Rest day at Lake Geneva

In order to help us recover form the descent yesterday, Rick and I cycled down to Lake Geneva for a swim, rest and lunch before cycling back along the lake and up to his house. The lake was about 24 degrees and although vis seemed a bit murky it was probably all the bathers. I could still see a few fish about.

I am not sure that cycling uphill in 30 degree heat is to be deemed a rest day but it was good fun all the same.

My short visit to Switzerland has been very successful but tomorrow morning I will be on the motorbike riding back to catch the ferry home. I hope the weather has been as good at home as it has been here.


Me going up 

Having a rest

Me in descent

After a decent evening meal and a night in the Rothornhutte, we were woken up at 04:00 for breakfast (well a fairly pathetic breakfast to be honest) and started heading up. We had a snow plod, a scramble up a ridge and a glacier crossing before we arrived at the base of the Rothorngrat route on the Zinal Rothorn . The first half of the route was easy and we soloed along. Unfortunately I was not as acclimatised as I would have hoped for and I started suffering at around 3800m so Rick did a good job of getting us moving together on a rope for the final 200m of climbing. Even though I was feeling rough it was a very good route.

We than endured a total of 2600m of descent with a 20 min break at both the Rothornhutte and and Trift Hotel before arriving back in Zermat at 7pm


This morning Rick and I drove to Tasch, took the train to Zermat 1600m and then walked into the Rothornhutte which was a 1600m climb to 3198m. The view on arrival was stunning. This was a long haul uphill with climbing bag and took around 6 hours.

La Moquette

Rick in blue, his shadow up and to the right, my shadow belaying further up the ridge

After a decent meal and reasonable nights sleep in Cabane D'Orny at 2831m, Rick and I had an early start (after seeing an amazing sun rise) and a short walk to the base of Aiguille D'Orny for our second route, La Moquette. This was a 8 pitch route taking us up to 3150m before heading down via Cabane D'Orny to the chair lift and back in the valley by 2pm. We are now back at Rick's place in Lausanne planning the next few days.

Bon Accueil

This morning Rick and I caught the chair lift up from Champex Lac and after a 2 1/2 hour walk in arrived at the very welcoming Cabane D'Orny. I quick drink to refresh ourselves and we headed up to Aiguille de la Cabane (2999m) to climb Bon Accueil which was 6 pitches from 4b to 5b. We swung leads before an abseil/walk descent and back to the hut for a chill out, relax and acclimatisation.

West Wales Diving

Having had a few days of meetings. I drove up to West Wales yesterday afternoon to stay at a friends house in Ceridigion.

This morning Ken, Ian and I drove over to St Brides and met up with a number of other divers including my sister to do a few dives at Stack Rocks (5 mins off the beach by RIB).

Vis was a bit poor on Dive 1 but better on the second dive (all pics from Dive 2). A lot of lobsters in the pots but none that I could get hold of for tea.

My new (ish) drysuit performed well as expected making for warm and dry dives.

Tiger 800 XRx Givi Luggage

Having picked this new Triumph Tiger 800XRx up in July I have now fitted it out for touring with the Givi Outback range of hard Aluminium Cases. Initially I fitted a Givi B47 plastic case I had lying around but I didn't like the look and wanted something bigger as I have some big touring plans coming up.

The first job was to fit the Aluminum Base Plate SRA6401 which was easy enough to fit but required me to drill 17mm holes in the plastic of the Tiger tail area. The instructions were clear and the holes are pre marked already. I only had a 16mm bit so this meant a bit of filing after drilling but it all worked well and lined up. The plate looks tidy and has a very secure fit as would be expected as it it motorcycle specific. Fitting time was around 1 hour (but 20mins of this was spent looking for a 17mm drill bit).

Next the Givi Trekker Outback 58 ltr OBK58A arrived. I had dithered over the 42ltr or 58ltr but decided I would later regret it if I bought the smaller one. I was not keen on the black version so kept it plain silver. This clipped straight onto the plate I had fitted and even when full had no significant effect on the handling unless it was windy. MPG did not really suffer much either. I rode around like this for a week or so before ordering the next parts.

The frame needed for the side panniers is the PL6401CAM which again fits perfectly and all the holes lined up. Fitting took me about 30 minutes

I had agonised over the pannier size whether to go 48ltr of 37ltr. In the end I went for one of each the theory being that due to exhaust the right pannier sits out a bit so it would be too wide with 2 x 48. Although the back end looks a little lopsided I don't care as I don't have to look at it

A bit of personalisation with the stickers provided from Givi plus some Triumph Tiger ones I got from eBay.

Indoor pics as absolutely hoofing it down with rain today so didn't want to work outside.

I can open the right side pannier easily with the top box on. The left side pannier lid catches on the top box if you try to lift it on hinge but you can lift it enough to release hinge and take whole lid off if you really needed to get in without moving the top box.

Total Costs = £1136
SRA6401 = £110
Outback OBK58A = £335 included free Givi E251 plate but I didn't like the look
PL6401CAM = £151.49
Outback 48ltr Pannier = £269.87
Outback 37ltr Pannier = £249.88
P and P for both deliveries about £20

Time taken - about 90 minutes but easily under 60 mins if I had the tools in some kind of order rather than spread about between garage, van and house.

Apart from the SRA6401 Top Box Rack all other bits came from Thor who gave great service and prices.

Overall I am really happy with the quality, the look and the prices. I hope to have a European road trip next week (weather dependent) to give the set up a full test.

Sunny Climbing on Dartmoor

Today I headed down to Dartmoor with Gordon and his son Johnathon for some climbing tuition at Haytor. We started by looking at setting up a Top Rope on Step Across (Diff) and Bulging Wall (V.Diff) which Johnathon climbed. We then built some belays and placed gear around the crag and then he seconded me up Zig Zag (Diff) before leading it with me on a rope alongside.

After 4 days climbing in a row the kit is hung up and it is now a couple of days of meetings and admin before next weekend's diving trip.

Sunny Sport Climbing

After a weekend's work, I decided to have some more climbing and joined Jez in the sun at a couple of the Sport Crags just of the A55. Penmaen Head and Castle Inn. We climbed a number of routes in a relaxed, sunny environment before I headed off for the long drive home