Monday, 25 June 2007

#8: Rain, Ravensheugh and dissapointment.

Well, the rain abated long enough on Saturday to allow a brief session at Agaziz Rock in Blackford Glen. It was nice to get out and I felt that my stamina/power endurance/whatever was vaguely improving because the R-L traverse felt pretty easy both times I did it, and the L-R traverse is getting easier, until the last few moves, which are very much the crux. Its probably just familiarity allowing more efficient movement, but it felt good what ever it was.

Konrad Rawlik cranking at Agaziz Rock

So, from one day of positivity I sunk to depths of climbing despondancy yesterday. Edinburgh was, once more, awash with heavy rain so with trepidation Chris, Steev and I drove south in search of dry rock in Northumberland. Somehow it's normally dry somewhere in the County, and if it was really crap we could just go to Kyloe-In where the steepness and trees keep much of the crag dry. By the time we got to Berwick there were blue skies and no sign of recent rain, so we decided to be adventurous and head to pastures new.
If you look up Ravensheugh in the NMC guide, UKC and Rockfax you get told of the Counties best crag with the best routes and best outlook. Well, I'll grant it the latter point, but it was a very dirty, wet, hard place yesterday. No-doubt recent weather has taken its toll because there was lots of seepage, but many of the dry routes were filthy with moss and lichen. Bummer. Many of the routes are undercut at the base, giving a sporting start and quite a few I looked at looked sparcely protected. Oh well.
In the end we spent all our time on the Parallell Cracks wall, getting a severe bruising from the short, powerful and very dubiously graded face climbs. I tried to work Little Idi (E1 5b, my arse!) to no avail. In the end my total was a Diff and a VDiff. Hmmm. It easy to blame the route, the gradeor the crag, but maybe I should stop the excuses and admit I was just climbing badly. I guess some you win, some you lose, but I'm not going to be racing back to Ravensheugh. Not until I'm solid on E4, and then I might be able to climb some of the E2s. I'm not bitter, honest.
Chris Edwards attempting Little Idi (E1 5b, 6a in real money!)
Just one of those days I guess. Maybe I should have just grown some balls and gone for the lead on something, rather than wanting to solo shorter routes. As compensation, it was a beautiful place, perched on a hillside on the Simonside Hills, near Rothbury, overlooking a huge, flat-bottomed valley with very little sign of human habitation.
Some you win, some you lose.

No comments: