That was something I put on to clear my mind in the car, and so my soundtrack to the day, until I started climbing that is... God knows I needed my mind clearing as I'd been thinking too much about these two routes on and off for two days. Mileage previously, Ratho training especially on crimps, rest days and gentle runs...trying to stack all the odds and attain some calmness through that.
Out of all the routes on my ticklist, these two had kept swirling around my mind because, unlike any others, they are actually dangerous in places, albeit easy places, but I didn't know that until I actually did them! I first went to Creag Dubh in 2010, did Over The Hill and The Fuhrer amongst others, really enjoyed the steady, positive, distinctly bold style of climbing, and lusted after slightly harder routes on the crag. But with those harder routes there's more chance of not walking away....so I spent several trips this year walking away. Last time I started up the first easy bit of Hooker's but having to chalk on every move, I knew I couldn't risk continuing.
This time the weather had cooler down a lot - it was still strangely warm, but also dry and fresh. I climbed up exactly the same start as before and got a few holds into the tricky bit before realising it....and knew I was going to continue. I reversed down after this warm-up, let my skin cool down, watched as more thoughts started to creep into my mind, and stepped back onto the rock before they could. Climbed the route, abseiled down and did the same with TFS. As simple as that, no fuss, no drama - I think I'd used it all up in previous imaginings. It was a great pleasure not just to be climbing intimidating routes, but to be climbing them calmly enough to genuinely enjoy them almost all the way. There was one short section getting into the niche on TFS where I was a bit sloppy with my feet....2m of dissatisfaction in 90m total of good climbing, I'll take that!
I walked away from the crag elated but also a little sad that I don't have much more I want to do at this brilliant wall climbing venue....but then I was drinking my coffee this morning and pondering....Harder Than Your Husband starts up TFS and I know that and apparently there is a bit of gear on it and if I don't like it I can just do TFS again and....oh....maybe I will be back ;)