It had been too long, far too long. Winter followed by two and a half months of lockdown means it had been seven months since I was out on real rock. I’m far from being a seasoned climber, but perhaps my relative greenness is precisely why I’m champing at the bit to get out as much as I can.
On the 29th of May, the rules on outdoor activities were relaxed here in Scotland giving us a glimmer of hope that we might be able to take advantage of the amazing weather that had been making lockdown more bearable. The chance to scratch my all-consuming climbing itch was being offered up.
Living in Edinburgh posed it’s own obstacles as the Scottish Government’s rough guide of five miles travel meant I was effectively stuck inside the ring-road. I’d been spending much of lockdown scouring UK climbing websites, and various guidebooks, for a post lockdown tick list of venues to visit with my new found freedom. However, it was looking like I’d need a rethink to get my fix.
“I’d need a rethink to get my fix”
Lockdown has forced many of us to adapt, and come up with new solutions to everything from fitness routines to educating our children. I needed to harness that spirit. The retaining wall of our garden, for example, suddenly took on a new appearance. It wasn’t very high but there was definitely scope for some traverses. I soon found a section that had enough gaps in the mortar for some fairly crimpy holds, and set up some eliminates.
While it was a far cry from new routing on big walls I still really enjoyed the process of piecing together the moves and doing some bouldering that didn’t involve luminous blobs. As fun as it was though, the climbable section was only about three meters across. If I pulled out any more of the cement, I was worried the whole thing might collapse on me.