Moy Rock – Scotland’s answer to Riglos

I’ve embarked on this trip without any great expectations of the climbing – the forecast is for showers and intermittent thunderstorms for the whole week, and I’d imagined the sports climbing to be “filler in” quality at best. Imagine the surprise when we pulled up beneath Moy Rock (a few miles north of Inverness) and gawped up at this scene..

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We’d been magically transported to northern Spain…

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… But with wall-to-wall wild raspberries!

The rock was reminiscent of the conglomerate of Riglos, but (hard to believe) the quality of the climbing is somewhat BETTER than the single pitch routes in Spain (less polished and better bolted).

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Seriously pumpy climbing on surprisingly solid rock (always a worry on conglomerate – you never know if the pebble you are pulling on is actually attached to the rest of the Jenga tower…)

Inevitably the clouds gathered later in the day, but with only a few spots of rain actually made for better climbing conditions. We moved right to the biggest buttress and I was really chuffed to manage “The Ticks Ate All The Midges” 7a (my first since Kalymnos and 79th of the year – I’d been marooned on 78 for 2 months with my dodgy achilees.)

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… Plus “Little Teaser” 6b+ one of the Top 30 sports routes in Scotland according to the guide, and a tough little number with a crux right at the top and slightly sporting bolting so you’ll take a (very safe) plummet if your fingers uncurl going for the chain!

Fantastic spot – we’ll be back for more, then onwards to a peaceful overnight parking spot by the seaside, with seals swimming past and serenading us.

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