Its Over, another hard highland ascent

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Si O'Conor - 01/09/2003

Si O'Conor reports on an ascent this summer of one of the many hard lines cover the boulders of Corie Laggan, Skye. I'll let Si do the talking of how he led up to the ascent of Its Over, Font 8a+.

I managed to do the problem after one month of working out how to hold onto the 1st two holds from the SS alone! This in itself became a major frustration & pre-occupation & I found myself on my arse in the dirt more often than I want to remember. Standing in front of the boulder everything looked straight forward, but, without blethering about the obvious, you get on the thing & the holds seem to move as far away from eachother as possible! This side of the boulder overhangs insanely, the holds are very poor & there is nothing positive for the feet, a smear here & there if you manage to stay on long enough. I lost count of the times I marched up into Coire Lagan, ripped my hands into shreds of bacon, twisted my lower back into sciatic spasms, fell violently into the unforgiving cradle of gravity & bimbled home frustrated, obsessed & inspired, foolishly giggling to myself at my progress to the next hold. People in the local were starting to worry....I was frequently planting myself in amongst bemused tourists & waffling on about 'crux sequences' & 'getting two fingers in' & the cruelty of 'Gabbro'. Who was this Gabbro fella? A South American rogue dictator? I could see puzzlement in their faces & any pal I had, was now taking measures to 'avoid the looney'. When it all came together, when I held the sloper ramp & locked for the move to the arte, painfully aware that my bouldering mat was in fact my old Rab down jacket; when I finally made it through, I was almost disappointed. I was bloody delighted as well, but the saga had ended. The words came almost perfectly on the phone 'yip i did it mate, It's Over'. After some reflection I've given the V13 grade, because of the sequences, because of the sheer effort involved & then simply, because it's bloody hard!

James Sutton, avid boulderer with a wealth of great problems already logged, & writer of the excellent bouldering guide for Coire Lagan, had looked at the same boulder a couple of years back but decided there were no holds on it & walked away. He was so nearly right.....

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