Over the last few weeks I have got a small taste of what it might be like to be an international climbing superstar (although my trips were self funded), travelling between climbing destinations in quick succession.
In two and a bit weeks I have climbed in Switzerland, France, Wales and England.
First up was Switzerland. This trip was actually a family holiday but our chalet just so happened to be next to Magic Wood, happy days!
Magic Wood is an absolutely stunning bouldering location situated in a high mountain valley next to a beautiful river and surrounded with snow capped peaks.
Magic wood has been a venue that I have always wanted to visit, so when the chance of a trip arouse I grabbed the opportunity.
In total we spent only four days climbing here but we seemed to get a surprising amount done. I believe the amount we did was down to the climbing style here. It seems to lend itself to fast ascents. If you have the power you can do stuff quickly, if you don’t then, you cant.
Highlights of the trip for me include:
Intermezzo 7C Flash (small crimps on a 40 degree wall, soft)
Supernova 7C/+ (Slopey, slippery, slimy ramp. Classic. I found it hard)
Piranja 7C+ (cool wall with one hard deadpoint move)
Neverending story part 2 8A (Powerful moves on smooth rock)
Foxy Lady 8A (Tiny hands, massive feet!)
Nothing Changes 8A (Bad landing. Loved it)
I have got footage of most of the climbing from this trip (hense the lack of photos) so I will try and put a small video together soon. I will definitely be back for more Swiss bouldering in the not too distant future.
After Switzerland I had seven full on days of work at home. I did two days of route setting, three days of coaching, a day of guiding and a day of Stone floor restoration. You can read about some of the coaching work I did here www.ben-west.co.uk/south-west-squad-day/
Before we new it we were back on the Euro tunnel on our way to Font. This Font trip was partly work and partly play. I was accompanying three boys I have been coaching for several years to show them the delights of the forest.
This trip was even shorter than the Magic wood trip, with only 3 days of climbing to be had. On arrival the conditions were far from perfect, humid, sticky and about 20 degrees but we were so happy to be there we just got stuck right in.
Fontainebleau is possibly my favourite place to climb. I love the style here. Not many grab and pull type problems and you are lucky if you get a quick tick. You have to put the work in here to reap the rewards. Fortunately I seem to be fairly well suited to it, perhaps its my ability to grovel my way up rocks. Whatever I do it seems to work out ok. In our three days here my ticklist included:
Sur-Prises 7B+ (one really hard move)
Symbiose 7C (cool sequence through a roof, hard sloper move to finish)
Appartenance assis 7C+ (I thought the 7C started as a sit and was pleasantly suprised to find out it was 7C+)
La Balance sans pocket 7C+/8A (campusing on slopers).
The boys also had a great first trip to the forest and all came away having climbed 7A as well as having been schooled on some brilliant 5A+ slabs. Im sure they will be back.
Finally we have just spent the weekend up in the Gower. Trying to climb some fairly damp rock. I will be back to soon for some unfinished business. In the mean time its back to work!
Oh I forgot to mention an amazing route I did at the the beginning of May. The route is called Galactica 8b and is situated high above the ground on Spacehunter wall in Cheddar gorge. This route combines great climbing and a stunning positions to create a great climbing experience.