Thursday, 18 March 2010
Went to check out Blackford Quarry today with Robbie after PBL. It's very handy to the hospital, but not really worth it to be honest.
Soloed a few Diffs and the like, will ask around and see if it would be acceptable to dry tool.
Last EUMC winter meet of the year - Ben Nevis. The cold weather that we've had since December finally broke and the first real thaw of the year has set in, meaning everything was all really soggy! I drove up with Harry, Liam and Phil on the Friday night, and got to the car park about half tenish. Walked in through thick mud and slush - boots got soaked through - with our packs on, mine honestly must have been about 25kg, was ridiculous. Arrived at the CIC hut really late after waiting on the last person up the track, pitched the tent and at last got some sleep.
Heard Liam rummaging around the tent at about 5 - he was off to do Point Five Gully - but I got up around half six. Big plans to do Tower Ridge! Set off from the tents about half seven with Rachel and Fiona.
The route takes an easy gully up the left of the Douglas Boulder after which there is a short, mixed chimney, that we pitched. It then follows the crest of the ridge up to a short icefall, that we soloed, then continues to another mixed chimney. I led this again, definitely looked a lot harder than it was up to the summit of Little Tower. The Eastern traverse was in not bad condition, a bit soft and luffy however there were plenty of nut placements. This pitch then led on to some steeper, more committing climbing up to the Gap. I sat on this belay for over an hour and a half getting really cold! (will bring walkietalkies next time). The ridge then sharpens, with Tower Gap at one end. The exposure was quite incedible, but I didn't use any of the in situ stuff as aid! After another cock up (Rachel!) we were on the top after a stunning route, and to heat up we had a bite to eat in the shelter.
After trying to find number four gully, the original descent plan, we got a bit lost and thought better of it, so just walked down the zig-zags, following the cairns. Bit of a long walk back down and round to the CIC, but at least it was safe.
When I got back to the tents it was sleeting and seeing as I still had the car we took the opportunity to get off the hill. Got packed up and walked out in good time, however my ankle was pretty sore (injured it about a month ago in a club). Left the car park at 1 and started the drive back to Edinburgh, but i was pretty tired so we stopped for a sleep in Bridge of Orchy.
Returned to Edinburgh about half five, dropped the guys off and got junked up on energy drinks. I hadn't considered going home, but seeing as it was mothers day it would have been a nice surprise.
About half seven, about ten miles past Hermiston Gait I drifted off and clipped the middle crash barrier. Swerved a few times before hitting the side crash barrier head on, I think at about 50. Amazingly i was absolutely fine, but smoke filled the car so I bailed out the passenger door. As I ran away from the car I could hear it was still running, fueling the fire so I rushed back to turn it off (stupid I know). It went out. Some people stopped to see that I was alright, but they had places to go. Called mum then the police. They came quite quickly and got things sorted.
I was so lucky. That I didn't hit anybody else, didn't flip, didn't end up on the carraigeway, wasn't trapped in the fire, wasn't hurt at all by the impact, that i hit the crash barrier, that the car crumpled perfectly, that there was a crash barrier.
I was also very stupid. How could I live with myself if anyone else had been involved?
Anyway, car's a right-off, so there will be considerably less of this going on. :(
(will get more photos soon)
The consultants were busy today, so left our meeting up to us - hence why we had finished by ten past one. Got the 2 o'clock from Waverley where I met Tom HS, and was in Croy by half past.
Lead an HS with Tom (HS), then watched Andy balance his way up Nijinski (E5!). Then led Promontary Direct (HVS -my first!) with Liam, and as the sun was setting abbed down to do Trundle (VS) on the other side. Think this is the first time I have ever climbed on warm rock - bring on El Chorro!
Haven't updated this in a while, been very busy!
Making use of the lighter nights, headed up to Salisbury Crags for a boulder after uni. Such a beautiful setting, should be spending more time here as the weather improves - it's 2 minutes from my room!
Sunday, 28 February 2010
Went to Aonach Mor today with Dad, Kenneth and Jenny. Was cold, overcast and windy in the morning, however it cleared up to be a fantastic day. The snow in perfect condition, nice dry groomed powder!
My first time at Nevis Range, was impressed with the fast tows and the nice facilities. Only really the one bowl to ski in, as the back corries were to avalanche prone, but it was big enough to pick a different line each time. And even better, I didn't pay a thing :P.
Saturday, 27 February 2010
As the EUMC trip to Torridon was cancelled this weekend due to too much snow we went to Ratho instead, in training for our sport climbing trip in easter to Spain. Got ridiculously pumped, the routes there are so draining!
Had a crack at most of the stuff, mainly the big lead wall but lead a 6a on the tower and the stupidly overhanging articulated one (was pretty much horizontal today). Needless too say it spat me off a few from the top.
Quite pleased with what I got done, climbed a couple of 6b's which felt alright for my pussy CSE arms. There was a plan to go dry tooling tomorrow at Newtyle Quarry in Dunkeld, but got an offer of free skiing which I couldn't refuse!
Friday, 26 February 2010
Debate all last week about whether we would go rock or ice, and after it had been finally decided to head to Northumberland we thought the conditions too good to miss.
We were just leaving the wall at CSE on Friday night about 10ish when we cooked up the plan to leave that night. Headed round to GBH, got some guys together, and ended up leaving Edinburgh at 1.30 on saturday morning! Got to the layby at the crag at 3.30am, knackered, and after successfully waking up the guys and the dog already there, had the tents up and were falling asleep by 4ish.
Back up at 6.30. Gave Rob some abuse - I'm afraid I am shit in the mornings.
We were up in the corrie by 9 and Rob and I decided on West Gully, and easy grade 3. Harry went off to climb some crazy buttress, Liam and Jamie thought of Sunshine Gully but ended up on west gully too. We thought about the White Caterpillar, but it looked a bit icy and we didn't have many screws.
Great climb, I was up it in December with Whitty when it was much thinner! Got up in 2 pitches, I led a left variant for a bit of sport. Some harder stuff at the end if you were keen (or had more then 2 blunt cast-off ice screws).
After lunch on the top, traversed down Central Gully and along to Sunshine - it looked so much different to when I was here in December, totally banked out and much easier! Went for the one along from it - Ramshead Gully. I led the first pitch - tight chimney with some fun moves, and Robbie the second, which was probably harder with an icy pitch and an awkward cornice.
Walked off in fantastic sunshine after a stunning day.
Headed back to Edinburgh via Langbank for some good dinner and to pick up my axes, for a night in Potterrow with some medics. What a day!