Steep, steep or steep?? I did find a nice slab but I was on my own and although it was vaguely soloable the jagged rock-shelf landing sloping straight into the sea with whatever broken limbs would still be attached put me off so I moved swiftly on to the next day with PJ and onto the steepness. The highlight of the day being some good honest Wet Pussy, a route that curiously enough is described (presumably in the Deep Water guide) by Rockfax as "soloable" despite jagged rock-shelves perching below the 8m high off-balance crux as well as a rib to bounce off before you get there. Maybe at a high tide you might have a metre or so of water to not-cushion the fall, but the obvious conclusion is: Rockfax can be fucking idiots and the inability to edit their fallacious descriptions on the UKC database is a fucking farce. Anyway I led the route - if the amount of faffing around and up-and-down-climbing I did can be described as a conventional lead - and it was very good with a fully committing crux.
Since gently overhanging trad is not nearly enough, we retired to Long Slough to attempt Bob's Overhang. I tried to warm-up by traversing around and climbing up and down to the crux a couple of times which resulted in a feeling exactly like trying to warm-up at TCA on Core and Holdz holds - raw hands, sore inner joints, and a rapidly diminishing will to climb anything. I've been training a lot recently, indoor leading, bouldering, and gym-work, just to get strong enough for this sort of malarkey, and lo and behold it still seemed utterly fucking desperate. So I backed off, PJ went for it and fell off, and we concluded it was nails and I'm only coming back after several weeks of prior 30 & 45° board specific training, obviously what I'd expect to have to do to get up a route at a grade I climb every week this summer????
Of course this is the coast and the usual rules don't apply - which keeps the locals happy but does mean that normal climbers have to change their perceptions a bit. I haven't pushed myself in the area for nearly a year (I blame my friends up there for spawning and thus having much less time to climb) so it will take a bit of getting used to again. I'm not sure why I've neglected Scotland's most significant rainshadow but I've got some psyche back now and it goes like this:
Running Wild, Craig Stirling - because I like the style (boulder problem to a rest to a wild finish) and it's an amazing line. I'm still quite worried how desperate the start looks, I've taken a photo of the lower wall to train for it!
The Pugilist dir, Floor's Craig - because despite failing on the original way starting up the MM groove, I never even got the to Pugilist proper so the arete direct start is game on! And it looks cool.
Prehistoric Monster, Earnsheugh - because I really like Earnsheugh climbing, this looks great.
Necromancer, Earnsheugh - Same as above, I've abbed down it many times with my gaze averted, but glimpses across from Death Cap make it look great.
Pow Pow, Pow Kebuck - because I've finally found it on this weekend's recce, and it looks really rather cool, a nice off-piste aim.
Who Dares Wings It / Where Seagulls Dare, Johnsheugh - cos Johnsheugh is good and I want to do more there.
Bob's Overhang, Long Slough - because....I don't really know. It still might be possible. Maybe.
Africa Face, Longhaven - because now I've learnt to slap for holds above gear, this might be possible for me, plus it's a great bit of rock.
Waltzinblack, Red Tower - because I tried before and backed off just because it was too warm, I'm sure it would be fine and a nice bit of rock.
Gah, that's quite a lot (cunningly all non-tidal and mostly quick drying, god knows I'll need all the help I can with the ever-fickle conditions up there). I better keep training then!!