Saturday, 2 February 2008

Playing Away

I've not been up in the mountains since a few weekends ago so no wintery fun to report, except that the sky is currently spewing a huge amount of snow in Lochaber. Check out this photo that I took earlier:

I'm hoping to get out on the hill tomorrow. I suspect it will be a pretty full on winters day - lots of digging for gear and placements and a fair old wind, but I'm game for a laugh.

At last, I have a car once more, a Skoda Felicia from 1997, and despite the odd grumble and rattle on it's first journey it seems to work well enough. It's quite nice to have a slow car, there's no pressure to speed or overtake, or skid, or crash.

I was down in Edinburgh most of last week, hanging with the Jones and catching up with Yummick types. I even managed to squeeze onto a yummick trip to Bowden, home of the Northumberland strong man. As I've mentioned previously, I've been to Bowden so many times that I've pretty much exhausted the routes and highballs I can do, so I was there for fun and games, rather than serious gurning and fear. It was what a days bouldering should be: a bunch of good friends having fun, taking the piss because we're all crap and falling off lots. There was an air of 'the boys at the crag', as Viv, Duncan, Chris, Konnie and I ran about, giggled and fell off repeatedly. Suffice it to say I didn't get up anything I hadn't done before (mind you, I didn't exactly try), but still got a good working and had my share of fluttery top-outs. Childs Play, The Light Bulb, Russet Groove (twice), Sue, Castle Crack, the two groove problems, you get the idea. Transformer is still a bit too much without warming up, Flying Fish is still a bitch, The Trial is still too big, Overhanging Crack is still too, well, overhanging. However, we did do lots of lieing about on bouldering mats and eating Morrisons fine doughnuts, which is certainly the most important thing to do on a day at Bowden.

A typical Bowden day: Konnie, Duncan, Chris and Viv bearing down.

Viv clearly flouting the 'mats are only for sitting on' rule on Transformer

Chris on Russet Groove: the day finished with a mass ascent and the communal use of a hip-flask as we watched the sun set. Aww. How cute.

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