Petestack Blog

13 September 2009

Damnation or redemption?

Filed under: Climbing — admin @ 9:32 pm

Today I was climbing with Johnny at Polldubh, where we also had the good fortune to bump into Ed and Rona.

First up was my personal bogey route of Damnation (VS), which I first seconded (without drama) back in 1990 but have been falling off on the lead ever since (NB I exaggerate, because today’s single fall only means that I’ve fallen off it three times out of three when leading)! And I basically had it, with both hands on the crucial block above the overhang and my feet in the right place, before effectively just letting go for a silly fall and cruising it second go. So is it still my bogey route? Who knows, but probably not because I really shouldn’t have come off at all today and redemption is hopefully at hand ‘next time’…

After that Johnny led Maintenance on Pine Wall Crag, which goes at a soft HVS 5a (it’s really just 4c and probably just VS) and had been a target of mine for some time. And then we did a possible new route at about Diff (or maybe just V Diff) that Johnny’s been cleaning and might or might not have something to do with the rarely-climbed Dead Pine or Why (on which note, the jury’s still out after checking the original 1970 Schwartz/Wright guide and 1978 Schwartz follow-up). At which point we met Ed and Rona on their way to attempt a new route Ed’s been cleaning up on Black’s Buttress, and were invited to join them.

So, while Ed finished the cleaning, Johnny led Ed’s recent Seven Fours (a really good route!) to the left of Shergar at E1 5a and I led the excellent (once you’ve got off the ground and past the weep that could just explain its name) VS Crybaby before we all followed Ed up his new E3 5c with various degrees of style of which none (especially mine) came close to the poise necessary for Ed to lead this serious route in the first place. So do I feel I’ve really even seconded E3? Nope, I wouldn’t claim that but, in spite of frigging things a little, I seem to have made my first 5c moves (along with some sustained 5b) without undue drama, and am still happy to have been included in the fun! :-)

Before signing off for this post, I must say what a difference the recent tree felling has made to the Alp area (SW, Pine Wall and Styx Buttress) and how nice it is to be able to see all the routes on all the crags. So well done to all involved with that.

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