Tuesday, 8 June 2010
I met up with Michael and Tom to get the tour of the routes they’ve been working on Ben Narnain at Arrochar. Last year Michael was full of tales of his new route Machete E6 6b - a big wall climb, big runouts, crucial cam slots, and wasn’t sure if it could be edging E7. After lazing in the sun watching Michael clean his next project, I went for the flash with Michael sending up encouragement and the odd bit of information to help decode the rough blank expanse above me. When I hesitated, he assured me holds were on the way. When he warned they were slopey, I was glad of the heads up before I wobbled within reach of them.
It didn’t help that I took all the wrong gear up the route and made a right mess of placing what I did take. Consequently, climbing it like I was soloing provided a nice workout for body and mind. It all felt a bit tiring by the time I was driving northwards back home and had to stop for a cup of tea to keep my sleepy head functioning for a final hour before collapsing into bed.
Tomorrow, weather permitting I’m on a solo training trip for the Longhope route again.