Thursday, 7 June 2007

Soft Rock #2

A very late start got us to Bowden with about three hours of climbing before it was too dark. Had a good time anyway. Managed to do Pitcher Wall (HVS 5a), which I'd backed-off the start of before. This time I found a fiddly but good wire to inspire enough confidence to crack on. Its a good route, if a little short-lived (what isn't at Bowden?).

I've now been to Bowden so much that I'm beggining to run out of routes to do. I've done pretty much all the VS, HVS and E1s and am trying to get into E2, with last weeks ascent of Yellow Peril (E2 5c). Most of the things left are either complete sandbags at the grade or are just plain hard. I tried Little Red Rooster (E1 5c) but was totally pumped by the time I had the crux (huge) move to do at the top, so I came down again. Ended up doing Black Crack (VDiff) after realising Red Crack (HS 4c) requires huge gear and evil climbing (graunchy/laybacking). Anyhoo, Chris did a good job on Wall Crack (MVS 4c) but is still falling off the top of Y-Front (V3 6a). It gets HVS in the guide but there is nothing about this route that translates to HVS climbing - its just a boulder problem. He's pretty strong so should get it soon. It was very dark when he was trying too. Here he is looking faceless:

I'm stoked. Today I'm getting the train to Mallaig, from where I'm going out to Rhum and Canna to help with tagging this years Sea Eagle chicks. I'm on the team as the 'climber' so I think I might have to set up some abs, but I'm not exactly sure. It should be awesome. I did some voluntary work on Canna last year for 6 weeks. It was for the Seabird Enhancemant Project (rat eradication) and it was such a great place to be. Every day we were out checking the lines of 'bait stations' to check on the rodent activity on the island. By the time I joined the team all the rats were long gone and the project was just in the monitoring stage. It was through this that I met Martin Carthy, who does some work with the raptors, and he contacted me about the work with the eagle chicks. I'll be back on sunday so will update then, hopefully having not been attacked by mummy eagle. Here's a bad shot of Sea Eagles above the Tarbert Road Cliffs on Canna:


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