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Creag A'BhancairArgyll and Bute, SCOTLAND
Climbs 30 – Rocktype Rhyolite – Altitude 450m a.s.l – Faces W
Tunnel Wall is the steep, smooth, rhyolite, red wall within the larger crag of Creag A' Bhanchair. Whilst Bhancair has some excellent trad routes, including the Extreme Rock Highlands classic 'Carnivore' (John Cunningham and Mick Noon, 1958 and a direct finish by Don Whillans in 1962) Tunnel Wall itself is that rarest of things in the UK - a mountain sport climbing crag...and a blooming good one at that!
First bolted by Dave Cuthbertson in the mid 80's Tunnel Wall has never become super popular. The crags location at the head of Glen Coe enures it receives it's fair share of 'West Coast' weather and pick a dampish and still evening in August and you will share the crag with a million midges. However, infact Tunnel Wall is often sheltered from the worst of the weather out on the coast, receives a good deal of afternoon end evening sun and frequently has a breeze to keep the late summer midges away.
Not only that but the climbing is superb - steep (gently overhanging), sustained and fairly fingery with some big pitches, generally requiring a 60m rope. The big 5 sport routes; Uncertain Emotions (7b), The Railway Chilldren (7c),Tribeswoman (7c+), Fated Path (7c+) and Admission (7c+) are all now re-bolted to equiped lower offs. They are all given FOUR or three stars in the new Glen Coe guide.
Two superb new routes, not in the guide, were put up by Dave Macleod in early summer 2005. "The left hand line, The Third Eye (7c) provided a slightly softer option than the line up of 7c+s on this wall. Just to the right, Axiom turned out to be rather more challenging with a hard and devious crux section. Its initial grade of 7c+ was thought to be a little harsh by Dave Birkett who made the second ascent, thinking it was more like 8a." (Dave Macleod).
So there's plenty to go at!
It's worth taking a clip stick as the first bolt on some of the routes is rather high - and above the crux in the case of Tribeswoman!
Climbs at this crag
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.
From Lagangarbh follow the path up into Coire na Tulaich and on the west side scramble up to the crag before the scree slopes.