Echo Wall send day
Looking at the weather forecast on Saturday showed that Monday and Tuesday were to have a lovely high pressure over Fort William but more importantly, over the Ben as well. Dave dually phoned Kev Shields, a climber friend from Ayrshire, with the pretense of asking him up to see some of the amazing new routes that, as yet, are unclimbed on the Ben. Oh, and they happen to have been in amazingly close proximity to Dave’s project when he was ready for the lead. Everyone knew what he was up to. He can’t pull the wool over my eyes that easily. If he got good conditions, I knew he’d be going for the lead on Monday night.
Good grief, the walk-in was hot. Unbelievably hot. No matter how many times I do it, the walk-in is always a killer. I think that if the route was beside the CIC hut, it would have been a doddle. It’s the long, slippery stumble up Observatory Gully that gets me every time. I guess it’s that remoteness which made it more fun for Dave but not so much for me. Hopefully, I won’t have to do the stumble up Observatory Gully much more as those conditions came good on Monday night and he got the route led.
A looooong way. Thank god for ipods
From my filming position, I watched Dave on the screen as he climbed up and past me. I seen him cast a few glances in my direction which make me squirm a bit when I watch the footage back, it’s like he’s having one last look at his wife. When I’m filming people doing hard/difficult things, I feel oddly detached from the event, like it isn’t really happening. It’s like you’re watching it on TV, not happening in real-time in front of you and this case was no different so I wasn’t scared for him - just concentrating on filming and trusting him to know that the time was right to lead it.
Dave didn’t top out ‘til about quarter to ten at night so it was a dark walk down to see the boys (who are working) at the CIC hut who were waiting up to see how the day went (you didn’t fool them either, Dave!) and then a hungry walk out to pizza and coke at home at 2am.
The past couple of days have been spent relatively normally, it hasn’t really sunk in yet. Or maybe I’m being too casual about it? What is now dawning though, is that I really am making a film and I only have a couple of months to get it ready for release in time for autumn.
Oh my god.