Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Catch up!

For the past few days my net connection at home has been down, but now I'm back online and able to briefly recount my adventures of the past week.

On the Wednesday and Thursday just past we went on a road trip out East, visiting the Dunkeld crags and also Glen Clova. Some nice climbs were done, but I was not on my best form after having failed a couple of routes (Staircase at Polldubh and Cuticle Crack at Dunkeld). Also the weather was extremely hot and sticky and initially I was without chalk. Getting badly lost and scared on a VDiff did not help matters, and I decided I was not best suited to lead anything else. The three classic routes at Clova--Parapet Route, Flake Route and the Central Corner--were all difficult for me on second, as my confidence was shot. However, I did lead the excellent but easy Three J's Chimney as my last route of the day.

Saturday was the main event of the week. My new nailed climbing boots finally arrived, and I took them for a spin up Aonach Dubh. I ended up creating a new half-route by appending an excellent arete of unrecorded rock on No.2 Gully Buttress to the existing climb of B Buttress Ordinary Route.

The nailed boots proved to be superb on 'traditional' mountaineering ground, despite the fact that the nailing pattern is not specifically designed for climbing. I am going to fix a new set of nails around the edges of the soles to make them even better on small holds.

My impressions of the nailed boots so far:

Advantages: Superior climbing performance on wet, dirty or icy rock. Improves your technique. Better edging ability than any other climbing footwear I have ever used.

Disadvantages: Less durable and require more care. More limited lifespan. More difficult to smear or climb on slabs. Slightly less comfortable walking on roads.

All round, I love them and have big plans for them when the winter season comes around again.

Photos from Dunkeld and Clova

No.2 Gully Buttress Climb

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