Updated: 6 days ago
I am Don Whillans!...... I am Don Whillans!........ I am Don Whillans! ........No, that's not f@*king helping!
The walk-out from climbing Bare Blaeber was really tiring....; The Marsh Orchid variants growing in close-proximity to each other, the multitude of other eye-engaging Alpine-flora, The endless discussion about the friction on the second-pitch, the 30m-crack on Pitch 6.......all whilst amazed at the endless apparently-unclimbed 'little' out-crops of rock, that would stand dominant in any Lake District valley.
With so much to engage us on the walk-out, there was no way of 'switching-off' for minute! So, as we dragged ourselves back into our camp, the accumulated travel-fatigue of the last few days, combined with a chunky climbing route and 90 minute walk-in..... and out! I was pretty worn-out. Both Mentally and Physically.
We cooked and rehydrated, complained about sore-feet....Wondered where the sun was, checked the weather, the time...... and checked the weather again.......still time to get another route before the rain came. Well, I guess that's what we were there for after-all....
OK, lets get on with it then! 'Eat-Sleep-Climb' and all that.....
Just around the corner from our camp, with a Westerly views across the sea and the Island-chain stretching out to the horizon, was the 100m-crag Pianokrakken. With just a 45 minute walk to the base of the climb, we though this would be a great option for some late-evening craggin'.
With Bare Blaeber graded N5-, we were keen to see what N5+ felt like......so...
'Piano Handler Lunds Drom' was the route we chose, at a grade of N5+ it's a US 5.9. Easy... But! For this fatigued, "it's half-past Ten at night, and it's still-light" UK Climber....the grade could be VS 5a, HVS 4b, E1 5a.... or there about. The finer interpretations and uncertainties of translating Norwegian grades to UK Trad, were annoying!... and a bit of an adventure!
As it turns out, the 'steep' VS 5a-crack, into 'Awkward'-HVS 5b Mantle-shelf (Don Whillans moment), first-pitch. Had me working hard to employ all that I'd digested, from the book on Climbing Psychology, 'Vertical Mind'. Fml.....I was glad pull-over to the 'sloping-ledge', pausing only briefly before tackling the next HVS 4b section of 'Steep'-'Awkward' crack! I'm Glad Alan could chat and smile his way through it all, as he seconded the 1st pitch. Pausing only on the 'Awkward' section, to announce "I'm glad you lead that!" ..... Yeah, I was glad I'd lead-it too! From the top of the 35m first pitch, safely attached to a solid belay, it was a Great pitch of climbing!
So, as Alan set-off....Across the next section of slab, toward the 'Awkward' E1 5a corner.....I was happy to be watching from the Belay! It was a good night's Craggin'
We Rapped-off at Midnight under a pale-Pink sky, with a moody cloud-front coming-in.......cool-as-f@ck!
Bring-on the rain......... I need some sleep!