The stubborn high pressure system that has been sinking cold air all over Britain has been a rare treat for lithophiles. The rock has been sticky as the sides of a freezer and the boggy approaches in Scotland have been rock hard, allowing an approach in dry trainers, though some comical Billy Elliot moments occurred on great tongues of ice and frosted top-outs.
In the south Tim Rankin has been busy repeating the harder Thirlstane classics and finally working out how Paul Savage's problems work best. He repeated Tied Up and Swallowed at a 'short-man's' verion of 7b+, mantling up to the crimp with the left hand and standing on the shelf to cross through to the break. Tim has also discovered an exciting cave with 'immaculate rock' and we await summer development!
Back in Glasgow, I visited the old quarry venue of Windyhill above Johnstone and found it to be an excellent bouldering wall, catching all the sun going and with grippy orange basalt. Most of the lines are straightforward but eliminating holds makes it a worthwhile work-out, good for a couple of hours strengthening the fingers and honing the footwork.