A Rendezsvous with Limestone

So whilst all the rock around Ailefroide is granite, and Im on the road next to Val di Mello, also granite, I cant forget that Im going to be trying some pretty hard routes in the Dolomites, and so I cant ignore limestone forever. I have a very love-hate relationship with this rock. When its good, its very very good, but when its bad its plain awful. Continue reading “A Rendezsvous with Limestone”

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The Loneliness (or not) of the Long-Distance Soloist

So by some hefty slab of irony, I found myself in the most densely climber-populated area of my trip so far, and yet without a partner. Ailefroide is a busy, commericalised climbing area in the Ecrins, with most of the visible valley floor taken by a huge campsite. It has the scale of a festival, but without any music. Continue reading “The Loneliness (or not) of the Long-Distance Soloist”

My, What a Big Tooth you have!

Im down in the flatlands, having bade farewell to the Pyrenees. The long hot drive over to the Ecrins, and again avoiding the peage tolls wherever possible.

I had met up with Emily in Seu d’Urgell and driven through Andora, which is a weird place. More petrol stations than I had seen in such a small place anywhere in the world. Cheap fuel though! We passed over the Pas de la Casa and dropped down into the french Ariege, Ax-les-Thermes and Orlu, home of the iconic Dent D’Orlu – the Tooth of the Wolf Continue reading “My, What a Big Tooth you have!”

Birthday treats

So the big trip begins! Finished a hectic week with Em finishing off the woodwork etc in Naranjo the van, and we hared off south together, stopping briefly at Millstone Edge before hanging out at the wonderful HatFest in Winchester. Em and Ockhams Razor performed Tipping Point in the outdoors for the first time, between torrential downpours. The gods smiled for the duration of the show (with a bit of frantic mopping up of the stage before the lights went up). Then it was time to part, and off to the Newhaven – Dieppe ferry for the long haul down through western France. Continue reading “Birthday treats”