Thursday, 13 September 2012

September is here and there are still some nice sunny days left to squeeze in some last minute cragging.  In between those scary trips to Boulder Ruckle head down to Westway to get in that much needed training.  During September climbing at Westway means you are automatically entered into a prize draw to win tickets to the Reel Rock Tour showing in London.  There is a special screening happening at Conway Hall, Holborn on the 16th of October and a lucky few will be winning free tickets.  For those who aren’t so lucky get yourself some tickets using the conventional method.  It’s going to be an amazing showing with over 500 seats up for sale.

Don’t take my word for it check out the trailer!

That looks amazing don’t ya think? The Westway team will be in attendance running some fun climbing themed competitions on the day.  So find these guys and show them your climbing knowledge to win prizes.

A long long way from the wall, in a country far far away, our Westway staff continue their exploits on the Yosemite granite.  And in true Westway style these are exploits with much drama and impending doom.
Shan and San, the dynamic climbing couple completed a successful ascent of the super classic Royal Arches. 
‘Successful, where’s the drama and doom we were promised?’ I hear you ask. 
Well wait for it you sickos.

This 500 meter route normally takes 8 hours and involves a pendulum to miss out a hard traverse.  Held up by a team ahead of them Shan and San’s progress up the 16 pitches was slow, meaning they only managed to top out at 20:00.  With the light all but gone they were faced with a massive descent via multiple abseils by head torch.  In true San fashion, faced with such a problem he began chatting away to the nearest strangers, who in this case happened to be the other party of climbers.  Luck would have it, that despite their slow progress up the climb this group of climbers were familiar with the descent and were more than happy to lead the way down through the blackness.  After an epic amount of descending, Shan and San finally made the valley floor at 05:00am.  

Shan and San back down cool as cucumbers

Over the other side of the valley farther and son team, Andre and Andre John Hedger had a go at the Nose.  When I say ‘had a go’ I mean tried climb 1000 meters of sheer granite, over 4 days, hauling all their food, water and equipment, whilst sleeping each night on a piece of nylon suspended from a crack in the wall.  

Ledge life, alright for some

 The team with the load

After a couple of days on the wall, some difficult pitches slowed progress and with their supplies carefully calculated, like hundreds before them had to back off. 

Andre on The Nose of El Capitan

 But fear not, Andre gets a second bite of this 1 Km high cherry.  Yesterday Liam (the hammer dropper) Halsey left us for the States where he is going to team up with Andre for some major routes and of course, pancakes.  The nose is high on the agenda with the team planning a lightning quick one day ascent. 

We will post news when we get it.  You can follow Liam’s wave of sends as his tweets will be posted on the Haglofs web site.   

So watch the trailer one more time, check the photos, get psyched and get down to the wall for some training.  That cooler weather is coming and the friction on that grit stone is only going to get better. You had better be ready.

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