Freesteel Blog » 2010 » September
Monday, September 27th, 2010 at 6:16 am - Canyon
On Monday 30 August everyone else was too tired to go canyoning, which meant I had an opportunity to go on my own with Becka with all the kit and ropes and bags. It felt like being allowed to drive off with your first girlfriend in your parent’s car for the first time, alone. One way or another there would be tears. We rarely go caving on our own, unless we know the cave very well, because neither of us has faith in the other’s competence.
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 6:42 pm - Canyon
Deferred posting. [28 Aug] Long drive up the SS549 with five in the car up to Mondelli canyon. (Three of us had done the lower section a few days before where it had too much out of the water and ended with an annoying prussic to reach the road bridge). We headed for the top two sections on the wrong path which took us on a two hour walk up the steep hill.
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 at 9:44 pm - Canyon
Deferred posting. The plan was to get a long canyon out of the way before Becka arrived and bumped our team up to an unmanageable three numpties and two guys who knew what they were doing. Ogliana di Quarata was a very long steep walk straight up the hill in a forest that had everyone soggy with sweat. The skin sweat response, having evolved on animals that don’t wear clothes, seems to put out more liquid in the areas where it isn’t working, like all over your shoulders and back where your wetsuit is draped, to the extent that it eventually slips off.
Deferred posting Ju skipped the day leaving me to be the slow guy at the back of the party picking up the pieces and holding everything up while Si and Andrew scooted on ahead to do the complicated rigging on slippery canyon walls out in the sunshine. It wasn’t the greatest of canyons. (Mondelli Inferior) The belays were far away from the water and took you across the grass. In my thick black wetsuit I experienced a boil in a bag situation. One jump was scarily high. I wore my mask not only to protect my nasal passages, but also because it was peril-sensitive and steamed up so I couldn’t see what I was about to do. Gravity is just too much. In an eyeblink you can plummet ten metres as though a catapult has you hurled downwards into a ravine, so that if you were a ball hitting the floor you would rebound off the walls a couple of times before flying high into the sky.
Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 at 6:20 pm - Canyon
Deferred posting. Halfway down the first canyon — Rosiga — I began to feel I was getting too much of a good thing. The jumps and toboggans forced water up my nose so hard my eyes were squeezed. My eardrums were swollen. I could tell it was a good canyon, but I wasn’t quite ready for it. My nose started actually bleeding at the halfway point. My arms ached two days later from all the swimming.
Monday, September 6th, 2010 at 8:49 am - Canyon
Deferred Posting. The podcast player was found in Becka’s computer case. Now I’ll have some noises to listen to on the long drive across Europe. Clive lent me his phone for the rest of the holiday to enable me to find out where I was going. We sat around for one last beer in the newly cleaned potato hut with its natural wooden tables and no longer linoleum covered floor.
The night was disturbed by the small brown mouse that had made its nest in our food box earlier in the week. This time it was in the tent, though the fact took some time to establish because it froze and stopped rustling every time we woke up. We cornered it under our old clothes, unzipped the inner and watched it catapulte out like a flying furball. Then it spent the rest of the night trying to get back in. I could see the it running up and down on top of the inner tent.
Monday, September 6th, 2010 at 7:38 am - Cave
Deferred posting No time for a proper timeline. I was badgered into going caving again. Then I walked over to and up the Greisskogel the following day across the Plateau. Then got down to basecamp and remained there out of the way. There was one walk up, pack up the bivi (stashing all the gear into a nearby cave), heavy carry down in the dark. My podcast player went missing overnight. In the morning I saw my clean trousers hanging out on the line with my phone still in the pocket. Bummer. Could be worse. I could have lost my wallet and passport. Still, this is making it very difficult to find out where I am supposed to go to in Italy for some proper canyonning. I knew my real holiday was going to get thwarted. I’ll just have to park in some layby outside the major supermarket in Domodossola for two weeks and hope my friends find me when they go shopping there.
Sunday, September 5th, 2010 at 3:15 pm - Weekends
Enforced internet absence during a somewhat full-on canyoning holiday. A mere 500 email backlog as well as so many things I’ve kicked forward to September. Pictures and reports to follow at some point.