Saturday, 21 February 2009

Something in the Air

It is beginning to feel like spring is just around the corner - the mimosas are in all their full yellow glory, there was even a Mimosa Festival last week-end, and suddenly the place was heaving! Not really sure where everybody appeared from though, and of course they have all vanished again. Also it is warming up nicely, it was up to 15 degrees today.
We have continued to explore this delightful area, interspersing short local walks with longer trips away working on the book. A big day checking the state of the bolts on a couple of hundred of the routes at Sainte Victoire was the most recent.
Now there are only seven weeks left - its almost time to start planning again. I quite fancy returning to the Verdon on the way home, its years since I have climbed there.
Then there is the summer - maybe we could make it back up to Lofoten just one more time!
I'm glad to say that the autumn is already sorted though - it just has got to be back to fabulous Kalymnos - spending five and half weeks there last year was brilliant, I think maybe we need to stay a bit longer this time though!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Halfway House

Eight and a half weeks gone - that flew by - and eight and half to go; bugger! Dave Gregory has gone home and of course the weather has turned from mixed to sparkling. After dropping him off at the airport we visited La Trinite, an old disused quarry on the outskirts of Nice. It might seem like an odd choice of a crag for a selected climbs guide, but it is a perfect 'airport-day' venue - 10 mins from the airport and with parking close by.

The brouhaha about the French guides continues in the European climbing press - a few folks have got their knickers in a bit of a twist over it. Fortunately, as Walt Unsworth told me many years back after a similar furore over my tiny Costa Blanc guide (some things never change!), all publicity is good publicity. We have now had more coverage that we could ever have generated ourselves; enquires about when the books will be out and what the actual coverage will be have gone through the roof!

Friday, 6 February 2009

Whether or Not?

The same old pattern repeats itself, with a regularity that is almost unbelievable. Colin went home after a rather unsettled spell and we were blessed with three and a half weeks of glorious sunshine. Dave Gregory arrived a week ago and we haven't seen the sun once since then! It may actually be the longest unsettled spell that we have had down here in over 20 years of regular visits. We have managed to climb and to get some walks in but it has been very much dodging the showers and grabbing the our moments as and when. It would appear that the weather Gods thought DG was going home tomorrow, as the forecast is much better, lets just hope its right before he has to head of back into the snow!
At least the poor weather has given me the chance to really get stuck into the Cote d'Azure guide, it is already looking really good, another award winner on the way maybe. Oddly some souls are trying to whip up resentment against it amongst French climbers - sad small minds!

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

Nafplio - climbing in the sun The trip to the Peleponnes was excellent, a lot of great climbing on a varied set of cliffs.We had a rathe...