Thursday, May 03, 2012


Cog and Cynthia were heading to Eigg for the weekend. I’d never been so asked if I could come along. After a week of cold rain in Aviemore the weather cleared on Saturday morning to reveal an utterly plastered ‘Hill’; bright sun, no wind, powder and I’m heading west to a tick infested island. I was close to doing a U on the A9.

I kept driving and met Themselve’s at Lochailort. Cog took us to a nice sport crag on the coast near Arisaig.

We took the ferry in the evening and walked out to the north end of island to inspect some potential development on Sguorr Sgaileach

The guide says:

“ No routes have been recorded to date but it does have some potential”

Nice looking crag but not extensive, covered in green lichen and too far to walk.

Sguorr Sgaileach

The next day we explored the cliffs on An Sgurr and did a new route on an unclimbed buttress at the east end of Ocean Wall. Once the loose stuff has been removed the rock is good with excellent friction. We climbed our route on-site; Cog removed what seemed like a skip load of blocks while seconding.

Snipe on a Grad Piano VS 4b. Colin Moody Photo

That evening a had a look at Poll nam Partan near the harbour and decided to clean a couple of lines before it got dark.

The guide says:

“ overgrown and guarded by steep muddy ground and bramble tangles”

I say, a quick access crag with some excellent looking lines and lots of potential for development. There is a road at the bottom and grass at the base (the right hand end at least).

It was raining on Monday morning but cleared enough for us to climb one of the lines before the boat left at 4.30pm. Fierce, well protected climbing using thin cracks and bridging; my kind of climbing.

New E4 6a at Poll nam Partan. Colin Moody Photo

I drove back east with the setting sun behind me. The hills looked incredible, still brown from the winter with every rock feature illuminated in the strong, low evening light. Cairngorm and Braeriach were still plastered and the 4000s were calling strong. (more on that soon)

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