Saturday, May 26, 2012


I had a first look at the coast east of Kintra a few weeks ago with Pete Whillance. We had an hour before driving to Craignuire and the ferry so didn’t have much time to explore but what we did see was very interesting. Cog told us that Danny Brooks had climbed several routes in the area but didn’t record them.

I returned two weeks later with John Topping. We found some more interesting crags and one very impressive overhanging buttress. I thought I could probably get up a line at the left side of the overhanging buttress but there was clearly scope for hard routes beyond our ability. Yan and Tess were in the area so we arranged to meet at the crag and point them at a few lines.

Yan attempts the right-hand line
Tess onsighted a good looking corner line at HVS/E1 and Yan tried a line at the right side of the overhanging buttress but backed off due to loose blocks. In the mean time I cleaned the left-hand line; it was very steep and I had to nut down on the ab rope to stay in. The start looked like a tough boulder problem while the rest was continuously overhanging climbing in an impressive position.

Yan and Tess left John and I trying to boulder out the start. John eventually managed to reach the good holds but I was too tired after the cleaning and multiple jumar ascents to make much impression.

Yan led a new E3 in an inlet back towards Kintra. They had gone home the time we got back to the car but had left us a note. At least we had a route name now!

I’m not that interested in new routing as a rule especially when there’s lots of cleaning involved, and definitely when the climbing is too hard for me to onsight. However I was inspired by this line. The new crag was almost 30M. Overhanging granite with holds is a rarity, even more so with good gear. I could feel a mega classic coming on.

First attempt with John Topping
 Many thanks to Ian (Yan) Taylor and Ullapool Rock  for this image

I arranged to meet bouldering ace, Greg Chapman at Craignuire on the 18th May. Greg had driven up from Lancaster with a car full of mats and I was hoping to utilise his superior technical know how, plus mats, to get me up the start of the route. We spent Saturday in the first inlet looking at some bouldering prospects. Greg climbed some fingery looking V10s while I cleaned another line to the right of Yan’s route. I ran out of energy on the first attempt but left the gear in place and came back the next day to climb the route clean, all be it with half the gear in place. Cynthia seconded and characteristically found a V Diff version to the 6a crux by climbing a hollow flake. I levered the flake off with Cogs ice axe to stop anyone else ruining my beautiful creation.

A new E4 6a near Kintra
 In the afternoon we all headed over to the big crag. Greg instantaneously dispatched the boulder problem start but had to modify his instructions to accommodate a lanky, weak, 53 year old. With the mats at the base I reached the good holds after a few tries and eventually managed to place a crucial blue Alien (Friend 0) that would protect the next section. Yet again I didn’t have the strength to continue and spent the rest of the afternoon on more cleaning and removing a huge flake from the niche with Cog’s ice axe.

I decided to rest on Monday and took Greg to some of the possible bouldering areas near Knock Vologan. Greg caught the bus back up to Craignuire that night but Cynthia stayed on to hopefully bag the route on Tuesday morning before heading home ourselves.

Greg Chapman on Roughcut Reality 7c+
Following Greg’s advice, I warmed up well. I made the good hold on the second try and continued up for a couple of metres to where I could get a hand off and drop a loop so as to pull up the rest of rack. The climbing up to the niche wasn’t too hard  (F6a+) but I was seriously pumped after the boulder problem start (F6c+). After a good rest in the niche I pulled out right into the hanging chimney for a final ‘traditional’ struggle up to a spacious glacis belay (25M). A short VS pitch up the rib to finish making the whole route around 30M.

At last “Yo Sloppy” was in the bag, E4 6a, and even though I say so myself, its gotta be a three star mega classic ;-)

Yo Sloppy E4 6a

View Kintra - Some Bouldering Locations in a larger map


Anonymous said...

What grade would you have given it if Greg hadn't said 6a?


Andy Hyslop said...

Probably the same grade on the basis that I don't climb 6b and have not for at least 10 years. Greg said the start was V3 but I'm thinking that would be a bit harsh; more like V4. I'm happy to have the route upgraded.

John Topping said...

Well I haven't climbed 6b for more than 10 years and still managed to get up it....
So 5c then!
Seriously though good effort and sorry I missed it.

Anonymous said...

Are the boulder probs by the crag

Andy Hyslop said...

I've added a map of the bouldering areas to this post that Greg did. Click on the link for details of names and grades.

Anonymous said...

Great routes, especially yo sloppy. I fed the pony ! And was rewarded with a tick. Cheers Michael

Andy Hyslop said...

Many thanks for the feedback Michael and great to hear that you enjoyed the routes.