Friday 30 October 2015

Claire in Outlandia

Claire MacLeod - Outlandia Artist in Residence from Nevis Landscape Partnership on Vimeo.

Here is a short video I made of Claire’s week up in the fantastic Outlandia in Glen Nevis. Claire used her artist’s residency week hand stitching text that was written by residents of the Glen a few hundred years ago onto clothing.

If people are interested in a residency, Outlandia is run by the Nevis Landscape Partnership and take applications.

Monday 12 October 2015

Bouldering Season gets going

Cameron Stone Arete 8A+ from Dave MacLeod on Vimeo.

After an abortive September start in the warm weather, bouldering season felt like it kicked off a bit today with a chill breeze and a notable absence of the midge. Here is my starter for ten - a repeat of the Cameron Stone Arete (8A+) put up by Dan Varian in the spring. I should really have done this years ago, but it gave a nice excuse to return to the boulder.

Monday 5 October 2015

Waiting for autumn

Finishing the hard section on The Force, 8b at Brin Rock. I'm just in from bolting a potential 8b+ or 8c there which looks excellent. Photo: Chris Prescott

The weather in Scotland over the past six weeks has been too damn good! My plan for the autumn was to start trying a couple of hard bouldering projects early, so that I would hopefully be well placed to maximise my chances of success from the start of the autumn good conditions.

I had about 5 sessions on my project in the Arisaig Cave it super hot conditions in early Sept. Although I made much progress and have a good sequence, I started going backwards on the problem. It was getting hotter! The other problem was a common one with projecting - I was actually losing strength because I wasn’t training, just trying the project with rest days in between. After a couple of weeks the weather was showing no signs of cooling, so it was better to go back to some training and wait for the cold winds.

Repeating The Fury 8a+ at Brin. Most of September has been like this. Hence not a lot of time for blogging! Photo: Chris Prescott

I did 10 days or so of good training on my board, interspersed with some trad days on Creag Dubh. Among other things I repeated Gary Latter’s ‘Aye’ E7 6b, in 25 degree full sun. Gary has been doing a good job of tidying up the crag and adding new routes lately. I also have made a couple of visits to Brin Rock’s new sport routes. I’d heard there was a new 8b there called The Force. I went on it after a week of daily board training, feeling pretty exhausted. I nearly got it on my first redpoint and kicked myself because I felt I had no energy left.

Four goes later I got up it. It’s definitely good to trash yourself like this once in a while. After two days rest jumping about with Freida, I felt a bit fitter. I was back at Brin yesterday and repeated ‘The Fury’ 8a+ and another excellent 8a+ up a great flake crack. Still the sun was roasting hot.

So the unseasonably hot autumn has somewhat messed with my plan, but I am a bit fitter and hopefully ready to try the boulder and sport projects this week.

Masa finds a welcome rest on Ruff Licks E3 at Creag Dubh in 25 degree October heat.

Dan starting up the 6b at Brin. Where are my sunglasses? On the way to Brin, Dan filled me in on the exciting progress of Fort William's imminent climbing centre. Work is underway!