Thursday, 3 October 2013


8:30am, Erskine Bridge roadworks traffic jam, en-route to Glen Nevis and super-syked for Triode or On Some Beach. Except the sun is out, it's already 15'C, and the forecast is for more sunshine and only a light Easterly breeze at Fort William, that will leave the relevant buttresses sheltered and baking. Balls. Wish I'd suggested Creag Dubh or somewhere else instead. Ah well...

4:30pm, Nameless Buttress in Glen Nevis, and super-syked for Triode. Except any trace of warmth is disappearing behind the clouds, the "light Easterly breeze" is a gale howling down the valley and right onto the buttress. I nearly got blown off the top of my warm-up Cathode Smiles (a fine route and a total sandbag with sustained 5b/c a long way above the gear to finish). I take off my belay garb of t-shirt, hoodie, downie, snood, gloves and two beanies, keep the obligatory vest and windproof, and step on the rock. Partway up the lower wall, I pause for a very long time - I am so inspired, I so desire to commit to the next moves and engage with this route. The rock feels great under my fingers, but the tsunami of wind is too much. Balls. I reverse down and we retreat down the horrendously steep walk-in to lower buttresses. Ah well...

I walk away with empty hands and a head full of excitement. I've been to Glen Nevis many times and still not quite done the most inspiring lines I want to. Hell, I've walked away from Wave Buttress 3 times - twice too hot, once wrong shoes. I don't want to walk away too many more the Glen will be perhaps my main focus for Autumn. All I'm after are a few routes on a few buttresses. Mostly sunny, quick drying, various orientations to catch the breeze and sun at different times. Easily combined with other buttresses so whichever partners I'm with can be well sated. Doable in a day trip from Glasgow, or easy hostels for overnight. What could possibly go wrong??

Oh yeah, it's the wettest place on Earth. I'm sure there are locations under the ocean that have more dry days than Fort William. Pffffffffft.

No comments: