Friday, 10 July 2009

Rock climbing at Loudon Hill.

I spent a nice relaxing day at Loudon Hill in Ayrshire yesterday while poor old Bob was at work.

I made my own way down to meet up with Gavin and a colleague of his.Arrived at the crag at lunch time just as they were finishing Pulpit Arete on the pinnacle.Fraser,Gavin`s colleague,only had time for one more route.As he`s young, and has only ever climbed outdoors a few times, we thought it would only be proper to introduce him to the classic climb of the crag...the Edge.
Here`s a grainy old scan of the route taken by Bob years ago....





We soloed up the easy first pitch with Gavin leading the way.Ha...we had landed on the wrong side of the flake :) Not being in the least faint hearted,Gavin offered to try a new variation start.He traversed out left trying to get onto the bottom of the flake but gave up reluctantly after a fruitless 5 minutes.Here he is trying to lead us all to our doom...



That left two other options for our escape upwards.The Splits at E1 5b and Foxglove Chimney at Severe. I`m old enough to know that any route in which the word "chimney" appears is bound to be a desperate thrutch.However as Gavin was leading, it was his choice and we were doomed to grunt and curse upwards in the confines of Foxglove Chimney.It`s a lovely name for a climb and you would expect at least one redeeming feature.I suppose reaching the top would count as one :)
No pictures I`m afraid as I took my camera off my harness for safety`s sake and planted it deep inside the bowels of Fraser`s rucksack :) Interesting guy is Fraser.He composes music for a living and was rushing home to meet a deadline for the musical score for a documentary about puffins..

Anyway,when the young buck Fraser headed off,Gavin and I wandered up to the summit, myself on wobbly legs as it`s the first route I`d climbed in 3 years or so.It`s a fantastic wee viewpoint and we had lunch and looked over to the Arran peaks and the wonderfully named Distinkhorn.See below if you don`t believe me..!!

Click here for the mighty Distinkhorn


No rest for the wicked though....our pleasant little interlude was rudely interrupted by the arrival of Nicky who had driven down on hearing there was some rock climbing in the offing...and she was keen..!!
Quick thinking on my part to volunteer to take some photos meant that poor Gavin had to get geared up again :) Pulpit Crack,Epitaph and the awkward Cave Crack fell to them whilst I caught up on my tan,took the odd photo and done a bit of birdwatching and generally lazed around :)

Nicky leading Cave Crack...




A couple of videos...Nicky making short work of the overhanging at the top of Cave Crack..




Gavin on the crux move of Epitaph...

5 comments:

The Glebe Blog said...

Your trip to the States hasn't softened you up then Alex.!

blueskyscotland said...

My legs were like jelly afterwards Jim :)

Getting too long in the tooth for this stuff nowadays..

Nicole said...

Beautiful Pictures!

You know I went to school and got my degree for music composition :o)

It is amazing that you go out climbing like that! I am truly impressed!

fatdogwalks said...

For the first time in my life I have paid attention to someone rock climbing.

This is because, for the first time in my life, I am going climbing next week on the wall at Ratho. OK it's only the taster session J booked for me while checking our insurance policies. But if you want a laugh...

blueskyscotland said...

I can`t stand climbing walls Ken...only been twice.Once when the Glasgow one opened and once in Ullapool when it was pouring and I was bored :) Indoor and outdoor climbing is a bit like comparing draughts to chess.
If you do like it I`d be happy to accompany you on something easy in Glencoe if you like.It would be even better if you could cajole Captain Jack along as a load carrying Sherpa :-)