Monday, 20 August 2007

The Great Frustration

There were a lot of very upset people camped underneath Cairngorm this morning. Over sixty people worked their asses off all week to make something amazing, but the Scottish rain had the last word as always. Richard Else held up his hands and exclaimed “it’s the one thing we could never control!” Of course. We could only hope for a bit of luck.

Although I’m like everyone else involved – gutted – it was still worth taking the great chance. Only the people involved will ever know it, but if the sun had only shone, the show would have been something folk would have talked about for a long time.

All sixty would have their own story to tell about trying to make the live BBC climb happen, all proved themselves experts and it was a pleasure to watch them in action.

My own part was to climb a very hard new route on Hell’s Lum. On Friday the sun shone and I worked on the route and felt very confident I could pull it off. I would have led it on Friday and it was hard to walk away knowing the forecast was bad. But, if it had turned out different, it would have been worth it. The route I prepared has some of the most perfect rock and moves I’ve experienced.

You wouldn’t believe the lengths everyone had to go to to get everything in place for the programme, bt by Friday night it was all there and there was a massive team will for it to happen. Utter depression when we woke to rain on Sunday.

It might not be the end of the story though… more later.

Below are some pictures by Steven Gordon from last Thursday on Cairngorm:

A great climb, still a great project... for now

Rupert makes the 800th brew at base camp, running an efficient ship all week

Enjoying the ride

Nikki - always relaxed

Inspecting Hell's Lum from the viewing gallery

The cameras arrive

Millie wasn't bothered by the rain


  1. Nothing you can tell us about a future ascent? Or programme for that matter? Angus (

  2. soon as there is anything to report, you'll see it here... soon

  3. It sounds like the setup was, emotionally and physically, much like the prep for a hard climb--except, of course, public instead of private, and on a grand scale. Credit to the BBC for attempting such a massive project. Hopefully this setback won't make them shy away from doing so again.

    Good luck on your route(s).

  4. Hi Dave,
    I'm sorry :-( My sun/breeze dance didn't work very well, did it. I'll keep practising for next time. Hope you're still psyched for the route though - on camera or off.

  5. A great shame not to see you all climbing, but a wise decision not to go ahead.

    ps - great photos.