Bursting into Life

Mike Lee on Spitfire, The Anvil

Spring is here and strings of vegetation are wriggling from the earth, a bit like the veins in my forearms...

If you've survived a winter of indoor training and have no injuries, this is the time to be getting out on the early season sports routes, transferring bouldering strength to those fuzzy crux moves of that old project. Building up stamina is a painful necessity and hours of burning up the forearms pays dividends for the trad routes over the summer - after all that's what sport climbing and bouldering was invented for, was it not? How times change!

Bouldering news has been a bit thin, but Dumby has seen new eliminates, especially Dave Mac's quick ascent of the Totality eliminate. He also knocked off the last line on the Heather Hat in Glen Nevis - the obvious slopers through the right hand side of the roof, at a MacLeod '8a+'... as a local, this will no doubt be a 'local's' sandbag!

Also at Dumby Will Atkinson has been eating up the hard classics with friends, producing a nice smorgasbord of video here entitled 'Dumby Dosage'. Smooth climbing on the Rock all round lads, rather than round lads climbing smooth rock.

Stewart Brown and said Will Atkinson proved that the old sports testpieces hold no challenge any more for the Facebook generation (I guess the pre-wall era you could call the Coalface Generation) - anyway, both youths flashed Hamish Teds and Nic Duboust despatched Marlena second visit after failing narrowly on the previous onsight.

Steepness at the Anvil...

Pierre Fuentes visited the NW and discovered the best problems in Scotland as well as the 'Scottish side-effect' of rubber fetishism (turning up to the boulder in wellies with big tarpaulins and large mattresses) ... Richie Betts is the ubermeister of tarpaulin fetishism, I'm sure there's a website for this but I'm too scared to Google it.

For any boulderers interested in remote and new stones to climb on, I'll be producing an ebook end of the year called 'The Book of Lost Stones' which is exactly what it says it is: a compendium of giant stones lost in places awaiting a little attention. Some of these stones I've found on journeys, some were tip-offs and of course many still remain to be found, but the book will hopefully encourage folk to get out with their mats and climb to their potential... some of these stones have truly futuristic lines and are geological works of art, while some are moss-clad loners with the odd incredible line. I'll provide accurate grid refs and approach notes as well, so all that remains is for you to go climb them. Anyone wanting to add a stone to this list (if they're not keeping them for projects) just email me a jpeg and details, I'll patch it into the book.

Lost Stones...

Speaking of lost stones, the old Galloway project stone, discovered by Tim Rankin a number of years ago has been found by Roddy McKenzie.: it's an attractive granite bloc with some mighty hard lines to go, we await Roddy's attentions with keen anticipation...

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