Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Deliberate Lethargy

It’s been a slow start to 2015 so far. Some would say that starting a new job, helping with 10 Tors training and competing in a 100 mile marathon is actually to some extent rather fruitful. However to me, all this extracurricular has greatly repressed my time out on the rock. This combined with a couple of rained off trips as well as intermittent bouts of non-existent motivation I’m starting to think maybe I need to splash out on a jet ski or a road bike as they can both be used in the rain. Then I remember I still owe the tax man and various banks 4 years’ worth of drinking money so I should probably square that up first. I’ve had a few positives this year though like having an article published on UKClimbing.com and so far successfully managing to give up mayonnaise for my new year’s resolution! Talk about a challenge! 

My main objective for this year was to try and tick all of the rock routes in the ‘South West’ chapter of the book ‘Classic Rock’ and so far it’s going really well – only Piton Route in Avon Gorge left to do! The routes, for the most part, have all been really worthwhile and are generally well deserving of their 'classic' status.

To be honest - most of the routes are a little bit outdated and most venues usually have better-quality-similar-graded-equivalents. For instance, at Chair Ladder Pegasus is definitely better than Pendulum Chimney and again at The Dewerstone Central Grooves is a total belter when compared to Climbers Club Ordinary. From the ones I've climbed in Scotland this wasn't so much the case but is especially true with the routes I've ticked from 'Hard Rock' and 'Extreme Rock' which have all been jaw-droppingly fantastic!

Whilst i'm trying to get all these routes ticked I'm also trying my hand at photography - I still only have a compact camera but it seems to have loads of settings so i'm hoping there has been an improvement. On so many occasions climbing has taken me to some impressive vistas yet my inability to take a descent photo makes a picture of the inside of a static caravan look more interesting. It still seems to be a lot of pictures of helmets and bums at the moment but I think they are gradually getting better! I've put a couple of my favorites from this year so far below.

1. Taken from Gavel Fell in Lake District looking over towards Buttermere and the Sca Fell Range with a sky full of air craft contrails. I think it demonstrates well how such a seemingly wild landscape is still influenced so much by humans!

2. A photo of Adam Bloch seconding the middle pitch of the Bosigran Classic - Little Brown Jug. It really looks like Bosigran is 'in bloom' in this one.

3. I know! Another Photo of Adam! This time he is seconding the crux pitch of Pegasus at Chair Ladder. The sharpness of the photo and the contrast of the dark rock with the blue sea is great.

4. Last photo of Adam I promise! He's seconding the crux pitch of Aerial at Chair Ladder. Its a super exposed pitch and in this instance we had a ranging sea echoing beneath us. I think the ledge we were sharing with the black back gulls and their nest was still more scary!

5. Post storm crossing to Brodick on Arran. It's supposedly too far south to succumb to the grips of Winter but this definitely didn't appear to be the case when we traveled there over Easter. 

6. Sneaking in some climbing in between the showers. This is a photo of Sol Armer climbing the rarely repeated Dogleg on South Slabs in Glen Rosa. If only you could see his hands and feet, you'd be able to see the invisible holds!

7. A snowy Goatfell from Cnoc Brec. I like the color of the lethargic sky set against the white dusting of snow with the contrast of the brown, dead grass in the foreground. And of course the perched erratic boulder! 

8. Springtime at Oldwalls. This photo was taken from the base of Matchless on the culm coast looking south through the spray. It definitely aids in the understanding of the isolation of this venue.

9. Ski touring on Creag Meagaidh. It really was a winter wonderland up there this year. Dave in the distance definitely helps give the place a bit of scale!

10. Emma seconding Doorpost at Bosigran in the morning light. Believe it or not the ocean is actually that color and I haven't just cranked up the contrast! West Penwith is an amazing venue and is probably the best in the West!
Any feedback would be much appreciated. For some reason when you upload photos to Blogger it adjusts the contrast of the photos so some of them are a touch more saturated than they should be. Hopefully I'll be able to get some more shots later this year and at the same time get my big-rock-route-day-out climbing fix.

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