Petestack Blog

6 September 2010


Filed under: Climbing — admin @ 10:05 pm

First rock climbing of the year after the ultra-running and big hill rounds took over my ‘summer’ (aka six weeks of rain to coincide with the school holidays), and all’s well apart from the bashed ribs…

Headed for the wonderful Ring Crags at Ardnamurchan with Johnny MacLeod after shelving ‘Plan A’ (the Ben or Glen Coe) through wild winds, and might have recorded the perfect day on the still-very-windy peninsula if I hadn’t bashed my ribs sliding 10/12 ft down a gabbro slab and hitting the ground (probably the first time I’ve ever come off a VS slab)! So perhaps not quite perfect, but still very, very good if you ignore the (impossible-to-ignore) consequences…

  • Led Greta Gabbro (soft VS 4c, carefully chosen to get me going again after all those months away)
  • Followed Claude (HVS 5a)
  • Fell off Vulcan (VS 4b, 4c, but we’re talking more a stupid slip than a dynamic fall!)
  • Followed Vulcan (but we appear to have finished up the second pitch of the E1 Dead Ringer)
  • Led Pyroclast (Severe 4b, because I needed to know the fall hadn’t messed with my head… and appear to be OK there)
  • Followed Ringmaster (VS 5a, now struggling with discomfort on some moves)

Knew I’d hurt myself at the time, but not how badly and was pretty sore by the time I got home. So in to see the doctor (who said that kind of delayed response is quite common with rib injuries), given strong painkillers, off work today and tomorrow and then we’ll see… :-/

NB To get an idea of just how strongly the wind was blowing over the more exposed ground, check out the arcing rope in the final (‘Pyroclast’) photo!


  1. Brilliant place, unfortunate slip – you didn’t get cut to pieces by the gabbro on the way down? (that’s what I always imagined would happen…)

    Comment by Keith Alexander — 7 September 2010 @ 8:05 am

  2. No, surprisingly didn’t get ‘cut to pieces’ with just a grazed right forearm, fair sized ‘hole’ at same elbow and one nippy left hand fingertip to show for dragging down the slab, and the real damage all being to the left side of my ribcage.

    Dunno exactly what happened, but I’d misread the route, was either static or trying to reverse after finding myself wrong-footed with awkward little undercut/sidepull handholds, felt my feet go and basically just slid off. Thinking it’s possible that the tip of my right shoe just flexed with no weight to keep it on the rock because there’s a bit of an empty spot there on my Boreal Silex (not as good fit as my 5.10 Spires) where my ‘mutant’ big toe sits way over towards the middle, but simply can’t be sure (apart from sure enough not to buy these again, stop coveting slightly more ‘techy’ shoes and just get more Spires next time if they’re the only thing that really fits!).

    Comment by admin — 7 September 2010 @ 11:27 am

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