Thursday 24 July 2008

Back in da glens

Oh man it's good to be back in Scotland. My flying visit around the US and Canada for lectures was really great fun. However, there are some aspects depicted in the above graph I find challenging when away from home.

For sure I cannot function in the heat of a continental summer for too long. We went to Maple Canyon to climb for a day after my talk in the lovely Lander (Wild Iris) area of Wyoming. I carried many bottles of water to the cliff, but it was useless. Somebody had left some in-situ chairs below the big cave. I made the grave mistake of sitting in one after nearly melting while panting my way up one of the routes. An hour later Alicia shook me and told me it was time to have a redpoint or we had to leave. Of course I fell.

The locals at both Lander and Squamish were so friendly and welcoming. I wished Claire could have been with me. But unfortunately this had to be a flying and solo visit this time. This year is one of major projects at home for both of us. But a long ass road trip through both countries is on the to do list for future, and the excellent festivals at Lander and Squamish will be on the itinerary for sure. Thanks to everyone who came to my talks and for the kind words about this website and other things. I arrive home with good memories from the trip.

Clear titles jump off the shelf

Whether it's breakfast, hunting, or especially cars, the Americans like to go for 'big' every time.

While I Squamish I managed to squeeze in a couple of sessions on the famous trad route Cobra Crack. It's a really nice piece of rock, although climbing it involves pain for those not well kent in finger jamming with no footholds. After a wasted day when I was so excited on arrival in Squamish I ran up the track without my harness (see improvised harness below - it worked, sort of), I could do all the moves on my first properly harnessed day and get some links on the second. I would definitely come back for more action on that if I was passing through Squamish again.

Having said that the prospect of pulling on some nice crimps again tomorrow is a lovely thought. I write in the middle of the night - a pleasant mix of jet lag induced insomnia, overdoing it on Scottish tea, birthday cake, and excitement to be back home with Claire and ready to rock on the cliffs tomorrow. Yeehaaa!


  1. Anonymous24 July, 2008

    Great to see you had a great time Dave. I know this sound selfish but it is good to have you back because I missed reading your blog as it is part of my daily routine now. Look forward to tracking your progress on echo wall (if you are still able to lead it before the end of the season). Take care

  2. Anonymous24 July, 2008

    that harness looks well comfortable dave!! That the new light weight "gonnahurtalota harness" ?

    Been a fair amount of interest on cobra crack of late in the climbing media, you going to go back to get an ascent or are the jams particularly nasty??

  3. Love the pie chart! Thought Irn Bru would be more prominent tho...

  4. Dave, I know it must be good to get home again, but you missed out the positive things about the US!

    --Maple has some really nice holds
    --You never did get eaten by a bear
    --Shop window displays are more entertaining than in the UK
    --The pancakes were rather good...and the steak wasn't too bad either

    And really, where else can you ride a horse down the high street at 10pm in full cowboy getup??

    Hope you're getting some nice cool and non-humid weather over there. Send some this way if you've got extra as well!