It's been a fairly quiet week on the climbing front.
Wednesday came with forecast showers, but dry for Kirrie. Only problem is, I really can't face another days climbing at Kirrie, without the thought of slitting my wrists due to sheer and utter boredom of the place! I've led the easy routes far too many times, and don't feel inspired to push myself at the moment, not there at least. Where to go though? I trawled through the NE Outcrops for possible sea cliffs to visit, that might not be too intimidating. I was keen to check out Floor's Craig again, good few VS's to try there. Only problem was that the tide was to be high at tea time, bugger that!
Decided in the end to check out Boltsheugh, Aberdeen coasts only bolted venue. There are one or two easy routes and I found out the harder stuff can be toproped quite easily and thought that it might be ideal in the forecast showers as it's an overhanging venue. Better than going to the wall right?
On first glance I wasn't too impressed with the place, but as a bouldering venue, it's superb! So, so, so, so pumpy! We couldn't be bothered leading anything or setting up ropes for routes that are so short, and Jonathon jumped straight on the 6a+ on the Upper Right Wall and soloed it in his trainers! He reckons it's low end 6a. We then proceeded to spend the evening traversing the length of the right wall. By god, it doesn't half trash your arms and fingers! Flash pump, getting warmed up, sussing the moves, but our hands got way too wrecked on the sharp rock long before we could suss out the whole traverse.
Jonathon then played about on the HVS at the left end of that wall, going up and down, but never sure about the crux. I pointed out a hold up and to the left, and he went for it, soloing the damn thing! Ok, it's only like 6 or 7m or something, but there's no way you'd catch me soloing that! Be broken ankle/leg material coming off it for sure! Especially as none of us has bouldering mats. Anyway, he cruised it. His 1st HVS 5b, although it's more of a 5b high ball if you solo it I guess.
We were having a laugh anyway, seeing who get the furthest on the traverse, and being daft and having a banter (distraction techniques to put the winner off!) Of course, I came off last again and again! It was a nice chilled evening though, and that HVS is another strong contender for my 1st HVS lead. Steep, juggy and good gear, oh yes!
Friday, I had promised RB's Stepmum Laura that I'd go out hillwalking with her. The forecast was utterly minging however, with rain all over Scotland and 20-25mph winds, gusting 30 (try 30 gusting 40) RB refused point blank to go walking in the rain (sensible child) and Laura managed to get her Dad to take Beinn (RB's brother) so I couldn't get off the hook and was fully committed to going out, damn it!
It was minging as forecast and walking up towards the top of Carn ban Mor, Laura said she'd prefer to do just one Munro rather than the 2 as planned, yes!
'The shorter one or the longer one?' asks I.
'The shorter one.' Laura replied.
Compass out, was misty and horizontal rain. God, I love the wind and the fight against it, but wind and rain together is minging and by the time we were at the top of Carn na Criche I was pretty damp under my waterproofs and my boots were a puddle of water, what with the holes in them and all.
The summit cairn on the top is the smallest I've ever seen, and luckily the mist cleared just briefly so I could peer over the edge to see the long cliffs below. Nice! I'd like to visit these cliffs in winter, they look just like my cup of tea! And in this disgusting weather, thoughts are definitely starting to turn to winter.
The wind was biting on the way down, driving icy cold rain into our faces and after a wee hiccup of following a path which petered out into nothing and having a feeling that we weren't where we should be (we should have been high, but we had two upwards slopes to either side of us) I got the compass out so we could follow a back bearing back to the path. We ended up skirting round the side of Carn ban Mor and were quickly back at the main path. First bit of navigation I've had to do for a while, and it shows, am a bit rusty! But more in the sense of doubting my bearings and my ability to read the map, as I was actually correct as to where I thought I was. So not too rusty.
We were back at the car before long, to be greeted by The Auld Grumpy Git of Achlean! A right old 'get off my land' type. He was having a fit because we'd parked on his track and not used the car park. No harm was done as we'd stayed off the turning point for his lorries and gone right up onto the grass, but he was spittin! And threatening us with fines, aye right!
We nipped into Andy's afterwards to dry off, change, and get a warming cuppy (thanks love!) before zooming back down the road so we could get the kids.