Some old memories. Sou Wester Slabs, Ardverikie Wall. Classics in every way.

Arran – Sou’wester Slabs

I have just been going through some old photos and scanning some. The memories come back. Look at the blue sky on Cir Mhor and is a classic. Where is the Blue skies these days. It reminds me of the rough granite and so many superb days with so many pals. The walk in up Glen Rosa is wonderful follow the river with all the granite pools, more memories of days past. Early walks swims with my family in the 60’s. Then you see the wonderful Cir Mor a huge piece of rock. On my first time climbing here it looked so intimidating. The granite so rough and the scramble up to the big pitches. Soon you are below the overhangs and the rough granite tearing your hands. I have climbed this in all weathers when a sou’wester would have been helpful. We always climbed it in big boots and a bag in the early days and had fun in the chimney finish. This climb never let me down and add in the ferry trip, the Island feel and incredible walk back its a place I love.

Souwester Slabs, featured in the Classic Rock book is a 100-m VD climb on Cir Mhor, Arran.

Arran the wonderful granite slabs

Featuring slab and crack climbing on superb mountain granite, it was first climbed by G H Townsend, G C Curtis, M J H Hawkins and H Hore on 03 September 1944.

Dan on Ardverikie Wall


Many will know and love this route its one of my favourites and in these days its great to be reminded of superb routes. There are a lot harder climbs on this cliff but this one is special. Ardverikie Wall – 550 foot/ 150 metre Hard Severe.

Ardverikie Wall.

I love this climb it in a real situation and the views are special. Taking a bike in is worth it just for the journey out. To me it’s another great route sparse on gear at times. You rarely saw folk then now it can be busy. So get there early and go to the summit it’s a grand view.

What a situation

Access is easy with a bike and worth it for the journey home mostly downhill. The crag does not look that great from the distance but it is a fun place and the route over 550 feet looks steep and intimidating. I found it so on my first visit in 1975, Tom MacDonald climbed it with me Tom laughing at my attempts. I found it bold but I am a poor climber and there was little gear then. It is described as “a thin ribbon of grey micro granite” but once on it the journey begins. In these days the route was sparsely protected and the 4- 5 pitches give classic climbing and the views outstanding of the lovely lochan  na – Earba and the Ardverikie Estate. This was all made very famous by the TV series filmed here.

It is worth the short stroll to the summit (a climb should always do this?) It is a place that at times misses the rain and on the various occasions I have climbed it once or twice in big boots and then the three Munros it was a grand day. Many novice RAF MR Rock climbers cut their teeth on this crag and we had a few wobbly leads at time in the rain but what a place to be. There are plenty other routes here and recently and new routes have emerged. I also had a few fun days in winter when the big hills were out we got a couple of winter routes in many years ago. I have been so lucky to repeat it many times every time and adventure and it can be a busy crag nowadays as its in Classic Rock.

Ardverikie Wall 2007

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 Articles, Enviroment, Equipment, Friends, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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