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Monday, 2 June 2008

An absolutely blistering day in the NW

Rain and a lot colder weather was forecast to hit the Highlands sometime on Sunday and it was moving in from the south east, so we headed north and to the wild west climbing crags. See http://www.wildwesttopos.com/

We made the right choice and had a fantastic hot rock day at Stone Valley crag. The climbing is south facing on lovely clean rough gneiss with reliable trad protection.

We had sun, blue skies and as it's been dry for weeks with a light breeze there were no midges. It felt more like being in Spain but with better unspoilt views and a lot cleaner and fresher air...

Fi and I enjoyed two of the cleanest and most perfect trad rock climbs we've done for along time.

They were Open Secret (HS; 4b) and a rather bold feeling Bald Eagle (HVS; 5a). There are holds on the upper blank slab although they aren't apparent until you climb up to them with minimal spaced protection...!

We also climbed the aptly named Cheese Grater a fine rough slab (VS; 4c), Touch and Go (VS; 4c or HVS; 5a?) depending on the guide and lastly Inside Information (HVS; 5a; 5a).

The last climb has a strenuous start, scrappy middle on the first pitch but a good second pitch up the black water streaked groove - as long as the black streak is dry!
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