Showing posts from May, 2007

New Topos & Mini-Guides

New Scottish venue... mmm As part of my ever-expanding list of Scottish bouldering venues to place in the new Stone Country Companion, some intrepid folk have kindly donated some topos and mini-guides to their favourite areas. I thought it would be good to place these online on the Stone Country site as downloadable and printable .pdf files as the authors would like some feedback on repeats, opinions, classic problems, variations, eliminates etc... I'll put more on the satellite map as I go along, but here's a few articles and topos you can find as easter eggs... Cairn Liath - by Betaguides (Gabbrofest folk)... thanks to Lee Robinson Muchalls Shore by Stuart Stronach Glen Lednock mini-guide by Kev Howett Ben Ledi mini-guide by Kev Howett Dumfries & Galloway - article by J Watson NE Bouldering - article by J Watson

Muchalls Shore

Flying Pig V2 - Muchalls Shore Thanks to Stuart Stronach for providing a topo for this pleasant NE bouldering venue... I'll place his topo on the main website for download at Here's what Stuart says of the area: Muchalls Shore - It’s a few miles south of Portlethen – a broad pebbly beach with assorted boulders, craglets and pinnacles that now offers nearly 100 problems, mostly very easy but with a few up to V5. As such, it will hopefully attract those who find the Portlethen circuit a little too intense, and/or those new to bouldering. The mostly friendly landings also make a pleasant change from the boulders and rocks on other coastal spots. That said, there are a few problems which require a ‘shallow water soloing’ mentality, including Chris Fryer’s Smile Around the Face . Downsides? Well, it’s more tidal than Portlethen, so barnacles can be a problem when the tide is out, and the problems are spread out over a larger area. Potential for more problem


Michael Tweedley crimping the Tombstone, Ben Ledi Scotland is notorious for 'invisible' repeats, that is, folk doing problems and moving on quietly, which in many ways is a humble and respectful response to climbing, what does it matter as long as you enjoy it? Still, I believe a good boulder problem should be given a nod occasionally. Also, it is often hard to guage where Scotland is in terms of bouldering development. Dumbarton may be the test-tank for the hardest problems and well-documented and repeated (or not!), but who is out there repeating the stunning lines around the rest of the country? Well, plenty it seems. Niall McNair is an opportunist. He won't mind me saying so - it reflects his on-sight philosophy, one of the few Scottish traditional climbers who takes any opportunity to climb as he finds it, attracted by 'the line'. In bouldering terms he has been quietly repeating the classic lines around the country: last year he repeated King Kong at Dumby, K

Torridon Classics

The Celtic Knot - Font 6a on the Conundrum Wall Ian Taylor's recent topo of the almighty Ship boulder and Richie Bett's ascent of the 'gritstone testpiece' that is The Mission inspired a revisit to the Celtic Boulders at Torridon, despite feeling weak from a month off bouldering. The weather was chucking down showers all over the east and central area of Inverness, so I took the new European road to Torridon from Garve, making it in about half an hour. Warming up on the Celtic boulders, Richie appeared over a rise like some square-backed hermit crab with all his mats. Unkindly, I threw him on 'the Celtic Knot' a classic little Font 6a sandbag. Behind this 'Conundrum' wall is the giant Spaceship boulder with its easy slabs, however its steeper wall has two excellent slab lines, pulling over a wee roof to wobbly top-outs on barely sufficient slopers. It was time to visit the Ship boulder. This giant lump of clean Torridonian rippled sandstone looks nothi

April Bouldering News

Chahala sit start Font 8a I guess I'll add a lot more to this when I get some more news but while I was away in Chile, some more big numbers were graffiti'd to Dumbarton: Dave succeeded on the oft-attempted sit start to Chahala...Font 8a! Lots of body tension, finger strength, clamping and wild throwing required. Dave also added a new sitter under the Mugsy headwall called Set in Motion at 7c+ though you might need the holds pointed out, it seems to share holds with Spam. Anyway, well done to Dave for a rich vein of bouldering form over the season! He also repeated Kayla at Portlethen, which makes it the fourth after Tim Rankin, Luke Fairweather and Niall McNair? Methods and grades apparently vary from 7c to 8a... all a stramash of numbers really, let's just say the line is good and it's nails!! DaveMacLeod on his own 'Set In Motion' 7c+ at Dumby Chris Graham has been busy cleaning up the open dot projects from the Stone Country book...I deliberately added a fe

Samson Stone - Perthshire

Thanks to Kevin Howett for the beta on this stone... Samson’s Stone (825220) This single glacial erratic lies in a field on the north edge of the woods of Creag na Gaoith, west of Crieff. A subsidiary hill is clearly identified from mil es around by the vertical monument of Sir David Baird , thrusting from its summit. The boulder is rounded schist, not particularly high, but offers short vicious problems on small holds and a desperate traverse. It lies in the field, just off the track. Access it as for the monument path, but contour off left 50m up the path. The south face (facing the track) is very low and an easy step gains the top. The problems are described from here rightwards. 1. Slap Head V3 (6a) S Muir 07.05.03 From the big bucket, gain the rounded lip of the boulder on the left and traverse it left to pull onto the top at the easy side. 2. Slap Them Thigh’s V2 (6a) K Howett 15.04.03 From the big bucket hold gai