Autumn and 2nd year.

 Rory just outside the new flat

Iv'e been putting off writing in this for a long time. Not because i have nothing to write about, but because all too often, theres something more interesting and inevitably less urgent that takes my fancy. I am sitting in the library (lecture slides and notebook aside) having just read an article on 'Active Procrastination' and concluding that i would inevitably write something here in the next week (or so).

So without further a due, a quick round up, a couple sentences and a few of photos.

Rory following Bobs Overhang.

Summer is officially over. I spent a cold session on a north facing belay while rory romped up some esoteric Aberdeen classic. The sun was bright in cloudless sky, yet  I shivered and yelped as if i were 800m high on a February morning.  I have therefore decided to curtail my trad climbing stint and focus on bouldering until it gets warmer and i can feel my hands again. After all - trad is about sitting around in the sun as much as it is the climbing, right?

Me - sticking to the  scottish ethics and getting the sun on insect groove

Worth missing a couple lectures for!

Rory on the Hedonist , I'm perched on a ledge, inches from the sun

After recovering from freshers week, the Lairig club drove to Glen Clova. The red crag offers a great range of routes, and the intake of new members included lots of keen climbers. With only 30m of single rope we werent quite spoilt for choice, but managed to despatch some less frequented chimneys and shorter routes. 

'The beanstalk' 

Computer simulated lake district? 

Sam and his crew on red wall

Me fiddling with the gear on witches tooth

Sam giving Cinderella a shot. The sky aptly reflects the intensity...

Glen Coe

A fortnight later,  with a high pressure forecast and a bus full of psyched bodies, we endured the long drive to Blackrock cottage and the foot of the Bhuchaille from which a  weekends boozing and mountaineering ensued. We set off as two teams, both intending on climbing Crypt route - a classic diff.featuring some intense caving and a rather steep approach. We were  soon separated as Rory, Ali and Sarah sped up towards the giant obelisk of Collies Pinnacle and to cut a long story short, we didn't make it much further.

The approach to Church Door Buttress

 Despite good intentions and an early start, Findlay, and I arrived at midnight with a rather knackered Linsday  A first abseil and a long evening descending in the dark certainly brought out the inner comedian, and being greeted by a band of blazing students stumbling out of the Clachaig certainly cheered us up! Needless to say, I have never eaten a tub of cold chilli mince so quickly and feel almost prepared for winter climbing!

Acrocarpous.. megasporangium? (insert Latin phrases)

Findlay looking unimpressed

Pitch 1 of crypt route before abseling from the chockstone..

Sunday morning began with broad sunshine and a delightfully short approach. While scrambling up curved ridge the intricacies of the buttresses are revealed, with towering spires  and deep cut gullys. The routes are generally short and impressively steep, offering momentous views across the  expanse of Rannoch moor.   

He needed no convincing!

Curved Ridge

The perfect collumnar slants of  Agags Groove are some of the best mountain climibing I've done - steep and exposed, with carved nut placements, clean rock and easy climbing. It was a delight to  climb, without fretting about direction or difficulty and feeling totally absorbed in the consistency of the route.

Stevie high on pitch 3

Kascia topping out on her first mountain route!

We topped out on Stob Dearg as the sun set over the western Isles and descended to the prehistoric groan of horny stags reverberating around the coire. The long drive home was split perfectly by a large Punjabi curry and an excellent back massage courtesy of Sarah. 

Sunset from Stob Dearg.

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