Petestack Blog

23 July 2012

Eastern approaches

Filed under: Climbing,Music,Running — admin @ 3:02 pm

Nice trip east (within Scotland!) this past weekend with music, climbing, running and catching up with old friends all combining to produce a hugely enjoyable whole…

Started with a visit to Ian Kinnear in Edzell on Friday afternoon to get a new chanter reed and general check-over for a set of smallpipes he made, then on to Kirriemuir to see Campbell, Jillian, Brendan and Lauren. Climbed three modest bolt routes (Becalmed F4+, Sombre Reptiles F5+ and On the Up F5+) at Kirrie Hill with Campbell on Friday evening, then up Glen Clova to the Red Craigs (see bottom right corner of map) for a couple of routes on Saturday. So we did the super-classic VS Proud Corner (surely one of Scotland’s finest outcrop pitches at the grade), which I’d done once before three years ago with Simon Davidson, then the Hard Severe Monster’s Crack, which starts well before degenerating into a scrambly garden and improving again through a steep variation finish with surprisingly awkward top-out. Then, having said my goodbyes yesterday morning, I set off for a meaty hill run from the Glen Doll car park, achieving most of my ‘Plan A’ by taking in all tops of Broad Cairn, Cairn Bannoch, Tolmount and Tom Buidhe but canning a possible northern extension to Carn an t-Sagairt Mor with cloudy and viciously windy conditions combining to slow me down and reduce its allure. And there’s the essential paradox of hill running in such conditions, with the freedom of keeping your head up and moving quickly (both warmer and more fun) at conflict with the necessity of stopping for conscientious navigation work (colder and frustratingly ‘stop-start’) and leading to mistakes like my bizarre overshoot of Crow Craigies (don’t know what I was thinking there except that what I could see of it didn’t look significant enough to be classed as anything!). But, once free of the clouds and fiddly navigation, I made good time down Jock’s Road to complete the loop, coincidentally (and strangely satisfyingly) logging 20.93 miles to go with Tuesday’s 20.92! Also no doubt that (despite the cloud and wind) I had the best of the day when it started raining on my way home, got wetter and wetter on the drive west and is still absolutely bucketing today!

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