|Having just got out of the truck I fell in mud! A good sign for the day|
|First sight of 2 old men|
|There she blows|
|Loz swims the channel|
|And sets up the tyrolean|
|My top half stayed dry!|
|We belaying at the top of the 3rd pitch|
|Loz on his way up to me|
|Sometimes you just have to reassure!|
Anyway we made it and Loz swam the channel and set up the tyrolean. This went well, but.... erm as we only had dynamic ropes it was hard to get enough tension. We got the climbing ropes and gear across without getting wet, but when it came to my go I got a very wet 'undercarriage' hahaha.
As we set off the other climbers were abseiling off and just touched down with their 60m ropes (more on this in a moment)..
The climbing was great, really clean, dry and rough rock. The route gets VS 5a, but I thought that the initial '5a' pitch was easier and it was pitch 2 and 3 that were harder. You pass through some great ground with the ever present exposure because you are on a sea stack.
I got the last pitch and almost had a tear in my eye when I topped out (honestly!). We snacked on top and took in the views from the lofty point before embarking on the next challenge - getting down..
So with 50m ropes you have to make 2 abseils as they aren't quite long enough..... We'd spotted very dubious rusted pegs and tat on the landward side about 15m up that we presumed people use but to be honest it looked rubbish... We'd also spotted a completely bomber rock 5 placement higher up that we considered using (leaving), and it was good, but I'd be nervous doing a free abseil off 1 x nut.
|Down to swim pants! Take out the tyrolean, and swim (eventually)|
|Heading back to the lighthouse trying not to fall over (again)|
Well I did and it was fine, and quite warm actually. We packed up and headed back up the death slope, now not as scary going up as is always the case and after meeting Gemma and a french and German tourist headed back to the lighthouse and on to Ullapool for fish and chips.
Note: both Loz and I both slipped over on the walk back and got soaked - its amazing that we made it up and down the stack but couldn't safely negotiate the walk in/out without (lots) of incidents!
It's funny but during the whole thing it was a real mix of feelings, I guess I couldn't totally relax until down, across the sea channel and back on the mainland. The climbing was the easiest bit of the whole escapade. What an adventure and I'm now musing the other 2 most obvious sea stacks in Scotland, but maybe I need to practice my sea swimming first (for Am Buachaille at least).