Monday 21 November 2011

Gorilla's in the Mist!

Another week of work draws to an end..... another week of watching the never ending autumn and warm wet weather fronts drift by. And yet, for one more week, all i can think about is climbing the wall of dark, dank, dripping, man-made hole in the ground..... bizarre to the outsider yes, but not to those who know the challenges that the cave provides! And that cave would be the Tube at Birnam Quarry, Scotlands premier tooling venue, and probably most frequented crag this autumn! The target....the Fast and the Furious, D/M10/+/quite hard.

Yesterday was another crack at the Fast and Furious for Neil, Jim and myself, with 1 significant difference from the previous 3 or 4 sessions, this time we knew it was on! No more pussy footing around trying to just make 1 more move, or 1 more clip, today was Team sending day..... or so we thought! Conditions were unusual with mist hugging the trees and in the cave, more drips than usual and strange air to the place...... and not just in that corner of the cave! Gorillas in the mist indeed!

First up, get the clips and rope in. A couple of lasso's later and the rope was in.... small bonus, someone must have been smiling down on me, but then I should have already known it was going to be a good day after seeing the finest ever example of a 'walk of shame(r)' at 8.30am that morning in Aberdeen! Truely amazing! Female, early twenties, short skirt, terrible hair, stumbling across the road looking like an extra from Shawn of the Dead, as I brake to avoid running her over...... although by the look on her face, she might have been happier if I had just put her out of her misery!!!!

Anyway, back to business..... a quick pull up through the first few moves, back to the ground,then 1st RP of the day. Boom! Route done! Amazing what happens when you know the route inside out, your muscles know what to do, you have the confidence to execute the moves in the right sequence and you can just hang on long enough!

Jim Styling his way up!

Neil chilling out at a semi rest.

Now for support team, photography and belaying duties to complete the Team send, which was not to be, with Neil managing a phenomenal effort to deny himself the tick while having the rope and lower off clip in the same hand..... NOOOO.... sooooo close! Another sterling effort of smooth climbing by Jim took him past his previous high point to a clip from the top, although really he loves the place so much that he is willing to forego the tick just so he is motivated to return! ;-)

As with some projects, the relief of completion often outways the enjoyment, and in my case that is definitely true. Knowing that winter was on its way and having lots of other commitments coming up soon, it felt now or never..... maybe I just need that pressure sometimes!

Suppose I should now concentrate on the other big thing on the go at the moment......hmmm oh time!

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