Wednesday 12 May 2010

Big link in the cave complete

At Eternity’s Gate, V13
Climbing tough projects that take you a wee while is always a game of balancing stakes. The more work and effort you put in, the more progress you make. The more you drop other things and focus on just that, the faster and more consistent the progress. But at the same time, it gets ever harder not to be become attached to success on it as you sense it getting close. And as you stretch your hand further, the potential for backfire gets ever larger.
In my favour, a fortnight of cold weather, an lb of body mass trimmed and an uninterrupted series of work sessions. But a broken hold, the urgency of impending warm weather and the monotonous hard physical work re-awakening just about every injury niggle I’ve ever had was making the end of the game imminent.
What to do? Ignore it and keep making hard won baby steps. Just as I was feeling like I’d have no chance of maintaining finger and toe strength through that section of little crimps just before the bat-hang, I found myself puffing and panting through them and hanging from the jug before the final V8+ section. 
I initially felt this was V14 for sure, but a couple of last minute sequence tweaks was enough to keep the flow of moves going and the anaerobic countdown just inside my capacity. Who knows though, F8c+ might be a more appropriate rating than V13 seeing as it’s 60 moves long!
I’ll get a topo up for the cave soon as I can. Meanwhile, In a fatigued state I dragged my sore arms around another hillside near Arisaig with Donald and found this:

The little lean-to roof was so innocuous we almost walked past, but inside lucked a 50 degree overhanging wall covered in little positive edges like something straight out of a Swiss granite valley. 4 mini-classics between V7 and V9 later,  could only sit and watch the snow showers drifting over Skye and the small isles for the rest of the afternoon.
Tomorrow, the trad season starts for me, although there’s a chance the lingering winter might make it a false start. We’ll see...

Another snow shower pummels Eigg


  1. Anonymous13 May, 2010

    rad, as always!

    the music is superb.


  2. nice vid.. post location when u've de pumped please :-)

  3. Thanks for taking the time to create another great vid Dave. Properly inspirational. I noticed your bent legs in a few places, particularly at about 1:52. That's a level of "pulling with your feet" that I don't think I'd considered before. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Anonymous13 May, 2010

    inspirational climbing!!! furfuxache :P

    The tune is "electric landlady" by "Kila" :)

  5. Ian Walters18 May, 2010

    Hey Dave,

    Great stuff. I'm out here in college in Davis, California; it's sure nice to read a solid blog like this on a rainy day (like today). Thanks for putting as much thought as you do into what you write--it goes a long way.

    Good luck with your projects/ other endeavors,


  6. Endurance... cool! Nice edit! And i really like the music too.