Peaks and Troughs

Last month I was tricked into thinking we were going to enjoy an entire spring and summer of sunshine. Al and I were zooming around on jaunts to Limekilns, Etive Slabs, Dumbarton and St Bees and, lulled into this false sense of security, started making plans for routes we’d like to do in the coming weeks…

Holly in a sun-soaked St Bees. Photo: Jen Randall
Glen Etive after a day on the Slabs.

We should have remembered making plans for a Scottish summer is stupid. Suddenly it was raining every day and 70mph winds made May feel more like October. It even hailed a few times. WHAT??


I don’t think I’m alone in feeling cheated of a climbing season… although grey weather did make for good running conditions for the Women’s 10k. I didn’t think I’d enjoy running in a big cheesy event with thousands and thousands of other sweaty people, but it was amazing! A band at every kilometer marker, people lining the route cheering you on, even grannies with tamborines! All that support definitely made me run a bit faster, and since then I don’t really see the point in running if you don’t have a crowd. I did it with one of my big sisters and mega-runner Martha who crushed that run in 49 mins (can you crush a run?) and came 300th out of 12,000! My sis and I came in around 900 people later, but we still beat the hour, got a medal and even a banana at the finish line. Our sensible sister who didn’t run made us a congratulatory chocolate cake… the life of serious athletes. Oh yeah and she went and got engaged, yay!

10k cake

Since then I’ve only been running once, and climbing a lot in at the wall, which just seems ridiculous. I feel like I’ve forgotten how to climb over the past few weeks. I don’t trust my feet, I keep trying to clip from stupid positions, I had to project a 6c at the wall last night (crushed it eventually, grrr!) – these are not the actions of some one who plans on climbing London Wall this season. Maybe the pressure is getting to me already. Oh God. I think I just have to convince myself I’m strong. It helped finding this message scrawled on a parking meter outside our flat the other morning – thanks mystery and probably totally unrelated message scribbler!

JR is a beast. Let's hope so.

Read Climber magazine this month? Our Magic Woods article is inside. It was a funny one to write really, it’s such a beautiful place to visit so I want to tell everyone to go, but at the same time too many people would definitely change the place. Oh well, I’m sure my journalism, though groundbreaking, won’t have to huge an effect.

Work’s been a funny thing lately. For the first time in my life I’ve reached a stage where I’m (just) getting by doing things I enjoy doing, but worry I’m not pushing it hard enough. I think back to school and uni and what my ambitions were, and wonder if the me back then would be proud of or disappointed by the me now. Is it enough to get to a point where you can relax a little and enjoy and accept just getting by? Or should you always be striving for more and more? This isn’t coming out the way it spins around in my head. I guess it’s about realising I’m a grown up and worrying that I haven’t achieved enough in work, in climbing, in anything. Blah blah blah. There are lots of people around my age who have achieved a lot more. Thing is, whenever I’ve felt this in the past I’ve ended up working harder and eventually taking a little step forward. It’s all about finding your own way, right? Blah.

Ladies that Yoga. Photo: Jen Randall

It was our good friend Nat’s big 3-0 a couple weeks ago, and to celebrate a large group of predominantly psyched ladies braved the rain and… well, I say braved the rain, were chased by the rain from Glasgow to the Lake District, Yorkshire and finally the Peak District. Al, Martha, Crux and I joined them for a couple of days in Yorkshire where I got a flapper the size of Brazil, Ivo Ninov let us have a go on his toprope (nice work Vicki) and we camped next to a rave for two. All in all a fun weekend, cheers Nat!

Yoga at Armscliffe. Photo: Jen Randall

Life at Posing Productions has calmed down for the time being, so last weekend I cruised to Jura with the lovely folks at The Adventure Show to film some insanely fit people running over mountains. I have nothing but admiration for all of them, they literally ran up seven mountains over 28km, the fastest of them in around 3 hours. As part of my adventure cameraman action I ran with some of them up the first gentle slope for a bit, and while I may be a 10k master (ok maybe not a master), I couldn’t keep up at all. How do they do it?

Weather on the ferry to Jura. Photo: Jen Randall
Chilly anyone?

Turns out when it stops raining Jura is pretty spectacular. I saw two otters and some dolphins while we were there but I didn’t get any photos of course… shabba!

Jura Beach. Photo: Jen Randall
Waiting for the ferry home. Photo: Jen Randall

Finally, while I moan about the weather I don’t really care what it’s doing here for now, because in two weeks time we are going to SQUAMISH, best place ever. So as long as the sun comes out there for most of the time at least, I am happy already. Eternal procrastinators, our motto of the trip is get on it. It doesn’t matter if you fall or rest or what, just get on it and enjoy. Oh I can’t wait, it’s been two whole years! Here are some pics from last time. Sorry for the bitty post, the next one should be a lot rockier. I’m off to the wall, thanks for reading! x

Top of The Chief. Photo: Jen Randall
Moi among the boulders. Photo: Alex Gorham
On Bellygood Ledge. Photo: Alex Gorham

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