Monday, December 22, 2008

Works, Burbage and Foundry...

A slightly hungover Gav joined me in MK, before driving North to Shef, to squeeze in some pre-Christmas activity of the climbing sort. We'd originally planned to climb Mam Tor gulley on Sunday, but shelved that for later, with more people.

Sat evening saw us down at the Works, having a bit of a bouldering session and me still very much recovering from my hacking cold/cough (actually have been coughing up blood and what can only be described as 'skin', or lung... not nice). Good fun as always.


Then back to see Jen and off to sleep as we were both shattered!

Next morning, we were up bright and early and at Burbage North for 09:20. Windy, and very overcast, but not too cold, so after a false start when Gav realised he'd left his rock boots in the car, we were off! The rock was slightly greasy and green in the shaded bits, but mostly ok. As a result, we were limiting our selves to low grade v.diffs and Gav had a good go at his first lead, which was almost successful, but needed a pretty bold finish for the grade, which I ended up leading - probably the fist multipitch 12m route ever!



Anyway all was fun and you really got a wind blasting as you came over the top of the routes! Then it started raining and we did our last route in waterfall conditions which was novel. Soggily, we retired to Jen's for tea and to dry off, before heading back out to the Foundry for a bit more action. Not very much, mind as we were now knackered!

dave lead climbing

Off home and it took me four hours to get back as they'd shut the M1! Rubbish! Nice one G+J good fun before Skiing next week! CAN'T WAIT!

Happy Crimbo, one and all!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This is good:

thats all you need to know....

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sheffield scramble.

With beautiful sunny weather and a slightly under the weather Daryl, we got out early on Saturday to have a go at Elbow ridge, a limestone diff route in a gorge in the Peaks.

Route outline of traverse in red.

Its quite a strange little gorge type affair, with a road running through it and strange limestone cliffs and stacks running up the sides. Having driven past it an had a recce, it didn't look too bad at all, but with a cold night, the air and ground were frostly and the downward sloping rock was a touch slippery, making for an interesting bit of a climb.

Pitch one was the sketchiest for Daryl, as we'd roped up in a three but forgotten the rack, so only had slings for protection, which was not really any protection, at all!


There was one crux move on this pitch, which would have resulted in a nasty fall if not careful, but Daryl got through it to a good belay and brought us both up nicely.
Then it was the start of the traverse, which was good fun, if not a bit undignified - the ridge is quite thin and its safest at some points to 'ride' it by straddling your legs either side for secure progress. Some of it was done on two legs, but there was a lot of unorthodox technique being employed!





We did this traverse in two pitches due to rope lengths and the moving in threes (which was a first for us and good practice), finishing up on a grassy ledge on the other side. After which, we avoided the v.diff continuation because of lack of gear, and scrambled up to one side of the Matterhorn Ridge, topping out for a photo and discussion of a thoroughly enjoyable route.

After getting down, it was off to lunch with the girls and hook up with Jim and Sarah, who'd come up from London on the train. After lots of pizza, the boys headed off to the Works bouldering wall, to embarrass ourselves and have some fun trying their routes. Its such a good wall, with loads of cool stuff, tea and all sorts. It very nearly got off to a bad start as paying on my card, a machine error nearly debited £65,000 of my account, rather than the £6.50 it should have been. Luckily avaided at the last mo! Price of climbing walls has gone through the roof!




Anyway, we all had a good time and polished off a few nice routes before heading back to meet Rich, Anna and some more locals for food and Wii games at Jen's. All in all, I'm absolutely stuffed senseless!



Thanks for a wicked weekend and get well soon Dr Jen!!!!

Friday, December 05, 2008


Watch out, 'cos we've revolutionised the look of this here badboy. We are reverting to some kinda basic layout type thingy - it may be long or short term. I'm not in control, Gav is. Basically we can now receive abuse on the comments front. Anyway, we will have a tinker over the next few weeks.


Can't wait to get out to France over New Year to see Chris and Kate and shred up the pow all extreme-like. etc.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Last weekend saw the Hong Kong 24hr PedalKart race, a great event with about 50 entries competing to see who could clock the most laps of an 800m track over the course of the day. My school entered 5 trusty steeds, including our elite ride with carbon-kevlar shell and everything. We didn't win any speed prizes this year, but got the best team trophy for having the, er, best team. Cathay Pacific won overall, they were machines! But we had better t-shirts.

Looking forward to catching up at Christmas - back to blighty on Saturday 20th.

Mike exerting himself

Mike going proper fast

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cold weather. Good Fun.

What ho. Have managed to squeeze in a good dose of riding this weekend in the biting cold wind and sleet! Saturday I hooked up with Rob B for a sesh at Chicksands where the wind in the car park nearly made me pack up and go home, whilst waiting for the Polo of death to arrive. Apparently Rob has a sweet modification that allows you to hit all three pedals at once...

It was dry and early. After a few warm up runs, we had a bit of a play on the less scary wooden stuff and hit some of the kickers. I managed to ride the drop off/kicker at the bottom of the wall ride and Rob did some of the gappy shore stuff. Very good.

Then it was on to the 4x. I'd not ridden it before and had a bit of trouble getting to grips with things, but Rob was loving it and getting well involved. Next to the Dual and pump races. Turns out I'm about as fast a Rob if I pedal or not. Hmmm. Was fun though and the left line is definitely slower!

Anyway. Sunday saw overnight snow and a full on rain assault. Proper nasty, but I hooked up with Bob and the wonder bus in Dorking for a bit of Leith action. Wet and muddy style.

Mud Love
Not my best angle...

It was a bit cold and savage and after a few trails, we decided to session the awkward little jump pictured below, before retiring to dry pants and ale...



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Howdy Doody

Getting ready for t'winter out here, Drove up to Avoriz a couple of days ago to seee what the conditions were like, it's not quite ready for boarding yet but there's 70cm of snow forecast over the weekend so fingers crossed the start of the season will start with a bang.

wanna flake in tha luv
all arty farty looking across to the high peaks in Avoriaz from the top of the Super Morzine way of getting
into the resort.

same position looking down over Avoriaz and down into the valley that Morzine sits in.

Also getting ready for the arrival of the international Bob of mystery, looks like we might live in not only the same country, not only the same region but in the same town for 6 months!! Christ, look out Morzine, this is what happened last time!!!


Bracknell. Wet, AGAIN!

Bracknell radness went down to the tune of a few trails and some sessioning of the tree runs. Brilliant! Check the insane-ness of it all...


Monday, November 10, 2008


Watcha, Daryl here....went to Glentress on Saturday with Joe and Ken and rode the red route plus hit up the Freeride area. Absolutely fantastic place even in the wet especially spooky woods which has to be one of the best pieces of trail I have ridden full stop. Tabletop, Tabletop, Berm, rock step down, tabletop, tabletop, berm, berm brrrrrrrrpppppppp, brrrrrpppppp, berm etc. etc. etc. Will have to go back ASAP avec camera.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Possibly the best Sunday EVER?

Well, big claims, I hear you say. Exactly right...

Fireworks and some rocking out to JL's band down the Craufurd helped set the scene on Saturday night...

Wake up. Daryl's on time from the South, Bacon sandwich and off! Straight to a very rain soaked Woburn, where the idea was to have a chilled and fun session, doing a few jumps and not killing ourselves. We had a great time running some of the soggy runs and trying to work some lines. The fact that the jump spot is so close to the car park, made me force a photographic mission, so after those sweet warm up runsof warm up runs, we hit the the hip line and broke out the camera. The following ensued!






Pretty happy with the one hander (even though small), but Daryl was killing it and we had an awesome day!

Even better, we got homr in time for the Grand Prix, for the most exciting race of the season and nice one Lewis for winning in the most tense 3 minutes ever!!!!

After which, Steffi had an amazing roast on the table in minutes and the new top Gear was on. WALLOP!!!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Peaky and Cold

On Thursday I had to drive up to Manchester for work so I decided to make the most of my altitude, have Friday off work and go riding with Jez who resides up here. After the excitement of seeing Bryan Adams live at the MEN arena on Thursday night (very, very random but free and strangely entertaining!!), Jez and I headed out to Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District.


Firstly it was bloomin cold with a lot of ice and a bit of snow on the tops, so I donned the bib knickers and off we set. We did a big loop up and over 3 peaks and back down the other side. The first climb was steep and saw us off the bikes and on foot fairly quickly, we then traversed across between peat bogs and icy puddles and got covered in mud. Onto the first downhill which was a real challenge trying to pick the way between big boulders and peat bogs, which much to my amusement Jez did not quite manage towards the end, and fortunately I had the camera out ready to snap him coming down-superb over the bars moment-see pic....

looking good

ooopps over he goes

like a cat

We then crossed the reservoir by the weir and took a wrong turn up and onto the steepest track up the next peak!! We could have turned back but instead in true English Gent fashion carried on regardless which saw us shouldering our bikes up the steep rooty and wet climb! The next traverse across took us through the heather and onto the old roman road which made for a good descent and saw me suffer the same front wheel in bog, over the bars quickly type dismount! On through to a cracking rocky descent through the woods which tested the suspension to the max and past some cross country boys who quickly dissapeared from the known universe, another climb and a similar fast downhill took us back to the car park, a quick hose off of the bikes, a cup of soup and some hideous sights for the poor people trying to enjoy the views of the reservoir on a Friday afternoon, as we bared our white asses in a hasty change out of cold wet muddy keks.





A quality ride which served as a great introduction to the winter to come, and a nice change to ride some proper hills.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bye Bye

Chris and Kates' party... They are off soon and so to to help send them on their way and celebrate their engagement, we had a few drinks and got told off for playing loud music at 4am by Kate's dad. Brilliant! We're not responsible adults after all! Nice one everyone. Wicked party Mr and Mrs T and very good marquee action, all round...

Gav sums it up nicely.

Clan Lawler. Quite a lot of orange going on here.



Kate's brother, Dave, had been drinking...

I've found RICH!!!! He IS alive and near a buffet! We asked a giant to document the scenario.

Bob and I made a pact to go fishing. Should be exciting! Also, as I write this, its snowing! Quite early in the year?!

After the OMM 'tragedy' last weekend, I had a conversation with Daryl about how the media know nothing about what they are reporting and they only want to sensationalise everything. Anyway, good to get both sides of the story - this is what the OMM dudes said, themselves. D and I fancy having a crack at one of these next year, cripes...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Maasively cool...

thats all...

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Watch this space, as for some reason, Daryl and I have entered the Edinburgh Marathon, having failed to get into the London one.

Training starts with earnest on the 2nd December!

Lawler allowed out to play... For the last time?

Wotcha. The spell of uncharacteristically warm October weather (20 degrees according to my car) was pounced upon on Saturday, riding with Daryl and Chris, and also Rob and Mark from our far distant past, in Colchester.

We hooked up in Peaslake for a confectionery tour of Surrey, headed by Mark's need to refuel on flapjack and tea every 20 mins (possibly a good tactic as he was pedaling at the end when I could only walk...), taking in bits of the trails on Holmbury, Box and Leith hills - I think.


Mark eyes up another pastry...

Whatever, it was not a huckfest, surprisingly, just wicked trails, and a good way to spend the day with Chris before he heads out to Morzine - lucky git.

Nice one everyone. Good to get out, as it seems there has been far too little of that going on recently. What has happened to Rich? Are you out there, Posh one?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lovely Lakes

Post should be below Sun and celebrity

Being a Bank Holiday Daryl and I (Gem) took an extra day off work and headed up to the Lake District, with a nice Thursday evening stopover in Manchester with Jez and Gemma.

We made an early start Friday morning and we had the tent pitched in Chapel Hill Farm campsite in Borrowdale and were ready for walking by 11am.

Friday’s mission was Blencathra, via Sharp Edge. We parked the car in a lay-by on the A66 near a hamlet called Scales and slogged up a steady incline round the eastern side of Blencathra. After about an hour and a half we crossed Scales Beck and arrived at Scales Tarn, which was a beautiful turquoise colour and seemed to glisten even with the grey cloudy sky. This is where we got the first real look at the Grade 1 scramble ahead of us. Sharp Edge is a relatively easy scramble and gets most of its grade 1 from the exposure rather than the difficulty. I found certain points quite unnerving and had to slide along some bits on my bum. Getting to the top was well worth it as the views of Skiddaw, and the lakes of Ullswater and Derwent. It was also possible to see Scotland across the Solway Firth.

Sharp Edge from a distance

Sharp Edge - Gem

Daryl at Scale Beck

We were woken Saturday by the early morning call of the farmer coming round to collect the camping money. After a hearty breakfast of bacon and egg sandwiches we embarked on our route. This walk was my ideal type of route: flat to start; 90% of height gained by scrambling; awesome views; and a nice steady stroll back down. The approach from the campsite was down through Seathwaite into the Langstrath valley up to Cam Crag. It was a nice gentle walk in a valley, through green hills and sharp rocky crags, giving way to the amazing rocky views of Stickle Pike and the Scafell group. Finding the route up Cam Crag was a challenge, but we eventually made a decision and chose the correct route. The start was the hardest part with an exposed climb around an overhang, the rest of the route was in several sections up broken buttresses and was technical, but not too hard – in all good fun.

Cam Crag - Gem

Daryl topping out on Cam Crag

At the top of Cam Crag we carried on up to the top of Glaramara, crossing many boggy rivers and ending with a simple little scramble to the top. This was really worth doing as you could see so many of the main Lake District peaks – the Langdales, the Scafell group, Great Gable, Green Gable, Pillar, Skiddaw and probably many others that I just don’t know. The descent from Glaramara was a long tourist track and as we were nearing the bottom Daryl wanted to find the pub in Seatoller, which even though is marked on the OS map doesn’t exist as such, it is a lunchtime cafĂ© that serves alcohol, therefore was shut. It was quite a depressing walk back to the campsite from there as it started to rain!

Looking towards the Langdales

Sunday, I wasn’t feeling too great as the fact I was suffering from a kidney infection had caught up with me after 2 days of activity. We decided to visit as many outdoor shops as we could so explored Cockermouth (this is so the place we are going to live when we move to the Lakes) and Keswick. We decided to head home Sunday night to miss the traffic(!) but had a lovely meal in the Kirkstone Pass Inn, after a slightly scary near death experience.

General conclusion of the weekend – absolutely awesome as per every weekend in the Lakes!