Its 1AM as I drive into Perth, my eyebrows raised as I attempt to keep my eyes open. Its 5 hours since Tom and I had topped out of the second ascent of Vapouriser VIII,8, on Creag an Dubh Loch's Central Gully Wall. It is just beginning to set in that we had done it. The end of another big 20 hour Adventure, where you see no one else all day, on a perfect weather Saturday. However, you don't get any ukc/sais/guidesblogs info on whats in or outs of conditions. I knew that there had been ice on The Giant 5 days previously, that was a good indicator but, I would be lying if i said I was 100% sure, actually I would have been lying if I had said 85% sure. The risk was taken and we had been rewarded. Even if it had been extremely cruddy ice all the way up, if a route on that wall is claimable, that means conditions were good or almost exceptional. Tom had kept the spirits, drive and motivation high all day, but now as I look across at him in the passenger seat, he is slumped to one side with his head almost on his knees. "lucking git" I think "he just rocked up last night, got taken to the Dubh Loch, got a route done and is now asleep, while I am driving" I make the last familiar turns before I get to the flat, making sure to hit the last speed bump hard, to wake up Tom.
Below is a Video that Tom made from a few days climbing together, It includes another two great routes on Beinn Eighe. Check out how his jackets make him look like he is of to empty some bins. You can all so check out his website Here
About to test the ice, anything to avoid the bolder-field
Tom below Vapouriser at the top of the ice it breaks out left
Me on the climbing/stripping the first pitch, whilst trying not to knock Tom out.
Tom following pitch 1, amazingly he found even more ice to knock down.
Tom starting the second pitch.
About to embark on some awfully awkward leftward ledge crawling ©Tom Livingstone
The view from the second belay ©Tom Livingstone
A video of tom getting psyched for the last pitch up the overhanging slot.