I got a text from Dave the other night saying about a new slab he had found on one of his training runs.The text mentioned E7 and E8 solos and I after my recent decision to make a real effort to stop soloing I had to think about it for a whole 2 or 3 minutes before the psyche kicked in and I was keen to at least have a look.
So we headed out on Friday and set off up the brutal approach and as I arrived at the crag I saw what Dave meant about it being very reminiscent of Firestone in the Gorms. We set up a top rope and I got on the potential E7 line first,stunning climbing and I got to the last move first try then made the slab climbing error of over reaching and slipped. Dave got on next and unsurprisingly made it look easy.
Dave cleaning a hold as we discussed how to try avoid a horrendous fall into the gully below the line.
After the E7 Dave got straight on the E8 line and despatched it clean on the top rope too, for a brief moment I thought he was going to go for the lead on the E7 but with the heat and occasional spit of rain it probably wasn't prime conditions.
After he lowered down I decided to have a blast on the E8 line just to see the moves,I genuinely expected to fall off on the first moves but to my surprise I did it clean on first try.
A foreshortened view of the E8,still a long way from the top and safety.
I was really surprised at managing this but the prospect of leading/soloing such a terrifying route will definitely give me some food for thought over the next while, more visits on cooler days should help decide and hopefully the psyche will far outweigh the fear by then, though the psyche is already winning the battle............