Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Well, some piccies to wet the appetite. Was at the Anvil yesterday, trying Spitfire again. Me and Ian progressing and improving on the last attempts. The crag was a tad wet but dryed out progressivley throughout the day. The crux section holds allways seem a tad damp so if you go take a rag and be patient. My fingers got damaged again. A tip split last visit and reopened this time. Due to the nature and texture of holds my hands couldnt stand the pain anymore. So I took a couple of photos. Today Mcnair is back so im sure he would of sent Spitfire by the end of today.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Work Again

Been working for a few days, here I am hanging in front of the TV screens at Celtic Football Stadium. Was a good laugh though as I met up With Rosco Peeko. Another day then London for two days then hopefully the Anvil for a few days before I head away for two weeks working again.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Visited the Anvil today and there was actually a cue on Dave Redpaths classic route Spitfire.

Dave Macleod and Malcolm Smith were on the steep project wall and I went on Spitfire and tryed to work the route a bit more as I could never do the last move. Today was different though. So now Im well hyped to get it sent. The bad thing about the route if its at your limit is the paifull nature of the crimps, specially when working the crux section which involve a dynamic cross through to a rough edge then a shoulder wrenching lock to a heinous chunk of Quartz. Once the moves are worked I quess its redpoints and a race against the skin on each visit.

There are lots of various sequences being unlocked on the crux, the dynamic way, the strong way and now the Niall who had a good redpoint which had him in the zone giving his best war crys on everymove through the crux section leading to him falling off on the last move. I had images of squirrels and rabits terrified and quivering at his manly roar.

Tom Cat was there but he dissapeared on a boulder hunt as it was a rest day for him. He later emerged empty handed.
All in all a good day and well worth the walk in.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Im singing in the rain

Boulder Cleaning at Carrick Castle. How cool is that monster bit of turf. The probs on this boulder are too hard for me but there are a couple that might go with a bit of work. MMMMM This is the pic of the steepness

Sunday, September 24, 2006



Well got to Daves to discover that the forecast was very bad for us to climb. I was gutted but Dave sugested we have a winter climbing start in the morning so I could at least get one or two shots at the project.

5.3O am we are up then out the door by 6am. Dave drove to Tighnabruaich and we were at the crag for after 7. I had a warm up and the wind was howling the air cool and dark clouds were looming in. So I went for the route and at the jugs before the crux evrything felt fine, no pump, relaxed and no stress. Then the next moment i was at the top.
Dave in his usaual manner then inspected some moves and dispatched it soon after. As we packed up the heavens opened and we were on the road back for 9.30am. All in all one of the best yet.

Elysian fields (ilizh'un) [key]or Elysium (ilizh'?um)
[key], in Greek religion and mythology, happy
otherworld for heroes favored by the gods. Identified
with the Fortunate Isles or Isles of the Blest,
Elysium was situated in the distant west, at the edge
of the world. In later tradition and in Vergil,
Elysium is a part of the underworld and a pleasant
abode for the righteous dead.

Tighnabruaich roof

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Kraken Up Date

Well as expected the 3 west coast beasts sent routes, conditions good but a tad damp on the top of the crag.
Alan Cassidy and Rob? sending Hand Of Andromeda 8A+, Malc Smith Sending Sheild of Persious 8A and Rob Flashing this route as well. So lets hope the whether stays.

The Kraken

Well today the sun is shining and everyone is sport climbing at the Anvil and The Kraken. I went to the Kraken again and went on the project. The final jug was reached and I couldnt even clip the clip. So I extended it so I could do a quick clip then went of again got to the jug again, clipped then managed to pull through a wee bit to the easy climbing but once again pumped off. On a positive note though the furthest yet. So its a rest day today and back tomorow for another grapple with the slopping jug. Ian Pitcairn worked the Sheild of Persius and is close to redpointing the route and I think like me was a tad ryled that he never came away with the booty. Still next time.

Alan Cassidy, Malcom Smith and Rob ? are ther today doing Dave Macleods Hand of Andromida. Hopefully Alan will latch the last hold and manage to finish the job. No doubt the others will be cruising routes as well. One thing though it is really good to here that people are climbing at the venues.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I got to Oban early and decided to look at the beach boulder near the terminal and also scope the conglomorate overhanging crag as well. The crag I thought would be a good wee spot for some small but funky sport routes. I think a couple of routes would be worth it,specially if you lived in Oban. Funky pockets and blobs, that would be routes 6A-MID 7's.

Better though is the boulder on the beach, a conglomerate boulder that is eliminate central. The variety of problems you could do are great. Also the clean face is at a steady 15 degrees which gives you a good pump. Dont get me wrong, this is not a boulder that is worth a drive from Edinburgh but it is worth a visit if you are in Oban early and going to Mull or the Islands and you have to wait for a ferry.

The problems are all in pockets of varying sizes and also blobs.The harder ones on lots of edges and even monos.There are obvious lines that follow aretes and lips and also a good highball up the centre of it following a slight ramp, maybe 5c. Landings are perfect shingle as well. The right to left low traverse on everything is a good pump with suprisingly tricky move half way.

All in all better than the oban wall and you dont have to pay and the view is amazing. So forget the rubbish shops when waiting for the ferry, get your boots and sandwich and head to the boulder.

Ill leave directions out so you can look yourself. Its not hard honest.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Operation Marigold

Well the work on oilrigs is paying off. Im stuck in the middle of no where for two weeks, serving time but all is not lost. Decent food, gym twice a day and plenty of decent sleep and,easy work. Coming back to land is great aswell as I can concentrate on decorating the flat and also climbing midweek when and where I want, gone are the days of the wet weekend.
Coming back from my last job I was motivated to climb and it was Dumby Dave that mentioned the Kraken, where my project sits. A decent sized roof. So I headed to his pad for 2 days and went on the project. To my suprise the move I had been failing on last time was actually not my problem now and I started to get good links. The good thing with meeting for a climb with Dave is, he is like a in situ video camera that rewinds and reminds me of where my feet where or how I could reach a hold with more ease. Plus his wife Claire is a mean cook that quite frankly cooks the best food Ive tasted, apart from Mairi that is.
Today I managed to snatch 4 redpoints and am basically going for the final jug before the easy climbing kicks in, so on a positive its better than before and im starting to dare I say it, enter the final stages of "Operation Marigold".
Im scratching my head and wondering Why?, as ive not climbed at a wall in ages and hardly even fuss about getting out as much. Maybe before I was doing too much climbing indoors, who knows. Maybe its messing about with my obsession of doing frontlevers or Bruce Lees mad leg raises, who cares. The jug is in sight.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Well summer wheather and i got out of Marks wee red devil and all my kit got blown down the cairngorm carpark. I would catch up with one item pick it up then another one wpould get blown away. My thoughts of running through the gorms in perfect warm wheather was shattered.

The route we planned was up cairngorm along the top of Stob Coire an t-Sneachda and Cairn Lochan then gently up to the top of Ben Macdui. Drop down into the Larig Ghru then back to the carpark.
The run was 5 stars in every way the terrain perfect. Once on Cairngorm the views were outstanding. I usaually see the gorms with snow and mist so seeing it with perfect views was a excellent feeling. The running is relativley easy with gradual ascents and descents.

Running up to the top of Ben Macdui was great but there were no views due to a wee bit of mist. We had a quick hit of energy spunk and headed back down. Once out of the mist we headed down to the Lairig Ghru. This was a bad move as it is riddled with bloody small boulders. We got down in to the ghru and the watch said 2 hours.Not bad time as we were not exactly going fast.

Looking up Mark was descending and slipping. I keep forgeting that Mark had a bad break on his ankle so this must be pretty horrible. As he got nearer he was cursing the loose rocks. I gave him a bit of chocolate ripple which he then gagged on like a Fulmar. The rest of the run got spoilt by the fact we never took the right turn of the Lairig Ghru. We headed down to the army lodge which meant we headed further down and ended up on the road a mile away from Glenmore lodge.

We stopped more or less at the road and started to hitch back. No lifts and sore legs all we could look at was the tar mac road winding up to the carpark. At the lower carpark a ski lift worky gave us a lift to the carpark were the wee red devil was waiting with fresh socks.

Do not use the Lairig groove for a run it sucks however Braeriach, Cairn Toul and Sgor an Lochan Uaine look amazing.

Then to Mambos for a Ireeeeeeeeee Burger.

Cairngorms again i think. If you have done a good run in the gorms feel free to tell me so we can have it on the hit list.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Loch Eck

Theres two huge boulders up there honest, as i sat in the COYLET pub with my auntie and uncle I looked at the old black and white piccies on the wall. The picture.. the pub many moons ago. Back then the hill behind the pub was bare, no forestry or bloody rhoddy bushes.

Theres two HUGE boulders up there now lost in the bracken, forestry and rhoddys. Ive walk in amongst the jungle of the west and the most memorable trip was the back of the Coylet. I stumbled and fell, got soaked bitten and worn down so much I then gave up..........Ach theres nothing up there.

Now in my head i see the two boulders. Ive seen them in black and white. The picture cannot lie. When the coolness of autumn comes back and the greenery has gone. Think I know where I will be.........for a little while anyway.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

work. What a pain

Who says work cant be fun. This is me aiding up the Leven Bridge in Fife. 70metres of testing and attaching hangers. The bridge cables had to be inspected and accessed from the top. Would of thought the designer could have designed a quick and efficient way up the thing. Still who cares getting payed for it was a bonus. This is the sort of stuff i would of dreamt about doing as a kid.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Begining.

A couple of photos one of me dad spying the steepness that is the Kraken. Weird how many times i actually sat up there and never really cared about the lumps of rock staring me in the face.
Things are changing in the other photo. Here i am boring me brother Paul and me mum. Hey look you guys, look at them shadows on those lumps of rock. Enter rock log.