Monday, 28 April 2008

Exploding Sandstone crouching sheep

Last saturday saw another mech eng climbing trip but this time Tom joined us and led us to some random boulders just into the kingdom of fife. The boulders were sandstone and from a distance looked very promising.

The boulders were a reasonable height and due to the lack of boulder mats (and the impending pile of coursework) we thought it would be a good idea to through up a top rope for safety. Well this turned out to be a stroke of genius as the rock was some of the most fragile sandstone I have ever encountered. It was very snappy and to make matters worse the more you climbed it the more it turned into sand, literally.

We found a very promising looking line up the furthest right boulder and set to it. The most annoying thing was that the moves were actually very good. A mix of monos, crimps, jugs and lay backy type moves. The only problem was that you didnt know if the hold was going to break or not and even if it didnt everytime we climbed the holds got worse. After working the first half of the route which we thought to be the hard part we reached a wide crack line that topped out. We had all been spat of the boulder at this point with small holds breaking off and barnes to this point had had the most spectacular bit snap on him showering his face with sand. I then stepped up and not to be out done pulled got my toe on to a very promising lip, started to commit on a big jug that felt bomber for it to explode. After a bit more working around this problem we found the top crack to be not as promising as we thought and we moved on.

The next target was the biggest of the rock outcrops with a big prow type thing on it. This was screaming out as possibly the greatest belay ever which I felt obliged to use. We started on the arete at the left and Tom decided to get in on the rock destroying action by turning a holding onto a large pile of sand at the bottom. We still think the large number of woodlice behind the flake had something to do with it.

Overall it was another cracking day out in the sun and an excellent opportunity to clear the head. Next stop limekilns.

Me doing my usual and making it look hard

The prow rock thing, 0.5 seconds later it would have been so good

Definately in the running for greatest belay ever!
Had to be done and anyway barnes was below me and was talking about stealing my crisps
Barnes just before the rock tried to blind him with sand . . . i think.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Windows Live Writer Test

Testing 1, 2. testing testing . . .

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Summer Adventures

As summer is drawing closer I thought It was time to start looking at where I want to go and climb (its also a good reason for not starting work just yet). So here goes:

- Culling Ridge
- Ben Nevis
- Peak District
- Reiff

Thats all for now off the top of my head, its will be update closer to the time.

The actually climbing adventures are currently on hold due to exams but they will start again shortly.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Study Break

Yesterday saw my first trad trip to a low land outcrops crag, more specifically Fourth Quarry at Cambusbarron. On this trip I was accompanied by Jamie and two course mates from uni, Barnes and Graeme. The aim of this trip was to relieve stress and boredum and I think in the process we converted two climbers to the world of real rock.

My aim was to consolidate my VS leading and if the conditions were right try my first HVS. I was 50% successful with my lead of Wind Up VS 5a. This a was short but pleasant route with a cracking crack to kind of lay back off running from half height. Dispatched it without any change of trouser moments which was nice.

Mr Murray then tackled Ninety-Five E1 5b. This was a pretty stiff route for the grade or atleast we thought so. Very roundy with big moves that kind of felt like what I expect grit climbing to be like expect on grit you have good friction or atleast so I am told. Will have to wait for the summer to confirm that one.

While we were playing the leading game we had set up some top ropes for the boys to play on and they found an absolutely awesome crack to climbing. It was by far the best lay back climbing I have found to date and was well worth having a play on.

All in all it was a excellent day out and definately cleared the head before the final push before the exams. Didnt climbing to much but that seems to be the norm these days and doesnt bother me one bit to be honest. Photos will follow.