Skip to main content

Scottish Bouldering

The caves at Cullen have seen some recent activity by John Brown who has an excellent set of photos on his Flickr site.

He climbed the entrance wall of the main cave, giving the new problem 'Cullen Skank', which wins my award for the best name so far this year!

Cullen Skank Font 7a FA John Brown 2009
St Loraine Black Lady's cavern (the one just behind St Duane's cave) - just to the right of the graffiti naming the cave. Standing start in a small slot and slopey crimp, up and vaguely right to finish high on two small crimps.

In Glen Nevis, Alan Cassidy was sheltering from a storm when he found a real bouldering gem in ahidden roof. After a quick brush and clean-up, he sent it down at 7b or thereabouts in his words, so expect some big power moves! Well worth seeking out apparently - look forward to finding it, Alan - I must have walked past it dozens of times!

The Hurricane Shelter Font 7b *** FA Alan Cassidy Jan 2009
On the path up to Sky Pilot, just above Cavalry Crack buttress. there is a flat grassy area. Above this is a large boulder forming a cave above a rocky ramp. This problem starts at the obvious blocky feature low on the the right and climbs the arete/lip in its entirity. Half way along the lip a tree forces a powerful reach to a good but sharp hold in the roof from where the lip can be regained (crux) and followed to a nice mantel out left.

Recently decanted from Ireland to Scotland, Pierre Fuentes, who writes a good blog, has been visiting the good and bad Scotland has to offer in terms of stones, though he's yet to visit the Northwest which bleaches out all else! Anyway, he thought Clova the highlight of the East Coast, maybe it's the homesickness for Glendalough and all those clustered stones? He reported one new problem, and thought maybe the grading needs revised overall... probably my own problems!

'Glen Clova was by far the best place in my opinion. Lots of cool problems in a beautiful valley full of silly sheep. Really great. It reminded me so much of Glendalough in Wicklow. We did most of the lines in the guidebook plus a few other ones that seem to have been cleaned. Also added a cool rockover on a boulder that's standing on top of another one (looks like a guy with a hat, video attached.) My brother called it the Bulgarian Lift, probably 6b although the grades there seem to be very soft.'

Pierre did a good introduction to Targassonne in France, available here at TheShortSpan.

In the Northwest, Richie Betts repeated Dave MacLeod's excellent sloper problem 'Changed Days' on the Russell Boulder at Applecross Kishorn. Here's the video:


Pierre said…
Dude, forget what I said about the grades in Glen Clova: if it's like Glendo, it must be very conditions dependant and indeed it was an excellent day!

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

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

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.