Friday, 12 February 2016

Pale Rider

Plan a had a black mid section (and it was windier)
As I have been taking a 'working holiday' up in the North West for the last few weeks with the intention of getting out climbing on my days off.  The last two weekend were either a wash out or I just couldnt face another day in grim weather.  Instead I spent my days off in the comfort of a warm bouldering wall, a friends make-shift gym or hanging out in Inverness with friends.
Murdoch killing time by counting spikes and wondering how grippy Iain's knees are!?

At last the stars aligned...just.  I spoke to my friend Murdoch a while ago, hatching a vauge plan to go climbing but my only problem was that I had to drop clients off at 6.30am...meaning I couldnt meet until 7am.  A late start...a late finish.  Maybe not the most desirable prospect for Murdoch who like to get back in good time.  But Murdoch already had a plan with Iain but mentioned that I was keen and they were both happy for me to tag along.  These two usually end up dong really hard routes and finishing in the dark so surely with a walk in starting at 7.45am they would settle on something easy and we can get up and down and back in time for dinner.  Obviously it was their barbecue, and it smelt good, so I was happy to tag along and go with the flow.  Feeling pretty fit from the last few weeks work I sent a pace to try and tire them out then we could go and have a nice 'gentlemans' day out.  Something I have not been able to do this winter on my days off.
We were both hoping he didn't fall off here, neither of us wanted new air vents in out clothes.
We arrived at the bottom of Pale Rider on Beinn Eighe's Eastern Ramparts.  I have climbed this route in summer and knew it would be a hard line.  What did I expect from a day out with these two.  The first pitch looked pretty straight forward and before I could say 'I'll do it', Iain was on his way.  It looked about grade VI but as Iain took a wee while on it, it became apparent it wasn't.  Pretty glad I had a top rope on it.  Murdoch dispatched the steep and relatively positive second pitch leaving me overheated and pumped after I seconded it and as Iain was already at the belay it would be much quicker if he led the third.  Again I was happy.  It was their barbecue after all and I don't feel fit for leading hard routes this season.  We topped out into a blizzard but it was still light, we managed to find our rucksacks sans map and made our way halfway down the hill before putting our kit away.  Making a return to the van with only flattening the batteries in our head torches for 15 minutes.  So a nice relaxed start, a speedy approach, 3 pitches of wild climbing and back in time for a nice relaxed evening.  Perfect day off.  Thanks Murdoch and Iain for letting me come out and having a late start.
Iain doing what he does best
Murdoch rested on my leg, then farted on my leg at this point, I was not impressed.

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