Friday, 28 March 2008

Turning Bleau ?

21st – 24th March 2008

I should change the name of this blog to as I seem to be in the perfect position to fill other peoples trips when someone drops out. The destination this time was Fontainebleau for a spot of bouldering with John & Mike. We also met up with John’s friend Sarah and her mate Richard out there. (and also some other folk that various people knew !)

The whole friction in the cold thing seems to work and we had good fun trying loads of problems of varying hardness until our fingers couldn’t take it anymore. Some of the “easy” slabs are desperate and very crimpy.

The highlight of the trip was “sending”* Moondance, A highball Font 6a classic apparently. * Note I’m only just getting to grips with this bouldering lingo and may have been seen doing a “sit start” with a tea cosy on my head in my anasnazzy velcros!

Font Jugs ....

Mike on a nice (chipped!) Flake at Rocher Fin

John about to Moondance ....

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

StuckIn Corner

Sunday 16th March 2008

Climbed Fallout Corner (VI,7) with Andy Clark on Sunday. We had hoped to go higher up the corrie and climb Head Hunter or The Deviant but the ever deepening slab on the approach to these climbs made us think twice.

Fallout is another one of these amazing lines that I’ve always wanted to climb but had been put off by the grade. Got to say I didn’t find it much harder than Savage Slit. If it is techy 7 it’s certainly the easiest 7 I’ve climbed.

Don’t know what is going on with the weather forecast but this was another day that was forecast to be cold and clear but ended up being not so cold and snowing ?

Belaying Andy was amusing as he managed to bend his pick on the first pitch and then get his axe stuck on the second. I got my boot stuck across Savage Slit for a good 10 minutes on Thursday so I was very careful to gently hook the sticky placement to avoid a repeat.

Andy pulling through the crux roof on the first pitch.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Savage S*it

Thursday 13th March 2008

* All I can say about the b(l)og title is it wisnae me for a change!

Decided to heads to the Gorms with Davie Crawford. We had been pondering some Southern Highlands action but we reckoned that there was probably too much snow and a good possibility that the insulated turf was not frozen.

I was keen on climbing Savage Slit (V,6), in fact I’ve been keen on climbing Savage Slit since the first time I walked into Coire an Lochan and my jaw dropped at the line. I’ve never won the weekend race to the foot of the route though. However we were first into the corrie on Thursday, despite our very leisurely start.

The Crux

I led the two main pitches which were great! Absorbing climbing that you always had to think about but never quite desperate. For being such a short route it certainly packs in some quality climbing.

Plenty of back and footing ....

Davie looking guilty

It was a good to walk out of the gorms in a nice, still, starlit evening. We managed to see a couple of spindrift tornadoes snaking round the corrie. One hit us on the walkout and it was like being in a proper full on whiteout but only for five seconds. Weird !

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

More Norwegian Ice

28th Feb - 3rd March 2008

I’ve found the crux of this midweek climbing experiment to be getting partners on days when conditions are good. So when I was offered another chance to head back to Norway I was thinking “7 potential partners with time off to go climbing”. Conditions in Rjukan were reported to be bad with a heavy thaw melting everything.

We managed to get quite a lot of climbing done given bleak outlook. Myself, Stuart Mearns, Andrew Fraser & Ian Magill spent the first day in the lower gorge where we basically threw the guide out and walked up the gorge climbing anything that looked climbable. On day 2 myself & Mearnsey climbed Trappfoss, one of the classic WI4s in the area. We didn’t really see many people on the first two days but on the third it became apparent that everyone was hiding at Krokan. Top ropes setup on practically every climb, with almost a climbing wall mentality of queuing for routes. My motivation wasn’t really there so I seconded Mearnsey up a couple of routes and we called it a day early.

Ian Magill and Andrew Fraser on Host (WI4)

The Gorge and Vemork Bridge. Thanks to Andrew for the photo.
(If you look closely you can see me coming up Host)

Thanks to Stuart, Andrew, Ian, Kev, Cam, Ced & Mark for a “cracking” trip !