Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Diary of an idiot Part 3

It aint half hot mum!

Kit sorted, camp sorted, food sorted…its climbing o’clock! Just next to Camp 4 there is a small crag called swan slab, an extremely popular road side venue. We decided to head there with the little light that was left and cram a few routs in, to get a feel for Yosemite slabs and cracks, we were very aware that the style of climbing here with very different to what we had been training on back in the UK, and that caution should be exercised. So with in minutes of getting my shoes on I had soloed up one of the route and was stuck! The next 10 minutes of my life involved cramped calves a hastily build belay and a one handed bow line (TIT).

The following day went with out to much drama, we headed out to do a few short routes, still getting used to the rock style and found ourselves cruzing up a fantastic 4 pitch route with everything from delicate (but easy slabs) to immaculate hand cracks, Matt did have a bit of a moment. As we were finding the going particularly easy and our pace quite fast, we may have overlooked checking where the route went and when Matt shouted down for me to check the route description I may have applied a similar hast to that of my driving on the previous day… And I MAY of told Matt to head up right towards an arête when perhaps I should have told him to head up left in to the corner… Anyway after grinding to an alarming halt after a sizable run out on a blank arête, I applied my full Sherlock Holms style detecting skills to the problem and solved it (Go me!), it turns out we were on pitch 3 not 2 (Ooo how I laughed…. To myself)

Simple solution, Matt had to down climb some cheeky friction moves on the arête and a slab below, with the real chance of taking a large wipper that would see him crashing on to the belay and invading my personal space! And possibly spilling the Haribo everywhere.. After he arrived (safely) at the NEXT belay, I followed, enjoying the cracks and slabs (secretly vowing to pay more attention to how many belays we have on each route.)

On arriving at the belay with Matt I could see he had gone an impressive red colour, the kind of colour the extremely obese go after climbing stairs. But Matt was neither obese nor had he been climbing stairs!? It turns out that away from the cool protection of the corner the arête was rather desolate and extremely hot. I left Matt pondering as to weather guiding on Skye in several months of sideways stinging rain was the optimum acclimatization for climbing in 40 degree heat? The finishing crack was perfect hands and fists all the way. After topping out and eating our lunch of sardines and flat bread it became clear that the heat was having serious effects on Matt and we decided to head back to the valley and shelter as apposed to going up onto the 5 pitch route above that was drenched in the full heat of the day.

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