Climbs 117
Rocktype Schist
Altitude 202m a.s.l
Faces SW

Iain Howie on the crux of Twilight. © MightyStew

Crag features

Craig a Barns and Polney Crag offer some accessible one and two-pitch routes covering all grades, in a weather oasis that seems to stay dry even when the rest of Scotland is wet! However, tree cover can make Polney slow to dry and the rock is slippery when damp so care is required after rain.

The outlook is pleasing, making this a popular venue. There are some bolted routes located at the W end of Polney. Dedicated sport climbers should also head to Cave Crag (listed separately).

Safety note: The top of the crag has a fair amount of loose, steep ground and a slip can have (and has had) unfortunate consequences. A popular descent route is to ab down Hairy Gully - provided, of course, that the route is not being climbed. Slings and a maillon will generally be found in place round the most convenient tree at the top of the gully. In winter pine needles can cover many of the holds and ledges on the easier routes.

Note for logbooks: According to the SMC guidebook the Craig a Barns "area" covers three crags: Polney Crag, Lover's Leap and Cave Crags. Cave Crag (sp) is listed separately in the database so I've put the routes on Upper Cave Crag, Lower Cave Crag and Even Lower Cave Crag under that name. Lover's Leap only has a few routes and access is from the same point as Cave Crags, so I've included the Lover's Leap routes under Cave Crag.

Approach notes

Park at the side of road on the old A9 just outside of Dunkeld, past the old curling pond on the right. Polney Crag is five minutes uphill from here. (The road has now re-opened, so it is advisable to take a little care when crossing the road and manoeuvring in and out of parking spots as the bend in the road below the crag is fairly blind.)

Found a craghopper pullover fleece on the way up to the crag yesterday. Any one know the owner?
Paul Roberts - 29/Aug/15
The Groove (VS 5a) - a candidate for Scotland's best one-pitch VS! Brilliant climb.
nickinscottishmountains - 26/Aug/03
Very fingery, very nice view over Dunkeld.
er - 26/Aug/03
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Myopics Buttress
2 Myopic's Corner HVS 5a * 18
3 Direct Finish to Myopic's Corner E2 5c *  
4 Unknown 7a 17
5 The Chopping Block
-
7b ** 130
6 Shimmy 7c * 5
7 Shimmy Sham 8a * 3
8 The Vibes
-
7c ** 22
9 Vibes Right hand finish 7c 1
10 Vibe Heads 7b+ *** 16
11 Bad Vibes 7c+ ** 10
12 Granola Head
-
7c * 35
13 Nameless? 6c+ 2
14 The Stumbling Block 7c+ *** 10
15 Granola Extension-Closed Project * summit 1
16 Cock Block * 7c+ *** 1
  Ivy Buttress
18 The Bashful Groove E2 5b 1
19 Psoriasis E3 6a ** 22
20 Sideline E6 6b * 6
21 Sideline Direct (The Sharp End) E6 7a * 3
22 Stolen Ivy E7 6c *  
23 Hot Tips E5 6c ** 13
24 Cold Tips
-
E5 6c *  
25 For Your Own Pleasure E4 6a  
26 Ivy Crack VS * 407
27 Poison Ivy (Without Arete Start) VS 5a * 145
28 Poison Ivy VS 5a ** 33
29 Poison Arete E3 5c 6
30 Consolation Corner VD * 312
  Upper Buttress
32 Left-Hand Edge HVS 4c 8
33 Left-Hand Crack E2 5c ** 93
34 Right-Hand Crack VS 5a * 46
35 Mottled Rib VD * 35
36 Hogg's Hindquarters VD ** 215
37 The Trap HVS 5b * 20
  Main Cliff, Left Section
39 Anon D * 122
40 Kestrel Crack S ** 758
41 Kestrel Crack Variation Finish I HVS * 40
42 Kestrel Crack Variation Finish II
-
VS 5a 48
43 Katie Morag's First Steps VS 4b * 97
44 Twisted Rib VD ** 342
45 Monopod E2 * 8
46 Beech Wall HS ** 585
47 Piker's Progress
-
VS 5a * 69
48 Piker's Variation
-
HVS 5a 8
49 Piker's Progress Direct
-
HVS 5a * 192
50 The Way Through
-
E2 5b ** 147
51 The Porker
-
E3 5b 5
52 The Groove VS 5a *** 672
53 The Rut
-
VS 5a ** 503
54 Wriggle
-
VS 5a ** 294
55 Twilight
-
E2 5c * 165
56 Wriggle Direct HVS 5a 29
57 Scram '79
-
E4 5c * 6
58 Holly Tree Groove VD ** 681
59 Blast Off HVS 5b * 1
60 Recess Route VD 202
61 The Creep S * 128
62 Dynamo
-
VS 5a * 99
63 Nicotine Rush
-
E2 5b * 12
64 Turbo
-
E2 5c * 2
65 The Excuse
-
E2 6a * 10
66 Cuticle Creek MVS 58
67 Cuticle Crack S ** 968
68 Airy Arete
-
VS 4c 63
69 The Crescent
-
VD * 39
70 Hairy Gully M 66
  Main Cliff, Right Section
72 Bollard Buttress MS 212
73 Bollard Buttress Direct HS * 244
74 Springboard HVS 5a ** 172
75 Springboard Direct Variation E3 5c ** 26
76 Live Wire E5 6a * 7
77 Jumble
-
D 6
78 Helter Skelter HVS 5a * 10
79 The Chute VS 5a * 140
80 Space Scuttle E1 5b * 27
81 Pop
-
HVS 4c * 13
82 The End VS 5a, 4c ** 575
83 Barefoot/Beginning E2 5c ** 91
84 Terminal Buttress HS * 230
85 Crash Test Dummies
-
E3 5c 34
86 The Duel Variation
-
E4 6a ** 7
87 The Mound of Venus
-
E2 5c 7
88 Carpet Beater
-
HVS 5a * 44
89 Eschebaum
-
VD 14
90 Spirochaete
-
VS 4b * 114
91 Gitanes
-
VS 4c 2
92 Girdle Traverse VS 4c 6
93 "S" Crack S 8
94 Un-named S 3
95 Twisted Rib (Direct Finish) VS 4c * 2
96 Closed project * summit  
97 Bollard Buttress VD *  
  Routes Added from Rockfax Book
99 Bollard Buttress Direct S *  
  Main Cliff - Left
101 Jumble D  
102 The Chute VS 5a *  
103 Pop HVS 5a *  
104 The End VS ***  
105 Barefoot Beginning E2 **  
106 Terminal Buttress HS **  
107 Crash Test Dummies E3 5c *  
108 The Duel E4 6a *  
109 Springboard VS 4c **  
110 Piker's Progress Direct HVS 5a *  
111 The Way Through E2 5b **  
112 The Porker E3 5b  
113 The Groove VS 5a ***  
114 The Rut VS 5a ***  
115 Wriggle VS 5a **  
116 Twilight E1 5b **  
117 Scram '79 E4 5c *  
118 Recess Route VD *  
119 The Creep HS *  
120 Dynamo VS 5a *  
121 Nicotine Rush E2 5b *  
122 The Excuse E2 6a *  
123 Cuticle Creek VS 4c *  
124 Cuticle Crack S 4a **  
  Main Cliff - Right
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Martin McKenna - UKC