Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Lochnagar, Link Direct

Approaching  the crag

Matt and I had never climbed in Lochnagar before, so the drive across last night was filled with anticipation.  A stunning clear night showing off all the hills and the hares dicing with death as they ran across the road in front of the van.  One was unfortunate to fall to natural selection, despite being the size of a small dog.  I'm sure it will feed a few members of the local wildlife though.  Having already packed packed the bags, we got our heads down ready for an early start. Whilst the Bullock van was still empty in the carpark ( see nick's blog for another quality installment).

The alarm went off at 4:15am and Matt got the tea and coffee on the go.  A cold night meant it was hard to break out of the sleeping bag, but as the van warmed a little with the stove and the smell of coffee perked us up, things started to move.  After a bit of faff looking for the toilets, we were finally on our way.  The moon lit the sky brilliantly, meaning the headtorch could stay off.  As we approach the col the sun was coming up and the sky was a mix of orange and red.  The crag came into view for the first time and it was stunning.  Much more impressive than we had hoped for.  After 2 hours walking we were kitting up at the box, and moving on to our chosen objective, Link Direct VIII,7****.

Matt approach the belay of pitch 5

Matt led us swiftly up the first pitch which was no give away.  The theme of the day was set, as every pitch seemed to be around the same grade with not much between them.  I led the second, before Matt linked the third and a bit of the fourth.  I then linked the bulk of the fourth with the fifth pitch to make a great pitch.  Matt quickly sent the final hard pitch before I finish off to the top.  things had gone very smoothly, and we were pleased to see it was only 1pm.  We abseiled into Black Spout and cruised back to the van for 15:15 to enjoy a well earned cup of coffee and a bit of food.  The plan had been to stay for another day, but the forecast is not the best, so we bailed back home to make plans for tomorrow,

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