Outer Hebrides Rock Climbing Guidebook

by Mark on August 6, 2018

Outer Hebrides Rocking GuidebookThe Outer Hebrides represents the jewel of Scottish sea cliff trad climbing with the emphasis on adventure.  They are located on the western extremes of Scotland.  The largest selection of routes are found on the islands of Lewis and Harris that despite their names are in fact one island separated by a 10km neck of land.

The Uig sea cliffs on the western side of Lewis offer the best climbing on the island, with wonderful rock architecture and fabulous beaches set amidst a rugged and superbly scenic Atlantic coastline.  The climbing is on Lewisian Gneiss that is usually solid with good friction and positive holds many of which aren’t visible until you commit to the moves. The vast majority of the routes require committing abseils onto small ledges above sometimes wild seas – the very best of adventure trad climbing.

However not everything here is about sea cliff climbing with excellent mountain crags on both Lewis and Harris.  The Uig hills are remarkably rugged and set in a wild environment, with a mixture of single pitch and multi-pitch routes up to 300m long.  Further south on Harris there are a large collection of mountain crags with the emphasis on multi-pitch routes.

The new Outer Hebrides Rock Climbing Guidebook covers all of these routes on Lewis and Harris, plus the islands of Barra, Sandray, Pabby, Mingulay, Berneray and St Kilda.  For those seeking total remoteness then the uninhabited islands of Pabbay and Mingulay offer world class sea cliff climbing in solitude.  Here there are no comforts other than those that are carried by boat.

The guidebook covers almost 2,500 routes across a wide range of grades from Moderate to E9. This is a great climbing guidebook for those on a dedicated climbing trip, or those looking to climb for a day or two as part of a family holiday.  The islands of the Outer Hebrides have their own special charm and leave a lasting impression on all those who visit.  A trip out here is an adventure which allows one to sense the elements.

Outer Hebrides Climbing Beta

The new edition of the Outer Hebrides Climbing Guidebook is available to buy for £29.95 +P&P.  All the routes are shown on colour photo topos along with detailed access maps, approach information and a description of the type and style of climbing to be found.

The best time to climbing is from April through to September.  However the optimum time is in the spring and early summer when the weather is frequently fine and the midges have yet to emerge.

Travel to these islands is also an adventure though there is an airport at Stornoway on Lewis.  Alternatively there are various ferry services with the main ones being from Uig (Skye) to Tarbert and Ullapool to Stornoway.

Previous post:

Next post: