Now, back to the theme of that forum posting. It infered that too many climbers (the majority?) were too short sighted and lacking in ambition and/or originality to venture further afield than the Cairngorm Northern Coires (Coire an t-Sneachda and Coire an Lochain). I'm absolutely certain this is a wild generalisation but it is the case that these venues are undeniably popular. And for very good reasons.
|Jim on the first pitch of Bulgy
(Photo: Andy Inglis)
|Andy following pitch 1 of Bulgy
Now for me this is a problem, as I cannot seem to come to terms with climbing granite. I am a gritstone rock climber through apprenticeship. In summer I can shape my fingers, my body, my footwork to work with (rather than against) the often rounded and holdless rock. On the granite (which is'nt too far removed from gritstone in its characteristics), in winter, I'm clumsy. My footwork is inept and I struggle to seat my axes securely in rattly cracks. I am not significantly weaker than some top level winter wads I know, but the difference in our winter climbing abilities is staggering. It is down to technique and no where does this show itself more than on Cairngorm granite. Some people are naturally talented and some have acquired their ability through a long apprenticeship. Right now I feel like I am in the early stages of one of Thatcher's YTS schemes!
|Is this acceptable? Climbers on an out of condition "Auricle"
I have many winter climbing aspirations in less well trodden Coires of the Scottish Highlands and hopefully I will have the opportunity to realise some of these this season. But, when conditions and circumstances dictate I am also content to make the most of what is on offer in the "same old venues" and continue my Cairngorm granite apprenticeship.