Showing posts from January, 2010

Scottish Climbing Yearbook 2010 OUT NOW!

We've just received stock of the new Scottish Climbing Yearbook. It's an 80 page full colour summary of the best in the last year's Winter, Bouldering, Sport and Trad in Scotland. The book is full of features and, most notably, guides to new venues and crags. It's perfect to throw in the glove box of the car for those hours spent sitting out the rain! You can buy it next day FREEPOST on the right... just follow the Paypal check out and we'll pop it in the post first class mail. Guides included: Winter - Bridge of Orchy Ice Winter - Ben Nevis No. 3 Gully Buttress Sport - Orchestra Cave Sport - Red Wall Quarry Sport - The Anvil Sport - North Berwick Law Sport - Dunglass Sport - Ardvorlich Sport - Cave Crag Dunkeld Sport -Dumbuck Sport - Rob's Reed Trad - Craig More, Crieff Trad - Sheigra Trad - Cir Mhor Arran Bloc - Hebrides Bloc - Shelterstone Bloc - Trossachs Bloc - Rankin Bloc, Galloway Bloc - Culdie, Applecross Bloc - Craigmore Bloc - Glen lednock fe

Dreaming of Summer

Starting to forget what dry rock under warm blue skies is all about, so here's a wee taster of summer bouldering. It's a brief guide to some bouldering in the Outer Hebrides, just to keep the fires burning... click HERE to source the PDF at Stone Country.

Beinn Udlaidh Ice

An aptly gloomy Sunday on Beinn Udlaidh , chasing the last of the ice as the big thaw hit and moist clouds and mist swirled around the corrie. It wasn't too bad. The ice was all still there, with the rarer stuff still touching down, but it was on its way out today and won't last unless it freezes this week. Water was running down the icicles, soaking us off the overhangs and everything was becoming a fragile chandelier apart from the thicker fat blue stuff. Quartzvein Scoop was still very thick but sugary coatings of melting snow made the tops and shallower bays a nightmare. A refreeze this week might repair things... Land of Make Believe

9 Out of 10 Climbers... Stone Country Review

Available at Stone Country Reviewed by John Watson I used to work in a busy high street bookshop, looking after various book 'sections'. One day I was given custodianship of the 'Self-Help' section and felt immediately deflated. Everyone laughed, no-one wanted it and it was a hot potato section passed on to new staff in fast rotation. If a customer came up with a book such as How to Be More Assertiv e we would deliver the withering line: 'Are you sure you want this one?' It was cruel, but with the plethora of quack authors around on the 90's bandwagon of 'guru' publishing, we naturally distrusted the whole genre. It's a particularly Celtic/British thing to do - to refuse help, to feel indomitable and self-reliant. Until life hits you with a curveball, you feel like you are the one with 'the knowledge'; everything you know seems the right thing to know. It's exactly the same with climbing. Indeed, the longer you have been climbing, t

Ardvorlich Cascades

Ardvorlich Hidden Upper Cascad e Though I knew of the Loch Lomond falls at Inverarnan and Eas Ruaridh having been climbed and often in nick in a cold winter such as this, I'd not heard of the Ardvorlich cascades having been climbed, though I expect they may have been in distant cold winters such as '96, '79, '67 or even the big chill of 1946? They can just about be spotted from the roadside at Ardvorlich B&B just after Inveruglas on the A82 on Loch Lomondside, just above the 400m contour. We hiked up there in deep snow, an exhausting hour's trek hauling up the square-holed wire fence to the obvious cascades which looked blue and chewy and inviting. As usual in winter, the climbing was not as steep as it appeared from the roadside, but two very good lines can be climbed on the lower falls in two pitches to a tree belay at the top, from where a bonus surprise awaits: a frozen enclosed gorge with tumbling blue ice, its central feature a frozen blue chamber of ice w

Stone Country New Year 2010

So who thought we would never get a winter again? The festive freeze, which looks like lasting over a month at a below 0 average temperature, has caused traffic chaos and made it pretty difficult to actually get into (and out of) some of the hills, especially the remoter car-parks, so activity has been limited if you can't afford snow tyres or 4x4's. Compounded by overstretched (or gambit-funded public roads services), travelling in Scotland has ground to a halt in most places. One trip from Glasgow to Ullapool at the height of the chaos took me 9 hours and one 4km hill walk took 5 hours. Not a great average. I'm sure many folk have had excruciating walk-ins to the cliffs, or simply bagged some convenient roadside ice instead. 2010 is here with a cold vengeance so what has Stone Country in store? Well, in mid January we are expecting delivery of the 2010 Scottish Climbing Yearbook , an 80 page photo/topo magazine to the most exciting developments in winter, bouldering, tra