Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Pictures and Nostalgia

A picture can provoke much nostalgia.  Doug Bathgate called in last night after finding an old photo of Fiona in "Tigh Dearg" the Bathgates cottage in Glencoe. We reckon Dave his brother took it at a dinner, possibly either a GMRT dinner or the Alpine Club, possibly Kingshouse around 1980.  A give away is the orange juice as she taxied me pissed around the pubs.  Patience off a saint considering a few weeks earlier I dumped a whole stag in the garden and asked her to butcher it and went off to the pub with Wall Thomson who also had one (that's another story!).  Tigh Dearg was where I got my taste for climbing.  Ian and Nicki Clough stayed there and a cousin my age stayed in the summers. In return for teaching him to fish I got the bug to climb.  I remember walking in one day when about 12 years old and watching a slide show by Tom Patey.  Later when Ian Nicholson stayed there and I was older it was guys like Dougal Haston then as a climber in my own right when the Bathgates bought the house it was Doug Scott and others Dave had climbed with.  I won't pretend I was in their league, but I did get to climb with many famous mountaineers including Joe Brown as did Fiona who ticked off some pretty big routes of the day. To say I was a bit pissed off when she did the direct finish to Carnivore before me would be an understatement. Chatting about it in the Kingy to the Whillans himself in a big session involving a lot of beer was great. I am pretty sure Mark Magowan and a few others still climbing hard were also there but I was drunk.
Fiona on orange juice!
I found this other photo on a slide from Ed Grindley.  Ivy Crack at Dunkeld wearing my "Terray Fitzroy" climbing boots.  I climbed a lot in boots in my teens as I was told it was good for technique and the alps.  So much so that I eventually got the person who told me this mis-information to plead to change into his EB's when he couldnt get up a pitch I had just led in boots.  Revenge was sweet!

The Ivy Crack picture tale started that morning in Aviemore when we arrived early after deciding we were going to Wales via "The Needle" at the Shelterstone.  Bill Amos and I went up with the ropes and Ed and Cynth were going to follow with the Hardware. The lift went off and with no sign of Ed and Cynth we blagged a lift down only to pass them on the way up!  They managed to persuade big John who I new (John Maclean "The Great White Hope" of the Creag Dubh - that's another story) to let them back down.  We called it quits and headed off to Newtonmore and a had a few pints then stopped at Dunkeld and soloed a few routes. We headed down to Wales next day and stayed for 10 days at the Fell and rock hut in the pass. I got to meet and climb with a lot of famous English climbers including Nick Escourt, and we drank a lot of beer at the Padarn and played darts with guys who I got to know well over the years.  Joe was a regular visitor to Glencoe and so was Mo Anthoine and many others. Climbing on the famous "Cloggy" was almost better than many Scottish crags. I tried Cenotaph Corner in big boots but only got as far as what I think was called "The Pudding Stone" and a threaded sling. I did get up in my EB's though! I climbed in Wales a few times and loved the climbing but confess that even as a Scot I found the Welsh nationalism a bit harsh and in your face.  After a while Fiona and I would do a road trip to Northumberland then the Peak district in preference, and we also grew to really like the scene in the Lakes.
Ivy Crack in big boots
Ah nostalgia!  Don't look back - it's not the direction your going!

Going forward - three of us in the break up to Cairngorm on the "Peak to Peak" race 2010 which I won.
Which doesn't happen often!

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