Friday, 4 March 2016

Sundance on Beinn Eighe

Mixed climbing doesn’t always need to be a sufferfest - enjoying solid hooks and gear on the crux of Sundance VIII,8 on Beinn Eighe

I’m more torn than ever about how to focus my climbing time at the moment. With various factors coming together I feel like I’ve made some real progress in my bouldering and very keen to capitalise on it and keep training as hard as I have been over the past couple of weeks.

But winter action is here too. I was away last week and missed the excellent looking weekend in Scotland. Since I got home the other night, I was desperate to get back out and swing my ice tools on something. I arranged to climb with Steve Perry and he mentioned he had wanted to climb ‘Sundance’ VIII,8 on Beinn Eighe for a long time.

On a good forecast I rolled out of bed at 2.45 still stiff from my boulder training and jumped in the car with a monster cup of tea. We met Murdo, Uisdean and Ian Parnell in the car park and walked in with them having a good chat before they headed off for their project of the day. After an 8am breakfast on the summit ridge, we headed round to the cliff which was in fine rimed condition and sporting some good looking bits of ice on Sundance.

The crux 2nd pitch was excellent, solid hooks and bomber gear all the way. After the first few moves, the hooks were massive ‘hero hooks’ (as Ian put it) that were so secure, so I could enjoy the surroundings as I climbed as well as on the belay. The next pitch was just more of the same, pulling over small roofs onto icicles with sinker placements and good gear. 

So do I choose boulder training, and climb something pretty hard in another month or so, or do my usual all-rounder attempt to be a Jack of all trades but master of none…?

Lovely still morning walking round to Far East Wall

Good conditions - a rare moment when I find myself being in the right place at the right time in winter.

Some gnarlies eyeing up todays action.

Testing out my new Prohpet jacket - If you like the Fitzroy, you may get still more excited about this one. Well I do, anyway.

Walking out with a nice view over to Liathach

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