Monday, 6 October 2008

Luath's Stones - Sunday 5th Oct '08

Decisions, decisions! RB's dad and stepmum's wedding anniversary this weekend, so RB was at home with me which meant no trips away for the weekend and being dragged out ice skating on Saturday. Enjoyable spending a weekend with her for a change, but gutting to miss out on the 1st winter routes done in the hills on Saturday.
Sunday, I was craving the hills and snow but RB preferred to go rock climbing, and then mentioned she'd like to go bouldering. Aaarrrrrrg, bouldering when I could be out in the snowy hills, what is the world coming too! Actually, bouldering sounded quite nice and chilled and the forecast for Sunday was milder anyway, and A had mentioned conditions disappearing (as quickly as they had appeared) anyway, so decided to take RB up to Luath's stones to boulder as it's a lovely, friendly venue with billions of easy problems to play about on.
Chris was quite happy with a chilled day of bouldering too so we drove up to his and then jumped in his car and off we went. Was pretty damn windy out, and not as warm as I had thought it would be and I was bundled up in buff, down jacket and woolly hat to keep cozy!

We all had a lovely afternoon, starting off on the Wee Wall which has loads of 4a and 4b problems and one 5a, we did them all, and Chris managed to do a 6a traverse. I tried it but found it too hard. Next, we went up to the Arch Boulder where I've previously done problems on but found them mostly too hard now. Managed the 4b (which is tough for that grade!) but fingers just not strong enough for the 5a, annoying cos I used to be able to do that one no problem. On the Sherman, slabby boulder we did the 2 5a slabby problems and I was quite chuffed with that as I tried and couldn't do them when I had injured my back and not climbed for a while. Poor RB couldn't get up one of them, though she gave it a damn fine effort! On the edge of the slab there is an undercut lip with a mantelshelf problem where you're not allowed to use any hold for your feet, other than to mantle. I've never been able to do this before, but managed it this time and we all had fun trying the sitting start up the right hand arete.
Up to the Prow next where we did all the easy stuff and I got nervous spotting RB on Jo's arete as it's quite high and above a bouldery landing. Finally, up to my favourite boulder there, the Mouse Boulder where there is a offwidth crack, complete with chockstone, breaking the boulder in two. The offwidth goes at 4a and is a fun wee problem, and I managed to do the 5a problem to the right of it, using the right-edge of the offwidth. Goes at 5c without, and is nails! Had a look at Rungs 5b, but I always look at that and think, 'how the hell can that be 5b, tis steep and nothing positive to hold! Round the corner for a 5a, which is one of my favourite problems on the hill and that's us for the day.

Have a wee dander over to Luath's Stone itself. It's a standing stone, said to be where Cuchullin tied up his huge dog (Celtic Mythology), enjoyed the views around Don and Deeside and the peaceful nature of the place.

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