Back in September I had a quite simply brilliant weekend rock climbing in Scotland with my Dad. I was really lucky that my Dad introduced to climbing at quite a young age. He took me a few times and I hated it, especially heights and being lowered. Thankfully he didn't put any pressure on me and left me to play with lego for a few more years. Then when I was around twelve or thirteen something changed. For some reason I started to want to go climbing and started pestering him to take me all the time. Not much has changed since and we've enjoyed many great routes together over the years: Troutdale Pinnacle; Kippling Groove; a Dream of White Horse; Zero Gully; the Hornli Ridge; Astral Stroll - you get the idea.
I bunked off work early on Friday and drove up to Dad's. We got in his car and continued up to a damp Glen Nevis, where we pitched the tent. The next morning it wasn't raining but it was very humid and looked as though precipitation to could begin at any moment. Ever the optimists we headed to Etive Slabs. Arriving at the Coffin Stone it was humid and the midges were out in force. The only route that looked vaguely dry was The Long Reach. I started up the bold first pitch with trepidation. Thankfully it all went to the plan and by the top of the second pitch the sun was out, the humidity had dropped and a gentle breeze was keeping the midges at bay. The rest of the route flew by. Though going off route on the penultimate pitch and doing 5b padding moves with gear a long, long way below me was rather exciting.
Soon we were back at the Coffin Stone to find that the rest of the crag had dried out nicely. We decided to nip up the Pause to finish the day, which was almost as good. With sixteen pitches now in my arms the last pitch (which is also climbed on the Long Reach) felt substantially harder than it hard earlier in the day.
The next day we climbed the Needle on Shelterstone crag. Possibly the best mountain E1 I have ever climbed. Nine brilliant pitches on one Scotland best crags.
Unfortunately at around midnight on Sunday evening my car, with nearly 240k on the clock, decided to die on the side of the A1. I suppose you can't have everything.
|Ready for bed on Friday night.|
|A bold pitch one on a damp Long Reach.|
|Dead on lead on the Long Reach.|
|Me on the crux of The Long Reach. Actually I was off route on the Long Wait.|
|A now dry Pause.|
|Dad on the Pause.|
|Dad approaching the Crevasse belay.|
|Re-racking in Riasg.|
|Me looking colourful underneath Hell's Lum.|
|Dad on the Needle.|
|High on the Needle.|
|Me leading the last but one pitch.|
|Top of the crag.|
|R.I.P after five years of faithful service.|