North Wales Weekend

Over the weekend the ClimbNow team had a meet up with some old friends in North Wales. On Saturday Euan and Paul visited Craig LLoer with Tina, Scott and Steve, whilst Andy, Rob and I climbed the Cneifon Arete before dropping down to climb on Clogwyn y Tarw.

Steve at Craig Lloer.

Rob and Andy on Cneifon.

Rob and Andy above Gully and Slab on Clogwyn y Tarw.

On Sunday there was an early morning ascent of Lighthouse Arete on Castell Helen for Tina, Scott, Steve, Euan and Paul followed by a visit to the very hot Holyhead Mountain where they caught up with Andy, Rob and I who’d started there in the morning.

After abseiling in to Lighthouse Arete.

Scott enjoying Lighthouse Arete.

Tina smiling on Lighthouse Arete.

Andy in the sun on Holyhead Mountain.

Monday saw a half day of climbing for the ClimbNow team at Penmaen Head before Euan and I headed north.

Euan questing upwards on Penmaen Head.

Paul leading at Penmaen Head.

HML Training and Cragging

After a delivering an Hill and Moorland Leader Training Course with John for Falkirk Outdoors over the weekend I’ve been out cragging a couple of times this week with Euan taking in sport climbing at Balgone Heughs and Myopics and trad climbing at Black Crag near Loch Ordie. There are good routes at Black Crag, but it’s worth noting that it isn’t very well travelled and care should be taken with some of the rock. We removed a couple of large dangerous blocks from our warm up route.

HML Training in the Touch Hills.
Me leading Spugie at Black Crag.
Euan onsighting Go Ape at Balgone Heughs.

Cairngorms, Glencoe and Cragging

Euan recently had a good few days with Paul after a scrambling and bivvying trip in the Cairngorms and climbing at Kingussie they met up with Portia to climb one of the quieter scrambles on Buachaille Etive Mor and for some climbing at Polney Crag.

Paul on Doorway Ridge.
Cairngorm bivvy.
Portia and Paul on Broad Buttress.
Climbing at Polney Crag.

Local Crags

The start of June has seen us mostly at local crags either with clients; personal climbing or delivering Rock Climbing Instructor training.

Paul enjoying an early morning climb at Rosyth Quarry with Euan.
Rock Climbing Instructor Training in the sun.
Ivor emerging in to the sun at Limekilns.
Views of Edinburgh from navigation courses in the Pentlands.
Nettle bouldering at Cairney Hill Quarry.
Me topping out on a highball boulder problem at Cairney Hill Quarry.
Pamela on Lightening Never Strikes Twice at Cloon Craig in The Borders.

May Update

May has seen a lot of changes, both in weather conditions and Covid restrictions and guidance. The month started with winter still being very present in the Scottish hills, which allowed us to get a couple of last wintery outings.

Looking for new routes on Beinn Fionnlaidh with Mac and Sharon.

Focus changed for us through the month to rock climbing in both North Wales and Scotland; delivering National Governing Body Award training courses, such as Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor, Mountain Leader and Lowland Leader.

Lorna climbing at Hawkcraig with Euan.
Photo taken by Paul while delivering an MCI.
Delivering a Lowland Leader Training.
A Mountain Leader Training expedition in the Southern Cairngorms.

The highlight was probably Paul popping up with Finn to complete a traverse of the Skye Ridge in pretty favourable conditions.

Finn on the Inn Pinn.
Magnificent views on the Skye Ridge.

April Update

Well since I last posted in March there have been significant changes in legislation and guidance around Covid-19 restrictions. The month started with still staying local, keeping skills and fitness up to date and limited outdoor work opportunities. We’re finishing the month with the ability to travel further and increased work opportunities. The photos and comments below should give a feel for how the month progressed.

Local hill running in the Pentlands was a good way to keep fitness up. Evening/night runs were a good way to avoid busier times.
Local crags and one to one sessions allowed some limited outdoor work.
Climbing at local crags to keep skills up even when the weather wasn’t perfect, Pamela and I climbed between the snow showers at Craigpark Quarry.
Taking an opportunity for some impromptu bouldering in a lesser visited part of the Pentlands, whilst out on a walk. Photo credit: Pamela Millar.
The ability to travel a little further. Staff training in Arrochar. Photo credit: Craig McClaren.
Paul getting back on rock in North Wales.
Opportunistic new routing with Nettle in Dumfries and Galloway.
Exploring the unusual feature of “The Brain”. Photo credit: Jonathan Foden.
Euan leading on a cool, but sunny day at Traprain Law.
Great to stretch our wings and be back out for a wintery adventure with Sharon and Mac in the Cairngorms.
Brilliant to be able to travel further and explore a crag that was new to us. Euan leading “Perfect Weather to Fly” at Coudy Crag in Appleby.

Make a Plan

Make a plan to go climbing or scrambling in Wales this summer. Full refund if lockdown stops it from happening. Euan and Martin will join Paul in North Wales on 19th and 20th June for a weekend of climbing and craic. Come and join us, we can offer a guided climbing experience or learn how to climb, maybe even prepare for a training course or assessment. Between us we have experience of working on many mountain related training courses including ML MCI and BMG. The cost is £250 per instructor/guide per day. A ratio of 1:2 works well for most routes. Get in touch with us at for more information.

Varied Start to the Week

It’s been a varied start to the week with climbing at Ratho Quarry on Monday morning; a night run by headtorch in the Pentlands on Monday evening with Euan, Andrew and David; bouldering at Agassiz Rock with Pamela on Tuesday and at Treverlen Park on Wednesday. All good for keeping skills and fitness going.

Euan leading The Plums of Ratho on Monday.
Pamela bouldering in Treverlen Park.

Small Goals

During the lockdowns I’ve found it really useful to set myself some goals. Having a target, even a small one, definitely makes me more likely to get out and invariably I feel better for doing so.

Over the last few weeks I set myself the goal of visiting/revisiting all the trig points within the City of Edinburgh Council boundary that you are legally able to.

Cliff at the summit of Allermuir Hill after winter climbing on the day the seeds of the challenge were sown.

To stick to the spirit of the restrictions I tried to do this by not making special journeys, but by visiting them after a bouldering/climbing session, as part of a walk with a friend or as a run from home.

On a windy run to an obscure trig point.

If you decide to do something similar many trig points will be on farm land or golf courses. Please do make sure you access land responsibly and don’t disturb livestock, damage crops or interfere with games in progress. Access legislation is different in England and Wales to Scotland and this should also be considered.

The summit of Dalmahoy Hill with Ivor.

Restrictions are hopefully easing up. In Scotland we’re now able to travel from our council area for outdoor work and things should ease further on the 26th April. If you have any climbing or mountaineering goals ClimbNow could help with do get in touch.

Mick on the summit of Arthur’s Seat as I completed the challenge in sunshine on Tuesday.

Local Climbing, Bouldering, Running and Walking

We’ve been out as much as possible over the last few weeks making sure we keep fit and our skills are up to speed for when we’re able to get out in the wider environment with clients. Hopefully, that’s not too far away.

Euan leading The Grapes of Ratho.

As well as training at home we’ve been out climbing and bouldering locally at venues such as Ratho Quarry, Blackford Quarry, Agassiz Rock and Hound Point.

Bouldering at Agassiz Rock.

We’ve also been running and walking up some of the more obscure local hills to keep hill fitness up.

First time to a very obscure hill/trig point in the Edinburgh area during a good run.

We can now travel within Scotland for work and it currently looks like travel will ease further on the 26th April. Fingers firmly crossed!