Saturday, 23 February 2013

To be or not to be... Agile?

Just got back from an very interesting PHP UK Conference. My highlight was probably the talk on "Pair Programming, TDD and Other Impractical Things" by Marcello Duarte which just happens to be Brazilian. Great insights about all the "impossible" things that we try to do to at work in order “to be Agile”. Other good observations on stuff like "BDD is BDD", "TDD is TDD". There is no such thing as "BDD is TDD done right". If you are not doing TDD you are not doing it, period. I can't agree more. Nowadays it seems we are more and more deceiving ourselves by using trend words just to get away with what really matters which is to get stuff done.

Another good point and this one impacts directly with things we are trying to do at my work is related to the creation of Continuous Integration (CI) environments. If you do not have a proper UnitTest/BDD/TDD environment in place, you are not ready to have a CI, and you cannot be agile in the real meaning the world “agile” has. Refactoring is about changing code without affecting external behaviour. If there are no tests, no quality control, you just cannot change code and be sure it all still works, so you cannot integrate. Agility will be an illusion.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Surrey Docks

Rjukan, Finito :-(

It has begin a busy week but all good things come to an end :-)
Because of the time we had to return car back there would be no way we could climb today but I cannot really complain. I do feel like needing a few days rests, body and mind quite tired. On these 7 days of climb we have done 20 lines, 28 pitches, from which I led 12. A full on week I must say! Sure, at the end of the day is not just about how hard or how much you climbed but making friends, living new places and experiences, and this we definitely did! Missing Vivi and being quiet for a while now...

Rob, Mike, Paul, Sue, Stewart and Me (missing Ben and Jo)

Log Book:

- Lysloypa, WI4 (3 pitches) - led pitch 1, Stew led 2 and 3

- Verdens Ende, WI5 - Stewart led 1st and 3th pitch. I did 2nd.

Krokan area
- Jonfrua, WI4 - Stewart led, I follow
- Kjokkentrappa, WI4 - led
- Two assholes and five nice bolts, M6 - top rope (fell in the last move)
- Gaustaspokelse, WI4 - Stewart led

Lower Gorge
- Hjemreinse, WI4 - led, went to the hard bit (WI5)
- Kursuta, WI3 - Stewart led

- To Menn go et Foster, WI4 (4 pitches) - follow 1st, led 2nd, bail..

- Camillas Foss, WI3 - Paul led, we followed
- Swiss Army WI4 - Stewart led, we followed
- Three Musketeers (right of Swiss Army), WI4 - I led
- Lillebror, WI3 - Paul led, we followed

- Tungtvann, WI4 (2 pitches) - led 1st (WI3) and follow 2nd pitch
- Vemorkbrufoss Ost, WI4 (2 pitches) - led 1st, follow 2nd
- Nedre Svingfoss, WI3 - led onsight

- Presangen, WI4 - follow Stewart
- Ozzimosis, WI4 - led
- Anakje, WI3 - follow Stewart
- Armeringsjernfossen, WI3 (3 pitches) - led 1st and 3th

Cool lines, dream and projects for the next time:
  • To Menn go et Foster, WI4 (4 pitches) - do all 4 pitchs 
  • Rjukanfossen (WI4), Upper Gorge - easy but beautiful
  • Nye Vemorkfoss, WI5 (Upper Gorge)
  • Juvsoyla, WI6 - my dream project

Rjukan and Norway Tips

- Local shops stop selling beer at 6pm, bring your own drinks because alcohol is quite pricy

- Hiring a car in Berg, Sweden would add a couple hours of driving but it is cheaper, plus you can buy food in Sweden which is also cheaper

- Some places would offer you free food and accommodation for a bit of work (cooking, cleaning)

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Rjukan, Rjukan Centre

Last full day of climbing, we woke up early and rested (so we thought), ready to climb until sun light was there. We decided to check another sector, very close by. Rjukan Central is 5 minutes from where we were staying and the walk to the base of the waterfall is a short 15 minutes through a steep path.

Starting on hard and bad ice

Top of the route

Although I'm not feeling any specific sign of muscle tiredness it is visible I am wasted.. Last night I forgot to put my boots to dry. Today at the start of the climb instead of choosing the more straightforward way I went to the steeper part, which was very very hard and brittle ice.. I was pumped of my mind, my crampon slipped and I was hanging by a single axe… quite scary. I was not feeling comfortable at all in the simple bits. Another fucked up - I took less ice screws then we needed.. I became sloppy and not psyched. There were loads of fresh snow, I had to be cutting path and ended up socked (shit non-waterproof trousers). Being wet and shit cold probably does not add up. Stewart led the second pitch which was easy and because the third pitch was not properly formed and we would need rock gear I made a delicate traverse so that we could finish at the top pitch of Tjonnstadbergfossen (WI4), which was also very used and hooky but still pretty. We walked back to the parking place. It is crazy that Paul and Ben were just a few meters away from us and their ice was blue and soft rather our bit was hard and rotten at some places...

Today we did:
Lysloypa, WI4 (3 pitches) - led pitch 1, Stew led 2 and 3

Friday, 15 February 2013

Rjukan, Upper Gorge

It has being snowing for 2 days now, non-stop. Me, Stewart, Paul and Ben went to Upper Gorge, Stew was keen to have a look into a WI5 and Paul and Ben were going to try the classic Rjukanfossen. The path was fully covered by huge amounts of fresh snow and we had to open trail for more than an hour to get to the base of the climbs. The end of the gorge is like a huge bowl, Lipton was just in front of us and the huge walls on both sides make you feel quite humble for being in such a great place. It kept snowing on and off and at some point Paul felt into the river but just got slightly wet on his foot.

Breaking trail towards the end of the gorge

The snow was really wet and my shit quechua trousers do not help. At some point I was socked and got really cold what probably not helped in making me keen to either follow or lead any hard pitches. I am still feeling mentally tired from the last day. The face of Rjukanfossen also looks very impressive, from the distance Paul looked as a small dot making his way up the ice.

The beginning of Verdens Ende, WI5 

Stewart led the first pitch which was quite steep and with very hard old ice. At some point he placed a screw and rested for a while. The third pitch of the climb is also long and very sustained. Once up we walked all the way back to the bridge to pick up the car and return to find Paul and Ben who were just finishing their climb.

Ben and Paul at beginning of Rjukanfossen, WI4

Verdens Ende, WI5 - Stewart led first and third pitch. I did second.

Another WI5 in the bag