Beat the Heatwave Smugness

The UK is in the middle of a heatwave. If, like me you follow some climbing media then you’ll have also had the rush of annoying articles from the likes of the BMC and UKC on the best crags get away from the blistering heat and climb in the shade. So I thought I’d write a Shetland version:

5 crags that might make it seem like it’s a nicer day than it is…

We have indeed received the arse-end of the heatwave (pardon the expression) – by that I mean the warm, humid, windy end. We’re not bitter. Honest. There are some crags that offer hope when the weather’s not perfect though, and it’s worth checking out these options if you want to maximise the chance of getting something done.

Evidence of T-shirt climbing in February!

Bannaminn’s even good in winter!

Bannaminn

If the wind is light or anywhere other than westerly, Bannaminn can be a real sun trap. The blackened sandstone dries quickly and warms up too. The crag is in 2 tiers which helps to keep the wind off the lower areas and even if there’s a bit of swell bashing in you can usually get on something. If you really do get washed out, then there’s always the easy upper tier slabs which are a good solo.

Stu on Hot Baked, Tingon

Stu on Hot Baked, Tingon

Tingon

We amalgamated many crags into one area called Tingon last year. This place is a mecca and there’s all sorts to go at. With a wind blowing from the south or east it is easy to find a sheltered spot. If there’s a swell pushing in then you’re best to head to the section furthest north, the Warie Gill where the routes are raised about 5m above the sea.

Ronas Hill

Soloing at Ronas Hill

Soloing at Ronas Hill

The remote crags of Ronas Hill might seem like an odd choice but bear with me. This area is just stunning in summer with rare wild flowers everywhere and the ground is drier so it’s easier going. The crags are short and numerous, and there are many lines and buttresses that can be soloed. So even if it’s a bit damp or showery, have an explore and potter up some easy slabs. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Fogla Taing

Fogla Taing

Fogla Taing

Fogla Taing is listed here for two reasons: Firstly it faces East so is a good option when strong west winds are keeping you off everything else! The other reason is that the sandstone can be a bit of a suntrap in the morning, and that’s often the best part of the day in this type of humid weather.

Sumburgh

There’s no real climbing at Sumburgh but there’s an airport. I’m sure you know where I’m going with this…

Have fun!

One Comment

  1. Ross says:

    As for the Sumburgh option? ….. let’s not forget that one of the routes at The Faither is called “Don’t Even Think About Going To Spain”!

    Until this year I would have agreed that Fogla Taing would be a good option for the East side as the climbing is brilliant. However with all the routes still suffering from seepage at the beginning of June (yes the winter and spring has been that wet), I’d opt for for Blovid as an East side option. It is another suntrap and sandstone.

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