Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Nice thrutching at North Third
One of my vague Scottish sub-plans is to climb at least a route at every crag with starred Extremes in the Lowland Outcrops book (apart from some of the Galloway Hills nonsense with 3 day walk-ins). Not necessarily for top quality climbing but for the interest and diversity and love of esoteric wee crags. The other weekend I had an unexpected chance to do just that, and got both an esoteric wee crag and top quality climbing.
This is North Third, where we hadn't planned to go to. We had planned to go to Cambusbarron Quarry, which was looking increasingly implausible as I drove through heavy showers to get there. A sopping wet carpark dissuaded us from even wasting the 2 minute walk-in. After some musing on plan B (drive down to Ratho, climb outside if dry or inside if wet), Mike from Dundee decided it was too much extra driving, but said he was going to have a recce of North Third. I was curious so drove along too, "just for a look". Curiosity rewarded the cat and the crag, being considerably more open and exposed, was actually dry.
Thus (after an abortive and somewhat "steep learning curve" jamming lesson attempt by Mike) I managed to get to grips the jamming classic Jezebel, which was great, and then Flying Dragon opposite (and above) which was even greater. Jamming at it's best, at a crag with a great location and really unusual vibe, like few places I've climbed at in the UK. So I got unexpected dry rock, an unplanned esoterica tick, and undeniably good climbing. Win!