/ Dry winter bouldering around central Scotland?

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Taurig - on 13 Nov 2012
Having started climbing in April this year and only managing about half a dozen or so outdoor top roping sessions since, I'm pretty gutted that the season seems to be over for outdoor cragging in Scotland (or at least my local crags are dripping). I can't really face or afford to be pulling on plastic for the next six months, so I had the brainwave that I could ask Santa for a bouldering mat.

My logic is that boulders will tend to seep less, dry quicker and can be found in more sheltered locations. My indoor bouldering grade is only about font 5+, so sadly, bone dry mega overhangs are probably out of the question. Is there anywhere within, say, and hour or two of Glasgow that offers a good chance of dry bouldering at the lower end of the grade scale throughout the winter? Or should I resign myself to indoors?

Cheers for any advice.
Kevin Woods - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Taurig: As much as I hate to say it... Dumbarton's your place.
Fraser on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Taurig:

2 hours from Glasgow will pretty much get you down to the county!
Fraser on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Fraser: ...as in Northumberland.
JLS on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Taurig:

Dumbarton
Craigmadie
Wolf crag
Bowden Doors
Back Bowden

...are your best bets for some bouldering over the winter.
Taurig - on 13 Nov 2012
I would say that I probably wouldn't head down as far as Northumberland in winter; it may be two hours at motorway speed but for me that's a lot of petrol burnt for a bit of low grade bouldering. I do appreciate the reply though.

I'd forgotten about Craigmaddie, that's about 10 minutes drive for me, so I will check that out.

Is there anything in the Trossachs that stays dry over winter? Ben Ledi, Glen Ogle, Glen Croe, that sort of area?
Fraser on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Taurig:
> ... but for me that's a lot of petrol burnt for a bit of low grade bouldering.

Get stronger and you'll have a lot of high grade bouldering to make the trip worthwhile! ;) Also go down in a car-load and it's more economical...and fun. The bacon buttie stop at Morrison's in Berwick is now compulsory I hear.

> I'd forgotten about Craigmaddie, that's about 10 minutes drive for me, so I will check that out.

Doesn't stay dry in the wet and becomes friable after rain, so don't climb on it too soon.

> Is there anything in the Trossachs that stays dry over winter? Ben Ledi, Glen Ogle, Glen Croe, that sort of area?

Trossachs is wet even after a dry spell - don't know about the others.

Beardyman - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Taurig: Glen Lednock is a good bet as it is super quick drying. most of the boulders are stand alone so take no drainage. 1hr 20mins

I wouldn't describe the County as low-grade, over 2000 problems from super easy to Font 8b+, has kept me amused for 15+ years and gets SIGNIFICANTLY less rain then the west of Scotland!

Dumby very quick drying, even possible in between showers.
Taurig - on 14 Nov 2012
Cheers for the info chaps. Glen Lednock looks good and seems to have a fair few low grade problems, could be done after a quick winter Munro bash in that area too.

Dumby certainly a bit closer, every time I hear that place mentioned it is followed by a negative comment of some sort though, I'm guessing the local youth is what is being referred to?

Fraser, yeah I read Craigmaddie wasn't the place to go after rain, also something about the farmer not being 100% happy about climbers?
pebblespanker - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to Taurig:

If you go to Lednock please be careful how you park as the access situation is a little delicate, thanks :) There some fun low grade problems including Temptress but Lednock really comes alive when you start climbing Font 6A and above with some good fingery testpieces and sloper challenges, but not really a wet weather venue.

In terms of other venues there is Wolfcrag near Stirling in Bridge of Allan (excellent coffee and cakes available, again not too much under 6A but worth a look if passing and one to consider for the future. It does stay dry in rain but after prolonged spells wet streaks develop so best avoided

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=1257

Glen Ogle has some lower grade stuff but again not too much but Jack the Crack is excellent and there are some easy lines on a bloc we developed called the Big Cheese Block though it is probably very wet underfoot at the moment as its on low lying ground. Not wet weather venue.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=10030

Enjoy and get a copy of John Watsons guide onto your letter to Santa too!
Jamie B - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to Taurig:

> Dumby certainly a bit closer, every time I hear that place mentioned it is followed by a negative comment of some sort though, I'm guessing the local youth is what is being referred to?

That plus the general "post-industrial" ambience, but quite possibly the desperate nature of the problems! They are largely frictionless and require devilish amounts of finger-strength and technical ability. The first visit or two tends to involve a lot of disheartening failure. The good news is that if you persevere with it you cannot fail to improve. There's a good social scene there as well - always somebody around to offer advice or a spot.
Pids - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to Taurig:

Mauchline gorge

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=229

Bouldering area is in an undercut so normally dry - could get away without a mat as well
Taurig - on 16 Nov 2012
Thanks for the further replies, especially about Wolfcrag. I have ridden past that on the MTB a while ago and thought it looked good but completely forgot about it, cheers!
unknownclimber6 - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Taurig:

the glen croe boulders are pretty good some really problems if you can figure out where they are in the guide book if not jus take a few mats and there is some nice trad routes that you can highball if your up for that (but take a couple of spotters if you want to do that i would say, some of the landing areas arnt great) also its not that far from arrochar, but most of it isnt low grade stuff, would say most of the stuff up there is 7+ with only a few routes not much lower but check the crag maps on here or bouldering scotland guidebook.

probs look at dumby first though, loads of stuff there right through the grades but it does get wet a lot except the steep stuff and most of that is pretty nails! me and my mates popped down last week and it was soaked from the day before (even the everdry wall!!!) and even a lot of the steep stuff had seepage on it and the only thing that was really "dry" was pongo sit start 8A+, so we tried it failed it and went to the wall :)
cwood2887 - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Taurig:
Wolfcrag near Bridge of Allan dries well and has loads of good problems in lower grades.
Use the search on here through logbooks section, there's a few boulder spots within 1 hour of Glasgow.
There's a quarry near Kelty in Fife that's quite good when others are wet but the name escapes me, again its listed on here though.
I'm climbing at a similar grade mostly at Wolfcrag and Kips Crag in Menstrie as they're both local but Kips doesn't dry well and as its low on a big hill gets very wet from run off.
punkpunk - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to Taurig: A lot of Glen Lednock dries quickly, I have climbed there when it has been raining elsewhere and at the bottom of the valley. Trossachs are dry at the moment, was there thurs/fri best friction ever but cold...Dumby can get glassy if too cold but also dries v.quick.
Kevin Woods - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> (In reply to Taurig)
>
> [...]
>
> That plus the general "post-industrial" ambience, but quite possibly the desperate nature of the problems! They are largely frictionless and require devilish amounts of finger-strength and technical ability. The first visit or two tends to involve a lot of disheartening failure. The good news is that if you persevere with it you cannot fail to improve. There's a good social scene there as well - always somebody around to offer advice or a spot.

This is pretty much spot on. I've been 20-30 times?? and I still feel like I'm getting off the ground. This is a good thing - shows how much I can improve (and how crap I am). You routinely meet very good climbers; again really good since I can't think of another outdoor venue that you can do this at. It's real inspiring to watch them go.

The atmosphere of the place is probably more threatening than anyone you'll see there. (and *completely* unique: semi- natural, seaside, Highland, Lowland, industrial, urban, in a mixing pot) Sure I heard one time that a couple climbers got beat up. Another time 20-odd wee kids plus customary wise-guys parked themselves under the Home Rule to celebrate a game. We left before they got tooo drunk. That's in 9 months, it's not a big deal.

I've never had a problem and it's by a long shot the best crag I've ever been to, so my earlier "hate to say it.." was more for it's reputation. I fr@ckin love the place
ads.ukclimbing.com
Beardyman - on 03 Dec 2012
) Sure I heard one time that a couple climbers got beat up.


Haha, my mate tried to persuade me that it wasn't that bad and all the storied were exaggerated, he came back with a black eye!!

F@cking hate the place! ;0)

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