The sound of the waves crashing against the cliff are almost drowned out by the lower roaring noise of the current. The roar comes from deep in the sea, the rip tides under the surface of the ocean. The wind blowing in from the Atlantic, having blown across Rum already, freezes my fingers as I belay or at least do something, struggle with the rope and plate. It’s sat in a different position to normal, higher up my chest, as I’m in a full body harness. My ‘bump’ is now too big to allow a normal harness to be worn, has led to an uncomfortable abseil into the start of the route.
I keep watching the sea, hoping to see seals but failing. Observing the storm clouds, dark and quick moving. They have swallowed up Rum, and Uisk already, the strong cold wind whipping them across the sea towards us.
Absorbed by being back on a sea cliff, the smell, salt and tang of seaweed. The rock is a quartz sandstone. Red hues in the grey, compact and rough. It’s eroded into beautiful figures, wonderful to climb, to hold to and smear feet on.
The rope pulls tight, Wez yells to climb. Untangling the belay, I persuade my body that it still knows how to climb, bump and all.