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Lochinver Climbing Festival – Reiff

Climbing Reiff

Unfortunately work took priority on Saturday but with Sunday off I headed over to Reiff in the evening to catch Tim and co for some climbing at the Lochinver Climbing Festival. Reiff was the planned destination and high on my list of places to climb.

Reiff is one of the première climbing destinations in the North West Highlands and I hadn’t visited yet so what better way to be introduced to it then by Tim Hamlet who lives five minutes away and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the crag.

Parking my van as considerately as I could I was toying around with some HDR photos of the view when I heard a familiar voice and Kirsty came running over. She was also up with another friend from Oban (Rob). We decided to head straight over to the crag for some climbing, psych levels being high.

Topping out
Rob topping out Sip from the Wine of Youth Again

A short walk and down scramble later we were enjoying some classic routes. A brace of VS climbs and a Severe left us all having led and thoroughly warmed up. It was Robs turn and he decided on the wonderful “Sip From The Wine Of Youth Again” (HVS 5a) with Alan Halewood having just led the climb and saying it was fantastic it would be rude not to. For those that don’t know this particular little climb it start with a traverse out over the see before finishing up a wonderful flake and Arete. All things that make climbers go ‘ooo’ and ‘aaahh’.

Channering Worm
Arms working hard on Channering Worm.

As we topped out Tim arrived and pointed us at another ‘must do’ for the crag – Channering Worm (E3 5c) – It was my turn to lead this “bold” and “steep” climb. A boulder problem of a start on some undercuts leads to a flake. From there its a case of keeping your head together and steadily making your way up it. Certainly one that gets the heart pumping and great fun.

Westering Home
The crux top section of Westering Home (E1 5b)
Kirsty Midreiff
Kirsty cutting shapes on Midreiff (S 4a)

A bite to eat later we were back down to do the classic VS – Hy Brasil. Climbing onto a prominent arete this has entertaining and airy moves. Then I led Westering Home (E1 5b) with thin moves at the top this is another to make you think and trust your feet. Good gear makes this a safe climb though so you can certainly go for it. We followed this with more stared routes; Midreiff (S 4a), Tystie Slab (VD)  and Black Gold (HS 4b) before deciding that our fingers were sufficiently warm and we’d head for some grub at the pub in Ullapool.

Not bad for a day off…

Thanks to Alan Halewood for the abseil line use and Tim Hamlet for showing us around the crag. Also Thanks to Kirsty and Rob for a great days climbing and for use of their photos in this post.

Reiff View
Messing around with HDR at Reiff.

If you’ve not visited Reiff and you like your climbing bouldery and balancy with a hint of atmosphere that being near the sea always brings then you should visit; especially if you find yourself in the far north and west.

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