Sunday, 31 October 2010

French Revolution


November tomorrow, the fleet of taxis has been trucking the climbers towards the ferry in droves, the forecast is about as perfect as it gets, cool sunny and dry. Lovely Jubbly! The new guide has proved a great fillip, getting us to revisit old venues and new ones too. Almost everywhere we go we are spotting new lines - the Kalymnos Gold Rush is far from over.
We have done some great climbs including some superb long pitches probably pre-eminent have been a couple of 6b routes; Titine on Cave Crag (34m - 16 clips) and Cacoyannis (30m - 17 clips) on Pocket Wall - both magnificent routes and quite unlike anything in the UK.

Well known French climber and new router Bruno Fara is stopping in our apartment block again this year. I explained who I was and a bit about our new guidebook to the Cote d'Azure. Once he finished roaring with laughter and pointing his pretend gun at me he was pretty cool about the whole thing. He says there have been rumbling of the French climbing sites but looking at the guide on the laptop he said "I will buy it" - that's good enough for me - he can have a complimentary copy!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Kalymnos Guidebook Launch

The much anticipated new guidebook to Kalymnos was launched earlier this week. The author, Aris brought 250 copies over from Athens and they were all sold within a few hours, more 'supplies' are arriving on Wednesday. There was a cheery gathering of 30 or 40 folks at Aris's house to 'wet the book's head', as the sun set over Kalymnos, all very romantic. He signed and passed over one of the few copies reserved for 'friends and helpers' and I managed to smuggle it out without the assembled masses getting a look at it - I think I would never have got it back once it was out in the wild.
The book is a slightly smaller format than the last one, and the addition of an extra 60 pages have allowed the route count to more or less double - from 840 to around 1600.
A lovely piece of work and sure to be on the shopping list of many a climber through the long dark winter ahead.
I have already started a list of new routes that have been added in the past couple of weeks mind, I think it was out-of-date before it was actually in print!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Nikon P7000 - First Thoughts

I have had the new Nikon P7000 now for three weeks (a big thank-you to Harrison Photo-Video in Sheffield who got me one the day after it was released) and I thought a little report back might be a good idea. It is quite a chunky beast, substantially bigger and heavier than my old Leica DLux 3, but is small enough to be carried on the hip and used with one hand.
The lens is a cracker, at 28-200 it covers a substantial range and at 2.8-5.6 is quite fast too.The two shots above show the full range of the zoom - impressive enough.
It has a decent sized sensor, reasonable low light performance, a rapid shooting mode (not sure how many fps - but a few). A 90 minute battery charge lasts for more than a week of shooting. It has a high quality video mode (720 fps) in which the full range of the zoom works AND a view-finder. Link HERE to a short video. It also has a neat 'stitch-assist' for overlapping panoramas which is very effective. Rapid start up and negligible shutter lag; all in all, a great package.

Cons: the manual only comes as a PDF, the battery symbol only shows when it needs a recharge rather than a diminishing scale (still get a days shooting out of it when the light comes on), and it will fire when it can't focus (shows a red square to warn you mind). I would have preferred the lcd screen to be recessed rather then flush with the back of the camera, will need to take care.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Strange Times We Live In!

Two Octobers spent on Kalymnos and hardly a cloud in the sky - we naively assumed it was always like that. How wrong can you be, the forecast a week ago predicted a long unsettled period of showers, wind and thunderstorms and it was pretty much correct. Unlike UK weather it doesn't actually stop you climbing much, though today was pretty damp!
The other thing that has happened is that the place has become REALLY busy over the last weekend which is the one thing I don't like about Kalymnos. It is back to riding around and selecting the crag with the fewest scooters lined up below it - there were 50+ below Arhi the other day so we passed by.
On the positive side, the forecast looks great from mid-week and the majority of the holiday-makers will be pushing off next week-end, bring it on!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Ticking Over

Almost two weeks in and time has really flown by, climbing, snorkelling, walking, putting the finishing touches to Cote d'Azure Rock; we have managed to keep pretty busy.
The weather has been markedly cooler than last year which is great, and generally the place has seamed quite, though it busied up considerably over the last weekend. The forecast is actually quite unsettled though in typical Kalymnos style today's p.m. rain came to all of 10 drops.
Sherri has befriended most of the islands cats, dogs and goats and is keeping busy trying to feed them all - quite a challenge but it is keeping her occupied.
Colin, Mark and Dave Gregory are due out in 10 days so currently I am taking it easy - there are hectic times ahead!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Boy (and Girl) are Back in Town

Great to be back, it has taken almost a week to unwind from the last month back home, but it is coming on nicely!
It is hot and sunny though a bit cooler than last year with a gorgeous breeze much of the time. Also it is fairly busy but again it feels less so than last year. A gentle 20 routes has started some skin growing and snorkelling in the Aegean is great for minor cuts and scrapes.
I have been helping Aris proof his new Kalymnos guidebook (with 1600 routes - almost double the last one) and it looks magnificent, inspiration guaranteed and due out in a couple of weeks!

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...