Rubha Robhanais & Eoropaidh - North Lewis Hebrides, SCOTLAND
Climbs 50 – Rocktype Gneiss – Altitude Tidal – Faces N
The most Northerly area in the Western Isles is actually closer to Reykjavik than it is to Sheffield. The area is in a constant flux of development with contributions from MacLeod, Cubby Cuthbertson, Si O'Conor & Rab Anderson, amongst others. The cliffs around the lighthouse itself are steep & imposing & the area of huge constantly re-arranged boulders directly below the lighthouse is known as the 'washing machine, in a storm, for good reason. This can be crossed at low tide safely enough, but the inherent dangers of navigating between the climbing here are obvious. A storm is more than capable of creating a 30ft wave on a bad day & the strong tides are capable of breaking up trawlers, let alone stray climbers. Go careful - check your weather outlook & tide cut-offs. Apart from that, the area contains some of the best adventure trad climbing anywhere in the Hebrides, with many hard futuristic lines still to go. The Northern tip of Lewis is a truly gobsmacking area that makes your heart thump & fly looking up from the crag bases. Further uncharted traditional cragging can be found in the outlaying areas running South West & East of Rubha Robhanais. These areas also contain endless beaches of three star gneissian bouldering, tamed & untamed sea arches & even a healthy chunk of sea cliff sport climbing at Toul a' Roigh. The bolts are mixed between Batinox resin, traditional thread expansions. Some of the shorter sport routes here also rely on hammered pegs, & although generally sound, these are gradually being replaced, funds permitting. Please check the degradation of these anchors by abseil inspection wherever possible. Sea salt & coastal air are corrosive to glued anchors & threads. Eoropaidh Port Nis & Skigersta provide the most notably developed areas of bouldering to date.
No unusual access issues except that Lewis is an established crofting community with lots of free roaming livestock. Mainly brainless roadside feeders. If you are bringing dogs be aware of this, or you may be taking them home in body-bags. There is plenty of free camping on the machairs, but care is needed when night fires are lit amongst the dune grasses in summer. There are a few well stocked shops, a post office or three & a single petrol station in Nis which are all open every day except Sunday, when EVERYTHING closes. There is a small climbing wall in development for 2007 & even a bar down the road, with a table you can push balls around on.
Out of print: Skye and Hebrides (1999)
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