Monday 25 September 2006

climbing 8a for breakfast

Micheal finally makes it across the roof to the jugs at the end of his project at Tighnabruaich - Elysium 8a
The fixed grin that completing a big project gives you

After the rain came (and breakfast!) we headed for the big roofs at Carrick Castle

It was a great pleasure to hold Michael Tweedley's rope when he completed his long term project in the Tighnabruaich roof. The line was pretty well known even before Mike had completed it, even starring in a film about Scottish sport climbing. The roof is totally horizontal the whole way and the crux has an amazing kneebar move, hanging upside down from this and crap slopers for hands. Mike had been out to this move even back in 2004 but kept sliding out of the kneebar despite trying everything from tape to strapping his knee up with marigolds! In the end I developed a new kneepad technology that did the trick; a car footmat and some knee supports under stretch jeans. This comibined with extra training and weekends in the west, and the deed was done. The bad forecast necessitated an alpine start, which left just enough time to fit in Mike's send, and my quick second ascent just as the rain started to fall on the finishing holds at 9am.

So with both our projects here in the bag we headed for pastures new - yes, yet another mega steep chunk of Mica shist hidden in Cowal's glens. This time a collection of boulders up to 20m high in the lovely wee glen behind Carrick Castle. There are already some completed lines here and many more will be done over the next year I'm sure by myself, Mike, Dave and anyone else who's keen. But the main event for me is really the super futuristic bouldering roof. You can see in the picture above the angle is less than friendly and the holds are no different. This is a crag that will make just about anyone feel weak and in need of stepping up their training.


  1. MacLeod meets the boulder from hell. There's a look of slight concern on your face there Dave!

  2. Downright intimidation more like.