Bolt Holes and Boulder Books

Ali Coull cranks out another V7...Boltsheugh

In a winter such as this, more an extended wet autumn, sunny days have been at a premium, but the NE bags the best of the rain shadow days and glorious sunshine on dry rock is a strong lure away from the dreich overhangs of Dumby... a couple of phone calls from an A90 layby and I found myself basking in the sheltered sunny rock bays of Boltsheugh at Newtonhill. Always a good local bolt-hole and training ground, the sports walls are now more regularly bouldered, including the excellent eliminate traverses and straight-ups... Guy Robertson was quick to point out the many 'illegal' holds I was using, but hell, I didn't mind, it was dry, the sun sank slowly like a lost flare and my eyes hurt to look at it all, no wonder really...

Updates on the next Stone Country books: Stone Play - a global collection of bouldering writing and photography - should be out in May, just finalising a few last articles and photos, then it's off to Italy for the giant digital loo-roll treatment that is modern printing... you remember Bagpuss and the mice who ran the chocolate biscuit factory that so confounded Professor Yaffle...? it's a bit like that, but books come out and the mice are Italian and eat Salsiccia.

A boulder in the NW...

End of the year should see the first Stone Country Companion, which will really be a new edition of the Stone Country book in disguise. It will be a stuffed companion to the best bouldering in Scotland, full colour, with over 100 venues in preparation, many of them entirely new (despite the claims of wizened veterans that they did it years ago in wellies!!), and some very surprising rock formations to boot... it's again an exercise in showing what Scotland has to offer the boulderer apart from midges and bad weather: I'll only be placing in the top problems in each area, as to be completist would be absurd. It's more a dedicated reference for the keen boulderer, with photo-topos, maps etc. explaining classic and new venues, but still giving clues and pointers to unclimbed lines and areas... in conjunction fuller topos and updates will be available online at the website.

Should be a breeze...

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