I drove up to Scotland on Friday night with Dave Garry and Dave Almond and after a couple of hours sleep in the Northern Coiries car park we met up with Helen and walked in to Lochain.
Although it felt quite mild, by the time we reached the crag the temp was just below freezing and things were looking good. Dave Garry and myself headed up to Daddy Longlegs, a route thats been on both our tick lists for a while now, while Helen and Dave went for War and Peace.
I started up the technical first pitch as this suited my style of climbing, and Dave is the man for anything overhanging, like the second pitch.
Conditions were perfect with not too much ice and just enough gear to keep me moving, and after some thin moves at the top of the first groove, I reached a good rest before moving rightwards into the continuation, where more delicate climbing using a crack on the left led to a piece of fixed gear. Unfortunately at this point I made a stupid mistake. As I pulled the rope up to clip, my hand knocked my axe out of the crack and I watched it fall away, fortunately landing by Dave in the snow. After retrieving it I completed the rest of the corner and the moves round the roof, then moved up, to belay below the final pitch. A bit annoying really, as it was going so smoothly, but hopefully I've learnt my lesson and I'll be more careful in future.
|Daddy Longlegs P2|
|One more pull|
Walking back in on Sunday, the wind was about 50mph straight on the nose and it was sapping my motivation for getting on anything challenging, but as we approached the cliff I could see Ines and Charly on Happy Tyroleans and my motivation returned.
|War and Peace P1|
|Overhanging ground on P2|
We drove up to the car park again on Monday but with the temperature reading plus 7 we chose the cafe, a mistake it would seem, when I read that Ines and Charly were at it again with a new route by War and Peace. Obviously we're just not committed enough!
Still I'm happy for the moment!