Monday, 28 February 2011

Week of scottish Wonderfulness - Day 3

The third and final day with Sean. we decided to have a relatively easy day (short walk in). Torridon became our chosen destination and a venue that Matt had developed in 2008. Fence Crag sits on the base of Liathach west ridge, 300m from the road. The rock was surprisingly solid and clean, with only a very slight gritty feel to it and the odd bit of lichen to watch out for. once again it was a stunning crisp winters day and i was psyched to make it a good climbing day!

The short walk led to the small (10m) crag on which has potential for around 20ish routes. I started on a HVS 5b called suspect cylinder. It takes a short slab up to a hanging corner crack in which took two bomber gear placements, nice climbing. Sean then lead a couple of the slab/cracks to the east end of the crack. I then led the E1 5b/c slab climb Sethbury Slab, crux move was very enjoyable with 2 suspect micro nuts protecting the crux. I also climbed two new routes, a S 4a and S 4b called Azure and Flying Fotless Direct on the East slab of the crag, short routes but enjoyable. For the last climb of the day i fancied the E2 5b Lucky strike. this takes the next crack to the left of Suspect Cylinder. I managed to convince myself that the 4 micros i had placed were 'bomber' and went for the final steep crack line. It felt very strenuous to pull up from the small holds onto the slab but it went without fuss and completed and awesome day.
Suspect Cylinder

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Week of scottish Wonderfulness - Day 2

Today was another cloudless day and we took full advantage by heading west again to one of my favourite sea cliff climbing venues. Reiff. This was my first day back to leading trad after a busy winter so i was keen to get back on some of the stared routes found in the Pinnacle area of Roinn a'Mhill. I started on Sip from the wine of youth again, a popular HVS 5a that traverses out over the abyss into the (raging today) sea. After this i went onto the route next door, Barrier reiff, another stared and deservedly so HVS 5b. Good start and feeling confident on the climbs. after seconding a few of Sean's routes i decide to get on one of the most popular climbs at Reiff, westering Home. It takes a thin crack line up a vertical wall. Bomber gear all the way and a thin balancy crux leads to the top of this 12m route **.

Barrier Reiff
We then decided to savour the day and go to Reiff in the Woods for some Bouldering. I ended up working Haven V5 and got to within a move of the top and bottled the dyno. Too high to jump for a wet sloper!

Reiff in the Woods

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Week of Scottish Wonderfulness - Day 1

Today marks the start of a week of climbing. Seeing as winter conditions are non existent at the moment myself and Sean Watt decided to go out west to see what we could find. We decided that being the first time in a while that we had climbed summer rock, it might prove to be a good start if we headed for some bolted action. First choice was a small bolted crag to the East of loch Tollaidh, Creag nan Luch unbeknown to us it was N Facing resulting in a very damp proposition. A drive back west brought us to a small crag called Grass crag, located 500m behind Aztec Tower.

Me walking into Grass Crag

The crag is really sharp and quite steep Gneiss. The crag has been reasonably bolted with good loweroffs. Only complaint is that the routes are quite short but still pack a punch. I did 5 routes which included 2 6a's 2 6a+'s and dogged a 6c all in glorious sunshine. (Sean managed to climb in the only hail shower of the day :)

Enjoying the first route of the day