Auchineden Hill - 357m
Sunday 15th November 2009

Weather/Conditions: Bit of sun, bit of rain and quite windy. Not an ideal day to be rock climbing.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 5km / 200m / 4h
Accompanying: Steve

Rock climbing out at the Whangie. Here's the back story:

Steve and I have been climbing at the Glasgow Climbing Centre for about five or six years. I've always been into rock climbing and have done it indoor for years, on and off. So a few weeks previously, Steve and I decided to take a lead climbing course to get the techniques down so we could do some new walls and harder routes.

The upshot to indoor lead climbing is that we would be buying a rope, and when we bought it on the Saturday we also got a sling and two screwgate karabiners, for the purposes of top roping outdoors. The first logical place to take our new found knowledge and new gear would be the Whangie, a place we've both been to many, many times in the past.

The Whangie and Auchineden Hill

So we left the Queen's View car park, and headed around the hillside towards The Whangie. The rock was wet and just about unclimbable, though we found areas to try out the gear on. There's no big chockstones to put a sling around (or at least we couldn't find any) so we put it around a boulder that I really couldn't come to trust. (No helmets either. Eek.)

Steve did some more climbing than I since I had trouble trusting the sling to hold in a place where the rock was slippery and crumbling. I think we both got a taste of the differences between indoor and outdoor climbing. It puts outdoor lead climbing in a completely new light to what I expected, but that's something I'll try at some point. I wouldn't be surprised if we hit a bit of a brick wall by starting out at The Whangie. Even then, we both got up some climbs (Steve more than I) and both ended the afternoon with very cold fingers and a big desire to get down to The Carbeth Inn.

I couldn't help but go to the top of Auchineden Hill, and climbed to the trig point and over the high moorland while Steve walked around the path we'd arrived by. I met him above the car park. We then started the 2km's to the Carbeth Inn. We asked at the car park if anyone was heading that way, with no luck. We did try to hitch hike without luck - god knows how many cars passed us. It was worth a shot though. The upside is that walking back made the first drink all the better. Good times...

Written: 2009-11-22