The Reiff Climbing Festival blew us away!

Last weekend saw the third annual Reiff Climbing Festival, and what a festival it was! Organised and run by Hamlet Mountaineering, three days of events powered through the start of Hurricane Ophelia to great success

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The Festival

Reiff Climbing Festival has been running since 2015. Originally the Lochinver Climbing Festival and first organised by the North West Highlands Geopark, this festival has always been organised by climbers for climbers, and this year was no exception. Local legend Tim Hamlet of Hamlet Mountaineering took the helm of organising this year's weekend of fun and no matter how hard Ophelia tried she could not stop the fun.

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What was on?

Reiff 6This year was packed with activities aimed at getting new climbers out on the rock and offering classes for climbers wanting to learn more.

There were classes for everybody! Top roping sessions were on offer every afternoon for those 'Top rope tough guys' wanting to get out and try some classic Scottish sea-cliff climbing. Personal guided sessions from Tim offered the chance to learn from a mountaineering instructor and try something new. Climbing workshops personally tailored gave the chance to learn more about rope work and safety skills, and improve on those vital parts of outdoor climbing.

This year the festival teamed up with the Coigach Half-Marathon, for those hard-core individuals who hoped for the strongest tail winds ever! Massive congrats to all who ran, you're all braver than me!

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Saturday night was covered by a well-deserved proper Scottish ceilidh, hosted in the Coigach Community Hall and featuring world record holding accordionist Ruairidh Mclean. Man, do the highlanders know how to throw a ceilidh!

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The fun

Most who attended came to climb on one of the best sea crags in Scotland. Reiff is huge, with over 20 different areas and over 300 routes, any grade, steepness or style and accessible no matter what the tide's doing. This is one of the best crags in Scotland for everyone from beginners up to the mega experienced.

From Friday to Sunday people were out and despite Hurricane Ophelia building and making parts of the crag inaccessible this didn't stop the super keen bunch of climbers from pulling some shapes on the sandstone.

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The festival was awesome, and with around 100 people taking part in the range of activities and classes over the weekend, it was a massive, windy success. I'd like to say it went down a storm, but...

Massive thank-you to Hamlet Mountaineering for organising everything, and to all the climbers, clubs and instructors who made it such a good weekend.

Photo credits: Tim Hamlet and Sarah-Louise Main

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