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

the crag in the city © jamestheyip

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 (http://scottishclimbs.com/wiki/Salisbury_Crags): '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.

Guidebooks

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
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
1 Pic Robbieson D 6
2 The Great Electrocardiogram Traverse VS 5a 1
  the cat nick
4 Cat Nick Arete
-
D 2
5 Cat Nick Arete (winter)
-
V 4 * 2
6 The Cat Nick
-
M 11
7 The Cat Nick (winter) III ** 15
8 Cat Nick Buttress
-
VD 1
  great quarry
10 Transatlantic Trip
-
E3 5c 1
11 The Ragged Rascals
-
E3 5c  
12 Straight Satan
-
E2 5c 2
13 Walking On Sunshine E3 6a *** 2
14 Steeplejack's Staircase E2 5b * 3
15 Election Special
-
E2 5c  
16 Ginger Nymphos Lust
-
E2 6a * 2
17 After the Axe
-
E2 5b/c 2
18 The Blackdance
-
E2 5c ** 1
19 Second Offence
-
E3 5c  
20 Ped Xing
-
E1 5b *  
21 Walk On By
-
E2 5a  
  great buttress
23 Great Buttress
-
VD ** 6
  western buttress
25 Hewit's Groove
-
VS 4c  
26 Horne's Slab
-
VS 5a 1
27 Black Corner
-
HVS 5a *  
28 Groove Route
-
VS 4c  
29 Wall Route
-
S  
30 Slab and Wedge Route
-
VD  
  south quarry
32 Doubledecker
-
S 1
33 Doubledecker Variation
-
VD  
34 Harrison's Climb
-
S ** 2
35 Archie's Slab
-
HVS 5a * 1
36 Wicked Lady
-
VS 4c ** 15
37 Original Route
-
M 15
38 Original Route Direct VS 4c 4
39 Athlete's Arete HVS 5a 19
40 The Long Stride
-
M * 9
41 The Long Stride Variation VS 5a * 17
42 White Slab VD 48
43 White Slab Arete f3 ** 19
44 Rotten Overhang
-
HVS 4b 4
45 Rotten Overhang Traverse Low f6A+ 36
46 Rotten Overhang Traverse Central f5 26
47 The Splits
-
S 9
48 Splits Eliminate f6A+ 12
49 The Lift Arete
-
VD 33
50 The Lift
-
M * 60
51 Initial Route
-
VS 5b * 14
52 Structural Integrity E1 5b ** 3
53 Horrible Hook
-
VS 4c 7
54 Red Slab
-
D * 35
55 Hyphen Route HVS 5a * 14
56 Black Slab
-
S ** 34
57 Black Slab Eliminate f5+ 25
58 Idle Gossip E3 5c * 14
59 Clown Army and the Riot Polis HVS 5a ** 9
60 Spike Fright
-
HVS 5a * 15
61 A Nightmare of White Apples E2 5b * 2
62 Notch Climb
-
S 7
63 Recess Climb
-
S * 20
64 Recess Climb Variation
-
VS 4c 4
65 Graham's Route
-
S * 19
66 Rib and Mantelshelf
-
S 14
67 Sentry Box
-
S * 14
68 Hanging Slab
-
S * 18
69 Roofer Madness
-
HVS 5a 1
70 Roofer Traverse f6A+ 59
71 Roofer Right Hand f6A+ 22
72 Roofer Wall f4 9
73 Black Chimney
-
S * 16
  The Little Black Wall
75 Little Black Wall Traverse f6A+ ** 67
76 Sidepull Eliminate f6B * 12
77 The Flake f4+ 28
78 Crimp Eliminate f6A+ 19
79 The Juggy Undercut f4+ 19
  the black wall
81 The Black Wall Traverse f6C+ *** 117
82 Black Wall Traverse (L-R low start) f7A ** 11
83 Black Wall Traverse (L-R low) f7B ** 6
84 Black Wall Traverse (R-L) f6C+ ** 23
85 Black Wall Traverse (R-L low) f7B ** 7
86 Black Wall, Left Wall Direct f6B 17
87 Black Wall, Layback Problem f6B * 25
88 Black Wall, Layback Problem Direct f6B * 15
89 Black Wall, Press Problem f6C+ ** 5
90 The Shield f6C ** 14
91 Black Wall, 'M' problem f6B * 14
92 Black Wall, Central Wall Eliminate f6C ** 6
93 Black Wall, Central Highball Problem f6B ** 18
94 Black Wall, Right Wall Problem f6A * 28
95 Black Wall, Right Wall Problem Eliminate f7A * 8
96 Black Wall Arete f4+ 42
  eastern buttress
98 Black Chimney Buttress
-
VD * 6
99 Recess Traverse f6A 25
100 Slab Eliminate f6A+ 14
101 Hanging Nose f4 11
102 Eastern Buttress Face Route
-
VD 2
103 Juggy Traverse f6A 33
104 Non-Juggy Traverse f6B+ 16
105 Devo Max Traverse f7A 1
106 The Bulge f6B 13
107 Slap Slap Slap f6C+ ** 1
108 Overhang Problem f6A * 14
  middle quarry
110 Butterfly
-
S  
111 Toujours Tout Droit
-
VS 4c  
112 Tournez en Face a ma Gauche
-
S  
113 The Slant
-
D  
114 Centre Slab
-
M * 7
  pinnacle quarry
116 The Conflict with Temptation
-
S 3
117 Falseface
-
S  
118 Pinnacle Face
-
VD * 7
119 Pinnacle Corner
-
VD 4
120 Pinnacle Corner Variation
-
S 1

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