Wednesday, 30 June 2010

To the hills...

After the amazing week out on the islands it feels like I've not been up to much lately, Work seems to have kicked off and I've been working some horribly long days, driving all over the place doing upland bird and habitat surveys. It's nice work and my hill-fitness is benefiting but I'm not too keen on work getting in the way of real life.

So, when not sweating up hills in search of our feathered friends I've had a few sessions up on the mighty Ruthven Boulder. I managed to climb The Dude, the twin to The Big Lebowski and although both get given the same grade it's defniately easier than it's sibling. Last time up I had a fight with The Razor's Edge and lost a large amount of skin to no avail. Hopefully soon I'll be back for another wrestle and maybe the tick.

On the other end of the scale I had a big day on Saturday on the Shelterstone with Chad. We warmed up on The Pin, although 'warm up' might not be the right term in it's current dirty state. Then we linked the first 3 pitches Steeple into the first pitch of The Spire into the last few pf The Needle. The original plan had been to climb The Spire but a combination of being very dehydrated after foolishly leaving all our water at the top of the crag, approaching drizzle, and the general hardness of the fist Spire pitch sent us scuttling up the Crack for Thin Fingers and the Needle Crack instead. By the time we emerged onto the plateau in the evening light the dehydration was in full effect. Tesco's blackcurrant and apple squash never tasted so good.

Chad starting up The Pin.

Chad on the first pitch of The Spire on our Shelterstone link-up.

I've found over the years that with the people I regularly climb with I'm often the stronger member of pair, and although this has some benefits it also means that I rarely get to follow harder pitches and to find out what to expect from them. It was good to finally climb with Chad because he's been climbing since I was a wee nipper and is fairly handy (he'll love reading this). Following that hard pitch on The Spire was pretty eye opening, and if I wasn't already, I'm pysched for the day when I can lead E4 in the mountains.

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