Friday, 27 April 2007

All in the mind

After a couple of weeks feeling like the climbing is slipping, due in part to spending much time on the van, as well as various unplanned stuff interrupting what climbing time was available, I all of a sudden feel back on the up. Went out to 'the-place-of-which-we-must-not-speak' last night after feeling mediocre at Rubicon and managed my project of four session, The Hulk. Hurrah. It's funny how my perception of how it's all going can be almost instantly turned around by success on one problem. I think it's this pattern of motivation which generally leads me to avoid 'working' problems, as opposed to trying harder stuff sporadically and going for the one day ticks. I find it hard to believe that I'm climbing ok and making progress when no new probs are getting done for a few days. Maybe this ticking addiction gets in the way of bagging the bigger numbers.
As ever I'm torn between the going out and having as much fun as possible game and the working hard for rewarding longer term goals approach. Having experienced a little success with the latter I think I'll carry on with this for a while and hopefully that way use what climbing time I do have available to get some finger strength together for the big trip. Hmmmm, so what next, The Pinch, Tsunami.....?

But bouldering's for midweek at the mo, and Saturday the plan is to get back to Kilnsey. Had a play on Grooved Arete two weeks ago and was surprised how ok it felt considering it's endurancey nature. Brilliant climbing and I figure it's a good one to kick start the season. Reckon it'll take two-three more visits, but often guess wrong. Will be trying to redpointing tomorrow anyway, so you never know.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Some van pics

The van as purchased....

....with big hole in the side....

....and with brand new Seitz window in.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Ultra busy

Haven't posted owt for ages for two reasons. First I was away on hol, grit bouldering in Yorkshire and since then I have been busier than I can remember with the van project.
Come July this year me and Fi are off around Europe climbing for six months. The original plan was to get a cheap, reliable and comfortable van to live in during our trip. After a fair bit of research it became aparent that such things don't exist. Decent campers/motorhomes big enough for a comfy six months come in two varieties, fairly cheap (but still £5-10k) but ancient and with huge mileage or good nick but ludicrously expensive (£15->30k). Nothing I could find in our price range seemed worth the money or reliable/long lasting enough not to be a risky investment. So it was with some great trepidation that I have embarked upon the task of making my own camper van. Have bought a good solid base vehicle, a 2001 long wheel base, high top, Ford Transit, with a mere 60,000 miles on the clock.
So far I have stripped out the original floor and partial ply lining, installed two openable double glazed windows with integral roller blind and fly net, added an immobiliser and installed a new ply floor with underfloor insulation. The next bit to go in will be a 12v rooflight/extractor fan to help keep it cool in the euro heat. Bought and ready to install I have a three way (gas,12v and 240v) fridge, a propex 1600 blown air heater, two 110 amp-hour leisure batteries, a grey enamel sink, a smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher. I'm also going to be fully insulating the walls and roof, installing a solar panel on the roof, adding two gas tanks, a hob, cold water with a manual pump, lighting, a big bed and lots of storage.
Quite a huge job and very time consuming, both interms of labour as well as research and materials sourcing. To make this possible in time for the trip i will be leaving work a month early to work full time on the van (even with the loss of a months wages it's cheaper than getting a ready made van).
As mentioned above this was not the original plan and it pretty much means I will have bugger all time to do anything with the boltfund prior to my trip. Someone will need to look after it while i'm away anyway. Basically the money is there, it just need some suitably able and keen people to do something with it. I feel a little bad for starting something and not fully carrying it through, but that's just the way things have turned out. Ultimately i'm not any more responsible for the state of peak bolts (other than the ones i've placed) than the next man and the fact that i've set some wheels in motion for a peak bolt fund doesn't change this. If anything I could fairly say that having put in a lot more effort than the next man and it's about time more people took a share of the load.