Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Going round Ruthven

Last autumn I extended Blair’s traverse of the Ruthven boulder, making a mega 40 metre F8b. But the challenge remained not to go up at the crux to the good line of holds, but to take on the full challenge of the tiny crimps and slopers below. I tried it for a few sessions last October, and two days before my ankle surgery, I got reasonably close to it. It was looking like an F8c or Font 8a+ standard piece of climbing.

I intended to go back this spring, but I built a climbing wall instead. So I just got round to it last weekend with Alicia, reworking the sequence and having a quick burn. I didn’t quite have the flow required to stay nice and fresh for the crux after 30m of F8b climbing.

But after another focused visit of getting it wired and having good training burns, the other night I managed to do it. You can see the video below - It’s a great trip with an intense crux after a lot of climbing. 

It was a little bittersweet leaving the boulder after the successful redpoint, knowing I have no projects here to come back for. I have done all of the problems here now and really enjoyed the location for it’s tranquility. Even the drive through the hills east of Loch Ness is very relaxing, especially on a Sunday listening to Crunluath on the radio after lunch at the caf. It’s also a handy place to dodge the Lochaber monsoon, and the midges.

Thankfully, the world is full of rocks to climb on. Pastures new!

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