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Showing posts from August, 2012

Craigmaddie circuit addition

The direct version of 'Chockstoner' problem on Craigmaddie's lower roof  -  a rather scrappy 5+ on the  left arete - is much more satisfying this method, stretching out to slopers from the foot plinth, then cutting loose to finish up The Nose (a 5 from standing jump). Hardish foot clamping and dynamic throws make this about 6b+, anyone done it this before this way?



Craigmaddie The Nose Direct from John Watson on Vimeo.

August eggs and extreme Johns

As work on the new bouldering guide continues, the summer is often a time to explore and map and check out others' explorations. Tom Charles-Edwards is probably one of Scotland's most under-rated pioneers of the 'lost boulder'. A bit like Christophe Laumone in Fontainebleau, Tom often prefers solitude and exploration, stringing together king lines on remote blocs. It is thanks to Tom that future generations will have futuristic and adventurous projects to keep them busy and feed the rat when all the 'accessible' stuff is worked out by the 'car-boot raider' (park by boulders, unload 10 mats, flash all the 8a's, tick, downgrade, eat carrot, pack up and drive off...apologies for unfair caricature?!). 
 Tom Charles-Edwards on 'the Flying Pancake'

The Dinosaur Egg, Arrochar area
Anyway, Tom has suggested some very good ideas for the new guides, as I'm trying to develop a guidebook that does justice to the many tastes in bouldering and provide…

Requiem for a Boulder Mat

It must be an age thing, but I found myself ogling new bouldering mats online, in preparation for patio-ing out my autumn project, when I just realised, jeez, I had another mat already. It was up in the Coilessan boulderfield, hidden under a roof. Was it? Or was I losing it? Bloody hell, how long ago was that, I thought? Three years? Oh well, best stomp up, hunt around in the hope of retrieving it, in whatever state it had been left by the Scottish elements. I seemed to remember leaving it under a steep project prow, fully intending to come back the next weekend... it was old and manky then, what hope for it now?



The plan was to do a good 10km stomp-around anyway, for it was way too hot for a bracken-fighting, tick-picking bouldering session, so losing some weight seemed like a good idea. I ran up the track for a couple of km, found the white post, stomped up through the 'bastard' tussocks and made a beeline for the giant boulderfield. Just getting here with a mat earns a 7a,…