A Friday on Stanage

With a couple of days holiday left to use I took a Friday off work. It was night to climb at Stanage during the week when there are no crowds. I walked in from Hooks carpark. I was a long walk down to the end of Plantation but it was a good warm up in the chilly wind.

I deferred the first route which was Dry Crack, ironically named it was pretty much a steam pouring down it. So my 100th route was Short Crack – Mod.

This part of Stanage is a broken so there is often a bit of a walk between routes, between this and the chilly wind I did not really get in to a flow climbing. I only did 23 routes today which is good but not as many as I have done.

Think I will walk in from the causeway carpark next time and walk in from there. It is nice to be on the last section of the crag. This is the the longest section but looking at the guide I think I might get this done in 2/3 days.


Dry Crack

Stanage Challenge Day 3

This week I found that Saturdays weather was looking good so I headed up to Peak district for a days climbing. Got to the bakery for 9.30am and the ground was a little wet, but after a bacon roll I drove up to Stanage. The walk in today was a bit longer as now as I have completed the popular end.
The first route of the day was Pal Joey (VD), it was nice to get back on the grit. Getting back in the flow I was soon ten routes ticked. In this part of Stanage the routes are harder in grade so there are less Mod to VS’s so made my way down the crag pretty quickly.

Some of the routes were shorter so it was easy to get a lot of them ticked off. It was soon 2.30pm and I was now down to Outlook Buttress. The next route was quite far down so I called it a day at Ladder Cracks (VD). I managed 37 routes which is the most I have done in one day. After 3 days climbing I have ticked 99 routes, it will be good to get in to triple digits.


Pal Joey (VD)


Ladder Cracks (VD)

The start of My Stanage Challenge

After soloing more that before this summer and really enjoyed the freedom that it gave me. I wanted to set myself a big challenge to work on over several months. So combining the two I have decided to try and solo every route of the grade of VDiff and below.

So I started by marking up my guide book with all the routes, then I found the app was better for marking off lots of routes.

Then this weekend looked perfect to start. I drove up to the peak district on Saturday afternoon to be met by a sunny day. The first route was ‘The End Of All Things’ HVD, the route is a the fading end of Stanage and only a couple of meters high but it felt like the start of something long. Looking down Stanage I wondered how long it would take me. I have decided to do them from Right to Left, just because it would force me to have a go at each climb in order.

I started at 2pm, but by 3.30pm I had ticked 25 routes, which I was really pleased with, I got to Ellis Eliminate area, with the sun setting I called it a day.

Next morning I was up early, it was raining all night so it was pretty wet, but the sun was out and there was a breeze so hopefully it would dry out soon.

I got the crag for 9.30 and found it was still pretty damp and green. The thing with climbing the easier grades is normally they are they are the “gullies” “chimney” of the crag. This means they are normally green and wet. It was interesting climbing all the routes you normally steer clear of.

I kept the pace up and only stopped for a bit of flapjack and water. I promised myself that if I go to the Dover Wall I would call it a day (that is the end of the popular end).

30 routes ticked in I finally moved to Dover Wall only 5 left. The first one I mis read the route so had to repeat it. The last route was Wing Wall, which I shot straight up. There was a couple of guy racking up at the bottom but i wanted to be done for the day as I was shattered.

It was really nice to make my way down the crag getting to know every bit of it. The in’s the out’s and the descents.

I am now looking forward to my next trip to get more ticked off.


The End Of All Things HVD

Newhaven Dif

20km De Bruxelles

It was a hot evening so did not sleep the best. I awoke at 8am and had a quick shower to feel fresh for the run. The plan kicked in to effect and managed to get to the start for 9.30am which was my aim. The Metro was very busy so I decided to walk, it was not far. Just as got to the park it started to rain which was nice after a warm evening.

While waiting they played a range of classical music which built up to the Belgium National Anthem and then we were on our way. The level of security was noticeable, along the route there was police man/woman stood in every doorway, soldiers at every junction. Every junction with live traffic had a lorry or truck that blocked the junction from live traffic.

It started off cool, but then the sun came out and it started to warm up. It started getting muggy which was tough to run in. It was nice taking the bus tour the day before as I knew a lot of the sights which was really nice. The route also when though two road tunnels which was a odd experience. It was like running indoors with lots of others.

The 10k came around soon, the route also changed from being parks to more of tree lined avenues which were nice with the warm sun. There were lots of bands on the route to pick up spirits.

Is the last mile Arcades du Cinquantenaire came in to view, but it was a long up hill slog to get there.

Finally when round the fountains to the finish line. It was a nice relief  to finish my first 20km in another country. It was a really nice feelings will run another race in a European city.

Visit to Brussels

Again this year one of my aims was to visit another two new countries, but this time I wanted to go for a reason and not just go to walk around for a weekend.

After a quick google to find good runs in European cities I found the 20km De Bruxelles, it is pretty much half marathon distance (12.4 miles really). After booking a place I then booked flights and found a nice hostel to stay at.

Friday evening was my drinking night sampling the best beers that Brussels had to offer. There is a really nice bar scene, with most bars having a live band, it was nice to see it all in my own pace and take in the vibe.

Saturday I woke up a bit late, but it was my lazy day. I walked over to Grand station to check out my pans for race day and to pick up my number. After I then jumped on a bus tour to see all the sights. It was well worth getting the tour or otherwise I would not not made it out to the Atomium.

I then toured around the European area taking in all the sights. It was then Early to bed ready for the race the next day.

Wild Running

Rebecca bought myself a great wild running book for Christmas. It was nice to see a running book that covered the whole country rather than just the mountain areas. The first route that I ran was around Ivinhoe Beacon. The route was really nice and took in a area that I knew a bit.

The next route was around Wedover woods. It started up the ridgeway and then round to Boddington Hill. It was a crisp day but the sun was out so it was a lovely run.

Both routes were really nice and going to try and run one of these routes every week. I have started planning a route around Cannock Chase in readiness for the summer.

Review of ten things for 2016

My ten things for 2016 are:

  1. Reconnect with old friend that I have not see in over a year. Visited Paul and Kev.
  2. Learn how to ski Learnt in Jan and Feb
  3. Get another qualification – Prince2
  4. Lead more E1’s – Failed this one
  5. Stay in a bothy – Failed this one
  6. Take more photos – Took more but going to change it to videos
  7. Visit family more – Visited Rebecca and Vicky more
  8. Visit 2 new countries – Visited Greece and Austria for the first time
  9. Be more stylish – binned old clothes and now got more stylish outfits
  10. Run 3 times a week – Ran every day in Sept, but need to work out more.

30days of being vegetarian – day 20

So over half way though now and I have found that my mindset has changed. Meat dishes are no longer a option, the half empty cup as become half full. Now looking at a pub menu I see what can have. Yes the options are limited but you know i pick the one i like best.

Set menus yes there is the token vegetarian item to tick the box. I found that Weatherspoon’s has by far the best choices. There are over 15 dishes that i could have, almost spoilt for choice. They also do something that I have not seen anywhere else, they offer vegetarian options for normal dishes.

Cheese and carbs are the norm now and can’t see this changing over the next 10+ days. Think the one thing that I expected was to eat more veg, that is totally not the case. I now eat more carbs and cheese then ever before. As deciding to do this for partial health reasons it is hard to justify eating pasta and rich cheese at every meal.

Think I am going to try and eat some more salads over the next 10 days and see if I can reduce the cheese and carbs.