Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Backlog Blog!!

Previous weekends as follows:
Sorry for all the number bollox but it's been a good run and I can't be arsed to write anything more interesting.

Desires come true at Duntelchaig
Before I considered moving to Scotland, I had 3 routes I'd seen photos of that had really inspired me. I did Edgehog a few weeks ago, and then managed to get to Dracula, which really is a good steep E3 5c crack and not an HVS jamming traverse lke it looks in the photos... One more to go....soon ;). Now I have a thousand more inspirations from my being up here, though.
Dracula E3 5c ***
The All Seeing Eye Font6c ** (flash)

Awesome at Ardmair
I liked Ardmair a lot before, and I like it even more now. Apparently the home of gritty rounded rock and steep jamming sandbags....more like the home of good holds, good gear, and generous grades!
Shakedown E3 5c **
Western Skyline E4 6a **
Space Monkey E2 5c ***
Unleash The Beast E4 6a ***

Lovely day at Lochan Dubh
Originally the plan had been to go to Inverthingy Rock Gym, but since Richie had ticked the crag, we needed another option. A brisk Northerly wind precluded many of the more interesting Gairloch crags, but the sunny and scenic Lochan Dubh seemed a sensible choice. Nice to get on the gneiss, and satisfying to do some big pitches.
The Missing Link E2 5b *
Call Of The Wild E4 6a ***

Minimal respite at Moy Rock
Finally to route off a diverse weekend of schisty stuff, sandstone and gneiss, we added conglomerate into the mix, well indeed it is a mix in itself. It's always fascinated me and Inverness seems the home of UK conglomerate sport climbing. Bizarre and intriguing, who could ask for more. Well, apart from a bit more fitness and freshness after a long weekend...
Little Teaser F6b+ ***
The Dark Side F6c/+ **

Power at Portlethen
As with pretty much everywhere on the Aberdeen coast, Portlethen has shut my ass down. Time for revenge, well only a little bit - small numbers! Under the watchful eye of Mr Big Numbers - indeed the power was his this session, with a massive run of macho problems - I managed to do a couple of previous nemesii fairly steadily. So that was nice. I don't suck that much after all.
Slap And Tickle Font6b+ ** (worked)
The Prow Font6c *** (worked)

Balls conditions at Balmashanner
The lovely Lyons decided a nice sunny evening was best spent clipping bolts in a dank festering hole in the ground, and who was I to argue?? Climbing is a broad church, right?? Apart from bloody mountaineering, that's an entirely different church with it's fair share of wizened old weirdos and kiddy fiddlers. Anyway and alas, Balmashanner really was dank and festering so I warmed up on one lead and warmed down on one errr aid pitch, and that was that. Ace dinner though.
Start The Fire F6b+ **

Climbing really okay at Clashrodney
Next up for my Crushing Aberdeen weekend was a bit of a granite taster. Clashrodney is a nice place with nice climbing, most of which I avoided by sticking to steep and pokey stuff, but that was cool, it turned out to be good fun and give me some confidence. Notably the hardest route felt easy and the easier routes felt hard. Hmmm.
Yellow Peril E1 5b *
Birthday Treat E1 5b ***
Blind Faith E3 5c **

Finishing nicely at Findon Ness
Already evening but with a showery morning forecast the next day, I was determined to get a bit more out of the day, and get a bit more action on the steep and worrying metamorphic schist that spanked my arse sideways a few weeks prior. This time there was distinct progress - my plan of "lots of chalk, slam in the cams, move quick and trust to good holds" seemed to work. There was a bit of a blip going off route on the ambiguous Siva-Guru connection and sitting on the gear before realising I'd ignored a piss easy finish. I can live with that, I got way more pumped attempting the off route version and resting for 10 seconds than if I'd gone direct (a clearer description would help!) initially. Spirit of the law rather than merely the letter of the law!
Siva-guru E3 5c **
Armed Conflict E1 5b **

Mini-beasting at Munich Buttress
A recent inspiration has been the well photographed Monkey Puzzle at Longhaven Quarries. Well photographed and justifiably so as it is an ace tower of rock - strong and dramatic lines up a striking pillar. Both routes I did were brilliant, the mini-beasting came from approx 3m of crux climbing in Jammy Dodger - nope I didn't dodge the jams and yep it was the hardest bit of crack climbing I did on lead. Raaaargh.
Monkey Puzzle E3 5c **
American Route / Jammy Dodger E3 6a **

Final words from the lean and mean Aberdeen legend, regular Font 7a+ ticker, and attempted Jammy Dodger seconder Amanda Lyons:


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