Altitude 100m a.s.l
Shear Fear © andymoin
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 traditional routes from HVS upwards, it can be in condition throughout the year and deserves to regain it's popularity. Sport climbing routes have also been developed in recent years and are proving to be a welcome intermediate step for those moving from the indoor arena.
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 E4 6a **, Wally 2 E4 5c **, and Pettifar's Wall E4 6a **, This Sceptic Heil E5 6b *** and the What Lies Beneath** E7 6c duo.
Sport climbers are well catered for as with routes like The Corrieman F6b+ ** and Kamikaze F6c+ **, King Silly F7a+ ** and Buzooka 7b+** spread out on various faces around the quarry.
***Take note that there has been some rock fall in recent years (with only a few obscure routes affected) and there are areas of unconsolidated rock around the quarry. Even on established routes caution is advised as there may be friable sections of rock. Wearing a helmet is recommend, even for sport climbers and their belayers.***
***Access to the quarry is not affected by opening times of EICA***
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. If using the EICA car park, make sure your car is out before the car park is locked.
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!)