I'm a woman

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

Monday, 14 August 2017

The Art of Freedom, a biography of Voytek Kurtyka by Bernadette McDonald reviewed by Stevie Haston.

So looked in my mail box, and found what I been waiting for-the book arrived. Like a bright cloud on a grey day, it's a happy sight,  promise of a change in the weather, or in this case a good few hours immersed in mountains.

 the long awaited book.

Is it better to do or to read about the doing by others? In the case of Voytek, maybe we all can just rest calm, lie on the sofa and enjoy his climbs. Can one enjoy the first ascent of the mythic West Face of Gasherbrum 1V, which Kurtyka and Schauer did all those years ago? Can one visit the day when standards were perhaps frozen? We will see, for as yet the book is open, or opened at odd photos which sometimes trigger emotions and memories. 

John Porters photo of the 1978 team of Porter, Zurek, Kurtyka, and Dirty Alex MacIntyre.

I have been climbing in the morning,  Free Dived in the early afternoon, and now I will vicariously share steep, startling difficult climbs, on my sofa. In the picture above you will see a big rucsacs carried by slight men, their houses and futures loaded on their backs, refugees from the modern world trying to rediscover pre second world war commitment. Kurtyka has often hidden, or ducked interviews, and celebrity, perhaps this book will tell us why. Soon I will share my impressions of this book, of this great climber, until then take it from me, the thoughts of some of these climbs sends shivers down my weak spine. Bye from the sofa.

The Book is published by Vertebrate publishing, and Rocky Mountain Books Canada.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Selling Hot Rocks, by Stevie Haston.

Right wing extremist riots in southern states of America, threats of  war by the Trump Monster, the Out Door Show goes to Denver… life such as it is goes on. I guess there will come a time when life won't go on, oh, maybe that will come  sooner than we think.

 exploring the coast with Gozo Adventures and Alex.

Anyway "whats the use of worrying" as the song goes. Songs like that were perhaps paid for by the governmental propaganda machine, so I have put in a bid for next years song lyrics. Lines like "when in doubt run it out", "To Desmond, or not to Desmond", "there I was, way, way above my RPs", "my pick snapped",  "I'am short of the belay", "I'ave just dropped the stove"…..

 Tony and Francois, if you can get their second names, award your self a beer, or a rice cake depending on which end of the climbing scale your on.

When a famous guy, or girl die, they sometimes erect a statue in their honour! But if you have been a caver, and a climber, perhaps the statue, and the hole cancel each other out, so there is just nothing!Ah nothing, lovely nuffin.

 Work does this to me.

The sea is hovering at 32 degrees C, a few more degrees than normal, Global warming has fully kicked in, and the BBC, the British Broadcasting Coooonts are still trying to mislead the public on it, it's not just Trump.

 Jake, in climbing mode, and not designing stuff mode.

I had an incredible urge to stay in Utah, the reason is that despite what you hear about Utah from certain climbing manufacturers', it is a great state, not a perfect State, but a great State. We are now moving the Out Door Show to Colorado which is supposed to be better, the state where they have Fracking plants next to schools! Mind you they have freed the Weed! The politics and humbug of pretending to be politically correct, and being goody- goody green, and an easy marketing ploy have more to do with the move to Denver than reality! But hey, the climbing marketing and bull shizer humbug went fully Trump years ago.


Bar humbug. There should be an article about climbing in Gozo and Malta in Klettern, the German Magazine  I may have had something to do with this article, and the climbing! It may or not be any good, have a look. Cheers.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Guide book thieves, by Stevie Haston.

People are often nasty, rarely correct. For years now a few climbers have done the lions share of the routes and crag maintenance on Malta and now people are putting info out for their own profit and gain! If people who have done no local work accrue the money doesn't it sound like crookery to you!

 A Bonfire of Vanities, a conflagration of mirrors…

I cannot continue my contribution to route development if people continually steal the info. I am by no means  rich, and have trouble doing what I do, if certain people continue to give away the fruits of what a few climbers here shed blood for I will stop developing routes, and my info will remain for my friends.

 A little bouldering place which will in all likely hood stay secret now.

 There are 27 new routes at this cliff not in the guide book, these will stay for my friends if people continue to muscle and thieve info!

 Old bit of protection, Titanium is what the modern UIAA recommendations suggest is the best, which would you like?

Patrick on the Last of the Mohicans, a brilliant project that needs better equipment.

I really have trouble understanding people who steal from poor climbers! So please you climbers out there, in the case of a small area, buy local guidebooks and donate to a fund for local climbing.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Eye of the Beholder, by Stevie all seeing Haston.

 Gozo can be very beautiful if you have eyes to see, and the fingers and heart to feel. 6a.

Sorry this isn't about City of the Rocks in Idaho, but you will have to lump it.

 a place of worship between the cliffs, the chestnut trees, and heaven, half way up a good hours walk up the hill is this place…

Different places different moods, Italy, America, India, all the same, no not really, but what can you say there is the same thread, worship of certain things, for me its trees, mountains, sea, flowers ….. 

 Stevie myself I, doing my Polish Miner impression.

I am not from Poland and wasn't a chimney sweep but after a couple of nights out on the town I can look a bit rough…

 Pitch two, how many pitches have I done in my poxy life?

 Devil Fish with the Devil in Red.

First day back in the sea I was down beyond 20 meters, it was lovely, not the Green room, the Blue room, well its neither Green nor Blue, its in-between. 

The Eye has it, these fish can see you through fog, beware the Jubjub fish!

Fish predators and raptors have huge eyes, predators eyes- babies have big eyes too-they prey on your love.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Maple sirop, no pancakes by Stevie the bear Haston.

Arriving at SaltLake City the other day was hard, modern travel seems to leave your soul far behind, but as soon as I got through bothersome immigration I smiled, America!

  The Interstate is more of a soul renacher, the big trucks the big cars, they scream consumerism and excess… but its what feeds me, its the modern dilemma. The sign which says Las Vegas is very tempting to take, avoid the Climbing Trade show and go straight to climbing!

 Danger humans this sign should have said.

Effectively I did avoid the trade show-between the kindness of my bosses, a bit of clubbing in Maple Canyon was arranged with Big Narhan. Nathan now does guide books and media for climbing brands, employ this man he is good.


Maple Canyon is a place I love, its conglomerate climbing with often long pitches or big roofs, it has a habit of getting  you fit, Not in one session however-one session will often destroy you.

 Sector Zen Garden, I had last climbed here 15 years ago with Laurence Gouault.

Ah memories, so many of my memories are in America.

 What a pleasant belay seat.

The show was very good for me, met lots of friends, and did my stuff well-even if I do say so myself! Unfortunately I didn't see Steve and Cynthia, so if you are reading this, I am sorry, very sorry. I might see you in the winter, ice climbing may be re invented for me, and whiskey and ice will suffer.

Leaving Maple, you cannot now guawk at the insane turkey farms with there overcrowding, it has all been sanitising with anti terrorism laws so you don't get close. But this unexpected wonderful sight might make yo smile and believe in old America.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

America my second home, by Stevie Haston.

So I'ave been to Italy and America and I haven't blogged or posted anything, I'ave been slack lazy, I have a malaise, but I will try harder. 

 My island is good but it is small, four pitches high in one dimension.

The climbing what little I have done has been truly wonderful, a classic multi pitch in Italy with two nice Italian boys who love climbing. Company is one of the prime ingredients of good climbing, although I have enjoyed soloing, its because I have a multiple personality.


 Grand Torino, was in Turin but this is in Germany so obviously was in Germany as well. 5 litre engine carbon foot print is big to Big at the moment.

The show in Germany was good, but the USA one was better, more fun-I have to thank a few, Jake and Doug, and Nathan and Rich, Pete, and the boss Gary. And all the others around the Liberty Mountain Booth, and all my mates in the States, wow, thanks guys, and girls. 

 Italy, this is the normal Macherby cliff, we climbed on a steeper buttress!

Napoleon went around to attack the local fortress by steep hiking with a big army, the Italians were probably drinking and making love and messing about so northern Italy was lost. Did Napolian think about climbing? 

 Brill  route 6 pitches, I have been wanting to do it for more than 20 years.

A wonderful walk up through a chestnut forest followed by a great route and then and over large late lunch. I didn't for once drink the grappa!

 Francoise a good lad, employ him if you was a goods climbing.

The Rose was maximum 6b, brill rock, which unusually for Gneiss has pockets, unbelievable quality climbing thanks gus, was going to have a run in the heat and veg out. Instead….pleasure. 

Oliviero poor fellow 12 pitches the day before and a mother 6 today, blisters and no bad temper, we fly tomorrow dude!

So went to America the next day, America under Trump is still a great place but maybe its better because they understand that something is very, very wrong.  Anyway I,ll get on the case and blog a bit more. I might even write something good, or long. If people less than half my age have written books perhaps I should. Or at least I should try!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Setting yourself goals, by Stevie Haston.

Some days getting up in the morning seems really hard! I don't get them kinda days, I am not saying I am immune, but I try to stay away from depression, and hating jobs. Some of you are probably laughing, because you know I don't work very much!

Enjoying what is left of my life is my prime goal….

It's very hot, and climbing can seem unbearable, but there is so much to do, exploring, looking at lines, doing the odd set of pull ups, I haven't really had a goal in climbing since I did the route Bernd, it was so good and hard, it pretty much burnt out the circuitry in my already frazzled brain.

Looking through the looking glass…

I was looking at a friend Chris AKA Bladders photos of climbs of Chris Gore on some Grit classics and this brought lots of things back. Like how stupid we were climbing Grit in the sun, EB boots, unprotected landings, fear, yes huge whopping amounts of FEAR.  Anyway Goals, enjoy myself as much as I did 40 years ago, do shit instead of thinking about it. Be fit, creative, and generous, laugh and smile, they don't cost much!

the climb Spunky Arette is crying out for a solo or three.

A little light soloing 6c is good for you even when they are  a bit slimy, solo more, life is a bit of a solo performance, you are an island, sure you must love, but nobody is really there to catch your fall, or bring you up from deep down in the water.

Ahh new routes… what would I do without new routes…do more new routes.

Anyway doing new things is great, went bubble diving with my friend Alex, and enjoyed it. I did a bit of tight and nasty cave diving years ago in the UK, but I missed out on recreational swimming about enjoying oneself. So its funny how after more than 30 years I can remember my side mounted bottles, and the calm you need. You need calm, or CALM in big 40° proof bottles. This morning I was down at 30 meters, no tanks, and no noise from air bubbles, and it was magic. The solitude, the serenity, it is overwhelmingly stupendous. Anyway you can't push the boat out all the time, now can you, so enjoy the journey to the goals. Goal for me is to dive a bit deeper, another few meters on my island, and another 15 seconds will give me more awareness. Look out for an article in Climb Mag on soloing with reference to Free Rider, I was asked for a slight contribution, hopefully the editor has put this solo in its place away from American hyperbole. Just try and remember when Mayol went beyond 100 meters  in the sea, he knew some one would go more, and yes it was his friend. Things are ever thus, and Mr Mayol most ardent wish was not to break records, but to play with dolphins. It is a great thing to play with dolphins, having swum with one of the biggest jamborees of dolphins I ever heard of, I can attest to it being a pleasure. If I could have days like that again would I give up climbing, no of course not. Why, because you can have both. But you better hurry, dolphins are going the way of the dodo. Be careful who you vote for, and how you spend your money.