Monday, 30 April 2012

Rain Sandwich

Two days of brilliant blue, sandwiched between two of the wettest, grimmest days for a while.  Strange.  Strange to be getting weather from the East at this time of year.  Strange to see the Cairngorms so blindingly white in the bright sun at eight in the evening - shadows and definitions different to those cast in winter.

I'd agreed to a day with Sarah on Saturday, which would normally involve some sort of running or being dragged up a Munro, or both, but she was battling with the end of a cold, which meant that snoozing in the sunshine while I bouldered was a perfectly legitimate couples activity (the promise of tea and cakes at the newly discovered Kilnroom Coffee Shop, just a stone's throw from Laggan 2, had nothing to do with it).  I even cleaned a new problem for her to do - Sarah's Slab, Font 3.  It's not all about me, you know.

Sarah had work to do on Sunday so I headed out to Goat Crag with Rich, Nick and Mike, meeting Andrew, Sue and Tess there.  I'd been keen for some trad action but Rich reckons he's ticked all the early season crags, so Goat it was.  (I told you it wasn't all about me.)  Given that Goat is the jewel in the crown of the North West sport crags, it was pretty ridiculous that I hadn't been for about a year, not since last Spring's Mactalla sessions.  During this time I (might) have improved, and even more routes have been put up, so was more than happy to leave the wires behind.  There'll be plenty more opportunities....ahem.

Nick, the sky and Snowflake (Photo: Richie Betts)
After Mactalla, the next amazing 7a+ is Snowflake - a techy wall capped by a ludicrously, and I mean ludicrously, steep flake, utilising a rather foreign-feeling selection of kneebars, heelhooks and joke-sized jugs.  I'm not ashamed to say I've not done it yet, but am looking forward to a rematch soon.

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