Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Dreaming of Summer

It's been a while since i last posted and that's due to the fact that i haven't actually done anything in the last month. Obviously it is too cold to be doing trad and well i don't believe that anything done indoors is worth posting about. I have been climbing a little at Alien and Ratho hoping to get a little fitter for next summer as some of the routes on my wishlist may require more endurance than i have at the moment! Bouldering is a bit of a weak point for me, primarily because i find it a little boring and probably because i am fairly weak! Anyway, here are a few routes that are on the top of my wishlist for next year.

Shelterstone - Steeple + Needle 
The Ben - Torro + Centurian + Titan's Wall
Carmore - Dragon + Gob + Fionn Buttress
Beinn Eighe - Angel Face + Grooving High
Glencoe - Shibboleth + Carnivore + Big Top + YoYo + Unicorn
Creag Dubh - The Fuhrer + Over the Hill + Wet Dreams
Aberdeen - Prehistoric Monster 
North-West - The Screamer + Miss Moneypenny

 - Whit's End Direct + Eastern Hammer + Springbank + Equus + Kipling Groove + Cruel Sister
- Grand Alliance + Bitter Oasis 

Great Wall + The Axe 
Right Wall + Resurrection + Cenotaph + Cemetery Gates + Super Direct 

and obviously lots, lots more...

Anyway, apart from climbing indoors, i've also been trying to learn A little guitar. I am terrible just now but it has only been a couple of days so hopefully i will be more like Hendrix by Christmas ! My new years resolution is going to be giving up chocolate until i have either climbed an 8a or onsighted an e6! 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Plastic on a sunny day ?!!

Last weekend, when the weather was glorious, i was indoors pulling on plastic. Embarrassing, i know, but this was my last year as a junior in the BLCCs so i thought i'd give it ago before i get thrashed in the seniors! I was hoping to get a place on the podium this year and felt that 3rd was definitely within reach. However, i hadn't expected a Swiss tank to show up! Anyway, i think i did pretty well on my first two qualifiers. My first route was on the old comp wall and was a techy route up a groove, just my style! I climbed all the way up to the second last hold without any difficulty but then i realised that the last move was slightly dynamic, not my style! I popped pathetically and managed to touch the last hold.

first qualifier


dancing with ma agent

 Our second route was also on the old comp wall but was slightly steeper than our first! It went through two roofs and was covered in lovely positive crimps. I watched quite a few of the youth A and some junior girls fall off at the lip of the first roof as it looked like quite a powerful rockover/lock. It's fair to say that i was well chuffed when i did this move statically with ease! In the end i managed to make it to the lip of the second roof before pumping out (probably something to do with my sloth speed!). Scraping through to the final, i was horrified to see that it was on the stupidly steep new comp wall. I hate this wall, i just don't think that being upside-down is natural, unless bungee jumping! I also see a pattern on this wall, jugs far apart with lots of throws and heel hooks, just plain durty! Anyway, i started off slow as usual and was pumped after a few clips. I made it about halfway and came 4th in the end.  I was pretty pleased with my performance but unfortunately couldn't take part in the seniors as i was working, or is it unfortunate? :P

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Scottish Yoof Open

I know it's been a while since i last posted but i have been busy training....not! I have been busy trying to ride a unicycle! My aim is to juggle on a unicycle (obviously i have too much spare time on my hands!). 

As for climbing, a couple of weekends ago, i took part in the Scottish open. Choosing indoors over trad is totally mad but it is my last year in the junior category so i thought i'd give it a go before i get totally thrashed by the seniors! Last year i was the only junior girl in this competition which makes it a little boring, so luckily another girl entered this year to give me a little competition. 
Our first route was an awkward, up-side-downy 7a. I got to the crux and fell off pathetically, not really going for the next hold. I wasn't strong enough to static the move and well...poppy is sloppy! My second route was lovely and was definitely more my style. Slightly overhanging with positive crimps all the way. I topped this route and then spent the couple of hours before isolation juggling. Our final route was a minging, technical, slopey crimp fest up groove. Every hold was like a foothold, but i think i did not too bad, getting around 2/3 or 3/4 of the way up? cant remember but i'm sure i did well :). 

ooh look, i tied a boline!

starting up first qualifier

must not heel hook! (durty)

looking happy

starting up final

where's all tha huds?

cheesing! with my agent brian :P

Unfortunately the weather has been pretty gash lately so not much has been happening outdoors. I have been back to the Pass of Ballater which is a great wee crag. Although it rained in the morning, it only took a few hours to dry. I did the fantastic but pretty pumpy Pretzel Logic E3 5c. This led to the upper tier where i attempted the classic Peels Wall E4 6a. Still a bit pumped from the previous route, i fought up the bottom section, which is very bouldery and got all the way up to the slab before i came off! Tricky wee route, i was soooo pumped even though i only placed 3 bits of gear!!! Unfortunately no photos!!

Sunday, 9 September 2012


Sorry it's been a while since i have posted but i have been busy (lazy more like!). Anyway, last weekend was spent in the Southern Lakes. We thought this was the best location looking at the weather and our chosen crag was the well known Gimmer, Langdale. This crag is famous for it's fast drying routes and sunny aspect but it was cold, wet and bloody freezing!!
We trudged up to the crag, knocking 3 hours off my previous PB! (was sick last time!). Eastern Hammer had been high on my wishlist but all the cracks were seeping and it soon became apparent that we were going to have to lower our sights. We moved round to the right hand side of the crag to get out of the worst of the wind and decided to climb the 'Classic Rock' route Bracket and Slab. We did the direct start, which although harder, was much cleaner than the original. Although it was absolutely freezing, we did the route in 6 enjoyable pitches. 
Strangely we were the only climbers on Gimmer that day!! Where are all the climbers??

pitch 2


well deserved bar meal!

BBC Documentary in Glen Nevis

I was excited to get an invite to this project which seen us all gather together in a very wet and midgy Glen Nevis last Wednesday. 
My part was to lead a trad route which was the classic Resurrection VS 4c (3 stars!) on Styx buttress. Due to considerable faffing by the BBC, i ended up climbing in near darkness in midgy hell but at least it gave the route time to dry out from the morning rain.

Hollywood here i come!!   Photos to follow and the program is Countryfile and i will post a link when it is screened.

Cold Rage in a Heatwave!

After last weeks baltic conditions, we were rewarded for our keeness by a scorching day in the Pass of Ballater. Having been to this excellent location a few years ago, i was apprehensive walking up the path as i knew it was not a good type of rock to be climbing on in these hot, sweaty conditions.

With this in mind, we found the only wall in the shade and geared up. My chosen route was Cold Rage E4 6A. The crux was low down and i nervously spent 20 minutes arranging protection and checking out the moves which looked tricky! Eventually, i couldn't put it off any longer and committed to the crux which was well hard! I was rewarded which a good rest and really enjoyed the rest of the route.
Pleased with my ascent we headed round to the front face and did an E2 (Alcoholics Anonymous) and an E3 (Larup Head) . These were both really good routes and luckily the blazing sunshine didn't effect us too much. We finished off doing a route called Doctor Dipso E4 6A, with a cool crux move! 

crux done, now i can relax!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Who turned the lights out in Glencoe (or who didn't!!!)

Sorry i haven't updated for a while, i have been pretty busy (lazy). Last weekend we managed a good little trip up to the Cairngorms to climbing The Magic Crack HVS 5a in Coire an t'sneachda. This route is given 4 stars so we expected it to be a mega classic but unfortunately the first couple of pitches were wet and dirty. The last pitch however was spectacular, following the totally scarred crackline (stupid winter folk!). The crack was my lead and i found it pretty sustained and hard for feet but i couldn't complain about the gear, rock 5s all the way!

The amazing crack on pitch 3

At the weekend just past, we headed up to Glencoe as the weather here looked best. We had planned to walk in to Rannoch Wall and try Line Up HVS. Leaving early, we were under the buachaille at about 7.30am. We packed our stuff and began the walk in only to be absolutely soaked by a shower on curved ridge. We decided to just scramble up curved ridge and walk down the path. Back at the car, we realised that we had left the lights on!! With a dead battery and no phone reception we headed for the Kingshouse Hotel. We tried to hitch but nobody stopped so it took us an hour to walk the 4 miles. The nice people at the hotel let me use their landline to phone the RAC as being put on hold on a payphone does not sound fun! Eventually i got through and we made our way back to the car to meet our rescuer. Luckily we got a lift from an American couple visiting Scotland. Having only driven on the left side of the road for 2 days, they told us to buckle up! We made it back to the car and watched it get electrocuted back to life whilst being eaten alive by midges. Not how we had expected our day to turn out but was fun nonetheless. :-)

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Freaking out in Glencoe!

Yesterday was by far the best day out this year. We headed up to the coe to attempt Freak Out - E4 6a. As the day was supposed to be a scorcher we left super early (3am!) to avoid doing the route in the hottest part of the day. We got to the route at about 8am and the sun was already on it! I planned to try the crux second pitch and Martin was going to do the first pitch which i think is about E3 6a. The wall looked blank from the bottom and i was beginning to get slightly nervous about my pitch. After scrambling up to a tree belay, Martin headed off up his pitch. He managed to get through the crux and was one hold away from the traverse to the belay but unfortunately his forearms were giving up. I noticed his leg was behind the ropes but by now he was screaming some bad words to the rock. He fell about 30ft and flipped all the way round, lifting me off the ledge - thank god for the upward pull protection we had placed! He soon realised that he was too pumped to pull back on and so i went up on his gear and finished off the first pitch, slightly worried that i would be too pumped for the second one. The hanging belay was a little exciting as it was made up of two rusty pegs(one moves) and two micros. Martin seconded up and we began the faff of trying to switch places. After lots of rearranging i eventually set off on the second pitch. This pitch climbs up to a small roof which is passed on big holds to gain the crux. There is then sustained climbing up to some larger roofs which are actually passed pretty easily(if your fresh!). I had imagined the climbing up to the first roof being fairly straightforward but it actually turned out to be pretty hard and sustained! Tiny footholds and poor jams/fingerlocks got me up to the tat under the roof and the rest suggested in the guidebook was clearly non-existent! I carried on through the roof on big but razor sharp holds and could rest a little once i had gotten my feet up. The crux for me was a long, strenuous move after the roof, which i stopped halfway through to place some gear! Once passed this i moved slowly up the sustained crack using a mixture of finger jams and crimps on the sidewalls aiming for what looked like some jugs! By this point i was absolutely pumped oot my nut and i reached these holds only to be rewarded with puddles! Luckily i didn't get spat off the wet holds and i pushed on to reach a big flake under the top roofs. I was so close to the belay but i was so pumped that i was struggling to hold jugs. I somehow managed to stay on and made my way through the roofs to some jugs and big footholds! Pulling on to the ledge was an amazing feeling and i let out as much of a scream as i could with such a dry mouth. I have never been so happy about getting to the top of a route but this was such a classic and i really wanted to onsight it! An awesome route that i think will leave me pumped for days!

The first wee roof

from far away

pure cheesing! 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

A slightly smeggy Sheigra!

This weekend me and Martin drove all the way up to Sheigra to avoid the rain. Unfortunately the crag had already had a soaking during the week and the rock hadn't quite dried off yet (There were puddles in tha jugs!) . On Saturday, we went back to the second Geo which we had visited earlier this year. We only had a couple of routes left to do here but they are both given 3 stars! We set up the ab and i went down to the ledge. Annoyingly there was a waterfall (ok small trickle) down the corner which landed right on the belay ledge! I perched myself right on the ledge edge :P and waited for Martin to come down. We sorted the ropes and he headed off up Presumption E1 5b, moaning all the way about greasy holds. Eventually i got off the uncomfy belay and got the blood back into my arse! I seconded up and realised what he meant about grease. The holds were soaking!

Presumption E1 5b

After this route we decided not to go back down to the ledge due to coldness and wet huds and so we climbed at a smaller but more sheltered crag in between the first two Geos. We done some amazing wee routes here including, Above the Blue-E1 5c, Under the Pink-E1 5b and Inbetween Days-HVS 5a.

Happy to be out of the wind

Above the blue, tricky wee 5c bit!


Inbetween days

nice big (dry) ledge

Saturday night we camped on the beach and found a cave down by the sea! It's entrance was quite hidden and was a bit of a crawl to get in, but once inside you could stand up! It was pitch black when we found it and we didn't have any light. Too scared to go in, we went back to the car and got my camera. This gave us about a second of light every time the flash went. The cave turned out to be quite big and was completely dry. Perfect hide out! 

Rave ina Cave!

On Sunday we packed up and headed a few miles back down the road to Crag an Fhithich. This crag had a few hard routes we were planning on trying but when we arrived the top of the crag was wet and to be honest the whole thing looked a bit dirty and loose. Seeing as someone was already on the route ....a big giant spider, we went to check out another wee crag called Creag Garbh Mhor.  

Totally camouflage.. thought he'd fooled me!
This crag turned out to be pretty good, 15m of immaculate granite. I pulled on the classic Goat of Barten - E2 5c, which was absolutely desperate! The crux was the first half and was made up of bad finger locks and rubbish crimpy sidepulls with tiny holds for feet. I was aiming for a big spike about halfway up as it was a rest and gear but when i put my hand on it i just about pulled it off! Eventually i made it to the top, never been so pumped on such a small route before. Martin then done a lovely E1 which was also slightly tricky and sustained for the grade. Anyway this brilliant wee crag definitely saved the day!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Podium Place!

I haven't climbed outside much over the last couple of weeks due to the crap weather but i have been out helping with real rock sessions at Aberdour and Glen Clova. These sessions have been great and have defo helped quicken up my set-ups. SPA assessment soon! 

On Saturday the British Youth Open was held at Ratho and seeing as it was close to home, and the weather stopped me from doing some real climbing :P, i thought i'd give it a go. In the morning i signed in and caught a glimpse of who i was up against. I thought for sure i'd come last! Mountain routes don't really give you the endurance needed for comps and Ratho's new comp wall is certainly not my favorite angle! Luckily i only had one route on this wall which was my first qualifier. Watching the Youth A girls and the first two in my category fail on the last move didn't fill me with confidence. I made it up to the last move and jumped! (i am ashamed of such dynamic movement). I touched the last hold and was pretty happy with that seeing as only one girl topped out.

First qualifier

 Our second route was more my style, a crimp fest on the old comp wall. I made it up to the crux where most people fell off and managed to match the crux sloper before falling off. This is mainly due to the fact that my thumb found it's way into the bolt hole :).

Second qualifier

 Anyway i came fourth and made it into the final. Isolation was spent juggling - best warm up! I was out first and was on yet another techy old comp wall route :). I found it relatively easy up to the crux which was a desperate rockover move. Quite a long lock but i managed to get the next hold(just) . Here i realised i couldn't clip and so i pulled up to the next hold which i was also too weak to clip from! I slapped for the next hold and missed but was happy at getting so far up the route.

Final route!

I got to the one under the big roond one!

 In the end i came third and won a "nutbuster" (nutkey!) and a wee bronze medal. Well chuffed :D

turd place

was thinking of stealing the sign ;)

what a clown!