Tuesday, 7 June 2011
St John’s Head, Hoy, Orkney. It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? I am in the picture, but you'll probably not spot me.
I just got back from two days work on my project on Orkney with progress made. Fitness is starting to materialise at last, a finger injury is becoming less and less of a bother, and logistics are ironing out.
Cleaning a new finish
I was keen to see if it was possible to finish the route over a series of roofs right at the top of the wall. So rather than the original finish skirting out right around the roofs for an easy escape, the last pitch is a ~ 70 metre pitch of around 8b+ on the top rope. Although I don’t how it’ll feel with a rack of big camalots for such a long pitch on my harness? I had thought it was going to weigh in around 8c but a miniscule foothold discovery on the crux on this trip might just take the edge off it. It's funny how a foothold about 1mm square will probably determine the overall difficulty of a 500m climb. Pics by John Sutherland.
A long pitch, and there’s 450m of climbing to get here!
John feeling the space
Brushing steeeep rock
It turns out that I should be able to lead this final 15m section through the roofs on three small cams. Since taking a belay instead would have been on two Camalot 4s, I'm actually saving weight on the crux pitch rack by pressing on all the way to the top. Happy days.
A fine rack
1945 bomber wreckage, Cuilags
Shootin the Stromness breeze