Friday, 18 March 2011


Bouldering near Edinburgh, Wester Craiglockhart Hill

1. Shark, 4. Sit start at the left corner by the tree. Go straight up on the fin and finish on the high and sharp jaw.

2. Hung Per Lament, 6a. A very nice problem. Sit start on an obvious flake in the centre of the wall. A technical sequence leads to hidden holds at the high break. Finish traversing left and descent on  Shark (if you don't feel like jumping).

3. Hung Parliament, 6a+. Sit start under the bulge. Pull hard on crimps and sloper to reach the only jug of the wall. Traverse left and finish as for previous.

4. The Power of balance, 6c+. Technical L-R traverse. Finish at the scoopish sloper by the ivy.

5. The harder R-L traverse is Balance of Power, 6c+.

6. Link the last two and you get Full Frontal, 7a+. The LH must hold the flat diagonal side pull before reversing the traverse.

The rock is a soft basalt, so please keep it in good conditions for anyone who may come after you. Wirebrushing is forbidden. If you don't like the place, just walk away.

According to the Lothian and Borders RIGS Group of the Edinburgh Geological Society, you can spot some well formed columnar basalt on the crag to the left. This type of columnar structure is prone to toppling over after wet periods, hence the catcher wires in place, so let's be clear: the crag is not safe for climbing (remember, bouldering is inherently dangerous and potentially deadly).

This outcrop is on private land. It's a golf course and the area is a designated SSSI. I've never been told anything by the golfers - apart from a nice bunch of old ladies who got puzzled by my description of a bouldering mat as a love bed. Keep a low profile and it will remain as it is.

You can also take a nice walk up to the remains of a ring fort at top of the hill. From there, you'll enjoy stunning views over Edinburgh.

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