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Boulder Blogs – Dumbarton Evenings

I’ve not had the chance to do much bouldering in the evening at Dumby, any previous attempts had me nearly loosing a shoe crossing the boggy bit between the car park and the beach. It’s a really nice spot if the weather is right and the views are quite scenic.
As you rally against some of the glassiest rock short of volcanic glass, you look up and realise you’re scrambling at the base of a castles ramparts. The scenic views of the Clyde and distant snow covered mountains have a pinky, golden glow. This juxtaposed with the industrial buildings, heaps of rubble and the DumbartonCourt with its remains of the old jail.

Practically an advert for Visit Scotland and Historic Scotland all rolled into one.

It takes me just under 30 minutes to get to Dumby from Greenback and it seems easier to get back to Glasgow from there.  Was going to hang the mats up aging until the next sunny day but considering how mild it’s been they will stay in the car and I’m going to fill my portable fridge because bouldering out here is to good to miss.

On todays visit it was good to see the TCA Glasgow crew working a particularly nasty route (Shin Sekai I think). Theres a bunch of folk, say hello, get on with their business, chat if you stop them. Probably crushing routes some folk only dream of, proper boulderers. None of this trampling mats, throwing stuff around like they own the place. (Yes I’m still griping about that!)

Anywho, probably try for tomorrow evening also, see how cold it is. Gina hitch slap that Warm Up boulder and then have some fun with the Cheddars!


I need a tagline.

Climber Skin Repair – Sypeland Climbers Balm

Sypeland balm has been on the scene for quite a while now with the product being passed around the forums since 2008.

Sypeland Climber's Balm

When you first search for Sypeland balm you would be for given for passing it by. In an age of merchandising and trendy logos and branding Sypelands tub is rather bland with its plain white tub and the paper label the whole thing says home made. That isn’t something that should put you off though, especially not the home made part. A good exampe of home made is Tipjuice made in a kitchen and tubbed up by the lads.

Sypeland are obviously confident that their product does what it says on the tin, and why shouldn’t it, it’s been selling for a fair few years more than most and still going strong, I found very little if any complaints on the forums, in fact most recommend it.

So enough talk on with the review, I was taken by surprise when I opened the Sypeland balm and found it was an off white to grey cream. It reminds me of vanilla yoghurt that I used to get. It smells pretty nice with a kind of clovey, gingery sweetness to it. Most balms we have tried are wax based solid pucks or have the same texture as lipsalve, not this, this is new.

The Sypeland climbers balm has thrown me a little, it definitely a cream but when you rub a little into your hands it doesn’t seem to stink into your skin like a normal moisturiser it kind of coats your skin like the previously mentioned pucks. I would say that you could climb after using this if you applied a bit of chalk but it may be too slick for some.

On saying this Sypeland do state that it is a post climb product where as competing products say you can climb after applying their products. Most of these other balms are wax or oil based so you do get a slightly greasy film after application.

Having been off the skincare products for a few months, I used this for a week or so and found that the burning sensation I got after a hard session on the rock or the plastic calmed down quite quickly. I also get the feeling that between sessions my calluses didn’t get so hard and flakey, a common cause of flappers in my case where the callus catches a hold and rips the skin.

Sypeland Balm is made using all natural ingredients, and made for climbers with input from experienced herbalists. The results of which are a balm packed full of healing goodness such as; Marigold oil, Comfrey oil, Tea Tree oil, St Johns Wort, Lavender oil, Myrrh oil and Clove oil. The Clove and Myrrh oil most likely lending a lot to the smell of the balm.

I’ve been applying a small dab of the balm after my climbing, only a finger tip full will cover both my palms. Since this comes in a 60ml tub I could estimate that this tub will last you at least a few months depending on your climbing regime.

At just under £13 this is one of the more expensive tubs with other manufacturers opting to provide smaller half size versions for between £6 – £8 pounds. This still makes Sypeland Climbers Balm well worth the money due to the amount you get and the time it has lasted me. The tub I have still looks pretty full and it has been shared out between the UNDO crew.

At the end of the day the Sypeland Balm  does what it says on the tub. Although more suited to post climb application it keeps the rawness of rock rash at bay and sets you up nicely for the following day, and it smells amazing. You can get the balm direct from Sypeland at their website and while you are there you can follow their blog.