/ Ailsa Craig

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JLS on 12 Sep 2017
Has there ever been any rock climbing done on Ailsa craig?
Obviously, it isn't super easy to get to but you'd think someone would have had a go...
Dave Kerr - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to JLS:

I think it was mentioned in the old old Arran and Arrochar guide. Guano seemed to be the main problem.
JLS on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

I suppose that *should* have been obvious.
rogerwebb - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Does guano freeze?
top cat on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Does guano freeze?

Yes, but not at sea level
......
Colin Moody - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> I think it was mentioned in the old old Arran and Arrochar guide. Guano seemed to be the main problem.

I don't think guano would be a problem after the winter, before the breeding season starts.

We had a look a few years ago, it is not that easy to get to. Pete Whillance has also looked at the cliffs.

A few photos here.

http://www.colinmoody.com/Site/Ailsa_Craig.html#0
rogerwebb - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to top cat:

We're due a real winter 1947 style
French Erick - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to JLS:

Disappointing amount of real vertical rock considering the striking profile!
Nice pics Colin.
Roger, I am always awed by your endless optimism!
Dave Kerr - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to French Erick:

> Roger, I am always awed by your endless optimism!

I'm not sure that a willingness to climb on frozen bird shit is really optimism!
pasbury on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:

Some of the columnar basalt looks good and relatively free of the white stuff.
Colin Moody - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to pasbury:

Yes, cleaned by the winter storms.
Dave Kerr - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to JLS:
Just found the old guide I referred to above. Nothing about Ailsa Craig in it but there is a bit in the SMC area guide about it having lots of potential. Apparently the estate that owned (owns?) it had a 'no rock climbing policy' but this was pre SOAC.
Post edited at 20:46
fmck - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to JLS:

I think the quarry areas may be best bet rather than the west face of the island. In summer even the quarry area can have quite aggressive birds and during the summer there is a warden staying on the island. It's probably not worth the hassle given the position, quality & who would bother to repeat. A bit like Drumadoon point on Arran you go to the hassle of cleaning but doesn't get the traffic so anyone wanting to repeat has to go to all the hassle of the original team.
Little Cumbria has some nice crags but the island owner doesn't seem to like landings unless you are part of a paying group.
Dave Kerr - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to JLS:

It's also a Special Protection Area and may have other designations but I'm not clued up on what that means for access.
Wicamoi on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to French Erick:

> Disappointing amount of real vertical rock considering the striking profile!

I thought the same... and slightly disappointingly easy access too. For more of a challenge consider the Bass Rock. In contrast to Ailsa Craig, the closer you get to it the more impressive it looks. There is undoubtedly huge potential for proper climbing adventure at a pretty high standard; but of course there are no friendly shingle beaches.
Colin Moody - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to fmck:

> A bit like Drumadoon point on Arran you go to the hassle of cleaning but doesn't get the traffic so anyone wanting to repeat has to go to all the hassle of the original team.


Brian and Andy did the routes at Drumadoon on sight, maybe if they had cleaned them they would have been repeated?
fmck - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:

Ah! That would explain when I went there in the late eighties we looked at it and got the bus to Lochranza instead.
Colin Moody - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to fmck:

We joined them after a day on the Goatfell slabs.

We did a few new routes there, Andy decked out after pulling off a block trying a route, he was fine, got back and finished it.
Andy Nisbet - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:

Brian would have probably led most of them but wouldn't have the patience to clean them (obviously you get a lot less climbing). I'm a fan of cleaning and don't care if I don't get the on-sight. But in Scotland there's no point in cleaning heavily, because the route will have grown back before anyone can repeat it.
Colin Moody - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

> Brian would have probably led most of them but wouldn't have the patience to clean them (obviously you get a lot less climbing). I'm a fan of cleaning and don't care if I don't get the on-sight.

According to the guidebook Brian Davison and Andy Smith both led seven routes that trip, Neil Horn also led one route.

Mark Garthwaite did an E2 at Scoor on sight and called it Sylvester, after I seconded the route he abseiled down it and cleaned it. So he got the onsight and a clean route.

Gone from Ailsa Craig to Mull via Arran!
Nevis-the-cat - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:
> I'm not sure that a willingness to climb on frozen bird shit is really optimism!

Apparently Mick Fowler loves the smell of fulmar vomit and the chossier the shit the better.
Post edited at 13:11
Andy Nisbet - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:

> According to the guidebook Brian Davison and Andy Smith both led seven routes that trip, Neil Horn also led one route.

Sorry, I thought you meant I led some. Wrong Andy.

fmck - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:

Looking at this site's crags log it looks like Drumadoon maybe unlikely to have any second ascents in the near future. It did seem at the time of the first ascents to be a short term boom in routes and was the reason I went expecting something worthwhile or at least not furry rock. I didn't realise at the time anyone would bother climbing stuff like that in that nick. I just thought it had overgrown again.
Colin Moody - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to fmck:

Maybe if they had spent time cleaning Arran would have a descent low lying crag.

It looks like someone made up the stuff about the lichen being rare. I found this.

This 74 ha shoreline SSSI runs along a 4 km stretch of coast from Drumadoon Point to Tormore, north-west of Blackwaterfoot on the west coast of Arran. The site is designated for 2 geological features, its Triassic sedimentary rock layer sequence and its Palaeogene volcanic rocks.
The Triassic red beds were formed as layers of sand, gravel and mud sediments deposited around 240 million years ago. Past heavy erosion has exposed the layers and additional structures, such as ripple marks, mud cracks and trace fossils including worm burrows and tracks made by reptiles, provide information about the environmental and climatic conditions at that time. The good visibility and accessibility of the exposures contribute to the favourable condition of this feature.
The igneous rocks at the site date from subsequent volcanic activity about 60 million years ago. In common with other igneous rocks on Arran, they were produced by below ground igneous intrusion and two types of small scale intrusions are represented. These are dykes, orientated vertically, cutting across the layering within the sedimentary rocks, and sills which are orientated horizontally. The sills and dykes on the site are ‘composite’, consisting of both acidic granite-like igneous rocks and intrusions of basic basalt lava. The dykes and the Drumadoon Sill are in favourable condition.
Andy Nisbet - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:

I was thinking Drumadoon Point was the Electric Cliff?
Colin Moody - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

It is.

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