UKC

/ DESTINATION GUIDE: Reiff

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UKC Articles - on 21 Aug 2009
[nice view, 2 kb]"Fancy sunny cragging by the sea watched by dolphins and whales.... no it's not the Med- its north-west Scotland!!"

Viv Scott extols the virtues of sunny seaside cragging in Scotland's North-West...



Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=2050
ClimberEd - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to UKC Articles:

Does it have a microclimate or is the weather as rough as the rest of Scotland?
Tom Last - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to UKC Articles:

Together with Lundy, by far the best place I've been this year.

Lovely lovely place, a visit to the Am Fuaran is well in order too, a great pub.

Cheers,
Tom
skog on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to UKC Articles:
Given that there have been issues regarding parking at the road-end (people blocking access for those that live there, then restrictions on where people are allowed to park as a result), I'm not sure promoting the place like this is such a great thing.
Still, as long as people are aware, and park considerately...
Kevin Avery - UKC - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to skog:

Hi skog

This is hilighted: please park considerately at the road-head as space is limited and issues regarding parking have occurred here in the past.

As you say, hopefully everyone will act responsibly and no problems will occur. The place looks amazing.

Great job Viv!

All the best

Kevin Avery
Gear and Destinations Editor
UKClimbing.com

Simon Caldwell - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to UKC Articles:
It's not as good as Sheigra ;-)
skog on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Kevin Avery - UKC:
Yup, I saw that, and thought it was worth re-highlighting!

Reiff is a wonderful place, and the article is good.
skog on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to UKC Articles:
As an aside, will there be a future article where Viv and Es face-off regarding the environmental impact of lots of climbers driving all the way to the North West? ;-)
( http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=368652 )
catt on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to UKC Articles:

It's worth noting this from the crag pages which we knocked up after being contacted by a resident.

"The locals are very friendly and reasonable and are happy for people to park here but they are concerned about their own access. Please take great care not to block any gates or access for local residents. If there is no room to park then please park a little further away and walk in.

KITCHEN AT REIFF - Sara Nason is now running a small kitchen here and welcomes climbers for soup and bread lunches, teas and suppers which may help supply a much needed sustenance after a climb or walk."

While considerate parking at the road head is fine, there is only space for 5 or 6 cars parked considerately on the verge on the right before the gate into the field. If these spots are full please find somewhere to park back down the road before you come into Rieff, there are a couple of largish lay bys. DO NOT TRY AND PARK ANYWHERE ELSE AROUND THE HOUSES!

cheers,
Iain
Only a hill - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to UKC Articles:
A good article--Reiff has to be the best place for single-pitch climbing I have ever been, together with Sheigra. It's true that climbers at any standards will have enough material for several visits. I haven't led harder than Severe yet at Reiff yet have had two very productive trips doing excellent routes, and there are many more I have on my list!
Michael Ryan - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Only a hill:

That's it. I'm going next weekend.
BelleVedere on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

seal song is especially good looking - with some improbable looking severes
DougG - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

The drive to get there, esp. after you leave the main road N of Ullapool, must be one of the most spectacular anywhere.
Michael Ryan - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to DougG:

I'm in Perth next Friday morning, will drive up and across in the afternoon. How long will that take?

M
BelleVedere on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

ages - from edinburgh to perth is 40mins - from edinburgh to reiff 4:30hours.
DougG - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

To be honest, I've never driven from Perth to Inverness but once you get to Inverness, it's about an hour to Ullapool. Then 45 minutes or so from there. Once you get past Garve, the scenery just gets better and better.

Once you leave the main road N of Ullapool to head towards Achiltibuie, look out for the profile of Sgurr nan Fhidhleir to the south - it's a stunning piece of mountain architecture. You drive right underneath Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh too.
skog on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
About three hours to Ullapool from Perth, then another hour or so to the roadend by Reiff.
TobyA on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: 2.5 - 3 hours maybe? It's worth the drive though.

Have to go back sometime myself, Westering Home has defeated me too many times before.
Chris F - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to DougG:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> To be honest, I've never driven from Perth to Inverness but once you get to Inverness, it's about an hour to Ullapool. Then 45 minutes or so from there. Once you get past Garve, the scenery just gets better and better.

True. The drive is unlike many motorway / dual carriageway plods you have to do in England to get to crags. Once you get to Inverness the traffic disappears and the scenery is fantastic all the way. You need to add time onto journey for taking pics.
skog on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to TobyA:
> 2.5 - 3 hours maybe? It's worth the drive though.
192.3 miles according to the AA.
( http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp )
Their 5 hrs 13 mins seems a bit slow, but 150-180 minutes? Hope there's nobody else on the roads!
Chris F - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to UKC Articles: Nice wee article. The excellent climbing on Stac Pollaidh, which you drive past the foot of, merits mention as does the excellent bouldering both at Reiff itself and Reiff-in-the Woods near the Stac parking.

A pair of decent wellies is a good idea for the walk to the crags at the North end of the Peninsula, as it is very boggy, especially after wet spells aka summertime.

Car sharing from parking / accommodation is definitely a good idea wherever possible. And it is spelled hydroponicum.

DougG - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

This pic was taken from near the top of Stac Pollaidh:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=121563

The road you can see is the one you go along to get to Reiff, once you've left the main road to the N at Drumrunie (about 15-20 min past Ullapool).
Michael Ryan - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to DougG:

Oh my giddy aunt, I'm quite excited.

Hope to ascend Stac Pollaidh too, always been on my list.

Thanks all.

Cheers,

Mick
DougG - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

You can be at the top of Stac Pollaidh in an hour from the car park, without hurrying. (In that pic I posted you can see 2 vehicles parked there.)

This is the view in the other direction (north):
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=121560

Hope the weather holds for you Mick!
tony on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to DougG)
>
> Oh my giddy aunt, I'm quite excited.
>
> Hope to ascend Stac Pollaidh too, always been on my list.

The cutest hill in the country. The ascent is a delight, with a nice wee sting in the tail right at the top. And the views, particularly to the north, are amongst the best you'll get anywhere.
lynda - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I loved it when I was there. Just a beautiful part of the country and the villagers at Reiff are some of the friendliest I've ever met. But then if I woke up to the views they see every day, I'd be pretty friendly too.

The sight you see as you crest over the hill, just before Altandhu is just breathtaking (see my pic of the summer isles in my gallery)
TobyA on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to skog: It must be 13 years since I was last there. The distance gets smaller with time.

I did it a number of times in a Transit from Glasgow - I don't remember it being that long!
Simon Caldwell - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to DougG:
> You can be at the top of Stac Pollaidh in an hour from the car park, without hurrying

Better to take your time though, my favourite way is to scramble up the right hand end and traverse the crest. Still a short half day, plus added time for staring at the view of course.
skog on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to TobyA:
I've only recently finally accepted how long it takes - it seems like it's not too far from Ullapool until you actually work it out.
Still, time spent on the Loch Lurgainn road is hardly wasted time:
http://www.dreamsofmountains.co.uk/spring2007/20070513Stac_Pollaidh.jpg

In reply to Mick:
If you're going up Stac Pollaidh, consider West Buttress, a fun wee Diff, meandering and a bit broken but really nice at the top:
http://www.dreamsofmountains.co.uk/spring2007/20070513West_Buttress.jpg
http://www.dreamsofmountains.co.uk/spring2007/20070513West_Buttress_Topout.jpg
Johnny Baker - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to UKC Articles: This is so uncanny. I was told about Reiff on Monday - planned my summer trip around the beta, have got really excited and now you publish an article. Its fate. Im going.
Michael Ryan - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to skog:

cheers Skog
catt on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Perth to Reiff in under 3 hours perfectly realistic with normal traffic. The road from Inverness to Ullapool is a dream for the most part. However I think there is still some bawsed up roadworks on the A9, near Dunkeld I think.

Ardmair is a stonking crag as well, probably more impressive than most of the Rieff cliffs and a must visit for the E1-4/5 climber. Only 5 minutes from Ullapool too.
tony on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to catt:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Perth to Reiff in under 3 hours perfectly realistic with normal traffic. The road from Inverness to Ullapool is a dream for the most part. However I think there is still some bawsed up roadworks on the A9, near Dunkeld I think.

I seriously doubt Perth to Reiff in under 3 hours is realistic. Perth to Inverness is about 1hr 40mins to 2 hours on its own, and Inverness to Ullapool is at least an hour.

Anyway, of more use to Mick would be the fact that the roadworks at Bankfoot can hold you up for up to 40 minutes. There are ways round by avoiding the A9 and heading up the side roads through Stanley, Murthley, Caputh and Dunkeld.
skog on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to catt:
> Perth to Reiff in under 3 hours perfectly realistic with normal traffic.
That would require an average speed of over 64mph.
That is possibly attainable on the A9 within the speed limit in quiet traffic, assuming minimal delays at Bankfoot roadworks.
It is not attainable from Inverness to Ullapool within the speed limit, though might be realistic ignoring the limit, given very quiet traffic and a lack of concern regarding collisions with deer near Loch Glascarnoch.
Even the Batmobile would struggle to manage it from Ullapool to Reiff.
TobyA on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to skog:
> from Inverness to Ullapool within the speed limit,

has anyone else noted the magic corner on that road? You just go into this curve and it keeps going, somehow you do what feels like more than 180 degrees but don't change direction. Its weird - I think their must be a wormhole in the space time continum there or somat like dat...
petestack - on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to TobyA:
> has anyone else noted the magic corner on that road?

Not that one, no, but I've never failed to register the endless bend out of Invergarry on the way from the Fort to Skye...
skog on 21 Aug 2009
In reply to TobyA:
On the Tore roundabout - did you take the second exit, or the the seventh? ;-)
Falcon - on 22 Aug 2009
In reply to sk og:Anyone driving a long way to do "super classic" Westering Home is going to be disappointed.There's only about 4m of climbing.
Jamie B - on 22 Aug 2009
In reply to Falcon:

A trip to Reiff will never be about one route...
veteye on 22 Aug 2009
In reply to petestack:
That's the best corner out, as long as there is no-one about in front of you.Not done it on the bike yet though.

Rob
Jamie B - on 22 Aug 2009
In reply to UKC Articles:

I'd have to agree that on balance the parking situation should have discouraged the publication of this article (no disrespect to the author Viv!)

I wonder if there is any likelihood of the council ever creating a decent-sized parking area outside the hamlet; I never feel comfortable about the current encroachment.
SonyaD on 24 Aug 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: If you're heading Reiff way soon. Take the Perth to Dunkeld road and stay off the A9 until the Bankfoot Junction is finished (who knows when that will be, it's taking ages!) If you are driving up/down the A9 from 8 o'clock in the evening onwards, then the road works will be no problem as traffic is quiet. If you're going in the afternoon or rush hour (to be seriously avoided!) then expect delays of anything from 20mins to an hour.

Tip - Reiff dries really quickly in showers, but if it's a wash out with heavier rain, then often driving right down around the coast to the Rhuba Mor Peninsula can save the day as it's often dry there when wet elsewhere (but to be avoided in strong winds/heavy swell) Climbing nowhere near as extensive as Reiff, but rock is similar in nature and makes for a pleasant day when everyone else is bitchin about the rain :oD
Mark Bull - on 24 Aug 2009
In reply to SonyaD:

Hooray! The Bankfoot roadworks are almost finished.

Traffic Scotland says:
"Completion works will continue until 26 August 2009 and are planned to allow two-way traffic to be maintained during day hours. Traffic control under temporary traffic signals will still be in place overnight between 19:30hrs and 06:30hrs"

There were no delays heading south yesterday at about 4.30pm.

CurlyStevo - on 24 Aug 2009
In reply to tony:
Yeah I can frequently do Dundee to torridon or Ullapool in 3 - 3.5 hours as long as it's after around 8 ish. Reiff is a fair bit further though.
CurlyStevo - on 24 Aug 2009
In reply to ClimberEd:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> Does it have a microclimate or is the weather as rough as the rest of Scotland?

Thats quite an uneducated statement. East coast scotland is similar weather (except a bit colder) to most east coast English areas and West coast scotland similar to most west coast English places. There are exceptions to the rule but in general this is true.
catt on 24 Aug 2009
In reply to skog:

Sorry, was only speaking from personal experience. Certainly if you can't do it in around 3hours it isn't going to take significantly longer.
CurlyStevo - on 24 Aug 2009
In reply to catt:
Really? I'd allow more like 4.5 hrs if I was travelling starting around 5 pm from perth to reiff.

AA route planner thinks 5:13 for an average journey.
Chris F - on 24 Aug 2009
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to ClimberEd)
> [...]
>
> Thats quite an uneducated statement. East coast scotland is similar weather (except a bit colder) to most east coast English areas and West coast scotland similar to most west coast English places. There are exceptions to the rule but in general this is true.

The NW often seems to escape the weather if it is bad in the rest of the country. Reiff is very low lying and in a fairly sheltered area and the rock dries extremely quickly, but it can still get pretty crap weather though.

CurlyStevo - on 24 Aug 2009
In reply to Chris F:
yeah I know the NW tends to be a bit drier than the central west coast, still wetter than Dundee or Aberdean though right ;)

But the pattern of westerly cliffs being drier is well known.

Gogarth is a prime example despite being near a very wet mountain area.

There are some precipitation charts on the MET office site that also show this pattern. Lands end in cornwall forinstance is similar rain fall and temperature to kent but only for half a mile around the coast. The rest of cornwall is much wetter.
Chris F - on 25 Aug 2009
In reply to CurlyStevo: I thought it was the "shadow of the outer hebs that kept that coast drier.
Scomuir on 25 Aug 2009
In reply to Chris F:
I think a lot of it is to do with the presence, or lack of, high ground. If you look at charts, Coll and Tiree are significantly drier than other islands, or high areas on those islands. Similarly, the Ross of Mull is much drier than the higher ground on Mull to the east. The same may well apply to these lower lying peninsulas on the mainland, where the rain is "caught" by the higher hills in land?
Scomuir on 25 Aug 2009
In reply to Chris F:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/regmapavge.html#

Select "Northern Scotland"/"Western Scotland", "Annual" and "Rainfall" and you can see the obvious small regional variations.
skog on 25 Aug 2009
In reply to Scomuir:

:-O

Thanks for that, you've just made my day.
Toby S - on 25 Aug 2009
Hope the weather holds for you Mick! It's a great place.

Traffic info - apparently Bankfoot roadworks are as good as done. A nice wee diversion would involve going via Crieff and stopping at Benny Beg for easy sports climbing with cafe pretty much right at the foot.

The drive takes 2 hours from Perth to Inverness (I do this a lot and rarely get it much under that), Inverness to Ullapool is usually about an hour depending on ferry and Kessock bridge traffic.

No rush though, the views are great and it's a journey to be savoured not passed in a blur!
Tom Barraclough on 25 Aug 2009
In reply to UKC Articles:

Whilst the campsite is sadly gone, you can still get a shower in the village hall whenever it is open. Worth knowing if you are wild camping!
tony on 25 Aug 2009
In reply to Toby S:
> Hope the weather holds for you Mick! It's a great place.
>
> Traffic info - apparently Bankfoot roadworks are as good as done. A nice wee diversion would involve going via Crieff and stopping at Benny Beg for easy sports climbing with cafe pretty much right at the foot.
>
Blimey - the man's going to Reiff, and you're suggesting a stop at Benny Beg!
tattoo2005 - on 25 Aug 2009
In reply to Queequeg: yep great pub and really good food as well! I loved Reiff when I was there in July, definitely somewhere I would spend a lot more time climbing.
SonyaD on 25 Aug 2009
In reply to Toby S:

> Traffic info - apparently Bankfoot roadworks are as good as done.

Ooooooh yes! I avoided them by going back to Ddee via Dunkeld so didn't realise there was no longer a problem. I'll brave the A9 via Perth next time as can't be doing with all those wee windey roads!

Toby S - on 25 Aug 2009
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Toby S)
> [...]
> Blimey - the man's going to Reiff, and you're suggesting a stop at Benny Beg!

And why not? If the roadworks were still in force it's a pleasant way to spend an hour or so.
tony on 25 Aug 2009
In reply to Toby S:

Well I suppose it's one way of letting him experience the spectrum of Scottish climbing...

However, BB's bloomin' soaking at the moment, which does add an extra dimension to it.

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