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 mail@climbnow.co.uk 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!

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.