Altitude 100m a.s.l
Berny on the crux © Samuel Wainwright
Set above the glistening waters of North Third Reservoir, this extensive outcrop of dolerite certainly boasts one of the best outlooks of any of the crags around Stirling. The crag is of the same rock type as the nearby Cambusbarron quarries, however being a natural outcrop, the rock is a lot more weathered providing some really superb traditional jamming crack lines with very little in the way of face holds.
What's the catch?
Well there's a bit of a walk-in, limited access from below (Birds and Bees buttress only) and a distinct lack of decent natural protection above the crag to build anchors for abseiling in and belays. There are some chockstones, spikes and threads but they are tricky to access safely and all the trees close to the crag edge are too small or too sketchy to use. The bigger trees of the forest are a long way back (25m?) and across a busy mountain bike/walking path.
Not ideal - you REALLY have to want to climb here to make the effort and with Cambusbarron just down the road, it's tempting not to bother..
Would really benefit from some belay stakes.
There is also a lot of loose rock to contend with (especially on the top outs) along with a fair amount of vegetation in the cracks.
The crag dries relatively quickly and receives plently afternoon sunshine. In the winter the crack lines have a tendancy to seep and may become a bit green and unwelcoming. It can also be midgey on a still, damp day.
Must do's include Jezebel and Flying Dragon.
There is almost certainly scope for new routes at this crag.
There is also an entire separate buttress to the north of the dam that appears to be untouched.
The easiest approach is from the North Third Reservoir Road.
Park at the wider layby at NS 75846 90512 and walk SE back down the road for 200m till you get to the private road heading SE towards the dam.
Enter through the gate and follow the track past the houses and the buildings all the way to the base of the dam. (Ignore the first wee bridge on the left).
At the base of the dam cross the small bridge on the left and climb the slope onto the dam itself. Continue East and follow the track into the forest and under the fence. This continues round to the base of the slope leading up to the Birds and Bees butress (with the distinctive bulbous 'nose' rock formation). Scramble up the slope.
For the other butress to the south, there's no easy way through the trees, so better to keep following the path past the Birds and Bees butress till it splits and goes uphill to the south. Take the south fork up the hill and along the top of the escapment. Head south past the Birds and Bees butress to the next open section and you will be above the other climbs. An abseil can then be made into whichever area required...assuming you can find something to abseil off - easier said than done!
There is no access to the parking just in the gate of the private road to the Dam.
Best to park safely on the main road, but don't block the entrance to the Offroad driving school - they don't like it.
|Visited this today to scope some of the starred routes. Access very tough through the bracken and trees though if you loop over the top onto the good footpath and find a descent path it would be easier but trickier to find the areas.
Faulty Tower area was VERY overgrown. In particular, Syblline Slab which could do with a properly good clean.
Red Tower was similar but marginally better, awkward to find but VERY impressive when you do. Again, both the good lines of Flying Dragon and Jezebel could do with a clean to rid them of lichen, loose rock and the horrible solidified mud that you get on Dolerite.
Overall, this places needs A LOT more traffic but with this and Cambusbarron being the closest crags to Stirling there's little chance people will choose this over the other. A real shame cause it's stunning when you get up there!|
Gabe Oliver - 09/Jun/13
|Does anyone know the name of the buttress which has Faulty Tower on it?|
CyberTaff - 04/Mar/12
|Had a look at this on sat. Red Tower looks good (solid clean rock) but most of the rest was covered in lichen. Needs more traffic for sure.|
CyberTaff - 21/Nov/11
|Probably THE best jamming between Yorkshire Grit and Staffin / Ardmair!|
Fiend - 12/Apr/10