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Local climber showcases Moray crag in short film

By Lorna Thompson

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A LOCAL man has made a film to highlight the beauty and climbing potential of coastal Moray's rocky outcrops.

Climber Shane Younie (38), who works at Glenrothes Distillery, reached new personal heights when lockdown prevented him from venturing far and his sights turned to conquering a tricky local crag.

His short film made with the help of friends charts his rediscovery of a local sea cliff, the unforgiving Prow at Cummingston, where he tackles his toughest ever challenge.

Although The Prow is just 12 metres high and took Shane only a few minutes to climb two weekends ago – the overhang involves very demanding manoeuvres at around eight metres off the ground with only spiky rocks below to break a fall.

There are extremely limited opportunities to place climbing gear securely in the sandstone rock, so Shane mustered up all his concentration to take it on solo.

The film shows Shane, in the zone, tackling the precarious overhang to the sound of the waves lapping at the rocks below.

Shane said: "The film is about me getting back into climbing, rediscovering the local crag due to lockdown travel restrictions and pushing myself to climb harder.

"It also shows off a beautiful spot we have on the Moray coast, Cummingston, and really promotes it as a climbing venue."

The whisky warehouse worker caught the climbing bug eight years ago as a natural progression from hillwalking.

Shane Younie navigates The Prow overhang at Cummingston.
Shane Younie navigates The Prow overhang at Cummingston.

He said his years in the building trade, climbing up scaffolding, helped give him a head for heights.

His interest deepened to an "obsession" after joining the local mountaineering club.

Shane said much of his attraction to climbing was down to overcoming self-doubt. He said: "For me climbing is an all-encompassing sport that tests everything about you.

"When doing a hard climb, there is nothing else."

Climbing The Prow, Shane said he was "in the flow".

He added: "We set up a top rope and tried the moves. I thought we'll just film it to see if I could refine the sequence of moves.

"Once I'd watched it back I thought it's such an amazing looking line and really aesthetically pleasing, so I thought it was be good to put a bit of effort into filming.

"I have absolutely no film-making or editing experience. I got in touch with a guy I know who has a drone and roped in a couple of other friends who had half-decent cameras."

In the 10-minute film Shane says: "I think we're pretty lucky to have this as our local crag.

"I've been there so many times it's easy to take it for granted.

"Even if you're not a climber it's a nice place to be. You get some cracking sunsets, you quite often see dolphins and we even saw the Northern Lights from there as well."

The film closes with a shot of the sun coming down on the shore at Cummingston.

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