Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Counting down the climbs...

Well, 26 done, 14 to go.

I'm booked for my Single Pitch Award assessment in less than 3 weeks and as part of the pre-reqs, i must have at least 40 trad climbs under my belt (ie i lead them!). With the help of Ellis and Amanda (and a few others who know who they are...) i have already accrued 26 lead climbs, and am looking to smash out the next 14 in good time.

Can you help? Do you want a partner for trad in the NE, let me know!



Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Back to the Glen... again!

Sunday 25th May 2008

Back to the Glen... again!

Headed back up to Glen Clova again, this time with Will Rob.

Glorious day, with not a cloud in the sky. The Glen was busy with bikers, walkers and climbers (4 other groups on the cliffs)

We smashed out three routes with me leading 3 J's Chimmney (VDiff) and Hanging Chimney(Sev), and Rob leading Flake Route (Sev).

Flake Route (Sev)

Hanging Chimney is a really interesting climb, involving a squirm through and up an offwidth chimney, then leaning out and up over a slab to the top.

Brilliant day, hope the weather stays good for the near future. Have my eyes on a few of the Severes and Very Severes in the Glen

Back to the Glen...

Friday 23rd May 2008

Back to the Glen...

It was with some trepidation that I waited for Ellis to pick me up on a cloudy Friday afternoon. We were headed back to Glen Clova. I hadn't been there for over a year, with my last trip ending in a 4 hours ordeal on one of the classic routes in the glen.

A moutainside crag, with views to beat the Lake district, the 'Glen' is popular with Dundee, Angus and Aberdeen based climbers for it's high quality routes, ease of access and scenery alike.

Could be the lakes...

On the way up, Ellis let slip that his ambition for the night was to climb 'Proud Corner', the very same three star VS 4c that i spent 4 hours on! Arriving at the roadside carpark, Ellis and I looked up the hill to the expanse of rock and located Proud Corner on the lower Southwest sector of the Cliffs.

After a 15 minute tab up the hill to the base of the rockface, it was clear that Proud corner looked no easier than it did over a year ago. Little was said whilst sorting the gear out, both of us preparing ourselves mentally for what was going to be an 'exciting climb'!

Proud Corner

All set up, Ellis lead the first pitch of the climb easily, and made his way confidently onto the harder second half of the climb. Watching him closely on the thin top 3rd, i knew what must be going through his head (what am i doing here, where is the protection, where are the fecking handholds?). Reaching the crux (a bold 8m section with minimal pro, and delicate climbing), he climbed calmly and securely before reaching the top and dissapearing over the lip to set up a belay.

I scampered up the climb, and onto the hard section, where i remembered exactly how delicate the climbing was, and how i'm glad Ellis had lead! Through the crux, and over the top to see Ellis sporting a grin that a cheshire cat would be proud of!!! Welldone that man!

I ended the night by leading 20 minute route (Normally a moderate), taking a direct line up the left edge of the Crag, resulting in an interesting climb graded at Severe.

All in all a great night!!!

More North East Adventures...

20th May 2008.

More North East Adventures...

I was on chauffeur duty tonight, picking up Ellis, Phil, and Sonya and her Daughter Rebecca, and headed up to Black Rock Gulch, on the North East coast just south of Aberdeen (200m North of Souterhead in the last post)

Facing SW, the crags at Black Rock Gulch are great for begginers, offering a number of easier climbs, with one or two harder routes to challenge braver climbers.

Phil and Ellis climbed Mellow Yellow (Sev), Yellow Edge (Sev) and Windy Ledge (VDiff)

Sonya, Rebbeca and I climbed as a three, with Me leading Mellow Yellow (Sev), and Astra (VDiff, stiff!), and Sonya leading Windy Ledge (VDiff). Rebecca did fantastically, seconding all three routes with little difficulty.

I will be back to smash out Yellow Edge and Yellow Diedre (Both Sev)

North East Adventures

17th May 2008

An early start, saw Ellis, Phil, Neil and I head up to the North East coastline for a day of short trad routes in the company of local trad afficianado, Amanda Lyons, along with climbing partners, Heidi, Alan and Gary.

Under a bright sun, but cool Easterly Breeze, we dispatched a number of easy routes on the popular Souterhead, before lighting the first barbeque of the year. Burgers and sausages (cooked by my fair hand!) went down a treat, and were followed by a healthy (or should i say unhealthy) batch of cream cakes (thanks Neil!!!)

Phil and Ellis dispatched Puffin's Perch (Mod), Puffin Wall (VDiff), Puffin Overhang (Sev), Overhang Crack (Sev), and one of the easy Vdiffs in the southern gully

Neil was just getting used to being back on to real rock, so we took it easy and smashed out Puffin's Perch (Mod), Puffin Wall (VDiff), Puffin Wall (Diff), Overhang Crack (Sev) and Styx (V Diff).

All in all a great day, only brought down by us having to leave early for a previous engagement.