Friday, 6 January 2012

Holyrood basalt

Today for a change I went for an explore around Holyrood park. Tom had told me about some small boulders next to the innocent railway which runs underneath Edinburgh Universitys Pollock Halls of residence. They were quite small although there are a couple of steep faces with poor slopey crimps which will probably give some interesting eliminates. These boulders are made of columular basalt, which is formed as a lava flow cooled quickly, but not too quickly, above the surface. They probably came from the samsons ribs, which makes up the best rock in the park but it is directly above the road so you can't climb on it, which are also columular basalt.
Columular jointing on the biggest boulder

After this I went to the gutted haddie, a steep wall at the end of, and perpendicular to, the crags. Id been told about this a while ago but id never got round to finding it. I thought it would be made from volcanic neck agglomerate but on closer inspection it was far too well lithified and looked abit basalty, so I figure its basalt. I had a quick climb here, but it was abit too windy and my things were getting blown away so I moved on to Haggis Knowe. I think I could get some pretty hard problems worked out on this. All the holds are either pretty thin crimps or side pulls.
The gutted haddie

Haggis Knowe is part of the long row basalt, which was an ancient lava flow. It is offset from the long row basalt by a fault which runs through the well next to St. Antonys Chapel. The guide book says that theres some quite good bouldering on Haggis Knowe and there does look to be some small steep sections and some nice thin slabs. I was going to climb here but it was getting dark and I saw a wire running up the crag so I went to investigate. I didn't find the end of the wire but I did see the preperations for the race around Holyrood tomorrow, lots of blue plastic tape blowing in the wind.
I headed off to the wall again tonight and saw Emma there who belayed me on a few more things with my Schmoolz. They had got round to setting some more route too including a really awkward 6b+ and a few boulder problems, which reminds me I need to work on pinching.

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