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Showing posts from May, 2012

Some Scottish Bouldering News 2012

Some news from the travelling band... May 2012 Greg Chapman of LakesBloc  and Rock and Run has been busy exploring in the Ross of Mull, adding the hardest problems to date on the superb pink granite that pokes out from under Mull's tertiary lavas around Fionnphort. His two best finds were both 7c+ on steep prows north-east of Kintra. Many other walls and problems are being developed, with exciting new stones to be revealed soon! It's good to see such plum lines finding attention - Mull is full of potential for everyone. Check the Mull page for a sample Google map of some areas.                    April 2012 Dominic Ward has done some cracking new problems high up on the Bealach na Ba at Applecross: a new direct problem on the Sanctuary Cave ( Kneed for Sanctuary ), and a new crag called the Sia Stone has given some quality problems. Nic has kindly donated a topo for the area on the Applecross page, he'd appreciate some feedback, and maybe

New Arran Blocs

 Simon working the big roof... Arran is a like a big granite lump of dough that someone has pushed an icy thumb into several times - the big corries pinch out the crusty ridges and the crumbs have all tumbled down into the bowls, trailed out in long deposits by the slabbery dribble of glaciers. The fringe of the island is dotted with big erratics that have tried to make it to the sea, such as the 'Corrie' boulders, but the densest collection of rocks lies in the higher corries such as Fionn corrie, Garbh corrie and Coire nan Ceum. We took the opportunity of a good forecast to get the first sunburn of the year with a hike into Coire nan Ceum, via the bounciest bus on the island (the 324), then a pleasant stomp up the North Sannox burn to the boulderfield (45 min). Folk have mentioned this place to me over the years, Claire Youdale had said there were some big stones, and she wasn't wrong. The vast territory of rocks is a maze to navigate - a bit of a geologic

Before the rain in Mull

French Impressionism

Fontainebleau again. Encore une fois . The more I visit, the more it impresses, and the more it grows its mental skins. I am becoming a Fontainebleau 'oignon', if not quite a 'bleausard' - layers of memory, repeated climbs, new areas, the dappled light, the sounds of the place; all co-mingled into an impressionistic mess of sensation that bangs an emotional gong when I hear the word 'forest'. Even injured and unable to climb, I am happy to let it soak in again, like a sudden April shower. It was indeed a wet spring, with the forest lashed by the dirty tail of Atlantic fronts soaking northern Europe - a ragged, out-of-the-ocean dog-shake of a low pressure system. We sloughed off the Euro-glitz of Paris, not to mention the 8-Euro a pint nonsense and retired to a hut in the forest. We visited the market in  Milly-la-ForĂȘt  and stocked up for a spell of natural impressionism, with respectably priced Grand Vins from la Coccinelle, then long evenings of blurred