/ Friendly family top roping on Skye?
We're up for a week with the kids. If any day is warm and dry enough we're after: a short sunny sheltered micro crag, decent rock, easy approach, safe base for small kids, a few nice relaxed routes at Mod-Severe.
Not a mountain crag, clearly, though it could at a pinch be a wee wall somewhere relatively accessible like the bottom of Coire Lagan. They'd walk for an hour to go climbing. Ideally not a sea cliff, at least not one with the usual sea cliff approach fun.
We'll be in Elgol, so preferably that end of the island, though sure we'll tour about a bit.
Am I asking too much? Obviously the good stuff is all either mountain or sea cliff. But it's not exactly good stuff that I'm wanting.
The only venue I can think of is that little slabby thing at Kyle, which I guess we could visit on the way home...
Tough ask, Skye is a great place for climbers, and a great place for kids, but not necessarily both at the same time
Could have a look through this book though for ideas https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007H6064A/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
I happen to know the author of that and I'm pretty sure he didn't have kids in mind in those days
I've only been once and it was a long time ago, but the easy to get to crag at Elgol - School House Buttress is it? I remember it being on a beach, easy to get to, and not very high. I don't remember the top out, but presumably if I could belay at the top of routes, setting up a top rope isn't impossible?
Yeah it'd be ideal if they could get up a VS. I may be selling them short, but I suspect not just yet
Actually that looks ideal, thanks Mark! I think we may have a winner
I did once walk down to that beach but I don't remember seeing that crag
I did one of my very limited list of E1s onsight there so I can't be that hard. ;-) I did think that I can't remember doing easier routes there, but we only went for a bit but if you've checked the guidebook and its all VS and up, I take your point! My kids used to quite like trying harder things on a VERY tight top rope though.
You are very welcome! It's on your left a couple of hundred yards before you reach the beach, near where the paths to the beach and to the Point split. IIRC, it is the leftmost clean-looking piece of rock in this shot:
The high crags are a paradise for Severe and below, but I’m afraid the sea cliffs and outcrops offer a dearth of routes below VS. The best easy climbing available in a great spot with no walk-in at all is the Sonamara area at Neist, left of the steps dropping down from the car park. There are a number of routes at HS and below enjoying a stupendous outlook, although the best routes on this buttress are all VS (albeit rather softly graded). Combines well with a trip to the lighthouse as your car is only metres from the top-out, so no heavy hauling. Only drawback is the drive. Neist is a long way from anywhere. But worth it! We’ve seen whales there and expect to see porpoise every visit in the season.
The wee Crag few hundred metres south of Suidhe Biorach fits the bill, above non-tidal beach, should be easy to set up bottom ropes. It’s in the sea cliffs guide.
Schoolhouse Buttress, 100m from pier is ok, some easy stuff but rock not amazing.
Everywhere else is marathon drive from Elgol - some of the wee crags around Kyle of Lochalsh would be more convenient, might fit the bill.
+1 for Suisnish. Ideal if based at Elgol.
Thanks all, some very useful advice here. Just have to hope it's warm enough to hang about at the crag now
There's loose and hollow blocks on the two easier routes at Schoolhouse Buttress so would say to avoid there for top roping. The rock on the seaward face is an interesting honey comb formation and worth visiting with some boulder hopping along the beach and a nice way to kill some time in the evening.
Suishnish is a great spot and a lovely walk round the coast if nothing else but remember the rock being good and an easy descent to the base.
The routes beyond Suidhe Biorach that Gary mentions are listed as Big Corner (S) and the unnamed VS to the right of it on here. They are mentioned only in passing in the guidebook, and are technically easy for the given grades.
I placed a stake at the top a couple of years ago, which makes it easy to rig a top/bottom rope. Limited routes but they are pleasant and in a lovely spot.
You'd get a good top rope of the Inn Pin Dan....
Elgol has quite a few climby bits that you could use as well as SHB. Great views across to the Cuillin on a clear day too. I would be tempted to email Mike Lates (https://www.ukclimbing.com/user/profile.php?id=26314)
> The routes beyond Suidhe Biorach that Gary mentions are listed as Big Corner (S) and the unnamed VS to the right of it on here
FWIW we both reckoned Big Corner was more like Diff than Severe. Didn't have time to try the VS.
It's a bit of a further drive north, but Neist Point could work.
Primarily a sea cliff location, but on the walk down to the lighthouse where the cliffs are, swing a left at the bottom of the stairs and there are loads of short crags in the field - Most are around 10-15metres and easily accessible.
Did something similar to this at Flodigarry, it's a while back but I remember a nice spot with a beach, sheltered from the usual winds, slabby. Found a nice mod ridge for the kids.
It's easy for the grade too, 4b at most, but the gear is not good.
Not climbing, but if you are staying in Elgol visit the Spar Cave at low tide (take headtorches and perhaps a warm jacket). It really is impressive, and quite easy to reach.
> Not climbing, but if you are staying in Elgol visit the Spar Cave at low tide (take headtorches and perhaps a warm jacket). It really is impressive, and quite easy to reach.
I was there a couple of days ago and couldn't agree more.
Thanks all... the weather was amazing but in the end we didn't get round to climbing. Too busy walking up hills, and poking about in caves. We got the kids into the Spar Cave and Prince Charlie's Cave, both involving a bit of 'coasteering' as we didn't wait for lowest tide to access. Both highly recommended for adventurous families, though I'd watch those tides. Helmets for the kids gave us peace of mind in the Spar Cave as there's a lot of slippy rock clambering to get to it, and then of course that very steep flowstone ascent in the cave itself...
> I happen to know the author of that and I'm pretty sure he didn't have kids in mind in those days
I'm sure you could have a word with the author then, must be a gap in market for a book of parent & kid friendly outdoor activities on Scottish islands and mountains
Glad you enjoyed the hols, a dry week makes a bonus.
A fire on Marsden Moor in West Yorkshire, which has now affected around 15km2 of moorland, is likely to have been started by a barbecue