Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Misanthrope Mission #5

I keep trying to not go to Shaftoe. As good as it is for bouldering - I think the best pure bouldering in the County, Bowden being fragile and limited, and Kyloe lacking in a variety of lines and mostly popular because of it's rain shelter - I do want to keep exploring. But somehow I end up back there again. This time the forecast was wind and the plan was Rothley, as although it's mostly exposed, there are some more sheltered bits and the NW-facing crag would probably benefit from some fresh air. The weather from Glasgow improved all the way down until Otterburn whereupon it turned into horizontal sleet. Nice. Thankfully a bit further it seemed to be more intermittent, but a quick drive past Rothley (almost ending up off the road scoping the crag), confirmed it had copped most of that weather. So back to sunny Shaftoe...

I worked South to Central and in the grand tradition of things ticked an entire problem. Yes, a whole one, all by myself (well, it IS a Misanthrope Mission...). Well. A whole problem if you're following the true line of least resistance and natural starting holds, as per the video above. Apparently some people start it a move lower and climb into the good starting holds for a V6 eliminate, but balls to that. Of more interest is a left-hand finish climbing the arete, this looks rather appealing but without any details of difficulties, I didn't want to waste skin trying it, yet. Instead I stomped over to Central and wasted skin trying Smooth Wall again. This time I know all the numbers AND the conditions are suitable baltic, but a slight dampness on the upper holds and a general seizing up of my body in the arctic breeze has me snatching defeat from the jaws of truce. A quick look at Western Edges problems and it is far too cold even by my standards so the long drive home again, thank fuck for awesome drum and bass and metal CDs :).

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