Sunday, 22 May 2011

Logie Head - 21st May

At last, these hands of mine touch rock and place gear......yes, I was finally out climbing that didn't involve sandy quarries and bolts.  I've been feeling decidedly glum and down in the dumps over the last week, sitting at home in the rain, bored out my brains, no Uni work to do, waiting for placement time.  I have been out running, bouldering, indoor climbing, had folk round to wet the new bouldering wall in our garage, been to the cinema, but nothing could quench a growing restlessness and disatisfaction.  So I decided to sod the hillwalking or running in the rain, I'm feeling pretty fit at the moment for the Alps and the training will continue, but today I want to climb.  Fortunately the Morray Coast was forecast to be dry and after a little persuasion, Jonathon was keen to come out and climb.

We arrived around 11 ish and wasted no time gearing up as the crag was really busy, with 3 or 4 teams already there, another team behind us and more people arriving throughout the day.  I knew it was going to be busy due to it having a dry forecast, but I've never seen it so busy before!  We had to park our rope at the bottom of the cliff on a couple of occasions to get the routes we wanted.  One group had a bbque going and another group had a little birthday soiree complete with party hats and CAKE!  I had a dry quorn sandwhich and a few cereal bars and the smells of barbequed meat and the look of cake had me rather jealous.

I just started off on the really easy V.Diff, Sea Link, which seemed a bit silly leading, seen as I'd soloed it last time!  First time out trad climbing in ages though and I wanted to see how easy I was finding it to place gear and how scary I was finding things.  No problems though as that route is jug city and gear easy to find and place.  Arms just a little sore from bouldering the day before however.  Jonathon started off on Poacher, VS 4b, finding it a stroll and a little boring he thought.  I was curious to see how I'd find it on second as I'd found it really pumpy last summer when leading it and it had taken me a while to figure out how to get off the ground.  I've seen several people start up a good bit to the right of the route and then have to move back leftwards, this seems easier to start if you are small, but I've figured a way of doing the correct start which involves a wee sneaky hold in a crack but it's just one move up to a jug and then you don't have to bother with a traverse left again.  As it was I found it a little pumpy but not too bad.

I was going to do the Severe next to Sea Link but someone was on it, so I went for the HS Fisherman's Tail instead.  I really love this route and can't understand why it doesn't get any stars as I think it's properly graded and the climbing is really nice.  I recalled this route having a funny move at the start but I just couldn't for the life of me remember it!  I was up and down a couple of times, arranged a couple of bits of gear, sorted my feet, then all was good, just one little move with awkward feet and it's jugs and then into a funky wee chimney at the top.  Jon couldn't make up his mind whether to do Culinary Delight, VS 5a or Sunnyside Up HVS 5a, but went for the HVS in the end.  He cruised it big time, making it seem easy and effortless!  I seconded it cleanly but had to leave a couple of bits of gear hanging on the rope at the crux so I could keep on moving, the holds are so small and it's so pumpy!  It's just a wee sustained section as you move up and traverse rightwards however, then the holds get more positive and the foot holds larger.

I decided to scoot up the other HS, Sea Urchin.  This gets HS 4b in the guide, but really does have to be the easiest HS in the country!  I don't think it's any harder than Severe really as it's jugs all the way.  There is a tiny overlap but there's a massive juggy flake to pull over on and it's really well protected.  I regretted climbing this and not jumping on Poacher as once we'd gotten down the rain came on.  Jon was eyeing up No Hands Crack, an E1 5b.  He thought it looked amazing, but I thought it looked horrible!  Smooth, blank wall at the start and up and thin crack, ugh!  But he went up to have a look at it, and played around on the first couple of moves, with me worrying at the bottom that he was about to scoot up and solo it in his trainers!  He reckoned the start looked easy enough so we hung around for a bit waiting to see if the rain was going to ease off.  It was only spittering, but the spitters were getting heavy enought to wet the rock and everyone else, bar one team who were dogging there way up Poacher, were getting ready to leave.  The rain got heavier so we decided to sack it, disappointing as Jon was so keen to get on his first E1 and I reckon he'd have cruised it and I was keen to lead Poacher again and see if I found it as pumpy to lead as I had last summer.

Never mind, Portsoy ice cream shop was calling, the best  ice cream and sweety shop EVER!  I had a cone and a tea, but managed to refrain from buying cake.  I regretted this however, as we were so busy yapping in the car on the way home, that I missed the turn off onto the A947 and ended up almost in Fraserburgh before seeing a sign that said Aberdeen 40miles, and that was after driving for some time already!  Some cake would have been nice at that point it time.

No comments: