Saturday, 10 May 2014

Some new, Some old

It has been a while since my last post. In this time I have been attempting to climb as much as I can to get some mileage in preparation for the summer. Over this time I have also been doing my final exams, which are a lot less stressful than people might make you think. With almost all of the work which goes towards my final degree already handed in the pressure has been kinda off really. Despite this I have spent much of my time in Edinburgh, making lots of trips to the citys local crags.
Most of my time has been spent at Agassiz Rock, a small but steep crag composed of Pyroxene Andesite in Blackford Glen. Agassiz rock is a pretty famous locality thanks to the Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz who interpreted the striations on the rock surface as being created by ice. If you are interested you can read about it here. After a bit of time working out how to use the Scottishclimbs wiki grid topo of this crag I managed to climb lots of problems here. My best effort has been the Low Traverse, weighing in at font 7b. This is quite long and probably deserves something like a 7c sport grade too. My usual warm up here is the problem Last Gasp, which is a long pumpy font 7a, which also gets a 7c+ sport grade apparently! So maybe the training is paying off.
Craig at Agassiz
Further down the glen from Agassiz Rock is Corbies crag, the neck of an extinct volcano and of the same unit which Agassiz Rock is composed of. I had never climbed here despite often walking past it to climb at Agassiz. There are a few easy routes which make for a nice way back to the flat from the glen. I climbed a very nice Mod called Retromingent Ridge, which I can highly recommend, and a Diff which follows a gorse filled gully, called Sunny Scoop, which I can't recommend.
Other local Edinburgh adventures include a quick trip to Traprain Law, where I climbed a few routes I hadn't done before with Elaine, and a couple of trips to the Salisbury crags, where I also managed a few new things.
Elaine on Great Corner Direct, Traprain Law
Further afield I made a quick evening trip to Oxen Wood in Northumberland, which is only really worth an evening trip. There isn't anything very hard here, although there is a nice font 6c, called Oxen Wood Traverse, which is probably worth seeking out.
Oxen Wood
Oxen Wood Traverse
Again in Northumberland I made a very unsuccessful trip to Bowden where I managed to climb a grad total of nothing, and a wet afternoon at Heckley, near Alnwick, where I managed a few nice things. Heckley is a bit of a strange crag as there was a f5+ which I spent a while trying to do but to no avail, but then I managed to flash a few 6c's. I can only think that some holds must have broken. The dead rabbit at the base of it added to the atmosphere.
Greg on Staggered, Bowden
Andrew on Vienna, Bowden
Dark Times at Bowden
Heckley in the Rain
Further south in Yorkshire I had an afternoon soloing at Scot Crags in Scugdale, where I managed to climb 60 routes! Most of the routes I climbed were between HS and HVS, however I did also tick a few E numbers, including an E4 which you really wouldn't want to fall off!
The Prow, Scugdale
So yes that has been my life recently. Hopefully I will be able to make some bigger trips soon which merit their own post, so you don't have to trawl through an essay to see what I've been up to!
Also here is a song I like: Metric-Waves

1 comment:

  1. Dude, are you sure you're not mixing Louis Agassiz with Andre Agassi?

    I'm no geology expert but it seems Louis Agassiz was the geologist
    who interpreted the rock's striations. Apparently, he was Swiss.

    Are you still around by the way? Would be nice to meet up again at Agassiz rock or somewhere else in Scotland/Northumberland.