Saturday, 19 October 2013

Scottish Bouldering Favourites.

Phil Jack asked me to list them so here they are. This is a list of personal favourites at a grade range I tend to enjoy most,  although there might be a high correlation with "personal favourite" and "pure fantastic". They are all pretty well acknowledged as great problems, and I've highlighted my most favourite with a star, some of these are properly fucking amazing although I did struggle to draw the line so have been quite strict.

The list varies a lot from single mega-problems with little else in the area, to a cluster of gems close together, to areas where I really liked one or two problems but there's a fine circuit to go at. A few of them are my own problems because they are good, any complaints about that BITE ME. Some of these are off the beaten track and off the guidebook radar and it's up to the reader to find them, although I have included a couple of nice problems at Portlethen and a few from Dumby even though most boulderers visit those areas 90% of the time (the other 10% of the time spent trying Malc's Arete @ Torridon).

I've included any video clips I've taken to show the aesthetics of the line, fat weak midget beta, and occasionally some other problems in the area. Obviously there's loads of classics I haven't done and lots of areas I've been to that are good but didn't stand out in particular. The main advice is go EXPLORE. And take wellies.

North West:

Romancing The Stone V6 * (Reiff) - techy wall - superbly tentative.
Salt Pans V5 (Reiff) - techy arete - fine climbing.
Haven V5 * (RITW) - techy wall - subtle and delightful.
Watch Your Back V4 (Ardmair) - roof - cool tricky roof fun.
Slipstones Thing V4 (Torridon) - techy wall - precarious and balancy.
Squelch V5 (Torridon) - steep prow - proud line with butch climbing.
A Long Winning Streak V5 * (Inchbae) - steep slab - brilliantly thin and balancy.
Colonel Mustard V3 (Inchbae) - arete - classic pure arete climbing.
Good Ass V4 (Kishorn) - techy wall - good fun on good features

North East / North Central:

Slap And Tickle V5 (Porty) - steep arete - sharp but a good line.
The Prow V4 (Porty) - steep arete - the other good line at Porty.
Yukon Afternoon V4 (Clash) - groove/bulge -  varied and exciting.
Clash Arete V7 * (Clash) - crimpy arete - fierce and subtle at the same time.
Outstanding V4 (Ruthven) - overhanging wall - burly fun.
Razor's Edge V6 * (Ruthven) - techy arete - excellent and elegant.
The Dude V6 (Ruthven) - overhanging wall - more burly fun.
The Slippery Slope V5 (Ruthven) - bulge - disarming friction climbing.
Brin Done Before V5 * (Brin) - roof - high, wild and utterly inspiring.
Excitement In The Buoys V6 (Farr) - slopey arete - frictional and tenacious.
Right Arete SS V4 (Farr) - arete - lovely steady slopey climbing.
Forever Unfulfilled V4 (Farr) - steep slab - thin and delicate on ace rock.

Central West:

Gale Force V7 * (Laggan)  - arete - the best line and problem in Scotland? World class.
Black Orc V6 * (Glen Nevis) - bulge/mantle - sculptural and brutal. Skin graft needed.
Thousand Year Egg V4 (Glen Nevis) - wall - delicate pull-over on nice rock
Bear Island V3 (Glen Nevis) - wall/groove - cool fun on nice features.
The Wall V5 (Glen Nevis) - techy wall - excellent committing climbing.
Pump Up The Jam V5 * (Skye) - roof crack - the other best line and problem in Scotland? Best handjamming ever.
Diesel Canary V5 (Glen Coe) - steep wall - cool wall cranking.
Helipad V4 (Glen Coe) - steep wall -  cool wall cranking.
Various problems at Loch Buie (Mull) - lovely spot, cool bouldering, just go.


Le Toit Du Col Du Mouton V6 * (Glen Clova) - roof - awesome and improbable roof climbing.
Sheep Pen Groove V4 (Glen Clova) - groove - bizarre technical and precarious.
Peel Sessions V4 (Glen Clova) - wall - cool crimpy cranky wall.
Jawa V4 (Loch Katrine)  - steep slab - pure and delicate.
Tourist Trap V4 (Loch Katrine) - steep arete -  good cranky arete.
The Nose V4 (Loch Katrine) - prow - nice steep climbing.
Powerhouse V6 (Loch Sloy) - bulging arete - technical and tensiony.
The Economist V5 (Loch Sloy) - steep wall - good committing cranking.
The Persuader V4 (Glen Croe) - steep arete - burly but aesthetic.
Butterboy V4 (Glen Croe) - overhang - good fun jug yarding.
Snapster V3 (Glen Croe) - wall - excellent delicate crimping.
The Nose V4 (Glen Croe) - roof arete -  thoughtful burly climbing in a fine situation.
Autumn Arete V6 * (Achray) - steep prow - brilliantly sustained and powerful climbing.
Pyramid Lip V5 * (Glen Ogle) - roof lip - irresistable and great fun problem, hernia-inducing.
White Matter V6 (St Brides) - steep wall - sharp but excellent and powerful cranking.


Monkey Spanking V8 (Camby) - pure steep arete - amazingly pure line with very hard holdless climbing.
Spanking The Monkey V6 * (Camby) - pure slab arete -  highly aesthetic and hilarious sketching up a slab.
LDV V3 (Camby) - pure slab arete - the easier version but still great fun.
Retroclaim V6 (Rankin Boulder) - bulging arete - powerful and diverse prow.
Bowfinger V6 (Garheugh) - slab/wall - thin and technical.
Stretch Armstrong V6 (Garheugh) - bulging prow - excellent fun on cool features.
Big Growly Thing V5 (Garheugh) - bulging prow - burly and bonkers.
Blue Meanie, Mestizo, Gorilla, Slap Happy, Mugsy (Dumby) - all good.

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