Saturday, 29 January 2011

Robert the Bruce

The Sanctuary, Bealach na Ba, Applecross.

What's that old legend about Robert the Bruce hiding in a dank cave and watching a spider trying to spin it's web? Try, try and try again. Success will come if you try hard enough.

In a radical departure from my usual form I've had a successful week: topping out some great problems in the lonely wilds of the Highlands and being offered an interview for the previously mentioned RSPB job. I've even scraped some cash together by writing articles for a mate who does something to do with web marketing (I still haven't grasped the particulars). Something about lights and tunnel ends springs to mind.

After a fresh fall of snow the Bett's and I had a whitey and backed out of our plans to go to Hell's Lum on thursday, giving way to one of the best day's North West bouldering I've ever had. Richie's text on wednesday night says it all about our winter vs. bouldering motivation: 'fuck ledge shuffling i wanna pull on some sick slopers'. I don't doubt that we'd have had a good day on the hill, but would it have beaten a day on Torridonian Sandstone in Applecross, under a cloudless sky? Who knows. As it was, conditions couldn't have got much better: cool, frosty, still and sunny, so after a warm up on the Kishorn boulder we hunted out The Sanctuary on top of the Bealach na Ba (I shook my fist at Blue Pillar as we drove past). There's a pdf topo of this cool low roof on the new Stone Country site and it's definitely worth visiting if you're in the area, just make sure you've got strong core muscles as the problems all start lying down! I managed a dubious tick of The Sanctuary problem (starting 1 hold out, but seriously, why would you bother starting lying down? I was bouldering, not caving!). I'm taking the tick.

On the way back down the hill we visited the Dam Boulder on the lip of Coire nan Arr and after receiving maximum beta from the first ascentionist (Richie) I ticked the brilliant left arete of the roof. Two 7As in a day? Perhaps, perhaps not.
The King Line on Dam Boulder

After a full day of interview prep yesterday I've back down to Laggan today, managing to
fill in some of the un-climbed (certainly uncleaned) lines. One of which, though I say it myself, was a bit of a peach - short, sharp and powerful and something I thought was a long way off when I last tried it about a week ago. Just goes to show what trying can do.

Some of the Laggan beauties


John Watson said...

Hi Gaz, where exactly are the Laggan boulders in the photos...been meaning to do a map of them all? any topos?

Gaz Marshall said...

Hi John,

Those ones in the photo are at the Creag Ruadh boulders, on the south side of the hill with the monument on south of Laggan.
Weather permitting I'll be back up there tomorrow to fill a few more gaps. I'm in the middle of putting together some topos so if you like can email them to you when I've got my act together.