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Invitation to rock climbing in Scotland

Scottish winter climbing is world-famous like Ben Nevis North Face. Then how about (summer) rock climbing?

I had very little idea about that before I moved to Scotland, except for a few stories like Old Man of Hoy and Cuillin. Having experienced (some of) them now, I have to say I am mightily impressed. This post is meant to be an introduction for Scottish rock for southeners to get an idea!

I guess a guy's comment in the UKC-forum discussion about the best xxx routes in the country summarised it well…

Unleash the Beast

A sharp end at am I. The terrain is continuously overhanging, and so is energy sapping. I must move quickly, shutting out the fear for the unpredictability.

With a little momentum I reach for a rounded little bulge above, expecting it to be decent enough at the back to hold. No, it's not! It is too rounded.

Take!

… I investigate what went wrong and what to do as a climber, which may make climbing a little safer as a bonus.

First taste of Dolomites in 2015 summer

Dolomites — allegedly one of the best trad-climbing venues in Europe. A meet by Bowline Climbing Club was held there in the end of this summer. I had a chance to participate it for a few days, then further climbed on after the meet, with another visiting friend of mine.

It was most heart-warming to be reunited with my good old friends of the BCC. And the overall experience was priceless! The best was…

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Memoir of the path to Sugar Cane Country

There is a weird relationship between climbers and grades: love, hate, obsession, indifference, or whatever. Having finally achieved the next higher grade after years of continuous failures, I am here looking back at what pushing the grade has meant to me. …

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Review of "Make or Break: Don't Let Climbing Injuries Dictate Your Success" by Dave MacLeod

Photo of the front cover of 'Make or Break'

Review of the recently published book by Dave MacLeod: "Make or Break". It is specialised on the injuries commonly seen among climbers — what they are like, how to prevent, treat, mitigate, and rehabilitate.

Is climbing a sport?

It used to be not in the old days. It wasn't sophisticated like modern sports. Climbing is at its heart an adventure. Training? What's that? Men just go out climbing as often as they can! What else would you need?

Things have changed since. Or at least, if you want to be good at climbing, that is not the case any more. Why? Because…

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Equipment to start Scottish winter-climbing

Photos of winter gear

Now, you want to start winter climbing in Scotland (or North Wales or Lake District when the conditions are suitable). What do you need for the equipment? Here is a list for a day Scottish winter-climbing. Mind you, it is just a brief summary — I could write an entire post per item… But hopefully this would give you an idea of what you would need, as a starting point.

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Angels and Demons first ascent

Report of our first ascent of Angels and Demons (IV, 4), An Garbh Choire, Braeriach.

Southern Cairngorms — one of the most remote places in the Scottish wilderness. I remember when I first had a look at a map of the area years ago, I was impressed how far some places were. An attraction of outdoor activities is to go somewhere other people would not, or even could not, go or reach. It is I think a major element in mountaineering, and it certainly is […]

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Masa's perspective of Banana Wall (XII/12)

Greg Boswell made the first ascent of his yet hardest Scottish winter route, Banana Wall, Coire an Lochain, Cairngorms on 25th February 2015, as reported in his own blog post. It can well be the hardest Scottish winter route (grade XII, 12) or even the world, for the trad-protected mixed route. Here is my perspective as the belayer, climbing partner and witness of his feat.

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