I'd always known there were big stones on Ben Donich - it's typical of Arrochar rock architecture with split schist crags and chasms and jumbles of scree giants in corries - but I'd never gone up for a proper scout. So, with the forecast promising sun in between hail and snow, I squelched up the speedy north east ridge to the summit in under an hour, then backed down the craggy east flank towards the Brack, stalking the boulder clusters, giving sheep the odd adrenaline-shock. Arrochar schist is not impressive in the wet of midwinter, its lichen coat soaking up slime and soaked heather-bunnets dripping down cracklines. Nevertheless, finding such a bloc as this bodes well for summer projects and those who like solitude and king lines topping out at 8m over, for a change, reasonable landings...
We'll be publishing an exciting new book by Francis Sanzaro in early 2013 and we've just got the cover (with thanks to Boone Speed for such a terrific shot).
The book's called 'The Boulder: A Philosophy for Bouldering' and it analyses bouldering in depth. It's an inspiring read, written with great clarity and poetry by a boulderer and academic philosopher who listens to what he does and is able to unfold the complex mental and physical origami that is bouldering. He explains to us what we're really doing, or perhaps what we are truly enjoying, when we boulder.
The more you think about bouldering, the harder it is to say what it is, but Francis has done a terrific job bringing a distinct voice to the sport. The book will be available in March 2013 and I'll put some sample pages up around Christmas as a taster.