Monday 7 May 2007

Anvil countdown

Respective highpoints on the sidewall project and Friendly Fire (Photos: Hot Aches)

Blood spattered on the ground below Dave Redpath's project. 100% effort on redpoints at your career grade limit are truly brutal. The sharp jug at the end of the hard climbing was the cause of this trauma to Dave's hand. When you have no power left to latch the finishing hold, you have to latch it with skin. Sometimes it works, other times it cuts you up.

Emma dispatching the crux move of Friendly Fire with ease

Our countdown to the summer season has begun – only a week or two before its all change in my schedule at least and time for the Anvil spring sessions to end until late September. Trad climbing and the mountain crags are beginning to call. Normal Scottish service of rain and wind have resumed in Scotland after the ridiculous weeks of roasting sun and parched dryness. The Scottish climate is so much a part of the landscape here – I was amazed to feel that I actually welcomed the return of the fresh damp Atlantic wind and heavy clouds blowing through the glens yesterday.

The midge also made its first appearance of the summer when the wind briefly dropped. Definitely time for the mountain crags then!

It was great to watch and listen to more new people coming to our wee sport crag and trying it out. Emma, Sarah and Dave B seemed to rate the place and the routes they worked on. Emma and Sarah looked very strong on the Anvils power sapping crimps which was impressive to watch. The Anvil is a demanding place though. You need some real grit to finish the routes here, as Dave Redpath was finding out on his continuing battle with the Heavy Metal project. Through the crux this time, but power fade on the upper crux meant he’ll have another week of late nights in the woody before next Saturday’s edition.

Check out Emma and Dave B’s blog posts about the Anvil.

For the last few Anvil sessions I’m going to persevere with one of the two main lines I’m serious about doing there; the sidewall project. Its not as steep as the others but a bouldery crimpfest which would sit nicely among the Raven Tor desperates (but better of course!). About F8a+ to the crux and then a two move stopper that felt like British 7b yesterday. Maybe it was just the humidity rising? Either way, its going to be another high end route. Brutal daily fingerboarding will be the key to this one as little endurance is involved. So I better get off and do that now… Some important Scottish news this week (No, not that the Scottish National Party won the Scottish Election!) is that Es Tressider smashed the Skye Cuillin ridge record, running the ridge in 3 hours and 17 mins. Superb effort Es, well done! More on this: video on Hotaches blog and info on Es's website.

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