Monday, 31 May 2010

Help Zalia

Help Zalia!!!

Appeal by Anna Piunova (

...A dreadful accident happened about a week ago in Turkey with Zalia, a daughter of Salavat Rakhmetov, famous boulderingist, he won World Championship 2005 in Munich at the age of 38.
Sure, you’ve heard about him.
Salavat lead the pitch, his wife belayed, when huge block of rock fell down directly to their 5 y.o. daughter, she’s still unconsciousness, in intensive care in a Turkish hospital, she has pulled through four surgeries (amputation of a hand, sewed big toe on a leg, stuck in the spokes of a broken arm and a leg).
But she needs one more heavy operation - damaged crashed skull fragments fell into the brain.
Doctors are waiting for swelling of the brain reduces to allow the operation for removing these fragments.

The problem is that her medical insurance expires tomorrow, and she’s still not transportable because of the injuries.
Hospitalization can last from two weeks to a month. And the cost (w/o surgeries) will be approximately $74,000.
Rent of a special aircraft for the transportation of Zalia home is about $49,000.
In total she needs $123,000.
If she’s alive.

So let’s try to co-ordinate and to find money for Zalia. It is not so easy.
But all our children grow up near the cliffs.....

Your possibilities to help Zalia (please choose the most economic and most trustful option for you):

1. Possibility:
(we propose this for all internatinal donations, because it’s the best working and by far cheepest option for those)
You can donate, to a PayPal account that was also established to help with foreign donations.
For more information and donation, this way visit the site:

we propose this for all internatinal money transfers, for people who can not donate
The data for Western Union:
RAKHMETOV Salavat (Kipaevich)
63 & 8470; 8399932
28.04.2009 - 28.04.2014
Moscovskaya oblast, g. Odintsovo
ATTENTION: When you have received the Western Union transfer code, send it to the reference person Anna Piunova:

3. Possibility:
national and international Banktransfer (SWIFT) to Salavat’s bank account. It seems like this is not possible from all countries.
For Euro Donation
Acc.& 8470;42307978100020001331
Name RAKHMETOV Salavat (Kipaevich)
-For USD Donation
Acc.& 8470;42307840900020002150
Name RAKHMETOV Salavat (Kipaevich)

4. Possibility:
The turkish search and rescue team (AKUT) opened an account for Zalia
this account is useful for money transfers from turkey. At the moment it’s not possible to donate from other countries than turkey to this YTL-account!. A €-account will be opened maybe later. The money will be given here in Antalya directly to Salavat by trustful climbers. A copy of the bankstatement of this bankaccount will be given to Salavat.
NAME: Hakki Gokceoglu
BANK: Garanti Bankasi Konyaalyi Subesi
Sube Kodu: 412
IBAN: TR53 0006 2000 4120 0006 66667 48

5. Possibiliy:
(we propose this for all internatinal donations, from tuesday on, because it’s the best working and by far cheepest option for those):
A PAY PAL account directly on Salavat’s name will be opened on tuesday. We will publish the data for this as soon as posible

Thank you for your heart and take care


Monday, 17 May 2010


After a lazy day, where all our “sight-seeing” plans failed to materialise, Sara and I took the metro to meet our friends for a BBQ on a rooftop. This was all the information they gave us, and so I innocently imagined it would be on the roof terrace of someone’s apartment or something similar. Not in Berlin!

Fabian met us on the street and led us down a small alley towards what looked like some sort of old abandoned factory. We climbed over a tall fence, and followed him towards the building where he led us through a window into the damp dark building. He had conveniently brought a torch to lead the way, which we were very grateful for as it was pitch black inside, and we followed him through twists and turns, up many flights of stairs until suddenly we were climbing out onto the roof to be greeted by around 15 or 20 other people.

The view from the roof was amazing, especially once the sun went down and the lights of Berlin were switched on. Unfortunately we had arrived a little later than originally planned and the grill was rapidly getting cold. We tried our best to cook some sausages, and got surprisingly close to succeeding before hunger got the better of us and we ate them regardless with fingers crossed for no ill effects!

Our base for the next few days was going to be with a very friendly girl called Lena that had kindly offered us a place to stay via We met up with Lena a little later on, dropped our bags off at her place and accompanied her to a friend’s place for some pre-party drinks. Things in Berlin don’t get started until around 3am so my pre party drinks involved a few cups of strong coffee as well as the usual bottles of cheap sparkling wine – classy ;)

Lena had told us she would take us to some of the more “ugly” clubs for the real Berlin experience and so the venue for tonight was to be a little different to Watergate. Situated in an old railway repair station, M.I.K.Z wasted no money on fancy furnishings, but was full of friendly people, psyched for the music, to dance, and make new friends.

The music was pretty good, but the DJing left a little to be desired and sketchy mix’s between records were not uncommon. I had fun, and it was nice to experience it, but in the future I would be more inclined to stick to seeing the “bigger” DJ’s in the better known clubs as I can get the M.I.K.S experience most nights in Innsbruck. Later that morning we went back to Watergate for an after party. It was in the downstairs section of the club, where all the windows are clear so daylight was allowed to light up the whole place. This really seemed to change the atmosphere and I had a lot of fun dancing in the sun.

Eventually our tired muscles got the better of us and we went back to Lena’s place at around 11.30am to grab some sleep. Sleep came quickly and we woke only at around 6pm when our bellies began to cry out for food. A very brief and sleepy trip out of the house found us eating in a very authentic Indian restaurant in on Kreuziger Strasse, which is famous for its many elaboratley decorated squats, and discussing plans for later that night.

There would be a great night at Arenaclub that I was quite motivated to go to, but on the other hand, the thought of a good night’s sleep, getting to see some of the sights of Berlin and also being fully recovered for my upcoming trip was also quite tempting. One choice was definitely more fun than the other, but one choice was also more responsible. I really didn’t know what to do, so figured I would sleep a little more before making my decision...

Sunday, 16 May 2010

FREE RANGE TURKEY #8 - All Good Things...

FREE RANGE TURKEY_dispatch #8 from camp4 collective on Vimeo.

Another amazing dispatch - Renan, you killed it again! Dont suffer too much in Alaska ;)

Cheers guys for an amazing time out there, it certainly brought a lot to my life...

A privilege and a pleasure ;)

Thursday, 13 May 2010

I left my last post promising you to upload parts of my expedition diary soon, so here it is...

But before you read on, know that this won’t be one of my typical climbing blogs, and may include thoughts of a random, seemingly unrelated personal nature.

Climbing is great, it’s my favourite thing in the world but it is not my whole world! There are many other things I enjoy, and many other things that I feel make my life more complete. Hopefully the following posts might give you a little look at the life of James – just another random person on this planet, rather than James – the climber...

One of my other main loves in life is music and dancing – there is something I find very special about a room full of strangers instantly being transformed into friends when the lights go down and the bass goes up. Dancing is also one of the more efficient ways to burn calories, and in my opinion is certainly a lot more fun than running 10k every day. Before my expedition, I had no idea what musical opportunities would emerge whilst I was away, and so assuming the worst, I decided the “sensible” choice would be a weekend of decadence and debauchery in the party capital of Europe! My music tanks would be well topped up, i’d be at fighting weight for the fun to come and also ready to sleep on a rather lengthy flight... Enjoy ;)

Monday 29th March - 2010
Its 9am on Monday morning and I have just come home from a club called Goldengate. Partying in berlin is crazy, there are so many options, so much good music, so many people, and the partys go on and on and on – and when the normal parties end, people go to the Goldengate! It is basically a very grimy and dirty building under one of the metro lines. Its cheap to enter, cheap to drink, plays good music and is full of people who dont care to much about anything else

So lets start from the beginning, but before I continue I should apologise in advance for any “questionable” writing skill or glaring mistakes in the following lines. Whilst I feel pretty good, how I actually look from an outsider’s viewpoint is still up for debate, and so the same probably applies to my writing and choice of words. Oh well, at least it might be amusing to look back on...

So yes, Thursday...

I arrived in Berlin, with heavy bags and tired legs. Meeting friends old and new at a metro station at around 11.30pm, we all walked together back to their house which was fortunately not too far away. Thursday night had always been marked down in my mind as a night to sleep, but the guys had other ideas and excited talk of partying filled the air. I decided I had to motivate, if for nothing else but the sake of group dynamics. I looked online at the listings for the various clubs, and saw something at first I could not believe – Laurent Garnier, possibly my favourite DJ of the moment, was playing at a club called Watergate, one of the coolest, trendiest clubs I really wanted to visit!

Motivation was no longer a problem, quite the opposite in fact ;) We got ready, went out and found Watergate. On arriving at the club there was a group of very well dressed, trendy looking people talking with the door-men. There were two guys, two girls, all good looking, the kind of people who normally push past into the VIP section but not tonight! They actually got turned away! This made me a little concerned for our chances of getting in and I began to worry that the club might already be at capacity! I need not have worried, as on reaching the door-man, he simply asked us for the name of the DJ, and on replying LG, we were let right in!

This was my first experience of Berlin clubbing, and I liked it! It’s not about what you dress like, or how much money you have - just all about a love of the music :)

As could be expected, Laurent played a great set that was both long and eclectic. Watergate has a very powerful soundsystem, and when when I first entered the club i was blown away by the intensity of the Bass – It really made the whole place vibrate! The music started off as minimal Techno before moving in standard Techno, and then getting really crazy!

First LG dropped some hard drum and bass tracks, which I actually really like in small doses. He played about 4 tracks back to back from this Genre which really energised me and found me bouncing up and down like a mad man ;)

The style then changed to more funky, with lots of trumpets and other Jazz inspired sounds. Latin style followed the funk, which is a sound I like a lot and always gets my hips swinging ;) (if you want to get a better idea about this type of music listen to the track “la Mezcla” or any sets by Luciano

After latin came the style I really like Laurent for at the moment, the smooth vocal inspired remixs. Some of my favourites are Everything in its right place, a Radiohead track and The End, by The Doors

At around 6.15, we started to talk about leaving to save some energy for the rest of the evening. I knew LG had more gems he was just waiting to play, so decided on staying for 4 more tracks, after which I promised the others we could go. My fingers were crossed for something truly special to finish the night on, and Laurent did not let us down as the 4th track he played after deciding to leave was probably his most famous track ever – “the man with the red face”. What a brilliant way to end the night!

But that wasn’t quite the end, one last thing that is worth mentioning is the amazing floating river terrace attached to the club. As we went downstairs to retrieve our coats, we noticed it was light outside and decided to spend just a few minutes sat on the terrace, enjoying the early morning sun. This has to be one of the best views of any club in the world, and with a slightly fuzzy head it seems even more perfect...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Free Range Turkey 7 - The Stone Rider

FREE RANGE TURKEY_dispatch #7 from camp4 collective on Vimeo.

Climbing with Yuji was an inspiration for us all - I think the video says it all...

Thanks for an amazing trip guys, catch you all again soon...

Monday, 3 May 2010

Greetings :)

For the last month I have been doing a little globe-trotting. Many amazing experiences with countries/places/people have been enjoyed, but one experience that left a little to be desired was the internet access!

First up was Tasmania, which turned out to be one of, if not the actually the very worst country I have ever visited for everything and anything connected with the interweb. It was slow, super expensive and twice as unreliable – the cause of much hair pulling and the occasional swear word.

I hoped that on returning to the mainland, things would improve substantially. One would imagine the surfing situation in Australia to be pretty sweet, but unfortunately, one would be wrong – it sucked almost as much as tassie!

Which brings me on to Turkey – The Tease! Turkey promised so much, and almost delivered, but ultimately the frustration continued. We were staying in a beautiful, luxury, wooden house, in a pristine location in the mountains above Antalya and on top of all that there was fast wireless internet – had I died and gone to heaven!

For the first 3 days of my stay, I enjoyed my connection with the world, but as a storm rolled in, the power went down and the internet failed to return. Coming and going would be too kind a way to describe the signal; for sporadic 30 min periods once or twice a day the wonderful world of wireless would return, restoring hope in humanity, but inevitably leave us crippled and cursing faster than it came.

Then all was well again and we gleefully stumbled around the virtual world, naively thinking the problem had been fixed until a few days later we were left alone again. This pattern continued for the duration of our stay despite the best efforts from numerous geeks and currently lays unresolved! My current favourite theory involves the local homeless hounds and a partly chewed up cable – not because it is any more probable than 10’s of other likely scenarios, but because it makes me smile a little during this lonely and isolated time ;)

My time away has almost come to an end and soon I will get to sleep in my own bed (albeit only for 2 nights before jetting off again). This means fast and stable interweb, and a chance to upload the first part of my expedition diary. I’m sure you can find it in your hearts to forgive me this delayed release, but if not, just blame it on the hounds...