Well thanks Anna, that was lovely! A reminder to get out and make the most of opportunity! I've only ever climbed sport or bouldered outdoors in winter...but that article is a temptation! Enjoyed the writing style too.
I must get out to the sea again...
Well done you for getting out so early! Lovely writing too. More of this.
Lovely piece of writing, but I have to know; what is it about Peter's head that made the mother scream? Bit of a minger, is he?
> You went forth into the firth of forth on the 4th
They went went forth into the firth of forth on the 4th but for the firthst time not the fourth
Enjoyed that! Freezing my ar@e off at Aberdour is a familiar way to start the outdoor season, but usually a bit later in the year!
Almost felt like I was there.
Those gloomy stormy Firth of Clyde/Forth experiences when daylight is short and day doesn't seem to fully rise.
It must be hard climbing when the rock is cold. Hawkcraig is a nice wee cliff with good HVS but I think I'll wait until its warmer before I go back.
A bit late to the party on this one, but here's an alternative view of climbing at Aberdour at New Year:
The Ballad of Sir Lindsay Ross
Bold John sits in Dunfermline toun
Drinkin the jet-black stout:
“A New Year climb at Aberdour-
Wi whom can I carry it out?”
Then up and spak the eldern Shanks,
The slyest of that band-
“Sir Lindsay Ross is a canny youth
Wi’ rock beneath his hand.”
Bold John has fired an e-mail off,
And sent it tae Sir Lindsay Ross
Explainin’ his intention.
“Tae Aberdour, tae Aberdour,
Tae Aberdour on sea,
I’m gangin fur a New Year climb
An ye maun gang wi’ me.”
The first wird that Sir Lindsay read
So loud, so loud, lauched he-
The neist wird that Sir Lindsay read
A tear binded his e’e.
“Oh wha’ is it has done this deed
And told bold John o’ me,
To climb in New Year’s bitter winds
Above the cauld North Sea?”
They redded up their climbin’ gear
Wi’ a’ the speed they may-
The tide was in at Aberdour
That fateful New Year’s Day.
Adrenalin was runnin high
They couldnae now reverse-
Bold John and Ross went soloin’
Upon the Low Traverse.
They hadna gone a pitch, a pitch,
A pitch, nor barely three,
When the lift grew dark
and the wind blew loud
An’ gurly grew the sea.
On sunny days it’s rare auld stuff,
The wave-washed dolerite,
But on a frozen New Year’s Day
It’s no’- yer feet will skite.
And laith, laith was Sir Lindsay Ross
Tae wet his Five-Ten shoon,
But lang afore the route was done
He’d wet his heid aboon.
For though the rock is sound and rough
Wi dampness it was shiny-
Sir Lindsay’s feet went skitin’
And he plunged into the briny.
Half ower, half ower at Aberdour,
It’s four or five feet deep,
And there lay poor Sir Lindsay Ross
Weel soaked at bold John’s feet.
And fragment’s fae his chalkbag
Went floatin on the faem,
And mony was the slaggin’
That he’d get when he got hame.
But Sir Lindsay was a gentleman
He cried whilst wading ower:
“Tae you, bold John, I doff my cap-
The King o’Aberdour.”
With apologies to "Anonymous"
(Names have been changed to protect the guilty)
Find an annotated version of the Scots Ballad "Sir Patrick Spens" and all will be clear.
Having been a resident of Dunfermline Toon (and got married there
!) for some years I know this to be a pastiche of the poem "Sir Patrick Spens" Rog.
A much loved piece in our household for those reasons. I too like this new version, though am unaware of the origin or fame of its subject.
Haha poor Peter! No I think the mother hadn't realised that if she was chatting to one climber leaning over a cliff, then sooner or later a second one would appear