Last day of February and on the rock at Redhythe Point near Portsoy.

2016 redhythe 3 Feb

Yesterday Pete from Cornwall my visitor wanted to rock climb so we decided to take him to Redhythe near Portsoy we fancied a wee climb. The forecast said maybe rain but if the rain stayed off and despite it being the last day of February we may have a fun day. It was not too cold for February and the rock and the day grey but fine.

The two Pete's deep in conversation

The two Pete’s deep in conversation with the crag looking great!

I had to go to hospital for 1000 in Elgin so after that we picked up Pete Amphlett another pal and despite the constant criticism of my driving we had a reasonable 30 minute drive to the crag just outside Portsoy.  From here it is a short walk to the crag and my first visit this winter. It was great to see the cliffs again and the lovely views and as you walk down to cliffs the orange/yellow lichen makes it all look so pleasant.  Pete Greening (Young) and Pete ( Old) are proper climbers so Pete (Old) took Pete a tour of some of routes. I managed only 3 but was a bit sore from my big walk the other day and just enjoyed being there and the routes I did. The two Pete’s had a fun day, hardly stopping as Pete ( Young) was pointed at various routes and I left them too it at the last climb.

The two Pete's!

The two Pete’s!

The wind got a bit colder and they finished with 7 climbs done and I think they enjoyed it. It is such a grand place to be and the situations are marvellous with some abseils on to the start of the climbs. I must remember my prussic for the back up abseil ( today’s top tip)  There were no dolphins today just lots of birds and the odd fishing boat and the constant peaceful noise of the waves and the rocks.

Old Pete with copycat beard abseils in.

Old Pete with copycat beard abseils in.

The cliff is easily accessible  from the road and the routes though not long many routes can be climbed in a day. The rock is can be accessed on a calm tide and the rock in place is covered by a brilliant yellow lichen and nesting sea birds are not on the climbing cliffs. The rock is metamorphosed sandstone, perhaps quartzite and can be sharp and care as always must be taken.

The Bairns climbing!

The Bairns climbing!

I find the climbing is really fun and though short the routes the situation is so special with the sea and the noise of the waves and boulders rumbling. I enjoy it here but you still have to watch with the odd brittle hold and fluted features provide good climbing in the easy to middle grade routes. We climbed on the Plateau face and then went over the other side which is in the sun and the yellow lichen was so colourful even though it was a dull day.

Young Pete - ticking the routes!

Young Pete – ticking the routes!

From the Guide Book – Redhythe Point – NJ 575 672 –

A pleasant low-grade venue, with some very soft grading. The rock is not perfect, but is sound enough. A good place to solo?

Fun time

Fun time

Approach notes

High tide affects some routes, but most are accessible via low level traverses.

West End of Portsoy through house scheme  the track starts just past Kingdom Hall and you drive to a car park un – surfaced .  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. If your lucky you will see some dolphins and loads of birds, Gannets and others.  This coast is a hidden gem for many and your rarely meet anyone as for those who love the sea this a place of wonder if your into Kayaking. I have climbed with dolphins watching and probably laughing and shoals of fish sparkling in the geo!

P1020908

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.

Covered in the 2003 NE outcrops guide

North East Outcrops!

North East Outcrops!

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.

Cornwall Pete!

Cornwall Pete!

Directions & Approach

On the west side of town, follow the signs to the sea level swimming pool (now defunct – 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.

P1020867

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, Equipment, Friends, Gear, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

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