Monday, 6 February 2017
Dave Almond approaching the bulge on pitch 2 of Knuckleduster Direct (the original version goes right, the direct goes left to continue up the general corner feature.)
Yesterday was a fun day climbing Knuckleduster Direct VIII,8 on the Ben with Helen Rennard and Dave Almond. It was also my first day leading trad since breaking my leg in the autumn. I was very slow placing the gear, and placed a lot. But otherwise fine. It was certainly a good idea to have a gentle break back in to trad leading again. The route was first climbed by Greg Boswell and Guy Robertson in 2012. All four pitches were really good fun, with mostly positive hooks, especially where you really need it. In fact, I got my tools stuck in the crack twice on pitch one!
The highlight of the day was the lovely moonlight as we abseiled back down. The Ben is a little worrying right now, with a lot of loose blocks which are not keyed-in as they normally would be since it’s been both very dry and snowless this winter so far. It still feels like November up there.
Helen seconding pitch 1