Monday 25 October 2010

Thought provoking afternoon

Just in from a shivery afternoon under black skies and gales in Glenfinnan. Kev couldn’t make it out for sessions on the slab so I took the shunt and worked more on the harder of the two projects there. When I originally looked at it I could see that it was possible but it looked like an E11 slab (!) Can you imagine how nails that would have to be?
But after some hours of deciphering I decoded a sequence and with much wild slapping for various tiny things, got it linked on the top rope. Oh dear. There is also one microwire placement. A poor one, but enough to make it seem like it could be the coming down towards the top of the E10 band, and something I would at least think about leading.
Most of the hard trad routes I’ve done are much better protected than this, and a LOT easier. The only harder route I’ve done is Echo Wall probably, but that suited my style being steep and technical. I’m a crap slab climber on the whole. Having said that, I’ve tried to climb some harder slabs to get better at them. Comparing this line to other slabs like Indian Face or The Walk of Life in my mind - they are easy warm-ups against this line, and a lot better protected. A lot of much better microwires would have to rip on Indian Face before you’d be in trouble on a fall. This route only has one, shallow, flared and in quite soft rock.
Unfortunately there’s no way I could lead this slab with any kind of margin. It’s a full on, all out desperate slap, scream and wobble fest to get through the crux. And that’s on a top rope. The landing looks like it might only dish out broken legs. It’s only a 40 foot route. But the chances of a scary tumble would be high. 
Thought provoking… 
I can’t decide if it’s a good thing that the forecast looks rubbish until I go to Spain.


  1. Bad luck on linking it;) I'm going to vote good thing on the weather forecast!

  2. On the subject of slabs would you consider checking out Julian lines Route Icon of lust? Rumours have it to be much harder than E8 would be interesting to find out?

  3. I did the moves on the crux pitch of Icon of Lust the other week but the weather crapped out before I could get it led. It's E8. Looking forward to finishing it next season.

  4. Sounds insane. What french grade does a sketchy E10 death slab get then ;) Good luck.

  5. By your tweet it sounds like you've lead it? Have you? Good effort whatever you have done though!