Someone was asking what I'd been up to recently, so here it is:
Dunkeld: Went to do some of the easier Extremes on the right, they were all seeping apart from Tombstone which is jolly good fun but I'd already done it. So Plan B was to climb up to the crux of High Performance, fiddle in loads of flared wires, pull up disconsolantly a few times and then take all the wires out and reverse comfortably to the ground, just like the previous 2 attempts. Something went wrong with this plan, I got hampered by some excellent cool conditions on the sparse dry rock and the after effects of a V5-flashing session at Ratho the previous day and forgot to downclimb and upclimbed instead after only a few tentative pulls. Still one of the harder moves I've done on trad and harder than two apparent 6b cruxes I've been on. Amusingly I have a sporadic climbing partner who claims it's "not hard for 6a". Even though she has been a classic under-performer and did it as her first English 6a lead before spending a spring in Spain and onsighting F7c (or maybe it was F7b+ I forget, anyway far harder than I've managed in 16+ years of pushing myself climbing), and basically wouldn't know an easy 6a move if it came up and bit her skinny strong arse.
Meikle Ross: Some guy on the interwebz had been posting pictures of him "climbing" Sunshine Superman as a headpoint with the gear in place (!) and upgrading it to E5 (!!) and somehow contrary to all that is decent and respectable people were actually praising this failure. I had to go down and correct this.....error, and despite being hampered by sweltering early November heat and being a hard E4 onsight, I did:
Quite rewarding as although it's eliminate to start it's brilliant to finish with some fierce steep slab moves around the overlap. My feet were killing after spending quite a while hanging around working out moves and getting in the right gear, but thankfully my spare comfy shoes were good enough for Corridors Of Power which was a bit primitive compared to the usual greywacke crimping delights:
All in all a very nice day down at the seaside...
Ardmair and Diabeg: Were the also down by the seaside (or close enough!) for the only other trip of note, a surprising post-match bonus up again around Wester Ross. Glorious weather stolen from the rest of the drizzly country, a last minute plan, a night in the Ledgowan Lodge bunkhouse sampling whiskies from the hotel, and conditions that were too warm for my plans at Ardmair and too warm for my plans at Diabeg but I pushed on through yet more foot-pain with the latter and managed Instant Muscle:
Not bad I guess although I am still mopping up my dribble in anticipation of using the two new epic Yorkshire Gritstone guides but someone needs to start mopping up the fucking drizzle first as the weather is pretty dreary across Scotland and even worse down there (surely that ain't right) so although the grit has been called it hasn't justified the drive down yet. I live in hope as it's what excites me most this winter - hurrah for new definitive guides (until I get sandbagged to fuckery and start moaning about them...;))