 52, Breaking the Alpine Barrier with the Jonathan Conville Trust, Hen Cloud - The Seven Sins plus lots more. Climb Magazine is available in WHSmith stores, specialist retailer outlets and climbing walls. You can subscribe online at www.climbmagazine.com or pick up a copy at your newsagents or at your local climbing shop. We've also got a digital teaser of the magazine this month at www.climbmagazine.com
The Asgard Projectbegan in March 2009. Alastair Lee and I decided to get together and try to produce an adventure movie the likes of which nobody has seen before. Aiming high we opted to attempt a free ascent of the big face of Mount Asgard and to film it in full hi-def using cameras and techniques never before tested in such an environment.
The drone of the plane's engines pierced the silence of the fjord. The nervous excitement in the team was electric. All the months of planning and preparation, all the scheming and dreaming was over, finally our mission was about to begin.
'Howdy, you guys the crazy fools who chartered the air drop? I'm Rob, glad to be of service,' said the cowboy-booted pilot with all the swagger of a rock star.
Kenn Borek Air Services had agreed to do an airdrop of equipment but I hadn't been able to convince the management that it was a good idea to let us skydive in.
Our only hope was that on the day a gung-ho pilot would show up and think it was as cool as we did. And here he was.
'You guys wanna jump?'
'Hell yeah, that'd be sick!' 'You know what you're doing right?'
The fact that we were serious appeared to be sufficient qualification.
What the...? Where's weak Steve gone?
Weak Steve has gone to give his biceps a stern telling off for totally crushing the crux move of Hubble (a mere four move F8c+) and shattering any illusion that he was weak. So they've roped me in. You probably haven't heard of me and my ticklist is a little on the pathetic side compared to Steve's, especially as I have developed an aversion to ropes since university (I'm more into foam parties of late).
However I guess they've stuck me in here for a reason, good timing too as I've just popped a ring-finger tendon trying a project that was too hard for me (note to Steve: this is an excellent and decisive way of proving that you're too weak).
The fact is that I'm here to harp on about that ever-so-British trait of finger strength (whilst using our other excellent trait of irony, seeing as my fingers are currently broken from such pursuits). We Brits pride ourselves in our steely fingers and our ability to get down and dirty with 'dirty' 'minging' 'credit card' 'savage crimps'.
Foreigners do the sensible thing and just bolt up/ pad out the beautiful tufa line/ crimpy roof to the left. But no, this is Britian and we shall annihilate any gap on this isle. And it shall become our latest 'testpiece' but one that you can only have two goes on a day as it's so sharp.
So if you're going to aspire to check off some big numbers in Ol' Blightly you better give your tendons some prior warning and do a bit of fingerboarding.
The good news is that it'll rain so much on your project that you'll have plenty of time to train.
Climbing is a complicated sport. Most regular climbers don't even fully understand all the different aspects.
For most of us it's a simple thing: go outside, tie onto one end of the rope and climb up a rock. The differences between on-sight and flash, redpoint and headpoint, bouldering, highball and ground-up are irrelevant. For the non-climber all this stuff is even more ridiculous.
So it wasn't surprising when I got a call from the BBC asking if I could climb a brand new 'hardest route in the world' on a specific day of their choosing. Apparently I was capable of simply walking in to a cliff, spotting an unclimbed line, and then climbing it first time without any inspection to give the hardest sport route in the world.
Sometimes it's nice to be seen as a good climber, but this was taking things a bit too far. There'd been a plan for a programme; climbing seemed to be pretty popular at the moment, everyone loves being outside, and Malham Cove in Yorkshire is in vogue with the tourists. Combine that lot, add some spice with a world record and it could make
vaguely interesting viewing for a few people.
Over the years Tom Richardson has come to at least four conclusions about down jackets. He shares his wisdom...
1. At night a down jacket on its own isn't as cosy as a sleeping bag
2. In the day a down jacket can be both cool and warm at the same time
3. Light is right.
4. If you get down and dirty, it's very hard to clean.
The first down jacket used by a European mountaineer was not strictly speaking a jacket, but rather a long down filled overcoat worn by one of the early Everest pioneers. The idea could therefore be claimed to be a British invention and, like the hovercraft, canals, television and the steam engine was later developed refined and popularised by someone else.
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