Friday, 18 October 2013
On the way home from the Dolomites the other week, I stopped by at the Ruthven Boulder near Inverness for a session. Blair Fyffe had just added a long traverse at Font 7c (or route 8b - it’s 20 or 30 metres long!). Blair wrote a nice blog about it here. There was an obvious extended start to make it a bit more complete and I thought I’d have a look at that. I repeated the traverse from Blair’s start after a suss of the moves (I’d say it’s more like route 8a+) and then did it from the extended start which adds a great section across the roof on the left side of the boulder. This definitely knocks it up a grade to route 8b or Font 7c/+ish. It’s a classic endurance workout and dries very quickly, so I’m sure it will be keeping local climbers fit in the coming years. If you want the beta, check out the video above. Blair's trav starts from the big jug I bat-hang off.
Thankfully, it isn’t over there. Where the traverse goes up a level at the crux of ‘The Big Lebowski’, there is an obvious low variation dropping down a bit and continuing on tiny crimpers. After two or three sessions, just before I headed to Glasgow for surgery, I almost got it. So I have something to go back to as soon as I can climb again. The crux is quite a lot harder than the high traverse and it’s going to go at around route 8c I think. Can’t wait to return..