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.

Climbing, Coasteering and Gorge Walking

I’ve been working on the excellent Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors Summer Youth Adventure Programme the last couple of weeks. I’ve mostly been involved with the climbing, coasteering and gorge walking sessions.

One of the jumps coasteering with me in the water below. Photo credit: Craig McLaren.

The weather has generally been warm and sunny, but with heavy downpours and thunderstorms. If you’re heading out climbing check the weather forecast and think about quick drying crags.

A climbing team at Blackford Quarry. Photo Credit: Craig McLaren.

Blackford Quarry Rescues

I had a really good day today with Ed, Ryan, Scott and Stephen looking at emergency scenarios and rescue techniques for rock climbers in Blackford Quarry. These are really useful skills for both sport and trad climbers to know on single or multi-pitch crags.

The team practicing escaping the system with anchors out of reach.

We were able to cover a good range of scenarios by concentrating on a few simple building blocks and then applying them in different situations. The guys seemed to learn a lot and were enthusiastic throughout the day, which made for a great course.

Scott doing an unassisted hoist of Stephen,

RCI Assessment

RCI assessment last couple of days. It was a bit damp at Blackford and Rosyth!

3 Days with the Falkirk Staff Team

Over the last three days with the Falkirk Outdoors staff team I have been to; Benny Beg, Blackford Quarry and Beinn a’Chrulaiste via the Pink Rib. We spent time looking at the SPA, ML and MIA syllabuses. It is essential that once qualified instructors remain current hence days out like these.

Steve leading a trad route at Blackford.

Coasteerring, Climbing and Bonfires on the Beach

This week I have been out with my nephews coasteering at Elie, climbing at Blackford and toasting marshmallows on the edge of the Forth. It was great to get the boys outdoors and enjoying some activities.

Bonfire on the beach.

Bonfire on the beach.

Blackford Quarry and Clachan of Campsie

Monday to Wednesday this week I was working on the Falkirk Community Trust Summer Programme for kids and this included climbing at Blackford Quarry and gorge walking at Clachan of Campsie. These were both with the younger age group based out of Action Outdoors in Brightons and the venues worked well for these groups.

Typical shot of the main slab at Blackford Quarry.

Typical shot of the main slab at Blackford Quarry.

Blackford Quarry

On Saturday Ivor and I grabbed a quick afternoon at Blackford Quarry. I’ve not been there for personal climbing for a good while, but we had an excellent time leading five lines on the pinnacle and the Komik Kuts Buttress from Diff up to VS followed by bottom roping 6 lines on the main face, which is more friable and with less protection.

Ivor leading the crack on the East Face of the Quarry Pinnacle.

Ivor leading the crack on the East Face of the Quarry Pinnacle.

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’.

Blackford Quarry

Mai and Suresh were up in Edinburgh for the weekend and fancied an half day introduction to rock climbing today. To maximise climbing time we headed for Blackford Quarry in Edinburgh.

Mai climbing Komik Kuts with Suresh below.

Mai climbing Komik Kuts with Suresh below.

They took to climbing on rock well and we managed a number of bottom ropes on the main west facing wall, whilst learning to tie-in and belay, before they seconded me on Komik Kuts and the Quarry Pinnacle. We finished the day with a stacked abseil on the main wall and headed back to the car just as the rain began to fall in earnest.

Suresh climbing the Quarry Pinnacle.

Suresh climbing the Quarry Pinnacle.