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 Carbeth, but I never found anything other than the scrappy outcrops further east. I've scoured the whole west flank of the West Highland Way, giving it up as a typical red herring, until I found this little red-striped wall east of the Queen's View car-park. It gives a superb and slopey vertical test-piece we call Tiger Wall 7a from the sit and maybe 6c from the stand, if you get the conditions!
Dan Varian has been exploring Arrochar, and made short work, in a good spell of weather, of his project The Beast of Succoth, a new 8a at Glen Loin. The Arrochar Caves area has always attracted boulderers but there were never any obvious king lines, perhaps we were looking in the wrong place! The hillside above the parking, up towards A Chrois, hides some awesome blocs and good rock under all the old moss and lichen.
Nearby at Ben Vane, Tom Charles-Edwards has been meandering higher and higher looking for the perfect boulder. He climbed the obvious south groove line on the Dinosaur Egg bloc (above), calling it The Dragon's Eye is Always Watching, at a reachy 7b (SS).
Girvan and Lendalfoot has benefitted from a fluke of nature as tidal gravel has filled in some awful rocky landings, so it's worth stopping off if you're on the Stranraer road, it's got a lot of potential but suffers a little from tidal damp, so choose a low tide with a drying westerly. Dave Redpath and Paul Savage and friends climbed here years ago and put up most of the obvious direct lines, so apologies if some of these are repetitive descriptions. The bouldering is powerful and technical, with precision footwork required on sea-washed toe-holds. John Watson repeated some of the old lines on the toffee-textured south wall of the big orange bloc near the Varyag memorial. The pick of the bunch is Paddy's Milestone, the left arete of the south bulge.The Scoop problem is also a classic line with a technical sequence.
Paddy's Milestone, a 3 star 6th grade problem at Lendalfoot
Richie Betts on Worlds Collide at Torridon
I'll not talk too much of the north-west,as I've not been up to see all the recent explorations, but Gaz Marshall has put up a good post detailing some new explorative stuff >>> Inverness
Enjoy the spring weather...