Monday, 14 December 2009

Good Days & Decisions

On Friday I joined a team of Scots, Irish and Welsh for a jaunt over the Carn Mor Dearg. We knew as soon as we arrived at the car park it was going to be a great day, the kind that you live for. The views were clearer than I've ever seen. If I hadn't already made the move North then I think this day would've kicked me into gear to live here.
Heading up to the beginning of the ridge
Summit of the Ben-(Tam, Johann, Lorenzo, Shaun and Hannah)

It felt great to have a day out with no putting pressure on myself to climb hard but the constant 'voice' at the back of my head was nagging at me about having taken no risk for a while now. For a while I've been toying with the idea of attempting The Hurting XI/11 in the Cairngorms but as with most things in my life it was a 50/50 idea. I really got into physically and mentally preparing for it but knew there would be issues from the start. I had belayed Dave on it and saw footage and pics etc so I knew of one section with moves I would not manage. I thought about trying to have an abseil inspection but its not enough for me as I never know how a sequence will leave me (possibly stuck due to not switching etc). I thought about the possibility of headpointing and it seemed to be the only way I could achieve this grade but I was deeply conflicted about this un-ethical approach and the fact that I felt in a way I was using my hand as an excuse to basically cheat my way up a route. It has tormented me for two years but eventually I came up with a plan the other day that allows me to cut away this head f**ck and lets me maintain the purity of Scottish winter climbing.
The torment begins in my head above the Hurting

This is the hardest climbing decision I've Ever had to make but I think its the right one.I think..........

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