On Thursday Mike and I headed west towards the good weather, full of psyche, hoping to make some progress on our sport projects at Steall. When we arrived in the Glen the sun was beaming down and the temps were high. With no wind the conditions were not looking good for redpointing but we still headed up to the crag in high spirits.
After warming up on Mikes’ crag-board I jumped on Leopold and checked how the warm conditions felt on the slopy crux section of the route. Despite being a bit sweaty, the moves felt ok and I was psyched to get the route sent.
After Mike had cranked out some wonder moves through the double roof on his project, I jumped back on Leopold and went for the send.
I managed to sick the powerful crux section and then swing right to the better holds that lead to the tricky top section. At this point there was a shred of hope that I would send the route on this try. I got some recovery back and then headed for the steep moves up the final section of the crack. But to my disappointment as I pulled through the last finger-lock (which was wet) and reached for the second last hold, my fingers slipped out of the wet crack and I took the fall, blowing my hopes of the send to away. No one likes slipping out of a wet crack!
Knowing I had plenty of time the next day to get the route I decided to rest up and when we returned to Fort William I bought some ammunition for my next redpoint attempt, this consisted of some super plus tampons to dry the final moves.
The next day after another fingerboard warm up session hanging from a low down bolt, I went for another send attempt on Leopold after Mike had bunged up the top crack with two tampax. This time everything went to plan and I ticked the route on my first shot of the day. Woohoo!
I was super psyched to get the route sent as it is a mega classic of the Glen and my first route at Steall Hut crag.
On Saturday, Mike, Dan Timmis and I headed off to check out a potential new bouldering venue on the West coast. It was good fun to try some new stuff and Mike and Dan managed to send some new problems at the crag, two new 7a+’s.
After losing most of my skin on Saturday, Mike and I returned to Steall for a quick route working session, which didn’t last very long. But it was fun to make the most of the good weather before heading back to a rainy Fife.
All in all it was a good trip and it was nice to be on the West for the four days of good weather. Whilst we were in the Fort we stayed at Dans’ and Kev Shields’ place, and It was awesome to hear what Kev had been working on over the last couple of days. So check out his blog for more info on his exploits. http://kevshieldsclimbing.blogspot.co.uk/