Loch Buie

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Laggan Sands is a newly developed bouldering venue on the Isle of Mull, located in the beautiful surroundings of Loch Buie. The area has lots of problems of all standards, all in an amazing setting looking out over the beach across the Firth of Lorn to Jura. The beach is the best place to relax in between problems, recharge your batteries and try to spot new crags on the side of Ben Buie. Once when I was there a naked woman appeared out of the heat haze and walked along the sand collecting shells and swimming. Sad to say she has never been seen since. Maybe she was a mermaid!

The rock is rough gabbro and many of the problems require very tough finger tips; if you dont get your problems quickly watch your fingers get stripped to the bone! There are problems of all styles, crimpfests, slopers, pockets, traverses, roofs and lots more.


Getting there

To get there simply head for Oban and catch the Cal Mac ferry to Craignure, Isle of Mull. Once in Craignure catch a coach that goes to Fionnphort, ask to get let you off at the Loch Buie turning, whch is about eight miles from Craignure, then hitch to Laggan Sands, Loch Buie. The hitching is easy - the locals are very hospitable, and usually take you right up to the boulders.

Other information

I started climbing there a few years ago, with local activist and bampot Daniel Brooks. Then I showed Mr Somerville the delights of the mushroom boulder and the rest is history. The mushroom and cave areas have seen lots of visits, most of the problems there being done by Tom Charles-Edwards, Ric Waterton, Dave Redpath and myself. Mark has his pet projects and has recently completed the much eyed Pink Monsters. The guide is just a taster - there is scope for harder lines and hopefully with some more visits the area will start to fulfil its potential.

Of course, there is a lot more to do on Mull. Check out Tom's article Climbing on Mull. If you spend a weekend here you can take in the delights of the many beautiful and varied trad venues that the island has to offer - especially Erraid which has grown in popularity due to much publicised new routing activity by Gary Latter, Julian Lines and others. Laggan Sands is perfect for a rest from the trad. If you're an all-round boulderer, live a little, travel a little and you can have a great time.

The weather is best in the spring, it is cool and breezy which is perfect for the mushroom boulder. In the summer it can get very hot but you can always move to the cave or take refuge in the shaded area of boulder B.

The problems

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Boulder A

Little boulder before boulder B

1. 5
Climb wee overhang from sit down.

Boulder B

Little buttress in from path. Crimpy and pocketed.

Obvious overhanging scoop (unclimbed).

2. 7A ***
Hook and Go - the superb left arete. SS (7B)

3. Tried and Tested 7A+ **
The excellent popcorn-like wall.

4. 4
The right arete.

Boulder C

Big boulder defined by its hanging arete, Pink Monsters.

1. 5B
Left arete - highball

2. Higher than the Sun 6B+ **

3. High as a Kite 6B+ **

4. Pink Monsters 7A ***
The excellent hanging arete.

Boulder D

1. Low Rider 6A
Traverse left to the right in a bunched up manner.

Boulder E

Big boulder with prominent square cut corner on the right, if viewed from track.

1. 5 **
Left corner

2. Perfect Day 5 *
Arete to the right of the corner.

3. 6B **
Left to right, traverse from 1 and finish up 7, don't go into gully

4. Flesh 7A **
Climb centre of wall on tiny crimps.

5. 4
Up gully

6. 5
To the right the wall can be climbed.

Boulder F

Small boulder overhanging the road

1. 5A
SS. Left arete

2. 6A
SS. Left wall.

3. Crimps and Shrimps 6A *
SS. The left corner/groove

4. Beefcake 7A+ **
SS. The crack on it's own.

5. Jimmy Da Cricket 6A *
dyno from crimps to the top.

6. 5
The right arete

7. The Warm Up 6A *
SS on the right. On slopers traverse left and up and to top out on better holds.

Boulder G

Overhanging and behind boulder F

1. 6B **
L to R traverse. Start extreme left follow good holds and head height crack. Finish sitting in the wee cave. Variation: Instead of using the head height crack, make an awkward move to use the low crack (6C)

2. Danny's Wall 5 ***
obvious line up the overhanging wall

3. 5 **
Parallel line to the right

Boulder H

An awesome boulder with good problems to be done, landings are quite dubious but nothing a good spotter can't handle. You can walk under the boulder and it is defined by a slopey lip traverse.

1. Zippy Lippy 7B ***
SS. Start at the left hand side and traverse rightwards to above the walk through. Exit above on slopers.

Boulder I

1. 6A
Traverse left on good holds.

Boulder J

1. Stretch 6A+ *
Traverse left on good holds to make final long stretch to jug.

Boulder K

The Mushroom Boulder. It is in the field and is defined by its big overhanging nose and cave on the right side if viewed on the approach to it.

1. Mushroom Traverse F7B ***
SS. Traverse left to right gives a very pumpy excursion around the boulder. Finish on standing on the obvious ledge

2. Jumping Jack 6C *
SS. Slap out to the ledge.

3. Freebase 6C ***
SS. The faint crack line.

4. Nipple Attack 7A+ ***
SS. Crimps taking left trending line to a slopey nose and mantel.

5. Stolen 7B ***
SS. Start in the same position as 6 then go right to gain undercut under the roof, slap out to slopers then scrape your way to the top.

6. Naked 6C ***
SS. The crimps through the roof.

7. Streaker 6B+ **
SS. The short clean cut corner.

8. 6A/+
SS. The left hand side of the boulder.

Boulder L

From the beach look for the mushroom boulder and behind this is a big cave entrance that you can walk through. On the left as you enter the cave.

1. Groovy 6A **
Climb the groove, deceptive.

2. Cut Loose 6B ***
Climb from the back of the shelf gain good hold on arete, cut loose and climb higher to gain top.

3. Cut Looser 7A ***
Start to the right on obvious lip traverse leftwards and finish up 3.

4, Piss 5 *
Easier than it looks. Near the cave entrance, same sort of problem as 3, gain jug and jump to top.

Boulder M

Right entrance has an excellent bubbly wall with an obvious overhanging arete.

1. Tom Cat 7A **
To the right of arete. Undercut, slap sloper on bulge then finish up groove.

2. Fern 5C

3. Crap 4

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