Monday, 18 June 2012

Gneiss, gneiss, gneiss!!!

This weekend was possibly one of the best climbing weekends i have ever had. As the whole of the UK was  drowning in rain, we drove all the way up to the north-west tip of Scotland, Shiegra! We left Friday night and drove up through torrential rain that only stopped about 30 miles south of our destination. I was really excited about climbing at Shiegra and it didn't disappoint. On Saturday we climbed the routes on the second geo with the easier descent. When we woke up it was raining slightly but we still headed to the crag and geared up. We started on the HVS Juglust which was covered in the juggiest of jugs! Then Martin climbed the amazing Juggernaut E15a which had an incredibly steep but juggy finish. Getting used to the steep, juggy wall, i led the 4 star bloodlust direct E25b. This was an outstanding pitch, although not very sustained with on a short 5b section in the middle. After doing The original Bloodlust E15b and May tripper E15b(which i defo think is worth 3 stars!)  we finished off the day with two Vs' on the left, sideline and sideslip.

Wee burdies in a pocket!

Me on bloodlust direct

and again..

and again...

and again....

steepness on May tripper

May tripper

Fiona Murray on Bloodlust

On Sunday we had a short day and only did one route, however, this route was Geriatrics E25c and is definitely one of the best single pitches i have climbed! We abseiled down to a wee ledge just meters above the crashing waves. Such an amazing and exposed belay! There is no gear on the belay so martin stayed attached to the ab rope and i set off on the massive pitch. The rock is indescribably amazing and has lots of little hidden pockets and holds. The route involves a big traverse along the lip of a cave, defo wouldn't want to fall off and end up hanging in space above the sea! I thought the route was pretty sustained but less steep and pumpy than the routes form the previous day. The 5c crux is at the end of the traverse, about 25/30m into the route! I hung around for ages, a little caught out by the small holds and footholds after the juggy pockets i had been using at the start of the route. I was just imagining falling off and ending up under the roof in a not so nice position and kept traversing back to some decent holds. Finally i held some little holds and smeared on a terrible foothold only to be rewarded with some tiny 2 finger pockets! I got my foot on to a big foothold and felt a little more comfortable. After placing a rubbish cam, i continued on some small pockets to reach jugs!! From here the route was much easier and i carried on to the top with some terrible rope drag! Pulling over the top was an amazing feeling, especially seeing as i had placed all of my 12 quickdraws! I believe that this route is the 4 star route on the wall, amazing rock and exposure!

Starting up Geriatrics

Way out on traverse

Past the crux and feeling good!


Shiegra definitely lives up to it's hype and along with the amazing routes, you get to camp next to the lovely beach. What a great trip!

Gary Latter on some silly E

Lovely beach


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

More Glencoe and Clifton

Last Saturday i had another great day in the Glencoe, this time climbing up on Rannoch wall. Although the walk in is a total trek, it was definitely worth it for the new routes we climbed. Rannoch wall was mobbed with a university team so we headed round to right and climbed Engineers crack E1 5b and fracture route Vs. These were both excellent climbs which are done less than agags, but definitely worth 3 stars. To finish off we climbed the 3 pitch grooved arete VS4b, 4b my arse! The first 2 pitches had moves that were at least 5a, if not 5b. However it was still a great route with some tricky route finding and some tiny gear!

Me on Engineers crack

Unfortunately the weather has crapped out a bit and so we went to check out Clifton crag near Dumfries on sunday. Finding the crag was a bit of a hassle and we had to cross a few fields to get to it. I'm a little (just a little) bit scared of bulls so when a herd of bullocks (easily mistaken for bulls!) started running towards us, i chucked my bag over a wall and climbed over. Now out of the hundreds of meters of wall i could have thrown my bag over, it happened to land right in the cows drinking trough! We eventually made it to the crag with a soggy rope and gear only to be a little bit disappointed at the littleness of it. The rock was absolutely brilliant but the routes were very short lived. We climbed the two classics, wall street E15b and the Arete E2 5B. Although the crag wasn't amazing we were in the sunshine all day!

Me on wall street

and again..

showing my fear of bulls!