Please refrain from climbing outside

Due to the ongoing spread of Covid-19, please abstain from climbing outside.

At UKC we are all climbers and we understand the strong urge to be outdoors as the weather is finally improving, but we feel this is no longer socially acceptable. You can read our statement here.

We have suspended the UKC Logbooks Top Ascents and Conditions pages and we will no longer accept ascents dated from 23rd March onwards. You can still upload your historic ascents.

UKClimbing Team

Climbs 73
Rocktype Dolerite
Altitude 100m a.s.l
Faces all

View Stats

Shear Fear © andymoin

Crag features

6th May 2016:

MAJOR ROCKFALL Had a look today. Beanpud and Rock-a-boogie are still there. I think it's Mon that's gone.

Note 15th April 2019:

MAJOR ROCKFALL has taken place, according to centre staff in the last few days, on the East Wall in what I believe is the area of Rock-a-boogie/Beanpud. Having never climbed on this particular part of the crag and with the new difficulty in identifying routes given that major features have disappeared, I’m not sure exactly which routes are affected, but a chunk the size of a car has come off the rockface and rubble is strewn at the edge of the archery area. Perhaps someone more familiar with the crag can have a look and work out which routes are gone at some point so the database can be updated? In the meantime, stay safe and I’d keep a distance from that bit of the crag and most definitely avoid climbing near the fallen area.



A very fine dolerite quarry that surrounds the EICA Ratho climbing wall - almost as good as the indoor wall and often considerably warmer!! With recent plant clearance and revitalised trad routes from HVS upwards, it can be in condition throughout the year and deserves to regain it's popularity.

Central Belt classics like Wally 1 E2 5c ***, Gruel Brittania E3 6a *** and Shear Fear E2 5c ** are complimented by both other fine trad routes such as Welcome To The Cruise E1 5b **, Pete's Wall E1 5b **, Rebel Without Claws E2 5c **, Strongarm E3 6a **, Wally 2 E4 5c **, and Pettifar's Wall E4 6a **, and new sport routes like The Corrieman F6b+ ** and Kamikaze F6c+ **

Approach notes

Access by car:
Leave the M8 at Junction 2 and follow the signs.

Access by bus/train:
The Lothain Buses 20 service goes to Ratho village from either the Gyle centre (12, 22 from city centre) or edinburgh park station (12, tram, train) where a pleasant 10/15 minute walk along the canal gets you to the centre.

Alternatively the First Group 27/x27 service stops at Wilkieston from where the centre is a brisk 15 minutes along a fairly busy road.

Approach via building:
Either head through the building and out into the quarry through the external doors just before the wall turnstile, or head around the outside as detailed below. Note that if you wish to use the wall facilities you must return to reception, pay and collect an access card and wristband.

Approach via outside:
1. Head northwards (towards the M8) from the carpark, traverse the quarry edge clockwise to reach the fire escape. Open the gate then use to access the quarry floor. (UPDATE - gate and fence covered in anti-climb paint, but latch can be easily opened with a nut-key)

2. Head towards the centre main entrance from the carpark, but take a right-turn via an access track. Follow this down, then back up until you reach the east (right) side of the centre, where a set of external stairs allows you to access the quarry floor - the area below has a wooden fence across it but a hidden gate on the left side gives access - this is difficult to see from the quarry side (useful to know if you're in the quarry after the centre has shut!)

First time at Ratho - it's a weird experience to be alone in a quiet quarry right next to the giant indoor climbing arena! We just managed to get one Sport climb in (Peashooter?) plus some practice gear placements before the rain came on and we retired indoors to the plastic stuff. Definitely recommended for intermediate sport climbers, especially if there's a questionmark around the weather!
drconline - 15/Oct/19
Cut back top out of sedge warbler today, still bits loose but no thorns/nettles/gorse at edge to distract now. . .
seanhendo123 - 10/Oct/14
Access line cleared and in situ rope placed to make accessing the ledge that Grapes/plums of ratho and diverticulitis straightforward
JamieSparkes - 10/Jul/14
Top out of quick pull is terrible, definately worth cleaning before attempting . . . found this out to mates cost
seanhendo123 - 13/Jan/14
Now updated in accordance with recent development and recent tree/rock clearance.
Fiend - 16/Dec/13
Ratho bus number has changed from the Lothain Buses X48 to the Lothain Buses x12 and 12.
Denpov - 16/Mar/13
I did a toprope to try the climb at the line of bolt studs between Strongarm and Wally 3. The large flake that is used for the high runner does not look like the most secure peice of rock I have seen. Be careful using this large flake folks.
Denpov - 16/Mar/13
Still great climbing, but the topouts need debushed to allow traversing to the descent route/s (we abseiled from the post above shear fear (look through the post first!) If not, your only option is to jump the fence and walk round, though this is damaging the fence behind the popular climbs! You would have thought a climbing centre would have better access...
jonnie3430 - 08/Jun/12
Just a general note that the spike jug on Shear Fear just after you pull onto the first difficult section (used to take a good wire) is now dangerously loose, making the first section slightly harder to climb and protect. Probably needs glueing or removing really.
hexcentric - 06/May/12
Can be easily accessed through the centre, via a pretty reasonable coffee. WARNING: The "small ledge" on Ane Ledge E3 5c * is dangerously detached and starting coming away from the wall when I was pulling on it. It seems solid to stand on ONLY. Needs bolting on or pulling off. Good route otherwise.
Fiend - 10/Mar/11
BEWARE - the Ratho car park shuts just after ten pm. They lock a gate over the exit!!! Once they do that there is no escape. We found the best thing to do was to phone the police who found called a local keyholder to let us out ...
mhowie - 02/Jun/10
Third sunday in a row up here, great quality climbing that needs more traffic. Chopped down the brambles and gorse around Beanpud, Rock-a-Boogie and Rebel Without Claws and cleaned pete's wall. Will try and sort more in future visits.
andymoin - 24/Feb/08
May'04 - Ratho quarry is open for climbing! Access is free via the Adventure Centre but you need to sign-in. Extra care should be taken since many of the routes are dirty with loose rock. Guide book descriptions & grades may also be unreliable. The top of the crag is very unstable in places.
Mark Lydon - 27/May/04
Access to this quarry will be exceedingly difficult until September 2003 due to the completed roof of the NRCC of Scotland. Of course from September it isn't going to be easy either if you don't want to part with some money. I would suggest to anyone who has not heard about the NRCC to visit <a href=""></a>. It does look rather impressive.
Tony - 21/Aug/03
Login as Existing User to add your comments

Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Now inside EICA (kept for historical records)
2 Once upon a flake crack HVS 5a 2
3 Doomed Oasis E3 5c 9
4 Godzilla E2 5c * 19
5 Spiny Norman S 1
6 Scotty Arete S * 6
7 Sahara
E3 6a 1
  West Wall
9 Alan's Groove HVS 5a 7
10 Monkey Puzzler S 87
11 Chalk and Cheese E2 5a * 16
12 Jungle Rock VS 18
13 The Plums of Ratho 7b * 15
14 The Grapes of Ratho 6b+ ** 115
15 Diverticulitis E3 6a ** 16
16 Alopecia E5 6a * 7
17 Welcome to the Cruise E2 5c ** 115
18 Ane Ledge E3 5c * 34
19 Shoskred HVS 5a * 405
20 Between Contracts HVS 5a * 55
21 Cracking Up HVS 5a * 259
22 Quick Pull HVS 5a 32
23 Coniglio Morti E2 5c 2
24 (Slow Strain - without bolts) E3 6a * 17
25 Slow Strain 6b 328
26 Buzooka 7b+ ** 56
Climb name Grade
27 Pettifer's Wall E4 6a ** 40
28 (Pettifar's Wall - via bolts) 6c 15
29 Kamikaze 6c+ ** 176
30 John McCain 6b * 112
31 Panzer 6a+ * 109
  Black Wall
33 Sedge Warbler E2 5b ** 102
34 Peashooter 5a ** 171
35 Time's Last Gift HVS 5b * 53
36 Up the Creek
E1 5b 29
37 Pete's Wall E2 5c ** 62
38 Artho E4 6b * 17
  East Wall
40 Ouroborus Eliminate E3 5c * 38
41 Ouroborus HVS 5b * 279
42 Impure Allure 6b+ ** 237
43 Shear Fear E2 5c *** 261
44 (Strongarm - pre-rockfall) E3 6a ** 31
45 Strongarm E4 6a ** 2
46 What Lies Beneath E8 6c ** 2
47 (Wally 3 - pre-rockfall) E4 6a ** 17
48 Wally 3 E5 6a * 5
49 The Corrieman 6c ** 175
50 Wally 2 E4 5c ** 28
51 (Wally 2 - via bolts) 6c 14
52 Wounded Knee 7a+ * 24
Climb name Grade
53 Cornered
E1 5c 8
54 So it Goes E2 5c 6
55 Fledge VS 5a 27
56 5000 Christmas Trees E2 5c * 4
57 Business as usual E3 6a 4
58 Danger no Entry
VS 4c 6
59 Fairy Feat VS 4c 1
60 Mon VS 4c 6
61 Pull the Other One E1 5c 2
62 Beanpud E1 5b ** 81
63 Election Sickness VS 4c  
64 Rock-a-Boogie VS 4c ** 138
65 Rebel Without Claws E2 5c ** 69
66 Bolts near Oroborous Eliminate 7b 19
  East bay
68 This Septic Heil E5 6b *** 16
69 Gruel Brittania E3 6a *** 37
70 Jumping Jack Splat E3 6a 4
71 The Lone Groover E3 6a * 2
72 Wally 1 E2 5c *** 88
73 Blue Rinse E1 5c ** 87
74 Jagged Edge V0+ 5a 2
75 Cobweb Crack V1 4c 1
76 What a Wally! V1 5a 1
77 The Edge of Darkness VB 4b 1

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Fiend