Friday, 4 October 2013

Wild and Windy on Aberdeen Sea Cliff

The Steep prow at Longhaven
On Wednesday I managed to sneak a day climbing with Neil on quite possibly the only dry rock available to us.  We not only had forecast rain to avoid, but massive seas smashing against the crags.  Neil picked out Longhaven, North of Aberdeen after consulting some local mates.  It was a good choice, despite the easiest warm up (E2 5c?) being out due to dampness when we got there.  We climbed on Munich Buttress, which is a cool looking prow of rock high above sea level.  There was a fair bit of spray around, as well as sea foam, but we were sheltered enough.

Neil swinging around the arete on Monkey Puzzle

Not wanting to overdo it straight off with my finger in less than perfect conditions, Neil cruised up Monkey Puzzle E3 5c**.  This looked like a steep imposing line, but turned out to be a pleasurable balancy route up the cool left arete.  It had been cold belaying. so I was not overly warmed up and offered Neil to lead again.  He then turned his sights on African Face E5 6b*, which is a very good eliminate up the steep face between Monkey Puzzle and The American Route E2.  Before long he was involved in the crux which was rumoured to be a massive dyno/slap.  Neil hung in there valiantly, but could not commit to the move.  After belaying for some time, I was no more warmed up.  Even so, I took advantage of Neil's gear and climbed to his high point.  On first encounter the move felt committing, but doable, other than my fingers were very cold.  I decided to reverse and warm then up and messed that up and fell off like a complete tool.  This gave me the chance to pull up and brush the holds which were pretty chalky and greasy after Neil had been on them for about half an hour.  This made the world of difference and allowed me to warm my fingers up enough to commit to pull on them.  Despite being weak at the moment, the recovering finger held up well, and the wild slap/dyno fell to a bit of good old fashioned pulling and static grab.  Having forgot to take any rack, I then had to pull some up, before finishing off.  A really nice route, but all about one move, with the rest being around 5b/c.
Neil starting up African Face

Time had run away, and it was a long drive back to Arbroath. So we headed home happy to have climbed some cool routes on a wild day.

Happy with 2 routes stood on top of the Platforn getting battered by the wind

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