Friday, 15 February 2008

Taking Advantage

They say variety is the spice of life. If that's true then I think I'm turning into a stick of cinnamon. In a spell of eight days over the last two weeks I have been up to some awesome stuff. I'm not bragging, just singing the praises of living in a country that enables such stuff.

Last Tuesday, Duncan, Becky and I climbed Menage a Trois, my first V,6, in pretty wintery nick. The next day I climbed Ordinary Route with Chris. It was a sunny day but the route was absolutely buried and fairly stressful to lead. Then on Sunday I visited Traprain Law and did some gentle cragging with Jones and Chris in pretty miserable conditions: the famed East coast Har. Then on Monday I ticked my project on the Heather Hat, a V6/7 boulder problem; Midnight In A Perfect World, in stunning evening sunshine. Then, on Tuesday I drove north and met Sam, Duncan, Konnie and Becky and we headed across to the sun-drenched Orkneys and climbed the East Face Route on the incredible Old Man of Hoy. My first sea-stack, and surely one of the most memorable and characterful routes in Britain. Getting the chance to climb it in perfect blue skies in February can't happen often. Hats off to Sam for leading the crux pitch - an intimidating roofed offwidth/chimney/corner that was covered in sand and dirt (though he thought it was OK because a) he is a pervert, and b) he is clearly wrong). Seriously though, a very good lead that only impressed on me that being able to hang crimps two metres off the floor is no substitute for having big balls. Watch Sams blog for some words on our adventure soon.

To make matters even better I've managed to get a wee bit of work with Upland Ecology again. And the sun is shining.

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