What a couple of days, infact what a season its been on the West Coast. Its our first summer living in Fort William and we have been so lucky to enjoy a long and dry summer not to mention teaming up with allot of talented local climbers, for once it has all paid off!
Wednesday Kev, Dot, Dave, Sean and I went back to Wave Buttress. Kev was heading for a new route, Dave to repeat Cu Sith, Sean to document the day and Dot and I to try the project I have been battling with most of the summer. Kev had spotted a potential new line last week which initially didn’t look like much but has delivered a bold offering up a steep arête right at the far end of the crag. Its no secret that Kev likes his bold slabs but this was to be something quite different, having tried it myself it happens to be pretty steep through the crux which is protected by poor (shit) cams and one half in (half out) wire! Although it took a little more psyching up than usual Kev made the first ascent without falter to reward him with Smackaroonies (E5, 6a).
After continuously trying the project down the Glen and harvesting a whole load of motivation from Kev’s lead I was keen for a bit of success myself. Yesterday the usual suspects went down to the slab at Glen Shian which is soon to be featured in the new Highland Outcrops due out next year. To be honest I was thinking about onsight climbing but as it happened I dropped the crux move of Into the Light (E3, 6a) and didn’t want to ‘dog’ or work the route as I felt I still had a chance of a clean ascent. Dot fancied a bash at Into the Light so I turned my attention to Kev’s E6, 6b – The Rebellion.
As soon as I had linked it on the top rope I was hooked, this was a route I knew I could do as it had everything I like in my climbing. Small, sharp crimpy moves, many of which requiring the correct sequence to ensure you don’t blow it and take the HUGE whipper back to your belayer. You start off on the same line as Frustration holding onto 1/4 inch quartz ledges before heading straight up to place the only two pieces of gear on the route. From here the route steps slightly left and heads straight up into the blankness where you have to squeeze holds the width of match sticks before making a finger nail crux move right at the very top. It was pretty intense but amazing all the same, a route that is going to stick in my memory for many years to come. An amazing couple of days, greatest thanks to everyone involved!