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Showing posts from January, 2014

The Floating Boulder

The Scottish winter is a long dreamtime. Especially in such wet, dark, dank weeks which visit us between old years and new. The Scottish climber probably spends more time dreaming about climbing than actually doing any. A lot of stones and boulders float round ambitious dreamscapes in drifting vistas of cool skies and sun-washed rock. The reality is just about waiting out the weather systems. A Sunday visit to Dumbarton rock found it, not unsurprisingly, green, dripping. One problem was dry. High tides are floating the Sea Boulder again and it's time to take stock, or just bite the bullet and get down the training wall ...

January 6th-12th - a settling

Towards the end of the week, the weather has settled a little and some clear skies and frosts set in. A massive coronal mass ejection (CME or solar storm) was predicted to hit the atmosphere on Thursday, but it was weaker than predicted and evening jaunts to the higher ground round Glasgow were fruitless. Iceland and Norway stole the show, seen live on Skygazing live on the BBC, or the 'lucky-bastards show' as it should be called. Hopefully an active sun will continue to have colourful hissy fits this winter...

The clearer skies finally combined with a weekend, so on Saturday 11th, with the east of the country draped with medallions on the forecast, Colin and myself headed to Glen Lednock. Treacherous black ice on the pass over to Comrie (with a buckled jeep in a ditch behind a scribble of swerve-lines on the road) led to a slow approach but we made it up to Invergeldie Farm and stomped the locked-gate approach to the dam for the first enjoyable bouldering session of the year…

Stone Country New Year 2014

January 1st arrived with mild and stormy weather interspersed by long periods of continuing rain on saturated ground. After a grim December, optimism for the New Year is on hold in terms of the weather - an unsettled and wobbly jet-stream seems to have set in motion an endless stream of southwesterly water-baths.

On the 3rd January a perfect storm of sorts blew in, combining with spring tides to flood most of the Clyde basin. Exposed shoreline areas saw roads ripped apart and covered in marine debris, Ardrossan and Arran hit hard.

We were staying in Corrie in the sheltered north harbour 'Wee Zephyr' cottage (a rather ironic name), accompanied by an unconcerned otter fishing the harbour bay, but still found both north and south roads impassable for a while at Sannox and Maol Donn shores.


Walks were the order of the day to shake off the alcoholic lethargy of New Year, up to the waterfalls at North Glen Sannox (golden eagle territory, the Hutton 'intrusion') and the iro…