Psychi Sponsored Climber Kevin Shields: Climbing In Scottish Highlands

In a year full of hospital appointments  for injury and ailments I’ve managed to get out and about in the Scottish Highlands when it’s not been raining. Unfortunately it’s been an exceptionally wet year even by Highland standards.

The first good thing I did was a new route out at Lochailort. The climbing here suits me, slabby and bold giving a physical and mental challenge. Climbing new routes is what it’s all about for me these days. The whole journey from searching for crags and lines to cleaning them and figuring out the moves through to climbing and naming them, I just love it.

lochailort Chilling out at Lochailort with Ka. Pic- Vertical Fever

This new route was my first since recent ankle surgery so there was a definite feeling of in at the deep end. First few visits were too cold and windy for a send but eventually the day came. My climbing partner Steve had just dispatched his project and that got me fired up for mine.

first-ascent Long way above gear on first ascent of The 45, E4 6a. Pic – Vertical Fever

Next up was to repeat a rarely climbed route in Glen Nevis. The Short Straw is another bold E4 6a but overhanging so not my usual style. I’d been up a few times but it was always greasy or my mind wasn’t right. On the day of the send my mate Euan from Final Crux Films came along to capture the climb for a long term project we’re working on.

climbing Repeating the Short Straw, Pic-Finalcrux Films
end Euan, myself and Steve after the route. Pic Vertical Fever

We’ve also been busy looking for new routes and doing lots of cleaning, just need it to dry out now!!!

climbing2 Clearing potential new route somewhere…… To be continued.

Clearing potential new route somewhere…… To be continued.

I’ve also had a few great days in Glencoe this season.

kat Kat at the base of North Buttress
end2 Summit of the Buachaille with Housty this week, definite change in the weather!!
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