Staying safe up here is all consuming, and it's a relief to get back to the ledge at night and just let go of the paranoia that grips me every second of the day when leading. Only did 2 pitches today ( both good quality a2+), and don't think I can move much faster while staying safe. Even on easy pitches there's a lot of checking what the rocks doing, and if it's a crack is it safe to use. Come across a few sections that where pretty blank, yet yielded bomber gear with a bit of hammering, as many blind cracks are just full of shattered rock.
I've also spotted a number of mystery holes, which can only have been drilled by the russian team who climbed the route a few years ago (they though they where in the Baltic route). I guess they didn't have a camalot 4 that's where the hole was ( the Russians often use removable bolts).
Have six pitches to go and have 3 days of food and water - so it could be close.
Btw found out that Karen won a silver in the Berlin marathon. I wish I could have been there.
A Snickers bar costs 60p. Were these words worth as much?
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Andrew Kirkpatrick is a British mountaineer, author, motivational speaker and monologist. He is best known as a big wall climber, having scaled Yosemite's El Capitan 30+ times, including five solo ascents, and two one day ascents, as well as climbing in Patagonia, Africa, Alaska, Antarctica and the Alps.Follow @ Instagram