Creag Bheag

After our rain-check recce a couple of days before, we were treated to a spectacular day at Creag Bheag. What a great spot! About 20 routes from 4+ to 6b+, mostly in the 6s and about 15 to 20m high, all on highly featured conglomerate

image

We started with the “top 30” 6a Tain Spotting, excellent and pumpy, then worked our way rightwards ticking all the 6as and bs on the central steep part of the crag. The “excellent and pumpy” theme continues, with all the routes feeling considerably harder for the grade than other crags this week. Maybe we were just getting tired…

image

image

Having clocked up around 10 routes we were about to call it a day, when it occurred to me that there was a very natural line to be climbed traversing the break near the top of the crag, clipping bolts on existing routes. I couldn’t resist it (… by now we had the crag to ourselves)

image

image

It’s almost certainly been done before, but in the unlikely event that I was the first person daft enough, here goes with a route description…

North Coast 500 6a+ 50m (or 100m if you make the return trip!)

Start up “Tied Up” to its 4th bolt and then make steep moves on underclings to join the high level break around “Turbine Charged”. From here, head rightwards on generally good holds in the break clipping bolts just above, with a pumpy crux around “Fleet Street”. Beyond “Twin Track” the climbing becomes easier along a ledge system (slightly crumbly in places) and you reach the double bolt lower-off of “The Bheaginning”. Lower off here (you will probably need at least a 60m rope to get down) or, for the full 100m tick, reverse the route (as I did because Helen didn’t fancy following).

The name comes from the newly signposted driving circuit around the Highlands “Scotland’s answer to Route 66” which seemed to be attracting a lot of traffic. It’s a somewhat pointless excursion through already well known territory, with a high likelihood of getting in people’s way! Alternatively, it’s also good fun (if the crag is empty!), a fine workout and a candidate for the longest sports climb in Scotland.

The inspiration for the name came in Latheronwheel harbour, our chosen parking spot for the night and an idyllic peaceful place until the arrival of a convoy of three huge Italian motorhomes, doing the North Coast 500…

image

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s