Monday, 4 July 2011
Sunstroke at Stranraer.
Decisions decisions this weekend. The weather forecast was good but the midge forecast was less good especially in the hills, with the wind sometimes struggling to break the 5 mph bare minimum. Sea-cliffs or similar were proposed, and for the purposes of convenient travelling were narrowed down to: Ardnamurchan, Aberdeen area, or Stranraer Peninsula. Much triangulation of surrounding Met Office locations and averaging out potential wind speeds ruled out Ardnamurchan, enthusiasm for a dry-in-the-west forecast ruled out Aberdeen, so Stranraer it was, for the triple whammy of Crammag, Llaggantalluch, and Portobello (the crag, not the Edinburgh district not the London district nor indeed the mushroom, although there was talk of taking some to the crag, sauteeing them on a camp stove and getting the essential but still apparently unclaimed "Eating Portobellos at Portobello" tick).
So yes. The weather was glorious. I got sunburnt knees from my cutting edge shorts + compression stockings combo. And a sunburnt head. And sunburnt shoulders from my "hide the gut show the guns" wifebeater. We did some great climbs each day. Slabs and roof cracks and thin walls and all sorts. The micro-granite is a unusual delight, the greywacke a familiar delight. We saw a curious seal each day (probably not the same one) and lots of annoyingly loud seagulls. I did one of my finest crag turds ever, coiling it out in a splendid figure of 8. We stayed at a huge caravan park at Sandhead that despite being very distant from the wilderness experience, did good butties and good coffee. And went to a very nice pub nearby for a fine meal punctuated by a splendid butterscotch profiterole dessert, probably the highlight of the trip.
Hurrah for climbing really!