Sunday, 24 October 2010

Changing seasons, changing styles.

The previous weekend in Aberdeen definitely heralded the arrival of autumn, and possibly winter too as the bleaker seasons tend to blur together up here in the windswept wastelands. Leave were swirling off the trees, the sun's lazy low angle made the warmth of it's light exceed the warmth of it's glow, the air felt cool in the lungs and the rock cold under the skin. I was still syked for trad as it is objectively and factually the best, most fun and most rewarding form of climbing, but I got an increasing urge to sample the friction and power of bouldering (and sport, to a lesser degree).

So although I'm keen to maximise the trad potential this winter, I'm just as keen to mix it up with bouldering as the conditions dictate. In the end I've explored a fair amount of good trad this year, and the few outstanding (in terms of unvisited status AND quality) venues won't be suitable in winter, so when it really is too grim for trad I'll turn my exploring urge to bouldering. I've very rarely travelled far to boulder, apart from Font it's just been one weekend with Ogs in Wales, and a couple of the Official Lads Bouldering meets. But you have to travel far to get the best out of Scotland and bouldering is no exception. Thus trips to Mull, Inverness, Torridon and Reiff are being planned, as well as Northumberland too. This should hopefully mean more time on the rock and more fun :). Mix and match and go with the flow.

Related to that, the other good option in winter is of course winter sun sport climbing. As always my urge is exploration, particular atypical options away from the homogenous Euro-limestone. I'm still gathering ideas for that, but in the meantime, Sir Choadington Choadalot of Choadsbury is out in Arco with his family, and I've got some time to take a long weekend out there. Thus another change in style, back to some last minute emergency training. Recent Ratho visits confirm I'm not fit....but getting fitter. It's nice to have something to work towards, and that thing itself will be a good top-up for now too.

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