Change of plan Portsoy – Fields of Gold, Redhythe, rock climbing and lots Dolphins.

Fields of Gold.

It had been a long time coming but we had an old pal back up Rhys and we had a day on the Cairngorms planned rock climbing. Dan my best pal was free so I was looking forward to a fun day.

On the short walk in. Old man carries the rope?

The forecast had changed overnight and the Cairngorms looked wet so we had a change of plan and headed for the Coast. ( Top tip keep checking the weather forecasts.) This was hopefully to miss the bad weather and the dreaded midges.

It’s a short drive to our wee fun crag near Portsoy and just what I needed today. Portsoy is a small fishing town on the North East Coast. We had not been here for a while and had to chase the memory of the way to the cliffs. “You pass the Jehovah’s Witness church” a good Landmark and park by the cliffs down a small track.

The Coastal path is fairly quiet and there is a car park at the end of the track. The fields nearby are stunning just now a ripened gold and as you pass the old concrete building on the coastal path its an old wartime look-out post. As you get near to our wee crag the views are excellent. It’s a magical coast and the crag is covered in stunning yellow lichen it looks so friendly. The wild life especially the Cormorants and the sea cliffs tumbling to the sea make this a special place. It’s never a busy cliff and I have rarely seen other climbers here. Grid NJ 575672

From UKC Crag features

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

From Scottish Redhythe Point

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

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 (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.”

It was just a fun few hours easy routes by the sea the tide was in and apart from the friability of the odd holds it’s a grand place to be. We set up a short abseil rope and roped down to the ledges. The weather was great and I told of the day when the Dolphins chased the mackerel into this Geo and had a lunch as we climbed in the sun!

The wee abseil

Not climbing for a while it’s “Always worth checking each other no matter how experienced you think you are”. Skill fade is a forgotten danger to many of us who do not climb regularly.

At the belay

We climbed about 5 short routes it’s amazing how rusty you are. Also how careful you have to be checking each other’s harness and on the abseil Dan keeping us aware as he does. We had lots of stories and even the odd folk song as we climbed . It was so good to be back on the rock great fun and a lovely break for me despite having to carry a rope in.

Dan the man !

The crag is covered in yellow lichen on the cliffs is stunning “Yellow scales, also called Shore Lichen, (Xanthoria parietina), lichen species characterized by lobed margins and a wrinkled centre. It is usually found where the air is filled with mineral salts, especially near the sea and on rocksand walls.”

Old man on the yellow rock.

We had some great craic more tales and plans for future days.

Great craic

As we had a break for lunch we had a superb display of the local Dolphins that made our day. They were jumping out of the water and though to far away to photograph it was a superb display. What more could one want?

Great to see Rhys top man. Thanks for the fun.

It was then a walk back the “Fields of gold” were getting getting cut and the air was thick and dusty. The farmers hoping to get the crop cut before the weather changes. It was then a quick stop for tea and cakes with Dan’s folks who now live locally.

A heron taking off.

Thanks to Dan and Rhys for a fun day out. It was great to see you both and safe trip home Rhys see you soon!

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 Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Recomended books and Guides, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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