Friday, 24 February 2012

Make Your Transition

It's coming to that time of year when the bleak cold wetness of the Scottish winter gives way to the miserable mild wetness of the Scottish spring. Unlike the changing of the seasons everywhere else on Planet Earth, this does precisely fuck all for the chances of being able to climb upon rock, apart from the random single month of dry spring/summer/autumn weather, whenever that might choose to occur. What it does mean that on the stolen days between the sodden downpours, the lukewarm temperatures might be enough to tolerate route climbing rather than bouldering. This brings great joy to my trad climbers heart, or it would if there was the slightest chance of getting the 15 or so North West Scotland trad days I'm really syked for done this season. Bitter about the endless battle against the elements? Me? Really?

Anyway in the meantime there is the transitionary period when it's not quite warm enough for 30m of sustained gneiss, but too warm for 3m of slopey sandstone. This is where many subtle things may happen - route training begins, sun-trap outcrops can be savoured (if they set their traps well enough), Aberdeen sea-cliffs may be assaulted before the birds do the same, and short technical bold and bouldery routes provide the transition between bouldering and tradding. Living in Scotland these are a rarity but there are some to be sought out and explored, and I am quite syked for the idea! The idea includes these ideas flitting around my head:

Glen Nevis: Fingertip Finale, Precious Cargo, Sweet Little Mystery, Where The Mood Takes Me - soloey little things on subtle schist.
Pass Of Ballater: Peel's Wall, Smith's Arete - bold classics on suntrap granite.
Glen Croe - Edge Of Insanity - more bold schist.
Bowdens: On The Verge, The Gauleiter, Poseidon Adventure, The Trial - a great diversity of gritstone-style sandstone routes.
Goat Crag: Underpass, The Hard Shoulder - similar hidden gems.

Where else? Post some ideas for me.... Obviously there's local stuff from Quadrocks to Limekilns, but more exploratory ones are more welcome.

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