Monday, 26 March 2012

Glorious Gairloch.

This year, Scotland's summer is in....March. Maybe the Indian Summer will be in December then? Or perhaps early August to maximise midges? Who knows. All I know is the slightest hint of dryness sends me into a twitchy panic that I MUST get out because God knows when it will be dry again. Seems stupid to be like that but that's what experience teaches you up here.

Thank fuck, I got a plan organised, big up to JadeL who was up for going to Gairloch for a weekend. A bit of a mission for two days (although we did get back from the Stone Valley Crags parking spot to Glasgow in 3:45, only 10mph over the limit apart from a bit faster from Kinlochewe to Garve), but oh so worth it. I was smitten by Gairloch the first time I went with Pylon King, and have been back a few times. Normally I could get a bit jaded by revisiting the same areas, but no....Gairloch is just so nice. Stunning scenery, lovely rock, great cragging, the perfect blend of wildness and accessibility.

The first day at Jetty Buttress and Mungasdale I didn't do that much climbing, I was just enjoying the vibe of being back in my natural environment. It was also very still and warm which had me feeling a bit slothful, so I backed off a few tricky routes and just did some warm-up ones, still fun though.

The second day at Stone Valley was sunnier, breezier, bigger and more gooder. 35 minute approach stomp is plenty for me but I made it. We did a good variety of routes and I managed a few trickier ones this time....I'm starting warming into the trad again, this is only my 2nd and 3rd days since October. By the end of the day my fingers were burning from the immaculately rough Gneiss, my toes were burning from breaking in new shoes while seconding slabs, and my legs were aching from the walk-in.....pleasurable pains!!

My trad leading felt fine....I'm getting back into it, felt pretty competent, just need to stay focused.

My elbow felt fine....a bit tweaky at the end of each day but feeling good on the climbing, just need to be careful.

My fitness felt....well whatever, but days out like this are EXACTLY what I need....and lots of. Physical and spiritual health!!

P.S. I am working on the follow-up post about my weight n stuff....soon.

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