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01 May 2005: 2nd May 2005 - Creag Mhor Thollaidh & Cummingston Cragging Spring 2005
Overnight rain and strong winds put us off getting out of bed early, and a leisurely breakfast followed by a trip to the coffee shop saw no activity in the morning. I was only once we were out of the coffee shop that we realised that it hadn't rained for a bit, so the rock might actually be dry. We jumped in the car and set off for Creag Mhor Thollaidh.


Typically, we got one route done, and it started to rain. With no signs of it getting any lighter, we went for a wander up below the cliffs and to the top of one of the many bumps in the area, before squelching our way back to the car.

With the rain getting worse, and the one line forecast on Radio Scotland indicating more wet weather, but not being very specific, we headed for home. Once past Inverness, it brightened up, and a quick plan was formulated to climb at Kingussie crag on the Monday, so we headed inland and camped at Boat of Garten

The morning was dry but overcast to the South (where we wanted to go), and bright to the North. However, we decided to give it a go, and headed towards Kingussie. Typically, as soon as we got out the car, it started to rain. It took very little for us all to jump in the car, and head North into the sunshine, eventually arriving at Cummingston at lunchtime.

I've only ever climbed at Cummingston once (June 1996) in the aptly named Gutbuster Bay which resulted in a full cliff height groundfall on my first route. The result was a couple of compressed vertebrae and a bashed foot. That incident spawned other interesting events, such as Adam breaking into someones house to use their phone to phone for a helicopter; the helicopter then making the 60 second journey along the coast (only to have to go back again as I didn't need a lift); people holding onto their tents as the helicopter landed (we had camped there for the night); the coastguard turning up in a van (and not in a boat, according to the quality journalism of the Press and Journal, who also reported that I was also rescued by the said coastguard in their boat); and worse of all, me having to go back to the flat and face my then flatmate and her mum, having told them the night before when leaving that climbing was perfectly safe......

Anyway, there were no such dramas this time, mainly as I stuck to easier routes. The recent rain has washed a lot of sand onto the holds, but it's not too bad if you are expecting it. We enjoyed the sunshine until about 4pm when Rachel warned of a big black cloud approaching. I got to the top of a route, and the heavens opened right on queue. A fitting end to a weekend of chasing good weather, and being chased by bad weather!

Paul on 'Ravens Edge' at Creag Mhor Thollaidh, 01/05/05
Helen on 'Assault Slab' at Creag Mhor Thollaidh, just as the rain was starting.  01/05/05
Me on 'Cornflake Wall'.  We didn't have a guide, and it was only afterwards I found out it was a Moderate!  Paul is in the background wondering how his quickdraws and ropes got up there.  Cummingston 02/05/05.
My trusty belayer.  Cummingston 02/05/05.
Paul on 'Diedre of Double Doubt', Cummingston 02/05/05.
Me leading the steep 'Doddle Diedre', Cummingston 02/05/05.
The view West from the bottom of 'Slab and Tickle', Cummingston 02/05/05.
After getting caught out in the rain.  Cummingston 02/05/05.
30 April 2005: Ravens Crag, near Gairloch Cragging Spring 2005
24 April 2005: Arkle, via the South Ridge Walk Spring 2005
23 April 2005: Quinag Walk Spring 2005
16 April 2005: Jetty Crag Cragging Spring 2005
27 March 2005: The Quiraing, Trotternish, Skye Walk Spring 2005
26 March 2005: White Slab, Coir' a Ghrunnda, Skye Multi-pitch rock Spring 2005
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