Thumbnail by Cody Cox
A couple of weeks back I discovered a small sandstone area outside of Glasgow. I’ve been looking for a while. I knew it was there nestled in the woods, I just had to find it. It started about a year ago; me, Cody and James went for a walk which swiftly ended when we found ourelves knee deep in a stream. After this James pretty much gave up on my invitations to go hunting but Cody didn’t, and we ended up having a lot of fun exploring forests we would never normally go to and having a look in places that felt pretty wild. Anyway, we found some really cool rock and put up a few problems here and there, however I have to admit that it wasn’t what I was looking for – the rock never seemed to dry out and its quality was a little poor. Just as I had unlocked the final hard move on a project for example I broke a foothold, and with it my motivation. Actually the most fun I had in the area was building an incredible patio landing.. little did I know this band of rock continued and got better. Fast-forward one year and I went for a walk and finally found what I was looking for. The area is small with room for expansion but has made for a lot of fun over the last few weeks. I set about cleaning with various comrades and opened up a few of the easier lines, most notably a pillar of rock called ‘Wow Jen’. This thing is amazing and would hold its own in all the popular destinations I’ve visited. It’s not super hard but packs a punch, has a little height to it and a variety of holds, but most of all it’s a feature that is just made to be climbed!
Another line that I worked out runs through a roof, from its lowest possible holds right to the point of it. It’s really involved and has a lot of low persentage moves between bad handholds and awkward toe hooks. I called it Gordon Bombay because I can liken my struggle with this roof to that of the Mighty Ducks.
This place is cool, so remember to look after it if you visit, it’s sandstone and comes with the usual warnings about climbing after rain. So after around 10 days of cleaning and bushwhacking about 5 problems have emerged, and there are others – they’re all yours. Take all the grades with a pinch of salt as a lot of problems have only had one ascent and thus might be a little off, I also got a bit tired of battling moss so one or two boulders are poorly cleaned but worth a bit more effort to keep them open.
During this process I’ve come up with a theory as to why developing climbs is so fun, and I reckon it harks back to childhood. I remember spending summers in forests building camps and treehouses, going out first thing and coming back dirty and hungry late at night. Well for me, developing new rocks is the same, it’s an adult’s way of justifying mucking around in the woods, getting dirty and building something just for the sake of it! I can’t recommend it more, I haven’t had this much fun since being a kid.
here is how to get to the boulders click the maps to enlarge
1. Magic carpet ride -(stand) 7a
2. 40 minuet man (start on obvious edges)- 7a
3. Wow jen -(see vid) -6b+
4. Ben Quest (hanging start) -5+
5. Gordon Bombay (See vid) -V?
The boulders are easy to find – keep driving towards Lennoxtown and turn into Campsie Village (very new housing estate). From here pass over a bridge and just before the first house is a pullout (right). Park, follow the trail to the castle (15min) then as you walk round the castle a small trail leads (right) off into the woods. Follow this untill Lovers Leap (5min), where about 10 meters before the leap a crag below becomes visible among the thick but spindly trees.