Sunday 20th July 2008
Headed North to Souterhead yesterday with Dave and Neil.
Dave has long been 'sceptical' of trad climbing but is finally coming around to our way of thinking as he sees what fun we have on our 'real' rock climbing adventures, so we headed up to Souterhead for some nice easy trad climbing.
Normally sheltered and sunny, Souterhead greeted us with strong winds, grey skies, and a heaving swell. Rainbow inlet was a torrent of white water, but thankfully was not to high up to prevent us getting to the belay stance for rainbow wall.
I lead Puffin wall (V Diff), and brought up Dave and Neil, then showed them how i had set up the belay. Back down to the bottom, and Dave lead the route with ease, and set up his belay only to hear the sound of waves crashing up Rainbow inlet (much to the concern of Neil on the now slightly damp belay stance)
Neil lead the next one, this time Rainbow wall (Diff), with Dave following. Nice short route, but in an a really atmospheric spot, this time with waves surging up the inlet, lapping the bottom of the rope. Everyone clipped into gear this time, just to make sure no one went for a swim in the event of a rogue wave!
After a spot of lunch, we move round to the southerly inlets and had a look at Overhang crack (Sev) which Neil was keen to try out. However, the bottom two metres were wet with spray so it was a no-no. Further to the south (15metres), we looked at 4 Vdiffs , and chose the two furthest from the sea, to prevent any further soakings. Dave lead Charybdis (V Diff), a nice route through a flake and corner up to the top of the outcrop. Neil then lead the route to the left called Scylla (V diff), which followed a flake line 6m up then a grotty chimney for the final 4m. Neil has obviously got his trad head back on, as he made the crux move with little concern, proving that his confidence in his gear is growing. Always a good sign!
We then looked at pobble an HVS further North, but the waves there were even worse than before, with spray and spume (dave!) crashing up the inlet, much to the delight of us three, now reduced to little boys fascinated by the power of the sea.
Black rock gulch (300m North) was in the same state, so we headed back to the car and drove down to Stonehaven for a lovely meal in the Ship Inn. I was pleasantly surprise how nice Stonehaven was, so i will definitely be heading back for some more hospitality in future.