Friday, 17 August 2012

The Future

For as long as I can remember I have loved to climb in stiff rock shoes.  During my early years I would often hear older, more experienced friends saying things like "my boots feel the best just before they wear through" and as I personally preferred my boots for the glorious few weeks shortly after being broken in, I always wondered if I was a little strange...
The La Sportiva Futura

As the years passed I realised I was more than just a little strange, but not for my rock shoe choice.  This was simply just a product of climbing style, something that develops over years based mainly on your successes and failures, and is not something that can be quantified as good or bad... it just is!

 So hear I am, getting ready for one of the hardest, boldest on-sight attempts of my life, and I am about to slip on one of the softest shoes I have ever worn, what has gone wrong?

 The answer is quite simply nothing... or perhaps more precisely, it is everything! The Futura is the latest development from La Sportiva, and has been getting a lot of attention in the media recently, through advertising campaigns and reviews.  La Sportiva would like you to believe that the shoe is a revolution in climbing shoe technology, that the shoe is the next big step forward, that the shoe is in fact the future!
The Futura is Now!

But dont they say that about every new model?

 That is pretty much what I thought last year when I was first introduced to the concept by its creator, Pietro Dal Pra.  Pietro is a good friend of mine, but I must admit I was sceptical at best when he explained the ideas behind the design, and told me not only would the shoe change the way I position my body and take weight of my arms, but that it would specifically make on-sight climbing easier!

 Pffff, Sure thing... a new funny looking shoe is going to improve my onsighting... nice joke!!!

 But then I tried it, and the world literally flipped upside down!  Everything I thought I knew about climbing shoes was re-arranged, and I was left with a bemused but content look on my face, thinking that those people over at La Sportiva are a pretty clever bunch indeed!

 This is about the time I expect readers to jump out of their seats, crying out in anger (or something a little less dramatic like a slight shake of their head) that this is all fixed, and I have obviously been brainwashed or showered with gold to speak  such lies, because anyone in their right mind knows a climbing shoe needs and edge, just like a bird needs air beneath its wings, or a fish needs the sea.  Ok, ok, take deep breaths, that was a long sentence!

 By doing away with the "edge" you are forced to adapt the way you place your feet, utilising more of the general sole area.  I say adapt, but its not really much of an adaptation as to me it feels more natural than anything I have tried before. By allowing you to use the entire surcace rather than foucus on one small point, you can change the direction of your feet, which does alter the way you put wight through your arms.  In adition, you can be less precise with your foot placements, which allows you to be quicker, and dah da daaaaa makes onsighting easier.

 This might sound like I am saying the Futura makes it possible to climb more  like a pig!  Well... that is pretty much what I am saying in a round about way, but a very happy pig who is getting less tired, climbing faster, and succeeding on more routes!  Correct me if I am wrong but that is a good thing?  No?
The different toe profiles of Edge and No Edge

By eliminating the edge, The Futura also claims to allow the use of smaller micro edges than a traditional shoe, because the toes can get closer to the rock and there is no rubber to "roll".  Again the shoes live up to their bold claims and can perform well on the tiniest of edges, however it is worth pointing out that by their very nature the shoes will focus all the pressure onto the big toe, which can become quite painful after a few moves.

 So what is the catch? As I said before the Futura has become my main climbing shoe but I'm not about to throw away my other shoes just yet.  There are some situations where having an pointy edge that is to opposite shape to your toes is an advantage, and in those situations a traditional edge will still rule the roost.  Steep bouldering is one of these situations as the point at the front of a pair of heavily downturned shoes makes it so much easier to pull into little flakes.

 If I had to put a number on things, I would say I use my Futuras for 90% of my climbing, and for that 90% they feel more comfortable, and I feel more confident, than I would in "traditional" edged shoes.

 If after all of this you still dont believe me, perhaps the following photo will do something to convince you, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words...

On-sighting the bold E8 of My Piano in England wearing Futuras

Monday, 30 July 2012

The Kinabalu Diaries - Part 2

More extracts from the Kinabalu diaries. The difficulties of climbing hard up here are becoming apparent, but we are beginning to find the rythm...

The Amazing Oyayubi Peak

James 16th June

Three days into the trip, well it’s actually more like seven, but today is the third climbing day. Bodies are beaten, but minds are getting stronger. It’s funny how just a few days ago, I would have said the exact opposite, as we arrived at the base of the mountain well rested, but a little apprehensive.

 Climbing and living at 4000m is something new to me, and coming from sea level to the top in just a day made the experience even worse. My head is still aching and my lungs still screaming now, but on the first few nights it was hellish. Walking up through a torrential downpour did little to help the situation, wet clothes that never dry make you cold to your bones. Wind, rain, how can we ever climb in a place like this? But then the clouds clear and the sun shines, you see the most incredible landscape you can imagine. A mountain of granite, twisted and sculpted into formations from your dreams, with overhanging towers and faces as far as you can see, just waiting for their first bolts.

Yuji has been here before and so we know the score. Patience is the name of the game, the weather can never be trusted, meaning a lot of time in the hut, then making the most of the small windows through the mist. He tries to explain us how things work up here, and what our schedule may be like. The 5am wakeup call sounds horrendous at first, but when you realize it is only 7pm and your eyes are starting to close, perhaps it is not so bad.

The Kinabalu Plateau

The first time on top of the mountain, it’s hard to take it all in. It’s so vast, so 3 dimensional, with towers shooting off towards the heavens, and dark gullies seeming to fall away to hell. Yuji explains the location of his existing routes and shares the secret of his projects, we spy a few new things of our owns, all that remains is to start.

I have bolted before and understand the fundamentals, but "really" knowing what to do, and all the little things that make it work well only come with practice. However in comparison to Daniel and Caroline, I am a master and so I do my best live up to their hopes, and teach them what (little) I know.

Within a few days everyone is firmly in the swing of things. Everyone has found their piece of inspiration, thrown in some steel work, and stared trying the moves. Like bolting, climbing at altitude is something that also needs learning. So different from climbing near the sea; not only does the sligh test tricky sequence have you panting for breath, but I also find myself feeling much more intimidated than usual, worrying that my feet and hands unexpectedly slip, despite the amazingly grippy rock.

Speaking of the rock… The best quality granite, formed into every shape you can imagine, offer a seemingly endless playground for the (slightly) adventurous. We are essentially running around, cherry picking the best, hardest, most inspiring lines from the whole plateau, and there is more than we could ever hope to blot. If you extent things to the easier grades or the more difficult to reach areas, the potential is there for several life times.

After a few days we all become more accustomed to living at altitude. No longer are we out of breath during evenings in the hut, and we start to become aware, some more painfully than others, about the importance of Sun cream and moisturizer! Of all the routes we have bolted, the majority have been freed, leaving some of the hardest routes in the area. The difficulty when bolting is not just to choose a beautiful line, but to find something close to your limit, but still climbable. The difference between possible and impossible is something very small!

Life in the hut is easy and enjoyable, thanks in a big part to the involvement of Mountain Tork – a Malaysian Adventure Tourism operator, and our guides on the mountain. They have taken care of everything, leaving us free to focus only on the climbing. The amount of planning and preparation on their part is simply outstanding and it is safe to say without their help, this expedition may not be possible, certainly not in the same way.

Caro, 17th of June

The Double Arete

Yesterday was a great day… I had bolted a short route on the first day. It turned out to have quite incredible mouves, very precise footwork and… a double dyno!

I didn’t expect it. And figuring out the methods, I knew I couldn’t do it. So I gave it to James, who made it first try after working the methods. I was so happy! My first route ever was a success, 8b, Apuri Manan. It means sensations. But then Daniel and James pushed me to keep on trying the moves… And 3rd day, I found the precise footwork to do the jump. And I made it! I was so surprised. I always give up when I can’t do a move of a route. Interesting to discover the land of projecting.

Today was a good day as well because James found his project. The Double ArĂȘte. While he was bolting, after a precarious trad approach to the top, he really wasn’t sure that the route would work. But the in the day he made all the mouves.

You should have seen his smile when he came down.


Friday, 18 May 2012

Let the Odyssey begin...

Day 4 of the Hotaches Oydssey and there is a definite theme developing… COLD.  We began in Bowden and it was cold, moved to Great Whanney and it was really cold, then south west to Gogarth where, guess what… cold!  I realise we are in the UK so my expectations are low, but it’s May for goodness sake, ou est le soleil?


I signed up for this trip because of the opportunity of visiting lots and lots of cliffs I have never (but really should have) visited before, in a pretty short time frame, and so far we have been doing just that.  The only problem seems to be the weather, which was always to be expected yet somehow slipped my mind until the last moment.  We have been scanning the forecast and driving accordingly in the hope of maximizing our dry climbing time, yet by the laws of the sod, we have more managed the opposite.  Still, some great climbing has been done, and some even greater falls taken – for an example you can check out the little video below.

The highlight for me so far has been Crisis Zone, a magnificent E7 at Great Whanney.  In stark comparison to the routes of Bowden the day before, you can actually fall off this route (from certain points) and so can allow yourself to try hard and go close to your limit.  The route finishes in a crazy position, with a steep boulder problem around an arĂȘte and thank god flutings to the top.  After cleaning the thick green lichen from an ab-rope, I was able to climb the route on my first attempt, battling a horrible flash pump in the process, the result of poor warming up in the arctic conditions.  With the gear left in-place, the rest of the team took turns to play.  It was interesting to see how different people utilize their different strengths, and how once the gear is set and tested, “BIG” routes like this become just another sport climb.


On the whole I think Caro and Hansjorg are still quite unsure about what exactly “the point” is with UK Trad, but from time to time, just for a moment, I see their eyes light up and smiles spread across their face as something clicks into place.  Tomorrow is a new day, and the whole country is waiting.  I’m excited for so many possibilities, my only hope is everyone stays safe!


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Road To Kalymnos

Wednesday 26th September will see the start of the first annual The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival, an event that has been in preperation for a long, long time, and one that I have been lucky enough to play a (very small) part in.

The festival runs for 5 days, over the course of which participants can enjoy competitions, presentations, and of course parties.  With its stable climate and KM's of unclimbed rock, Kalymnos is a great place to hold a festival of this kind, and I am sure it will be a blast.

Take a look below for the official flyer from the event, and check out the full program over at the official website.  Looking forward to see you all there...

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Aria - The Clue Is In The Name!

Guest post from Caro!

Merci x First meeting with Aria - love at first sight on wet tufas

An unusual approach!

Aria, the 3rd target of our Sardinian holiday dedicated to multipitch (and to days waiting in the rain), is presented to us by Pietro Dal Pra. For who doesn't know the character, Pietro is now the "shoe tester" La Sportiva, to whom I say thank you for the best climbing shoes in the world. He is also the 5 stars belayer of Adam in his mad lines, Wogu and Tough Enough; finally, he is the one who first freed Hotel Supramonte, and also repeated Silbergeier more than 10 years ago. A legend of climbing indeed. Well, Pietro decided to take us to his baby, ARIA, and play the role of "climber-sitter" as he says himself.

Aria, therefore, in theory, is quite a normal route: 7c / 7a / 6c+ / 6c+ / 6c+ / 8a+ / 8a+ / 7a+ / 7b+ / 7a. 10 pitches, 350m, and seriously overhanging – with just 2 pitches in the 8’s, we could do in the day if we fight well... Except that, after further clarification, Aria has a small a-typical side : it can be done with 6 quickdraws!!!!! AAAAAARRRRGGGGG

6 quickdraws, in pitches of 45m, do your calculus - it's at least 7 m between two points! Minimum, I mean, because if the first two spits are a little closer (and I am glad, nothing worse than the climber falling on the belayer), it means of course that the other spits will be spaced more than 7m!

No fear (well, for James maybe, me, at my very best, I will do one or two pitch leading eh), here we go! 1 hour by boat, half an hour walking through a forgotten path, there it is. WOW, Aria is the only way up the whole face of Monte Plumare, directly above the sea. First class!

 I confirm I am terrified, as even in the very first 7c you can fall 20m to the ground, but as Pietro says, "When it's easy, you're not supposed to fall." Pietro climbs with us – partly for support and encouragement, partly because he is worried we may need to be rescued. I take my first lead of the day in the 4th pitch - 6c +. Oh my god, it is terrifying and feels like the hardest 6c+ I ever made! So yes, exposure adds a bit to the grade, especially when it's wet AND breaky!!

We arrive at the foot of the first 8a + ... completely wet! Not a single colo is dry, it rained hard five days ago and you can see the results! That said James has not had his last word, and as a good (crazy) trad climber, he goes for it. Despite the flowing water, he almost makes the pitch, only forced to stop at a high spit due to wet shoes / hands / chalk – perhaps all the wet weather in England is good practice for something! Pietro is in charge of the belaying, as providing a dynamic belay whilst clipped in direct is not just an easy job, yet vital to avoid serious injury with such big fall potential! My turn... it's really a frog party, absolutely soaked! Damn, it will not even be possible today ...

James still carries on in the 2nd 8a +, that he ticks on sight, then we all lower back down to the floor via a complicated series of steep rappels.
Content Caroline
No tick, but tea and chocolate in the evening bivouac at the foot of the wall makes up for it. Pietro tells the mythical stories from the opening of the route: gound up of course, he took 25m falls, then wincing on hooks to place a spit 8m above the other, with a field of tuffas for landing! A huge wild pig comes to eat just next to us... I fall asleep dreaming of wet tuffas falling on my head ...

Too bad, we'll be back, promise!!

Aria, second round!

After a few weeks of crossing my fingers to scare the God of rain (it seems that if I concentrate well, I'm getting there), we are back to Aria, again with Pietro who will perfectly repeat his “climber-sitter” role. Thanks to him I now know how to haul if James has a problem, and make a prussic to protect me on the rappels – its not much, but its a good base, especially considering I went in five routes already without knowing it!!

This time we are also joined by Riky Felderer and Pietro Porro, fresh in from Italy with hopes of capturing Aria in all her glory. Minor detail ... we do not even see Aria on the approach! A thick fog soaking everything it touches is hanging above the ocean. I begin to fear the worst... But at 6am the next morning ... the sun appears above a sea of ​​clouds! It looks like something from another, far forgotten world.

James seems in a bad shape (perhaps the pressure, or the 800kg of 5 star meat we ate in Sardinia?)! He gratifys us with 5 trips into the bushes before finally embarking on the first 7c, ultra expo - 45m, 6 points, and a little breaky rock at the top... The fog has made the rock uncomfortably slippery, in case the pitch was not already hard enough, but he makes it!

I pull myself together to lead the easy pitches, 7a, 6c +, 6c +, but when you squeeze the holds as in an 8 to anticipate a rock break and a 20m fall they feel anything but easy, and when I get to the top of the first 5 lengths I am destroyed! Ricky and Pietro jumar before us, lost in the air. I am surprised how a simple presence on top of you can be reassuring, when lost in the methods, 200m above the ground!
The End of the 2nd 8a+

Coming up, a big 8a+, a second 8a+, then 7a+, 7b+, 7a. James won't make a single mistake, with still a big fight, a zip and catch in extremis in the first 8a+, a perfect pitch that finishes in a magic chimney between two colos. Unfortunately, I break a hold just after the crux, so it is back to the belay, 5 minutes rest, and a great big fight to the top.

The second 8a+ goes more according to plan but we are really starting to feel the hours of effort behind us. The three last pitches will require more fighting. The first 7a+ is especially tough, reminding us that even the easy pitches should not be underestimated. 5 years since its last visit, all traces of chalk have gone, and the once clean holds are just a memory. With the last spit below your feet, and the next one too far away to even see, you must tread very carefully, searching out the best options to avoid any traps.

James will lead the hard pitches, and I will second on top rope. Every pitch brings a good fight, more fatigue, but more excitement as we creep closer to our goal. The top of Aria is definitely a highlight, with stunning views East into the wild, untouched Supramonte, and North along the beautiful Azure coast. Pietro follows us all the way and its evident from the smile on his face how special this place is to him, and how happy he is for someone to enjoy one of his proudest creations.
Aria has given us so much more that I ever expected - superb climbing, incredible stories, two days that will forever remain in my memory!

Hats off to Pietro for his commitment setting up Aria, just thinking about him drilling that far above the last spit, I'm still terrified for him.

Thank you Pietro for giving us the key.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Oh and it's raining again!

Loud on your car like bullets on tin, open the door and pulling me in.

Rain is good for catchy songs, not for multi-pitch on giant collonets!

The last two weeks in Sardinia have felt more like climbing in England than the Med! We have had rain more often than not, usually only a little each day, but all those littles add up to a lot, and with the addition of two recent days of torrential downpours, every tufa on the island now seems to be wet!

At first we got pretty lucky, climbing 2 of our projects in surprisingly quick time (you can read more about them at ). Both Mezzogiorno di Fuoco and Amico Fragile rely heavily on collonets in their hard pitches, with Mezzogiorno’s crux pitch being a full 55m of humungus tufa fun. There were a few wet holds here and there, but the weeks of great weather prior to our visit meant the initial downpours had little effect. In fact, we climbed the crux pitches of Mezzogiorno in a violent rainstorm, fortunately sheltered by the overhanging wall above, listening to the rush from the curtain of water just 10m from our backs.

Caro looking up at the imposing Amico Fragile (230m 8b max)

As the days went on, things became slowly worse. Firstly we found El Viaje de los Locos (250m, 8b+) pretty damp, but being stuck in the ever shady Gorropu, I wasn’t so surprised. The hard low pitches were climbable in their current condition, and I managed to free the 3rd (crux) pitch on my first redpoint try. However, the wind in the upper wall was un-real – never have I climbed in anything like it, and we were forced down from the route before making it to the top. The wind was so strong it would literally knock you off the wall! Ok when close to a bolt, but becoming dangerous when 4 – 5m above your last gear, on the ballancy and technical 8a+ slab!

Aria was a route on our list from the beginning, thanks to the glowing testimonial of its loving creater Pietro Dal Pra. The numbers of Aria all add up to make a tough challenge, but it was the photos and description of the crux pitch tufas that made us desperate to give it a bash. Aria is located on Punta Plumare, a giant overhanging cliff directly out of the ocean, a little down the coast from Cala Gonone. Access to the cliff is via either a 2 hour overland hike or a 30min boat ride, and as a result feels rather exposed and isolated even before you start climbing.

Punta Plumare. Aria is the only route up the overhanging central section!

Pietro seemed keen to repeatedly inform us this would not be sport climbing, and that we should approach the route with an alpine mentality. In short, this meant we needed to be prepared for an adventure, and know how to rescue ourselves should any mishaps occur. The reason for this is Pietros strong ethics and even stronger courage when it comes to opening a new multi-pitch. He only equips from the ground up, preferring to run it out to the next obvious clipping point, than place awkward, difficult to clip bolts. As a result, you can climb Aria with only 6 quick draws, which when you do the math, means for a few rather large runouts. For example, the two crux pitches are both around 45m, each containing 6 bolts. With equal spacing, the bolts will be 6 to 7m apart, yet when you take into account the closer spacing of the first few (nobody enjoys falling on their belayer) you have a recipe for some BIG air should you botch the upper sections.

After a refresher lesson on rescuing an unconscious/hanging second, and some very useful other tips from Pietro, we all set off for Aria in a little rubber boat. Pietro wanted to accompany for a number of reasons, including friendship, a wish to revisit a special place, and a desire to keep Caro and I as safe. As we racked up for the first pitch, he told me not to worry, as it was 7c, but with good holds you can really hang on to – in other words, steep, and most likely pumpy. He also told me that the bolting was not too bad, but that I must not fall whilst clipping the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th bolts as he wasn’t sure he could keep me off the floor – great!

Spot the local...

The first 5 pitches passed as expected – no major drama as long as you kept a cool head. After a few hours we arrived at the start of the first 8a+, ahead of schedule and full of energy, things were looking good for a 1 day ascent, possibly even on-sight. Well they would have been, had the pitch not been a waterfall!
From the floor Pietro had checked out the collo’s through his binoculars and warned us that one or two could be a little wet. What we actually found was a dripping, slimey mess, with almost every inch of rock running with water. Hopes faded in an instant as did my desires to go any higher, yet as Caroline and Pietro joked that they were happy it was my turn to lead, it was clear that I was expected to!

With pride winning out over fear, I pulled on my shoes and searched for the first bolt. Every point of contact was soaking, morphing what would usually be a steady traverse towards juggy tufas, into a sketchy, slippery battle against a fall onto the belay. Each new bolt found me breathing a sigh of release. Each new bolt found me struggling to dry ever wetter hands, feet and clothes. Each new bolt found the anxiety growing as I searched for the next and the methods to climb to it.

As I arrived at, and made it through the first crux above a scarily big run-out, I started to think I might actually be able to make it after all. However, the hardest moves lay just above, and as I struggled to rest on the damp holds, chalk now a little better than paste, it came as little surprise when I slipped off just 2 moves higher.

The last section of the route is the piece of climbing that makes Aria so special. Two parallel tufas one meter apart, beginning from almost nothing, becoming deeper and deeper the higher you climb. You start slapping up either side until the pint when you can switch to the inside, literally chimneying up between the two until you reach the belay. Words can not describe the wildness of this final section, wedged between two bottomless tufas, your ropes disappearing to the last distant quickdraw, with nothing but air between your ass and the ocean 200m below!

Sunrise from the base. Just one of the many magical things about this route!

The next 8a+ was significantly dryer and I was able to on-sight it with a giant fight to reach the chain. With almost all the route in the bag, it was tempting to go back to try the first 8a+, as it was probably possible to climb it in those conditions. Yet, despite the possibility of success, the certainty of it being a horrible, uncomfortable, disgusting experience outweighed everything else and we decided to lower off, and come back another day. With routes as beautiful as Aria, they deserve to be treated well. I would rather return to climb the route in the dry, enjoying the pleasured of each pitch, than bear the thing into submission, only to arrive on the summit. Sometimes, the experience is worth way more than the tick!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Food, my favourite thing!

Moving on from my last blog, I wanted to talk very quickly about one of the most important aspects of big days on the rock - nutrition. The first thing to say is don’t underestimate it – good nutrition is vital and can make the difference between success and failure. Whilst it may work to go to the sport cliff with just water and a pack of cookies, this approach simply doesn’t cut it on a big wall Secondly, this is not a science (well technically it is, but let me try to explain what I mean). Every body is different, and therefore each person will react differently to different foods. Whilst one person may feel the benefits of munching on dried nuts and fruit, the next may love pouring down powergell, and another may swear that jellybabies and chocolate milk is THE solution. Placebos can be just as strong as the real thing and if something works for you and makes you feel good, stick with it! I don’t mean to start preaching about the rights and wrong, the good and bad. I would just like to share some of the things I do that seem to work for me, in the hope someone else my find the information helpful.

The Stash!

The basic principle behind multi-pitch food is small and light. Whatever you take needs to be packed into your bag or pockets and carried up the wall. Small and light is not technically correct, a better choice of words would be nutritionally dense – to pack a big punch in a small packet. A great example of this would be a Power Bar – scientifically engineered to provide you with lots of fast acting, long lasting energy, all from a bar half the size of a Snickers. Power Bars come in lots of different types and flavours and so you can custom design your supply to work through the day – perhaps some fast acting Power Gell before beginning the crux pitch, with longer lasting slow release bar for the final upper pitches.

Power Bar has come a long way in the last few years and most of their products taste reasonably good. However, there is no getting away from the fact they are designed in a lab, and after a few hard pitches, I often find myself craving for something, well, a little more natural.

Eat Natural is a little company from the South of England, and they pride themselves on making great tasting snacks and cereals full of natural ingredients. “Packed with good wholesome stuff and nothing dodgy” is how the company describes its products - something I would have to agree with wholeheartedly. Eat Natural has been supporting my climbing with their bars and cereals for a few years now and they are something I enjoy every day, both at the cliff and at home. However, it is on long multi-pitch routes where the bars are truly worth their weight in gold.

As I said above, it is hard to argue with the scientific way Power Bar has designed its products to efficiently deliver the nutrients your body needs, but science is not everything, and the power of great quality comfort food should not be underestimated. Eating something healthy wholesome and tasty will not only give your body some of the fuel it needs, but will also make you happy – and the power of a smile can be very strong indeed! I tend to take a ratio of around 2 – 1 Eat Natural to PowerBar with me on a route, eating roughly 1 bar every 2 pitches, which seems to keep me going for most of the day.

The perfect Bivy meal... I wish!

If I am on the wall for more than one day, in the evening I try to eat as much “real food” as possible, often in the form of rehydrated soups, usually followed by a few bars for desert. In the morning, I usually take cereal and coffee. One useful little tip for saving weight and volume is to pack some cereal and some powdered milk together into a zip-lock bag - simply add water and you are good to go, no need to mess around with extra bags and bowls.

Ok, cool... Now its off to Sardinia to test out if any of this actually works!