Climbing with the sparkling shoals of Mackerel at Redhythe near Portsoy

What a day yesterday I wanted an easy day but with a bit of rock climbing and I convinced my big pal Al Barnyard to come over for the day from Nairn. Al is training for the Glencoe Marathon and could do with a relax before the big race on Saturday. The crag is at Portsoy on the North East coast I love it and the lichen and the cliff has a yellow colour that make it a special place, it is tidal which though a small crag gives it a bit character.  The setting is marvellous with this rugged coastline and the wild life not only birds but dolphins are about. You also rarely see people either walking or climbing and it is a magic place to be. The weather was magnificent another “Blue Sky day” it was a later start as I had a visit to the doctors before I went and the tides would be perfect hopefully.

Tom Mac Donalds photo of the cliff summs up the stunning colours and beauty of this place.Portsoy Paradise!

Tom MacDonalds photo of the cliff sums up the stunning colours and beauty of this place.Portsoy Paradise!

Once you find the crag a 15 minute walk from the car park the grass down to the cliff was wet with a heavy dew and care was needed. The cliff was bathed in sunshine and big Al (Alba) had never been before and I think he loved it. He is some man and was telling me of his wild swimming in the sea off Nairn early mornings and the meetings with seals. Alba is a great companion a top bloke from my RAF Rescue Days he is always laughing especially at my attempts to climb in the past.

The big man enjoying the views on the cliff as a rowing boat goes by, what a day.

The big man enjoying the views on the cliff as a rowing boat goes by, what a day.

The tide had just gone out and the rocks down to the cliffs were wet and took care. I could see some splashing in the water below and there were thousands of fish in shoals right under us they were there all day incredible.

The rippling is the fish in the geo watching nature in the raw all that was missing was the dolphins.

The rippling is the fish in the geo watching nature in the raw all that was missing was the dolphins.

We were soon on the cliff and Alba was enjoying the day the warm rock the setting and the banter. My mate Tom and Janet arrived on the cliff top with Nellie and Tom took the photos and the Micky for a few hours in the sun. The fish were with us all day as was the sun and the views and we saw only one other couple walking above on the cliffs this was some situation to be in.

We abseiled down after each route it is a great cliff for teaching ad learning to climb.

We abseiled down after each route it is a great cliff for teaching ad learning to climb.

The routes all start just above the sea and with fish and the gurgling of the tide coming in on the rocks made it a place of great beauty and the warmth of the sun made it a perfect day for us. I had hardly been climbing since being ill but enjoyed the routes we did managing to cut my finger when a hold broke. The rock is sound but there are few sharp flakes but what a place to be.

Sunny rock

Sunny rock

I loved the day out again in the sun feeling better lots of good company and laughs even my climbing was not that bad but what an enriching experience and the joy to be feeling better every day but trying to ensure I do not do too much is not easy. The summer has been poor but this week makes the Costa Moray the place to be, whta privileged to live here in the place of so much natural beauty.

The big man in the sun Costa Moray

The big man in the sun Costa Moray.

Tom took some photos and I got the odd one with big Alba posing and me with my cut finger and the mackerel below like piranhas splashing about in the sea. Was the blood attracting them? Joke.

Alba in action look at those legs!

Alba in action look at those legs!

It was a great day and the laughs continued with my cut finger and Al the doctor in action not for the squeamish. We did a few routes and them headed back it was still hot and we enjoyed the wander back to the car past the golden fields, the blue sky and sea.

A great day in all and thanks to Alba, Tom, Janice and Nellie. Golf today and a great day planned for Saturday ou will have to read the blog and find out what?

 

 

Redhythe Point – NJ 575 672

West End of Portsoy through house scheme  the track starts just past Kingdom Hall and you drive to a car park unsurfaced .  Head West along the cliff to old Coastguard lookout and then down to cliff find narrow grassy ridge head down you will see the yellow facing slabs  about 15 minutes from the car park

Near the town of Portsoy on the Moray coast, Redhythe Point is a very good crag for those getting into leading, as well as providing sport for the more competent. Although partly tidal, many routes can still be climbed throughout the day. More like quartzite than sandstone.

North East Outcrops a great guide book by the SMC

North East Outcrops a great guide-book by the SMC

Covered in the 2003 NE outcrops guide

The Stack provides a few clean climbs, although the main point of interest is the crossing of the narrow channel separating it from the main crag. It also provides a good deep-water solo traverse at high tide mark above the channel.

Directions & Approach

On the west side of town, follow the signs to the sea level swimming pool  the Track is up by Kingdom Hall t – ask a local)and park in the large parking area. Walk west along the coast until you arrive at an abandoned target shelter, then bear right along a vague path to the top of the crag – 15 mins.

 

 

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Enviroment, Friends, Gear, Golf, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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