/ Bouldering Near Inverness
I'm going to be vacationing in and around Inverness for most of May with my family, and was hoping to get a taste of the climbing in the area. As I'm flying over from the US, I likely won't be able to bring much in the way of climbing gear, and was wondering if anyone out there could lead me in the direction of somewhere I could rent or borrow a crash pad, rope, or quickdraws. Also, any advice on bouldering or sport climbing areas that are more worth visiting would be much appreciated.
For me it would be Torridon, 'near to Inverness' is relative, but it's easy for a day trip. A day is nowhere near enough though. Torridon Celtic Jumble is the classic spot with more quality than a... thing of fine quality. I found a lovely low grade spot with potential for harder things Am Fuar-meheallan just up the road, but there is plenty about, documented and undocumented at all levels. May is not far off the best time to visit, a little early for midges and loads of daylight. If you have a soul, I'd go as far as to say I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Unless the weather is crap... but thats Scotland for you.
Your best bet for bouldering is definitely Torridon, there is a dedicated guide for the area which was available at the gooutdoors and craigdon in Inverness last time I was there. If you can get hold of the older copy of stone country, that's probably the best bouldering guide.
I think the closest sport climbing to Inverness is Moy. I've only climbed there a couple of times, the SMC sport climbing guide covers it, the 7a Max guide does too.
If you have Facebook, you might be able to find partners or kit on Cairngorms: climbing partners (I can't seem to link the group) or Scottish climbing partners.
There's also an Inverness climbing partners group, I don't know how active it is though.
Torridon is already at the top of the list, everything I see about it looks great. The presence of a soul remains in question, so we'll see if I can't find something to be disappointed in.
There are a lot more bouldering spots closer to Inverness, Ruthven springs immediately to mind and if you drive around that area you'll see other stuff as well. Another nice place, especially if you're over with a non climber, is Cummingston on the Moray coast. This website will give you a few other names to search for: http://invernessbouldering.blogspot.co.uk
Depending on where you're based, where you're going and what you define as near Inverness, there's plenty of bouldering up here. Torridon (1.5hrs from Inverness) certainly has the largest and best concentration of problems so should be high on your list. Further north there's good stuff around Ullapool (1.5hrs from Inverness) (Ardmair beach, Reiff in the Woods, Reiff) and you can hire pads from North West Outdoors in Ullapool. Further south, the Kishorn boulders are also brilliant (2hrs from Inverness).
Closer to Inverness (20mins) the Ruthven boulder and Farr boulder in Strathnairn are probably the best user-friendly local venues due to the concentration of problems in one place, but there are quite a few bigger venues in that area that have good problems but are quite spread out and harder to navigate around so perhaps not ideal for a one-off visitor (Barry Valley, Brin).
You can search all these venues in the logbooks on this site. The best overall guidebook is the latest edition of Boulder Scotland, but the dedicated Torridon guide would be better if you're planning to spend most of your time there.
What kind of grades are you looking for? I might be able to point you at some classics.
Agree completely with Gaz.
Check out these links - all within 15/20 mins of Inverness.
Moray Coast is also worth a look- about 1 hour from Inverness-
Torridon is great but 1.5 hours drive away, Has its own wee paper guide.
Ullapool and beyond is well worth it but but a long drive.
Weather is going to be your biggest factor.
Give me a shout if you get stuck with anything....
I can't help much with bouldering beyond what's already been said, but if you want to experience Scottish cragging or mountain routes, I might have a day or two free in May to take you around. I have spares of everything, except shoes, which it sounds like you'll have anyway.
I'm based near Aviemore, a little south of Inverness.
You've been given some good advice. One place not yet mentioned which I think probably deserves more attention from passing trade (it's just off the Inverness-Ullapool road) are the lovely granite boulders of
there's nothing hard there to keep people returning, but the problems in the 6s are almost universally excellent, and worth climbing again and again. It's a bit tricky to find your way around and, as mentioned above, getting a copy of the Boulder Scotland 3rd Edtion is your best bet.
Just to add that the weather around the highlands can have a clear East / West coast split - and being canny about which way the weather is coming in from can help you find the best climbing conditions.
It can be pretty localised - so don't be disheartened if it's raining where you are, or want to go- you can usually dig something out.
I find Highlands & Islands weather (https://www.facebook.com/highlandweather/) good for local knowledge backed up with 'YR' for rainfall and 'Windy' for tides and wind... (we are all weather geeks!)
I've just arrived, and started to get my bearings in town. I have a friend whose family lives nearby, and who has a crashpad I'll be borrowing, but others would be appreciated.
Welcome to Scotland, weather looks cracking for the week ahead. Someone will be in all day tomorrow if you want to swing by. I will be back for the afternoon.
21 Urquhart Road
So I've finally arrived here, and am planning on heading to Torridon and Skye over the next few of days. If anybody out there who offered a pad is available to meet up in Inverness this evening or tomorrow morning, or in Torridon tomorrow or Tuesday to climb, I'd be appreciative. I'm having some trouble getting my phone to work over here, but if anybody has whatsapp, my number is 8145714684, or I'm sure I'de be able to get a facebook message.
I'm sorry to be so late in getting back to you, I'm having one hell of a time trying to get my phone to work over here. If you're around this afternoon or tomorrow morning, and that offer for a pad to borrow still stands, I'd be glad to drive out and pick it up.
Will be in the rest of the evening
my wife will be in tomorrow morning we are sort of on the way to torridon.
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