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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Electric blue and a Scottish VS

Despite a 'showers' forecast Adam, John and I went to Craig Stirling. It is up to 30 m high and the venue of the Aberdeen Deep Water Soloing festival. Take a parachute and a dry suit.

John was happy to belay me on Electric blue E1 5a** on the left hand side of the West buttress (the buttress on the right). Here is a short video...
video
It started on barnacles and wet rock, definately a turn off for me...

... but the rock was dry higher up with some great climbing and sufficient protection. The finish was steep...

... and I struggled at times a bit to find the holds...

... before topping out. Btw. Adam took the photos. John was the first to second and raced up itbeing in top form at the moment.
But Adam won the price of the evening for, to my knowledge, his first clean ascent of an E1. Brilliant effort! After that John fancied a no star VS that makes even distinguished veterans of the art shudder. It all starts with an innocent corner up to a ledge...

... but then there is a leaning crack requiring an awkard mantleshelf at the top onto a ledge with no space above due to the leaning wall above. Invariably even stylish performers end up in a 'Venus of Urbino' position (the wrong way round though). Compare http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_of_Urbino with John. I did the same whereas Adam had a power grunt, a rest and then attacked it frontally.

After that a crumbly top out to give it a good Scottish VS.

This little cutie is definately recommended as a first VS lead!
HW

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