I need a break. I need some back of the guidebook obscurity. I need to feel the pithy grit of lichen under my fingernails, and the fractured thud of loose rock cratering into the ground below. I need the dry, fluffy feeling between my lips of a mouth too scared to salivate. I need blast-shattered limestone and green-cloaked gritstone and flakey shale. I want to do routes that no one has climbed before, and never will again. I want whimsical adventure and giggly days out that other people don't understand. And I need it to stop raining so I can go out and find this all, because, as I've found out, you really can have too much of a good thing.
Saturday, 5 September 2009
I think, pretty much definitely, that summer is over. The wind has an autumnal chill, the leaves are yellowing and crisping around the edges, and the air has that earthy, moist smell of decomposition that marks the start of the autumn. It's been quite a summer of climbing, and I've been seeking out quality routes here there and everywhere, chasing the stars like some sort of crazed paparazzo drooling at the mouth: four star classics in Glen Etive; viciously coarse gabbro on Skye; perfect granite cracks and sinuous razor ridges in the alps; lazy roadside granite in Cornwall; and breathtaking sea cliffs on Lundy.