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Culdaff on a Wet September Day

Date: 8th Sept 2007
Submitted by: Anthony Feeney

George and I had arranged to do something on Saturday to keep in shape for our Ben Nevis trip the following week. Owey, Belshade and Crockanaffrain were all touted as possible venues for a bit of Saturday climbing, but were discounted because of distance, midges and lack of local knowledge respectively. Plus George's car had broken down and I had a small child to contend with so we settled on Culdaff, which neither of us has visited since the ClimbFest anyway.

There was a clinging oul mist drifting in from the sea, with a hefty stench of seaweed but we started on the customary Orange Blossom (HS 4b) and found the rock not too bad. I volunteered to lead Grecian Gift (VS 4c) using a few borrowed pieces of George's kit and regretted not using my own when I couldn't place anything immediately before the crux. When my feet left me in the wet conditions I hung on to the top two pockets while a nervous George kept watch and Eoin shouted from below "Be careful Daddy!" A few expletives later I found my feet, placed a nut above the crux and topped out. Phew!

As it threatened to rain, then shine, then maybe rain again, George led Shiny Cossacks, a wonderful HVS 5a that I'd never done before, well deserved of it's 3 stars. Getting my leg onto the cracked ledge in the middle section is one of the most acrobatic moves I've ever made. George followed this with Bean Bob(VS 4c) and I with Peapob(VS 4b), neither proving much difficulty, being old familiars by now. Pete Cooper turned up in time to do Peapob in trainers and a rope round the waist, grateful for the chance to do something but couldn't stay because of kiddies.

We finished the day on 10CC (E1 5b) which has a long runout on thin flakes to finish and that I had to rest on after the chimney. My first E1 seconding but I think I was a bit all over the shop. This very strenuous route left my arms aching all day Sunday. Scotland next. :) PS. Somebody got my friend out of Peapob and there used to be a rusty one stuck in Orange Blossom for ages that's now missing. Anyone know anything? I'm not looking for it back, just curious. Oh and some kid has defaced the rock at Cheatin Bitch with a permanent marker. For shame!

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