Monday, 27 July 2015

My new favourite book!

The book is Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds by Bernd Heinrich. Ok, so strictly speaking, it's not new as I've been reading it for months, its one of those books that you cannot read too much at once, there is too much to think about in there. "Deeply engaging" says Austin Hackney in his review. I totally agree!And where better to tackle the next chapter but up  a tree! So on a fine lazy Sunday afternoon I took it 15m up into my favourite oak to read the chapter on caching behaviour and all the mind-games his ravens play on each other. Amazing.

Tried this new technique for me, setting up a SRT canopy anchor. I had left a fine cord in place last time I was up so I used that to run up the tougher throwline, which in turn I used to haul up the Blaze arb access line. After a visual check through the binoculars and then bounce-testing I fairly zipped up on the SAKA (the anchor is self-cinching by climbing on the left of the two lines). Once up there I hauled up one end and set up a DRT rig with my favourite Pinto pulley and the Distal hitch. then disassembled the canopy anchor, so I could descend at any time. The knot in the rope hanging out of the pulley is an alpine butterfly, a very cool knot, here used as a stopper just in case the prusik slipped if I dozed off in the afternoon warmth....

Hands-free selfie!

Happy Tim time, suspended between the main stem and the big branch behind me (white Grillion lanyard)! 

Ha ha...lookin thoughtful! Probably thinking about the big slice of cake in my mini haulbag...

Time to head to the ground before it starts to pour (JUST in time!)