Back to the South Gill

Stu on Freshly Served, Blackpocket Wall

Stu on Freshly Served, Blackpocket Wall

This week we’ve had some great weather but it’s usually been accompanied by strong easterly winds. These are the perfect conditions for the South Gill area where the crag is west facing and in 2 tiers. Climbing on the lower tier you can guarantee to be completely out of the wind, and if the sun is shining then this is one of the best climbing experiences in Shetland.

At the weekend we had the AGM for the climbing club here, so after a lengthy night of cocktails we headed out on Saturday morning. We climbed at the usual spot known as Sunset Wall and added 2 more lines to the arete on the left (Peaty Arete). These were both at around Hard Severe and worthy of stars. We then climbed the south facing wall near Pinkpocket Wall just 50m away. I have to say it didn’t look great from the top but the rock was excellent and 3 routes were climbed between Severe and E1.

Al on Nutsaver, VS 4b

Al on Nutsaver, VS 4b

The following day Ross and Stu headed back again but went further north to the walls below the Black Crag. They found what may well be a new crag and added 5 new lines from Severe to VS. The rock is good quality and all routes can be reached from one abseil to blocky ledges above the sea. After what was one of the warmest days of the year so far they returned beaming and raving about their find.

Yesterday 4 of us headed back out there again and I got to climb the wall, which was certainly enjoyable. Ross and Clare added another new route to the wall and I went in search of other new rock nearby. Just to the south was a small inlet of higher walls that had some interesting looking corners. We climbed 4 routes, all excellent quality with the main corner system running up the middle of the wall being the best and most rewarding challenge, being very committing and feeling serious yet at only VS 4b, climbed by myself and Aurore.

Ross and Clare on new VS, Nutsaver Wall

Ross and Clare on new VS, Nutsaver Wall

And in-between all of this a few folk headed back out to Fidlar Geo on Monday to add a few more lines to both the main wall and the newly climbed West Wall.

The weather’s now turned with a cold snap upon us, which will give us a chance to get all the updates added to the crags and topos updated.

The area between the South Gill and Warie Gill is pretty much covered in climbable walls and it will make sense soon to rename this area as one crag, called Tingon. We’ve created a map of the currently recorded walls for reference which you can view here. I’ll merge these crags all together shortly.

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