This time of year can be quite a challenge for winter climbers. You've spent the last 4 or 5 months putting in the mind numbing drives north, the endless walk ins and froze your bits in search of those elusive winter ticks. Now you've got the option of early spring rock climbing perhaps a chance to warm your digits rather than suffer continuous hot aches. February also seems to dish up an unfair proportion of winter spankings usually due to over ambition or more likely the slushy crap conditions we had on the international meet.
But have faith, do not stray into the sunshine, you'll be in a similar position come the end of September tired of the endless weekends of dry rock and blue skies, hanging on every weather forecast for the first snow flake. In fact March is the best month for those big meaty winter routes. A fact that was illustrated over the past few days with Ed Edwards and Pete Macpherson climbed Blood Sweat and Frozen Tears on Beinn Eighe and Andy Turner, Iain Small and Tony Stone nipping up Centurion on the Ben. Both routes would get 4 stars on the Scottish system; basically about as good as winter climbing gets.
I've got a chance to join Andy next Tuesday. And with 3 potential new routes I've got halfway up this season there's a lot of unfinished business. The winter psyche is back.