A Storm Brewing

As I get ready to travel to the Cairngorms this week, I thought I’d test WordPress for Blackberry.

Unfortunately, a depression which is making its way off the Atlantic will coincide with this visit, bringing with it rain and warmer temperatures.

That’s the nature of the Scottish winter beast. Conditions and weather can vary vastly from week to week, let alone year to year.

Thw challenge is to make the most of it, and I expect there will be good opportunities for foul weather navigation practice…

More soon.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

He Who Dares

Oxwich Bay in the rain and wind

He who dares wins, goes the motto of the Special Air Service, but in our case, we got thoroughly wet…

In spite of the fierce depression that has been battering the UK for the past few days, Tom and I took a chance and headed back to the Gower. Our thinking was that the deep frontal system might blow through more quickly than expected, as the forecast was to improve today.

Crossing Pennard Pill

This was not the case. We took a look at Great Tor East, but the rock was running with water, and we got a thorough soaking. Out of interest, we then walked across to Three Cliffs and took a look at the classic line of Scavenger VS 4c. One for another time.

Despite not climbing, it is healthy to take a daring attitude, otherwise there can be a tendency to be held captive by the experience and opinion of others, or the given, accepted advice. Sometimes you just have to throw that all out the window, get outside and have a look for yourself.

Whilst most sensible climbers are winter climbing in Snowdonia, Scotland or on the sofa, we seem to be an anomaly. To be fair, though, we spent Saturday afternoon at Dynamic Rock in Swansea, which was a valuable opportunity to work on technique.

Three Cliffs: Scavenger follows the crack and corner on the right of the cave mouth

Little Tor, Gower

Getting to grips with Twinkle

During a lull in the onset of the wet and windy weather here in South Wales, I snatched an outing to Little Tor on the Gower peninsula for further personal climbing to put towards the SPA.

Lead climbing, as I have mentioned before, is to a large extent about the mind, and I my head was full of irrelevant thoughts, which made it hard to concentrate: ongoing personal circumstances, the choice of venue, the state of the tides, the weather forecast, to name a few. However, perhaps the biggest burden was being responsible for another. I was out with Josh, who has had previous experience, but somehow the burden of responsibility was on my shoulders, and I just did not feel relaxed. Suffice to say that all of these factors affected my climbing.

That is not to make excuses, as I know that I was in a rush to tick off the routes, rather than use the opportunity to its fullest to focus on gear placements and movement, for example. One important area for improvement for me is to focus mentally on mapping out moves at crucial points in the climb, and not get ahead of myself or unnecessarily far above gear in an attempt to get to the top quickly. I think I struggled on both my leads because of this, thinking that because they were Severes, I did not need to concentrate.

Anyway, looking back at the photos, it was a good outing for training and development purposes, as I highlighted areas for further work. And on that note, we found a DMM Wallnut No. 4 (gold) at the top of Little Star Wall. I really do not need it, so if it belongs to you, feel free to get in contact for its return.

The routes we did were:

Twinkle, Scout Crack, Central Flake and Right Corner

Sunset over the Gower

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