Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Shirts vs. Skins

Stevie Hammond on Polldubh classic Ressurection (VS 4c***). All photos: Siobhan Miller

Sweaty palms, worn-out finger-tips, big grin.

It's been another week of blue skies across the Highlands and the Aviemore posse have been out getting scared, pumped and sun-burnt.

Pete's Wall (E2 5c**) at Huntly's Cave was the start to a good week, climbing with housemate Stevie Hammond and some chap called Julian Lines (whats he ever done on grit/granite/gabbro/limestone?). I then proceeded to almost kill Stevie when a huge hold came off the top of Dead Tree Wall (VS 4c*). Luckily I caught my fall on the profusion of colossal holds in a Mission Impossible stylee. Stevie dived out the way just in time, but hurt his ankle in doing so. Better than stoving in his skull. Be careful out there kids.

Siobhan Miller on Polldubh's other classic VS, Damnation (VS 4c***)

Jules then showed us a new bouldering spot above Loch Pityoulish which is absolutely incredible. Roof cracks, juggy prows, and scary jamming abound. The next day I teamed up with G2 Mike, Jules and Duncan for more exploratory bouldering, this time in Laggan. Lots of stunning lines to fall off, but just mind the bog. Mike will be bringing out a new Strathspey bouldering guide in the near future, so watch this space for more esoteric masterpieces.

Topping up my tan on Kaos (E2 5c**), Blacks Buttress

Then it was Saturday and a trip to the holy grail of West Highland cragging: Polldubh. Blue skies, no midges, tops-off-for-power. The highlight for me was heavy-breathing my way up Kaos (E2 5c**) up on Blacks Buttress, but in all honesty sharing a beautiful day in the mighty Glen, on great routes, with friends, is always a sheer delight.

Stevie getting bored while I gibber high on Kaos.

I think Steve wins.

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