Monday, 29 July 2013

the magic crack

Having blogged about the Old Man, the following post would always be a bit of a let down.

However, we do our best.

On Friday, we done quite a bit of this:

The great thing about pebble pulling is that you can still climb when its wet :)

On Saturday, with imminent doom approaching and Catrin dropping a bombshell that she hasn't done any of the Cairngorm rock classics in the summer we made a dash into the corrie for a morning hit.  

Pleased to say that Magic Crack was as dry as a dry thing, unlike Sunday :(

Friday, 26 July 2013

The Old Man of Hoy

I have waited a very long time before making an attempt on the Old Man of Hoy, but as they say, "all good things come to those who wait".

Normally, Catrin and Di would head off to the Alps around this time of year to get scared on some mega death route (in our eyes anyway) but Catrin required absolutely no persuasion what so ever to head North.

The opportunity to sail up doesn't come up very often and despite the complete last minute approach of it all (some things will never change), we were rewarded with near perfect conditions.

I have heard lots of reports about climbing the Old Man and was completely blown away about the quality of the rock (much better than expected if you were prepared to wiggle around), the lack of Fulmars - you could count them on one hand - the lack of vomit and cr*p from Fulmars and the acceptance of the puffins to get photographed.

Catrin stamping our mark on the summit:

The local residents:

Ticking off the Allison was alway an essential detour:

The stack in all her beauty:

The magnificent Crazy Jane, home for the past 7 days.  A massive thank you to Willie for enabling us to have such a fantastic adventure.  Plans already being hatched for next year.

Friday, 12 July 2013

motorbikes and climbing

Today was funny.

We thought that we would embrace climbing and biking but if anybody has tried putting on a full set of leathers in 30 degrees C, they will completely understand what we endured.

Space was a premium with a 40 litre back box and a pillion passenger so no room for non essentials.  However, its amazing how ingenious you can be when you need to be.

Strangely enough none of the locals were on the scorching hot south facing moy crag today, which is probably a good thing since they would have had to hold in the laugher as the girls slowly "melted into a blancmange"

over the back

It's not often that I have gone over the back into the Loch Avon basin for a late afternoon/early evening climb, but with the summer continuing, it would be rude not to.

Three things happened last night:

1: we were both convinced that we heard a sheep baaaaaaa on the plateau.
2: at the start of the route, there was an almighty thunder rumble than never came to anything.
3: we both saw a beastie in loch avon and the only possible explanation would be an otter unless Nessie has gone on holiday.

We opted for a route that neither of us had done, 'Whispers' - a great route when you certainly haven't got any finger strength :)

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

i am so excited ...

... not because I have just had 3 amazing days in yonder hills ...

... but because tomorrow ...

... i am going to put on a harness again.

At long last, my summer climbing is about to start and I have enough motivation for anybody who is short :)

[di runs around office clapping hands]

Sunday, 7 July 2013

head games

Normally for me, an ML Assessment runs from Monday to Friday.  Therefore when the course runs from Saturday to Wednesday my head is completely out of sink.

The corrie of the people lived up to her name today - obviously not everybody was glued to the telly :)

Friday, 5 July 2013

the road to recovery

Sometimes it is hard to write a blog when so much has happened on a personal level, but because it has such a knock on effect to my work and play, it is sometimes hard to differentiate the 2.

One week ago, I went back onto the operating table to be sliced open once again (for the record, this time, it wasn't self inflicted so could potentially milk the recovery for everything that was going).

I would assume that most people would enjoy sitting on the sofa, wrapped in a duvet, eating nothing but banana smoothies and ice cream and watching crappy TV.  I managed to sit still for one day before slowly venturing into the garden ("Oo, could just do a little bit of weeding since I'm here") and "Surely, I could walk up to the beer garden since it is such a lovely evening..." type-of-approach.

The next thing you find yourself sitting on a mountain bike, passing the drinks bottle to the boy currently in training.

On a very selfish level, the hills to me are my savour - they certainly aren't for everyone but if it was the option of sitting on my arse watching 6 hours of TV or 6 hours gentle walking in the hills, it is a no brainer.  So, as Derek set off on potentially one of the best mountain bikes in Scotland he has done, I thought I would wander off to bag a nearby corbett.

90 minutes in, sitting on my corbett summit on a glorious day, I looked over to Lochnagar and feeling fine, I thought that I would just continue on my little wander in the hills and try and meet up with Derek as he descended his last summit.  Hey, I might not be able to be there in person, but it is nice to share the adventures that the hills provide through others. The complete gentleman even let me freewheel out on the bike along the edge of Loch Muik as he quietly got blisters walking in his biking shoes.

The following day, Since we were in the area, it would obviously be rude not to tick off another couple of corbetts.

Ok, so I might not be doing any core exercises for a wee while and the thought of putting on a harness just now isn't overly appealing, but there certainly isn't anything wrong with the legs.  The only downside, is that I don't think I can play the "I'm in recovery stage" card anymore :(