Sunday, 2 December 2012

Insights regarding the fractal zero point of 21/12/12

Recently I've been practising meditation, looking to re discover my innate intuition and to remove fear in as many aspects of my life as possible. Not to sayI'm anywhere near that..I have a whole lifetime of subconscious deprogramming to do but the intent is there. It's easy to get locked into the left brain mind and compartmentalise all things, keeping blinkers on and never connecting dots. And so I think it's important to re learn how to follow ones heart consciousness and see the wider picture. I've found that letting my heart be my guide is a much easier and more enjoyable way to go about your day/life etc but like I say, the mind always creeps back in to make things complex again.

 To anyone wondering about a significant date coming up, here are some great insights. A much more realistic and positive explanation of the so called 'dooms day' 'end of the world'date of the 21st of this month than many other mainstream sources will describe. 

"Just look at us. Everything is backwards. Everything is upside-down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information, and religion destroys spirituality."---Michael Ellner

I really hope there is a universal raise in consciousness and unity. I feel the pressure of our 3D political, economical, sociological boiling pot of this world is close to critical. The fork in the road is in the foreseeable horizon and we must be responsible for our choice of direction! 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Banana pumpkin pie recipe

So last night I made a gourmet raw meal for our friends Tomar and Kerstin. The desert was my creation after having seeing this recipe recently. I modified a few of the ingredients and it went down nicely. The cool thing is this only takes 15 minutes to make!! And it's low in fat and pretty healthy!

For the pie crust you will need (roughly):

10 medjool dates
1.5 cups of pecans or walnuts
1 tea spoon of vanilla extract
1 pinch of nutmeg

Put everything into a food processor and leave on for a few minutes until you have a dough!

Optional: Blueberries, mulberries etc. This adds a variety of berry flavoured goodness. I'd like to try and experiment with a full berry no nut crust on the next one!
Pat it out evenly into a pie tray with warm water and clean fingers / spoon. This is where I would have added a bed of sliced bananas, that's the next step!

For the filling:
4 cups of pumpkin
4 bananas
10 more dates
Half a Vanilla pod scarped
A small cut of fresh ginger
Goji Berries 

Blend until perfectly smooth. Our Vitamix did this well but I can imagine cheaper blenders struggling a bit. As I said above, add a bed of chopped bananas to the pie at this point. Make sure they're ripe and sweet. I just added a bit of ginger powder to the base here. 

Go ahead and pour the mixture on top. Then decorate with the vanilla bean and nuts etc. Leave it in the freezer or fridge for it to set some more if it's too soft. A thick texture is best and you can eat right away!

The result!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dr Morse on Spirituality v/s Academics

Dr Robert Morse just uploaded this video tonight. I had to share it, a brilliant speech on Spirituality Vs Academics. It may be a little heavy for a few but it's a great reminder that we live in a very academic world where spirituality and experience are often pushed aside. We all see it everyday, and for sure there is a place and need for academia. However the empowerment and knowledge through spirituality is on a far greater scale. To any atheists watching, keep in mind he is a spiritual teacher, and talks about God in non religious and metaphorical terms. I'll do less of the power phrasing and point you over to the video for a better understanding.
An awesome 15 minutes, watch it all if you have time.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The woody has landed

For the past two months myself and Rory have started to realize our dream of having a wooden training wall in our back room. Winter training was on the cards for some trips next year. The plan was to make it as steep as the room would allow and as wide as possible. Our landlord is very tolerant and relaxed with us and the house as long as we have respect with whatever we do. Since we moved in we've put in shelves and a campus board, modified things in the garden etc and they have been perfectly fine about it. Our wall would require a few screws into the roof on the floor rafters and about 15 x 1cm wall fixings along the back. Nothing we can't easily poly-filler and plaster upon removal.

We were lucky enough to get all the panels we needed from TCA when they modified the wall over the summer. This meant we saved money and a lot of time putting in T-nuts. Simon Brice kindly gave us a few metres of 2x4 beams and Gav gave us a load of wall fixings and various essentials too so with all this help we saved a significant amount. The rest of the 2x4, probably about 40 metres worth, we got for £75. Joe Day gave us a good starting plan and Mike Sowell was a massive help in giving us a hand with some of the technicalities with the tools and plan of action. With all this professional help and guidance we began the build!

First up we had some major amount of prep in the form of belt sanding the large panels. This was probably the most hard work of the entire build, requiring many shifts from us both and a lot of arm endurance. We had to pull a lot of T-nuts out and replace them for good ones. The garden was also coated in an inch of saw dust and ziggy hated the noise of the power tools. A few days later they were done and we moved onto sawing up the ply triangles.

We applied the brackets and made the 90 degree vertical pieces that would go into the masonry vertical wall. We then spent a day drilling and getting all the fixings in as solid and as accurately as possible. There were a few moments when we drilled and only black dust came out meaning less bolts in places, but in all we were happy and it still felt a bit over engineered. Next we secured some ply triangles and made the roof pieces rigid.

Next up was time to put in the overhanging frame, measured with string and sawed in a fairly ghetto fashion and with a few moments of that doesnt quite fit in the way we thought it should, and a bit of creative use with the chisel we had the overhang in. I then went on a mission and the next couple of days I managed to get all the panels on, more supports made on the inside and screw a horizontal across the roof and into the floor rafters above. I then made a small room inside the wall to store bikes and boxes. It came together pretty quickly taking about 7 days of prep and building effort. We need to get a lot more holds and sell a few too. The plan is to make it primarily a woody with with the exception of a few nice bleaustone resin slopers and and mini jugs for warming up. We've ordered some 'Magic Wood' wooden holds, these are the same that we have at TCA and are amazing on the skin and for a good training effect. Check them out there BLOG. More photos of the build on my Flickr

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Juice Fast + Tattoo

So on the 12th of September I decided to go on a juice fast cleanse. I was inspired to do this by many raw food teachers on youtube, friends and books and blogs of others i've read about fasting. I wouldn't technically call it a fast in a way as you still get a lot of calories. It Just gives your digestive system a huge break. As the house mates had gone to Greece for two weeks I was left with plenty of time and space to juice all day and relax, This would also be down time on the climbing and vigorous activity. I made sure to stock up on essentials like grapes, water melons, apples, celery cucumbers and greens etc.As I was without a car I had to cycle to Sunseed Organics every morning and pile my bag up with as much stuff possible!

Anyway the it went really well, I only struggled the first few days, and had mild detox symptoms and cravings. I was very surprised that cravings were not that bad. If I wanted food, I would make a juice and It would be surprisingly satiating and leave me with no hunger. On average I would get through 4-5L of juice a day and that kept me feeling very perky. In fact I decided to go for some climbing sessions after ten days in and to my surprise I felt very strong, managing a few font 7b and above boulders in one session!

Even in 20 days I noticed my skin is a lot smoother, the dark bits under my eyes have faded slightly and the clarity in my mind is awesome. With so much blood being free'd up from the GI tract it is surprising how much more conscious you can feel throughout the day. It also free's up a lot of energy to go into healing various organs in the body, essentially getting things like adrenals to perk up, kidneys to filter better, circulation increases, moving the lymphatic system and dissolving toxins.
I also lost over half a stone, mostly in the first week which then levelled off, and i actually increased a few kilos in weight again after 15 days. This is probably due to a lot of food being moved through the stools, but also absorption goes up a lot after a week juice fasting, meaning weight can actually come back on, especially if you're drinking as much as I was! I also noticed my body fat dropped and I got a lot more lean and my skin was a lot more vascular. I'll be sticking to raw foods from now on and will be investing in a masticating juicer to get the most out of the produce with as little oxidisation as possible. The magimix duo XL has served well but does struggle with the leafy greens!

I've also gone and got a vegan tattoo, something i've been thinking about for a long time. Mike used Kumo Sumi and other vegan friendly tattoo inks, and the aftercare I'm using is also made of essential oils. Veganism Is something I like talking about with people who show positive genuine curiosity towards it. In fact after one day I've already had a few people noticing it and a few newly turned vegans asking me about it. It's good to see there are more people finding benefits from a diet rich in high quality plant food free of dead animal tissues and dairy.

I've just finished reading Finding Ultra and Eat and Run, both books on vegan super endurance athletes at the top of their game. Both well worth a read for inspiration. I'll lend them to anyone interested.

Rich Roll's blog (Finding Ultra)

Scott Jurek (eat and Run).

And another great athlete, all raw and fruitarian is Mike Arnstein - proving simple sugars are the best for endurance running multi day ultra marathons.

I would recommend people to read through The Detox Miracle Source Book before doing any kind of fast. It is probably one of the best references you can go to for all food types, alkaline and acid, organ functions and how it is all interlinked and affected by one another. Dr Robert Morse has over 40 years of experience in the field curing many toxic human problems like 'diseases' and cancers through his tissue detox and regeneration clinic. Have a look at his youtube page for many of his lectures and videos.

I also had a few people asking me what I brush my teeth with. I have been using Earthpaste, a natural rehydrated clay with essential oils, xylatol and sea salt. It's got a great flavour, is flouride, SLS and Glycerin free and edible! Also good to use on the skin and hair if you want. For all the images on the page, click to enlarge and also have a look at my flickr (link on the right of you're screen on this blog page) for more photos!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Bouldering again

It's been about a year since I've done any bouldering outside, the last time being the trip to font which I made a video about. To my surprise it has almost 10k views on youtube now! Yesterday we went to Dinas rock, we being myself, Rory and Kelly. It was the first time for Kelly my second time there after a cheeky session there for the first time last week. The weather was drizzly and wet, the day before had been torrential rain too.. but according to Rory Dinas is *northern accent* "An all weather crag". We arrived and everything on the walk in was soaked.. but the man was right, Kennelgarth wall was completely dry, other than some slightly seeping holds. The waterfall was blasting and much more vicious than the last week after all the rain.

Flashing Mongrel Mob V7
We warmed up on some V1's/3's and quickly moved onto some V6's. Rory did 'The mongrel mob' V7 and I managed to flash it, with it being the first flash of that grade for me. Good start! Then me and Kelly moved onto 'launch pad' V6, taking a fair few more goes than I'd hoped! I had a play on 'Fat cat roof' V9, a line i'd like to try and project. I did all the moves, but struggling to string it together. It was a lot more slippery than the week before. Rory was doing well on his projects, making tracks on 'The Carpenters apprentice' V12 and 'Fat Cat into Taylor made' V10. He was also on 'Saluki' a V8+ which has a bit of an awkward cross under move to finish on to the undercut of 'Launch Pad' V6.

Kelly on the crux of 'The Groove' V7
Next up was 'The Groove' a painful V7 which requires you to take two limestone teeth, like a pocket, jamming your fingers together and making a strong move from this. I went for the flash, and almost did it, tearing some skin on the teeth! I wrapped up the fingers and did it second go, just! Rory then dispatched it and Kelly came up with some technical beta and managed to do it all, but somehow fell off going from the jug after the crux, the the slot finishing jug! Too much skin had been eaten, so this one will have to be next time, first go, no doubt!

The sun came out for a bit, and it seemed like the luscious light that you get in font! We finished on 'Paper Boy' V6, which was proving to be a bit of a pumpathon after a days worth of climbing. Both me and Rory did the hard climbing, only to fail matching the last hold!!  It was a good day, a nice reminder as to why bouldering is also a legitimate form of climbing for me.

Rory holding the teeth on 'The groove' V7
Here Rory battles with the biting fingerlock on 'The Groove' V7. Have a look at my Flickr for more photos from the day. So for me this is the start of a season of bouldering. Having made a topo for Dinas, similar in style to 'The mothership' topo at TCA. I have plenty of problems to work through, and a lot of psyche to ride on. I've done a lot of sport climbing this year and feel like a change. The feeling of trying 100% and the non committed fun feeling of bouldering has caught up with me once again. Especially as were building a woody in our spare room at the house. I can see a lot of training, or perhaps just a lot of tendons popping over the next few months! I'm keeping weekends free for trips up to the peaks over the next few months. I've only been up there once, and need to discover much of the classic grit boulders. Having seen everyone com back from Rocklands in South Africa, I'm starting to feel the psyche to plan a trip there for next year!

Finally back into blogging, like I said before I'll be keeping up with it, I'm always too slack with it all! It's quite easy to sit down and write when the weather is so bad.
Rory and Kelly having a banana break at Kennelgarth Wall

Dinas Rock

Monday, 27 August 2012

Another Timelapse

Woow It's been ages since I updated my blog. Why? Because I've been completely slack and lost the blogging flow. It's been an unproductive summer for climbing, due to working a lot and consistently bad weather (I know it's not an excuse!). I've started editing my main timelapse of Bristol, although it didn't snow last year, and I still need to gather a couple more shots to bring it all together. I don't think i'll wait for it to snow though..

This is a warm up to the main timelapse, although the exposure and angles are a bit off. I wasn't so savvy with the settings when I filmed it (early last year). Anyway here's a cheeky edit of the houses behind our house getting demolished!

More frequent updates soon, I have lots to talk about but need to get used to splurging it all over my blog!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Escape to Kalymnos!

I've just got back from hiding away on the greek island of kalymnos for 3 weeks. It appears that half of the Bristol climbing scene had also been hiding on the same island to my surprise! After having an exciting time getting to the airport and nearly missing my flight, I managed to make it to the island with David Collom, who recently messaged me on for a climbing partner. Luckily he turned out to be a sound chap and we got to the crushing right away. I had a good first day, onsighting 3 7b's at kasteli. The next day we went to Irox at telendos with a large group with the seronade of Fat Freddy's drop under the sun on a sweet boat ride. I managed to almost flash Cuobo 7c, and got it second go.

 After the a good start, the weather decided to crap out with hurricane style winds and the heaviest rain I've ever seen! The pond between Kalymnos and Telendos turned into a Hawaii style big wave scene and we took refuge inside for a few days, running to the crags between the storms whenever possible. After the first week and a half, the weather started warming up and drying out. At first it was a decent 24C or so but everyday it was getting a lot hotter. By the last two weeks of the trip the temp was usually a minimum of 26 with the highest temp recorded at Babis bar of 33C!! Not exactly prime conditions. Despite this being a good excuse for me, Naomi had managed to have more success. She had been travelling for two months, with a month in Antalya, Turkey and then a month in Kalymnos. Before her trip she had only climbed 6c, and I knew she could climb much harder routes. I got her to try Dafni, 7b which she redpointed in two sessions! I then recommended Spartacus 7b+ which only took a couple of sessions as well. In all really impressive stuff, and great to see her motivation and determination! She's one to watch out for people! I've already pointed her in the direction of some good 7c's that she can easily do ;)

Not a snorkeling day..
For a few days I had been working on Daniboy 8a, after doing it in two links from the ground to the half way knee bar, and from there to the top I thought it was on! The knee bar is a no hands rest but as I started finding out on redpoints, it didnt fit my leg properly. Requiring me to cam my arm in to keep the leg in, which didn't help me recover at all! As a French climber pointed out, it's only a no hands rest if your leg is long enough. After getting frustrated climbing past the knee bar with no rest, I decided the route was going to have to wait until another trip when I'm fit enough to push on without it.

 I moved my focus onto Marci Marc, a beautiful 7c+ coming right out of the heart of the main cave at Odyssey. The route is 35m long, probably 25 degrees overhanging and pure endurance! It starts with a v4/5 boulder which doesn't add much to the grade as there is a good hands off rest straight after. It then continues up the heart of the cave as a 7c route on reasonable holds until you get to the last set of 3 moves, probably around v4 again, with little rest before it, with big slappy moves off soapy small crimps with massively pumped forearms. (mine were anyway!) In the end I spent a few days on the route, but no cigar. On my last attempt I held the last sloper, and my heel popped a moment later just after I thought I had done it. A lesson learnt to keep concentration! This is one I'll have to finish next time as well!

Not the most productive trip for hard routes for me, but the conditions were really bad which is a good excuse right?! With redpoints usually being made in 28C (shade) heat and tufa blobs having similar consistency to butter! The last few days were good, onsighting some 7a+ and 7b's which for me is an achievement as my onsighting usually isn't that good relatively. Before the trip I had a phobia of 7a+ as I usually fall off them, but I tend to onsight every 7a and most 7b's. Luckly I managed a lot of 7a+ onsights too which is a good mental thing for myself. Tomar did well redpointing a handful of 7b/+'s and Jay did really well onsighting 7b and climbing many more mid 7's very quickly.

A lot of the trip was spent at Babis' bar, with lots of swimming pool antics. It was lush getting a load of sun, and I've now changed colour to a glowing orange with most people probably thinking I've spent a month on a tanning bed in Bristol no doubt. It was a great trip, with loads of fun memories thanks to the entire Bristol crew, Seb, Jochen our german friend, Zach/Sean/Shelby the Americans, Jay and David etc!
Lobbing Steve 
Shelby doing her silk trapeze

For more photos from the trip, have a look on my FLICKR. Luckly I pulled my finger out this trip with the photo's so there are actually some gems in there.

I might return later in the year to clean up some routes, and as always there was so much left to try, I don't think any amount of time is long enough on the Island. It's a really enticing place to climb. The weather is usually really good, the beach is right there, the crags are mostly very near by, the food is cheap, the people are friendly and the climbing is ridiculous in nature with huge holds, which often turn into caving more than climbing!

I'll post more blog posts soon, as always I become out of touch with blogging. I hope theres some people out there reading this stuff! I'll leave a video of Marci Marc, by Robbie Phillips. The move I came off  3 times was literally the last move in the video before it fades out...

How can 3 and a half weeks go so fast..
I'll be back!!
Time for some fun in the English sun????! I'll be around all summer now for bolt clipping. Give me a call people!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Route setting time lapse

Heres a new time lapse route setting at the climbing academy (bristol).

I've wanted to do this for 6 months but kept missing the opportunity. It came out pretty well, although I might have made it 4 second intervals instead of 6 seconds next time.