Aka 2012: The Year I'm Not Complaining About Scottish Weather.
Sure the nation's weather might have been screwed up overall, and there was no sign of an Indian Summer, but the Saharan Spring drought in the Highlands And Islands more than compensated for that AND just about for last year's 4 month monsoon debacle (which had encouraged me to have little sympathy for English climbers moaning about their mere 4 continuous weeks of summer rain). 6 weekends in a row in the North West (Skye x 3, Sheigra, Reiff, and Glen Nevis) ensure I had outpaced previous years before Summer had even started (not that it actually did of course).
Outpaced it in exploration that is, in particular getting fully to grips with the sea-cliffs that fringe Syke's jigsaw shape. Keeping up pace in Big Numbers (aka fuck the numbers and enjoy the inspiring challenges) took a while longer, partly because I had forgotten that to summon the determination to try hard, I had to get on something that I needed to try hard on. In the end however, I got on some very cool routes scattered around Scotland and a few in Cornwall too.
Obviously this year as well as being hampered by fucked legs and fitness and weight, I was nursing a TCA-tweaked elbow which like my previous golfer's elbow is fairly chronic. However this didn't cause much of a problem on the Easy Trad and indeed some of the warmer weekends seemed to do it more good than not climbing. Maybe this will be like the previous GE and mysteriously clear up after a year (I'm keeping it careful this winter), at any rate it is manageable. My recent tweaky shoulders, finger, and thumb are also doing okay. What a fucking wreck! But then again after a few gym sessions I've benchpressed my own weight and squatted 100kg, not bad for someone with minimal venous return \m/
The main ones that got away this year were the much-desired Lewis Week, for the second year in a row, and a recent inspiration for Hoy mainland cliffs, as well as harder challenges in Glen Nevis and Creag Dubh. Since I'm staying in Scotland for a wee bit I have another chance for those this coming year, along with the equally long overdue Pfalz and Berdorf plans. With Morocco underway, I think the inspiration list is getting shorter rather than longer?? The inspiration itself isn't fading at all though!!