A forgotten, windswept moor with broken old crags overlooking Inverclyde, it's a good spot to escape in the high summer. I'd be keen to know if anyone has bouldered here - Little Craig Minnan, in particular, was a terrific buttress with exciting problems over good grassy landings. There appears to be more rock in Muirshiel than I remember, as though I'd missed some vulcanism in the last decade or so. Buttresses everywhere... but sometimes the high contrast summer light makes them seem more substantial than they are!
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