With the long summer evenings, Glen Croe is manageable from Glasgow for some evening action. At the time of my last blog I had managed to squeeze in 2 sessions up at the Kennedy Boulder in amongst the as ever hectic schedule at TCA Glasgow. I was getting frustrated with my lack of success on two Dave Macleod problems; Hotline and The Nuclear Button which I felt should have been very do-able for me. With DM duties this last weekend I thought I might be able to snatch one last trip up to the boulder before sacking the problems off. Mr MacLeod happened to be in TCA that morning and he said an interesting thing which whipped me up a bit. He thought it was just my "lack of on-rock time".
With new found belief that a little bit of persistence would be rewarded and a tactical shoe change to my brand new 5.10 Quantums I arrived at the boulder about 7:45pm. There was a good breeze, not the 27 degree sunshine of visit 1 or the midge death of visit 2. An inadequate warm up later and I pulled on to Hotline and nearly stuck the problem first go. I looked at my hand. The split that has been plaguing me for the last month now (yeah, really) had reopened. I was good for one more go with a bit of glue before the tape would have to come out rendering the crux too hard once again. I stuck it and sent the problem. Happy boy.
My chronic split tips are a legacy of my Sheffield Uni days and generally being too heavy for small holds
Given the holds on Nuclear Button are as aggressive/the same as those on Hotline I had to leave that for another day but the line of Thermostatic 7c was winking at me through the lichen and moss. Half an hour of brushing and playing re-revealed this problem which is absolutely excellent and only marred by the proximity of the neighbouring bloc at the top. Doubly happy to have got this one ticked too.
It would be good to see people up there trying more of theses lines to get them cleaner still. As a local's venue it is a wonderfully peaceful spot. The boulders are big and there are a lot of lines to be done, especially in the lower grades. As with most of the Scottish boulder venues, lack of traffic really detracts from the problems and the Kennedy Boulder though big, is by no means the Scottish Bowderstone as implied in the Stone Country guide.
At 10 pm I wandered down the hill, still in the daylight. The setting sun cast a great light on the Cobbler and the impressive overhang of Dalriada. Gordon Lennox had just last weekend got the first known onsight, something I had been meaning to try for ages....