Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Monday, 12 March 2012

12-03-12, Sarclet, Latheronwheel, Caithness Coast - Scottish Rock Climbing

 The Scottish winter is rapidly disappearing, nothing to climb in Cairngorms and very little up high in the Ben. Plenty of ice and rock fall, and the usual suspects are literally hanging in there! I have spent the last couple of days rock climbing with Garry on the Caithness coast just south of Wick. It has been dry and fairly warm considering it is March. Sheltered from Westerly winds on these SE facing crags. Yesterday it was Sarclet - a conglomerate/sandstone mix, which on the whole was fairly sound, but we (well I mean Garry) managed to find some looseness! A cool crag, that I doubt ever sees 2 teams, slightly confusing to find some buttresses but the photos in the Gary Latter guide do it justice. Occum's buttress was the best bit we climbed at. Today it was Latheronwheel, which I have been to before , but it is very good. It is better than Sarclet as well. Vertical and steep, mud stone, solid, good positive holds and great cam placements, we had the luxury of a double set of cams which made it glorious! The weather is set to be stable, dry and warm so hopefully some more Scottish rock climbing on it way.

Garry seconding 'The Haven' , VS 4c.

Abseiling into Occum's buttress, Sarclet, Caithness

Garry on Nobody's Crack, VS 4c, Latheronwheel

Heavy Duty, VS 4b apparently!

Big Flat Wall, Latheronwheel, a little seepage so no climbing there today.

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