Friday 9 May 2008

The punishment begins

Michael Tweedley climbing Rocklord E7 6b, Yosemite Wall, Glen Coe. Photo: Claire MacLeod

Well, when I say ‘the punishment begins’ it’s all relative. It has been the most gorgeous week in the Scottish mountains, but legs and arms are in pain today. As soon as I saw the forecast I knew it was time to make an early start on the Ben season. A tad to early perhaps…

I bounced up the Ben path and Tower Ridge to get to my project, super excited at the thought of getting to grips with it again after so much time thinking about it.

The Echo Wall project, still a bit wintery right now despite the warm sunshine! Note Smith’s Route and Indicator Wall still hanging in there to the bitter end.

Sadly, it was not to be – a long bank of snow is still melting slowly straight over the top of the wall. It looks like it will be there for some weeks to come, although there are options (more later) to accelerate things.

Instead we looked at some other new lines to come back to (also being melted onto at present) and generally tired ourselves out carrying big loads all over the mountain.

Claire on the Nevis plateau

For an easy day the following day, Michael and I went to check out Yosemite Wall in Glen Coe – a Malham like overhanging wall of overlapping undercuts, except nae bolts here!

Michael cleaned up Cubby’s route Rocklord E7 6b while I inspected a serious looking new line through a big roof. The crux looked like a rather amusing large dyno blindly around the roof to a very distant edge, followed by some more nastiness on the headwall.

Michael cleaning untouched rock, Ben Nevis

A return raid was deemed necessary and the next morning we both dispatched. Michael reckoned it was the scariest lead he’d held my ropes on. Maybe I should do more training? Claire didn’t seem so phased by filming my jumping around without any useful runners. But perhaps the consecutive days on the Ben and the Coe were a bigger deal. Sublime E8 6c was a lovely way to spend time waiting for snow to melt…or preferably vaporise.

Go away!!!! Large bank of snow I wish would melt faster...

1 comment:

  1. What happened to global warming, eh?

    Looks like you've had some brilliant weather, as have we in Edinburgh. I was saying to Caroline this evening (at a damp and slippy North Berwick Law) that I'd love to go back to full-time climbing! But right now, I don't know how to make it so. At least we'll get out this weekend. Very envious of your ability to get out when the weather is good, and not when the boss says you can go.