Advice for first time visitors

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Martin Kocsis
    Post count: 3
    #13265 |


    At the start of May around 8 of us will be arriving on Shetland to spend 3 weeks climbing and exploring. I know the weather’s not that great right now but the tickets are booked!

    A few quick questions for anyone who can help:

    I’ll be in need of a dog sitter/kennel for occasional days throughout the three weeks. Does anyone have any suggestions. He’s a (very sociable) husky, if that’s important information.
    What’s mobile coverage like, and which operators are good/useless on the islands?
    We’re in vans, so any suggestions for good spots around the island would be welcome. I don’t want to go round upsetting crofters.
    Suggestions for days off things to do would be great.

    That’s it for now,

    Post count: 123
    #13280 |

    Hi Martin
    Premier Kennels in the central mainland may be worth a shout – 01595 840421.
    Mobile coverage? You are kidding? Even voice is poor to non-existant in many places. (view as voice, and you will see an optimistic map) If you are right at the top of a hill, or out at sea, not bad at all…
    General point – Shetland is right in the middle of lambing just now, so avoid unnesessary disturbance as there is a large group of you, especially when crossing moorland, as lambs are often left alone for long periods of time in a sheltered spot, and if disturbed may not find itself back to the ewe, and will die.
    Give us a shout when you get here and you could meet up with other local club members.

    Martin Kocsis
    Post count: 3
    #13281 |

    Hi Kevin,
    I just tried Premier Kennels but that number isn’t recognised. I’ll phone Tourist Information and see if they can help.
    The mobile thing isn’t a massive issue really, just a few people are arriving later in the month so it would be useful to be able to communicate and meet up when they land. It’ll be OK.

    Message recieved about the lambing. It’s the same down here in the Peak District but I take your point. We’re not going mob handed to crags – some will be biking, or walking or just chilling out. We know how to be dicrete.

    Al mentioned the AGM and some post meeting whiskey so we will perhaps meet up with the club then. If I can find an internet cafe (any suggestions?) then I can post our whereabouts on this forum once we’re settled in and more familiar with what’s going on.

    I’m on 07950 88 96 70 if you want to drop me a line and then I have your number.
    Thanks again,

    Post count: 81
    #13282 |

    Me and a Friend are also up for a couple weeks in may 4th-16th, busy month for Shetland it seems!

    Martin Kocsis
    Post count: 3
    #13283 |

    Great. I’m sure we’ll bump into you at some point, but feel free to use my number to see where we are.

    Post count: 165
    #13342 |


    Having made regular trips to Shetland over the past decade and lived there for a year, my advice is that you need to be flexible, think about where the weather is coming from and not be disheartened if it is rubbish in the morning as it will most likely be lovely somewhere else or later on the same day.

    In all of the trips (except November) I have climbed on at least four days out of five and possibly more. What is great about the crags that we’ve discovered is that there are plenty of options to tuck yourself out of the wind and the swell. You may wake up in Eshaness and find it wet and clagged out, but will find warm, dry rock on the east coast of Bressay. Likewise Lerwick and the south may be clagged out for days whilst it is gloriously sunny day up at Eshaness.

    Early May is early in the season especially with the last few months having been wet and stormy so some of the crags in the guide may well be suffering from seepage. These crags are great when dry but unclimbable in the winter and early season. So you will probably find Fogla Taing, Longi Wall, Black Wall at Muckle Hell, Fethaland and possibly West Wall at Ness of Sound out of condition. At Eshaness Lighthouse the two four star routes are west facing and damp until late May with Third Stone from the Sun requiring a few weeks of dry weather to allow seepage to dry out at the top.

    If you have had a sizeable swell coming in from the west most of the Northmavine crags will be wet, but you can usually find something and they don’t take too long to dry out with a breeze.

    Fairly reliable sandstone crags for changeable but not wet weather are Muckle Hell and Mirki on Bressay and East Wall at Blovid, some random granite crags on Muckle Roe if it hasn’t had a soaking and has been breezy enough to dry the crags (The Sea Walls at the Walls of Troll were first climbed in November in between two storm fronts!). Fortunately the wall around Tingon will have plenty to offer if there isn’t a large swell there and there has been a breeze to dry the walls off. As should the Faither.

    I’m sure you find plenty to play with. The Bard was climbed in late March straight off the overnight ferry from Aberdeen, so anything is possible. Also worth a visit purely for the location for wild camping from the van is Skaw Point up on Unst. The climbing at Crickies Chair is good. Fethaland is also beautiful, but rather lacking in climbing venues except for one small wall.

    For accommodation the Bod at Voe is great and central and a cheap and worthwhile option to have a break from camping/sleeping in the van.

    Cheers, Ross

    Martin Kocsis
    Post count: 3
    #13345 |

    Hi Ross,
    That’s an extremely helpful reply so thank you. We’re on Shetland as we speak and loading up on coffee in a cosy cafe. We met some friends of yours from Orkney on the boat last night who spotted our ragged fleeces and sleeping bags and put 2 and 2 together. Christine and her husband. They were excited to see the guide and pictures of people they knew looking heroic on the cliffs.
    Thanks again, and we’ll post our progress over the next few weeks.

    Chris Tan
    Post count: 1
    #13509 |

    Many thanks for the grand hospitality and booking the weather for us. We all had a great time and in 3 short weeks, managed to tick ( in no particular order)

    Ronas Hill
    The Faither
    Otters Head
    South Gill
    Grind of the Navir
    Eshaness Lighthouse
    Ness of Sound
    Fogla Taing
    Vaakel Crags
    Muckle Hell
    Mikki Wall

    As well as chips at Frankies, music at The lounge! Unfortunately, we did managed to miss out on a hen do, the Posers and some Wheel place šŸ˜‰

    Thanks again, c

    Post count: 142
    #13511 |

    It was a pleasure to meet you all! Nice list…
    I don’t think you’ve missed out so much on Posers and Da Wheel… :p

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