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Showing posts from April, 2015

Cochno Stones: Archaeology and Bouldering

High above the residential northern shores of the Clyde is a strip of sandstone geology outcropping all the way to Craigmaddie Muir in the east. It lies hidden under a mossy understorey mostly, and varies in consistency and quality, but was once the attention of neolithic archaeologists, until they had to bury what is one of Scotland's greatest rock-art sites.The 'Cochno Stone' was uncovered by the Rev James Harvey in 1887 on open land near what is now the Faifley housing estate. It is covered with dozens of cup and ring marks, grooved spirals, along with a ringed cross and a pair of four-toed feet. It was briefly a chalked-in tourist attraction until it was buried to prevent vandalism in 1964.


Rock-art these days is a kinaesthetic thing, recorded as bouldering on photo-video networks, rather than pecked out on rock plinths. I've always like the connection between the vibrant, fluid circles and lines inscribed on the rock and the modern tracery of bouldering; there is…

Bouldering updates April 2015

Dan Varian visits Glen Nevis and confirms two hard lines by climbing them and filming them, no edits, no doubt... the first is 7c+ and the second the amazing arete of the Cameron Stone at 8a+.



Nice conditions at Reiff-in-the-Woods, Ian Taylor repeating The Rasper:



And Ian again on a nice looking line, Unknown Air, near Stac Pollaidh, which would have made a nice walk-off:




And a nice topo from Ian Rankin for the highball bouldering at Cairnrobin Point, which looks good, and incredible geology to boot:

Some new backwoods bouldering round Glasgow as things dry out in the good weather:
Cochno Prow from John Watson on Vimeo.

Craigmore north tiger wall from John Watson on Vimeo.

Spring bouldering Scotland 2015

Social media is good at one thing: telling us how good the weather is elsewhere. There's nothing like the itch aroused by hearing that pop-up alert sound and a cobalt blue sky behind a climber on Facebook/Vimeo/Flickr etc. But sometimes good weather does coincide with a day or two off and it all works out. Here are some examples of people timing some good conditions with a bit of fine bouldering weather in a Scottish springtime...


Dan Varian on his new direct on the States bloc at Garheugh - Big Mac 7c


Richie Betts on his 6c (???) at Reiff


As the forestry is gradually being cropped round Arrochar, dozens of new stones are appearing. Luckily, after decades in the pine-dark gloom, they are silvery and clean, and require little gardening. Topos for the new stones will appear in the new Bouldering in Scotland guide, hopefully with all the other new areas, though venues are being opened faster than I can map them!


The Creagh Dhu always said there was 'another Craigmore' at Car…