Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Lochaber Dreaming

What have I been up to since I last logged on?
Not a lot would be the general conclusion. The yummicks came up two weekends back for their Freshers Glencoe meet. As usual the weather was pretty pish. Sam, Vet Tom, Sheffield Dan and I decided to break the mould and cross the Corran ferry and try to climb Great Ridge on Garb Bheinn. It seemed like a big VDiff would be just the ticket if the weather wasn't quite E7 quality. For the second time in five days I found myself wading up the 'path' into Coire an Iubhair. It was still as shit as the last time.
By the time we got to where we thought the route should roughly start it was pissing with rain, cold and bloody miserable. It wasn't really the day for climbing mountain rock, VDiff or otherwise, so we jacked it in and trudged back to the car through very strong winds and horizontal rain. Bum.

Great Ridge in the ming

As per, the evening involved getting drunk in the Clachaig, beating Freshers and Committee in the Boat Race and general tomfoolery. Tradition therefore decreed that we breakfasted in the Ice Factor. Tasty.
A few of us headed for a boulder down the Glen in the afternoon. Viv Scott very nearly made an impressive flash of Maisie Gunn (V4) on the Heather Hat, Clare Muir cranked hard on Theory of Relativity and I got a few moves further on Midnight in a Perfect World. Nice.
The rest of the week was same old, except for a 10 mile race on the Great Glen Way on Wednesday eve. I managed a fairly respectable 1hr8mins which pleased me since I hadn't run on the flat since about 2004. I also attended a very weired Congress in Glasgow about 'Intellectual Assets' - don't ask.
I managed to escape that early on Friday, before the 'speed networking', I kid you not, and headed East to the burgh and Jones. We headed across the water to the Limekilns for the afternoon where I bagged two VSs and two E1s. Only one of the E1s wasn't a repeat for me but I'd been meaning to do it for a while as it was the only E1 left there I hadn't done.
VE Day (E1 5c) is a fairly thin face climb with no (good) gear for the crux and I'd say its quite hard 5c. It took a bit of hanging around trying to place something worthwhile. In the end I stuck in my trusty zero 4 cam, knew it was shite and commited. It was one of those great moments when you know that if things go pete tong its gonna go quite badly that way, but if you even started to dwell on that then it would become even more likely. As soon as you latch the hold you're after it's feet up, re-balance, place that expected bit of gear, clip, breath. Then its a stint of heavier breathing, shaking limbs and quick climbing to better gear, better holds and sunlight over the lip. Beautiful.
Saturday was my big bro's stag-do, which involved guns and beer. Wahey. Paintballing, clay pigeon shooting and then some militant hockey team drinking games in the back of beyond (Spitall of Glenshee) made for a good send off to the boy. He's marrying Karen in two weeks time and I'm really looking forward to a big family gathering, Infact, it'll be the first time I'll have seen both sides of the family together. And of course, lucky old Jones gets to meet them all!
I've been down the Glen both nights this week as I'm getting keen on Midnight in a Perfect World. The first section is nailed, and linking it to the second section is getting better. However, the last few moves of the second section are proving tricksome, not lease because there is a big rock underneath them. When I eventually come to link it all its gonna be a blast, but I'm gonna have to be stronger. All this playing on roofs must be doing my body tension a world of good though.

The first section of Midnight In a Perfect World

October evening sunlight over the Ben

I was chatting to Fort William's own Blair Fyffe last night and we might be heading down to Tunnel Wall on the weekend. Very hard (for me), steep sport routes that stay dry in the wet a-go-go! Psyche. Also I need to get out running a bit more so I'm gonna do the Ring of Steall on the day that I'm not pulling down.

Hugs and kisses.

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