Gritstone Round Up 2016

With the autumn season in the Alps being a non-starter and Scottish Winter conditions seeming to disappear (for now!) I’ve been focusing on some more local projects. A few routes I’ve been eyeing up for a while have finally been laid to rest. London Wall has been on the list forever, I see it every day on the drive home, staring at me saying “come and have a go, if you think you're hard enough!”. Well, a few years ago I wasn't, and took the ride from the last move. I finally went back and very nearly took the same whipper, but not this time!

Also my Foster 5 tick list came to a close with a headpoint ascent of Balance It Is (E7 6c). It has been brilliant having a real goal so close to home. As satisfying as completing a climb or tick list is, it always leads straight onto the next, and Neil Foster has conjured up another list straight away (hold tight for Another Foster Five!).

Many of these ascents were captured on video, usually as a bit of an afterthought with a phone propped up in a shoe, this explains some awful footage, sorry! I hope you enjoy the video and don't take it too seriously, I’ve never made one before so it may not be up to scratch with the modern ones out there now but what the hell!

By James Turnbull

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James Turnbull
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Outside Christmas Book Competition

Outside’s Christmas book competition offers one lucky reader the chance to get inside the minds of climbers, mountaineers and hillwalkers ranging from the Hollywood persona of Andy Pollitt to the 40 something neuroses of Graham Wilson.

Our selection of four books explores our shared relationship with the outdoors, and the diverse responses we have to success, adversity and failure. Why do some people respond with maddening flamboyance, while others take their strength from logic and rationality? What do we find out about ourselves when we reach our limits, and how do we deal with the consequences?

Read our review of the four books and answer our cunningly devious multiple choice question for your chance to win them all and discover a world of insight and adventure.

Follow this link to enter the competition

High adventure in the high mountains

In Some Lost Place: The first ascent of Nanga Parbat's Mazeno Ridge

In the summer of 2012, a team of six climbers set out to attempt the first ascent of one of the great unclimbed lines of the Himalaya. At 10 kilometres, the giant Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat is the longest route to the summit of an 8,000-metre peak.

After 11 days two of the team, Sandy Allan and Rick Allen, both in their late fifties, reached the summit. They had run out of food and water and began hallucinating wildly from the effects of altitude and exhaustion. Heavy snow conditions meant they would need another three days to descend the far side.

In Some Lost Place is Sandy Allan's epic account of an incredible feat of endurance and commitment at the very limits of survival.

Published by Vertebrate Publishing

Driven to extremes

Punk In The Gym 

We should all have seen it coming. Climbing’s film noir episode was genre defining: the charming hero with flowing locks and smouldering eyes, driven by ambition and the expectation of his peers to take ever greater risks in the pursuit of first ascents like The Hollow Man at Gogarth and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door on Curbar Edge.

Andy Pollitt’s autobiography, Punk in the Gym, shows the man behind the Playboy image without flinching, laying bare a fragile ego riven with self-doubt and tangled with personal loss, drugs, drink and depression.

From the opening scene the denouement is obvious, but like all the best film noir the journey is what’s important. Frank, surprising, engaging and complex, Punk in the Gym is a dark treat cloaked in Pollitt’s characteristically flamboyant style.

Published by Vertebrate Publishing

Nine walking challenges to take you off the beaten track.

Forty Plus

As middle age loomed, Graham Wilson faced a dilemma - 40 and fit, or 40 and fat? His response was to explore long-distance walking routes in northern England.

Forty Plus is the outcome of that exercise: nine walks of 40+ miles through the less frequented parts of three National Parks, featuring hand drawn maps and evocative photos provided by Chris Harle.

Published by High Tor Publications

A philosophical look at life and death decisions in the mountains.

Judgement Days

Choices made above the clouds aren’t always black and white. The most rational mind can be affected by personalities, hopes and expectations, and the line between adventure and misadventure can be alarmingly narrow. Judgement Days is Tom Richardson's story of over thirty years’ climbing in the Himalaya and Karakoram and a reflection on the decisions he has made.

“A marvellous compendium of adventure, knowledge and insight about the mountains and how to stay alive in them” Dave Pickford Climb Magazine

Published by High Peak Books

Follow this link to enter the competition

By Carrie Tomlinson
Web Marketing

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Carrie Tomlinson
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