Thursday, 30 June 2011

a change is as good as a rest

There has been a bit of a theme the past few days...

It has mainly involved heavy panting, deep heather and taking the bike for a walk.

The Cairngorms might not have the dramatic drops associated with the west but it does has some rather fine long distance routes which, if you are prepared for a bit of a push/carry, are fantastic biking journeys.

Yesterday, Heather & Di completed the Gaick traverse - Heathers biking equivalant to climbing Ardverikie Wall - which justified 2 coffee shop stops.

This never included our unplanned tea break kindly provided by Mr Fishermen en route :)

Needless to say, that I do not want to go anywhere near a bike today ...

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Friday, 24 June 2011

the far north

Just returned from 5 days climbing in the far north.

How good was the climbing?

Well, lets just say that out of 5 days climbing, I climbed only one route not worth mentioning.

Abseils akin to Lundy.

Faces akin to Gogarth.

What did we get up to?

Well you just need to watch the video for that one :)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

fast turnaround

 The best days are those unplanned.

We decided to head to the North West - possibly the only dry place in the country.

The drive was worth it as we found amazing rock in an amazing location.

It turned out to be a very social weekend - great minds think alike - and although the climbing was superb, it wasn't quite as superb as the fishing.

It's taken Derek nearly 20 years to actually catch something whilst Di was present.

After catching not just one, not just two, not just three, but four amazing fishies, we decided that they never stood a chance and let them be, splashing around in the sea.

It started mizzling this morning so we bailed back East to Moy, where as soon as Mark saw the boys, the first thing he mentioned was not the amazing, dry rock but the fishing success :)

Van unpacked, repacked and heading North once again.

Summer has finally arrived ...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Halichoerus grypus aka hooked-nosed sea pig

The more time I spend up in the Far North, the more I learn to appreciate it.

On Tuesday, we spent the afternoon clipping bolts at the mound - I am weak ....

On Tuesday, we spent the evening flicking off a bzillion ticks - they are bad :(

On Wednesday we went to Mid Clyth for the first time.  If you do get bored (highly unlikely) with the climbing, you can sit and watch the atlantic grey seals on the reef opposite until the cows come home.

So, between the seals constantly applauding us for our ninja climbing skills (*cough*) and us applauding the shags for their braveness in nest selection, it was a rather cool morning.

We then moved camp up to Sarclet and were rewarded with some 'sweet routes' and some amazing displays by 2 young seals - one of the most amazing things I have seen in the sea.

Today, with a ming forecast, we embraced the Highland Wildcat Trails at Golspie - where there is a very, very fine line between being in complete control and being completely out of control.  Not quite sure which camp I was in.

Monday, 13 June 2011

We won a prize!

I am no longer a LAMM newbie.

I am going to lose one toe nail; my ankles are as stiff as wood; my calfs are as tight as a G sharp string; my guff knee is the size on a small planet; my lower back is rubbed raw; I never reaslised you could ever get sore elbows and don't even touch my neck and shoulders.

Was it worth it? Most definately :)

Having been absolutely thrashed at the ISMF World Championships in February, I only had one goal over the weeked - and that was not to come last.

There must have been a computer error with the results because at the end of Day One, Susie & Di were placed 13th out of 112 teams in the C Course.  The girls came in 10th on Day Two, maintaining our final placing of 13th - 2 hours 15 mins behind the winning team and 1 hour 12 mins ahead of the second female team.

For more details on the girls in the LAMM, you need to go to the website.

A massive thank you to Susie who really was a fantastic LAMM buddy.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

they don't make them like they used to

I worked at Glenmore Lodge back in 1996 on their 'Nightwatch Scheme'.

I was young, keen, unbelievable naive, probably very annoying and motivated.

There was one person whilst working at the Lodge that absolutely petrified me.

He never had a real name, just 2 letters -  K and G.

He built himself a throne at the bottom of Huntley's Cave where he could study his students and he gave me some brutal feedback whilst on my winter mountain leader training.

I hadn't seen KG since then.

Roll the clock forward to yesterday when the girls decided to go for a bike ride through the Burma Road and by some twist in the tale were joined by a Mr KG.

Little did I know that Heather also had fond memories of KG, so some 15 years later it was a little bit wierd to say the least.

I said to KG "I thought you were all Gods" whilst KG very promptly responsed with "So did we."

Wasn't quite the pootle that Heather & Di were expecting, but one of those priceless days ...

Oh, the photo's?

You need to look at the website for that one.

Monday, 6 June 2011

smarting not smarties

It's funny, the mind is completely game for hours and hours on the rock.

However, the body has a mind of her own.

Having been focussed on walking up lots of hills for the past few weeks and having had no access to the bouldering wall for about a year now, it was never going to be easy.

Three days on the rock have completely shredded my hands, hurt my fingers and don't even mention my feet.

It can only get better....

Oh, and to make things worse, LAMM partner has broke herself which leaves me less than a week to find another partner - it's not going to be easy :(

Friday, 3 June 2011

i am a climber once again

We both wanted the same thing today: 

a very short walk in;
to be able to wear sun vests;
to have floor to floor blue skies;
no wind and for it to be ridiculously sunny and hot.

We got all of the above plus:

amazing views;
absolutely noboby else around except for the fishmen putting out the lobster pots, a curious seal and the odd pigeon gillimot, razorbill and seagull;
possibly the best lemon drizzle cake I have ever had;
and very pink shoulders, arms, face and ankles (note to self: really really must put on more sun cream)

I really do live in the best place in the world ...