Saturday, July 14, 2007
In between days of drizzly rain or tropical downpours, it's hard to commit to Scottish climbing: the mountains are wet, the bracken is too high and tick-ridden to walk anywhere off-piste and the weather is too muggy for bouldering or sport. So oddly Dumbarton Rock has been an interim saviour until things dry out properly. The hefty breezes and morning showers cool the basalt enough to make it fairly gritty and the slopers don't feel too bad. I started work again on the harder 7c extension to Consolidated, the one which drops down to the triangular block and fights it sway to the cave, which I'd never really 'consolidated' enough to complete. Three sessions have re-wired old engrams in my brain, one session with Mark Garthwaite proving I should stick to the short-man's complex sequence of endless 'adjustment' moves (Garth stretches and spans through ridiculous long crucifixes, making it shorter but maybe more sapping in the end...), so I found myself twice 'round the corner', but what is easy in isolation becomes desperate at the end of a thirty move 'approach'...it's a real redpoint crux and very much like traversing the endless lip of a sports cave. One more session....I know what will happen, skies will clear and I'll blow it by dissolving into the mountains until the autumn bouldering season!