Craigpark Quarry

Recently Martin and I went to Craigpark Quarry near Ratho. 4 of the 6 sport routes were clean and good fun.

EICA Ratho

Wet weather forced Kenny, me and a rock climbing team from the Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors Summer Youth Adventure Programme indoors to EICA Ratho today.

One of the team high up on the big slab at Ratho.

Wall Rescue Training

In at EICA Ratho today for a day of staff/freelance instructor training on wall rescue, abseil problem solving and aerial assault evacuation.

A collection of instructors at the top of the wall having self belayed themselves up during wall rescue training.

A collection of instructors at the top of the wall having self belayed themselves up during wall rescue training.

A good day and thanks to Nic and Glenn for delivering the training and Mike for getting us in for it.


I was working on the second day of a Climbing Wall Award Training course today at EICA Ratho. Alasdair, Inga, Lynda, Neil and Will did a great job of staying attentive throughout the day, particularly given the low temperatures in the arena. It’s definitely worth taking a belay jacket and hat, gloves etc. if your visiting Ratho at the moment. My job was made much easier by having a group with a genuine interest in climbing and/or working with groups in a climbing wall environment.

Winter climbing conditions further north looked like they may have been excellent today as there was a hard frost in Edinburgh this morning and a good dusting of snow on the Ochils.

Climbing Wall Award Training

On Tuesday and Wednesday evening this week I was running part of a CWA Training Course for East Lothian Council. We used the small, but good wall at Foresters Park, Tranent and EICA Ratho. The 6 participants were keen and all have an interest in using the award with young people, which made for two excellent sessions.

EICA Ratho and Ratho Quarry

Euan, Ivor and I trained on the boulders at EICA Ratho on Wednesday and afterwards Ivor and I headed out to warm down on some of the easier routes out in the quarry to make the most of the dry and sunny conditions.

Ivor enjoying warm rock in Ratho Quarry

Ivor enjoying warm rock in Ratho Quarry

Ratho Quarry

I’ve been working at EICA Ratho for the last couple of days. Today was an earlier finish, so it meant Ivor and I could have a short climb outside in the quarry. We climbed a couple of routes including working the excellent and technical Kamikaze. Dry rock, but a few drops of rain later on.

Ivor working out the moves on Kamikaze

Ivor working out the moves on Kamikaze

Training and More Snow Forecast

I’ve mostly been working at EICA Ratho this week, hence the lack of conditions reports. As well as work I’ve managed a couple of training sessions with Ivor including a wall session at Alien Rock and a gym session. We tried out his new bespoke Farmer’s Walk kit pictured below; it’s a fairly brutal exercise and great for grip strength. The kit is heavier than it looks and that’s without adding additional weights. 

Farmer's Walk Kit

Farmer’s Walk Kit. Photo credit: Ivor McCourt

There’s more snow forecast for the Scottish hills over the next few days. It looks like fresh snow will settle down to around 600m in a number of areas and there are High and Considerable avalanche forecasts for some altitudes/aspects on the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) website for tomorrow.