This winter season I've been inspired to focus on the gritstone, because there's lots of it, there's great new guides, I feel pretty confident after another decent trad year, and it should be a bit more feasible logistically than Scottish winter cragging.
There may be a high correlation between that decision and the weather being relentlessly cunting awful.
I think this is the worst start to the grit season I can ever recall. Sure there have been a few decent days - sandwiched between storms, showers, and continuous rain - and very rarely adjacent enough to warrant a trip down. My browser is getting worn out refreshing the Metoffice forecast for Skipton and Hathersage, although it is forecast to be glorious on Christmas Day. When I will be in London. Fucking arse!
Actually it's got to the stage of putting up with ludicrously inefficient and expensive single day trips down, albeit only as far as the most Northerly crags e.g. Slipstones.
So we headed down on a rare day of amazing conditions with the plan to warm-up gently, do some highballs and soloing and maybe the odd lead if it was warm enough, or some harder frictional bouldering if it was cold enough. It turns out that conditions were a bit too amazing and the wrong way round - the bouldering end was just sheltered enough to be warm, the routes end was just exposed enough to be bloody freezing. And I forgot that the sheer clean grit of Slippys was generally steep and the seemingly positive crimps were generally cruel on the fingertips. It's a beautiful grit there but a strange sort of grit. Still it was good fun and I got inspired for more action there, which might happen in 2018. No complaints about the beauty of the day though:
And that's that. I might be able to sneak something in around Christmas if the weather allows. Otherwise I will be furiously considering a trip abroad as soon as possible.