Showing posts from September, 2005


Guy Robertson on 'The Aberdonian' V8 ss Portlethen. On the main area, Tim Rankin added a hard sit start called The Aberdonian , which he says is an unmissable problem if you’re climbing to that level and in the area. The stand-up is easier, but also classic status amongst the problems here. John Watson added a link-up on the Bad Buoy - start up the Bad Buoy sit start to the break, traverse right to a crux cut-loose and desperate little nubbin sloper to rock up the flake problem above the mezzanine. Glasgow Bhoy V6 pic... Tim Rankin has further devloped the harbour area, mainly round the big stone of the Bad Buoy Boulder and Dave’s Roof across the wee bay. Hopefully we’ll see a complete topo for Portlethen in the near future, as it now has hundreds of excellent gems. The best problems are Pete’S Lip - the full lip traverse of the boulder skipping over to the smaller boulder to finish along that; the seaward arete of Moon Lightning and the steep central wall from a sit s

Acapulco Zawn - Dawros Head, Donegal

Acapulco E3 5c Acapulco Zawn - a wild traipse over a storm-smoothed wall, moving boldly between thin breaks until forced out over the sea... this photo was taken in 1999, I believe. A perfect sea-cliff route.

Temperance V5 Dawros Head Donegal

Bouldering out of a blow-hole on a wave-cut platform, up stepped overhangs, the crux of this was maintaining body tension and hanging the slopers long enough to reach a three-finger crimp and wind-eroded jugs in the seams of schist above... I spent a good hour trying to find the balance and still my body enough to keep the hand on that left sloper... too much momentum meant falling over, too little power meant a slip back into your own gravity: a bit like the balance in surfing a wave - rock is a static wave that has to be surfed upwards with the same attention to balance and control.

The Famine Road


Meta Bouldering

Metadolerite. what the hell was that? I flicked through the South Donegal appendix to discover it is an igneous intrusion, but very, very old. An original intrusion into very old schist, this itself had been metamorphosed several times into a dense smooth gabbro of sorts, with rough faces and unbreakable holds, even the wee edges were like diamond. There was sea-washed schist as well, smooth and faceted, or rippled into finger jugs where baby periwinkles lodged under the fingernails... sea-bouldering in Donegal is elemental. Traipsing out over zawns, heel-hooking out along wave-cut platforms, hanging to a nugget-hard residue of the earth's previous thoughts. Seals raised curious buoy-like heads, sniffed the air for human sweat, curious at the odd struggles. A russet mink sniffed along the ledges, oblivious and upwind, then vanished into the rocks somewhere. The machair is bitten down by late summer winds, the heather dessicated, mushrooms shrivelled in dry cow pats, asphodel like