Monday, 19 October 2015

Muile - bouldering at Loch Buie

I’ve visited Loch Buie Boulders on Mull. It's a great bouldering spot.

The grades were generally soft (I on-sighted my first 7bwhich feels a bit disappointing once you realise that you are not as strong as it first appeared.

Hook and go, 7b SS, but it felt more like 7a.

Flesh, 7a, but it felt more like 6b unless I eliminated some holds 
Apart from that disappointing feeling, the rest is 5 stars.

Loch Buie has this much sought after feeling of safe remoteness - beautiful see sights, wildlife (eagles and otters!), old castle, beautiful beach with fine clean sand...

The walk-in is less than half an hour, on flat ground, and is accessible with a push chair : bring your wee bairn and don't worry about adders. Or cars.

Problems come at all levels, in all shapes and heights and many, with a perfect landing. And if you flash the 30 or so established problems, there's plenty more to explore (I found some stuff, but I'll stick it in another post).

The rock is a coarse gabro, but much nicer than that of Coire Lagan on Skye - I spent three afternoons bouldering here and did not get a single skin cut even though I had little hard skin prior going.

The mushroom boulder seems to suck all your attention, thanks to the various possibilities of its overhangs.

Nipple Attack, eliminate version. 3 star problem but 7a at most.

Apart from the problems that I managed to identify in the guidebooks, I also climbed a couple of other problems.

They probably have been done before so I name them here only for the purpose of identifying them.

(And also to stick with the existing semantic field of vocabulary that characterizes the Mushroom boulder)

G-String, 7a+

G-String is a solid 7a+. It goes up the blank looking vertical part of the boulder, using holds in the crack and a high hidden crimp to finish on good slopers. Can be done statically (heel hook, harder) or by stepping on (easier). I haven't done the sitter though.

Au Naturel, 6b

Au naturel climbs the far left corner from sit-start on a big flat ledge within the corner.

You can't beat Torridon for quality bouldering in Scotland.

And you certainly can't beat Dumbarton for hardcore bouldering.

But when it comes to fun bouldering in Scotland, Loch Buie is my number one.

Oh, and in case you wonder... not a midge in sight!!!


John Stewart Watson said...

Hi Pierre

I'd take the grades at Loch Buie with a pinch of salt, as this is the first public feedback I've seen on this venue's grades, and these were suggested grades from around 2008! Many of the first ascents were in summer in the heat, and the gabbro feels a lot soapier. UKC lists a few bits of feedback, and it would be good to see grades voted on more frequently, that's a good feature on UKC. Did you get ot Erraid or Fionnphort...some amazing granite bouldering there (if you like slab test pieces!)


Pierre Edinburgh said...

Hi John,

Ah, this would explain that.

Will vote on ukc then.

I went neither to Erraid nor to Fionnphort.

We spent a day at Calgary bay - not great, but I found some nice stones.