With the thoroughly deserved but all-too-short little Indian summer that followed weeks of rain looking like it might just last into this weekend, switching the Polldubh Club‘s second weekend meet from some lowland outcrops to the stunning north-west setting of Torridon seemed like a good bet. But the weather was already on the turn, and only Johnny MacLeod, Ed & Rona Grindley and I made it north in the end.
Since Saturday was compromised by regular showers and fresh, cold winds, Seana Mheallan proved to be the wrong choice of venue for Johnny and me. So, while it didn’t take long to identify The Deerstalker (VS) and Route with a View (HVS) as more amenable targets than Dave MacLeod’s recent Kolus, Kelvinator and Present Tense (E8 6c, E8 6c and E9 7a respectively!), we ended up retreating (without doing them) to the pleasant Inveralligin Sea Cliffs, where we soloed a number of easier routes with Johnny taking on some interesting-looking Severes including Post-Op on The Skull buttress and me sticking to the V Diffs and below.
An interesting evening’s entertainment followed, with Ed and Rona arriving at the Torridon campsite minutes after we left it to look for them and both parties heading to Shieldaig on hunches to look for each other before finally meeting up at The Torridon Inn for a good dinner, drinks and chat.
And so to today, when we all headed for the glorious gneiss outcrops at Diabaig to climb the impeccable HVS Route Two some 34 years after Ed made the first ascent with Allan Austin. An absolutely brilliant, sustained 75m trip taking the obvious line up the centre of this superb crag, with a steeply exciting first pitch giving way to a slightly more slabby second that’s more my ‘style’ and I’m now thinking I could/should have led. So it rained first thing and it rained later, but we got the breaks, snatched the prize and surely all had a good day out!