Indoor Climbing Wall & Rock Climbing
Press release: "The new state of the art climbing wall in the Gairloch Leisure Centre was officially opened on Saturday 20th November 2010. A four year long process from securing the £100k funding and then having the wall built, came to its conclusion with a well attended open day celebration.
The project was transformed from just an idea to something that could be made to happen, through a private donation from a company called Ineos. This came about back in 2006 as a result of the company chairman enjoying a fabulous autumn day being guided on the Liathach ridge by Paul Tattersall, who runs a local Mountain Guiding business. Sportscotland were then convinced enough by the merits of the proposed wall and contributed half of the cost. The remaining quarter was made up of Leader 2 funding, a £6500 donation from the Great Wilderness Challenge fund and some local fund raising.
The wall has been built to a very high specification, and is seven metres high. It has seven top-rope lines and an overhanging lead wall with eight lines. Slabs, corners, chimneys, tufas, aretes, vertical, varying degrees of overhanging, there is plenty to keep climbers happy with grades from 3 and up, all the way to the couple of ungraded, unclimbed projects. New routes will be set regularly."
Visit the Gairloch Leisure Centre webpage to check opening times or telephone 01445 712345.
Harnesses, helmets, belay plates and rock shoes can all be hired. There are scheduled climbing classes for various age groups and the option of instruction by arrangement with qualified instructors.
Lochbroom Leisure Centre in Ullapool also has an indoor climbing wall. Booking advisable - telephone 01854 612884.And having whetted your appetite above, what's Wester Ross itself got to offer the climber?
What is really noticeable when travelling though Wester Ross is the abundance of rock! There are roadside outcrops, steep craggy mountain sides, distant rocky tops, boulder fields and sea cliffs - basically, this is an as yet undiscovered paradise for rockclimbers. Lewisian Gneiss, Torridonian Sandstone, and Cambrian Quartzite are the predominant rock types, with the majority of the rock being reliably sound and clean.
In the past, and in accordance with Scottish Mountaineering ethics, only long routes on mountain crags were reocrded, with the rest being generally classed as "practice"! That has now changed these days, and cragging and bouldering have become far more fashionable with huge potential for these activities. In fact, routes are being constantly being put up on new crags.
Along with the variety of venues and routes, the quietness of the area is an added attraction - queuing for routes is ungeard of!
Looking for more detailed information? Visit the Wild West Topos website, operated by locally based climbers Jim Buchanan and Paul Tattershall.