Monday, 30 July 2007
My radio alarm went off at 6.30am to the tune of some christian lord praising number. I hadn't bothered to tune my radio to anything in particular the night before and as luck would have it I woke with the good news that God sent his own son to die for my sins - a huge relief.
With a morally clear mind I made it into town to catch the Scotbus at 8am. It didnt turn up till 8.20am though it still seemed to think £2.80 to get to dingwall was just.
From Dingwall, Andy picked me up with Clare and Murdoch and we headed west.
Weather: suspiciously overcast
We arrived at Tolliadh Crags and walked through a squelchy bog (wellies - I cant get enough of them at the moment - superb) Andy Lead an E1 which we all had a bash at seconding, but my eye had been drawn to an uncomprimising E5 called Crossroads going over a steep overhanging buldge. Short, well protected, 6b. I hoped I would suit me due to the bouldering spree I've been on. I set off on the lead having been lowered off for a wee look at it. Weather: Raining. Backed off to don my waterproof trousers and gave it another bash. I established on a poor sidepull, worked my feet up, and threw to a 2 finger slot in a crack. Unfortunatly I only caught it with one finger and didnt have the tension to 'bounce' to get another finger in. I fell off and almost kicked Murdoch in the head. Dejected, I restorted to tried and tested headpoint tactics, which worked! Pulling on to the jugs above the buldge, sunlight found its way through the dark clouds and I felt its pleasant warmth on my face. It's always nice when that happens. I need more mileage, thats obvious to me. But at the same time I want to climb routes to remember. I dont get trad climbing very much so I'm always tempted to go for hard stuff just incase I might get a breakthrough send and all of a sudden I'll have the ability and knowledge to onsight E4's, E5's... regularly. I'm going to the peak in August and I've promised myself to do loads and loads of E1's, E2's and E3's so see what happens.
Weather update: pishing with rain.
I'm sitting in the car with Murdoch and Megan, who turned up 'for the banter'. I find a book on the backseat which takes my mind off the rain for a while. It's an I spy affair, I have to locate various fairy tale characters hidden within a picture. Murdoch has trouble with it, he doesn't know what tom thumb looks like. The rain clears but so has the breeze. We are soon sorting out gear for some afternoon sport climbing when here come the midges. Oh God. Noooooo!! Jesus fucking Christ fuck midges I hate them. The Faith I found this morning seems to have gone out the window. I'm sorry, how can I love all creatures great and small when there are midges biting my face and neck and hands, and, moreover, what kind of God would create such foul monsters! Not a very good one, that much is obvious. I run round in a circle in hope of making the buggers dizzy but it doesnt work.
We arrive a top secret west coast sport climbing crag called Kuhjo Crag. Topo out soon though! I try a project which has the suggested grade of 8a. It takes me a while, but I think I get all the moves. I'm too pooped to go for a redpoint. The top out feels desperate but might not be too bad with after a rest. One thing is for sure - it will go. They always do.
Thanks to Murdoch for heroic belaying both on the E5 and project!
Travelling back now. I fall asleep in the car. Home. Dinner. Bath. Bed.
Wednesday, 18 July 2007
The boulder is another find by Richie, and its a good 'un, as my grannie sometimes says, though she's not into bouldering. She has climbed Sydney Harbour bridge, however.
Anyway the psyche did the business. I managed to almost tick the boulder but it's intense! The first problem i tried was the weird but wonderful "The Alcove" - V3, which took numberous attempts to get my head around, then my arms and body and finally my legs. Next was a burly V5 - "Scatwell Masacre" which I was psyched to try and flash but my feet came off and campusing, surpisingly, did not provide the send. A couple of tries later, it was ticked!
Next problem to suffer the psyche was The Project up the center of the face. It involved using opposing crimps to make a hard hard move to small incut. A heel hook and rock over provided the solution, though from here it was by no means over, on account of I couldnt reach the next hold. The tension required to keep the heel hook in place failed, resulting in an impossible to hold outward swing and graceful landing on the pads. Eventually though, I managed to link it to a sit start giving the boulder its hardest problem - The Catch V8 (V7 from standing).
Richie then got very psyched for another new line, previously dismissed. But with surplus psyche he manged to pull over the bulgde. At the final moment his foot spat off in a moment of sheer disbelief and landed flat on his back... A thinking and a suss out of a better finish and the psyche was back on, and the problem was sent to hell!Richie setting up for the crux throw on his new problem, around V6/7
I then tried the Flytip Lip, V6, but my arms were wasted and couldn't stay composed on the strenuous moves. A good sesh nonetheless! The boulder is well worth is visit if your travelling out west - its 2mins from the road, skin friendly and, in my opinion, as good as Ardmair beach. Drop me an email if your psyched for this place!
Wednesday, 11 July 2007
Monday, 9 July 2007
Friday, 6 July 2007
But it gets worse - I managed to sneak a lift of my mum out to dunty for a boulder sesh with Edd (doesn't sound too bad? well read on...). I managed nothing - couldn't repeat the Dagger, which is now definatly back up to V6. Did a new problem but it sucks and is dangerous as donuts. Note to Rich: its the slopey ramp/arete between the dagger and the warm up. Call it: The Rope, grade it: V3. Tried the left arete project but couldn't top out. This sucks - its the same top out as the Dagger which I flashed!! Curses!! Couldn't remember how to do it. I hurt my hand too. We were getting midged and Edd was struggling to send anything, we decided to bugger off. As we packed up - here comes the worst bit - I dropped my phone down a void between too boulders. Managed to fish it out, but it was soaked and seriously wonky. We were screwed. Couldn't phone for a lift home so we decided to walk.
It started raining. Heavily. Eventually we made it to Dunlichity House (an excellent looking 4 star hotel with superb outlooks and very friendly - well worth a visit if your in the area) where a kind woman leant us a phone. We thanked her very much and waited for my mum to arrive by hiding under a tree to keep "dry".
So my phone is broken :( untill further notice. phone my house - 01463 242001 or drop a comment...
Anna and I, My dad, Edd, Calum and Rich went to Dunty early this week. I led Dracula (which has ferns growing in it - its a classic! Why does it not get climbed???) for my first time which was really fun as I only had 3 cams! Anna 2nded smoothly then Edd and calum tried to top rope it which resulted in kamakazee swings! Went to pinnicle for a bit after. Only really put this on because Anna was desperate for a mention.... Oh and a big shout out to Dad's Jen who complained she didn't hasn't got a mention. Hi.
Where is the sun?
Sunday, 1 July 2007
Rich Bouldering at Creag nan Luch
Andy interrupted the sesh by saying there was a perfectly good crag right next to us. We agreed and got back to clipping bolts. Jim B and Rich's boss Mark and Mark's wife turned up, this created a very social atmosphere. Rich and I managed to redpoint Shootabeena, 7b+, Andy came agonisingly close to sending Superblue, also 7b+.
The Flash Attempt
After this the rain came on and it was back to Andy's for a short sesh on his home wall. This made Murdoch very psyched but his injured body stopped him from doing much more than sitting on a patio chair, shouting abuse at the struggling climbers.
Check out Wild West Topos for a pic of Murdoch's scar and an awesome poster of Creag nan Luch!
I'm genuinely surprised at the number of views this blog gets! Unless there's some cock sucker sitting at home pressing refresh over and over!