Mike Lee used a break in exams to good effect at Dumby, creating a new problem out of nothing it seems. He traversed the lip of the BNI boulder, standing start half way through Sabotage, giving it 7b+. Looks a good problem...
With the new guide to Glasgow Bouldering forthcoming, and with the last two years spent scouring our local landscapes for vertical diversion, many of us discovered a closer, more nuanced appreciation of climbing and how it helps maintain mental wellbeing as much as physical. The big mountains and wilderness landscapes were for the first time excluded from access and our pandemic taught us all to appreciate the landscapes on our doorstep. Even the urban world has its own small wildernesses and landscapes to immerse ourselves in for a while. For me, the daily walk in lockdown occasionally became a hunt for an esoteric piece of rock spied on the OS map or Google Earth. Rumours of boulders and mythologies of obscure rock were hunted down to help feed a hunger for the vertical. Even Dumbarton Rock was out of range, lying outside of the Glasgow City boundary. It's a venue which famously makes the blood run cold, with fiercely exposed overhanging routes, highball boulder problems and cl
‘The Stony Place’ as it translates, the archaeological notes on the RCAHMS database for Eigg, state baldly the lost humanity of Grulin as early as an 1880 OS survey map: ‘…eighteen unroofed buildings, six enclosures and a field-system’. Now a scheduled monument and memorialised as a ‘depopulated settlement’, though it is not obvious if the verb is passive or aggressive, Grulin Uachdrach (Grulin Upper) is, like Hallaig on Raasay, a place of violent silence and resonance. Who lived here and why was the site abandoned? If it were not in Scotland, suspicions might fall to the climate, remoteness and apparent unsustainability of the stony place, a rabble of large rocks under the steep slopes of An Sgurr, but the carefully constructed walls tell us it was once a thriving township – the kilns, folds and blackhouse walls integrated with the giant boulders such as Clach Hosdail. In 1853 the whole of the village of Grulin, both upper and lower, housed fourteen families who were forced to l
Ages ago, oh, well only 7 years I'd say, I recall discussing the idea of a grand book on Scottish mountain crags with Guy Robertson and Adrian Crofton, a kind of regional upgrade and remix of Extreme Rock / Cold Climbs . They wanted to create something grand and poetical, giving the landscape as much presence as the climbing, and mixing the best writing with the best photography. It was a 'Big Stone Country' project and one too big for a small independent publisher. It gradually grew into a concept requiring significant resource and commitment, possibly even beyond Trustee based publishing such as the SMC. The history of publishing Scotland's climbing has now over a century of documentation. The first SMC journal was in 1890 (the journal including a chapter on Arran bouldering in 1897!) and it has kept a diligent and accurate record ever since, as well as including fine articles and writing over the decades. W.P. Haskett Smith produced volumes of guides in the