A short afternoon climbing at Redhythe Point near Portsoy in between heavy showers.

Yesterday we had heavy showers but we had planned to meet up two pals Pete and Dan and maybe try to climb locally. It was not looking good as we had the summers heavy showers all morning. Anyway Portsoy is about 40 minutes away and after a coffee and fresh scones at Pete’s we headed for Redhythe to have a look. 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. “A pleasant low-grade venue, with some very soft grading. The rock is not perfect, but is sound enough.” UKC

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 and thenarrow grassy ridge head down you will see the yellow facing slabs  about 15 minutes from the car park. At the car park the smell was awful and covered in feathers it had been used for a “Blackening” a local wedding ritual I later found out after thinking that some awful thing had happened here!   We had really heavy showers on the way and the boys were doubtful about getting anything done but we went for a look.

On the way to the crag a stunning walk. The yellow lichen and the backdrop of the sea and cliffs is stunning.

We wandered along Dan and Pete chatting about cars and the oil industry and then it was the great views of the cliffs, geos and the sea. We were soon descending to the crag and care taken as the grass was wet but we were soon at the top of the slab as the skies darkened. There were plenty of big daisies on the cliff and the cliff was looking great. We had a chat blethered about the possible rain  and then set up a short abseil. My skills were a bit rusty with lack of use this summer on the rock but soon were down by the sea. We had planned the tides just right and it was a low tide.

  It is a magic cliff and the situation stunning in the past I witnessed the mackerel being chased into the geo by Dolphins and then they ran riot and had a feast right 10 feet from where we were.

Just above the sea and having fun.  Talking about past adventures and my limited climbing ability.

Today it was low tide and just jelly fish in the water. You are just off the sea and in a lovely situation but no Dolphins today sadly. It is such a great place to be and we watched the odd trawler of the cliffs and the sun when it came out and  with the yellow cliffs it is stunning place.

The clouds darkened and we managed two short climbs before the rain threatened then it was back to the car and home in driving rain. We had a bit of climbing and a warm up for Arran in a few days, I was never a climber but it was great to be back on the rock but amazing how rusty you get if not on the rock regularly.

It was more tea and biscuits at Pete’s then home a fun few hours my body not used to climbing even a couple of short routes but great to get out and the company superb. Time to dry the wet abseil rope and get sorted for Arran.

Lichen – Lichens may be long-lived, with some considered to be among the oldest living things. They are among the first living things to grow on fresh rock exposed after an event such as a landslide. The long life-span and slow and regular growth rate of some lichens can be used to date events (lichenometry). Many lichens are very sensitive to environmental disturbances and can be used in cheaply] assessing air pollution    anddepletion of ozone, and metal contamination. Lichens have been used in making dyes and perfumes and in traditional medicines. Few lichen species are eaten by insects or larger animals. They are very beautiful on the sea  – cliffs.

Heading Home what a magic place.



About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Enviroment, Equipment, Friends, Gear, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Weather, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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