E2 5b's in the sun, then going swimming because it's too hot
Reading on the train
Envisaging climbing a 16 pitch slab and bolted ice routes
Swimming, swimming and wine
Did I include mountain biking?
Back home on some proper rock and feeling reaffirmed in my trad, and appetite. Rob and I solo'd a bunch of routes at Strath-nairns infamous pinnacle crag - apparently lost to the present generation and a consequently a little dirty. We climbed a cool arrete too. V4/5 ish.
The arrete at Pinnacle Crag - Duntelchaig
The next day we dithered about going for a mega hill run.
'It's 26 miles up and down Wyvis from the East'
Having run up Wyvis on monday and biked my local moor hill in the morning, i really couldn't be less bothered - and Rob was especially easy to convince! Better save running for wet days anway.
A few cups of tea and a slap on the acoustic later and we still hadnt decided. Infact we drove west and didnt decide until the junction. We found ourselves in Gairloch Cafe, leaving with a couple of new books. Next stop Tollaidh Crags.
Robs line took the curving crack on the right, mine went up the middle, slightly left of Rob.
Home to utterly brilliant single pitch slab and face routes as well as a number of steep testpieces, Loch Tollaidh is one of many close-to-the-road Gairloch delights. Rob had done quite a lot, and so we arrived at a slightly dirty, lichenous wall. Hold poppy with lovely downward stratified rock and sidey-ways holds, it took a bit of appreciation. Rob did a pumpy rising traverse at E2. I laughed when I encounter his original, fully rigid friend stuffed in a slot.
Rob on a fairly commiting E2. Could do with a clean and some more traffic.
I took the direct 5c up the face and through a wee roof which was lovely sustained, resty, thinky, fiddly and altogether enjoyable and remarkably non-stressful - the essential gairloch experience i think! The stress of climbing without gear is certainly remediated by the vast blanket bog lining the crags..
Then the midges came out.
I mustnt complain, though iv'e been climbing rock in Alpine Scotland for the past 4 months and its the first encounter i've had yet. Glad i'm off to the Alp's though, I remind Rob ..hehehe
Sitting in the breeze, admirning the mottled vista, Rob and I engaged in some metaphysical climbing chat. Climbing chat is great, so long as nobody else is around.Pint. Massive burger in the Inn. A civilised day on the West Coast. Swooping under the battements of Slioch and Rob bangin' on about New Order.
To ensure I meet my weekly train quota, i'm travelling back to Aberdeen tommorow morning. I'm going to Shetland to slice fish and weigh their balls for a uni course. I'm going to run around the stormy wee coastlines like the skinny elvish bandit that i am. Maybe i'l scream in Norwegi-Highlander-Jibberish too. Maybe naked. Going to finish my George Mackay Brown novel while i'm there.
After Shetland i'm meeting the family for a few days in the Cairngorms and
from there on it's straight down to Edinburgh and the beginning of the Alpine Extreme Suffer Extreme XS trip with Sinclair - all round badman and satirical jester. Together we shall make quite a pair. Pete, Boss Colin and Rob have been psyching me up and telling me where to go. It should be awesome!