Tuesday, 8 March 2011
Risk Quotient at Ratho Quarry.
Turned out to be higher than I expected... A fresh morning, a strong breeze, rain in the west but dry in the East, a keen partner passing through, a few hours to rattle off a couple of routes. The right ingredients for a sensible plan....but there are some factors outside the realm of planning, or even sense.
I started up a cool little arete route. Steady climbing with a bit of gear to a ledge at 9m, some more gear there, then 6m of classic arete laybacking to easy ground. Good for cool conditions, good to start on as there was a rest ledge to recoup.
So I tickled up the lower wall, and grappled the ledge. It was reassuring, a nice crack down the back for hands and protection. Cool. I yarded up and started to mantle. The ledge - a double pillow-size sheet of rock - started to peel away from the wall.
THE FUCKING LEDGE IS PEELING AWAY FROM THE WALL...!
I somehow dropped down without agitating it further, it somehow teetered back onto it's resting posture. I have no idea how....but I do know if it and me had come off, it would have badly injured me and could have fatally injured my belayer (who was in the standard pose, with helmet). GULP.
I outwitted the ledge mantle, stood on it (which was fine, pressing down), put some RPs in a seam, tip-toed up the upper arete, finished the route, abbed down, did a nice sport route, and left just as it started to rain. A good morning. I think. ???