Petestack Blog

5 June 2009

Midge hell and hot aches

Filed under: Climbing — admin @ 8:55 pm

While Wednesday evening looked perfect for Polldubh, it was set to be ruined by negligible breeze to keep the midges at bay. But we didn’t know that when we set out, so Daniel, Kenny Wright, Mark from Florida and I headed up to Secretaries’ Buttress with its open, sunny aspect and a bone dry Twitch (E1) featuring in my thoughts. Half a pitch of the Direct (Severe) and much cursing and swearing later, the agenda had changed to finishing that route as quickly as possible, after which I optimistically managed to persuade the team that Enigma (Hard Severe) on High Crag might still be tolerably clear of the little b*gg*rs. Half a pitch of Enigma and much cursing and swearing later, the agenda had changed again to getting the hell out as quickly as possible, although the loss of a contact lens through knocking my left eye with a fistful of nuts while setting up the top belay proved to quite some handicap on the subsequent descent to pick up the sacks at the ever more midge-ridden hell below Secretaries’…

With last night still promising fine conditions before some cooler (and probably wetter) conditions set in, I joined Bob, Cynth and Steve for a trip to the Buachaille. While there was some talk of Revelation (HVS) on Slime Wall, we finally went for the North-East Face of Crowberry Ridge, where Bob and I climbed Fracture Route (VS) and Steve and Cynth the neighbouring corner of Dingle (HVS). No midges this time thanks to the surprisingly cool breeze that followed a sweaty approach but, getting really quite cold by the time Bob had led up our steep first pitch, it took some degree of faith to trust my thawing fingertips on some exciting moves and I found myself with full-blown hot aches (in June!) at the first stance and needing a few minutes to recover before leading through. Two enjoyably easier pitches and a scramble later, we left the crest of Crowberry Ridge to descend Curved Ridge and made the road in fading light, well pleased with our night’s work but just too late for the pub.

2009-06-04buachaille1 2009-06-04buachaille2

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