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Showing posts from November, 2010

The Friday Review - WHO OWNS SCOTLAND

You would be mistaken for thinking that Scotland was the land of enlightened land access and ownership for all, given the high profile success of community-spirited buyouts such as Eigg, Gigha and the recent campaign against Donald Trump'sDespicable-Me impersonation (if only it were impersonation). 
But things are not as they seem and a new book which has opened my eyes to the deep land injustices of Scotland (not just the Clearances) is Andy Wightman's 'The Poor Had No Lawyers - Who Owns Scotland And How They Got It', published by Birlinn.
Andy is a longstanding campaigner and investigative journalist who runs the excellent website Who Owns Scotland, dedicated to a transparent listing of all the landowners in Scotland and how they got the land. The book to accompany this campaign is a follow up to his 1996 book Who Owns Scotland and goes a lot deeper than many landowners would feel comfortable with. It  is refreshingly polemic for such a detailed analysis of 'feus&#…

The Pinnacle - Review

The latest film from Hotaches, The Pinnacle is a welcome historical tribute set amidst our normal dietary blizzard of modern Youtube ascents and techno-sodden bouldering movies.  Tracing one epic week on Ben Nevis in 1960, and the two climbers who took to the wintry corries of Ben Nevis (Jimmy Marshall and Robin Smith), it brings into focus a clear Scottish ethic that climbing is about the landscape, the adventure, the friendships and the moment...something which Jimmy Marshall insists is the core lesson of a lifetime in the mountains - that climbing is not about the noise afterwards but rather those brief moments of unseen joy in the mountains.
This filmic tribute is in essence a remembrance of Robin Smith, a luminary climber of the 1950s and early 60s who sadly lost his life in the Pamirs in 1962. In one of the many poignant interviews in the film, an older but still rugged-looking Marshall describes Smith's climbing prowess with an undiminished clarity of remembrance, describing…

Bouldering in Scotland 2010 - High End stuff

There has been lots of new activity as usual this year in Aberdeen, the NW and Dumbarton Rock in particular. Some venues continue to expand their repertoire such as Glen Nevis, Glen Lednock and Torridon and Applecross, with Coire nan Arr the best of the bunch in terms of rock quality and stunning new lines.

Cubby, Dave MacLeod and Donald King found some good accessible conglomerate bouldering south of Golspie at The Mound, Loch Fleet (NH 766 978).

Macleod's Arisaig cave was a hardcore find and Dave found some high-end training traverses on immaculate quartzite. His two main problems there were At Eternity's Gate 8b, Triangulation 8a and All the Small Things Font 8a.


The sea-cliffs at Aberdeen continue to provide meaty testpieces and good traverse training. Tim Rankin did a new problem on the roof just right of the Big Grey boulder called Delirium at 8a+, very slopey and condition dependent through the lip.

Delirium 8a+ Clashfarquhar - pic Tim Rankin
At Coire nan Arr, Richie Bet…