Posts tagged Sea Stack
South West Climbing

So I was meant to be working this week in Scotland with Sean but we had a drastic change of plan.

Not Scotland...but felt cold

Unfortunately Lou has bust her ACL and has gone home to rest and repair in Devon.  So a long story short, Sean was happy to relocate to Devon for some climbing and everyone was happy.  Turns out his elderly mother only live 20 minutes away from Lou's mother so we all had somewhere to stay!  Love it when a plan comes together!

Amazing granite to climb on

So Sean and I headed out into a pretty unsavory forecast to Torbay.  For our first day and managed 2.5 routes before heading off to the local climbing wall to hide from the rain.

A big boot/rucksack to exit the crag

The next few days looked much nicer by Lands End so we opted for 3 days climbing down there.  We booked a B&B and Lou came along to get some fresh air whilst resting her leg for 3 days.

We had a brilliant day climbing some classic at Bosigran in a very strong wind.  The sun was out and the rock was superb.

What a place this is

Our third day we climbed at Chair Ladder which was pretty exciting getting onto our first route with the fast approaching tide.  Again it was sunny and super windy.  This kind of weather that you notice when you get home....zzzzzzz

Happy to be a pitch above the sea

Day four was a write off... I couldn't persuade Sean to go climbing in the rain so we drove back to our homes ready for a day on the Moors for our final day.

Sean found the wrap-around jug

Dewerstone.  I'd quite fancied going here.  There were some brilliant routes, right up Sean's street and they were totally dry.  We did 4 routes there and they were all ace.  

Happy to tick a classic of the crag

Again, I was pretty inspired by the climbing down there and super keen to go back down to Devon for some more climbing in the future.  I think I will arrange some trips soon so let me know if you are keen.

Mega VD scenes

This had a spicy top pitch...good ol' Patey route. 

Mega VS...very good route

Back home in Scotland now.  Found a bird in the chimney so needed to get up there to cover it up with wire...all good fun!

Sea cliffs, sea stacks, mountains, dolphins and the Royal Navy
An you name the peaks (Clue...Suilven is there)
The last few days I have been fortunate enough to be involved in a great trip around the North and West Coast of Scotland.  Unfortunately we were unable to climb any of the cliffs, stacks or mountains due to a tight schedule.  We started in Orkney and followed the North Coast passing the Old Man of Hoy, around Cape Wrath, past Am Buachaille and the Old Man of Stoer.  Here the summits of the NW Highlands came into view before we made our way around Skye, around Ardnamurchan Point, into Oban before finishing our trip in Kinlochleven.

The aim of the trip was mostly a maintenance trip but also as a recce trip.  The vessle is an ex-fishing boat which is being converted into a passenger boat.  The beauty with this boat is that it can withstand very rough seas and pretty much go anywhere so when it is fully converted we will be running trips to St Kilda, the outer and inner fact anywhere on Scotland's coastline.  Watch this space if you like climbing, hill walking, bird watching, sea kayaking, island hopping and being on the water!

Tanker meets destroyer

Dolphins leading the way

Got my sea legs

Loch Leven...a stunning glen.

North West Rock
Father and son on Stac Pollaidh
Ed loving the friction
Reed ready to walk the plank
Ace place to work
Over the last 3 days I have been based in the North West and doing a spot of climbing with Reed and his son Ed.  We covered most bases when it comes to traditional climbing.  Mountain crags, sea stacks and single pitch sea cliffs.  We started up at Stac Pollaidh and Climbed 2 VS's, Summer Isles Arete Direct which was great followed by Bats in the Belfry which was OK.  We were lucky with the weather and climbing in the sun all day.  Unfortunately it was a little bit moist on our second day and we planned for the Old Man of Stoer.  Unfortunately the rock was damp and Ed was unable to climb the slimy pitches in the rain, nothing was easy as it should be so we decided to bail and after some interesting abseiling we made it back to the Tyrolean.  Our final day was great and made up for day two as we climbed heaps of routes and Reed and Ed got up every single route and with smiles and eagerness for more

So far yet so close, then so close but so far :/
We didn't top out but this was fun
One of the 10 routes we did on our 3rd day

After a long day, coiling the rope is always a hard task

Old Man of Stoer
Today Donald and I left Ullapool and headed back up north to Stoer.  The forecast wasn't quite as good today so we opted to climb the Original Route (VS 5a).  Having never climbed a sea stack before I was pretty excited.  What I wasn't looking too forward to having to swim across to attach the ropes for a Tyrolean   Donald some how convinced me that I should be the one swimming, something to do with the fact that I'm younger?!  On arrival Donald stopped and said 'Oh No, bugger!'.  I thought about what it could be... wet rock, other climbers on it, covered in birds, fallen down.... No none of these, just an in situ Tyrolean   Looks like I don't have to swim!  Get in!

So we shot across the in situ rope and had a good look.  We could see it was pretty wet so the E2 was definitely out the question.  So 4 pitches of climbing done and Donald and I were sat on the top happy to be alive.  That was by far the hardest and scariest climbing we had done in the last few days.  Wet and slimy rock was not easy to climb and in some sections it felt very serious, not quite what we had expected on this classic route.  On the odd dry hold we encountered, the friction was brilliant on the Torridonian sandstone so on a dry day the route would be fantastic.  After a long, scary 57m abseil we found ourselves back at the Tyrolean and I headed across  failing to notice the tide had come in....  Donald almost wet himself laughing, I was just wet!  After I got over I re-tensioned the rope so Donald had a nice dry trundle across.  A great day in sub-optimal conditions.  The E2 looks brilliant for my next visit.  Drove back to Fort William to get the climbing gear washed and ready for tomorrow.