New Crag – Fidlar Geo

Fidlar GeoA few months ago we sold the first miniguide off the website to a local climber. It’s always great to here of other folk climbing up here, so after a session at Pobie Skeo we thought we’d drop by and deliver the guide in person. It was great to meet Mark and Christine, and while exchanging stories, rumours of a new crag on the west side slipped out… We were promised crag info once Mark and regular visiting climbers Tony Howard and Di Taylor had taken their share of the routes when they came up in June. Apparently they would be leaving the hard climbs to us young-uns!

Since then we’ve exchanged many emails but unfortunately (mainly due to weather) we didn’t manage to share a dram or two with the new routing team and find out about their exploits. Tony very kindly put together a very comprehensive write-up of the crag and sent it over. I headed out there last weekend with my wife, and Pete and Julie to see what all the fuss was about.

The crag is certainly a great find – 50m slabs of compact and fine-grained sandstone. Many of the routes so far have been no harder than Severe, rare for larger crags in Shetland, but they are still quite serious – a good combination! Unfortunately for us, a 15ft swell denied us access to many of the larger routes, but if you were quick enough, some of the shorter routes were climbable, leaving just your belayer to get wet in the spray by the regular larger waves!

We played around on the slab of ‘Da Trowie’s Slide’, climbing that, and a few other variants, including a shortened version of ‘Trollgubben’. The rock is excellent lower down, but fractured and needs to be treated with caution nearer the top. It’s less loose than it appears, though. We also found (?) a shorter 25m wall to the west with some steeper and very delicate slabs, quite similar to Bannaminn. This wall is tidal, but the rock looks perfect. Whether it’s too ‘perfect’ and takes no gear though is to be confirmed…

We may well head out there again this weekend with a larger group from Climb Shetland, possibly camping if the weather permits. Its a beautiful area and I’m sure there will be other crags worth a look in the area.

Check out the crag page for all the details and the routes put up so far here.

Thanks again for Mark,Tony & Di for sharing the info – hopefully I’ll get to climb with you there soon, and you can make it to a BBQ next year!

One Comment

  1. Ross says:

    Diane, Ruby, Jonathon and I visited here a couple of weekends ago. The location is lovely and the slabs provide a good expanse of low grade routes. This was a great “find” by Tony, Mark and Di.

    I soloed Da Trowies’ Slide and Trollgubben. The first route is well defined and on lovely rock, but not a classic in terms of quality. The second route is on good clean rock but a bit ill-defined, you can pretty much climb anywhere on this wall. So good climbing but I think the quality needs to be put into a better context. Diane led The Ragged Trowie, however with the tide in and a bit of a swell they weren’t able to belay right at the bottom, potentially missing some good moves, however the line up the top wall is ill-defined and deteriorates, you can pretty much climb anywhere. The suggested four stars does not compare to any of the other good low grade routes on the Island. There’s potential for a few more nice routes, although gear on most will be spaced and on the west wall unlikely.

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