Saturday, 3 March 2012

Arbroath Antics

Antics is about the right word. As part of the transition (embarrassingly I've realised that I had linked the same drum'n'bass track in a very similar post this time last year), I thought short technical bolted sandstone would be quite suitable. I'd forgotten that Arbroath is often less about technicalities and more about weirdo approaches, weirdo belays, weirdo rock and weirdo conditions. It can be be plenty of fun, but it's hardly a bolted Ramshaw / Ravensheugh / Reiff. This was firmly confirmed by the first route up the Devil's Head (Deil's Heid whatEVER), which escalated steadily up the strangeness stakes from a sloping gritty sandbag start via a top-out up sloping lichen (cleverly chalked by Tris to pretend there was rock underneath), and culminating in the reward of a single abseil bolt seemingly driven into mud or perhaps it actually reached the fragile sandstone biscuit beneath....I tried not to spare it too much thought.

After that things went to a state of curious calmness. Grannie's head had an easy approach, comfortable platform, proper loweroffs and a reassuring grade and delightful crux on The Mushroom Treatment, although the 40° overhanging F6b+ had to be regretfully aborted due to the obligatory sea skank. One to come back for. Conning Tower Inlet looked rather good - another one to come back for - but with a team of 3 the Platform seemed more logistically logical. Ride Em Cowboy was good easy fun, Waves Of Emotion was a billion times harder and ignored, Parson's Nose necessitated an embarrassing rest due to not knowing the line and not liking numb fingers. So only a few routes but a good recce and it was nice to be on the rock again. March now....route season and route training whenever suitable...

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