Skip to main content

Industria


The first snows on the southern highlands now have a wider vista behind the the slow dismantling of the old distillery, like time being reversed. All the bricks being removed, taken away, turned back into dust and clay, buried back in the earth... and still we return to Dumbarton, dismantling the old, forging the new.

Winter has come early this November... it's bouldering weather - time to get on the slopers you couldn't hang in summer, time to enjoy the brief thrill of rubber biting into smooth basalt, sticking and allowing the torque to be applied... letting the power surge smoothly without the clutch slipping. Dave MacLeod is very close to the roof link-up under Gorilla, saying he feels way stronger than last year (!) - the body tension in him is locked taut as an Erskine bridge cable, which is the least required to maintain the rigid architecture between fingers and heels.

Dave MacLeod working 'Pressure'

Someone took a chainsaw to the old 2HB sycamore, a rather radical prune, but no doubt it will sprout back, stumpier but perennial (maybe best to get rid of the evidence, boys?). One benefit of this is that it has revealed A Ford Flash - Cubby's testpiece on the front wall of Eagle Boulder. It also allows an unobstructed sit-start to an excellent reverse problem to Dressed for Success, which is well-chalked at the minute and maybe a grade easier than the left to right version (Font 7b for the money). Consolidated is getting the attention of Richard McGhee - see his ridiulously huge span in the photo sequence, though what he makes up for in reach he loses in body tension, possibly making it all harder and a F8a proposition.

Richard McGhee on Consolidated V9

There's a good new eliminate traverse that stays dry even in atrocious weather - Shattered - which follows the lowest line of holds from the Desperado corner to a step-off under the Fever Pitch arete. The rule is simple- use the lowest holds and no high jugs for rests. It gets hard about Longbow, where a drop-down move leads to a hard cruxy sequence past the cave and under the bulge through to the arete. Dave MacLeod thought it a worthy F7c, before John Watson cheekily downgraded it to F7b+ (because he doesn't get that opportunity too often!).


Steve Richardson on 'Shattered'

In this weather, you should be getting on the slopey classics: Gorilla, Slap Happy, Consolidated, Mugsy... it all feels like a bargain at the minute! If you are down at the Rock this winter, bring a binbag or two so that when you're boosted you can collect some cans and rubbish and throw it in the skip by the stadium - there is a party culture in the Gorilla Cave at the minute and discarded Tennent's cans seem to be appearing spontaneously, as though they leave spores. It's your local world-class bouldering venue and needs a little help sometimes, you'll not see a fluorescent council jacket down here, that's for sure...

Comments

Get it dispatched Davey ! I'll be down as soon as possible. Keep working the crucifix grip fella.

Si

Popular posts from this blog

Plato's Cave

In his famous 'allegory of the cave', the Greek philosopher Plato pondered the artificiality of reality in imagining how we could be fooled into thinking shadows on the wall (i.e. virtual reality) could be seen as 'real' life. I'm paraphrasing, of course. What has this got to do with climbing?

Well, I was pondering this myself recently while sitting on an artificial concrete boulder at the new Cuningar Loop bouldering park in Glasgow. Does it really matter that a boulder is made of concrete, surrounded by plantation and skirted with kind gravel traps rather than tree roots and spikey boulders? Isn't the 'real' thing so much better: the isolated erratic bloc deposited by geology's long-term aesthetic artwork? Well, yes, that's entirely up to you, but sometimes the artificial saves the day ... I was scuppered by Glasgow's cross-town traffic and turned back to my local artifice that is Cuningar to climb the blue circuit I had imagined as somet…

Timeline Walks of Scotland #Culbin Sands

The Moray Firth’s sand-bitten southern coast, between Findhorn and Nairn, is home to Scotland’s most cautionary tract of land. Now a wilderness of maritime forest, dunes, salt marsh and spits of sand, its human history has been dated to the Bronze Age, around 1300 BC, but it is a territory that since glacial times would have been mobile and mutable.

The Laich of Moray is the fertile strip of plain squeezed between the foothills of the Cairngorms and the Moray Firth’s south coast. In Gaelic it is called Machair Mhoireibh (the machair of Moray), a perfect habitat for golf courses and rich arable farmland, threaded by the glacially-rivered straths of Nairn, Findhorn and Spey.

Culbin is an old parish which is now buried under 28 square kilometres of duneland and recent forestry. Sweeping east of Narin and curving in to rise up to its greatest heights above the estuary of the River Findhorn, it is now managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, but it is notable that this is a humanly retr…

Scottish Bouldering #New Glasgow climbing wall: The Prop Store

The Glasgow branch of The Climbing Academy (TCA) is just about to open its new bouldering and lead-climbing centre on Glasgow's north side. Its south-side twin ('The News Room')  is already a popular bouldering centre, but the new site will bring fresh inspiration to climbers on the north side of the Clyde. Situated in Maryhill, not far from the West End, this new centre is named after an old BBC prop warehouse, so it's been named 'The Prop Store'.  The centre feels roomy and spacious with a long profile. The holds and panels are super-grippy and there are some free-standing boulders to mantle out as well as an impressive offering of angles, roofs, slabs and subtly sweeping walls.  There is also a section of lead wall with auto-belays for top-roping practice, and a training centre upstairs. They should be open this December, but here are some preview shots.