The hidden sandy beach is flanked by orange sculpted cliffs. They have the appearance of the Grampians in Australia, but sadly lack the structural integrity. However, hidden through a cave in a second pebbly bay I found the crag classic: Amateur Acrobatics. I think Hamish Fraser and others have been developing problems here for the last year or so, and from what I saw this problem stands out as THE line. That's one of my complaints about this coast: it doesn't really have that many lines, just lines of holds, and more often than not you jump off at an arbitrary jug. Not this one though.
Here's Hamish on it:
And here's Bettsy:
I was on a flying visit on Sunday so didn't expect too much, but got dead excited when I linked into the crux after a few tries. That was it for that session though. The crux seemed to be using a high heel to flick round the lip into a big slopey pinch thing, but I couldn't hold the swing. Again and again and again.
I was so impressed and excited (and the weather, tides and fickle coastal conditions were too good to miss) so I came back with the lamp the next night after work. After failing to hold the swing for the umpteenth time I started asking questions of my sequence and rapidly realised that the burly heel could be replaced by a cheating kneebar, which made the reach to the slopey pinch thing static. Hamish, I apologise wholeheartedly for ruining your creation with wack beta. Blame Alex Barrows. Still, by the time I'd worked this out I was so goosed that I still fell off with my fingers tickling the top-out.
After two days of rest I was back again tonight. I had the lamp, but really I was racing the sunset as I had a dog in tow that we're road-testing and might be re-homing. I didn't want it to get dark and then lose her on an unknown beach. Fortunately, things came together nicely and I topped out as the blue Caithness coast disappeared beneath an orange burning sunset.
All told, I probably drove the best part of 300 miles doing three round trips to Primrose Bay in the last 5 days. And for one problem. But was it worth it? Without a doubt.
And I didn't lose the dog.