Monday, January 31, 2011

What's going on?

Having written off this winter due primarily to injury but also imminent arrival of our new baby daughter I told myself I would try not to get too envious of what everyone else might be doing up north. That's been tested this last week with a tidal wave of impressive ascents. InesPapert is back in Scotland with her friend Charly Fritzer and she's quickly amassing a telling ticklist; warming up on Daddy Longlegs VIII,9, following Charly up the second ascent of the very steep To Those Who Wait IX,9, climbing a new route with Dave Macleod on the Ben and heading out yesterday with Greg Boswell to the Shelter Stone (I haven't heard yet what they got up to EDIT Ines and Charly went to the Corries instead managing Happy Tyroleans and Demon Direct one day and a new route - make that THE new route there the following day-Wow!).
Ines on pitch one of Daddy Longlegs pic Pete Macpherson Fritzer on the second ascent of To Those Who Wait IX,9 photo

Not to be left out the locals like Greg Boswell, Pete MacPherson and Guy Robertson have been on fire with numerous big new routes, as well as repeats such as Andy Turner's myth-shattering ground up of The Hurting XI,11. Andy's exciting report is here

The route that impressed me most recently is Guy and Pete's Stone Temple Pilots on the Shelter Stone. To me it sums up how far the best Scottish Winter climbers have come, whilst Guy has a fair amount of knowledge of that cliff it was still ground up, as close to onsight that matters at an exceptionally sustained level; 8 pitches most at tech 8 or 9. Couple this with swooping on the cliff when it was in prime winter nick and you have a real demonstration of mastery with two climbers at the top of their form defining the limits.
Guy Robertson on Stone Temple Pilots IX+,9
Tim Emmett on Spray On photo Christian Pondella

As if all that hadn't made me jealous enough, Tim Emmett returned with Will Gadd to Helmcken Falls in Canada where last year they established a WI10 ice route called Spray On. This trip they added a further 4 pitches through some of the most extraordinary territory on the planet. Envious yes, but at least with their climb at least I knew I wouldn't have a chance of climbing it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha ha - come on Parnell; Spray On? BRING IT ON!!!!!! I'll bet Andy didn't have the luxury of a metal detector on The Hurting!!!!

Cheers, Guy