|Date: mostly June
Submitted by: Des O'Connor
hey you guys :) just a wee update on a collection of day trips to keep our logbook active. Lean Les Ross, Shane "Johnny Cash" Taggart and myself out looking for adventure and escape, far from the madding crowd.
Day 1 - Cruit, we went back in a few weeks after our climbfest to do a few routes that we didn't get to at the weekend. To the Far West Buttress and Les lead Cruit Crack a lovely trending severe above the sea and we came back around for me to take us up Fan Man HS4b, with a committing sidestep & pull to get onto the route. We finished on the buttress up the delicate slab (no protection) off The Edge HS4b.
A quick shufty over to the New Dawn Wall and Les lead us up and through Greedy Pig Groove, a manageable VS 4C over two pitches. We then finished the day with me leading/thrusting up Best Possible Taste HS4b (not in best possible style).
Day 2 - Fairhead, Im ashamed to say it, but it was my first trip! Im kinda a west of the bann guy:) so goin north east was a change. Anyway my fate was in Les's hands, we met up with George, Sonja,Eoin and Alfie. Down the longest abseil I've ever done and Les leads the Black Thief . Now at this juncture I have to point out that these VS routes are monsters for an ordinary working man like me! I hope to go back and lead at least one of them. Les goes on to lead The Fence and The Curlew. I come up behind me with no grace and much "pain". I note George is climbing like spiderman and Sonja is giving full commitment on The Offence. I go home feeling like I need to re-group and re-focus:)
Day 3 - Culdaff, having not visited Brazil Rock in ages myself and Shane set up a few routes waiting for Les to arrive. I led Expertise 4a and it was tetchy enough for a first route of the day! By then Les had arrived to find the two boys climbing in the only shaded part of Culdaff! Shane ran up Bunagee Boys and I pulled off a lump of wall comin up behind me, Les on approaching the route says "look at the shape of this, you pulled half the wall off!". Les then led Broadbinn's Emporium HS4b whilst having a sneaky look and step over onto Croca Crolla (thats a job for another day with probably double ropes).
It was getting too shady and we could see the main head wall in bright sunshine so we swapped over and I led Orange Blossom HS4b, there is something about that freakin route that gets me - last time I seconded it, I got pumped as well!. Les sought out Beanbob VS4c to finish the evening - or not quite... as Les slipped on the walk-off route and sent his little finger on a right angle tangent from the rest of his hand. He was just telling Shane about the grips on the heels of the shoes he had :)
Day 4&5 - Croc an Affrain .Two evenings over two weeks and myself and Shane eye up different routes in our pay grade and we manage Daddy Fox and Mulroy Sev4a, Nutscractcher HS4b(felt like I was out on space in the crux on this one!), Easy Street HS4b, Cantabrian Cracks HS4b, The Great Corner VS 4b and Springbok VS 4c. Two great evenings with some starred routes and delicate movement. We ran into Patrick and his lad - who were moving like Jagger!
Day 6 - Dungloon/Kinnego Bay. Last to report, after locating the wrong beach and 60 mins of coasteering over shore boulders we realised we were in the wrong spot! a quick phone call to Kevin McGee and he put us right. We got in and the missle and after much locating and milling about we found what we came for - the Fuschia wall came but we managed Pan Sev4a, Die Wrecked S3a, Clingin in the Rain HS4b and Fuschia Hs 4b - a great start to this route.
So 4b - 4c is about where we are at the minute (not counting Les of course, he on a different pay grade!) . Rock on!