Friday, January 28, 2011

Ullapool Bouldering Guide



Ian Taylor's complete Ullapool bouldering guide is now available here and on the new Stone Country Bouldering site. This gives the most complete low-down to date on the bouldering round the capital of the North West: Rhue Blocks, Cnoc Breac, Tighnamara, Ardmair Beach, Ardmair Crag, Reiff in the Woods, Reiff and other areas. 

Ullapool Bouldering
Author: Ian Taylor
Publisher: Ian Taylor
44 pp Full Colour
Price: £4.99







'Heavy on fact, light on fairies' - The Stones of Strathearn



Andrew Finlayson, the producer behind One Tree Island Publishing, has brought out a lavish new guide to the standing stones of Strathearn. This fertile and secluded land, situated in the Earn valley between Perth all the way up its headwaters of Lochearn at St. Fillans, is home to some of Scotland's earliest monoliths, cup-marked rocks and stone circles. These distant echoes of a neolithic society still have a resonance to them, a tangible sense of place, and Andrew has produced this superbly illustrated gazetteer to  the history and provenance of these stones. 

This convenient ring-bound book acts as both a guide to each site and a detailed history to its neolithic society, engineering, farming, astronomy and symbology. He details each stone meticulously and with  fine technical drawings and colour photography, including more famous monoliths such as the Sma Glen's Ossian's Stone, as well as 'quieter' but astronomically important stones such as Tullybannocher. The beautiful artwork re-creates the cup and ring marked artwork and makes us ponder the complex spirit of the neolithic mind.


This is a tremendously detailed re-imagination of a Scottish neolithic valley, leading us between its silent monoliths and capturing the rhythms and deep connections of a long-vanished culture, one obviously sophisticated enough to understand its small place in the universe. Unlike some fatally mystical books on the subject, it is refreshingly practical and lets the stones do the speaking: as Andrew says - it is 'heavy on fact, light on fairies'.

The ring-bound book also a fantastic walking guide to the stones and is available with a free 2011 calendar through the One Tree Island site or here at Amazon

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Bouldering in Scotland site


Just to let everyone know that I've created a new site for depositing all the Bouldering in Scotland topos I've collected over the years.. it's a sub-domain of Stone Country but designed to hold updated batches of PDF guides and topos for the whole of Scotland. I've added some long lost topos such as Fontforth, as well as Buchan Ness, Clach Damh, Ben Ledi etc. The site will gradually grow in size as we add more guides and books, so please do email me with any of your own feature topos and I'll add them as a PDF. As more venues are found, we'll be publishing local area guides with a long term view to a the fattest bouldering guidebook anywhere -  'The Stone Country Atlas'.

PLEASE NOTE the 'DUMBARTON ROCK' guidebook is currently out of stock at Stone Country...we'll have stock back soon, but if you need a copy urgently, try Cotswolds in Partick, or Tiso branches.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ullapool Sandstone


Torridonian pebble

The icy Christmas lasted well into the New Year and some fine blue days could be had in between the grey ones. Bouldering at Reiff in the Woods, Tighnamara and Ardmair was perfect on those days with no wind, but what with temperatures so minimal, the slightest wind made for perishing days on the rock.


Tighnamara Traverse


Reiff in the Woods has seen some new attention with Nigel Holmes cleaning and finding a classic wall on the Cubes area to give 'The Flood', a tough vertical grit-classic wall around the 6b mark which should become very popular.


 Ann Falconer on Reiff In the Woods West Wall


Tighnamara is a fine training venue which tends to be overlooked above Ardmair beach, but provides a quality training traverse and some sit starts when the burn is dry. Cnoc na Breac has a super pink leaning wall and a good summer circuit of walls and roofs around the crags. These areas and more are available in Ian Taylor's 'Ullapool Bouldering' guide which we should have in stock soon.