Sunday, September 11, 2005

╪ Hebrides, Bailey...westerly or sou'westerly..Thunderdome force 8 to 9 ╪

The best guarded secret on the island is almost ready. New sport routes & some gobsmackingly thin trad at an awesome crag in the Northern reaches, fashioned in solid black sandstone looming high above the North tip of the Raasay Sound, it now contains sport from f7a to f8c, a stack of E numbers & even some winter gullies, but not much bouldering. It's all going into the SMC journal & the new guide book which Mark Hudson is beavering away at this year, so no topo worries either. Yep, I did say another f8c in Scotland & without any shadow of a doubt. Any gaps in the bolting is due to being low on funds but this should be rectified by November at the latest. It's 4-5 miles North of Portree high above the loch & sits in an obvious curved amphitheatre of surrounding trad walls. The nearest road is 3-4 miles away & there are no paths leading to the crags over the mountain tops. The terrain is somewhat serious & very steep on the central approach. On the right hand walls there are some gnarly short sport lines, the hardest being around 8b but in effect, they are extended boulder problems, 3 of which I've soloed. The trad possibilites on the upper tier are shocking though. E9? E10? Although they could be bolted I think it would be criminal without somebody first attempting them in a balls out fashion. The epic f8c line goes directly up through the twin roofs without deviation from the stance on the 2nd patio [a f7a in itself to reach] & if your'e going to attempt it on a shunt, take a 60mtr rope. On the outlaying walls there is further sport, to which I've added belay posts, cunningly fashioned from scaffold poles, since they are short outings & just as accepting of a top-rope ascent as a lead ascent..more later, much more...I'm pooped & ma fingers are mashed. Get yer chops round that Davey old son. There are a few access issues to be ironed out yet also, as there was with Kilta, due to sheep being inexplicably poisoned. [suspected mountain burn polution but unconfirmed] So, unless you are Scott Muir & think that, despite being told not to, you are immune from observing any cross-infection rules due to the size of yer egotistical pish, try not to stomp aimlessly across the mountain here, without at least contacting me for the best agreed route through, until the situation is resolved.

Main Thunderdome
1] Counter Punch. f8c. 20mtrs. From the 2nd patio climb the dark streak directly to the 1st roof. Tackle this & continue up the 2nd headwall & 2nd roof. Chain. ** O'Conor, MacGill-Fhinnein belayed. Domhnall Murchadh smoked. Tr. Shunt practise.
2] Threat Analysis. f8b. 30 mtrs. Climb to the 2nd bolt of Thermal Pulse, then left with difficulty until a huge hanging break is gained, [good rest] & attack the headwall direct through the roof. Chain. * O'Conor, MacGill-Fhinnein belayed. Domhnall Murchadh absent with hangover. Tr. Shunt practise.
4]project.
5]Thermal Pulse. closed project. An extremely impossible short wall, 10-12 mtrs.
6] Coup de Main. E7,6c. f8a. 20mtrs The centre slab of the main Thunderdome rh area. O'Conor, MacGill-Fhinnein belayed.

7] trad project maybe E9, 7b?...where did I put my hardened steel testicals...

Thunderwalls lower rh
8]Brevity Code. f8a+. Climb the vertical wall on 3 bolts. Post belay at top. *** Tr practise. soloed. Domhnall Murchadh swore at sheep & whislted some tunes.
9]Squib. f7b. The steep pocketed wall 10mtrs immediatly right of Brevity Code. Belay post at top. Brilliant mono hueco climbing! *** Tr. soloed.
10] Killing Zone. f7b. The wierd free standing flake thing has 3 hammered pegs in it. Tr. soloed

11] Slow Motion Fat Torpedo f7a+. tr. soloed. Named after the Vanguard class NAS [nuclear attack sub] with 3 million quids worth of navagational equipment on board, that they managed to sandbank while parking at the Raasay Z berth beside the submarinal X-berth, which deosn't exist. Plonkas...
12] f6a.

Hebrides, Bailey...westerly or sou'westerly...4 or 5...occasionally 6 at first, backing southerly or sou'westerly...5 to 7 in nor'west later. Showers then rain...Good..Occasionaly moderate later...Fair Isle, East Faeroes...west or sou'west...5 to 6...becoming variable...3 to 4...

This is the miasmic cradle of words I fell asleep to last night, waking to rain on my face through a slightly open window this morning. Today is about walking back to the Thunderdome through wet grass & simply just sitting under the overhangs with the dog, catching drips in my mouth & trying to further map the other 300mtrs of untouched rock sprawling North & South. This is Rab Anderson country & Dave MacLeod reckons I should do a talk one day on climbing & bouldering...yikes! Add that Im barred from The Isles bar along with Hoogie, for fighting hill shepherds, there were only 3 of them for gods sake and in my defence...we only damaged them, not the furniture...it all seems a bit harsh. I guess I should do something constructive on the mainland for a bit as well...The Anvil maybe, at least it can probably punch back harder. Feckin pussies. Anyways, Mark is on a trip to Skye again next weekend & some routing at Stiffin [aka Staffin] is on the cards...lets see if I can belay the smc guide writer without killin him aye. Oh dear, I fear we may end up in the bar again, playing air guitar to ac/dc riffs...

╪The Thunderdome & Thunder Walls right╪

nb: I did stick the lines on 8a.nu briefly but I've thought about it, & last time a big number got put on there, all hell broke loose, so not wanting to have to deal with the immature idiots of our otherwise superb & peaceful climbing world, I've removed them for now, or until such a time as DaveMacLeod or John belays me on the line or a repeat goes down. Like it or not, it's still a murderous f8c

The 4 mile yomp home is a doozy as well to try in under 15