I'm a woman

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

Friday, 25 May 2018

Old lives, new dreams, by Stevie Haston.

If I said I had many lives it wouldn't be a boast, if I said I had many unforefilled dreams it wouldn't be a lament. Regrets, sure, thousands! But climbing the rock that is so hard, so marvellous, so slithery, yes climbing slate was never a regret, even when I fell, and the fall seemingly went on forever. 


Partners in crime were Mad Madge Maginly, The Captain (Cliff Philips), the Yob (Mr Howard), Chipper Jones, Ray Kay the rhyming climber, et bloody al.


 I got the feeling this was taken by Paul Whilliams, it's of me on one of his routes, he said something like "it is has the wildest heel hook in the world", and I retorted, "it would have been, for a man with two wooden legs", he didn't laugh!


Me and Mr Crook, he is politely laughing at one of our shared stories, some of them weren't funny!



 Mr Crook can share my shivers if we talk of the dalles Grisses, in a former life he was an Alpinist. There arnt many who really know what your talking about, and those that do, they have lived their lives and dreamt their own dreams.

today we live other dreams, here I am a few days ago with Chris and Ali, on a new route called Three old fossils.

Lives have to be lived, but there was a time that my candle was burning at both ends.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Rock of God, by Stevie Haston.

I been travelling. North Wales was great, perfect temperature for climbing, but books have been my CO2 friendly mode of exploring other places and listening to clever people. Being poor my options are few, but hey at least I have options, try living in Gazza.

 This book is very interesting, probably not the kind of book you want to be reading sitting next to a Scouser with six kids in adjoining seat, and a long tattoo stretching up his kneck with knives portrayed in it.
 One of my local hangs! If I am feeling good to the planet, I'll walk here.

 With  Ben Moon, I am always confronted by morphology, Ben is really made for climbing, being lithe, I am born to move Fridges and washing machines around.

 My Great  Bulkness, rock that is shiny in the sun, the Tube that is no longer where it should be, and tip toing in the steps of my old friend Cliff Phillips, AKA The Captain, perhaps more "Captain, my Captain", rather than a piss take on Royalty.

 The magic angularity of climbing Slate is a Kaleidoscope of callisthenics and Shape Shifting.

 The last pitch on a six pitch route, or day-40 meters of sublimeness.

Hobbit toes, climbing hobbits, it was lovely to be part of a landscape. The holes that were dug by the dwarves of North Wales, these pits of industrial Britain were part of the Empire, the Empire that they are forever trying to resurrect in the mind of the electorate, to convince you to vote for Money, and cruelty over peace and harmony. Obviously, a long time ago I voted with my fingers and toes, and went the way of the Dervich. Climbing was my running away to Sea, it was my running away to work with the circus. Long live Climbing and all who sail in her.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Three Old Fossils, by Stevie Haston.

Chris and Ali came over to do a bit of climbing so I went for something special as Chris has done a fair bit with me. The weather was brisk, there was a bit of a risk, but I felt frisky, and looked foreword to my Cisk - Cisk being the local beer brand.

 I got tangoed on this bit-Ali about to get an enema.

It had to be a new route, so we went for it despite the two others looking a bit green and Ali not being a great swimmer.

 Chris seconding a real plum pitch to a hanging belay -his first!

 Listen guys we have time you just go back down and do the top pitch of Titan, Ok!

Chris, giggling a bit-he loved this pitch as I knew he would.

 Ali, Chris visible behind, at peace with the ledge and the sea.

Returning to civilisation never feels that good for me, but the lads earned their beer.
Anyway the new route is called 3 Old Fossils! Its brill, 5a,5a, 6a,6a, I recommend it, but be prepared to be exposed! Its steep in places.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Being Benevolent, by Stevie Haston.

I would like to be more benevolent but just can't shake that selfish skin off. I try. People are benevolent in ways people don't understand, it can be "a vision thing", or it can be a steady good work thing. I was thinking of this yesterday when I met Ben Moon. He was "Benevolant Ben" when he gave us 9a! Before that we were stuck, especially me, I was stuck in a mental trap of climbing was fixed, it was a static thing. But climbing is fluid, it is History, present, and future. And the future will not mean just gold medals, and some weird competition format. 
.

Alex on Nea a lovely VS in North Wales I first led this when I was 14 years old!

Leo 10 years old looking good after finishing Nea, and about to do a 50 meter abseil!

Harmony on Slape Direct a very confusing route, she loves climbing, and doesn't question it! 

Pull Leo, its not free mate!
Leo looking pensive, and trying to decide if he really likes me, as I want him to retie the knot just like I tie it. He tied it perfectly, but not like me!


Leo and I scouting for new routes, its a wet slab where he and I have to be careful!

Gifts come in many forms. Life is both a gift and a curse, the magic is seeing the gift and not wasting it.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The first 9a, by Stevie Haston.

A chance meeting with Ben Moon on top of Gogarth-wow, so funny, so wonderful. Ben is a truly remarkable person. If you have ever read "Meetings with remarkable Men" by G.I.Gurdjieff you might relies that neither Ben, or I, are in there, but I'll make a case that one of us, or some of our mates should be. Ben is re-defining age at the moment. He very prematurely gave up climbing years ago, and had to become a business men, but a few years ago he resurrected himself, and tore a huge 9a to pieces. Chomp, chomp.

Ben and I." Tuck your belly in Stevie" Ben is whispering. 

Ben and I were talking about "trad climbing", or real UK trad climbing which although lovely, is tricky especially equipment wise. Anyway the upshot was that he had missed out a bit, but the rest of us didn't , I did too much "trad" and perhaps Ben did too much sport, but between us there was an awful lot of climbing done. Dare I say it "a Remarkable amount of climbing".
P;S Good luck with Northern Lights you know we are all rooting (routing) for you.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Good things come to North Wales, by Stevie the Dervich Haston.

After being ripped off by Ryan air for the umpteenth time, Iave finally given in, and have become a normal malcontent, who wishes to do bad things to their planes, infrastructure, and boss!

 The latest Ryan air scam is to separate couples seating, so that you have to pay for adjacent seating-who ever dreamt that one, needs slow disembowelment. Scum comes in many forms, but Ryan takes the biscuit.


 A lovely elves gate on the path up to the Devils Kitchen. Walking up to the lakes with one of my daughters Kirsty we were treated to extra ordinary weather and I realised why I spent ten years their running climbing and doing other things.


 Alex trying out the Ordinary Route in trainers, I couldn't lure Kirsty up it-shes not a climber -shes a caver!

 Kirsty in front of a brilliant boulder that the father of her kiddies (sorry don't know the latest politically correct/non bullying word/ for lover)  would sell his back teeth to climb, even I wanted to strap on my shoes, it overhangs lot! This boulder has apparently rare flowers on it-they are indeed so rare that they rant there! So because of the invisible flowers, you cannot, or are forbidden to climb it!

 The famous view of the Llanberis Lake.

 Up the Pass, Alex and I got our bodies up the stupendous Left Wall. Gone are the days when I used to solo this, or do other routes with my young daughter Katie with a rope, but no gear!


We finished the day off with a walk to Vivian Quarry with the route  that made me a bit known-the Dervich. The Dervich was a route that some how launched a thousand other routes. I noticed a very dubious story in the very well produced guide book to local slate climbs about me. This is probably makes at least a dozen stupid inaccurate things I have seen recently about me.
The weather did us proud, North Wales was shrouded in beauty, it was bedecked in flowers and the sky reigned blue-happieness was easy.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Titan escapes Underworld, by Stevie Haston.

Unbelievably it was forecast to rain, and it did. But we were mostly under a huge capstone of sandstone and we got away with the approach and 60 meter abseil. It was a bit of a gamble but we won, the reward was a great day out visiting two big cliffs linked by an exciting ledge scramble of 600 meters!


 Preparing an abseil. The team were a bit anxious, the abseil has a big feel and overhangs a bit, and the odd flick of rain licked our skin.

 Mandy entering the Underworld, if you are not  up to this traverse it could all go wrong in a big way!I arrange two ropes to make it safe!

 this photo shows how beautiful the rock is, but somehow doesn't convey what is probably the most beautiful corner of Gozo, and the most select.

 Christina about to down climb into the time tunnel, a rogue wave got her as she landed.

 We wandered around to the back of the cave thinking of Cyclops etc, you can hide a fleet of busses in this cave easily.

 The two hobbits gaining courage to do the first bit of a route called Everlasting, with a troubled sea beneath them!

 Christina seconding the big pitch of Titan, it has a big feel, and it was raining!

leaving the top of Titan things are not exactly over because you have to escape along this slot with 70 meters of drop underneath you!
Thanks girls for being brave and enjoying one of the secret places!