Friday, 25 May 2012

Climbing in the med - Day 3

Day three dawned really really.... Dry. Wow. OUr plan for today was to climb at Gruinard crag.

After a shortdrive we reached the car park next Gruinard Bay itself. A really lovely beach, bit close to the road which will mean a busy place but still a cool place to hang out. A short walk up the road heads towards the crags, our chosen crag being road crag. A steep gneiss crag which is a perfect place for me at the moment grade wise. Loads of E2 and E3 climbs, and on my favourite rock of 2012 so far. What more could we want.... well no midges actually. The heather seemed to be the perfect breeding ground for them and, such a shame, we had to leave as it was pretty bad!
Gruinard Bay

So plan B was to go to Reiff early and get a couple of climbs in before the day was up.

Sean had his eyes on the Black Rocks classic, Black Gold. So Black rocks is where we went. Love the abseil to the bottom of this crag, really atmospheric and gives a great sense of what black rocks is all about.


Black gold is a slabby VS, lots of gear and loads of nice steady climbing, proper three stars!!

My chosen climb was an E1 arete to the left of Black Gold, but wait a minute, soaking. How can a crag after a week of the hottest weather in ages still be wet. The only explanation can be thqat the rock which absorbs water in cold weather, releases it in hot. So my plan b was an E2 5C which takes the headwall above tystie slab head-on. As i reached the headwall, and to my dismay the climb was also a bit wet and greasy. Not wanting to come away empty handed i persevered with a hard to place cam and committed to climbing the steep climbing above. 4 really strenuous moves and i reached a good break where i could get some more gear and chill-out a bit.

Pump subsided, onwards i went. Up a final 3 m wall to the top out pulling on grass. Love it.

A quick blast around the pinnacle area saw me only get one climb done - immaculate deception. A predictable deceptively steep E1.

Some learning from climbing here after being pretty confident on gniess. The rock when warm is really greasy and doesnt aid hard climbing, accentuating the pump. Not really much you can do about it, only aim to get good conditions or leave the sandstone for cold & dry days.

Still yet to climb confidently at Reiff, keep coming back as its an awesome place!

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