Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Rebellion

Since I climbed 'Frustration'  E5 6a out past Glenfinnan back in Nov 2010 I've been wondering about doing a direct finish to the route ,straight up the slab! Today that eventually became a reality. We left the Fort at 7 this morn to get in before the rock got to warm and it worked out well. I've been on the route a few times since moving back up the other week and I knew it was time to get back on the serious sharp end if I want to climb E8 before my next operation.

Quick drink before an apprehensive first top rope attempt

The first time I top roped it today felt a bit iffy so I was having slight reservations but got on a second time and it felt as good as these things do. I knew on the route there were a few moves that I couldn't afford to make any mistakes, I suppose that's why it appealed to me. I decided the best course of action was to just go for it. I listened to 3 tunes on my ipod, got into my headspace, tied in and set off.

Just about to place the only gear on the route

I climbed up to where the E5 goes left, took a few seconds and committed to getting to the only gear placement as I knew I could bottle it there in relative safety. I placed the wire and the semi good cam, no need to think too much, this is all I want in life. Climbing up past the first crux felt great, better than on top rope, I've really missed that feeling of utter focus and commitment. The tiny holds are just enough for me to balance my way up, into fingertip hand holds and toe smears but it feels easy in comparison with what's ahead.

Just on the scary (for me) high crux, well above the gear.

I reach the real 'on/off' crux and move quickly so as not to let the fear build, right toe on a tiny smear, part of  left hand pushing down on a sloper I become totally enveloped by the climb. I reach slowly and carefully high with my right hand and get the small but positive hold.Not far to go, relax, for god sake hope my left hand doesn't sweat in the growing heat.

On the final 2 fingernail move

Reaching the last section I chillout and chalk up, pull up, switch feet on another smear using small hand holds, get the 2 finger nails on and go for the final hold, get it and feel totally alive.

Myself, Glenda and Dave after the ascent

Having a swift dram to celebrate. It was called 'Mt Everest Whisky' described as "A blend of Scottish Whisky and Nepalese alcohol" it was simply moonshine!! Great day, thanks to Glenda for the pics and Dave for the belaying.

The Rebellion-E6 6b, Glenfinnan. Climb as for Frustration, at first horizontal break head direct up the slab, gear in right crack, no further use of crack or anything to its right.


  1. Nice one mate! Wait did you place gear? Must be gettin soft in your old age haha. Give me a text soon. Al

  2. Ace man! Looks like a beautifully exposed and pants filling experience. Good luck on the rest of your summer adventures!