Saturday, 4 May 2013

Best Winter Season Ever?

It's the start of May and definitely into prime spring/summer tradding season: It's cunting it down in Glasgow and the forecast for the whole of the North West is dire. Hopefully it's early days though. In the meantime I feel an urge to retrospect on the Scottish Winter Season aka Fuck All That Pointless And Ludicrous Snow Plodding Shit And Go Bouldering Instead Season, which happened to be bloody good this year - lots of the boulders were in prime "nick", as was my inspiration and choice of blocs.

Thus I think this has been my best bouldering season ever - not necessarily for difficulty, nor overall difficulty, nor quantity, but for sheer diversity and quality of problems, better even than any season I had living in Sheffield. To put it in perspective, here's my ticklists of the most prominent and inspiring Scottish problems over the last 4 seasons:

Monkey Spanking V8
Spanking The Monkey V6
Slap And Tickle V5
The Prow V4

Clash Arete V7
Retroclaim V6
Jawa V4
Tourist Trap V4
The Nose V4
Slipstones Thing V5
The Persuader V4
Outstanding V4
Razor's Edge V6

Powerhouse V6
The Economist V5
Watch Your Back V4
The Nose V4
Black Orc V6
Thousand Year Egg V4
Flying Fiend V4
The Wall V5

Romancing The Stone V6
Squelch V5
Haven V5
A Long Winning Streak V5
The Dude V6
The Slippery Slope V5
Brin Done Before V5
Le Toit Du Col Du Mouton V6
Sheep Pen Groove V4
Gale Force V6
Autumn Arete V6
Pyramid Lip V5
The Bottler V4
Excitement In The Buoys V6
Right Arete SS V4
Forever Unfulfilled V4
Stretch Armstrong V6
Big Growly Thing V5

Summer outliers:
Butterboy V4
Peel Sessions V4
Pump Up The Jam V5
White Matter V6
Bowfinger V6
Diesel Canary V5
Helipad V4
Good Ass V4

As can be seen, although I haven't quite done more awesome problems in this one season than all 3 previous seasons put together, it's pretty close! As well as the diversity and sheer classic quality of many of these problems, there is a wide personal variety for me, from problems that inspired me for years (Brin Done Before, Haven), to problems that only recently inspired me but took some serious effort (Gale Force, Autumn Arete), to problems I never thought I'd get round to (Romancing The Stone, Stretch Armstrong) and problems I hadn't even heard of until recently (the Farr Boulder trio).

The end result: For all the driving and heather-slogging and crappy information and neglect and bog and rain and midges and moss, Scottish bouldering has some bloody great national-class maybe even world-class problems, and I am happy to have explored many of them :).

No comments: