Saturday, 17 April 2010
Perfect days at Polldubh.
One of the main, but not only, reasons for being in Scotland is to be able to explore the awesome, diverse, and beautiful cragging with normal weekend trips rather than the 8 hour missions from Sheffield. The winter, variable weather, and even more variable climbing partners has made this a sometimes frustratingly distant dream even when the crags are considerably closer. But now, spring has sprung (it's raining outside as I type), the ski season is over, and the snow and ice is finally fucking off the crags.
So the cragging season is starting (well, continuing, for me) in earnest. In the recent heatwave, I managed a 2 day dash to Polldubh. I'd been years ago, an abortive 12 hour round trip of sunshine and showers and rain and midges and general utter bollox. THIS trip was considerably better. Two days of superb sunshine and terrific temperatures and classy cragging in stunning surroundings - I'd never made it up to see Steall Falls before....how damn cool is that area?!
[Land Ahoy on Black's Buttress - 15m of intense and immaculate 5a - 5b climbing to reach the first gear. Not the sort of "gritstone legbreaking horror" I usually choose these days, but a great experience nevertheless, very interesting keeping calm on fairly steady climbing in an increasingly serious position.]
Day one I seconded plenty of easy routes until late in the evening when we trekked up to Black's Buttress and I did two great slabs. Day two we trekked up to Wave Buttress - my main inspiration - first before it got too warm, and I did the legendary Edgehog (well worn, well chalked, join the dots trade route) and the adjacent Walter Wall (no chalk, less gear, a much more satisfying journey), and then finished off lounging and belaying in the sun - I got sunburnt! In the Highlands! In spring! This is the sort of trip that makes it all worthwhile, and hopefully there'll be many more when the weather allows. Basically, even more RAD, even more SYKED :D