Well, really I know them fairly well already, I’ve been visiting Lochaber to climb since I was 17 and done many new routes in the area already. But there’s still a massive difference between knowing a place and knowing it as a local. So far we’ve found the people living here really nice and friendly, which is fantastic when we are essentially outsiders moving into a smallish community.
The new hoose, cute eh?
It’s been quite weird switching from working as a writer and coach to doing manual building work for two weeks. This type of work is quite satisfying because the results are instant and predictable.
It’s been quite convenient that all the upheaval of moving co-incided with some impressively crap weather. It’s rained every day since I’ve lived here so far. No worries I just went to the perma-dry crags to train, as usual. It’s been lovely running alone through Steall in the quietude of a rainy evening to get to the crags. Steall is a beautifully moody and overwhelming place. You don’t normally get to see it in late evening, or really bad weather as a visitor – cause you just wouldn’t be there.
I’ve been working hard on my midge tolerance too, which will need to be on top form to survive a climbing life here. The midges are looking radiantly healthy at Steall Hut Crag after repeated nightly feeds on my naked arms and ankles. It’s a little hard going on still nights, but the crag is so good, I forget about them. I’m going to bolt a couple more routes here soon that I cleaned last year. Can’t wait – they look superb. I’m also going to clean up Cubby’s E7 here – Lame Beaver and get that lead. I cleaned the moss off it about 8 years ago, but no ones done it in nearly 15 years so all just grown back again. Maybe If I spend a day brushing it and doing myself at least Niall will come up and do it, and then it can sit for another couple of decades with no interest?? Hopefully not.
Hopefully by the time I’ve done all that, the rain will have stopped and I can get on the mountain crags again???