Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Back to it

Its been over 2 months since I injured my elbow, and since my last blog post, and I have quite a bit to update you on.
My elbow turned out to be dislocated, although it popped itself back in. Its mostly back to normal now, although it still doesn't fully straighten.
Whilst injured I managed to keep fit by initially using exercise bikes in the gym, then going running and one handed climbing. This was all a bit boring really compared to normal climbing but it was something to do.
My return to proper climbing was during a trip to the peak district. The mountaineering club was supposed to be going to Torridon but the weather was bad, so it went south instead. I climbed mostly with Joanna and managed to lead Left Unconquerable (E1), Flying Buttress Direct (E1), Desperation (E1) and Wuthering (E2). I also had a good go on the green traverse, but kept on getting pumped just before the end.
Flying Buttress Direct


The week after I went to Glen Coe with Joanna, Jamie Sparkes, Claire Holland and Dan Tait. We climbed in Stobe Coire nan Lochain. I did Moon Shadow (IV,4) with Dan and Joanna and Twisting Gully (III,4) with Jamie. It was nice to be back in the mountains, and in amazing weather. My elbow survived alright although it did hurt a bit with the jarring motion associated with ice climbing.
Stobe Coire nan Lochain
In the last few weeks I have made a number of trips to Ben Nevis. My first trip was with Helen Rennard and Dave Macleod, where we climbed Left Edge Route (VI,5), a little repeated route in observatory buttress. Im not sure I can go as far as saying it was the second winter ascent, but I don't think its been done many times in winter.
Left Edge Route
My next trip was with Sinclair Cooper. We went to try Darth Vader (VII,8) on number three gully buttress. I led the first 2 pitches, which saw me belaying in the cave belay of the main chimney. Unfortunatley Sinclair couldn't second the second pitch so we abbed off. I then soloed South Gully (III).
Darth Vader, Pitch 1
Darth Vader
My latest trip was with Cassim Ladha, Craig Holden and Alex Toomey. It was the weekend of the mountaineering clubs Ben Nevis trip, but unfortunately there wasn't a mini bus driver so I took some extras in my car. We made quite a later start on friday night, as we needed to wait for Cass to drive up from Newcastle, and so didn't get into our tents next to the CIC hut until at least 2am.
On Saturday Cass and I attempted Hobgoblin (VI,7), also up number three gully. I actually intended to climb Gargoyle Wall but I didn't read the guide properly and so climbed direct to the Gargoyle, which is the line of Hobgoblin. After the 3rd pitch, which were the amazing Gargoyle Wall cracks, we abbed off ass Cass was too cold. On Sunday I went by myself and soloed Vanishing Gully (V,5), South-West Ridge (IV,5) (although probably III,4 on the day), and Observatory Buttress (V,4).

View from the tent Saturday morning

Tents and Carn Dearg

Hobgoblin, pitch 1

Cass seconding pitch 1

Vanishing Gully

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