Fri 6th June - My hand feels pretty sore in the morning and I can't close my fist properly and there is swelling around where the fallen rock cut it but sure enough it loosens off enough to climb once I'm up and about. My leg still feels sore but not as bad as yesterday, though it's looking a lovely fetching colour of blue! Matches perfectly the bruising on my other leg thanks to yesterdays thrutching, lol! Andy has managed to persuade me to have a go on Spartan Slab down on Etive Slabs. I've always been wary of multipitch routes above severe, thinking I just won't have the stamina to keep climbing VS for that long, but I remind myself that it's not continuous 4c climbing all the way and that if I can manage to climb several VS single pitches in a day, then there is no reason why I can't climb several VS pitches on a multipitch route! And there is only 2 pitches out of the 5 that are 4c and 5a. It is utterly boiling during the walk up to the slabs and I'm tired on the walk in, hate the heat! Hoping that there is enough wind to keep the midgies at bay, thinking I should maybe tuck my trouser legs into my socks to keep off ticks, but can't be bothered. Finally we are there, this looks fun! I hmmm a little over the 1st pitch, it looks a wee bitty harder than 4a to me and I decide to give the rope to Andy to lead it. If it feels ok, I will lead the 2nd pitch. Kinda glad I didn't as the traverse on the 1st pitch was a bit hairy and def not 4a! There was nothing memorable about the 2nd pitch, and the 3rd pitch is the crux with the 5a overlap. Now that was hard!! Andy uses a knee, but still seems as calm and nonchalant as ever. Me? I have to aid the move, pah! It's bloody awkward as anything when you are 5 foot nothing and not flexible enough to lift your foot to above your shoulder! If I get right into the corner then I can reach up and jam into the crack with my right hand, but then I'm far too squeezed in to throw my leg up and over. I try to twist my hip in to give me more reach with my left hand but my elbow bashes against the other wall and I can't bend my left arm the wrong way at the elbow to reach the crack! I need to lean out to get my leg over, but when I lean out, I simply can't reach the crack with my hand, aaaaaaaarg!!!!!! There is an ominous looking cloud over the valley and the wind is picking up a little, signalling to me that it may start raining soon. Clip a sling into the gear above me, foot in the sling, stand up, pull on the gear and heave my leg over the overlap. It's still bloody hard work, even aiding the move!! The next belay is fabulous! A nice comfy(ish) ledge right on the edge of the slab, pretty exposed, nice! And the next pitch is fantastic! A wee traverse, then up a very delicate and just in balance slab and then up a thin crack, and just when the crack runs out, and you are balanced tenuously on pretty much nothing, a thank feck jug appears to the left, ace! Then it's over another wee step (easy) and onto the next belay. Another wee slabby bit and a wee scramble to the top. A diff (ish) step to downclimb (still on the rope thankyou, but it's fine) and it's a walk back to our sacks. My toes hurt so I walk the majority in ma socks! Back to water and chocolate and home made flapjack, mmm mmm mmm! Both of us forgot to take a camera so nae photos today. Drive up to Inverness (with a 20minute snooze stop outside Fort Augustus, I'm knackered!) to doss at Morven's house where I find I have managed to pick up 12 ticks!!!!! Little b*st*rds!! My legs look awful, covered in bruises and bites :o(
Sat 7th June - Up and away for a hill walk. We wanted to do the Five Sisters down Glen Sheil as neither of us had 'bagged' them but we wanted clear weather and views for these 2 munros. So, the plan was, if the weather was clear we'd go up them, but if it wasn't clear and the clag was down then we would do either A' Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire, or Carn Ghluasaid, Sgurr nan Conbhairean and Sail Chaorainn. Approaching Cluanie, the clag was down but there was smidgens of blue sky. We hmmd and hahed for a wee while but then decided to keep the 5 sisters for a day when it was guaranteed perfect weather and to go up Carn Ghluasaid and co, as they were the nearest. Half an hour into the walk up the hill, the clag lifted and the sun came up, blimmin typical! But we'd started now, and the 5sisters will be there for another day. Nice enough hills, will lovely views of the South Sheil ridge, over to Forcan ridge and the 5sisters. We could see the Ben away in the distance too, and across to the Glen Affric hills the other way. These are lovely hills. They all seem so close together so give the appearance of being quite mountainous. We did the 1st 2 hills, ditched our sacks, did the 3rd hill, came back to the sacks, traversed around the 2nd hill and back down to the car. 7 hrs on the hill, with lots of stops to admire the weather and views, munch grub and take photos.
A braw few days on the hill :o)