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/ DESTINATION GUIDE: Shetland

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UKC Articles - on 25 Oct 2017
Paul Fleuriot on Sirens of Calder., 3 kbEven though a climbing trip to Shetland might not take quite as much effort, most people never go because of the perceived effort involved. However - if you're prepared to invest a little bit of time planning and organising a trip, climbing on Shetland is incredibly rewarding. The basic numbers are pretty attractive: over 800 routes on around 40 crags, with 13 different rock types to climb on. There is trad, sport and bouldering, as well as easily accessible single pitch stuff all the way to stomach-churningly terrifying & remote multipitch climbing.

Martin Kocsis reveals all about this group of Scottish islands keeping their distance from the northernmost tip of the mainland.



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Chris Craggs - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Never made it up there but that does look superb,


Chris
In reply to UKC Articles:

That is a great article. Some superb looking routes there.

Alan
kevin stephens - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Nice one Martin
pasbury on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Eshaness looks absolutely mind blowing.
lummox - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great write up Reverend !
mike barnard - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Well that's a Shetland article in Scottish Mountaineer, Climber, Climb and now UKC. And I still have to make the trip!

Nice top 5 list.
Appleby on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:
Good article, with some excellent photos - makes me want to go back! We connected with a few local climbers - a small scene, but friendly - and got some local knowledge which was very useful.

Lots of new routes to go at all grades if you're willing to put in the effort, but it helps if you know your way around sea cliff logistics - static lines, rope protectors etc.
Post edited at 10:27
Billhook - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

I worked at Sullom Voe in the late 1970's. No guide books then but I took some kit up and did several routes on some of the sea cliffs with a mate who wasn't a climber but was handy with ropes and heights - we were scaffolders then!
I'm not sure where we climbed as my records were random and haphazard. But who cares?
In reply to UKC Articles:

Martin, great job - so good to see this published. You're right too, none of those routes look like the grade they are!

I'm having something of a dilemma, as I'd love to go next year, but seeing as Penny (my significantly better half) is off to America for 6 months I'll likely be using what holiday I have to visit her. Seeing as she actively avoids checking the Forums I think I can safely say (albeit in hushed tones) that whilst I love her very much, Sheltland...well...you know...*sighs*...

Your mention of there being very little above E3 is like a rad rag too. I've done very few new routes in my life, but there's great appeal to visiting somewhere like Shetland with a kind of open agenda/open mind, roaming around, exploring new cliffs, and wild coastlines; climbing something, climbing nothing - it doesn't matter.
Martin Bennett - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to redbullxtremer:
> Much love for the Shetland! infact I wrote a few bars about it:



> when I'm smashing the crags on the isle of skye

I've heard of folk going to the wrong crag in the belief that it was the one they thought it was. Even done it meself. But confusing whole island groups? Particularly ones that are 400 miles apart! Bit of mugging up on your geography required I think.
Post edited at 11:56
Lil_Pete - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

You'll no doubt like this video my dad found on an old VHS tape in the Attic featuring many of the named above as well as a Mr Dawes, climbing Foula.

https://www.vimeo.com/34440652
annakyn - on 26 Oct 2017
Great article Martin! (and sorry to UKC for not doing it last year as promised - kinda forgot) Having barely had any attention on our climbing we seem to be making up for it in the last few weeks!!

Very true about the lack of routes above E3, it'll be interesting to see if that changes now... Truth is none of us locals have been up for it. We'll use the excuse of having such a short season and remoteness of crags etc, probably more the case that we're too easily sidetracked by beer really though.

One point though I'd like to add is that a group of us have put a lot of effort into sharing what we've found so far and it'd be really appreciated if others continue to do so, preferably by dropping us an email via shetlandclimbing.info
aln - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article, looks like an amazing place to go climbing. But two other things caught my attention. Wow that's one fabulous bus stop, and they have crazy golf in Shetland! I've wanted to visit Shetland for a long time but I haven't made it yet. Never mind the climbing, I so hope there's a bus from that bus stop to the crazy golf, that could be the incentive I need to make the trip north!
Billhook - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

There must be loads of stuff above E3. Just that no one has been and done it or found it.
aln - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to Dave Perry:

> There must be loads of stuff above E3. Just that no one has been and done it or found it.

Have you read the article?
In reply to Dave Perry:

I think something might have been lost in translation there, as that was the exact point I was getting at (and I think Martin was too within the article).
SCC Changed - on 28 Oct 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

I visited Shetland a couple of times and was lucky enough to climb with Paul and Al Whitworth in Northmavine. Eshaness was outstanding, but Grind of da Navir was also worthwhile- short, bullet hard rock at what is a remarkable coastal feature. The entire coast between there and Eshaness consists of impressive crags and gloups. Al and Paul were incredibly hospitable; its a pity I didn't have motre time to climb.
A subsequent trip (kayak from Lerwick to Muckle Flugga) gave me a chance to see some more of Shetland's incredible coastal scenery. Anyone wanting to exceed Gary Gibson's tally of new routes could do worse than start with a visit to Shetland. I haven't really used UKC's photo upload before, but subject to the moderator approving, a few photos of untouched crags should appear on my photo gallery shortly.
msoldn - on 29 Oct 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:
Great write-up, and so good to see some more climbers visiting this absolutely marvellous corner of the World. It's just over 2 years since my trip up there with Ross Jones back in June 2015, but the memories are still as vivid as the week I got back from the trip. It will always remain right up there on my list of most stunning and adventurous places I visited for climbing. Huge thanks at this point again to Ross for introducing me to the place and for giving me the opportunity to have a crack at so many beautiful first and second ascents. And huge thanks to the Shetland climbing community who were so wonderfully welcoming. I can't recommend a trip to Shetland highly enough to any climbers seeking adventure, perfect rock, natural beauty and tranquillity.
Post edited at 07:43
Frank the Husky - on 03 Nov 2017
In reply to aln: There's a regular bus service to and from that place, so you have no excuse not to take advantage of it's charms. Nearby there are some interesting neolithic stones, and the rare and beautiful Edmonston's Chickweek somewhere close by too. The crazy golf is at the leisure centre in Brae, although there could be others lurking. There is also a proposal for a climbing wall at Lerwick's leisure centre although how long that will take to materialise is not something I know about.

chris wyatt - on 03 Nov 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article Martin - you do get around!

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