Saturday, 5 September 2009

The End of Summer

Well its almost been a year since I last blogged and a lot has happen. I spent 6 months away for work and learnt a hell of a lot. I went ice climbing for a week in Rujkan Norway and learnt that I quite like soloing, within my limit that is. There have been some interesting moments along the way.

Thats me back in Aberdeen now for the time being. Me and Clare have been out and about a lot on the local sea cliffs so I will hopefully keep this updated alot more frequently.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Over Due Update

I thought that I should probably update this as I havent done so in a long time.

To summarise the summer I had: Awesome!!

With that covered I will move onto the last couple of weeks or so. Just moved to aberdeen to start my new job in Aberdeen, so far so good. It took me 4 weeks to get to transition extreme after finding some guys at work who climb. I can summarise leading and top roping there as nails. I went from beginning to get somewhere redpointing 7a at the inverness wall to struggling my ass up 6B on top rope at TE. I know I would have lost some strength in the break but not enough to make me drop so far down the grades. After chatting to a couple of locals they all seemed to agree with my opinion. The bouldering on the other hand is pretty decent, a nice selection of different angled walls and problems. I have no idea how often these are changed but so far its keeping me out of trouble.

I am moving to Stavanger in Norway for 3 months in January for work and I have recently found out that I get access to the 2 walls there for free cause of work. All going well I will be able to continue training with the aim of climbing 7a by next summer so that I can increase the trad grade next summer on the sea cliffs of grampian. Whilst in Norway I am also planning on learning to ice climb which should be awesome.

Anyway enough drivel from me especially as I dont have any exciting climbing stories.


p.s See Dave MacLeods new film echo wall for my climbing film debut. I am one of the specs in the gully leading up to the route lol.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

First E1 Onsight

Just a short one this morning. Was up at Loch Duntelchaig yesterday and managed to onsight Anne Boleyn's Crack E1 5c. After basically headpointing anything above HVS for the last wee while I had forgotten about the added "excitment" of onsighting. After a tonne of the usual encouragement from Jamie I just got on with it, slapped a cam in the crack and went for the ledge.
I always find it amazing what you can hold onto when you think you are about to fall off. Whats even more amazing is the fact that I didnt get any elvis leg, I suspect this is because I didnt worry myself about putting gear in due to the "tactics" being involved.
Anyway, heading back out today so lets see how the day unfolds.

Thursday, 7 August 2008


I was in the process of writing up an entry for yesterdays climbing at Loch Tollaidh on the west coast were I climbed 2 E1's (Deliver me (sp??, could be deliver us) E1 5a and Path E1 5b) but after yesterdays success and a tip off of a good E2 at Tynrich I was psyched to get out today. After managing to convince jamie (wasnt really that hard once he realised I really wanted to give E2 a go) we headed for Tynrich and the plod up the hill. Incidently we firmly believe that the path is not over grown because of us.
We arrived at the slabs, set up the anchors and looked at our respective targets. Jamie was looking at his project but for more info I will direct you in his blogs direction. My project was to be Trumpet of the Dead E2 5b. I did my usual of looking at it and worrying about the lack of gear but as with the new stewart I cracked on and cleaned some holds. Once we got on the top ropes I basically linked it first time and knew from that point that no matter how bad the midges got (they were really bad) that I was getting up that route. After some work on the crux sequence I hopped on it and dispatched it first time pretty smoothly and without much fuss. I love this head pointing game.
Now our climbing rules clearly state that once you have climbed 3 of a grade you have to step it up. I have pin pointed my next E2 which is another 5b so another one is required before I can work on my first E3 which is my new summer aim. Which aint bad considering I was aiming for HVS.
So just to recap on my year so far. I started on a hard severe i think at easter time basically and in early August I have climbed my first E2, I personally dont think thats to shabby bearing in mind my first E1 was less than 2 weeks ago and my only HVS to date was an onsight.
4 E points in 2 days will do me nicely. I am off for a shower and a beer.
Bye for now

Tuesday, 29 July 2008


The 27th of July 2008 was a turning point in my climbing. I finally ticked my first E1. Due to the lack of wind we (jamie and me) decided to hit cummy as it is always good weather there. We arrived and headed straight to Orange Wall. Apparently in recent years Jamie is probably one of only a few people to actually lead here due to the nature of the rock so I am quite happy to add my name to that list. I decided to play the head pointing game on this one so I could make sure my 2 bits of gear were good before committing. After 4 or so goes on it I decided to man up and get on with it. About 2 minutes or so later it was done with minimum fuss which for me is pretty impressive. I dare say I even enjoyed it. Anyway so there we have it, Flakey Wall E1 5a* has been ticked. We are heading back today so I can top rope a good looking E2.


Sunday, 6 July 2008

When Stewart met Dave

For my birthday my parents gave me a session with mr Dave MacLeod down in the fort. After waiting for the summer months to arrive and for uni to finish, myself and my sister headed down for the session. Dave had conveniently found a new boulder and we decided to visit it for the start of the session.

We did a short warm up on a slab and then got to it with some new problems which I think Dave will add to his website when he returns from America. The first of the problems was a nice wee roof, no idea what the grade is maybe V2 to V3 nothing to difficult but good fun. We followed this with another two problems, one of which I will return to finish off at some point.

From this boulder we moved to skelton boulder to try a route there and after failing at the sit start I gave the standing start a bash. I managed to get a couple of holds from the top but started to get tired and got a bit psyched with the exposure and the drop off down the slope so whimped out. At this point I was nailed and after a couple more attempts we headed indoors to kimbers wall to cover the basic movement techniques dave had covered early in the day.

At this point I thought I should probably cover some of the actual coaching dave did.

The main points to come out of the session where movement, foot work and reading the rock. All things I needed serious help with lol. He showed me some really good techniques with such excellent names as the head butt and discus. I have been putting them into practice and they are really good. I think some people are lucky and can do them naturally, unfortunately I cant so it was nice to be taught them. All in all it was a cracking day that I have taken a lot from and I am actually trying to put into practice. This includes me even doing proper training sessions down the wall (shock horror I know).

Anyway thats enough of my ramblings, I will add photos once I get them from my sisters camera.


Thursday, 3 July 2008

Jungle Bashing Part 1

The 2nd of July 2008 was probably one of the most exciting days climbing I have had which is saying something. I was able to tick off "Get your name in a climbing guide". Myself and Mr Jamie Murray went jungle bashing and were rewarded for our efforts by the climbing and mountain gods (who incidently are probably one of the same). We uncovered 2 new walls with some real potential. On a purely selfish stance I aint going to tell you were it is until I have climbed all the routes I can at it but we thought it was important to document the ones so far. So here we go.

All the routes were onsighted ground up with no inspection.

[Yet to be named] - HVS 4c

Lead: Jamie Murray 
Seconded: Stewart Munro 
Date: 2nd July 2008

At the right end of the crag climb the wall to the right of the well defined crack (bouldery) to gain the big chimney above, finish direct.

Spitting Games - Hard Severe
Lead: Stewart Munro
Seconded: Jamie Murray
Date: 2nd July 2008

Climb the right hand side of the obvious spike to small ledge. Follow diagonal rising crack that trends right to the top and then over short bulge to top out.

[Yet to be named] - HVS 5b (could well be E1)

Lead: Jamie Murray
Seconded: Stewart Munro
Date: 2nd July 2008

Boulder problem start up overhang onto ledge, take the obvious exit crack above to thin topout.

[Yet to be named] - Severe
Lead: Stewart Munro
Seconded: Jamie Murray
Date: 2nd July 2008

From the recess, climb the flakes diagonally right then follow the obvious and enjoyable diagonally left rising layback flake to the top.

Further reports will follow with pictures.