Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas at Aoni Onsen

Well, not quite Christmas yet but there's only a day left to go. While snow on the ground was shallow compared to our visit two years ago, when we had it up to our ears, the fun was plenty and there were Christmas presents too.

Aki in her yukata.

A right royal Christmas breakfast!

A rare glimpse of Aki with her new glasses on.

A rare glimpse of me with nothing on. No really, this onsen had a sign by the door saying it was totally cool for girls to take nude photos of their boyfriends. We didn't break any rules here!!

Aki chilling in the hot tub. The water in this tub was lovely and hot, but getting in and out was a challenge.

Aoni surrounds.

From the room. I was looking forward to having a night at Aoni, where the sound of the flowing river would ease my tinnitus. However, the river kept me awake most of the night and woke me up at six o'clock sharp.

Driving back through the Tsugaru plain.

Happy Christmas everybody.

Friday, December 15, 2006

More climbing shots.

I tried some action shots but didn't quite catch the effect.

Monday, December 11, 2006

青森代表 Representin' the North Side

This coming weekend I'll be heading down, with other representatives of the Aomori climbing world, to Morioka, where there's going to be a regional bouldering competition. It's going to be tough, since I've been advised to enter the experts group, full of 50kg vein poppers and muscle bandits. Don't be fooled by the use of the word 'expert' though, since in Japan it's used very casually to describe someone who remotely knows what they're doing in any kind of sport. I expect to come in deep down at the bottom of the prize list, and my main objective, like when I did the Iwaki Hillclimb Challenge alongside hundreds of lycra loonies with sponsorships splattered all ove rtheir backs, is to keep myself off the very bottom of such a list. I was successful on the bike, so let's hope there's some crazy lard lover out there willing to make me look good on Sunday.

Five of us from Rat Walls in Hirosaki are competing, but the two most likely to land in high scores aren't pictured on this post. Instead I've got.....


People flinch when they see his stomach muscles. This young upstart has rocketed through the grades and is likely to do very well on Sunday...


It'll be a tight one between this man and myself. He's got some very strong points, most notable of which is his light weight and perseverance...

ブー太郎君 (myself)

My strongest point is my height and reach, which is a very good advantage when competing against Japanese climbers. I've also been building up strength over the last few months, but I doubt it's enough to make any difference against the high grade climbers expected in Morioka on Sunday.

Expect footage from the weekend. More of the same old drab climbing shots.