Sunday, 23 May 2010

Orkney false start

With V13 fitness finally regained after the endless winter of snowy mountaineering, I was obviously keen to get back to me project on Orkney - freeing the original line of the Longhope Route. But winter, in the northern end of the UK at least, wasn’t giving in just yet. 

But we went anyway. It was kind of as bad as we expected, but worth going anyway. Donald and I spent a couple of days on the wall, one dangling about on the top and one on the bottom pitches. A lot of shivering was done, and trying to climb an F8c pitch in full winter mountaineering clothing didn’t fully work out. So we bailed without a great deal of deliberation.
Nevertheless I learned some more things about the route, namely that I need more time on it and it’s going to be damn hard. And visiting Orkney is always a pleasure. It was good to see that Donald found the lower pitches as adventurous as I think they are. I did almost have a nasty fall when a block I was holding onto parted company with the wall while a loooong way above a runner. A missed heartbeat to say the least. 
The appetite is well and truly stoked for a proper encounter when the ocean warms up to something less than arctic.

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