Skip to main content

North West New Bouldering



A week's ferry chasing on the ERT fares saw us through Moidart, Knoydart, Skye, Harris and Lewis, ending up in Ullapool. It was good to see Harris getting some bouldering attention, especially Aird Mighe, which is a terrific venue on the Golden Road, where it is almost impossible to keep your eyes on the road as you wind from Tarbert down to Rodal. I suspect there are some superb gneiss roofs hidden in this wilderness of water, light and rock. A walk through the vastness with binoculars and tent is a must for the next visit, though I am conscious that once in this eye-level maze, I might never come out again!



A new topo for the accessible Aird Mighe can be found on Scottish Climbs, I managed the excellent short roof problem of Crystal Voyage, which feels hard in the summer heat as the ultrabasic crystalline nature of the rock makes it a bit soapy. 6c in winter I'd say, but you'd probably not want to be here in winter, unless you have tent pegs to stake out your mat and tarp. The crag is typical of Harris: a rounded barrel of glaciated gneiss, but what makes it attractive to the boulderer are the undercut roofs that lead out to the walls.


Aird Mighe - Crystal Voyage 6c

In Ullapool, Ian Taylor and friends have been busy developing new routes and bouldering all around Coigach. Ian has produced an excellent new booklet guide to Ullapool New Routes, including the excellent technical bouldering at Ardmair, new routes at Rhue, Reiff, Ardmair and Rubha Dunan. The superb photo-topo booklet is a worthwhile addendum to the SMC Northern Highlands North. You can buy a copy in Ullapool's only real Outdoor shop at Northwest Outdoors (opposite the post office and beside Costcutters) , as well as Ian's Ullapool Bouldering guide.







Comments

Anonymous said…
Forgot my email address: fearguscooney@yahoo.co.uk

Ferg.
I mainly climb in the UK, thinking of heading up to Scotland tahnks for sharing your knowledge

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 somet…

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 humanly retr…

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.