At UKC we are all climbers and we understand the strong urge to be outdoors as the weather is finally improving. Please proceed with caution though.
Altitude 200m a.s.l
Andy Nisbet on Dogg'Ed © John Mackenzie
This pleasant crag gets a lot of sun and dries quickly. Climbing is possible all year around.
Routes mostly < 30 m with abseil descents.
Must Do: Sea of Tranquility HVS and Proteus HVS both of a slabby nature. Most routes on the main wall to the route are excellent.
For a pumpfest go for Strategic Arms Limitation E4 which gently leans 1 in 4 with good gear if you can hang around long enough.
A thorough clean of the popular routes is being completed and the bracken cut from the approach path and below the crag, now much more pleasant in summer. No worse ticks than elsewhere in Strathconon! Put DEET around ankles, middle and wrist and they wont be so interested any more! The NH vol2 guide has the finishes of Wild Mint and Walk on By transposed; Wild Mint is VS 4b not Severe and takes the rt side of the wedge then finishes up the obvious corner above the bush. Walk on By, though not such a good route is VS 4c and goes up the left side of the wedge then traverses right and up to finish. There are lower-offs/abs from the tree above Phobos/Deimos and from the 'trig point' up and left of Sea of Tranquillity, directly above The Juggler. As of the 1st July there is now a sling/krab on the tree above Proteus (to the left of the big Birch tree above Phobos/Deimos) for an ab/lower off, please leave. Note - be aware that some of the 'fixed' equipment comes and goes or is old (March 2014).
Top Crag has several good strenuous and well protected crack climbs very different in style from the Main Crag and worth a bit of a clean to keep in good condition. It is best reached by keeping to the right of the Main Crag on the approach or by moving from the top of the Main Crag rightwards an eventually downwards. There is also a Middle Crag with two scruffy routes of V.Diff and Severe withg potential for more if cleaned. On the far right is Right Crag (good name!) with a 25m E2 5b on it.
To help keep the cracks free of heather and grass could folk 'broddle' any out whilst climbing? This would save a huge amount of work on the 'stitch in time' principle. Thank you. There are too few sunny south-facing crags and its worth keeping this one in good nick.
2015 saw the addition of 8 lines to the left end of the Main Crag either side of 'Small Wall Thins'. There are now two metal belay stakes at the crest plus a large boulder so top-ropibg is possible. This is a good very quick drying section of the crag on impeccable grippy rock, mostly well protected. To reach it a rock step (The Hilary Step) is scrambled up/slid down to a flat platform with a large rowan tree. Easy access to the crest is on the left where a rock ledge is traversed right to reach the belays. The routes in the Guide book are logically described from right to left but on this site start with Small Wall on the extreme left of the Main Crag.
Big thanks to whoever cleaned the bottom of the crag! (11/08/17.)
Jan 2020: New absail rope and mallion now in place above Proteus. The top of the crag is beinging to return to nature, take a wire brush and sense of adventure. Not as quick drying as it could be with all the moss and lichen.
From Contin take the single track road past Loch Achilty and after a few miles and just past the power station the road splits where it crosses the river. Take the right branch to a parking spot by the gate. This is open 8am to 5pm weekdays but often locked at weekends. Either drive or walk the half-mile to a parking spot, cross the dam and follow the new road to where it bends left then cut up the hillside by the trees - faint path - which is to the right of the crag then to traverse leftwards underneath it; 15 minutes or so from the dam.
Jan 2020 approach notes: from the parking at the dam, go through the gate and follow the really good 4x4 track up the hill until a second gate where you can jump over a fence and head easily up to the crag which is obvious above.
|Good crag but do take a brush!|
Andy Moles - 27/May/18
|Small Wall at the left end of the Main Crag now has several more routes, all described in the climbs section. It has been thoroughly cleaned and has two metal belay stakes plus a large boulder and is suitable for warm-up climbs or top-roping. It catches any midge defying breeze and dries almost instantaneously.|
John Mackenzie - 05/Jul/15
|Sling/ Krab gone from tree above Phobos - 23 September 2012.|
Niceboy - 24/Sep/12
|Due to vandalism / theft, the gate may be found locked at weekends (should be open 8am - 5pm weekdays), but this will only add 5-10 mins to the walk in.|
Jimmy56 - 24/May/10
|Best avoided in Tick season but decent, grippy rock and short walk in make it a useful stop off.|
richardr - 19/Oct/08
Moderators Updates to this page are checked by a UKC volunteer John Mackenzie