Friday, 30 January 2015

lack of sleep....

Well another year has past and 2014 has been even busier than the last... That's a good thing isn't it?
The year started off with a load of training, it was going well until our little Arnold decided to start teething again and not sleep at night ( a theme throughout the year ).
There were a few good weather days around Jan/Feb and I went out with Dom and Jonboy and despatched a couple of boulder problems that were on my list. The first being Low Rider 7c+ Stanage and the second MasterKush 7c+ at Rivelin both quality problems.
Next up was a bit of comp action. I competed in the FBO at the foundry where I won the team event with Shauna and Martin and qualified in 16th overall. I felt I didn't climb that well as I could have but I had done loads of training the week before. The CWIF was next I had more rest and was feeling good, I had some great training sessions down the wall doing loads of volume and completing some of the harder circuits so it was game on. I climbed well in the qualifier going round with Alex Magos, it certainly helps when he cruises up the problems and says they are all easy... He's a total Monster!
I topped one problem in the semi final but I just didn't have the fitness or power to do any of the others.

CWIF- Qualified in 13th and finished in  17th.
Semi Final crowd

CWIF 2014

I then had a great week with Alex showing him around the Peak and Yorkshire. He despatched loads of stuff and I managed a honourable lap of Raindog's at Malham. Check out the Video here..

I then managed a great little problem at Bubage north called Back Street Mime Artist, its 8a and its a bit Lowball but the climbing is cool. Here is a little video of me working it.

It was time for some more 'hard move' training for our big trip to South Africa in the summer!
I had some great sessions out in the peak I despatched Infinate Suspense 7c+ Blackwell dale, Paint it black 7c and Hanibal 7c Stoney Cave, climbing with Harry, Dom,Neil,Ryan and Martin. I then had a great day out in Wales with Dave M and Tom N. I did the following great problems, 36 chambers 7c Tremeirchion, unknown problem 7c Tremeirchion and 7b+ at The Gop.

We then had a family week in Fontainbleau at the end of May, Mum,Dad, Cousin Chloe and us 3. The weather was really warm and Arnie did his first slab :) I managed a coulpe of 7b+'s but it was too warm to try anything harder.

Next up was another short weekend up in Northumberland. Lu, Arnie and I headed up with Michelle and Tom Greenall and we had a quality couple of days bouldering and hanging out. I despatched
QueenKong 8a Queens Crag a king line I tried on Tom's stag do back in 2013.

I then had a 10 days in Magic wood with Dom and Lee, We stayed in the Generosa and had a great time trying Hard. I tried a couple of 8b's and managed a cool 7c+ called From Darkness into Sunshine.
unknown 7c

One Summer in Paradise
The summer came around very quickly and it was time to head to south Africa and meet up with our good old friend The Rubber Chicken. We had a great time but struggled with a teething baby for the whole month.. I managed an 8a on the last day and Lu did a 7C called last day in Paradise ( also on the last day!! ). Rubber Chicken despatched a few 8a's and all in all we had a good time. I certainly wasn't climbing as well as the last time I was the there back in 2011 but I didn't have a teething baby who was up at least 3 times every night.

Arnold's SA friends 'The Ducks@

Bath Time
My Rocklands Ticklist-
The Arc 8a
Stalker on the Horizon 7c+
Vlad the impaler 7c
Last day in Paradise 7c
Timeout 7c
Rhino 7b+
Shadows of ourselves 7c
Born into struggle 7b+
Minki 7b
Poison Dwarf 7b
Arch Baby sitter 7b


Arnold's bed for a MONTH!

After a week back home it was off again to San Diego for a family wedding. Lucinda's cousin was marring a boy from San Diego so it time for some sun, sea and beach action. We stayed with some other cousins on mission beach. The wedding was really nice and it was great to just chill out hang out at the beach and rest from such a busy summer.

Travel Minister

Go Float

Cloudy California

Last but no means least was our trip to Hueco. We had decided at the begging of the year we were going to get a load of big trips in before Arnie was 2 years old,  you don't have to pay for them...
6 long haul flights later he was a seasoned traveller... The flight home from El Paso was a path, we got on the planes and all Arnie said was Mummy Milk and then sleep please!!!
I wont bore you with the details but we had a great time with Michelle,Tom,Dan and Rowanne, Max and Nathan. We also met a couple of local legends who took us out for some great Tours, thanks Ana and Anne.

Check out my video of some of the problems I despatched.........
Dean's Journey
Mexico border

El Techo V11
Happy Birthday Dan

Krispy Creme
The end to what was a great but tiring year was the infamous Works Party... 800 people one big club and one massive after party... The best yet!!!!!!!

See you next year and stay psyched people...


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

New baby new business!

Where shall I start? The last year or so has been ridiculously busy! After Jason's Big Stag Do in Spain I stayed in the UK and had a few good sessions in north Wales. I had a good day at LPT and managed to dispatch Over the moon Direct 8a in a few goes and also did a few laps on Bad boys at the end of the day. The next few time down I headed over to the diamond to check out some of the stunning routes there. The Brute has to be one of the best power endurance 8b's around. The rock is incredible, small positive holds on perfect grey limestone. I was pretty close to dispatching it but due to various factors ( I think I needed a rest ) it will have to wait until the next season. I did managed to tick the classic 7c Boat people. The Diamond is one of those crags that just has a good feel about it, whether that's due to the approach, the sea or the quality rock I don't know its just really good!!
Lucinda and I then headed off in the Van on a small road trip to Spain with the main focus being Jason and Daisy's wedding. They had booked a huge old Spanish mansion that had been converted to run weddings etc. It was in the middle of nowhere with stunning views. On the way to the wedding we stopped off at few places to break up the journey. We had a few days in Sadernes where I managed a to do a classic 8a second go. With Lu being pretty pregnant she wasn't up for belaying me while I was trying hard so I asked a couple of Spanish heroes for a belay. 
The Groom and his Merry Men! and The Brute.
We then headed to the coast for some sun and sea, a few years ago after a weekend clubbing at Sonar we stumbled across this great beach and campsite called Tosa de Mar. It had its own private beaches and water sports, perfect chilling spot! I obviously couldn't go for more than a couple of days without climbing so Lu found me a small deep water soloing venue just round the corner from the campsite. It only had a 6b,6c and 7a+ but I promptly dispatched them and then jumped of the top with a perfect Pencil! Lu looked particularly unimpressed!!
The Winter (2012) was upon us and Lucinda was defiantly starting to show, with only a few weeks to go she was feeling very over it! Moving around was becoming more difficult all we could do was watch box sets! Thanks to Dexter and Breaking Bad!
Throughout the Winter I had a few Techno Gigs lined up, the first being STI at a new warehouse venue in Sheffield. It was a great night and I pulled out some of my old Vinyl for a classic hard Techno set. Next up was the legendary Climbing Works 6th Birthday bash. We hired the same venue from last year and had given away over 500 tickets, it truly was an awesome night with the after party at Gus and Sara's being off the hook. Gus and I also headlined the New Years eve party at the Foundry which was upstairs in the cafe. There was a great turn out and a really good atmosphere. I hope they will do another this year :)
STI Sheffield

The start of 2013 was getting a bit spicy as Lucinda was overdue! The baby was due on the 31st DEC :) ( while I was at the Foundry its, OK my phone was switched on all night ).
17 days later little Arnold Whittaker was born weighing 7lb 9. What a little hero.

Arnie 1 hour old.
There is not much you can do with a baby apart from the obvious nappy changing/feeding/winding etc so we enrolled him in a Swim-babies class once a week. Its was great fun dunking him underwater and getting him to try and kick his legs.
I managed to keep a little bit of fitness going through Arnie's first few months We took him to Malham once and Lucinda managed a top rope of consenting Adults and I dispatched Overnight Sensation a classic 8a+ that Ive not got round to doing before.
In February there was a fierce cold snap and the peak was gifted with another large dumping of snow I only managed to get out once but I made it count with snow ball ascents of the following.
Ulysses (Flash), White Wand, Big Air, High Line f7c+ , Arc angel and Silk.
I also made a quick one day ascent of the amazing Jason's Roof  (8a) at Crook-rise and then managed to do it again for the camera. Thanks to Ben for beta and his short film below.

 This years CWIF was also another great success Jacob Shubert and Shauna Coxey were worthy winners and I finished a respectable 12th.

Women's extra small vest!

Semi Final crowd
With Lucinda and I not being very busy ;) we needed another project!

New mini works unit
 One of the units adjacent to The Climbing Works came up for rent and we decided to take it on with the plan to create an all inspiring climbing wall for all ages of children and beginners. The next 3 months were ridiculously busy. Looking after a new born baby and building a huge climbing wall is something I will not be repeating in the future!! Thanks to everyone who help out- you know who you are, we all really appreciated it.

Finishing touches the night before we opened
Mini Works

Arnie after his head shave :)

Lucinda and I looking really tired at a Toby and Amy's house party, this was our first night out since Arnie was born. 

After Mini Works open I took a bit of a back seat for a while as I needed a rest and a re-group. The start of June was looking exciting I had 2 stag Do's lined up! The first was a surprise Techno night for my good friend Unai. He was getting married in Madrid the following weekend and his best man Kev wanted to fly him over for a big night. I had arranged for the 6 of us to go to Fabric with VIP tickets.
We all had a great night with Ben Klock being the main event. He was awesome, we stumbled out of the club at 7am, the two Spanish headed to Stanstead or there flight, Harry cycled home across London and me Neil and Gus slept in my van! Living the dream!

Gus and Neil in  the VIP section
pre Fabric pub crawl
Set times!!
Next up was Tom Grenalls stag do. 4 days in the mighty county! Tom was due to marry Michelle (assistant manager at The Works ) the following few week so a big crew of lads headed up to Northumberland for bouldering and drinking. We were staying in few guest houses not too far from Belford. The weather was perfect, I could only stay for a couple of days but they were both amazing.
The first day we went to queens crag, this was the first time I had been and I was well impressed. Lots of proud lines and micro routes the day was looking good. Although it was about 25 degrees we were all still super psyched to tear the crag down. I dispatched couple of great 7b's and got really close to high amazing line of Queen Kong 8a.
The following day was just as hot if not hotter so we headed into the trees at Hepburn. We warmed up a great little 7a and then I set to work on the classic 8a Preparation H. after an hour or so working out the best sequence I fell off the last move, I didn't quite have my foot in the right place and punter'ed it!!
After a few more goes of failing on the start I employed 'Last go psyche' and a few jelly babies and suitable dispatched it. Result!!

Preparation H 8a
Hard 7b at Queens
Classic British spot on Queen Kong 8a
The Summer weather was stunning and with the first part of the year being so busy I was taking a bit of time off to re-group and chill out. In July my Dad was turning 60 so for one of his may birthday treats me and my brother Adam were taking him climbing for a long weekend in Wales. We gad 3 awesome days climbing together, the first being a perfect afternoon on Dinas Mot, climbing Diagonal and the super direct. Our second day was even better, a day on Gloggy climbing the Great Corner and some E2. We then stopped off at LPT on the way home for a bit of seaside sport climbing. What a great weekend in a nice hotel consuming large quantity's of ale and having loads of fun. Happy birthday day pops.

The Whittaker on Dinas Mot

LPT Heros

Dad running it out on Diagonal HVS


Arnie was growing loads and turning into a proper little boy, he is even joining in with The climbing work's new sponsor Adidas.

Sponsored Hero

Dinner time
France was the next stop. We needed a holiday together and I had never been to Ceuse before. That was it we were off there for a month. It was going to be the perfect place for Lu to get fit and there was a crew of friends with kids going to. It worked out great, plenty of people around on rest days and always someone to climb with. In the first two weeks we had our good friend Tanya with us our climbing partner. Lu and I both climbed loads with our Highlights being Face DE rat for 8a+ for me and 3 classic 7a's for Lu.
Lucinda and I were very lucky one day as our good friends Kat and Ru said they would look after Arnie and give us the afternoon off to go Climbing. We headed off to climb the classic 4 pitch 7a called Inesperance. What a route, 4 pitches of perfect pocketed limestone topping out at the top of the cliff to a 360 degrees amazing view. This was the first time we had climbed together for over a year and we had a right laugh!
Arnie enjoying camp site life

Ceuse - What a crag

Pitch 3 of Inesperance

Lu seconding

Perfect Rest days at the lake

After Arriving back in the UK I had a few days working at the Wall and then I was off again. The time had come and i was off on Gus's Stag do Aka 'Smash it in 4'. Yes I know! another Stag do! my liver was not looking forward to it!!
Anyway off i went for another amazing week of Drinking, Deep water soloing and Techno.

A repeat of Smash It In 8a
Party boys

Fancy dress at the local beach bar
Pencil minister Ed

Ryan on Lock stock

The Horse on Waddage

Pool Games

I then flew from Majorca to Alicante to meet Lu, Arnie and my Mum and Dad for the last installment of Dads 60th birthday celebrations,. We had a week at the house chilling eating and drinking. The weather was boiling so there was a lot of lazying around going on, perfect after the busy year we've had.

nice quiet beach

The new Terrace
 After getting back from spain we got straight back into the swing of things, Lucinda qualified as Nutritional Therapist, Arnie started a couple of mornings a week at Nursery and Ive had a few sessions out on the Grit, with the highlight being a quick ground up ascent of Unfamiliar. I did it with about 6 pads and pre - placed gear after Ben had fiddled it in!!  What a great route and I would say it felt like doing a high font 7c/+ .
Anyway I will try and get back on the blog program now that everything is a bit more chilled and I'm all ready looking forward to the Climbing works party this weekend.

Push On.....