Friday, 26 June 2009


As I'd hoped in my bloggage t'other day, this spell of good weather has hung around for long enough to get out a bit.

I joined Alex for some post-work mountain cragging on Wednesday evening, in the shape of No Blue Skies on the Mess of Pottage in Coire an t'Sneachda. This pleasant wee crag gets all the sun going from mid afternoon onwards so is perfect for an evening's play. Three pitches of mountain granite in shorts and T-shirts at eight in the evening, then back home for tea and medals (pasta and pesto).

Alex following pitch one of No Blue Skies

Mark was keen to join me for a Firestone raid early yesterday morning (work didn't start 'til mid-day, honest) so we made the familiar slog to the Lower Slab for a look-see. For the first time this year the route was all there - no seepage, no snow: play time. He very kindly belayed while I played on a top-rope - the first time I've actually been on the route proper. First things first, at about 20 degrees by 9.30 in the morning it wasn't optimal slab climbing conditions, as proven by my amazing vest-shaped sunburn (colder = better friction), however, I did make some pleasing progress, linking the whole thing in a one-er once (beginners luck?) and spending time refining the moves. Unsurprisingly it's pretty hard, very delicate and sequency, but I think with full knowledge of the moves and cooler conditions it might be OK.

Learning about friction: working Firestone

Fortunately the weather is cooling for the weekend so if it stays dry I'm heading up again tomorrow. There could be a wee posse of us this time, and with an open mind let's see what happens....

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