Monday, 21 January 2013

Getting Puzzled at Garheugh Point.

While most of the country is blanketed with snow, it's mostly pretty damn dry and cold in the West of Scotland. But it's not as easy as it looks to follow my bouldering inspiration despite that:

Brin - too far away.
Farr - too farr away.
Laggan - just in the A9 corridor snow zone.
Clash/Cammach - fully in the East coast snow / arctic death zone.
Clova - ditto.
Ogle - too dank with even a little snow.
Nanairn - possibly snow and definitely fucking cold.
Arran - too much of an epic mission atm.

Which leaves local bolleaux like Inversnaid, Craigmaddie (not so inspiring so can wait), or maybe Glen Nevis (tedious drive at the weekend)....or the ever reliable Garheugh Point, which was mostly bone dry, nicely cloudy for the slopers (check out the right handhold at 0:13 - lovely stuff :)), and fairly sheltered from the bitterly Easterlies:

Stretch Armstrong

The puzzlement lay with the grades. I'd come to attempt Snow White """V5"""(!? lolz) which starts in the same place, spans out to a proper sloper on the lip and pulls onto the slab direct. I'd tried this before and it is the most stupidly morpho reach-dependent lank-fest of a problem I've encountered in Scotland (albeit rather a good one despite all that). But I thought with the 0'c sending temps I might be able to work something out with the sloper. MEH. I managed to work out the finish from the sloper which is a powerful, dynamic V5 IN ITSELF. That only leaves the crux move to the lip which would probably make it V6 if you could span comfortably, at my height it is fucking desperate and much harder than any V6 (I can only just keep my feet on the only footholds on tiptoes), and if you were any shorter it might as well be V16.

To warm up for this I'd dicked around on Stretch Armstrong which at "V7" was probably going to be too hard but worth a look for future reference. I'd worked out some cool moves but was stumped by getting the arete. After spending ages realising that Snow White was somewhat ludicrous (it still might be possible....eventually), I thought I'd finish off in the dusk just playing around a bit more. Shock horror I worked out the crux sequence using the lovely nothing sloper, just as it was starting get dark. A few panicked attempts and it was done, at least a grade EASIER than Snow White. V7 < V5 errr nope the maths don't add up :S.Great problem though, on cool rock features with a lovely greywacke texture.

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