Sunday, 28 March 2010


A few things to report since the last time, but no winter climbing unfortunately.  I've been really busy moving house and getting settled in, preparing and attending a Uni interview (and being accepted to do Diagnostic Radiography which has been a dream of mine for some time now, woohoo!) and chauffeuring RB around Stirling and Glasgow to compete in this years Youth Climbing Series.
D and I cycled into a Glen somewhere so I could check out a cliff that doesn't have many routes on it.  I found a wonderful looking route there and am keen to go back and explore next year if conditions allow.  We also cycled into Derry Lodge last Sunday and bagged Derry Cairngorm.  All this cycling and walking is helping me to get hill fit again (I hope!)  I'll need it as I'm off this evening for a trip into Culra bothy!
So, to RB.  First round of YCS was in Stirling and she battled into 1st place, by just one point.  The round in Glasgow saw her getting 2nd place, the girl who came 2nd previously, getting 1st this time.  That means that both RB and the other girl are tying for first place.  Next round in Dundee is the decider.  Should be a good one!

Andy and I cycled in to Culra Bothy on Saturday morning.  The original plan had been to cycle in at some ridiculous hour, do a route or 2 and then doss at the bothy Sat night and head back out on Sunday (doing another route if we were keen enough)  We had a change of plan though as the forecast got milder for Saturday and then colder for sunday.  Only problem was that the winds looked quite high for sunday but we decided to risk it anyway.
The cycle in was hellish.  The wind was blowing from the SW rather than the NW so we were cycling into it the whole way.  On the downhill bits you couldn't free wheel it as the wind was too strong.  Jeeze my back!  the uphills were painful, like a knife slicing into my SI joint, and I had to get off and walk those bits.  Finally, we arrived at Alder Lodge and then an easy walk followed to the bothy.  There were a group of guys from the Langside MC from Glasgow who were a friendly bunch, but one guy who hoped that we didn't snore, ended up snoring his head off!
After we dumped our stuff we went for a look in one of the corries, but the buttresses were pretty black looking.  There was some ice about which looked okay, though a bit on the lean side, and we weren't sure on the condition of it either.  We didn't bother to take our gear with us, which ended up being unfortunate as we could have climbed something there and then.
Back at the bothy, through the night the wind picked up to howl against the bothy walls, driving lashing rain against the windows and when Andy's alarm went off he didn't even bother to wake me from the dead, so hopeless was the weather.  We lazed about in our sleeping bags for another hour or so, got up for a brew and bite to eat, wandered outside, got blasted by the wind and showers.  A momentary gap in the showers brought a glimpse of sunshine and with it, a glimmer of hope.  But it wasn't to be, within 10 minutes it was wet again.  That ice may have been climbable but the thought of climbing in the rain and howling wind sent us scurrying back out towards Alder Lodge and our bikes once more.  Typically, the winds had changed to the forecast NW-erlies, so we were once again cycling into the wind.
Another week gone, and no winter routes.  I WILL climb one more route before the season is out!  I have an inkling to do Central Buttress on Lochnagar, or Pinnacle Gully 1.  Both easy, but been wanting to do them since I first started winter climbing.  Any takers?

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