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Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

Exams are over

By Anna Wells
21, Oct, 2015

Medicine finals out the way means more time outdoors!

Finishing my final exams for medicine last month was a fantastic moment for me, marking the end of a challenging summer and the re-awakening of a spirit for activity and adventure! 

I drove straight up to Inverness and it was an absolute joy to be outdoors again and get back on the rock. I had a brilliant weekend which included sport climbing at a local crag and multi-pitch trad climbing in the cairngorms, complete with petting some reindeer! 

Next I drove down to North Wales for a self-organised placement in the hospital. Part of my motivation was to check out the local scenes (climbing and medical!) to consider it as a location for my junior doctor years. Although I was on placement, the evenings and weekends were free and I managed to sample many of the climbing styles Wales has to offer – mountain trad, sea-cliff trad, dry-tooling and the slate quarries! I even got in a bit of running (discovering I could get from the hospital car-park to the summit of Snowdon in 90 minutes!), and found a new love for mountain biking.

I visited the drytooling venue “White Goods” for the first time, and loved the style of the routes with their bouldery roof sections. I hadn’t pulled on axes since last year’s competitions and it felt terrifying learning to trust the hooks again! I managed to climb Ready Steady Hook, which is my second M10, (along with Fast and Furious) and I was pleased to tick this route very quickly. One of my goals for the coming year is to climb an M11 – I would absolutely love to achieve that!

Also whilst in Wales, I joined a couple of friends who were trying to climb all four pitches of a famous route in the slate quarries, called “Quarryman”. The famously esoteric “groove” pitch involves squirming up a slippy corner, trying to avoid being spat out, whilst implementing tactics including knee-bars, full body bridges and chicken-winging! I spent a few days hanging on ledges and ropes, enjoying their high levels of psyche, taking photos and getting involved with the groove; I’d love to go back and get on this route again. 

What’s Next? I am currently on a medical placement in Malta, where I heard there is some good sport climbing! Turns out the climbing is absolutely fantastic! :-D

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