Saturday, December 09, 2006

40 days and 40 nights...

...of rain... which has put paid to the Scottish bouldering scene for this year... everything is weeping and green, we need a benevolent high pressure to restore some normality to the bouldering scene, everyone's frustrated by the deluge, and it doesn't look like stopping. Grabbing windows of opportunity between the fronts is the only option and running the animated satellite forecasts is like watching the old broken back of Scotland being whipped by sadistic Atlantic fronts.




That said, I squeezed in a pleasant afternoon at St Bride's wall near Strathyre... a quartzy bulging wall with perfect landings and some good testpieces, just after the parking for the Ben Ledi walk-in. It is not extensive, but in bad weather it is only two minutes walk and facing south, so it's worth a visit when the higher boulders are not worth the risk. It catches the sun and a few hairy-knuckled gestures from passing white-vans, which you can feel free to return.

The main lines are fingery straight-up highballers, but traversing right and descending the quartz crack is more sensible after the rain has greened off the top-outs. Projects remaining include the low traverse (broken holds may have made this harder) and the Bulge direct ... (may be the line climbed by Kev Howett in the 80's 'Grey Matter') - this is a fingery looking nightmare into the 8th grade somewhere... with quartz nubbins and slopers from hell thrown in! I managed to tackle the bulge from the quartz seam side, cranking up a nice crossover sequence on the seam to a high and unhelpful sidepull, where body tension allows the feet to smear on and the sidepull becomes operable. Slapping out right to the said quartz sloper, a moment of insecurity follows before better holds come... an excellent Font 6c+/7a, let me know your thoughts!
Let's hope we are due some higher pressure...

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