Thursday, 13 September 2012
It's feeling pretty autumnal at the moment.... The changing of the light is particularly noticable - when the grey cloud smothers Scotland it feels especially gloomy, but when the sun burns through the increasingly low angle of it, whilst slightly perturbing, produces pleasing golden light that brings a certain romance to the landscape. There is little friendliness in the weather overall though: the Indian Summer has firmly hit Scotland in the way Scotland does best - a gale is lashing through Glasgow and Western Scotland is lucky to get one dry day a week. Something that England-based (currently dry) climbers would do well to remember when they whine about their "poor summer" compared to Scotland's good early summer - just bear in mind that last year when England had a decent summer and good autumn, Scotland had shit-all apart from rain for both...
In these conditions, once again the East Coast saves the day with all it's percularities and quirks and shelter from the Atlantic lows. As much as the changing of the seasons has made me feel a bit perculiar myself (despite usually liking autumn a lot), I'm still syked and inspired enough to keep trying hard, with mixed but pretty decent results. This time, despite concerns about my shoulder, it eased off surprisingly rapidly with a day's climbing, and I tackled the following climbs of personal note:
Red Army Blues @ Sickle Row - a route that doesn't seem to get much attention, but it should as it's bloody great. I started this in a strangely sedated state of mind and spent ages on it getting my determination to match up to my rising syke and awakening body. Eventually it did and despite all the faff I really enjoyed the stylish line and some great moves.
Sair Fecht @ Floors Craig - the one at FC that I was pretty sure I could do, and yup it worked just like that. Straightforward gear but good cranky crimpy moves made for a nicely cruxy climb compared to the usual schistpumpfest horror shows.
The Pugilist @ Floors Craig (failed) - the one at FC that I was pretty sure would be twatting desperate, and it was. Obvious steepness, overrated holds and awkward gear, leading to it being brutally pumpy. Not a the sort of route that suits me trying to push my standard on, I fell off downclimbing to ground but my heart hadn't been properly in it anyway. Fair enough some styles of route are going to be too hard, all I can take from it is learning that I should try to stack the odds more with warm-ups and feeling fresher, to give myself a fighting chance on routes that fight dirty.
Photos of Sair Fecht: