Well, I forgot to post a little thing about my trip to Birnam Quarry last week! I went up with my good pal Eddie Barbour to attempt the coveted "Hurly Burly"! Weighing in at a healthy 8b I wasn't expecting too much on my first attempts, but was looking forward to hearing what all the fuss was about...
We where meeting up with one of Eddie's pa
ls from Aberdeen, Gordon Lennox. Gordon had been trying the route on and off for the past 8 years, quite an incredible dedication to a single climb! Eddie had had four previous sessions on the route (one which he had had the flu, so we won't count that one). On Gordon's previous session, he had reached the final hold before the clipping jug before falling, GUTTED!!! But he was back for more and hopefully, this session, he would see the fruit of his labours...
After warming up (pull ups on a branch), everyone was getting stuck into the route! Both Gordon and Eddie cruised the route from the 2nd clip and all they had to do was make a successful ascent from the start to get the tick. I had a couple of plays on it while the others were resting, from the second clip, nothing seemed to give me any bother. From clip to clip, I did every move first go and just had to figure out the best places to clip and the best foot and body positions. The redpoint crux at the to
p felt rather easy actually so that was a really good omen!
Anyhoo, Gordon was up for his first redpoint attempt of the day, I was a little nervous for him because I knew that he had invested a lot of time and energy into this and the fact that he was so close to it now was pretty nerve racking. The route also has a slight downside to it, because of the nature of the cave it resides in, if you fall of clipping you are very likely to hit the ground, a good belayer will try and avoid this by giving out just enough slack to clip and no more, If i screw up, I could yank him of the wall by accident (Like i did to Alan Cassidy in spain!).
So off he went, cruising up the start, he made every move look effortless and smooth. As he approached the second clip, he avoided clip
ping and went straight to the third! I was crapping it here as he would for sure deck even if I ran back at a hundred miles an hour! He continued to move solidly and very static, not showing any sign of fatigue. As he clipped the third clip(2nd clipped), a great weight lifted off me, he continued into the first crux looking still very solid...
As he rocked over high on his left foot, he seemed to faulter slightly, this was for me probably the hardest move on the route, the left foot is gash and the undercut was very powerful to get into... But still he cruised on, grasping the hold solidly and powering through into the next moves he continued to astound!
Finally reaching the rest, he flipped his feet horizontally onto a leaning ledge out right and recovered. He looked less convincing now of his sol
idarity on the route, shaking out quickly and breathing heavier, but he hadn't shown any sign of letting go so far, and off he continued...
Keeping on crushing up the wall he finally reached the redpoint crux!!!
Slapping into the two finger pocket, he reeled in hard on his right arm and jumped straight into the stuck on edge!!! Latching it with feet flying off the wall he maintained his attachment to the rock... powering up, looking drained, he continued to head into the final wall, slapping for an edge, matching it, ebbing off the wall and his left hand thrust up into the final edge to clip from! Catching it, he grasped for what rope he had left, I ran into the wall to provide it and bent armed and shaking like a leaf he clipped the chain... YAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH!!!! YAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSS!!!
What an epic adventure! 8 years in the making, he had finally succeeded! I was honored to have belayed such a momentous event in his climbing and was powered up and psyched for my remaining goes!
Not to make it sound anything less of an achievement, but soon after Gordons ascent, Eddie snatched the second of that day as well... two ascents for Hurly Burly in one day!!! I'm not writing a breakdown of eddie's climb, but it was certainly impressive and i'm hoping to put a video of it on soon!
Also to add to the list of events happening in the past week, Nat has been staying over for the time being and we went on a little trip into town yesterday... see if you can find Wally?
Hangin around Waterstones on Princes Street, we searched for the elusive Wally...