This time was different, for a nice change. Freezing fog in Inverness eventually petered out on the Strathbran Autobahn near Achnasheen, giving way to a blue sky punctuated with whisps of high cloud. Sarah dropped me at the boulders then went off for a run from Diabeg. Walking to the Ship I could feel the dry crispness in the air - that perfect combination of atmospheric and human factors aligning, being here, now.
I warmed up at Angel Walls and on North Wall on the Ship, taking my time, enjoying it. I then went up to a lovely slab of Mike Lee's called Straition Slab. I'd seen it on a wet walk back in December and got all excited about a hard looking slab problem (something fairly lacking in Torridon) only to discover Mike had done it and given it Font 4. After a few joyous smeary laps I guess he's about right. A few degrees steeper and it would be a different kettle of fish all together.
Naturally, it was only a matter of time until I was down at Malc's for the usual ritual: laying out the tarp, weighing down the corners with pebbles from under Squelch, aligning the pads, brushing the holds. On my first go I popped off the right hand crimp scar but every go after that was solid to the slopy rail. Of course, that bit's not the problem, it's what comes next. The move. Ann took the photo below of one of my better goes of the day, my fingers curling over the top before the momentum from my right foot coming off rips me backwards.
|Ready for another rapid dismount... Photo by Ann Falconer|