Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mountain Biking on the Moray Monster

Becky and I headed off to Fochabers today to try the Monster Moray Trails. The trails offer all sorts of grades of single track mountain biking. Despite the rain we had some muddy fun on the Fochabers Ring, a 8km trail through variety of terrains, but mostly woodland mud and roots. We both commented on the lack of stonework challenges, and the Lagan Wolftrax perhaps offer slightly more variety. Still, the rain added to the complications and it has to be said wet roots have perhaps the lowest friction properties of any surface on the planet.
We came across the worlds largest cairn, on perhaps the smallest hill. With a keen eye I noted the arĂȘtes offered some great bouldering opportunities and perhaps a good dry tooling venue for Fochabers.

Afun afternoon out and worth a visit if you are in the area. I need to get some more technical trails under the belt to build some confidence again. Perhaps something I can do if this wet weather continues.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kirrie Hill: Sport Climbing

Kirrie Hill, just outside the Angus town of Kirriemuir is Scotlands best kept secret in terms of varied sport climbing in the easy to mid grades. Routes from f3-f7a. The crag is very well bolted and offers you the chance to push your grade, and well worth a visit if your operating at any grade below on-sighting 7a. The sandstone is soft and has delaminated in a couple of places, still the most of it is very solid. Caroline and I had a good day here on Friday, and I am now in the process of convincing Becs we should head down for a weekend. We completed a dozen or so easy routes on a lovely day. Compared to Weem last weekend the grades do massage the ego abit, still I am going to take the ticks! Only one other team on the crag, all day. I look forward to going back and ticking the crag, over a long weekend!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Weem rocks: Sport Climbing

Becky and I had a day at Weem rocks yesterday, just outside Aberfeldy. This is a sports climbing venue with 23 routes on it. We did 5 in a day, so enough to keep us busy. Perhaps a visit in winter would be more aesthetic as the thick trees blocked the view south over Perthshire, still no midges and warm breeze made for a nice day. A few onsights and a run out beyond a joke, I came down for a few wires, and in the end a my “clip stick”, all made for a fun day. Note: Fish shop in Aberfeldy is not in the top 10!
Some pics of the day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cummingston: Evening sunshine.

A quick dash for the sea cliff outcrops of Cummingston was on the cards last night. With rain all around the Moray coast lived up to its record and remained dry until we sat back in the car at the end of the evening. A couple of sandy severe’s were dispatched and I moved on to the very spikey arete of Stegosaurus, a lovely VS that got me back into leading at this place and helped dispel some of my distrust of this very soft rock. The spike are very thin and er, well spikey and the fact they have survived a few decades of people heaving away on them is perhaps proof enough that the rock is perhaps a little better than I give it credit for.
Paul finished with a quick dispatch of Giraffe Corner E36a after a quick inspection, he was off and finished this surprisingly well protected route in no time. I followed and onsighted a 6a route for the first time, albeit second. Anyway back to the car the heavens opened and rain fell all the way back into town.
Giraffe Corner E36a

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Creag Na H Eighe: Perthshire

The nice line of A Votre Sante-Dickie 4b

Andy and I went to a crag in Perthshire today, Creag Na H-Eighe. This is infact about 9miles north of Dunkeld, and the much more well known Polney Crag. It has about 25 routes at all grades, and although short made for a fun day. Loose in places the climbs could do with a little more traffic, though perhaps this is explained in the history of the crag, where it claims the place was kept secret in the early years. We did 8 routes today. Ranging from 4a right through to 5b, and from delicate crimpy walls to thuggish overhanging cracks. The badge of courage was awarded for standing holding Andy's ropes on Diagonal whilst he proceeded to launch large chunks of the climb down on me. He did quite a nice job of tidying up a loose line, and it probably deserves a * or two now.
The weather varied from roasting to raining back to roasting in less time than it took to get up a route.
All in all a good day and for future note, or any further visit the following come with at least a * or two.

Separation VS 4c
A Votre Sante-Dickie S4b
Diagonal E15b
Jugs Direct VS 5a
Jaggy Bunnets S4a (prob HS4b) has lost a chockstone on the top cracks.
Andy on the E1 5b Diagonal.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Creag Bheag: Sport Climbing

Stewart and I went to a newly developed sports crag near the Mound on the A9 last night, Creag Bheag. It takes a little less than an hour from Inverness, and provides a good spot for an afternoon or evenings climbing. There are currently 10 routes here, on this conglomerate crag, we did the 4 furthest left ones as you look at the Crag. The grades were about 5+ 6a+ 6b+ 6c, the last two not really being done in style, and were really quite hard to be honest. The home made clip stick worked a treat though!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Loch Quioch: Munro bashing.

The low water levels in Loch Quioch.
Katy, Donnie, Becky and I went for a walk in the hot sun yesterday up the hills north of Loch Quoich. The Munros’ of Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach were the objective, and provide a nice circuit north of the Loch. The baking sun slowly gave way to cloud and ultimately rain just as we set off for the drive home. Perfect.