/ Good intermediate sport crag in Central Scotland
Hi there, we are just getting into sport climbing (for now) and looking for good venues.
We've done Bennybeg three times now and while it's great to start on we're kind of past that stage.
Tried Dunglas but there's only one 6a and it's all a bit overhanging and hard (and wet!!).
So looking for the next step up from Bennybeg?
Needs to have a good range of grades as we're not all at the same stage.
Looking like North Berwick Law might be on the list??
Anything else in the West worth considering?
Trying to stick to sport for now as we don't have the gear/knowledge to progress yet.
Callander Crags are conglomerate! My most hated rock.
I don't think I've seen anyone mention Kirrie Hill? It's a nice enough place with a good range of grades. Some routes are a bit sandy and some of the easier stuff is a bit worn but there's plenty to go at.
Ley is good but my abiding memory is that it's a bit reachy and very fingery - a bit like North Berwick Law in that respect. They're similar in that they're chipped quarry stone, albeit NBL is dolerite and Ley is sandstone. I haven't been there this year but suspect with how wet the summer's been the tyrolean may be quite close to the water!
Weem's nice climbing and once the leaves are gone from the trees can dry reasonably quickly, albeit it can seep if there's been a period of heavy rain (the overhanging stuff that avoids this happening starts at 7a).
Rock Dust is high on a hill above Pitlochry and is south facing. Some bits on the lower crag sound a bit hollow but it's nice climbing and again, dries quickly which can be a requirement at this time of year.
Kirrie Hill or Robs Reed might be the best choices, although there are some seasonal restrictions at Robs Reed.
Lower Lednock or Rock Dust might also be options, but Lower Lednock is quite serious for the grades, as its very ledgy.
Ley is OK but be aware that most of the easier grade routes at the entrance to the quarry have single bolt lower offs. The lower offs on the pool wall were fine, but the routes were quite dirty so take a brush if you go.
If you are willing to travel then Moy Rock is probably the best sports crag in Scotland at intermediate grades.
N B Law is a very nice place, though hard grades after Benny Beg! Dunbar has 4 small routes but worth visiting once, not at high tide. Blantyre Towers is a unique oddity. Long long routes that will knacker you but get you strong!
Obe or two routes in Ratho Quarry to suit you, and maybe another 2-3 across the canal there in CraigPark Quarry.
Kirriemuir seems a long way from Central but once there you get LOTS done. Sheltered too!
good luck! 7a+ book is quite handy for these.
Hey thanks everyone - this is a great list to work through. Really appreciate the info!
North Berwick Law is a useful venue: sometimes dry when everything further west is wet, quick drying but also quite sheltered.
Some notes on the easier routes:
Left Hand Route: short and very crimpy. Getting onto the starting ledge is an awkward faff.
Law and Disorder: reachy and very strenuous!
Darkness Falling: first bolt is missing and a tricky move to reach the second - needs a clip stick (or some microwires)!
Crossing the Line and Breaking the Law: makey-uppy diagonal lines with little independent climbing
Old Lawbreaker: tricky clip at the crux - if you are not cruising 6b it's a good idea to pre-place a longish draw here (easily done when lowering off Wild Iris) or get your mate to lead it first! Feels a bit run out.
Wild Iris: very high first bolt - fairly easy climbing below this, but take care (or a cam).
Yurma: nice enough but no way 3 stars!
Rapp Hell: the best warm-up
Solitary Soul: eliminate rules for the grade - don't use the big spike. Crimpy.
Anarchic Law: also eliminate rules - don't use the arete. Keeps changing grade as bits fall off - 6a+ seemed about earlier this year.
Thanks Mark - that's very useful beta.
Thanks Elsier - we often go on holiday up near Inverness so will definitely check out Moy Rock next time.
Thanks Eric - we did go to one of the smaller outcrops at Weem and enjoyed that, so we'll definitely go back there.
For 6b - Kirriemuir
For 6c - Blantyre Towers
For 7a - North Berwick Law
Emma Twyford has become the first British woman to climb 9a with a redpoint of The Big Bang at Lower Pen Trwyn, North Wales. Emma's ascent is only the third of this route, first climbed in 1996 by Neil Carson.