Ok this one is for the climbers and the non-climbers. As one of the keenest rock climbers and new routers you will come across, you'd expect me to be surprised that more people don't take up climbing. But it really does! Now that summer is here and a LOT of tourists join me and lots of other year-round visitors to the highlands, I'm always wondering what all these people do to keep themselves occupied. Sure you could level the accusation that a 'pro' climber would struggle to understand the concept of just chilling out and letting the time pass in tranquil surroundings. I suppose that what holidays are for. Dont get me wrong, I know you only have to take a peek on Visit Scotland or suchlike to see that there is plenty going on in the glens these days, but I find (on the rare occasions I take a rest day and go into tourist mode myself) that most of these require money and sometimes defeat the actual point of driving northwards for hours; to escape crowds. Climbing is a 'basic' activity that doesn't need much in the way of special equipment or knowledge (for bouldering, scrambling, and sport climbing at least), but is high on interest and excitement. It has the crucial component of taking you into some adventurous and quiet places (to find the cliffs) that you wouldn't otherwise think of going to, with more unique experiences than you could fit in a lifetime. Walking and following flora and fauna of the outdoors are really the only other activities that can match climbing in this respect. But I'm sure anyone can understand why walking and wildlife trails might not be for everyone. You can experience all that they can offer on a climbing venture, but also the excitement of climbing something of any shape or size that suits your abilities and disposition. You can have long and scary, short and safe, hard and athletic, remote and wild - whatever. Look at the picture above. It's a nice view. But through a climber's eyes it's a thousand corries full of big cliffs, little cliffs, classic routes, unclimbed routes boulders and above all interest. So why don't more people do it? I guess we aren't shouting about it, we are too busy doing it most of the time.
PS if you dont climb but want to see how easy it is to seek out and climbs a lot of nice climbs in the wildplaces around you, have a look through Stone Country