Saturday, 26 July 2008

Climbers in the mist...

Saturday 26th July 2008

I met Kath and Dylan in Victoria park (Arbroath) around lunch time for an afternoons climbing on the sea cliffs. As seems to be the pattern for the last few days, Angus was covered in a layer of fog, which seemed to trap the heat in, so despite the lack of sun, it was warm and pleasant in the sea breeze.

We headed down to some of the very easy and short routes above warship wall. I set up a few top and bottom ropes, allowing Kath and Dylan to get a few warm up climbs done, and to get used to the rock at Arbroath. working our way along the face, we bagged most of the easy routes, and i decided to test them a wee bit with a few slightly more challenging routes.

Great fun was had attempting some of the problems, with an amazing setting next to a blowhole! Highlight of the day was 3 RAF Tornados screeming overhead as part of the local sea-side spectacular. What a sight!!!

Heidi joined us, and she took part in the fun, trying some of the harder climbs we looked at.

Moving along the coast, we headed to sector cartoon, where there is a lovely 7m cliff face, with easy access from the top and side (with an easy but exposed scramble). Kath and Dylan climbed most of the routes on top rope, gaining more enjoyment from the climbs as the day went on.

As a last challenge, we climbed Fred Flintstone, a challenging boulder problem, peculiarly only graded at F3+!!!

As an end to the day, Heidi and I abseiled into the imposing Mermaids Kirk (A tidal bay) with the hope of cracking one of the bolted routes before the tide blocked our escape. Looking at the two routes, the bolts were high and well spaced, so it was going to take a good climb to get us out the 'proper' way.

Heidi had a look at the start of Dread Knot (F6b), which is a powerful and committing start, but was not 100% comfy with the high (Very!) first bolt, so i tried it, and was starting to feel the pump before reaching the bloody thing! Wow, was it going to be this hard all the way to the top?

Me checking out the first moves of Dread Knot
(Notice the height of 1st bolt, only just visible top right)

Fortunately, i made the next bolt without too much trouble, only to be greeted by the next clip, a good 10-12ft away... Yikes! Working my way up on very occasional crimps and frequent slopers, i was forced to trust my feet all the way, and made the delicate crux move onto the finish ledge to my relief. Wow, what a climb. Nothing too technical or strenuous, just committing and psychologically challenging. I can see a pattern forming...

Heidi came up with ease, and was keen to lead it on another occasion. Just let me know when you want the rematch Heidi, I'll gladly belay. Cheers


1 comment:

Paul said...

Wow! Like your site - more people should get to see and read...