Archive | Summer Climbing

Bouldering at Bowden Doors, Northumberland

On Friday 6th June, Keith, Dougie and I headed down to Bowden Doors in Northumberland for Dougie’s first outdoor bouldering trip. The weather was stunning with bright blue skies and sunshine, although it did make it a little warm for climbing. We plastered ourselves in factor 50 and then began our very short 2 minute walk in to the crag.

After discovering a sheep lying on its side unable to move in the field, and a trip down to the local farmer to alert the shepherd, we headed along to the ‘Sheep pen’ at the far left of the crag to warm up. The sheep pen contains 6 or so easy short problems with an excellent flat landing, ranging from font 3 – 5. It was also a good spot to introduce topping out on problems as it’s a technique that can’t really be learnt indoors.

We then had a play on the classic problem ‘The Light Bulb’ font 6a, before making our way to the Scooped Wall area. We climbed several other problems around this area, including the classic ‘Scooped Wall’ font 6b and then wandered back towards the main wall of the crag having a look at how to place gear and set up belays at Northumberland venues. Gear is a bit limited and hard to find at the top of the crag compared to venues in the central belt.

Dougie warming up in the Sheep Pen

Dougie warming up in the Sheep Pen

Keith on The Light Bulb, font 6a

Keith on The Light Bulb, font 6a

 

A Week in Barra, the Outer Hebrides

The Get Out Adventures team are just back in Edinburgh after spending the last week on the Isle of Barra; this was our first trip to the Outer Hebrides, and it certainly will not be our last. The entire island is surrounded by crystal clear emerald water & unspoilt white sand beaches that wouldn’t go amiss on a postcard for the Caribbean.

During our trip we explored all of the main beaches and completed two of the must do walks, amongst others. One of the famous walks we did was the Vatersay Coastal Circuit. It includes several beautiful beaches, an abandoned croft, and views towards Sandray in the South and the climbing destination island, Pabbay. Mingulay was hiding behind Pabbay so sadly we couldn’t see it.

Vatersay Beaches

Vatersay Beaches

The second of the must-do walks was an ascent up the highest peak on Barra - Sheabhal (383m). The rugged hill overlooks Castlebay taking in views of Kisimul Castle and majority of the coastline around the island. Luckily for us, the visibility was so good that we were also rewarded with views of South Uist and The Isle of Skye in the distance.

Sheabhal

Sheabhal

We sampled some of the rock climbing on the island by bouldering on a developed boulder that overlooks the Airport beach and an undeveloped outcrop by the sea beside our holiday home. Due to the unsettled weather of heavy rain then golden sunshine most days we decided to hold off on the bigger routes on the western sea cliffs of the island for another visit.

Bouldering on Barra

Bouldering on Barra

The sea kayaking was utterly fantastic and relaxing. We could launch from our literal doorstep on a high tide after a gentle 15 metre walk with the boats and tour around the airport beach bay during high tides. We spent several days rock hopping along enjoying the sounds, scenery and sea life, which sadly only consisted of seaweed and oystercatchers for us, despite our neighbours having several sightings of otters in the bay outside our house! There were a number of great bays and inlets around the coast for us to investigate in the boats also. The only things missing were some natural arches and caves!

Keith and Tom enjoying the crystal clear water

Keith and Tom enjoying the crystal clear water

After our daily kayaking trips it was swim time for Tom, who is a keen open water swimmer. We practiced with different techniques to find out what worked best for a swimmer when following the kayak as Tom is soon to be safety boating for the St Kilda Swim 2014. 9 open water swimmers are planning to swim from the Isle of Harris to St Kilda on 28th June along with 3 supporting sea kayakers for charity…it’s never been attempted before!

Tom out for a swim

Tom out for a swim

One evening during low tide we ventured out onto the beach for a spot of cockle searching and managed to harvest enough for lunch the next day. TOP TIP: once you’ve collected enough, rinse them well then place them all in a large tub of fresh water with a generous palm full of salt and some fine oats and leave them overnight for them to filter through and clean themselves. The next day, boil in a pan until they’ve all opened, season and enjoy! Very yummy indeed.

While on any island it is also worth visiting the local fishing docks and finding out if you can buy fresh from them. We did from Barratlantic and came home with the freshest and tastiest Scallops, Langoustines, Prawn tails, Monkfish and Haddock. Utterly delicious. It was interesting to find out that the majority of their catch gets exported to France and Spain as the market in the UK is not that large!

All in all, a brilliant trip and definitely recommended!

Scallop Shells

Scallop Shells

Mental Health Awareness Week 2014

We are pleased to announce that Get Out Adventures Ltd are running a charity abseil event in Edinburgh on Sunday 18th May for mental health awareness week. This year’s theme is anxiety – so join us and overcome your anxious feelings by abseiling over the edge of a cliff!

We were approached by Jake McManus of Climb Out and asked if we would like to organise some form of climbing related challenge to help him with his goal – to encourage more people to get into outdoor sport as a means of helping with depression.

Jake has suffered from depression for the majority of his life, and in February 2013 he found rock climbing! Climbing and the outdoors have helped him greatly, and to raise awareness of his awesome discovery he built up the courage to post about his depression online to help others suffering from similar issues.

I first got in touch with Jake several months ago after coming across one of his blog posts on Facebook. I found him so inspiring that I simply wrote to him to tell him I thought what he was doing was amazing and to keep up the good work and we have been in touch ever since.

You can check out Jake’s website here: www.climbout.co.uk

We will be announcing more details for our charity abseil challenge soon so please follow us on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to our blog to stay up to date.

You can find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week by visiting: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Climbing in the Lake District

After a summer of mostly hill walking it was great to have a day back on the rock!

On Monday 23rd September, Keith, Chris and I headed down to the Lake District for some climbing at Black Crag, followed by pub food.

Chris on Holly Tree Corner, VS 4b

More walking and climbing in the North West

So I am finally back in Edinburgh for more than a couple of days. I have spent the last 2 weeks in the west highlands helping out with Duke of Edinburgh again, and then up the North West climbing and walking with Keith.

The lovely beds

Helping out with the Duke of Edinburgh was good – free food and alcohol, what more could one want. The beds on the other hand were horrific. Actual mould on the mattresses that have been around since the 1950s.

I went for a walk up Stob Ghabhar on Tuesday 19th June as a detour on route to check on the group of kids at the Clashgour campsite, followed by a walk up the corbett Mam na Gualainn on Wednesday.  The views over Loch Leven and the mamores from Mam na Gulainn were amazing.

Loch Leven
The Mamores

Keith headed up after work on Thursday evening to meet up with me and take advantage of the free meal, before we headed off to Guinard Bay on Friday afternoon. The weather in the North West was surprisingly good on friday, we ended up climbing a route called Halcyon Days (VS 4c**) at Guinard crag before cooking dinner on the beach and enjoying some wine straight from the bottle – classy!

Janey on Halcyon Days
Guinard Bay from the crag
nom nom

We had planned to do An Teallach on Saturday, but when we woke up the midges were so bad that we couldnt face getting out of the car to organise our walking packs. The cloud base was also down at around 400m which was rather off putting, so we headed up to Ullapool for a wee touristy look around, then continued on to Reiff for some single pitch seaside climbing.

I led Westering Home (E1 5b ***) and Pop Out (HVS 5a *). Keith led Hy Brasil (VS 4c **) and we soloed a severe called Midreiff, before driving back down towards Torridon to camp before our planned hill day for Sunday.

K arete hugging on Hy Brasil

Approaching the reachy top out on Westering Home

sorting some gear on ‘Pop Out’
We woke up to a very low cloud base on Sunday morning (around 350metres) but manned up and headed for the hills – Moruisg (928m) and Sgurr nan Ceannaichean, marked as 915m on the OS map and guidebook but has been remeasured and downgraded to a corbett at 913m. 
The visability was horrendous and required constant walking on bearing and pacing throughout the day.  Not so pleasant…but what else to do when the weather is horrid! 
Summit of Moruisg
Azalea

loving the nav between summits

summit of Sgurr nan Ceannaichean

the view
For Monday the plan was to do the Liathach Ridge line, but once again when we woke up the cloud base had remained as low as 400m so we decided we would leave it for a nice weathered day. 
We drove back down to Glen Coe, where the weather turned out to be a perfect day (infact almost too hot). We wandered up Buachaille Etive Beag before food at the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum on our way back to Edinburgh. This was a fairly short day, we were an hour quicker than the book time with two long breaks at each summit :) 
awesome day

Keith on the walk in
Summit of Stob Coire Raineach

Stob Coire Raineach
Azure Hawker (I think)

wee froggy
Summit of Stob Dubh
Janey

MTA