Sunday, 22 April 2012


Beware, this post might contain some moaning, in which case, I apologise.

After the quick trip down to the grit in March I had a great weekend in the Highlands, making the most of the warm dry spell and opening the Highland trad account in Gruinard Bay.  It felt great to be back out on the gneiss after a winter bouldering season that had centred on schist and sandstone, and after 4 days of tradding in the Peak I didn't feel too rusty when juggling wires and cams and wondering how on earth to make a clove hitch and equalise a belay.  I started to feel excited and ready for the (hopefully) approaching spring and summer of Highland trad exploration.

Since then, in typically Scottish fashion, the weather has taken a nosedive back to showers and snow on the hills so my dreams of sunshine and sea cliffs and getting scared and being puked at by birds have been scaled back to the standard fare of boulders and bolts.  I shouldn't grumble really, as I've had fun and am feeling relatively fit and strong (for me!) but after a taste of the sweet trad nectar I just want more.
I just need to make sure I make the most of all my opportunities.

The bulletpoints:
  • Laggan - I'd written off a project at Laggan 2 as a bit sharp and a bit hard to bother with for now, but after a quick play on the way home from work I changed my mind, re-jigged a sequence or two and reached a new high point.  Perhaps it's back on?
  • Applecross - stayed in Monty Hall's bothy at Sand and started a cold drizzly day of trying to climb under the MOD roof.  Did the traverse. Which was nice.
  • Torridon - Later we migrated to Torridon where it was drier but still chilly and got on Malc's for the first time in over a month.  Feeling pretty solid all the way to the shelf now and experimenting with the last big move.  Tagged the lip 3 times in a short session.  Big progress.  Will the cold return for another go?
Steve trying Scott's Wall on the Celtic Boulder
  • Scatwell - Same day, when everyone else seemed happy to pack up and go home when the weather eventually turned good I dragged Sarah to Scatwell and had a go on Road to Demestos but ran out of beans (and time) before I could do it.  Sad times.
  • Edinburgh - Staying with Sarah down in Auld Reekie and managed to sneak out for a few sessions at the old haunt of Agassiz Rock.  Surprised to see it still standing and most of the hold still there.  It really is a tottering pile of crap, but I've had a jolly nice time and got pumped so it's not all bad.
  • North Berwick - A quick morning session dodging showers with Chris.  Finally ticked Fogtown, after first trying it a few years ago and not going back since.  It's rather short, but good fun.

The way to Monty's Bothy...

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