Stevie is back. He arrived in Malta yesterday afternoon and within half an hour was checking out the famous Blue Grotto arch on abseil. This time round, Stevie is here on a mission – to develop quality routes in Malta and Gozo for the benefit of local and visiting climbers. This is admirable as anyone who knows what hard work it is to set up a new sports route in terms of exploring a crag, checking out the line, cleaning it, deciding on bolt location, drilling, gluing and then leading the route, can appreciate.
In Stevie’s opinion, the underside of the Blue Grotto arch can offer a “King line” that can put Malta on the global climbing map due to its spectacular position and natural beauty. This was somewhat confirmed by Johnny Dawes last year when we soloed down and round to the base of the arch to look at possible lines. Johnny was however interested in setting up a trad line, which is more in keeping with his style of climbing. Climbers in Malta have looked at that arch for years, now, someones going to do more than look and imagine the possibilities.
Stevie will soon be joined in Malta by climbing coach Mark McGowan from Reach Climbing Coach – a climbing coaching organisation which works closely with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland in training the Scottish national climbing teams as well as talented Scottish youths.
Stevie aims to put up about 30 quality lines in both Malta and Gozo – full details will be published here in future for all to discover and enjoy. Watch this space!