Friday, 3 October 2014

Souter Syke!

One visit in two decades, then two visits in one month. This is based on the sudden realisation / rememberance that it's really a rather nice spot and there's loads to do in the mid-extremes and the sneakily gruelling walk out is good training for my puny legs without being tiring before climbing and it's a good 45 mins closer than The County. There's even been a few new routes added since the guide albeit some of those have been grossly overrated by the FAs so aren't as big a draw as the established greywacke mini-gems and micro-testpieces. I've worked my way through several of these but still have many to go, depending on tides and conditions of course. This last visit the tides were decent and the conditions were perfect, a brisk westerly blowing any moisture back into the depths from whence it came. Thus allowing a satisfying ascent of the distinctly non-mini-testpiece Fast Bleeder, admittedly the bulk of the challenge of this climb is packed into the last 8m but those 8m are relentless enough to preclude any complaints about brevity...

Other days out have included Creag Dubh's Barrier Wall to which I've had two visits and two cancelled visits previously, all of which were because it was too hot / sunny / still to climb the harder stuff. This time the rock was in perfect condition and the howling gale raking across the crag prevented even thinking about harder stuff. FFS. A retreat to Farrletter confirmed that idiot bolters and idiot de-bolters have left the crag in a pointless mess, although a few of the routes are still fairly climbable, albeit not when it's getting dark as it happened on Too Farr For The Bear. FFS. The brisk winds were as good for conditions at Ratho as they were at The Souter, so I managed to keep working my way through the quarry's classic trad (in addition to belaying Smally on some distinctly nu-skool trad with his likely E8 first ascent of the blank wall where the Strongarm/Wally protection pillar used to be), specifically Diverticultis which plays nicely to my weaknesses of struggling like a stuck pig on blank bridging corners. Somehow the struggling went upwards enough to deposit me on the rest ledge and easier finish, after I'd rested a good couple of minutes for the pain in my left foot to ease off. Now the weather is pish of course and as much as I'd like to train (too much trad is making me even weaker!) I've slightly strained my forearm dicking around doing a first joint pinky mono pull rockover seconding at The Souter (my own stupid fault) so I best rest for a bit. FFS.

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