Friday, August 07, 2009

Rob's Reed

High Voltage 6b+

I must admit, I'm impressed with this crag. I usually hate pebble pulling, I find it as secure as climbing on a stack of giant Minstrels. However, this crag has enough good sandstone flag mixed in with the pebbles, and enough varied angles from roofs to walls, to provide some of the best short sport climbs in Scotland. Around 50 routes provide all sorts of entertaining moves from butch pocket pulling to delicate balance moves. The climbing is still blind and hard to onsight, but if you dog the generous bolts, tick the holds with chalk (take a stick of blackboard chalk), the grades become understandable! Of course, full marks for any onsight... I spent most of my time on 6c's brushing around on high like Rolf Harris - 'can you tell what it is yit?'

The outlook is superb, a pleasant grass runway underneath the routes, and some little stone plinth seats for lunch or contemplating your blasted forearms. The lack of midges and shading trees make it an ideal high summer venue - all the more appealing as the fantastic roofs of Dirty Harry's Cave finally dry out. These have modern-style bouldery roof routes, classic 7b's such as The Enforcer and Climb and Punishment (best route at the crag?). There are projects up to 8a so the venue will become even more attractive. The lower end is maybe not catered for so much with even the 6a's proving hard, especially if you are just breaking into this grade - 'pebble-blindness' gives you no help whatsoever! The best of the grades seem to be between 6b and 7a with technical wall climbs and crack climbs such as Breaking Through on Aggregate (7a) and High Voltage 6b+ proving popular.


Climb and Punishment 7b

If you haven't been, get yourself a topo from Neil Shepherd at Arbroath Sports Climbs. If you tick the whole crag in a day, treat yourself to a Forfar Bridie... you'll need it!

Look...pebbles!!

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