Friday, 29 July 2011

Clambering at Creag Dubh and The Camel.

Back in sunny Scotland, I just had a nice wee trip in rather glorious weather. Time constraints prevented heading too far afield, so Central Highlands it was. Creag Dubh is one of those crags that keeps on giving - there is so much at the low-mid extreme standard that there always seems to be something to do. My main inspiration is some of the harder Great Wall routes, but warm weather and general lack of both fitness and confidence discouraged that. Seepage discouraged Ticket To Ride, laziness discouraged Barrier Wall, but a dry Waterfall Buttress provided a good opportunity to sample the semi-aqueous delights there. A couple of good routes - one very much in the classic "easy but bold jugpulling" Creag Dubh style - got me rather syked for more.

However variety is the spice of life and B-dawg was keen to get humping The Camel, and that seemed like a good plan to me, so after the usual nice & cheap Newtonmore camping and greasy spoon breakfast complete with irredeemably awful coffee, we trotted up there in a mere hour. The day was warm, the Camel was cold and the cobbles could feel cruel to numb fingers, but I managed a few routes including the deservedly classic Stone Of Destiny, and yes, you can ride on the stone :D

Unfortunately my lack of fitness took it's toll on the hugely harder classic F7a, and I slumped off. More stamina training needed, more indication that despite these fun trips I'm still treading water, and it made me grump like an Orc:

P.S. Left over from a previous blog but cleverly continuing the C-theme, here is some more Caithness Culture:

This year there were 10 different tractor magazines in the Wick Newsagent, rather than merely 8. I was stuck what to buy and ended up so confused I bought a copy of Climb instead (which coincidentally had an article on Bohuslan).

Monday, 25 July 2011

Sweden the photos.

Bivvy hut in front of the lake.

Lake in front of the bivvy hut.

Typical walk-in at Seglora.

The amazing Afterburner.

More Afterburner.

How can anyone possibly resist??

Typically chilled out climbing vibes at Galgeberget.

Weekly washtime!

View out from Svaneberget.

Nice route at Utby in Gothenburg itself.


And another nice route at Utby.

Same. Funky rock there.

Dunno what it is but in the words of my mum: "looks friendly tho;-)"

Dude where does the line go??

Somehow not getting too lost...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Sweden the ticklist.

(5 days climbing)

En Liten Bit Granit 6 **
Granitebiten 7- ***
Machete 6 *

Prismaster 6- *** (second)
Afterburner 6+ **

Petroleum 5+ ** (s)
Bideford Dolphin 5- * (s)

Galgen 6- *
Ater Komsten 4+ ** (s)
Ballabaget 6+ **

Mallorol 6- ***
Chapman 6 **

Granite Grotto:
??? F6c
Spektakel F6a
Islandshäst 6b+ **

Norden's Ark:
Jarven 5+ *
Snoleoparden 6+ **

Hostsonaten 6+ **
Bergkirstis Polka 6- ***

Lattja 6+ **

(1 day climbing)

Snett A Vanster 6 ***
Ants In My Pants 6- ** (s)
Panda 6- ***
??? 5+ * (s)
Bagarmossen 6 *
Svara Diedret 6- **

(2 days climbing)

Punsch 6-
Kronartskolkans Flykt 7-
Delikatessan 7-
Kastrationsangest 7-
Ankedammen 7
Vino Tinto 6
Gasa Marsch 6
Basalt 6
Gettingen 6-
Arponas Planet 7-
Blackfisken 6+
Mluda Matilda 7
Matildas Groggveranda 7
Bjorn Sover 7-
Svartenbrandt 7-
Arkiv X 6+
Lenas Led 6-

??? 5- **

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Sweden the country.

  • Everyone drives a Volvo. Usually an estate. This is great.

  • Unlike the UK, most people do not drive like complete fucking morons. This is good.

  • There seems to be no national radio station devoted to minimal techno 24 hours a day. This is very bad.

  • All Swedish people speak good English and are usually very helpful. This is a revelation that British people could learn from.

  • Unfortunately there are no English signs anywhere at all, for anything. Although "toalett" and "stopp" are mercifully comprehensible.

  • All Swedish children are very blonde and seem very happy.

  • Most Swedish women are very blonde and wear very short shorts.

  • Everything is extremely expensive. The only exceptions being pre-grated cheese and low-alcohol beer.

  • Supermarket meatballs are fairly average and I can't eat a whole packet of them.

  • Restaurant meatballs can be very awesome.

  • South-West Sweden consists entirely of fields, pine forests, lakes/inlets, and small lumps of granite.

  • In Bohuslan, those small lumps of granite can be very awesome.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Sweden calling...

I am going to Sweden for 12 days! Bohuslan! Climbing! And the rest of my experience will hopefully be summed up in the two videos above! Won't have my laptop so no updates but no doubt there will be some extended waffling when I return...

Monday, 4 July 2011

Sunstroke at Stranraer.

Decisions decisions this weekend. The weather forecast was good but the midge forecast was less good especially in the hills, with the wind sometimes struggling to break the 5 mph bare minimum. Sea-cliffs or similar were proposed, and for the purposes of convenient travelling were narrowed down to: Ardnamurchan, Aberdeen area, or Stranraer Peninsula. Much triangulation of surrounding Met Office locations and averaging out potential wind speeds ruled out Ardnamurchan, enthusiasm for a dry-in-the-west forecast ruled out Aberdeen, so Stranraer it was, for the triple whammy of Crammag, Llaggantalluch, and Portobello (the crag, not the Edinburgh district not the London district nor indeed the mushroom, although there was talk of taking some to the crag, sauteeing them on a camp stove and getting the essential but still apparently unclaimed "Eating Portobellos at Portobello" tick).

So yes. The weather was glorious. I got sunburnt knees from my cutting edge shorts + compression stockings combo. And a sunburnt head. And sunburnt shoulders from my "hide the gut show the guns" wifebeater. We did some great climbs each day. Slabs and roof cracks and thin walls and all sorts. The micro-granite is a unusual delight, the greywacke a familiar delight. We saw a curious seal each day (probably not the same one) and lots of annoyingly loud seagulls. I did one of my finest crag turds ever, coiling it out in a splendid figure of 8. We stayed at a huge caravan park at Sandhead that despite being very distant from the wilderness experience, did good butties and good coffee. And went to a very nice pub nearby for a fine meal punctuated by a splendid butterscotch profiterole dessert, probably the highlight of the trip.

Hurrah for climbing really!