Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Bored at Dunkeld

Ali Robb starting up Morbidezza
Plans for a day on the Cobbler yesterday were thwarted when driving up to Stirling to take the A811 west, a murky grey wall of water appeared in the direction of our destination and rain started hitting the windscreen. We panicked (well me and Ali, Tom was fast asleep by that point) and decided to head for Upper Cave, Dunkeld. Ho, hum. Although I'd not been there for nearly two years, I've definitely spent far too much time at this crag in the past: I knew exactly where all the loose rocks on the path were whilst walking up.

Racking up, I didn't have that feeling of excitement that usually accompanies a day out at a new crag or going for the on-sight of a route. So I was bored; partly because I've done everything worth doing and have even added some new routes to this crag (if you don't believe me then check these out), but also because when I go climbing I want to get psyched up to do something new and challenging not treading the same old ground. Yes, the routes are fantastic and the long and pumpy (if getting a bit trashed) sport routes are unique in Scotland, but for me here, there is no longer that invigorating sense of exploration at a new crag or the intense novelty of problem solving an unknown sequence on a crux.

Ali on the Arete of Morbidezza

Some lobbing practice was had by Ali and myself on Morbidezza and Lady Charlotte Direct (both E5) respectively, Tom got stuck into High Performance (E3/4) and I managed a link up from Morbidezza into In Loving Memory (E6) which I would recommend over the original arboreal start up the tree.

Lastly,I attempted to flash Gordon Lennox's new 8a on the sport wall, squeezed in between Marlina and Silk Purse. In fact it's so squeezed in, that it requires vast amounts of exotic matter to unfold it out out of the 4th dimension and into our space. Crimping and snatching, I followed the new line of bolts into the finish of Silk Purse. Upon being lowered to the ground, Ali (who witnessed big Lenny's ascent last year) helpfully informed me that I had used about 47 "illegal" holds. Ho, hum. I think it would help to wear blinkers and not move your hands past the width of your shoulders, definitely a local's eliminate.

Tom Charles Edward on High Performance

However, starting up this blog has forced me to dig out my camera (which I hauled up to the crag with a team of Sherpas), so I entertained myself by pretending to be a photographer in between routes, on this are the best that I managed.

Next Week: Fresh Pastures...


dr evil said...

Here is a good link up, which you might or might not have done;
Start up The Silk Purse, follow The Crossing into Marlene and take Marlene Right Hand to join Marlene Left Hand at it's 4th bolt. Continue via Ultima Necat to join Marlene Left Hand again. Step right and finish up The Silk Purse.
No new climbing but until the 8a it was the hardest eliminate way up the wall I could find. I definitely spent too much time at that crag!

Niall said...

Hmmnnn, another one I used to do was climb up Marlene Right Hand (the original start?) then Ultimat Necat then Silk Purse finish...Bit Easier than Silk Purse but still 7c+ I thought.

dr evil said...

That one is good too, Its definitely 7c+ and I like it because it takes the steepest bits of the wall