Saturday, 25 June 2011

Newtonhill North 25/06/11

A slight let down climbing on the mainland after Pabbay and Mingulay but a good day out nontheless on some quality wee routes with much entertainment for their seemingly short appearance! I had a good day and was pretty psyched to flash Acapulco which is a steep little E1 in the middle of the face with some great moves. Steepness was the order of the day!

On the way home the sunset was absolutely incredible; the whole sky was lit up bright pink/purple, I got set up just in time and managed to catch the last rays. It really was crazy ten minutes before I took this shot!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Pabbay and Mingulay 08/06/11-18/06/11

After hauling all our gear out the car, onto the train, off the train, onto another train, off the train, across a car-park to the boat, meeting up with everyone and hugely increasing the kit pile, heaving it all onto the boat, heaving it off the boat, struggling to lift it onto a last boat, off the last boat and up the beach we had finally arrived in Pabbay!

After setting up camp and getting everything sorted, aka laying out all my tinned peaches, we settled in and got to know everyone a bit better as I only knew 4 people on the trip before going. After a good night's sleep and waking up to the sounds of crashing waves and birds we headed across the island to Poop Deck having a look at The Priest/Prophet on the way. This pretty much set the scene for the rest of the trip - steep juggy climbing, blue skies (apart from the brief hail shower!), and seas. It was pretty incredible! Everyone had a good day getting stuck into some routes with Greg, Adam, Ed and Swail crushing (again another theme to continue for most of the trip!) I was feeling a bit tired but managed to tick off the first routes from my ticklist which was great!

We had been planning on going to Pink Walls but with the weather being super windy we decided to head to the more sheltered Bay Area. This was a cool area and again we could see Basking Sharks and Minke Wales floating around close to the shore! Ed, Swail and Adam got on the amazing looking "Herbrudean" but I was feeling tired from yesterday and had a pretty rubbish day getting scared above dodgy gear on an E1 further right!

Whilst we were climbing yesterday Donald the boatman advised that the weather was changing and so he would come and pick us up a day earlier to change islands. With this in mind we headed to Pink Walls where Adam was super keen to try "In Profundum Lacu". I was knackered (no one told me how much walking there was!) so was happy to belay and take photos. The position was totally incredible and it is definitely one of the most impressive places and especially cliffs I have ever been.

We were presented with another incredible sunset on the way back to the campsite. What an incredible place!

After transferring Islands we were all a bit knackered but Eddie and I headed across the Island for a mostly unsuccessful trip in terms of climbing but it was a great experience being attacked by the fleet of Bonxies and again just incredible being in this amazing and untouched situation in the middle of nowhere!

Today we headed to Guarsay Mor, The Boulevard and had a great day climbing a whole bunch of routes. Adam was busting out more moves to earn his nickname "shoulders"! It was a scorcher and almost everyone got burnt!

Dun Mingulay today and Sula with Ed, an amazing route with a totally epic second pitch! Slightly loose on the top pitch as Latham and Liam found out when I dropped a shoe-box sized piece of rock from the top of the last pitch nearly 100m abo
ve them! And there were some other strange items falling from the top of the cliff courtesy of Swail and Adam!

Resting today as totally knackered but we managed to see some incredible wildlife up close and get some beautiful fish as well!

There were plenty of Puffins around to keep us entertained in the evening too!

Today Adam and I walked across to Guarsay Mor again but after sitting in rain showers and very high winds we decided to call it a day and head back to camp to finish off any remaining provisions. The Puffins were back too!

Back home via a series of trains and lifts. What an incredible trip, and what Islands! It really did live up to the huge hype that surrounded it! WOW!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Training 02/06/11

After I finished my exams I got a last minute invite to fill a spot on a trip to Pabbay and Mingulay and I didn't hang about to grab this opportunity to go to one of the places I've always wanted to visit since I started climbing!

As well as some training at Ratho I've been trying to get out and about as much as possible and get some mileage in; Bowden, Clova, Cambusbarron was a good week followed by some more training.

Then Galloway (disappointing) and up to the complete opposite end of the country at Rosehearty the following day capped off with a short day at Hawkcraig to continue the sea theme before a bit of rest and heading off to Pabbay and Mingulay! Super psyched!