Many of the Aberdeen sea-cliffs, despite being sunny, open, and enjoying a much less malevolent climate than the rest of Scotland, have a ridiculously short climbing season. Thanks to the pesky and permanently incontinent seaburds, you can only climb on some of the best cliffs in late winter - nesting birds making them completely inaccessible in spring and summer, and bird's nests making them mostly unfeasible in autumn. Scottish climbing is never simple, eh!
Last winter I had a few good trips up exploring otherwise birded crags, but did miss out on a few classic venues. This winter I've focused mostly on collecting elbow injuries i.e. bouldering and training, and have suddenly realised that I have at most a week or two to get to those venues before the birds do. Thus a last minute dash to Aberdeen last weekend, to meet with my SC2 partner in silver league, "Vulture", and KathrynC.
Saturday was Round Tower. Non-birdy, reasonably sheltered, but cold air. When the sun briefly appeared it was great conditions, otherwise a little chilly for steep trad. But determination and peppermint tea kept us going. I did the superbly exposed Ramadan (the arete above!), the classic guidebook covertick of Tyrant Crack, and the funky wee wall climb of Silver Surfer. Brad also led the former two, and since Tyrant Crack was a longstanding wish of his, there was much satisfaction all round, culminating in a take-out curry and chocolate naan bread which I was too full to eat but made a great snack on...
...Sunday. Which was Silkie's Cliff. The original plan was to go to Arthur Fowlie and Silkie's, but incoming rain reduced our options to a quick hit. We still managed 5 routes total at sheltered Silkies, albeit the last one was finished in the rain. There was a silver lining to that particular sodden cloud, as despite the lack of Silkies, we did see porpoises. I was pleased with a good wee E3 route, Kathryn was pleased with her first VS of the season, and overall it was a good weekend. I'm hoping to get back up later in the week if the weather allows, as I'm still syked for Arthur Fowlie and Berrymuir / Red Band cliff. Fingers crossed!