Monday, 20 September 2010

Dermatological grating in Dumfries and Galloway.

Mixing and matching, I had a couple of wee bouldering sessions recently. Firstly back down to Garheugh Point, where the scenery is lovely, the air is fresh, the rock is aesthetic, and the problems are actually quite good. Apart from Life Is Beautiful which is a great line, a nice piece of rock, a good name, but an utterly foul problem. Truly horrible and uninspiring snatching along a painful finger-break with cramped smearing on awkward footholds. It is actually even worse than The Edge Problem at the Cromlech, which I didn't think was possible. Naturally Scottish Bouldering hails it as a classic, and in other mis-description deception, describes another 3 star classic nearby which doesn't actually exist. Bravo. Needless to say I did neither of those and instead finished off Bowfinger which is pretty cool techy/cranky stuff with thin handholds and blind footholds and a good couple of grades harder if you can't lank it from the first stand-up position:

Note that I am Climbing In A T-shirt gasp shock horror. It was bloody windy down there, I'd forgotten my beanie and forgotten I had a spare beanie in my sac, anyway my sac was rather chilly and after a bit more sloping around I left while I still had some skin intact.

So Garheugh was cold, fine grained, and trashed my skin. Conversely, the Galloway Forest's elusive Rankin Boulder was hot, sharp grained, and trashed my skin. It's actually pretty good for an esoteric boulder, but the inimical conditions prevented a true appreciation of this. I'll go back in winter to sample it's frictional properties, but in the meantime did one pretty decent easy problem:

One thing I have realised is that these videos are a bit shit really - they just show me doing some random problem somewhere. Sometimes I've taken clips of stuff that climbs pretty cool (Spanking The Monkey) or that I'm personally chuffed with (Monkey Spanking). Very occasionally I've got something that looks kinda aesthetic. But mostly it's a punter puntering. Punto, ergo sum. Hmmm. Well, I guess one thing they do show is some hidden gems, some venues that people don't often go to, and problems people don't often do. And maybe that is of vague interest?? A picture says a thousand words, maybe a thousand consecutive pictures in one video says a few words: "Pretty cool boulder, go climb it"...

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