I'd hoped that by the end of my time off I'd have a decent list of battles under my belt and scars on my hands and I'd be starting to feel fit and confident. I'd have dusted off the winter of boulders and sport climbs, re-acquainted myself with wires and cams, fear and commitment. Like nature's new arrivals; ready for the new season. I'd be lying to say I've done nothing, but it's definitely not been the festival of spring psyche I'd been dreaming of. The stable weather we've enjoyed for the last couple of springs is yet to show itself and I've been dodging between soaking showers and tempting sunshine. I live in hope.
A day at soggy Ardmair was salvaged by doing a damp E1 on Arapiles Wall and bettered the next day with my inaugural visit to Inbherpollaidh Rock Gym. By the end of the day I started to feel the trad head returning - that strange cocktail of fear, intrigue and confidence that comes from pushing into the unknown. Prior to this I spent a cold afternoon at the Camel and a showery day having good redpoint goes on Primo at Am Fasgadh (still no joy, and surely the season has closed by now?).
I've had a few bouldering sessions too. After the Am Fasgadh day I had time to kill in Ullapool so spent a sunny hour at Ardmair Beach, the waves gently lapping at the pebbles as I spent the last of my strength and skin. I finally got round to visiting Tom Riach, the Culloden conglomerate boulder, ticking everything but the traverse before rain stopped play. I returned a week later for that one. This week I had a session back at Ruthven and decided to try White Russian, aka Mike's Problem. It's a bit eliminate but is the only other 7A+ after Barry Manilow so worth a punt. I managed all the moves in that session so looking forward to returning. Strangely, I think it might be one of those problems that you don't want it to bee too cold for, otherwise slapping for the sharp holds would just be too painful. A good summer project?
|2 long held ambitions finally achieved - Suilven and Lochinver's famous pies on the same day.|
|Badbea Clearance Village in Caithness, not a happy place.|
|Blair in traditional Highland dress.|
|Blair on Tyrantic, E4 6a, Inbherpollaidh Rock Gym.|
|After Rich crocked himself on his road bike (look at this pic) I took Bronwen off to look for potential new crags, only to find someone else's old anchor round this rather insubstantial rock!|