Salisbury Crags (Edinburgh)

Climbs 124 – Rocktype Dolerite – Altitude 125m a.s.l – Faces SW

Crag features
This striking geological feature overlooking central Edinburgh has been popular with local climbers for generations. The quantity of good climbing is not proportional to the quantity of rock, but its convenience makes it a great resource for Edinburgh climbers, with superb views.

The South Quarry offers some good bouldering and short routes, and is often busy on summer evenings. The steep and polished testpieces of the Black Wall are the highlight, but there is plenty more to play on. From an old guide ( 'the moves themselves are the aesthetic objective rather than the lines'.

The routes are usually soloed, as protection and belays are generally lacking. The best lines of descent in the quarry are the Moderates, otherwise walk around the long way. Many unlisted routes and variations have also been climbed.

Expect curiosity from tourists.

Approach notes
Permission to climb is in theory granted by getting a free pass from the Historic Scotland Park Ranger Service, who hide in a wee glass fronted building behind Holyrood Palace. The requirement of the pass isn't heavily enforced, and because most climbers stick to bouldering in the South Quarry, reports of problems are rare.

Lowland Outcrops (2005),
Out of print: Bouldering in Scotland (2008), Lowland Outcrops (1994)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
 Climb nameGrade
1Pic RobbiesonD 5
2The Great Electrocardiogram TraverseVS 5a 1
4Cat Nick AreteD 1
5Cat Nick Arete (winter)V 4 *2
6The Cat NickM 7
7The Cat Nick (winter)III **15
8Cat Nick ButtressVD 1
10Transatlantic TripE3 5c 1
11The Ragged RascalsE3 5c  
12Straight SatanE2 5c 2
13Walking On SunshineE3 6a ***2
14Steeplejack's StaircaseE2 5b *3
15Election SpecialE2 5c  
16Ginger Nymphos LustE2 6a *2
17After the AxeE2 5b/c 2
18The BlackdanceE2 5c **1
19Second OffenceE3 5c  
20Ped XingE1 5b * 
21Walk On ByE2 5a  
23Great ButtressVD **6
25Hewit's GrooveVS 4c  
26Horne's SlabVS 5a 1
27Black CornerHVS 5a * 
28Groove RouteVS 4c  
29Wall RouteS  
30Slab and Wedge RouteVD  
32DoubledeckerS 1
33Doubledecker VariationVD  
34Harrison's ClimbS **2
35Archie's SlabHVS 5a *1
36Wicked LadyVS 4c **15
37Original RouteM 14
38Original Route DirectVS 4c 4
39Athlete's AreteHVS 5a 18
40The Long StrideM *9
41The Long Stride VariationVS 5a *15
42White SlabVD 44
43White Slab Aretef3 **18
44Rotten OverhangHVS 4b 4
45Rotten Overhang Traverse Lowf6A+ 30
46Rotten Overhang Traverse Centralf5 22
47The SplitsS 9
48Splits Eliminatef6A+ 11
49The Lift AreteVD 28
50The LiftM *49
51Initial RouteVS 5b *12
52Structural IntegrityE1 5b **1
53Horrible HookVS 4c 6
54Red SlabD *30
55Hyphen RouteHVS 5a *12
56Black SlabS **25
57Black Slab Eliminatef5+ 21
58Idle GossipE3 5c *12
59Clown Army and the Riot PolisHVS 5a **6
60Spike FrightHVS 5a *12
61A Nightmare of White ApplesE2 5b *2
62Notch ClimbS 6
63Recess ClimbS *18
64Recess Climb VariationVS 4c 4
65Graham's RouteS *16
66Rib and MantelshelfS 12
67Sentry BoxS *13
68Hanging SlabS *17
69Roofer MadnessHVS 5a 1
70Roofer Traversef6A+ 48
71Roofer Right Handf6A+ 19
72Roofer Wallf4 9
73Black ChimneyS *12
75Little Black Wall Traversef6A+ **53
76Sidepull Eliminatef6B *12
77The Flakef4+ 26
78Crimp Eliminatef6A+ 18
79The Juggy Undercutf4+ 19
81The Black Wall Traversef6C+ ***106
82Black Wall Traverse (L-R low start)f7A **9
83Black Wall Traverse (L-R low)f7B **5
84Black Wall Traverse (R-L)f6C+ **20
85Black Wall Traverse (R-L low)f7B **6
86Black Wall, Left Wall Directf6B 15
87Black Wall, Layback Problemf6B *22
88Black Wall, Layback Problem Directf6B *14
89Black Wall, Press Problemf6C+ **4
90The Shieldf6C **12
91Black Wall, 'M' problemf6B *13
92Black Wall, Central Wall Eliminatef6C **6
93Black Wall, Central Highball Problemf6B **17
94Black Wall, Right Wall Problemf6A *27
95Black Wall, Right Wall Problem Eliminatef7A *8
96Black Wall Aretef4+ 38
98Black Chimney ButtressVD *6
99Recess Traversef6A 23
100Slab Eliminatef6A+ 14
101Hanging Nosef4 11
102Eastern Buttress Face RouteVD 2
103Juggy Traversef6A 31
104Non-Juggy Traversef6B+ 16
105Devo Max Traversef7A 1
106The Bulgef6B 13
107Slap Slap Slapf6C+ **1
108Overhang Problemf6A *14
111Toujours Tout DroitVS 4c  
112Tournez en Face a ma GaucheS  
113The SlantD  
114Centre SlabM *6
116The Conflict with TemptationS 3
118Pinnacle FaceVD *7
119Pinnacle CornerVD 4
120Pinnacle Corner VariationS 1
Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Andy Moles

USER FEEDBACKLogin as Existing User to add your comments
I was bouldering here about 30 years ago (A hand traverse on the front face by the quarry). Some small pebbles came past me and I thought it was kids kicking them over from above. I shouted up, but they didn't stop. I went round the corner to work on a different problem. About three minutes later - HUMUNGOUS sound of thunder. When I went to look there was about 50 tons of rock where I had just been. It has all grown over now, but what used to be a hollow is now level. The rocks at Salisbury crags can be a little loose sometimes.....
Tam O'Bam - 28/Mar/15
Easy traverse bouldering around the majority of the quarry and original trad routes are soloable for those with the balls. The highlight is the black wall which provides several excellent polished testpieces.
doug5_10 - 25/Apr/07
Lots of polished traverse bouldering at all grades. Can get a little busy during the summer but there is a good vibe between all climbers. Expect an audience of gawping tourists and neds.
camw - 23/Jun/06
75m of easy bouldering on three elevations 25m of hard bouldering on one elevation Beware Neds from above
220bpm - 04/Jul/03