Friday, 14 August 2009

First E5's

A few weeks ago after work a team from Nevisport including Gaz (pics) Keith (belayer) and Kaye (supposed moral support) headed up Glen Nevis for me to attempt my first E5 lead and solo. The heat on my proposed lead route made the friction for my left hand crap so instead it seemed wise to solo the E5 in the shade first. Gaz got into position for shots as Keith belayed me on a top rope warm up and Kaye watched from the distance. I dumped the gear and went through the now familiar process of switching off to all outside distractions, emotions, calming my mind, heartbeat and stomach and set off.I got to the point of no return and took a minute (I love this point in soloing) then made the committing move left, as I moved up with my right I could ,expectedly, feel my left hand coming off but caught the hold with my right, one more hard move and its easier ground,its over quickly. Brilliant route.

Soloing 'Where the Mood Takes Me' . All pics: Gary Caswell

Next up was the lead which I was strangely more nervous about. We headed down to Scimitar Buttress.We ran through the same prep as before, but while focusing on the route and doing a mental rehearsal Kaye sneaked up on me and scared the s***e out of me , not good for controlling my heartbeat.Anyway I chalked up, Keith prepared for probably his easiest belay ever, Gaz got ready for shots and Kaye sparked up.

Heading into the crux, Keith 'belays' and Kaye looks for a lighter

I took off up the route feeling fluid and comfortable.I get to the break for bomber gear feeling only a little tired,place it and get a rest on good holds.

Jamming my left forearm in to allow me to miss out a hold i couldn't get with my left!!

I crank my left arm in the jam and move off, very concious of the fact that a slip here would mean a certain compound fracture.I start to feel the pump on the remaining moves but try to remain smooth, I get to the top and it feels amazing to have done 2 E5s in a night. Credit has to go to all those with me though as without the right support these things just aren't possible


  1. Looking forward to reading more. What do you think You'll be on next in the glen?

  2. great to see your going strong kev
    hope your plannin the toolin rounds this winter
    have fun man

  3. Brilliant effort Kev and liking the blog. Just out of interest what was the second E5 you did on Scimitar? You haven't mentioned it by name. Any plans for Ajare, you were asking about it a wee while ago...

  4. Alright Kev, nice to see you got your blog started. Look forward to seeing what else you get up to. Looking to get back down to the fort to catch up with my sister so will hopefully see you about. Take it easy. Stewart

  5. Cheers lads..
    Dave I reckon Flight of The Snowgoose is next on the list for the Glen,if it stops pishin down.
    Ruairidh,Aye sure am mate, building my climbing wall in the Fort next week so start training then,shouldbe good.
    Niall,The second E5 was Precious Cargo, brilliant route.would love to get on Ajare too, just so much new rock down there too!!!!!
    Stewart,alright man??Aye we are all due another bevy in the bright lights of Fort Bill.

  6. Yikes,
    Snowgoose is v. scary...I had skyhooks but didn't tie them down, about as useful as two drawing'll need a cool day for that, some friction and slopey climbing...