Sunday, 12 August 2012

Freaking out in Glencoe!

Yesterday was by far the best day out this year. We headed up to the coe to attempt Freak Out - E4 6a. As the day was supposed to be a scorcher we left super early (3am!) to avoid doing the route in the hottest part of the day. We got to the route at about 8am and the sun was already on it! I planned to try the crux second pitch and Martin was going to do the first pitch which i think is about E3 6a. The wall looked blank from the bottom and i was beginning to get slightly nervous about my pitch. After scrambling up to a tree belay, Martin headed off up his pitch. He managed to get through the crux and was one hold away from the traverse to the belay but unfortunately his forearms were giving up. I noticed his leg was behind the ropes but by now he was screaming some bad words to the rock. He fell about 30ft and flipped all the way round, lifting me off the ledge - thank god for the upward pull protection we had placed! He soon realised that he was too pumped to pull back on and so i went up on his gear and finished off the first pitch, slightly worried that i would be too pumped for the second one. The hanging belay was a little exciting as it was made up of two rusty pegs(one moves) and two micros. Martin seconded up and we began the faff of trying to switch places. After lots of rearranging i eventually set off on the second pitch. This pitch climbs up to a small roof which is passed on big holds to gain the crux. There is then sustained climbing up to some larger roofs which are actually passed pretty easily(if your fresh!). I had imagined the climbing up to the first roof being fairly straightforward but it actually turned out to be pretty hard and sustained! Tiny footholds and poor jams/fingerlocks got me up to the tat under the roof and the rest suggested in the guidebook was clearly non-existent! I carried on through the roof on big but razor sharp holds and could rest a little once i had gotten my feet up. The crux for me was a long, strenuous move after the roof, which i stopped halfway through to place some gear! Once passed this i moved slowly up the sustained crack using a mixture of finger jams and crimps on the sidewalls aiming for what looked like some jugs! By this point i was absolutely pumped oot my nut and i reached these holds only to be rewarded with puddles! Luckily i didn't get spat off the wet holds and i pushed on to reach a big flake under the top roofs. I was so close to the belay but i was so pumped that i was struggling to hold jugs. I somehow managed to stay on and made my way through the roofs to some jugs and big footholds! Pulling on to the ledge was an amazing feeling and i let out as much of a scream as i could with such a dry mouth. I have never been so happy about getting to the top of a route but this was such a classic and i really wanted to onsight it! An awesome route that i think will leave me pumped for days!

The first wee roof

from far away

pure cheesing! 

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