/ ARTICLE: Crag Notes: Stepping Forth

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UKC Articles 09 Jan 2020
Crag Notes: Stepping Forth We park at the lighthouse and slither down to the tide line. Waves break onto glistening black rocks. The tide is on the ebb. The sky is grey, the water like steel and a cold wind blows down the Firth of Forth. It is the 4th January: we have come to Aberdour to kick start the new trad season. I'm glad I wore so many layers.

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Blake 09 Jan 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

You went forth into the firth of forth on the 4th

alan moore 09 Jan 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Like this; a nice piece of writing. Captures the misery of it all.

BrendanO 10 Jan 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Well thanks Anna, that was lovely! A reminder to get out and make the most of opportunity! I've only ever climbed sport or bouldered outdoors in winter...but that article is a temptation! Enjoyed the writing style too.   

I must get out to the sea again...

Banksbroo 10 Jan 2020

Well done you for getting out so early! Lovely writing too. More of this.

mcdougal 10 Jan 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Lovely piece of writing, but I have to know; what is it about Peter's head that made the mother scream? Bit of a minger, is he?

profitofdoom 10 Jan 2020
In reply to Blake:

> You went forth into the firth of forth on the 4th

They went went forth into the firth of forth on the 4th but for the firthst time not the fourth

Mark Bull 10 Jan 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Enjoyed that! Freezing my ar@e off at Aberdour is a familiar way to start the outdoor season, but usually a bit later in the year! 

Pefa 11 Jan 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Almost felt like I was there. 

Those gloomy stormy Firth of Clyde/Forth experiences when daylight is short and day doesn't seem to fully rise.

It must be hard climbing when the rock is cold. Hawkcraig is a nice wee cliff with good HVS but I think I'll wait until its warmer before I go back. 

IanMcC 13 Jan 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

A bit late to the party on this one, but here's an alternative view of climbing at Aberdour at New Year:

The Ballad of Sir Lindsay Ross

Bold John sits in Dunfermline toun

Drinkin the jet-black stout:

“A New Year climb at Aberdour-

Wi whom can I carry it out?”

Then up and spak the eldern Shanks,

The slyest of that band-

“Sir Lindsay Ross is a canny youth

Wi’ rock beneath his hand.”

Bold John has fired an e-mail off,

Prioritised, “Attention!”

And sent it tae Sir Lindsay Ross

Explainin’ his intention.

“Tae Aberdour, tae Aberdour,

Tae Aberdour on sea,

I’m gangin fur a New Year climb

An ye maun gang wi’ me.”

The first wird that Sir Lindsay read

So loud, so loud, lauched he-

The neist wird that Sir Lindsay read

A tear binded his e’e.

“Oh wha’ is it has done this deed

And told bold John o’ me,

To climb in New Year’s bitter winds

Above the cauld North Sea?”

They redded up their climbin’ gear

Wi’ a’ the speed they may-

The tide was in at Aberdour

That fateful New Year’s Day.

Adrenalin was runnin high

They couldnae now reverse-

Bold John and Ross went soloin’

Upon the Low Traverse.

They hadna gone a pitch, a pitch,

A pitch, nor barely three,

When the lift grew dark

and the wind blew loud

An’ gurly grew the sea.

On sunny days it’s rare auld stuff,

The wave-washed dolerite,

But on a frozen New Year’s Day

It’s no’- yer feet will skite.

And laith, laith was Sir Lindsay Ross

Tae wet his Five-Ten shoon,

But lang afore the route was done

He’d wet his heid aboon.

For though the rock is sound and rough

Wi dampness it was shiny-

Sir Lindsay’s feet went skitin’

And he plunged into the briny.

Half ower, half ower at Aberdour,

It’s four or five feet deep,

And there lay poor Sir Lindsay Ross

Weel soaked at bold John’s feet.

And fragment’s fae his chalkbag

Went floatin on the faem,

And mony was the slaggin’

That he’d get when he got hame.

But Sir Lindsay was a gentleman

He cried whilst wading ower:

“Tae you, bold John, I doff my cap-

The King o’Aberdour.”

With apologies to "Anonymous"

(Names have been changed to protect the guilty)

Rog Wilko 13 Jan 2020
In reply to IanMcC

Can't say I understand every word of this but I love it!

IanMcC 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Find an annotated version of the Scots Ballad "Sir Patrick Spens" and all will be clear.

Martin Bennett 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Having been a resident of Dunfermline Toon (and got married there
!) for some years I know this to be a pastiche of the poem "Sir Patrick Spens" Rog. 
A much loved piece in our household for those reasons. I too like this new version, though am unaware of the origin or fame of its subject.

annamairead 15:34 Tue
In reply to mcdougal:

Haha poor Peter! No I think the mother hadn't realised that if she was chatting to one climber leaning over a cliff, then sooner or later a second one would appear

In reply to IanMcC:


Bruce Kerr 13:01 Thu
In reply to IanMcC:

Nice one Ian!

Bruce Kerr 13:02 Thu
In reply to UKC Articles:

Anna, I promise to stop referring to it as 'Aberdire'! ;-)

JimSh 15:15 Fri
In reply to IanMcC:

Well done Ian. Have a bump for Burns' Night.


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