Archive for June, 2012

Shooting the Breeze

June 27, 2012

A productive day up on Beinn Eighe yesterday, getting pictures for the book.  Fortunately the gastro-intestinal-flu-lurgy thing I’ve been clobbered with was kind enough to wait until I got home last night before really kicking in (or maybe that should be out).  Colin came across from Skye and managed to get some awesome shots of both West Central Wall and Far East Wall.  We were lucky in that Pete Mac and Martin Moran just happened to be over on Sumo, so Colin caught them with his telephoto before he went down. Nice. 

I had forgotten just how wild the mighty West Central Wall is.  And yesterday, despite a tip-off that the mountain was ‘bone dry’ we had the added pleasure of contending with wet rock.  It’s really not a crag for the faint-hearted, and wetness adds substantially to the fright-factor (wet quartzite is a bit like buttery glass).  However, despite being repulsed from the lower pitches, we managed with a bit of lateral thinking to gain the big upper arete of the classic Shoot the Breeze (E2).  Most of this was dry, except the crux of course!  Colin has pulled together a wee video which captures the ambience of the place quite nicely – Shoot the Breeze.

The last few weeks have been very productive, with lots more pictures coming in, and a very positive eary conversation with a potential publisher.  I think getting some proper technical know-how and commercial drive into the process is exactly what’s needed.  The text is very nearly there, and this summer / next winter will see a major drive from a growing team to get the remaining photos in the bag.  Here’s hoping!

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Off to Skye

June 2, 2012

I’ve not posted for a while, but going to sort that now and get stuck back into the book this summer.  Work, family and, of course, climbing, as well as an apparent inability to say “no” to other bits and bobs have stifled any serious activity around the book over the past year or so.  However, some progress has been made, particularly around the photography which is undoubtedly the most challenging bit.  Please please please get in touch if you think you have images that might do the crags and climbs justice, and you’d be happy for us to use!

It’s off to Skye this weekend, for a funeral, unfortunately (in Glenelg).  Susie’s Grannie has finally passed away.  She apparently drifted off peacefully, and free of pain or stress.  With a view of the Skye hills from her room window, I guess she was lucky.  I don’t think I’ve ever known a human being so continuously warm, happy and affectionate.  Rest in peace Bella, you’ll be with us always.

The plan – hopefully – is to try and steal a wee solo mission on East Buttress as the sun comes round onto the crag on Monday evening.  The forecast is for a big fat sun and a dry, cool breeze.  Although I won’t be climbing anything hard, the absence of the rope, and the anticipated solitude has got my top notch twitching.  I sense a magic moment.  Hopefully our local cameraman will get a chance to pop up from the south end of the island and take some pictures for the book – now wouldn’t that be something special.

If he doesn’t make it, something tells me I won’t be complaining.