There's been a long quest for the right route and now we're there. The arete at Maiden's Bluff is still unclimbed and still exquisitely insane. It's a weird place up there, the seld-trod slopes lashed with rhododendrons and sweeping bushes, the distant swashing sea. It's a very peaceful place, especially when the tide is out like today.
The arete itself is also fairly peaceful. You can tell that the line is content with itself. It's never had any attention. No one's ever tried it. But it knows that it is classy. It knows that it would scare off basically everyone in the world. Developing a relationship with a piece of rock like this is therefore extra special.
I still don't know for sure whether I'm going to go for the solo. There needs to be some philosophizing that gets me to a point where the risk is not only worth it, but the experience on the solo is something I crave. The first step has been to turn the shunting sessions from a horror to a tea-party. This has started to happen and I've started to feel good on the crux.
The rock is solid where it needs to be, but the easier sections of climbing have some disgusting holds that really cannot be trusted and often fall off completely unexpectedly. I suppose the crux itself is the pinnacle of choss climbing, with hard, totally unprotected moves on crumbling smears. The barndoor crux is out of this world, which is also probably where the mind needs to be.