Tuesday 8 November 2011

Perfect day in Torridon

After coming home from my lecture tour I’ve had a familiar feeling of being a little burnt out. This happens to me every year really, I cram as much work as I can into the west highland monsoon season - lectures, writing, coaching, events, film work etc. By the end of it, I’m always rather impatient for the calmness of just going to an empty highland glen and climbing some nice rock on my own.
I’m not naturally cut out for being on stage every night, and much as enjoy sharing the stories and meeting great people, I need some balance after many weeks of it.
So after a week of sorting out so many loose ends at home, the autumn monsoon finally broke to sunny gold coloured mountains, and I got to enjoy two great bouldering sessions. I can’t tell you how much of a lift it is to spend time on real rock in a nice place after so much time indoors.
First off I found some killer new beta on a tough project in Glen Nevis. One that will take a while, even with a clever trick of the foot on the crux. Today, the north west seemed to be the place to be and I scooted up for an afternoon on the simply superb boulders in Glen Torridon. I noticed that visiting Sheffield bouldering specialist Dan Varian, one of the strongest men in our isles at present, had added a few hard problems here in the spring that sounded great. 
I went up to check out a lovely arete called Stokes Croft, given about 8A. I enjoyed it a lot. Perfect holds, perfect conditions. The only thing not in perfect condition was me, still feeling decidedly sluggish from one of those nagging colds that seems to keep coming back. But as soon as I arrived at the problem, the sniffles and sighs melted away and I had the moves worked out in twenty minutes and then climbed it first redpoint. It’s probably more like 7C+ but it was still a lovely change to just go and repeat something that was all cleaned up and ready. I’ve spent a lot of time cleaning dirty rock this year!
Wee clip of this above. These last two sessions have fully redoubled keenness for the bouldering season, and for training training TRAINING!!!

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