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Monday, 20 April 2009

Weekend of excitement Diabaig

The weather was looking fine and settled for the weekend, Paul was free and I couldn't be bothered with work, so we decided to head to a crag on the West coast that we had both been wanting to visit for a while, Daibaig. This steep slabby Gneiss cliff was developed my Andy Nisbet and Co. In the '80s and '90s. Not much for any climber operating under VS, most of the routes are of HVS/E1 grade, with a couple of E2s to go at.

We started the day on Route two a ****HVS. The first pitch containing a slabby crux move and the second a crack with some difficult over a bulge. Feeling confident I put forward the idea of giving Norhtunberland wall a pop. Described as top of the grade at E2 5c, I doubted it would be a pushover, it looks hard. We drew grass and I drew the short piece thus lost. Climbing was good, a couple of hard moves and the crux was reached. The way ahead wasn't obvious so i tried a couple of ways up then decided I had to go. Pulling up I lost footing and slipped with the rope around my foot wipping me upside down wondering what happened! Paul lowered me down, pulled through the ropes and gave it a bash himself, getting no further than me though giving it a good bash all the same.

Not wanting to let the fall get to me (and we had gear to retrieve!) we jumped on to Black streak, E1 5c. Paul led the crux crack well and I had a bold slabby start to the second pitch to contend with, good for getting the head back together.

Time was getting on so we headed down to the Pillar, E2 5b****. Paul led this in good style, no faffing with gear and not too much shouting! The upper part of this pitch is 5b move after 5b sometimes running out but never desperate.

We called it a day after that and enjoyed a couple of beers and a BBQ at the campsite where I got a fire going.

Sunday started even warmer. We met two climbers from Aberdeen that we knew, Jakie and Pete. Jakie was having fun on a severe. We headed out to look at Con con , HVS 5b, in the sun. Delicate crack climbing then a tricky flake topped with a slab made good climbing in 30m. This felt tricky on lead.

Route three, E1 5b, was next in line. Vegetated climbing led up to a traverse with a technical move took me to the scoop and some slabby climbing lay ahead. A grit style crack loomed above I had the crux so this should have been easy(ish). Not so, Paul climbed it well pulling off a Jack Russle (on leg) move after admitting that 'this is bloody painful'.

I was keen to lead the Pillar even though I seconded it the day before. I thought it would be a good idea for getting my head back in shape. It was, the climbing proved to be much more enjoyable on lead. A great route to end a fantastic, though painful, weekend.

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