Skip to main content


In between days of drizzly rain or tropical downpours, it's hard to commit to Scottish climbing: the mountains are wet, the bracken is too high and tick-ridden to walk anywhere off-piste and the weather is too muggy for bouldering or sport. So oddly Dumbarton Rock has been an interim saviour until things dry out properly. The hefty breezes and morning showers cool the basalt enough to make it fairly gritty and the slopers don't feel too bad. I started work again on the harder 7c extension to Consolidated, the one which drops down to the triangular block and fights it sway to the cave, which I'd never really 'consolidated' enough to complete. Three sessions have re-wired old engrams in my brain, one session with Mark Garthwaite proving I should stick to the short-man's complex sequence of endless 'adjustment' moves (Garth stretches and spans through ridiculous long crucifixes, making it shorter but maybe more sapping in the end...), so I found myself twice 'round the corner', but what is easy in isolation becomes desperate at the end of a thirty move 'approach''s a real redpoint crux and very much like traversing the endless lip of a sports cave. One more session....I know what will happen, skies will clear and I'll blow it by dissolving into the mountains until the autumn bouldering season!


Mike said…
Hey what are you doing, get back to pongo sitstart!!

Popular posts from this blog

Clyde Bloc Sport

Cammy Bell enjoying the summer evenings at Dunglass Currently we are developing the Stone Country Bloc Sport website to include a new series of area guides in pdf format, reworking Dumby and other Glasgow-radius crags with sport climbing included (so we'll have the new sports crags at Lomond and elsewhere...details to come!). These topos will also be available from the exciting new Betaguides website (due to launch in the next month or so - a complete database of bouldering in Britain). For the new Bloc Sport webiste I've been embroiled in all things Joomla, which is frying my head, so can't promise anything too soon, so I'll put the topos up on the blog as soon as we get them. Here's an example topo from the guides, which we will be producing in guidebook format next year - it's the Dunglass sport wall: Dunglass has been a saviour for me over the early summer, acting as a good training ground to get some basic fitness back. We have fully bolted the W

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

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 humanl