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Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc (Read 4014 times)

danm

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Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
April 03, 2019, 02:01:32 pm
I'm heading up to Mull for Easter, and with any luck the weather will be good enough to go bouldering and trad climbing. I've got the SMC Inner Hebrides guide for a general steer plus tradding options, and the 3rd Ed. of the Scottish Bouldering guide.

Actual proper topos and maps seem a bit sparse? I found the old Scottish Climbs listing - it lists problems but the maps are missing. Anyone know of anything else out there, or got access to some topos? Looking at Loch Buie, Erraid, Fionnphort and Kintra atm.

Alex-the-Alex

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#1 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
April 03, 2019, 09:35:32 pm
Hi Dan, I've banged on about Loch Buie enough in other threads but it's well good (rumour has it its in the new Boulder Britain! ). As for topos a combination of the stone country guide and Scottish rock topos is the best there is. After having talked to a few others we reckoned the new guide has the topo for the mushroom boulder back to front but other than that it's pretty good. It's the best you'll find for erraid kintra and that too. There's more bouldering on the Gribbun by Loch na Keal in the lower grades. It's a really lush spot but only really an afternoons worth. If you want a topo let me know I've a pdf. There's also a lovely boulder by the sailing club in oban if you have an evening spare at either end. Hope the weather holds out!

a13c

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#2 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
April 03, 2019, 10:32:30 pm
Is there much detail about mull in the 3rd edition? I'm going in May and the best info I'd found was the Scottish climbs thingy. If the 3rd edition is good though I'll treat myself!
Like Alex said, I hope the weather is kind to you.

danm

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#3 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
April 03, 2019, 10:37:46 pm
There's a similar amount of detail, and problems, as you'd get in Boulder Britain, if that means anything?22 problems listed at Loch Buie , 24 at Fionnphort and another 18 or so at Kintra, plus notes on other spots. By modern standards it's a bit average for a guide, but as it's about all there is....

If you could send me that Gribbun topo Alex I'd be very much obliged!

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#4 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
April 03, 2019, 11:53:09 pm
Yeah that's it for recorded stuff around there pretty much. I think theres so much rock its hard to know where to start recording. For Loch buie the ukc page is actually the most up to date. It also has descriptions for problems. Il try find that topo tomorrow Dan.

a13c

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#5 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
April 04, 2019, 08:56:35 am
Cheers danm, I'll get myself a copy. I'll maybe fill in some gaps with info off ukc too.

Alex-the-Alex

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#6 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
April 04, 2019, 11:43:16 am
Here's some of the Gribun bouldering (apologies for the cheesy music).




And keeping it real:




danm

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#7 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
April 04, 2019, 02:29:50 pm
Cheers! Appetite well and truly whetted now!

Murph

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#8 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
April 04, 2019, 09:55:06 pm
Hey damn I went to mull a couple of years ago and had a lovely time. I would recommend Loch Buie though do your homework beforehand as the guidebook isnít very good and the pictures on those tops were kinda important. Thereís some guidebook description shenanigans going on with the mushroom boulder that makes working out whatís what quite difficult, and there was a 7A on the topo website that turned out to be 6B (flesh).

Also went to fionnport but it wasnít for me. Too high and difficult to work out what was what from the guide. The guide is pretty poor in my opinion it devoted disproportionate space to inspiring photos and not enough to the serious business of clearly showing you what you want to know. If I had that day again I would have spent the time at kintra.

Slight caveat that my experience was with a 1yr old and a 3yr old in tow so with a bit more time and space it might have been able to work out where nipple attack went.

Hope you have a nice time up there mull is my favourite bit of Scotland. Itís really cracking, Calgary Bay, the little boat over to get Shrimps at Ulva, fish and chips from the take away on the pier in Tobermory, deer, eagles, sunsets, stars at night...

And here you go this problem was ok.

a13c

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#9 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
June 05, 2019, 10:44:59 am
I had a stunning week on Mull, didn't get to Kintra but sampled a few spots. We were so lucky with the weather, we always have a week off in May for my birthday, we went to Torridon 4 years back and only took our coats and hats off to dry them out, (2 dry afternoons in 10 days) this time I got to wear shorts for several days!!!
We stopped at Gribun as I saw the boulders whilst driving along the shore of loch na keal and stopped to have a go, a really lovely setting. No info in the book but there's a couple of videos here that I'd watched but forgotten about. (I had no phone signal all week 👍)
Fionnphort was ok, another lovely spot, very coarse granite and often a bit high.
Knockvologan was a lovely stroll from the fidden campsite, lots of easy rock to play on on a lovely beach, watch the tides though, we had to paddle to get back to the campsite!
Loch Buie was the highlight, easy van camping right on the shore and some great bits of rock, the topo for the mushroom boulder is a bit squiffy in the boulder Scotland guide but it's such lovely rock It's a pleasure to climb on.
I've put a little video together of the trip...
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 10:57:14 am by a13c »

Alex-the-Alex

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#10 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
June 05, 2019, 05:13:48 pm
Ahh great vid! It is heaven when the sun's shining! Defo agree on the rock types. The granite areas are lovely spots but fairly brutal to climb. I'm still not sure what the gribun is. Maybe dolerite? But the gabbro at Loch buie is beautiful rock. How did you find the grades? The first one you did on the mushroom looks good, was that freebase? We did what we thought might be nipple attack but still not sure. And still not sure how the hanging arete could be 7a? The mystery of west coast grades.





Alex-the-Alex

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#11 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
June 05, 2019, 05:16:04 pm
I can add those two from the gribun too if you like? Any names or grades?

How was your trip danm?

a13c

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#12 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
June 05, 2019, 10:16:46 pm
Hey Alex, I've just rewatched my video to see which problem you meant and to compound my confusion over the names I've labelled some problems incorrectly...
The first problem on the mushroom (according to boulder Scotland) was Naked 6c. But I put that label on the problem nipple attack, that was tricky to decifer but from the Scottish climbs description seemed right.
I had a few goes on the problem you said may or may not be nipple attack, but struggled with that little pocket, however I didn't try getting it with my right then going under the roof with my left, (one to go back for 👍)I thought that problem was Stolen 7b.
I'll re edit my video and correct the labels.
The first problem at Gribun was about a 5 maybe "groovy gribun" after rewatching the above vids the second problem was a sit to keal over maybe 6b ish?
The grades in general felt ok, I had a few goes at flesh but the description said tiny crimps and I got nowhere using them!

a13c

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#13 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
June 06, 2019, 07:37:54 am
I did think naked was harder than nipple attack... I  do always struggle trying to put a number on things though...

a13c

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#14 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
June 06, 2019, 08:49:23 am
Here's a fresh link to the updated video.

Alex-the-Alex

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#15 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
June 06, 2019, 10:32:42 am
Ah cool. So that's the way the book describes it? The best source is maybe the original topo on Scottish climbs. The photos and topos have been archived, but the notes are there. I think they describe it the other way round.

https://www.scottishclimbs.com/wiki/Loch_Buie.html

I thought it looked more like this from their descriptions:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/140396518@N05/48012240016/in/dateposted/

John Stewart uploaded a later vid kind of correcting his own book too :



Not that it matters much when the climbing is so good, but it's a shame that a boulder like that's all a muddle. Like the Big Greeny at Brimham the Mushroom may remain forever a mystery  :shrug:

Gribun one's added  :2thumbsup:

a13c

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#16 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
June 06, 2019, 06:24:04 pm
That Flickr picture is pretty much fully back to front of my understanding of the guide and the Scottish climbs site!
Like you say though, it's all lovely rock and lovely climbing.

danm

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#17 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
June 06, 2019, 10:45:32 pm
Didn't make it up there in the end for various reasons, it's still on the list though, maybe in September! Cool vids :-)

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#18 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
June 28, 2019, 05:17:17 pm


More video beta if anyone's interested. Also chaffinches.

ianabbot

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#19 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
July 23, 2019, 08:44:49 pm
Just back from a couple of days on Mull so thought Iíd share a bit more logistical info for danm or anyone else thinking about a visit.

Lochbuie was excellent. Thereís loads of space for overnighting in a van by the shore, just in front of the old Post Office, and a flat grassy area for camping a short walk further along a track. Itís a beautiful spot, free (donations) with no facilities but a brilliant honesty shop in the old Post Office shed; I wasnít expecting to find a freezer of ice cream and cabinet of chilled artisan bottles! (Madagascan vanilla soda recommended). I canít comment on the selection of locally sourced meaty stuff but Iím sure itís equally good. Itís lovely to know that there are still places where you can have an unstaffed shop like this. Flora and her partner restock the shop each morning and they very generously offered to refill our water can back at their farm and drop it back with us. Flora says itís busier in April/May and Sept, but we were the only van overnighting and my two sons were the only ones camping on the field.
We were pretty lucky with the weather Ė heavy rain overnight and early morning, but the rock dried amazingly quickly and the midges werenít bad either.

Most of the Lochbuie problems in the 5s and 6s were good, particularly the problems on Dannyís wall (5 to 6B) Flesh 6B+ (and Flesh traverse soft 6B), Jimmy Da Cricket sit 6B, Gunge Pool 6A and Nose 6B. I had an initial try on Hook and Go 6C+ and it felt desperate, but on the walk back had another look and found a better sequence with minutes to spare before we left for the ferry Ė brilliant (Iíll need to go back for the sit). Unfortunately the bottom of the Mushroom boulder was a quagmire, so didnít get on that (it looked hard). Couldnít find Hong Kong Buie, though I now see thatís one of yours Alex and youíve put a photo on UKC, so Iíll put that on the list for next time. I couldnít do Little Pink Monsters (6A+ on UKC?) despite a13c making it look an absolute path in his video above!
We were surprised to see some bolted lines on the crags behind the shore path. My eldest son did the left hand line in the steeper cave and reckoned it at least 7b+. Itís not listed anywhere we can see, so any knowledge on that would be much appreciated.

We had a flying visit to Fionnphort too. It looks incredible as you drop down into the village Ė a hillside crammed with perfect granite domes and slabs. However, Iíd agree with Murph as we found it a bit frustrating. Lots of time spent bog trotting trying to orientate ourselves with the pretty sparse info from Boulder Scotland, and the even sparser (and at times contradictory) info on UKC. Thatís probably a little unfair, as Iím sure with more time/info it would be great and our view was probably skewed by the fact that it was absolutely boiling that day, so not the best conditions for granite slopersÖ Suffice to say we got very little done there and Iím not sure what any of it was. Weirdly, although Iím very familiar with Highland roads, the drive down from Lochbuie to Fionnphort seemed to take forever! We overnighted at Uisken bay (turn south onto minor road in Bunessan) - thereís a sandy bay with flat grassy area for vans/tents. Itís £2 per person - pay at Uisken Croft on your left as you drop down to the bay. No facilities other than a tap at the house for filling up.

We did the Oban-Craignure crossing. If youíre booked on a particular ferry and happen to arrive early, park up in the Ďunbooked trafficí queue (even if the next ferry is showing as fully booked) and if thereís room youíll get on an earlier crossing (you donít need to change your tickets). This gained us a couple of hours, so well worth it.

Hope that helps, Iíd thoroughly recommend it. Weíll definitely be heading back to revisit Lochbuie and hopefully Gribun/Kintra.

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#20 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
July 24, 2019, 04:05:12 pm
Hi Ian, sounds a good trip! Shame about the mushroom as its got some of the best, but a good reason to come back when it's dryer. And I think you'd need a machete to get into Hong Kong Buie at this time of year. You can see it through the fence just before the mushroom field but you access it by going into the mushroom field then through the wall of gorse back along the fence.

Good work getting on the bolts! I've tried the right hand route before but it was brutal. We've meant to go back for the one up the head wall. It's a sexy looking line. Good to hear an approx grade. I've not got any real details although I know they've been there for years. Il drop you pm. There's a few spots like that around but they don't get shouted about as the reaction is always the same.

The gribun is well worth an afternoon if you're back at any point. A lot more approachable than fionnphort or kintra.

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#21 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
March 16, 2020, 11:00:53 am
Managed a trip across last week and thought id add an update.  The mushroom needs a good haircut. Its starting to get a bit overgrown by the gorse bush above so worth bringing a pair of secateurs or a handsaw if you are heading there. Should be an easy job. theres a bit of a pool below it too but doesnt affect things too badly. It looks like theyre replacing the old post office with a new cafe/loos etc too. Maybe needed as it gets pasted all over Wild Schottland blogs/books as a Wild Campingtm spot  :shit:

We jumped on Ians sons new route which is possibly the best sport route ive done in the UK! Def worth packing a harness. Also went and showed Michi and Hector Hong Kong Buie. Almost everything was clean and dry despite months of rain and no play  :wub:.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/140396518@N05/49661663361/in/dateposted/

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#22 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
March 16, 2020, 08:46:11 pm
Thanks for the update Alex. Good effort on the route, Iím surprised it was in condition Ė I would have thought that top crack would be seeping for weeks after all that rain! Anyway Iíll let Cal know, heíll be really pleased that youíve done it.

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#23 Re: Mull Bouldering - Loch Buie etc
March 16, 2020, 09:34:17 pm
Cheers Ian. Yeah the top crack had a small stream running down it, but the holds only needed a quick towel dry in the end. Yes do! The moves and the steepness on the headwall were so much fun! Top Quality Stuff.

 

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