Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Getting out of the car

As we all know, sometimes the hardest thing about climbing is getting started. The first few moves of a pitch are often the hardest. Racking up can sometimes be a forced procedure. Getting out of the car can seem like a fate worse than death. You could trace it back even further; getting out of bed, packing the night before, being born.... sometimes it just doesn't feel easy.

Murdoch taking one for the team in 70 Mph winds.

The last month of 2013 has brought some of the worst winter weather Scotland has seen in a while. I've worn my ski goggles from leaving the car to the bottom of the crag more times in the last month than ever before. Its fair to say that its all been a bit harder than usual.

Attempting a speed record on The Message...
However, its also pretty cool when you can be tested climbing a route 5 grades beneath your limit due to factors other than the climbing itself. This element is what makes Scottish climbing special and feel so much "bigger" than it actually is.

Myself on Babes in The Wood.
On a slightly calmer day a couple of weeks ago myself and Greg managed the second winter ascent, and first on sight of a fun route in Sneachda called "Babes in the Wood" VIII,8. Its a fantastic tenuous pitch which gets E2 in Summer and climbs very differently to how you'd expect.

Down-climbing from something new and tasty yesterday

 Over the last two days me and Greg have tried four different routes, none of which we got up. In fact, on none of which we got further than 10 metres up the first pitch! But this is why climbing is great, sometimes you float up things with seemingly little effort, sometimes its an effort to just get out of the car - but without the contrast, i think there'd be a real lack of appreciation. Bring on 2014.

Bailing for the second time yesterday!...

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