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Summer of Rock

Like most climbers in Scotland the winter had brought nothing but frustration. The mild dry weather meant winter climbing conditions were absent for the most part and the season never really got off the ground. By the time spring finally came round I was itching to get out rock climbing.

Initial forays onto the crags and sea cliffs of Aberdeenshire gave me a reality check as to the state of my long neglected rock skills. This was further compounded by an extra 8kg of body weight gained in the gym over the winter. More muscle yes, more power:weight ratio no. More climbing was to be the solution.

Early highlights include May ascents of Cumming Crofton on Beinn a'Bhuird and Sgurr Alasdair's Commando Crack, which had rejected my efforts last summer. These are both contenders for the finest routes of their grade in Scotland.

On the morning of the dreich June day that Scotland had their dramatic clash with the auld enemy, Dave and myself were clashing with the slate at Newtyle quarr…

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