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Showing posts from September, 2009

Glen Lednock Blocs

A fine collection of rough boulders under the dam at the top of Glen Lednock, this bouldering venue was developed by Kev Howett and friends in 2003. We'll be updating theStone Country site soon with a collection of topos, Kev has kindly donated a guide to the bouldering here. Here are some of the best problems Lednock, and a wee vid of what you can expect.

Ambience: picnic with the family
Rock: compact schist – rough as gabbro
Season: spring and autumn, exposed
Gear: mats, wire brushes, skin cream
Grades: good easy blocs for kids, testpieces 6a to 7b
GR: NN 727 286

Approach: From the A9 Perth-Stirling road, take the exit signed to Braco along the A822. Just after Braco, take a left onto the B827 signed to Comrie. Once in Comrie turn left at a T-Junction after the river. Drive round a sharp bend and at the next bend turn right uphill into the forest. Continue to open country and into Glen Lednock proper. Drive to the Invergeldie farm steadings and head uphill past …

Down Tools Old Men

Much as I was impressed by the news that Stevie Haston had creatined himself stupid to climb 9a over 50, the future belongs to kids like this... surely the limit for him is just how long and thin they can make ropes: 200m silk/carbon rope pitches of Font 8b cruxes - what would that be? Bring it on I say. An impressive piece of climbing:

Enzo.Chocholoco
by oddofrederic


Ben Macdui

I'd never been to the top of Ben Macdui, shame on me, but once on the Cairngorm plateau it really doesn't look like a mountain top, more of a bowl of piled gravel so I'd never got beyond the Ben Avon basin. This remote paradise is far more spectacular and alpine in its dramatic sweep of rock and water than the plateau, so it tends to suck the climber downhill amongst the waterfalled crags into the heart of its monolithic geology.

The weather was settled with high pressure stamping out any hint of summit winds, so I took the excellent path up into Sneachda by the bubbling burn and over the goat track down into Shelterstone. Adrian Crofton and Graham Tyldsley were steadily inching their way up Cupid's Bow, so I took a break to boulder around the blocs, chased by unusually potent midges. I was lured into the big gully to the left of Sheltertstone by the bubbling sound of two Ring Ouzels boulder hopping. I'd never seen these birds before, though I knew this rocky talus …

Bonanza Time

It's not often you find your dinner ready prepared while bouldering. On a perfect autumn morning I visited a local venue to catch some cool bouldering conditions and went mushroom hunting nearby. I came back to my boulder mat with a bag full of dinner: chanterelles may replace broccoli as the weapon of choice for the Glasgow boulderer. I picked the biggest and ate them all, sorry, they were just too good!


Oh, and the bouldering is coming into good nick across the country. Unclipping mats, squeaking boots, chalk rubbings, brushings, attending to faded sequence memory - the rubric of bouldering begins in earnest! May this high pressure last for months, God knows we deserve it...
Here's a vid of the classic Jamie's Overhang sit start called 'The Art of War' 6c+ at Craigmore. I also took the opportunity to turf in the big holes someone had dug in the belief they could move the prop boulders. You can't, and the ground is back to nice and flat - I lost a few pounds wi…

Achray Blocs

At last the sunshine is here and those crisp autumnal mornings are back. I drove over the Dukes Pass in a kind of hysteria, like a prison break lost by the hounds. Having been camped indoors for a month I was a little giddy with the sudden fine weather and the prospect of some dry rock. A reliable roadside venue can be found on the Achray Blocs below the overgrown crag beside Loch Achray. Though limited, the main bloc has some fine movement and always seems to be dry, hunkering as it does under giant beech trees.
Red squirrels bounced around like rusty springs as I set up the paraphernalia: tarp, mat, chalk bag, rags and brushes. The holds were attended to, some moves rehearsed for warm-ups. Clapping chalk into the autumn air in this little rocky amphitheatre, I felt energised enough to climb the main arete - a superb sequence from the sitting start. Energy is vital to bouldering and I always feel the atmosphere, the 'spirit' of the landscape and your inner buzz (without bein…

New Guide to Arrochar and Cowal

The new Blocsport Guide to Arrochar and Cowal is now available as a 16 page full colour PDF download for only 3.50. It is a guide to the best bouldering and sport climbing between Arrochar and the Cowal peninsula. It is a precursor chapter to the new area guides from Stone Country, so if you purchase a copy of the PDF please let us know if there are additions or inaccuracies and we'll correct for the print issues. Also, we are seeking photographs for the new print guides, so if you have any good sample jpegs send them through and we'll consider for inclusion (free guide if you are included).
The contents list goes as follows:
1. Ardvorlich Sports Crags including Hidden Walls & Quarterdome 2. Loch Sloy Blocs 3. The Narnain Boulders 4. Glen Croe Blocs 5. Kennedy Boulder 6. Coilessan Blocs and projects 7. Glen Kinglas , the Restil boulders and the Butterbridge Bloc 8. The Anvil Sport Climbs!! 9. Tighnabruaich Sport Climbs at the Viewpoint crags 10. Glen Massan House Bloc and Miracle…

Ruthven Boulder News

Well done to Mike Lee for finally solving the big roof of the Ruthven boulder and its horrific slopers. Mike was filmed by Richie Betts completing the problem, at a grade of 7c, the hardest straight-up on the boulder to date. It takes the roof through the flake to the sloping top-out just left of Barry Manilow. He called it QED... and he demonstrates it so...