Ratho Quarry

The sheltered Ratho Quarry has provided us with some good climbing recently with the rock feeling quite warm in the sunshine despite the air temperature.

Euan casting shadows on Slow Strain.

Local Bouldering

The recent drier weather has allowed us to get out to some local bouldering venues to try and get finger strength and movement going. Some of the venues are well known, others are a bit more obscure.

Euan at Agassiz Rock.
Mick indulging in some urban bouldering.
Pamela at Hound Point.

Pentlands Post Thaw

Continuing the catch up. I was out in the Pentlands a couple of times after the thaw in mid February. There we significant drifts and snow patches around initially.

Ivor on an old drift on Hare Hill.

These had reduced a lot by the 23rd when I was out on a Hare Hill and Black Hill on a very windy day with Pamela.

Pamela and rainbow in the wind.

Green Craig Challenge

Another catch up post. It’s a time for mini local challenges for interest and to keep up skills. Cliff came up with the idea of climbing the winter routes we’d climbed on Green Craig as summer routes in the same calendar month. We headed back up on the 26th February and climbed Reindeer Cave Gully, the right arete of Reindeer Cave Gully, Edinburgh Lights (with a right hand variation) and East Gully.

Cliff in East Gully.

It provided a good adventure, but I wouldn’t recommend it as the rock is very friable and protection is mostly dubious. Both the gullies were very traditional and the pick of the bunch was Reindeer Cave Gully, which is a good atmospheric feature. If you do head up take care as their are some sizable loose blocks around.

Me about to second the very traditional Reindeer Cave Gully.

Seven Reservoirs Night Run

Andy, Euan and I had a great time last night running the Pentland Seven Reservoirs route in the dark. It’s a half marathon route through the hills on paths, tracks and tarmac. It’s pretty muddy underfoot in places at the moment and care is required. An excellent way to spend an evening with some good views to Edinburgh at times.

Andy and Euan below Bonaly Reservoir with the city lights behind and the Forth Bridges to the left.
Euan and Andy with The Howe Christmas tree behind.
Torduff Reservoir with the glow of Edinburgh beyond.
The Seven Reservoirs route.

Navigation Course

The last two days I’ve been working for Falkirk Outdoors delivering a navigation course for the Ramblers. Given current restrictions it was delivered completely outdoors and within the City of Edinburgh Council area. On Thursday we used the Dalmeny and Cammo Estates. Today we were in The Pentlands starting from Harlaw. The weather was windy today, but generally kind for the time of year, and the participant’s enthusiasm made for a very enjoyable course.

Using orienteering maps to look at bearings in Cammo.
Navigation on pathless terrain in the Pentlands.
Planning the next leg with the Forth Bridges in the background.
The summit of Capelaw.

Training

Up until Thursday it was a week of training to keep fit for when we are able to get further afield. Local running, home gym sessions and Alien Bloc and EICA Ratho have all featured.

Euan doing circuits at Alien Bloc.
Ivor moving off an undercut on a problem at Alien Bloc.
Ivor making the move.

Alien Bloc and EICA Ratho

Over the last few days I’ve had some good training sessions at both Alien Bloc and EICA Ratho.

Ivor on steep ground at Alien Bloc.
Euan on the campus board at Alien Bloc.
Euan hanging around.

The Pentlands

Ivor and I headed in to the Pentlands today to try and keep some hill miles in the legs. Starting from Harlaw we took in Harbour Hill, Capelaw and Allermuir. This also gave me the opportunity to pick up a large bag of rubbish I’d seen behind a wall during last week’s navigation course, but hadn’t the rucksack capacity to carry out at the time. Not as sunny today as forecast, however there were good views with cloud below us in the Forth valley.

Looking towards Corstorphine Hill and the Lomonds with cloud along the line of the Forth.
The view towards The Kips.
Edinburgh and Arthur’s Seat from Allermuir.

Blackford Quarry

After training with Ivor at Ratho on Monday we decided to make the most of a sunny November day and headed to Blackford Quarry today. It was cool in the breeze this morning, but all the routes were dry. It’s effectively an inner city venue, so be careful of broken glass on holds.

Ivor top roping on the main slab, which has nice climbing but with friable holds and minimal gear.
Ivor leading on the Little Slab.