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Improving the climbing head game...

Sunday, after church Dave and I dashed off without stopping for tea and biscuits, towards Dunkeld, for some climbing at Craig a Barns crag.

It was a stunning day, and the sunroof was open as we cruised along discussing life and listening to some music. We got to the crag and it was unsurprisingly busy for a sunny Sunday afternoon.

We picked a route called Holly Tree Groove, kitted up, Dave zoomed off and I waited for the call “Safe” to let me know he was at the top and secure.

I may have heard it, but wasn’t sure, and so waited. Dave decided I hadn’t heard and started to belay me up! Off I go then. It seemed harder than the Very Difficult rating the guidebook suggested and once at the top my knees and brain turned to jelly.


I lost all rational movement skills and thought, and needed to be coaxed along, to the descent gully, carefully by Dave.


Once down I was much happier, and decided to try leading a route – Anon. My head game was better and I enjoyed the moves, but still on the “path” at the top I fell to pieces again. I was really annoyed at myself, and apologised to Dave and thanked him for his patience.


Back at the bottom, Dave spotted the above crack, the hardest climb of the day at a Very Severe grade, but easily the most enjoyable. A proper challenge with a wide variety of exciting moves and good communication to boot.


I’m glad Dave led it, but I’d consider giving it a go in the near future – weird for someone who struggles on the descent footpath! One last climb, Cuticle Crack and home, but not before a pose…

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