From the guidebooks, always a mixed blessing, I knew that the climb started up a 'short crack', on which they spent few words. The first moves up it were like trying to wade in rock. A huge recumbent flake is propped against the buttress proper. The fissure between them was obviously what to use. I stuck my left foot crossways into it, knowing it would lodge, hoisted my right one towards the shelf made by the flake, and ... nothing happened. My foot sank into the crack, and in and in – my other one couldn't quite hook onto the top – I was half-riding an obdurate stone steed, or rather I was slumping back off it in a sweat of frustration. There must be something. I braced my left foot hard, pressed sideways on it and ... it kept disappearing into that narrow, seemingly bottomless shadow.'
This Friday- a beautiful and poignant piece of writing from the master of perfectly pitched climbing prose David Craig. Certainly a strong contender for one of the best articles ever published on this site.
Illustration from an original painting by Bill Wynn