Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Another little milestone

Waiting for the breeze to come back at the base of Bark at the Moon E8 6c, Glen Clova. Photos by Masa Sakano.

Last week I went for a wee wander about Glen Clova. I hadn’t been there before and checked out a couple of routes I’d heard about. One was Tim Rankin’s E8 6c Bark at the Moon, a great looking line up a big steep prow. I felt it would be a good milestone to build a bit of confidence in my trad climbing. I worked out the moves quickly and was desperate to get back with a partner and give it a try.

So yesterday I returned with Masa to try and do it. Masa started with an impressive tussle with Empire of the Sun and it was great to watch him top out after really going for it. I seconded and didn’t feel I was moving very well. But it was just the strong sunshine I think. We abbed into the start of Bark at the Moon and conditions felt much better.

On the headwall of Bark at the Moon.

After a quick wait for the sun to go behind a cloud, I headed upwards. The route is pretty bouldery so you have to move quickly. Before I knew it I’d moved solidly through the crux and noticed myself letting out a deep breath to relax a bit and enjoy the pumpy upper headwall. 

Although I felt strong and solid on the crux, I’m aware that I am still feeling rather self-conscious in my movement - I am still climbing up the rock thinking about my ankle rather than about nothing. I can see it will take a little while yet to lose this feeling and be able to enter a decent state of concentration on the rock.

Although I wasn’t totally relaxed, I was still very pleased overall to have made another little milestone of progress. I feel I should probably do another few E8s before progressing back to E9 again.

Finishing off with Sunset Song E5 6b

Masa going for it on Empire of the Sun E4 6a

Ab rope stuck in a crack. Got there eventually.

The midges we waiting for us to decide to do one more route. We thought better of it.

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