Saturday, 11 June 2011

Backlog Bollox

Holy arse on toast it's been a long time since I posted any ramblings on here. The main reason being that things have been a bit bollox with weather, car trouble, partner mis-organisation, general slothfulness and other malaises.

Things I haven't done recently include:

  • Got back up to anywhere inspiring in the North West or North East.

  • Booked any rad and awesome trips away.

  • Climbed much that has been particularly challenging or progressive.

  • Kept up with training hard at the gym.

  • Kept up with training hard at the wall.

  • Followed my concepts for having a great climbing year.


What a choad.

What I have done is sat on my arse too much, and then a bit of the following:

Horribly Weak at Harper's Wall
The low point of this year if not my life. Not only did I have to resort to climbing a VS, I actually enjoyed it. Ugggghhhhh. VS. Fucking hillwalking.

Breezy Cruising at Brown Crag
Obviously the above was completely unacceptable. So, after a good night's sleep and a strong coffee, Phil and I headed down to Brown Crag to see what we could do. The initial plan was to go back to square 1 and get some good E1 mileage there. As it turned out, conditions were good, the vibe was good, I was suitably wary/prepared for the steepness, and slowly eased my way into E1 5a, E1 5b, E1 5c, E2/3 5c, E2/3 5c, which whilst only just above hillwalking / descent route level, did actually feel like climbing. All pretty nice routes too.

Kinda fun at The Keel
I arranged to climb with Stuart. He suggested The Keel, a new local sport climbing crag on the Aberdeen coast. Ugggghhhhh. I expected something that would make Boltsheugh look like Ceuse. Really the last sort of place I'd want to go on a decent day with a plethora of trad available. Nevertheless I went along to give it ago, cos he's a nice guy, I might get some good training in, and maybe persuade him over to Coble Boards afterwards. As it happens although The Keel was short, steep and scruffy, it was long enough to make leading feel pretty worthwhile, and the climbing was actually kinda fun and it felt good to get involved and get a decent workout.

Casual Flailing at Carrock Fell

Each time I go to Carrock Fell it seems to be in bollox conditions. This time I thought previous bone dry days plus a forecast 10-20 mph Easterly wind would encourage some sort of friction but alas no. The rock was dry but my skin wasn't and although it was cool-ish there was a vague mugginess that ensured a brief session and a determination to revisit more in winter.

Going Okay at Glen Ogle
More local days, blah blah. Went up to Glen Ogle to sample fresh breeze and afternoon sun and it was pretty good despite it being blind rounded dusty slopey obtuse schist at it's almost worst. Nevertheless I climbed okay, highlights being a near miss on a slopey F7a - had actually committed fully to the moves and was 0.0000001 seconds away from getting a jug when I lost balance. Good that I put the effort in rather than wimping out but annoying it was rewarded with failing anyway. And a near success on the classic E3 crackline which was easy on all the steep bits and tricky on all the slabby ledgy bits and while never actually hard was sufficiently obscure enough I very nearly came off on dusty rock but somehow persuaded myself to adhere. Not so much a fun romp as a good exercise in staying calm.

Chilling at Cambusbarron
Finally went to Camby just for something to do, and that something to do seemed to mostly be lounging on my mat enjoying the sporadic sun. Did one warm-up route, tried a supposed easy E3 that was utter nails, backed off in a confused micro-huff, decided it was too still / tiring to try anything challenging and blah blah.

SoOoOo....what next to sort this debacle out. I'd love to say "more Highlands and Islands awesomeness" but I doubt the diabolical weather gods will be that kind. I certainly need to keep up with my concepts for dealing with shitty weather. I also need to train a lot more, and follow up some leads for a climbing trip abroad. Better get my arse off the toast and into gear then...

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