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The Last One

Scotland has always been a fun place to visit for me. I’ve been here on a few trips before and I always seem to want to come back. I think many of my Scottish friends think I’m rather crazy since I travel far to visit their rock, and I think they believe it’s crap. And I’ll admit, most of the rock I have seen in Scotland doesn’t seem to match up to ‘world-class’ levels, but there’s something about Scottish rock that’s enjoyable.

As much as it’s hard to admit, sometimes I do travel solely to try hard routes  (this trip in particular).Throughout this trip, I have mainly been getting on some of hardest, most well documented climbs and seeing how I do on them–Why not right?

Not to worry, this is a typical drive to any crag in Scotland
Some warm-up problems. Looks strangely familiar.

The mission for my Scotland trip is visiting Dumbarton Rock near to Glasgow. Without question, this place is very interesting to put it lightly. There are countless reports where climbers become target to harassement with a barrage of pellet gun fire or beer bottles by local anti-social types (fortunately I experienced none of this), but the extraordinary amount of broken glass you walked on throughout the area was something else. Even when Central Park was at its worst with glass and syringes everywhere, Dumbarton has no competition. But in a way, those kinds of flaws give character. As much as I heard from my Scottish friends about how shït the place is, I thought it was cool. I went there to get on Dave MacLeod’s Rhapsody E11 (roughly 5.14b/c R). It’s a well known hard traditional line that I wanted to check out. I certainly held no intentions of walking up and sending this line, but I was excited to try it out. These sorts of trips where I´m travelling to many places quickly gives me great opportunity to try many hard climbs and form projects to come and return to.


Top-rope session on Rhapsody

Anyways, It was hard and I was misreading the rock and creating bad sequences. I scouted it on top-rope first and was stumped with the upper head wall crux. It´s very intimidating since at this point on lead, you would be about 25 feet above your gear which gave me a fright even on top-rope. I quickly became uninspired after working it out on top-rope. I just didn’t have the mental capacity to begin projecting something of that magnitude (In short words, I gave up). I would need quite some time to put that piece together. So I spent the rest of the day mucking about and just trying some easier climbs which are stellar in quality. There is no doubt that I’ll be back someday and try it again, but it just won’t happen this trip.

Omerta 5.12d - Super aesthetic arete climb Photo by:Michael Scott


Photo by Michael Scott


Neil Mcgeachy sorting out a tricky 5.12+


Johnny on Persistence of Vision 11+ (Rhapsody begins atop this)

Since it’s nearing the tail-end of my trip, I’m feeling the exhaustion of travelling now. Most of my week in Scotland was actually spent hanging around Edinburgh eating, drinking, and shopping.  I went to the climbing gym in Edinburgh twice just to stay loose and get a workout, but I´m pretty burned out with trying anything hard–plastic or rock. It´s time to go home.

Ratho Climbing Arena-Looking at the people on the ground will give you some sense of scale

Unfortunately it´s also time to close this blog and start making my way home. It’s been a long fun journey and I hope these posts were a fun read. So please take the time to browse through some of my sponsor’s websites which made this trip possible: Photo by Richie Patterson


Matador Lace-ups were the pick this trip
My 9.1mm cord that was indestructible
My Morpho Tent in Germany - Air-supported technology

And of course, Big Thanks goes to Brooklyn Boulders for supporting this trip and giving me the opportunity to share it!  See you all back at BKB!


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