Well there seems to be a bit of buzz about our arrival in Scotland. Our friend Paul introduced us to a website, which I have seen before but forgot about until recently, it’s called ukclimbing.com
The site is incredible actually, it has heaps and heaps of information and entertainment, good solid users and an easy to find layout. It seems someone is very active in reporting the latest news, whether it’s the death of Sir Edmund Hillary, a new route by Batman McClure or the arrival of two north American chumps attempting Requiem. Either way it’s a fun site and so far the comments have been very positive. In Canada we have a few blogs and websites for the community, but unfortunately, more often than not the threads quickly turn to rubbish. Because it’s funny and easier to rip on something than it is to praise, many people are just witty and cleaver with words and want to be heard or get a rise from the readers, that’s cool sometimes, but I find here in the UK, the community is a lot more cheerful, enthusiastic and friendly about climbing, it’s a shame North America couldn’t be more united. Truly.
So, I forgot to report the big news of our second day out climbing. Cory Richards, a man who hasn’t climbed rock in 8 months, is now attempting to climb off the couch and onto Requiem, he’s a mad man. So, during one of his work sessions a nut and draw draped over his forearm. As he reached up and stabbed for the next finger lock the force snapped the biner up towards his face and cracked his tooth. He stuck the move, linked two more and then realized what had happened. “SHit” was all he had to say as he fondled his newly arranged grill with his tongue. At days end it was decided that the chipped tooth was a good look, like a pirate. That evening girls swarmed over him at the bar, even I could not help but be slightly attracted to a man who snapped IN HALF his own front tooth. Ha ha, WAR wounds.
We also had ourselves a delectable dinner, sponsored by Hot Aches productions and the fine cooking of some Welsh cuisine. Wine and cheese, fresh fruit and chicken stew, risotto and beer with lemon cake for dessert. It was a memorable meal and we filled ourselves with pure goodness and energy.
Requiem yesterday, a fantastic day, blue sunny skies and a soft breeze. However, the holds were still surprisingly damp. I’ll never manage to figure it out, a complete mystery to me. I think humidity and slickness will always be an issue without a strong breeze. The wind was blowing the wrong direction, over the top of the Castle, but not on the face and left our skin feeling a tad soggy. Still I managed to wobble my way to the top of the cliff on Requiem, which is E8 I think and FULL VALUE. One of the best single pitch climbs I’ve ever done, tall technical, powerful and proud. There was a crowd at the cliff, a good bunch of boulderers and our own crew made up of five. It was a tad strange climbing with two video camera’s present, I’m not used to it at all and I can’t help but feel slightly embarrassed. It’s okay, I’ll get over it. I need to accept them, if they think what I am doing is worth filming, then who am I to argue, besides I love to watch their films, I get inspired by the climbers in other movies and if I have a chance to repay that energy I want to take it. Hot Aches (E11) and Posing Productions (Onsight) are doing incredible things and it’s a great feeling to be a part of that. I can’t wait to see the final edit of Pete Whitaker on his new Grit E9, looks like WOW. As for yesterday, I feel the local climbers unfortunately didn’t get to see much of a spectacle, our show was pretty chill on top rope just perfecting footwork and little tid bits. On my lead I didn’t fall – so there was no action there either, but at least it was a pleasant day and the crew looked chuffed just to be out scrambling on the quality boulders. I offered up a few goes on the climbs, we had an extra harness but no takers. yet.
Taping up for my warm up. We found a new variation to the approach pitch which proved to be a wee bit dirty, but lots of fun and much more direct. I would like the chance to climb the entire wall without clipping any fixed bolts. Just a fun thing to do really.
Gaining the crack, which is harder than it looks from the ground. Hitting the ledge below on lead is quite a scare, but I haven’t fallen there in ages, so no need to concern myself with the little things. Big picture stuff. ha ha.