Friday, 17 February 2012

Change of mind set

After getting back from my January stint on ETAP i was hoping to find some good winter conditions, but after a walk into Sneachda on a warm and drizzly Thursday morning it was evident that i was too late, at least for the cairngorms to be in condition.

And that leads me to my next issue. Folks are away to spain for 2 weeks so i am charge of the fort which pretty much rules out overnight trips and long days. Just aswell it mild!

So in the mean time i have joined the Elgin cycling club runs on a sunday, generally 10 members go on an average 65mile ride. Good for fitness and maybe another hobby to do when climbing isn't possible.

To change my mind set from winter to summer climbing takes quite a while and has, in the past, been determined by the seasons. But seeing as the 'seasons' have a mind of their own just now i have had to be flexible with switching between winter and summer and thinking about all the possibilities for trad, winter, bouldering and sport. I find that i only have psyche for the current season, so just now its winter and i have a heap of routes in my head that i would like to try. And consequently nothing for summer, yet.

So the last week has been mild, some climbing on high up on the ben but seeing as im house bound its too far for a day trip both for me and the dogs! So i went to logie head with Sean and aimed for a day of training, trying to get some finger strength and stamina going again. The plan was to lead a route and then ab down the line, pull the ropes and lead it a few more times with the gear in-situ. So doing laps on a single route whilst still clipping the gear to put a pause in the climb proved to be good. We did this on Sea-urchin, spread the donkey, sunnyside up and a single run up a direct finish to sunnyside up.

Second trad day out was at cummingston and only one route each before some drizzly rubbish ruined the psyche. However the route i did was on the stack called Captain Birdseye. Guide book says a pokey lead possibly worth E3. Hmm lets give it a go anyway!

Got on the climb and the first 5m are unprotectable up to a niche but is easy climbing. Next from the niche you have 2 small wires one of which is a bomber micro and the other a dodgy #1. A long reach and blind placement gives you a third wire which gave me the confidence to give the 5b crux a go. Two long reaches finds you standing in a fairly comfortable position to compose yourself enough to climb up the loose flakes and so to the top of the stack. A fine E2 5b to kick of the season early.


Usain Birdseye


The day then developed into a bouldering session and exploration in the cave, and i also eyed up my next potential climb, but i will need to purchase some micro cams before said route will be ticked.