Category Archives: Up’n’Down

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.

UNDO Book Review – Cicerone – Lake District Winter Climbs

So the weather is pretty rubbish for us outdoorsy types this winter. I was looking to try a bit of outdoor bouldering in the crisp winter sunshine. Maybe I’m asking to much.Cover of Lake District Winter Climbs

Still our fingers are crossed with anticipation of snow in the coming months. As we who hail from Scotland know, this could be right up to July.

Turning our attention southwards to the Lake District, the lovely folk at Cicerone have furnished us with more of their fine guides, our current subject being Lake District Winter Climbs.
As with most of Cicerones guides, the book its self is a pocket sized paperback type edition with a waterproof plastic cover and is in full colour. Compared to the previously reviewed Winter Climbs In The Cairngorms, The Lake District version feels more substantial, this is possibly due to larger area covered in the guide. More places, more paper!

The book is written by Brian Davidson a seasoned veteran of some 30 years climbing, who has knotched up a significant list of first ascents in Scotland, Wales and the Lake District. He has made expditions to the Himalayas, Morocco, Greenland, Alaska and South Georgia. Through this and other activities Brian has built up an impressive and in depth knowledge of the Lake District which he brings to you in the form of this book.

The Cicerone guides follow a similar easy to read and comprehensive format and the Lake Distrct Winter Climbs is no exception. The guide covers snow, ice and mixed climbs in this area and provides;

– colour area maps, panoramas and photo-topos for locating and following the routes

– all the known routes in the area including Scafell, Pillar, Great Gully, Low Water Beck and Cautley spout, as well as several outlying routes

– also dry tooling routes at The Works in Little Langdale for days when crags aren’t in good condition

– additional info on safety, ethics and equipment, climbing walls, accomodation and a first ascent list illuminated with insights from logs, journals and climbing histories

These guides are jam packed with useful info including info on the surrounding flora and fauna and how to maximise the potential of your photos!

The Lake District Winter Climbs book is available from Cicerone priced at £20, the kindle/tablet friendly version of this edition hasn’t been released as of yet but the previously reviewed Winter Climbs in the Cairngorms is available in these formats. For more information and an look at their extensive catalogue visit Cicerones website.