Monday, February 11, 2008

Summer arrives in the North West Highlands.

A Typical February View in the North West Highlands.
What a day! The weather today has been positively tropical, with a forecast of a balmy 15degrees and wall to wall sunshine I headed off to the North West Highlands for a spot of trad climbing and some Mediterranean style bolt clipping.
The first venue of the day was a crag called Aztec tower, which is an outcrop of metamorphosed sandstone just north of Gairloch. The routes were clean and quite slabby in nature and we did several lines. The guide book had them down as HVS, VS and even E1 though we both thought these grades were a little on the soft side. Still good to be feeling strong on the first proper rock trip of the year.
Enjoying a VS route called Cortes.
Martin solos an E1 Conquistador.

After lunch we headed over towards grass crag a small bolted outcrop of Gneiss about 5 minutes away, these routes provided a complete contrast to the morning with some very steep moves and painfully sharp holds.
We did a few routes on this crag, the grades make no comparison to the wall and the routes felt a good two grades harder. I was pleased to work 6b+, to get it clean by the end of the afternoon, and onsight a few 6a`s which felt an achievement due to the hard nature of the grades. Still the winner of the day had to be the weather, and although it was niggling away at the back of my mind that this sun and warm winds would be stripping the snow from the higher crags. I have to admit to enjoying climbing with the warm sun on my back.
Excellent preparation for Norway and two days of Ice Climbing I think!
On Human Sacrifice HVS 5a