Sociable climbing

Sociable climbing

What a day to be in the Highlands – dry rock, blue skies and great craic. Kev, Joe, Dave and I went back to Wave Buttress today, all with plans of our own and plenty of psych to see it through. Dot also joined us about midday which made two rope teams and a spare person to catch the action on camera. Joe and I kick started the day with a top rope on Edgehog (E3, 6a). I didnt find the route all that inspiring to be honest, so after just one go I was keen to move onto something else whilst Joe dialled the route a little more. Kev and Dave were keen to straighten out Kev’s project which sits between Edgehog and the corner of Teenoso. After a bit of cleaning and some dicey looking moves the sequence was discovered. Beaming smiles all round as Kev knew the route would now go as a plumb line, straight down the slab!

Kev working his project

Kev working his project

Straightening the line out....

Straightening the line out….

And linking it

And linking it

Dot, Joe and I ended up working a new route which Joe had started on a previous visit. Luckily this runs to the right of Teenoso which made it a very sociable day with everyone passing beta back and forth between tries. With all their experience, Kev and Dave managed to decide on potential grades for both routes which are thought to be in the mid to high E grade and Kev’s coming in at a punchy tech 6c.

Dave starting up Romancing the Stone

Dave starting up Romancing the Stone

With everyone feeling keen as mustard, Dave decided to try and onsight Romancing the Stone (E5 ,6a). It looked bold from the ground, confirmed by Dave finally getting some bomber gear a good 3/4 the way up the route. Smooth as silk to watch, which clearly rubbed off on Joe who went on to climb his first E3 with Edgehog – a bloody good effort as its certainly solid for the grade.

Joe getting to grips with Edgehog

Joe getting to grips with Edgehog

Dot and I took the final opportunity to rigg the rope over On the Beach, a suberb E5 I have  been working the last couple of visits. I was quietly chuffed to feel quite confident up to the halfway break and still continued on failing fingers to manage my first clean link with some left in reserve. Dot, Kev and Joe all gave the route a shot before we packed up and called it a day.

Me managing to put up a fight - On the Beach

Me managing to put up a fight – On the Beach – pic Kev Shields

Sunny, dry, windy, success and no midgies, what a superb day!

2 Responses to “Trying hard!”

  1. Sense

    Pity you’ve chosen to avoid the challenge by top-roping these routes first. The real beauty and quality of something like OTB (and Edgehog, and Triode) is the intensity and discovery on the onsight lead. Avoiding the onsight on well-estabilished classics isn’t a progression in standard, it’s a regression in style (obviously it’s very different for people putting up new routes on unclimbed rock). There is a really great progression of mid-extreme leads in Glen Nevis to work your way up: Fang, Plague Of Blazes, Diode, Land Ahoy, Crack Attack, Edgehog, Walter Wall, etc etc….surely a more rewarding genuine progression.

    • verticalfever

      I appreciate the skill and intensity of climbing onsight is a pure and very rewarding way to complete a rock route. Over the years I have managed to climb pretty much all of my routes onsight and although my climbing record in Glen Nevis is less than other areas, I have still managed to sample some of the fine low to mid Extreme routes the Glen has to offer, all onsight. Climbing Edgehog or any other route on a top rope before leading it is every climber’s decision. I climb routes because I like the route and because I’m inspired to put the effort into trying to lead them. Yes, I have some routes I would only ever want to onsight however, my first attempt at an E5 such as ‘On the Beach’ I want the safety net of learning the route before committing to the lead. This is clearly not the way you want to spend your time on rock but I’m positive it isn’t going to detract from my success when finally leading OTB.


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