The weather is getting a little better and its getting dark later so it’s about time I shifted to outdoor climbing. This it’s time to test out my new gear in the wild out yonder.
1st on the list of places to visit is Auckinstarry Quarry. A nice little place with around 120 routes, set between Cumbernauld and Kilsyth. It is described by the UKC logbook as having “great character with good protection. Dubious safety work by the council has obliterated some old classic lines but there is plenty left. Some of the rock is sublime.” I have driven past this place many times on my way to other places, but now I finally took the time to go and have a proper root around. There is a small car park right at the foot of some of the climbs making it accessible even on dull days as you can easily shelter in the car. There was a snack van in the car park on the day I visited but I don’t know how often this sets up. I’m not big on snack vans these days but it’s nice to know you can get something warm in a pinch and it means you can travel light. Speaking of travelling light, there is a train station and bus stop within throwing distance of the crag so you can get there super easy from Glasgow.
The overall atmosphere is peaceful with the occasional people fishing and locals with their families, dogs or bicycles. The varieties of climb are very interesting with routes over the water, overhangs and plenty of cracks. For those of a bouldering persuasion there are a good few problems on the rear of the crag nearest the car park. There is also an entire wall to the right of the car park suited to bouldering it’s not mega hard but it’s got some nice routes and it’s pleasantly shaded from the sun and wind but not so much to get frozen on the wall. If I had any complaints it would be that litter is a slight issue and I would have to agree that the council’s safety work is a bit dubious. I do think the litter issue is down to us as responsible outdoors folk and the local community to keep this valuable site in good condition.