Kayak climbing....?

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 Mattilda 12:59 Mon

Is this a thing? Anyone done any?

(Kayaking out to islands or sea stacks for a climb, bird nesting etc permitting obvs.) 

 Wilderbeest 13:15 Mon
In reply to Mattilda:


you’ll be wanting to read Mick Fowler’s Vertical limits...OK there are some bits about climbing but the key bits are on how to paddle / outboard to sea stacks...

 deepsoup 13:31 Mon
 OwenM 13:34 Mon
In reply to Mattilda:

I've kayaked out to Lundy once but a friend took the climbing kit on the ferry. 

Used the kayak to get to Knoydart several times, makes a really good trip but no rock climbing. 

Post edited at 13:38
 Pedro50 13:35 Mon
In reply to Wilderbeest:

> Hi,

> you’ll be wanting to read Mick Fowler’s Vertical limits...

The film's pretty good too!

Post edited at 13:51
In reply to Mattilda:

I planned some trips but never got round to it when I lived in Finland. We did develop a crag with the use of a slightly bigger boat though! one of the best cragging trips I've had in 3 decades of climbing. My friend has a canoe now for his family and we have discussed if there are possible sites in the UK for canoe-camp-climb trips but couldn't think of anything obvious - Loch Maree area maybe? We did mountain biking and sport climbing yesterday - surprisingly fun in the Peak, 50 kms and 1285 mtrs of ascent on bikes, 5 crags visited and I did a 6a at each one - Tony 5 routes between 6a and 6c. 

 Wilderbeest 15:13 Mon
In reply to Pedro50:

Edit...Vertical Pleasures it is...😀

 coldfell 16:45 Mon
In reply to Mattilda:

Yes we used sea kayaks to access the crags of Mull, off the SW tip - but we were camping at Fidden farm, so just had the climbing gear to pack in the boats. We have also enjoyed paddling in to Loch Coruisk to camp and to scramble the Dubhs Ridge and into Knoydart via loch Nevis to do some Munro's in winter conditions. I think the coastal waters in Britain are a little wild around the headlands , where the crags usually are to arrive by kayak

 neuromancer 16:47 Mon
In reply to Mattilda:

What about climbing in the ardeche?

 cb294 23:07 Mon
In reply to Mattilda:

Done this, bouldering on Aaland, Bouldering map strapped to back of a double folding kayak, cold beer towed behind the boat...

MUCH better then the endless slog through the pine forest if you approach by car.


In reply to Mattilda:

Funny you post this as I asked exactly the same thing a good while back. Whilst I get you're asking about stacks and islands, Pembrokeshire can work if you can find a cliff with a large ledge above the tides. St Govan's in a sea kayak can work as long as you are aware of the firing range times which can prevent access.

There is a Scottish guide to the islands up there, might be worth a look>

Coldfell above mentions paddling into the Loch Coruisk just S of the Cuillin. We just happen to have that approach planned for the full ridge this year.

One issue is the roughness of some of the water around our coast, it's all well and good when the sea is calm but when it whips up I can't imagine trying to drag a kayak out onto jagged rock. There will be some crossover sites worth looking at.

In reply to Mattilda:

Start from the the Connel Bridge north east of Oban, paddle up Loch Etive, climb on the Etive slabs and then drift back down the loch. At least a 2/3 day adventure. Watch your timing with the Falls of Lora.

In reply to Mattilda:

I've only done it once, to here  Shark Island.

 deepsoup 08:59 Tue
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

> There is a Scottish guide to the islands up there, might be worth a look>

Well worth a look, though as you say the roughness of the water can be an issue.  Rocky landings (especially in a composite sit-in sea kayak) are a skill that needs practice.  And perhaps a team of more than two people if dealing with boats loaded with camping and climbing gear.

There are some tiny islands off the bigger islands that might provide a memorable adventure.  I scared myself a bit paddling through the through-cave from one side of Campaigh on a slightly lumpy sea a few years ago.  (There's a online guide to that and a couple of other tiny islands off Great Bernera here: )

> Coldfell above mentions paddling into the Loch Coruisk just S of the Cuillin. We just happen to have that approach planned for the full ridge this year.

Great idea.
I paddled in from Elgol to stay at the Memorial Hut for a few days about five years ago.  Nipped up to admire the view from Sgurr na Stri that evening, a scrambly walk up the Dubh Slabs around and back to the hut via Gars Bheinn the following day and a nice leisurely day exploring Soay the day after.  Lovely.

Loch Scavaig is relatively sheltered (ludicrously so while I was there on that trip, it was a millpond!) - TobyA looking at you here - with the right weather forecast it wouldn't be bonkers to make that journey by open canoe.  (Also - Raasay/Rona?  More exposed than an inshore loch of course, but extremely sheltered as UK coastal water goes.)

It's often crossed by mind that a sit-on-top kayak would be the perfect vehicle to approach deep water soloing.  Especially as part of a team so one person can just step off the kayak straight onto the rock, leaving another to mind the kit and just move it out of the way during the climb.

Post edited at 09:03

In reply to Mattilda:

Since starting my sea kayaking addiction nearly 3 years ago this is always something that's been on my mind.  There aren't many crags in the UK where access by car and foot wouldn't be easier than by kayak, not that that's a reason not to do them - thanks up-thread for some excellent suggestions in Scotland.

Big tidal ranges around many crags in Wales and the SW  could make landing and stashing your kayak while you climb and ab off, and as others have said rocky landings can add to the complexities.  Unfortunately climbing is not allowed on many of the off shore islands around Pembroke due to bird restrictions.

One option for sport climbers would be to paddle the short distance from LLandudno to the Diamond on the Little Orme, a lot easier than the arduous walk and via-ferrata approach that I understand has recently been set up.  However I was never quite good enough to climb there, and time spent sea kayaking has further eroded by climbing grade (as someone on UKC predicted it would when I started!)

One trip that would really appeal is a paddle from Bara to the Great Arch on Pabbay, do a route, ab back down and paddle back to Bara for a well earned pint, particularly as the walk from the Pabbay campsite can be quite arduous.

My composite kayak is rather small and nimble Rockpool Isel - optimum for day trips in conditions rather than expeditions.  I have packed it for a week's camping in Scotland but no room or freeboard left for climbing gear.

I expect there's lots of opportunities for kayak access to remote crags and first ascents in NW Norway and Lofoten - I'm hoping to do a combined kayaking and climbing trip up there next year.  I'd have to buy a larger expedition type kayak (n+1!) or hire something suitable locally.

Post edited at 16:40
 PaulJepson 17:48 Tue
In reply to Mattilda:

I always thought this would be a nice way to get to Berry Head. 

In reply to Mattilda:

You could do this at many crags here in Guernsey. Kayaks would get around some of the overgrown descent paths, and also eliminate tidal access issues. You could even belay off the yaks on a few crags.

In reply to PaulJepson:

Yes, I kayaked along to Berry Head from Dartmouth once and the same thought occurred to me. I'm not sure what you'd do with the kayak though. You can't really drop anchor.

Not climbing as such, but I read this the other day and mentally doffed my cap to the lady concerned.


 PaulJepson 20:27 Wed
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Maybe build a rock anchor and secure at the bottom of the cliff? There might even be some manky old belay peg if you're lucky. I was toying with the idea of different approaches to Moonraker, as the traverse sounds gross and that video of them approaching by yacht seems a lot more dignified! 

In reply to Mattilda:

I've used my trusty inflatable canoe to access various DWS venues in north pembroke and the gower. No quicker then walking in but a lot more fun. I've always managed to drag it out onto non tidal ledges, such is the joy of an inflatable

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