'Rad' Butts and Creagan Beaulay are two British climbers who describe themselves as 'riding the wind.'
Here, Creagan looks back to the time he first met Rad and reflects on his first outdoor climb, a winter route in the northern Cairngorms...
We have another article featuring Rad and Creagan due to be published later in the week. The second article follows them as they progress through the grades very quickly, culminating in the first winter ascent of a summer E7, Aphrodite, on the Shelter Stone crag in the Cairngorms...
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Good effort Rad and Creag' Aphrodite was perhaps THE last great winter problem. You ticked it just in time the international meet is next week and there probably would have been queues of visiting wads hoping to try their "M-style skills" on that one.
> Good effort Rad and Creag' Aphrodite was perhaps THE last great winter problem.....
Is is just me, or does anyone else reel at the thought of such an immaculate piece of rock as Aphrodite covered in crampon scratches?
I don't pretend to be a winter climber or to understand what makes winter climbers tick, but I have experienced such damage first hand (Snicker Snack on Gable Crag) and I honestly thought it looked terrible.
I know this argument has been done to death in the past, but as standards increase and the cutting edge climbers venture onto blanker rock - previously only the preserve of high standard rock climbs - then I for one feel pretty troubled. The Shelter Stone slabs are unique in Britain. Nowhere else have I encountered such continuous, blank, clean rock in the mountains - and it deserves to be preserved and cherished.
In reply to Neil Foster: Neil worth re-reading the article again from its tone, I think Rad and windup are using the new Camp stealth crampons made of sticky rubber which minimizes scratches. The turf is so thick (3 to 4 feet) on Aphrodite that they probably still used normal axes though
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Great! Just like Lost and Desperate Housewives - we're left with having to wait for the next installment as UKC forums doesn't have the E4 facility to watch the next one a week early!
In reply to Ian Parnell:
An alternative plan to impaling yourself would be to climb with a dalstein suit, gloves, hat and balaclava. Perhaps one could also stick the woolly business to the shafts of axes and boots. Surely with all that extra texture one could crawl up the climb... it's only a slab after all!!! even better if verglassed as it would bond well with the wool fabric.
> (In reply to Neil Foster) I think Rad and windup are using the new Camp stealth crampons made of sticky rubber which minimizes scratches. The turf is so thick (3 to 4 feet) on Aphrodite that they probably still used normal axes though
Ian, I don't know if you can corroborate this, but I'd heard the guys are always on the lookout for influences outside the sport and at one point abandoned conventional crampons. Instead, they ordered bespoke foot-plate technology using enlarged versions of the Nokian and Schwalbe off-road mountain bike tire, pic here: