I'm a woman

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

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Birth of a man, by Stevie Haston.

A big front was coming through, and Alex a friend was coming over to climb, what to do? Prayer sometimes pays, or is it just the delusion of the super desperate. Prayer did the trick, my lapsed catholicism wasn't fooled, happenstance, and having almost divine knowledge of my local cliffs probably helped.

 Zee front of Doom.

Our first day out was really a gift from the gods, the clouds were really obedient and parted, the light was radiant and reverberated off every glistening grain of sand in the perfect sandstone we climbed. 9 routes gave in to our steely hands. Well one did offer a bit of resistance, Czech Diect tore a good chunk our of one of Alexs fingers, some Irish lilted swear words sang in the sparkling air, and we finished with a spray ridden belay above the operatically inclined heavy orchestra of the crashing waves. All good dramatic stuff.

 Second day.

Second day we ran out of options it had to be one thing, the Underworld! Visiting the Underworld is one thing, the tricky bit is getting out either in one piece, or with your soul whole.

 Is  it so cold in the Underworld that there is ice next to Africa?

The sixty meter abseil was the same, not one centimetre more, or one less! The routes were wet, clammy and covered in sea slime, perfect for Alexs cut finger to fester.

 Desperately seeking Suzan, or a way out?

Photos in the Underworld are very hard to take, on auto, the focus is tricked by the super saturated air and things become distorted, like a weak mind. At the back of the Time Tunnel the huge expanse of dark was seemingly darker than usual, a one hundred foot Cyclops could have appeared, and I wouldn't have batted an eyelid. 
The day before in the wonderful mote spangling light, with the clash of titanic waves, Alex on one route had various rainbows appearing around his head! Today Alex had a few water spouts twirling in the sea behind him when we did Stix and Stoners. I am not sure he believed me about the first one and he was fully occupied controlling severe oedema of the forearm. When he turned around at the safety of the belay he saw one, reinstating my reliability re the truth, and goblins and daemons, and suck like mystical creature and physical weather/sea phenomena. At the top we coiled ropes in the dwarf flowers, mainly camomile, and resurfaced into Planet earth and the vicissitudes of the so called real world. We had crossed the Stix and come back, one day I will stay down there. We did a route down there called Everlasting and it was so long that I felt like I was watching Ground Hog Day, such is Magic.

Alex following the never ending story that is Everlasting, 44 meter pitch up very steep ground.

For any body who doubts the magic of this cliff, on the day I opened Everlasting, a Curveir whale appeared underneath, 7 meters long not a big whale by any means, but not at all common.