Climbs 27
Rocktype Mica schist
Altitude 229m a.s.l
Faces W

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Send day. © JLS

Crag features

Sitting up on the western slope of The Steeple (aka Steeple Hill), a huge padlock shape boulder can be seen above the village of Lochgoilhead.  This boulder, others around and the crag behind, offer a pleasant climbing venue, with grand views across Loch Goil. The exposed position will catch the sun and any breeze, offering frequent protection from the summer midge.

Development of the crag started in summer 2022 with some excellent SPORT climbing F4 to F7b+. TOPO diagrams for the crag can be found in the TOPOS section of this page, or at the end of "The Padlock" video also linked on this page under VIDEOS.

Boulders below the main face have some potential for bouldering development. At first glance, these typically oscillate between modest grades and outrageous highballs but gems too must surely exist. Exploring the network of fissures and passages behind the crag, known locally as "The Squeeze", may also be of interest.

As development of the crag continues, closed projects will appear. Please respect these projects and refrain from climbing on them.

As said, midge levels tend to be quite low here but could be troublesome without protection on a still, overcast day. In common with other crags in sheep and deer country, it's best to be on guard against ticks.

The crag doesn't seem to suffer too badly from winter seepage.  The routes on the Padlock Boulder in particular are very quick to dry and the routes under Wee Roof tend to stay dry even in rain, making it a viable all year round rock climbing option. After prolonged wet spells or heavy overnight rain the main crag may need a day to properly dry out but even a just few hours of wind and/or sun will greatly improve conditions.

Approach notes

1.5km with 200m of ascent, 30 minutes.

See approach route diagram in the crag photos.

From Lochgoilhead village car park opposite the post office follow sign posts for the Cowal Way footpath towards Arrochar. A road, then track, past the public toilets and Scouts' outdoor centre, leads up towards the open hill side. 300m from the car park, a forestry road is reached. Cross the forestry road, continue up hill to the left, still on the Cowal Way, for a further 300m with a tree plantation on your left until another good path dog-legs off on the right through rhododendron. Follow this path for 350m. At the first reached bend in the path by a small stream under Scout Crag, break off right, stepping over the stream. The next leg of the route has one or two short boggy sections, and after rain or a heavy dew, long wet grass. Appropraite footwear is to be recommended.  From the stream crossing follow an occasionally vague, gently rising path though the grass and bracken for 300m until thick rhododendron is reached. Bypass the rhododendron by heading steeply up hill for 20m. Once the around the rhododendron the crag will be clearly seen 150m ahead. It’s possible to cut out the long dogleg and reach the stream crossing from the forestry road junction by a steep direct route through the scattered rhododendron but it can’t be recommended.

By popular request, Bowser downgraded from 7c to 7b+ and Awfy Braw downgraded 6a+ to 6a.
JLS - 19/Apr/23
Closed projects, Big Roof and Big Roof Right Arete, now fully bolted as of 4-3-23
JLS - 05/Mar/23
Bolting work on Big Roof routes started. Access lower-off added above the roof. Big Roof Right Arete bolted up the junction with Awfy Braw, providing new 6a+ by finishing up Awfy Braw.
JLS - 30/Jan/23
Four teams at the crag on 28-01-23. Overnight rain however had left the crag pretty wet. With no wind to speak of the crag didn't dry well. Really only low grade The Padlock slab routes were in condition.
JLS - 30/Jan/23
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Climbs at this crag

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