Thursday, 14 June 2012

Rapid Reiff Raid.

Rapid indeed - Saturday morning until Sunday night. For all the traditional Reiff convenience, it has a certain atmosphere at 8pm on a grey, windy Sunday, standing above The Leaning Block facing an hour walk and a 5 hour drive with little chance of a hot dinner. Tiring, but worth it.

So Reiff, somewhere I had belligerently intended to avoid it as it's one of those "essential" cragging places that everyone whitters on about even though it's not quite as good as it's neighbours of Ardmair, Gairloch/Gruinard, Caithness, Sheigra etc. I went for a few days in 2010, the popular Pinnacle area seemed to confirm suspicions of being overrated, but the further one gets away from there, things improve exponentially in proportion to walk-in length - that hour trek to the Peninsula being a landmark for me as the first time I braved the now immensely fashionable shorts and compression stockings look, and was rewarded with the very good sandstone cragging up there.

Saturday was the Stone Pig cliff. It has a stone that looks like a pig by the parking, that is enough for me. The highlight was: Headstrong - after a huge tantrum resting on Sonique (god I really do suck at this super-steep trad bollox), Headstrong went totally smoothly, and despite being a grade over had some great climbing, the moves to, onto, and above the rest ledge being some of the best I've done recently.

Sunday was the Peninsula area, and after a good long warm-up at the delightful and only slightly steep Golden Walls, the highlight was heading over and doing: Headlong - despite only aiming for a mileage day had seen that the Aberdeen old skool gnarlers had done this the other weekend and....well it was chalked up, the tide was out, I was warmed up, I had to try it. Again it went pretty fine after the "kick in the bawbag" starting moves, really nice to do the easiest line up a big sheer face.

Pretty glad I headed up really. I am feeling slightly less like a complete fucking bumbly now. Although this week I've had little chance to maintain momentum, with minor food poisoning, a day in bed and another day doing little. Still it's proper rest for my body....and a bit of weight loss....and encouraging me to eat light healthy stuff for a while....will hopefully hit the ground crags running cranking in a bit...

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