Thursday, 31 August 2017

Auchinstarry Again

This week saw another post-work climbing session at Auchinstarry Quarry near Kilsyth. We warmed up on Spirogyra which is an un-starred VS 5a on the right side of the Promontory. Although much of the line is shared with the far superior route of Promontory Direct (HVS 5a), Spirogyra is definitely a good route in its own right with some steep and interesting moves on big holds around on the more obscure side of the Promontory. Having done the direct a few months earlier I knew the off-width at the base was going to be a fight but I’d forgotten just how awkward it is! I was definitely warm after battling with it that’s for sure!

Nicolas moving round onto the awkward ledges before the steep head wall on Spirogyra VS 5a
We then nipped round the corner and Nic lead a Severe called Tar. Although it had some good moves, it was quite sparse on gear and actually quite loose, which is a surprise given the volume of polish it had on it…

With time for only one more climb we headed round to the little amphitheatre, a more esoteric and quieter section of the quarry adjacent to Mascaraed Buttress. The line was Orange Flash, a seemingly little traveled HVS situated in an open corner. Looking down from the top the route was full of cobwebs and plants and the holds full of soil, so I opted to abseil the line and give it a clean before our ascent. Once unearthed the route turned out to be a real gem, with an easier lower half and a much tougher top section with steep and compact side walls with only a thin finger-tip crack running to the top. Its perhaps one of the best routes I’ve done at the quarry and definitely deserves more traffic.

Nicolas bridging the corner on the brilliant Orange Flash (HVS 5a)
A photo of Nicolas from a few months ago on Red Lead (VS 5a) on Mascaraed Buttress just round the corner from Orange Flash

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