Tuesday, 29 December 2009

North West wanderings

Blade Runner Pitch 1, Sgurr a Chaorachain

Peter and myself missed out on our traditional Christmas eve climb due to the combination of work overload and my illness. But today we ventured out which was a good way for me to see if I was feeling healthy enough to look at a mountain again. To be honest I still felt pretty rough, but keen air, crisp snow and a stunning view from the Bealach na Ba raised the psyche levels for a bit of ice bashing on Sgurr a Chaorachain.

I’m lucky enough that the amazing winter cliffs of Applecross are about 90 minutes drive from my new house and I’m keen to throw myself at them more. I know a lot of people glamourise long walk-ins in Scottish winter climbing, but I have to say I’m there to climb hard, not make a lot of potholes in the snow, so I’m loving the stroll across to the quiet cliffs from the top of the Bealach na Ba.

With no snow on the rock on the cliff we went to, options were limited to ice but we climbed the excellent Blade Runner IV,5. Excitable Boy also looked formed and no doubt both of these will stay that way for the foreseeable. Getting moving on the ice and mixed again feels good but strange after several months of hard bouldering. I’m trying to get my gear setup tweaked just right for trying my project later in the season. Several new additions to my winter kit are proving themselves invaluable.

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