Glen Clova

John and I visited Glen Clova today with a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors team of Gillian, Kate and Ken. We opted for this as it was likely to be quick drying after the rain, gave us options if we did get showers and was less likely to be busy. We were lucky in that we had no significant rain whilst we were there and the crag dried quickly. We also had the crags to ourselves all day.

Ken on one of the harder options on pitch 3 of Twenty Minute Route.

We started on Twenty Minute Route, taking in some of the harder variations, whilst the crag dried. After lunch we moved across to the South-East Crag and climbed Parapet Route Direct Start with Kate, Ken and I then climbing Flake Route and John and Gillian climbing Central Crack, both excellent long pitches. A long abseil from the top of the crag then finished off a good day.

Glen Clova

Out in Glen Clova today on a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors Classic Climb Day with Linda and Andrew. We’d headed there to avoid wet weather further West and this worked well with generally hot sunny conditions and only the odd drop of very light rain, which didn’t impact on the climbing.

Linda topping out on Central Crack.

Linda topping out on Central Crack.

We climbed Three J’s Chimney, Parapet Route Direct Start, Flake Route, Central Crack and finished with the “tremendous route with exhilarating positions” that is Proud Corner. Over 500ft of climbing and a total of nine stars across the routes making for a pretty classic day in a beautiful setting. The crags were relatively busy, being a good choice given conditions, but the atmosphere was very pleasant with teams chatting and working around each other very well.

Glen Clova

Euan, Ivor and I finished our three days of climbing in Angus with some trad climbing on the Lower North-West Crag of The Red Craigs in Glen Clova.

Ivor in the steep upper corner of Monster's Crack.

Ivor in the steep upper corner of Monster’s Crack.

After a quick stop at the friendly Glen Clova Hotel for some sustenance we climbed Proud Corner, Witches Tooth, Monster’s Crack and Wandered. All these routes gave good climbing on clean, solid rock in a beautiful setting.

Glen Clova

Robin and I were out climbing in Glen Clova yesterday with a Falkirk Community Trust team of Emanuelle, Iona and Wilson. We’d chosen the venue to stay away from the rain further West and this worked well, although the crag was relatively busy, presumably for the same reason.

Wilson and Emanuelle relaxing on a stance above our third pitch on Twenty Minute Route.

Wilson and Emanuelle relaxing on a stance above our third pitch on Twenty Minute Route.

Emanuelle, Wilson and I had a good day climbing Twenty Minute Route in five short pitches with a Severe variation; Three J’s Chimney and Parapet Route Direct Start. Robin and Iona climbed Proud Corner, Zigzag Direct and Wandered. Based on the guidebook I think that counts as a creditable total of 10 stars for the team on the day.

Glen Clova

Today a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors climbing team of Bob, Gregor and I headed for Glen Clova to try and get away from the rain. This worked well. We had light showers and some dark clouds as well as sunshine early on, so we climbed the four pitch Twenty Minute Route on the Lower North-West Crag.

Gregor and Bob on the first pitch of Twenty Minute Route.

Gregor and Bob on the first pitch of Twenty Minute Route.

After some lunch the rock was still pretty dry and there was only the odd very light shower, so we headed across to the South-East Crag and climbed Parapet Route Direct Start and the excellent Flake Route.

Kirriemuir

Euan, Ivor and I were heading to Glen Clova this morning, however the cloud was lower than expected and it looked like the crags in Clova would still be wet, so we stopped off at Kirriehill in Kirriemuir and had a good day climbing sports routes there instead.

Euan onsighting the very good arête of Bon the Edge. Photo credit: Ivor McCourt.

Euan onsighting the very good arête of Bon the Edge. Photo credit: Ivor McCourt.

Blackford, Glencoe and Glen Clova

Last week I was climbing in Blackford Quarry with groups from the Falkirk schools area. This is an excellent beginners venue in the lovely Blackford Glen.

Yesterday, Bob, Gregor and I were out on a Falkirk Community Trust climbing day. We visited Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe before climbing Agag’s Groove on the Rannoch wall. We visited the summit of the Crowberry Tower before visiting the summit of the mountain to give a classic mountain day.

Ivor and I visited Glen Clova today. The crags are in early summer condition with quite a lot of greenery around and slightly damp in places. The route of the day was ‘Wander’ which is highly recommended.

Ivor near the top of 'Wander'.

Ivor near the top of ‘Wander’.

Bob and Gregor climbing 'Agag's Groove'.

Bob and Gregor climbing ‘Agag’s Groove’.

Glen Clova

Amy, Dawn and I have been up in Glen Clova today. Amy & Dawn were using the leading skills they looked at yesterday with Euan and taking them to a multi-pitch environment. We spent most of our time around Twenty Minute Route on the Lower North-West Crag and this gave plenty of options for leading and also for practicing retrievable abseils.

Dawn and Amy below Twenty Minute Route

Dawn and Amy below Twenty Minute Route

The crag was quite busy today with teams on a lot of the classic routes. The rock was dry and we had plenty of sunshine, although the wind was fairly strong and it was cold when the cloud came over or in exposed locations.

Glen Clova

Gayle and I were out climbing in Glen Clova today. This is an excellent venue with routes graded from Moderate to E8. There are both single pitch and multi pitch routes.

We had a good day climbing Twenty Minute Route (with the Severe variations), Flake Route and Parapet Route. Most routes are dry at the moment and the rock was warm today in the sun.

More photos can be seen on the facebook page.

Great moves at Glen Clova.

Great moves at Glen Clova.

Coire Fee

A Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors Mountaineering Team of John, me, Bob, Linda, Siobhan and Tom were out today. We were due to go to Glen Coe, but having seen the weather forecast decided on going East to Glen Clova and Coire Fee. Before walking in we’d assumed we’d be climbing a buttress, but with good visibility and a look at conditions we chose B Gully. We were able to climb this on soft snow, which grew firmer with height, but we did have to bypass the steep section by a diversion out to the right.

Siobhan and Bob in B Gully

Siobhan and Bob in B Gully

The ice on the steep section looked thin, but climbable. However, it was guarded by a section of steep and wet soft snow from Monday/Tuesday. The bypass was on easier angled soft snow and very firm turf and allowed us to regain the gully via a turfy ramp. We walked off via the Shank of Drumfollow staying on the ridge rather than taking the Kilbo Path, which we thought might have steep icy sections.

Bob and Siobhan on a belay on the bypass

Bob and Siobhan on a belay on the bypass

There was less snow than I’d expected in Coire Fee. The buttresses were relatively snow free, with just ledges and the defined sheltered or easier lines holding snow. The turf at crag height was very firm. Some ice was hanging in, however looking at the forecast for the next two days I don’t think it will survive through the weekend. Winter Coire and Coire Farchal looked to be holding more snow than Coire Fee, but I’d guess this will all be pretty soft. There are still some big cornice features around and these need to be considered if climbing the gullies in thawing conditions, particularly if the top is in cloud and you can’t see what’s above you. Freezing level above the summits today, the odd light rain shower on a fresh Westerly, but generally dry.