Sunday, 24 October 2010

Glenmore STS

I spent the weekend at Glenmore Lodge for that leg of the STS. It was good crack speaking to some of the familiar faces and new people on the circuit. I teamed up with my old mentor Scott Muir for the day, we haven't climbed together in years so that was cool.

Scott and me after the comp

After the comp I had a talk to do in front of Lodge staff and competitors. they showed 'Single Handed' first which gave me an extra 20 minutes in which to get nervous, people keep telling me it gets easier doing this but it never seems to. However the film and talk were well received which is good and I got some good feedback.
Event organisers Pete and Neil "Re-Hydrating" after a hard days work..........

Monday, 18 October 2010

Busy Days

It's been a busy few days here. The prospect of getting an operation on my ankle next year that could lay me out for 6 months has really got me motivated to train and climb as much and as hard as possible, well I think it's the thought of that and probably the good circle of people I have around me at the moment.
So Last Wednesday it was up the Glen with Dot and Suzy for a look at a few routes and a bit of top roping on Cubbys routes at Upper Scimitar where Dot surprised herself by cleanly climbing Jahu (E6 6b) first attempt on top rope.

Suzy leading at Wave Buttress

On Thursday it was up to Wave Buttress to check out a line Dave had recommended (Jodicus Direct E7) I got quite high but couldn't hold one move with my left hand high up and I would've hit the deck from around 12m at that point so time to be sensible and forget it. Suzy then got on her first trad lead for a bit and cruised through. Then it was over to Steall Crag for Dave to try his uber hard project in the failing light.

Saturday Dave and I headed to a crag discovered by Donald King to check out some new lines. It was a stunning day. Both of us worked our routes but by the time we sussed them out we were tired, my feet were sore from so much time in rock shoes and we decided to saunter home.

Dave on his line, potential E9 7a, the "easier" one of his projects here

Today it was down to Glencoe and Curved Ridge with Johann who is logging days on the hill for his tickets. I'm glad Outdoor Research had got my new shells to me as it was minging up there. It was a good laugh though which helped when we were both frozen and suffering with borderline Hot Aches. Between all these things I've been trying to work, write lectures and train for Ireland and winter. Too much fun to have and not enough time...............

On Curved Ridge in the rain/sleat/hail.........Good times

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Axe Time

It's that time of year again, too dark to go up the Glen after work and the pressing need to to get strong for winter projects sends us to Al's basement once again. Dreading the first serious training session tonight I met up with Sam, Rich and Gillian and proceeded to remind ourselves of how much axe training hurts.

Rich points out the next moves for Gillian

I wasn't going to start training till after the Ireland trip but with upcoming involvement in the Scottish Tooling Series I thought I had better do a bit of training. I'm doing a short talk after the Glenmore comp on the 23rd Oct which will be about my time in volved with Sport Mixed, how I got involved and the culmination of that chapter of my climbing with soloing Fast & Furious.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


Went up the Glen again to get some shots on Fingertip Finale from a different angle this time the other day for Mountain Boot Company who are the UK distributors of my new clothing sponsor Outdoor Research. They also supply my Scarpa and Grivel kit which is handy.

I had to visit the Shire for 2 days there and hated it. Around the point that these pictures were taken I happily relaxed and had a conversation with Suzy, I dont know what it says about me that I felt more relaxed here than in many a social situation and I felt safer than I did walking around my stinking home town. I'm not one for regret but I do wish I had moved to Fort William years ago as I feel like I wasted a lot of time in Ayrshire with people I no longer even bother with.

Both pics by Suzy Devey

The pre hard climb mentality kicked into high gear yesterday, sleepless nights and even when I do drop off I'm dreaming of Ireland. I constantly go through the moves. The commitment I will give to this route means I have to commit to being selfish and blocking out other stuff/people in my life as it will do me no good on the route. For the first time on a hard route though I'm not just thinking of the cathartic feeling afterwards but of actually being on the climb and soaking up the joy of the moves. Feeling as psyched as I was for Firestone last year but in a more positive way.....................