Thursday, 21 October 2010
Living and training up in the Highlands, I'm hoping Dartmoor will feel relatively warm and dry, but I won't hold my breath - these events have a good record of attracting the worst of the elements.
It's now at the stage when there's not much more I can do to prepare. Now it's time to sit it out, think, relax. Be ready for the first glimpse of the map and the sound of the starter's airhorn -then it's time to act.
Monday, 11 October 2010
Sunday was the real reason I headed south: the Pentland Skyline race. The cloud was down the whole way, making some of the intricate route finding tricky, but I was pleased to come in 15th. 2 places higher than last year, although 3 minutes slower; I'm blaming the weather for those 3 minutes. Konrad was 6 seconds behind in 16th and OMM partner Duncan came 21st, so OMM prep is in good shape. Dunc's sister Katie was the final Team Towers member to cross the line, in a very respectable sub-4 hour time. High fives all round.
The big news, however, is that Mr Betts got his Torridon project on Saturday: The Essence. Not many lines like that hanging around. The Bettsmaker is beggining to pay off. Nice one bruvva!
Richie on a previous session working what would soon become The Essence, Font7b+ish: a perfect highball line low on Seanna Mheallan, Torridon.
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Running is a lot like hillwalking I guess, as it's a great way to get out and explore places you don't know. Fortunately it doesn't take as long and doesn't require knee-length red socks. Over the years of inhaling the contents of climbing guidebooks some hill names become engrained in the memory, but I still don't really know where some of them are, and more importantly, how you get to them in the pre-dawn dark of a frosty winter. So, after this latest run I now know a wee bit about Fuar Tholl and Sgorr Ruadh and their beautiful cliffs. Will this be the year I get to see their wintry side?
Boulder project 1: Malcolm Smith's Arete, Torridon. Beautiful line, beautiful place, hard. Perfect.
Boulder project 2: The Scientist, Brin Rock. Fairly local, very hard (for me), a long term goal. (Photo: Richie Betts)