Sunday, 23 May 2010
Bloody long walk-in to Ben Ledi.
Ben Ledi bouldering is somewhat unusual compared to the schist I've discovered so far. Smeggy sit-start lowballs?? Nope, good high - and often highball - proper boulders. Abstract and unconvincing eliminates?? Nope, proud distinct lines and sheer walls. Snappy flakey rock hidden under slightly more solid lichen?? Nope, clean rough compact schist. Random unmanageable and ankle-hostile boulder jumbles?? Nope, all situated on a fine plateau just 5 minutes from a good track.
So....what's the catch?? Oh yes, getting to that fine plateau, via that good track. The bouldering guide says 30mins on the map and 40mins in the introduction (the bouldering guide is similarly useless when it comes to the walk-in path and the grades of lower grade problems). Lowland Outcrops says 50mins. I say an a full hour if you're stomping it, and at least 1hr 30mins if you're me and you've got fucked legs. Throw in two bouldering mats and a sweltering afternoon sun, and throw out any pretense at being able to bear down when I finally got there. Pity as it was quite inspiring in both the setting and more importantly the climbing. I might go back but it will require a greater logistical overview (probably including a power nap and cans of Red Bull!). On the plus side, the stomp, combined with bonus gym session in the morning, was some good cross-training that will hopefully encourage good crushing.
In the meantime, here is Charlie Baker trying to decide on his next bouldering venue, preferably with a shorter walk-in and more tasty meat nibbles: