Sunday, June 17, 2007

Weekend climbing

The writer halfway up "Ants in your Pants" (MVS 4b/Finnish 4+)

I have managed to go the whole of the last two whole weeks without climbing. I have survived but only just. Normal service was resumed today and Tony and I headed out to our secret crag from winter weekends past to do a climb I had cleaned earlier but hadn't had chance to lead yet. It went OK, but the entire forest floor was moving with with big ants and they seemed to be just as interested in going up the rock face as I was. Add to this the normal mid-summer mosquito swarms, and Tony faced a belay session down on the ground where his normally calm demeanor was tested to the max. Even now, 12 hours later, I keep thinking I have ants up my trousers. I would describe the route as a bit like Scavenger on the Gower, South Wales, but with more ants and less ocean.

We then went on to Luhti for some more routes. I had another go at a short, sharp overhanging crackline that I had cleaned and then failed on last year. I made better progress this year but still fell about halfway up. Tony then had a go, and having just come back from a two-week climbing holiday in Norway, powered through and on to the top. Nice climbing. The route was christened "Hooligan".

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