Ardmair Update

People seem to have a love/hate relationship with Ardmair. Many seem to dislike its physical style, complaining about tough grades and gritty, skin-tearing rock. Well come on, just suck it up. Since the last guide over fifty new routes have added, the vast majority being the work of the local crag guardians; Andy and Jeni Cunningham. Most of the new routes have been repeated so there shouldn't be too many sandbags lurking about.

Murdo Jamieson on Galgael

Prawn Walls

This is the small squat buttress encountered first on the approach.

1 Langoustine E1 5c 8m 2009

The crack on the left side of the buttress. A steep start over a roof leads to easier broken ground.

2 King Prawn E2 5c 8m 2009

The wall to the right of Langoustine passing a blocky roof on it’s right.

3 Dublin Bay VS 5a* 8m 2009

The central groove staying left of the bulge.

4 Dublin Bay Right-hand

Hard Severe 5a 8m 2009

Start as for Dublin Bay, but go right of the bulge.

5 Shrimp Severe 4b 6m 2009

A short route up a crack on the right side of the buttress.

Fish Farm Walls

Peace at Last E2 5c* Watch out for a loose block on pitch three.

Cod Wall

20 Years After E3 5c** 25m 2009

In the centre of the lower wall is a shallow groove. Climb this to a weakness in the roof above. Go over the roof, then pass to the left of a hanging fin and continue to the top.

Jammy Dodger E3 5c* 25m 2009

Start just right of 20 Years After and go up to a hanging ramp that leads rightwards to the roof. Go over the roof then follow a thin crack leftwards past a steepening to slabbier ground.

7A Thresher E1 5b* 25m 2010

Between Jammy Dodger and Hammerhead.  Climb middle of buttress right of Jammy Dodger to the big ledge.  Move left and pull rightwards through the bulge onto face and ‘weave straight up’ via least resistance.

Hammerhead is E2 5b* 20m Worth doing despite some crumbly rock at the start.

7B Dunderheid E4 6a * 20m 2014

A spectacular right-hand finish to Hammerhead through the twin cracked roof. Follow Hammerhead until a couple of metres below the roof, traverse hard right, then climb up to the right-hand crack. Move left and reach blindly over the roof to good holds. Further good holds lead to the top.

Laggavoulin Tower

This is the small tower left of Laggavoulin Buttress 

Pure Malt Very Difficult* 8m 2005

This takes the groove and crack in the left tide of the tower.

Cheeky Little Number E1 5b* 10m 2007

Start as for Pure Malt but continue up the front face of the Tower.

10 Real Blend HVS 5b 8m 2005

A line up the right side of the tower.

Laggavoulin Buttress

Bowmore Severe

10A More Bowmore Very Difficult 25m 2010

From the top of Bowmore (either climb Bowmore or walk up the descent path at the top of Laggavoulin Buttress), step left 3m and follow the obvious corner to a small ledge at 7m. Climb the face with good holds and protection for 8m. Pull through heather and rock 5m to a recess (20m). Head to the right and scramble behind a large boulder to reach the top of The Raven on Monster Buttress; pull through heather to reach the top of the crag.

Clyneleish Very Difficult

Laggavoulin Severe

Over the Quota is E1 5b and climbs a right-facing corner rather than a left-facing one.

Monster Buttress

Le Pontiff For the pedants out there, this is spelt with two ‘f’s.

11 Monster Mash E1 5b 30m 2007

The long bulging groove right of Le Pontiff, finishing through a capping roof.

12 Velociraptor E4 5c* 30m 2007

A good route despite some poor rock at the start. Start at a honeycombed pillar at the bottom of The Raven’s fault. Go up the right side of the pillar and over a bulge rightwards into a groove. Head for the rightmost of the three ramps and climb this, joining Shaker Loops near the top.

Murdo Jamieson on Velociraptor

13 Ogre E4 6a*** 30m 2007

Fast becoming a classic. Climb a few moves up Loose End, then move left into a scoop which leads to a good ledge (junction with Les Rosbif). Follow Les Rosbif until able to pull left onto a steep pillar. Go up the pillar via cracks and bulges to the top. A really good long route nicely exposed in its upper reaches.

14 Loose End E3 6a* 30m 2006

Start directly below the short corner into which Shaker Loops traverses left. Climb a crack direct to the corner and finish up Shaker Loops.

15 Shakedown E2/3 5c* 30m 2007

A direct variation on Shaker Loops. It’s bit loose below the break, but the upper section is good.

16 Arc-en-ciel E2 5c** 25m 2007

Follow the narrow green pillar left of Gravity’s Rainbow, joining that route for a short section in the middle.

17 Noble Savage E4 5c** 30m 2007

A bold line on wall right of Gravity’s Rainbow. Start just left of The Brahan Seer and climb up to a ledge at the base of a slabby corner. Go diagonally left up the wall, passing a worrying flake, to gain a ledge. Finish with difficulty by going rightwards up hanging ramps.

The Raingoose is E3 5c*.

17A Tubby’s Tremendous Trundles E2 5b* 35m 2014

Start up the The Raingoose. Where that route pulls over a bulge into a corner, move right to good holds on the arete and climb up to the sloping ledge. Above is a right-slanting groove. Gain a ledge below this and go up a slab rightwards to easier ground  (RPs needed) . Finish up cracks. Belay well back.

18 Absolution E5 6a** 30m 2006

The obvious line between Ignorant Iguana and Big Foot. Start up a groove to a sloping ledge, then follow tough cracks above. Finish up Ignorant Iguana Direct.

19 Little Toe E4 6a* 20m 2004

The left hand finish to Big Foot. From half-way up the upper wall of Big Foot, swing left and go up a strenuous curving crack to gain the left side of the foot shaped block. Finish straight up the crack-line above (Iguana Direct).

20 Soor Plums E5 6a* 20m 2006

The arête right of Summer Isles City. Using a thin crack, climb the wall directly below the arête to gain a ledge. Continue up the technical arête, and then finish up the final crack of Summer Isles City. Slightly eliminate, but good.

Murdo Jamieson on Soor Plums

21 All-Day-Buckfast E4 6b** 20m 2007

The arête right of Breakfast Corner. Climb Breakfast Corner to a large flake, and then traverse right to good holds on arête. Unleash a big move to a pocket, then continue to a ledge. Finish up the pleasant cracked wall above.

21A All-Day Corner Link E1 5b*  20m 2010

Links first half of Breakfast Corner into top half of All-Day-Buckfast via a higher horizontal break than that of ADB.

21B Pissing on Dad’s Project E6 6b**  20m 2011

The hanging podded crack just left of Little Monster. Needs a good supply of small cams. finish up the easier wall above.

Lawrence Hughes on the FA of Pissing on Dad's Project

Dancing Buttress

22 Totem Pole Direct Start E1 5c 8m 2006

The obvious direct start.

Just Add Lib is hard for the grade, perhaps E1.

Arapiles Wall

23 Watchtower Left-hand E4 6a* 20m 2007

A thin flake crack at the left end of the wall leads to a ledge. Pull boldly over the narrow roof above and finish up the left side of the tower.

24 Watchtower Crack E4 6a* 20m 2007

Follow a flake crack above the left side of a hanging shattered block to the ledge, then continue up the right side of the tower.

25 Land Down Under E5 6a* 20m 2007

The thin right trending crack springing from the right end of the shattered block gives bold climbing to the ledge. Aim for the hanging crack above and follow it to the top.

25A Under the Watchtower E4 5c** 30m 2014

A good sustained combination of the previous three routes. Start up Watchtower Left-hand, span right into the flake crack of Watchtower Crack, then trend up and right from

the ledge to finish up the crack of Land Down Under.

Ian Taylor on Under the Watchtower

26 Aussie Rules E4 6a** 20m 2007

Probably the best route on the wall. Starting just left of centre, go over a bulge then up a wide crack to the ledge. Go up, then slightly left before pulling right into steep cracks. The right-hand start, avoiding the wide crack, is slightly harder.

27 Billabong E4 6b* 20m 2006

A boulder problem up the central dog-leg crack leads to the ledge. Step left, then follow a right trending line to finish up steep cracks.

27A Buckle Up (Enjoy the Ride) E6 6b*  20m 2011

Start up Billabong then sidle right along the ledge until above the thin diagonal crack in the lower tier. Tackle the bold line directly above climbing through the bulge via a crack (crux) to ledge.  Finish direct.

28 Operation Brumby E3 6a** 20m 2007

Follow a line up the wall left of Antipodean Cruise to a high ledge. Finish leftwards up a crack.

29 Walkabouts E3 6a* 20m 2007

Climb the crack in the wall left of Biological Warfare to a ledge. Finish up the left side of the arête above.

30 Maralinga E6 6a** 15m 2005

A bold route up the very steep pillar at the right end of Arapiles Wall. Start just right of Biological Warfare at a short crack. Follow a line slightly rightwards to a big flake hold below a dubious thread (ok to lower off!). Go diagonally left past the thread to reach good holds and a big break. Finish by easier climbing up the left arête of the

31 Wizard of Oz E2 5b* 15m 2006

Start at the right side of the Maralinga pillar and go up a groove to a large break. Move left along the break and finish up a narrow corner.

32 Outback VS 4c* 15m 2006

Start right of Wizard of Oz and climb to a holly tree. Move left into slabby left facing corner to finish.

Beast Buttress

Please note the walk off from the ledge is to the right, not the left. Also note that this buttress is now full!

33 Tinsel Town E6 6b** 20m 2005

A route between Market Day and On the Western Skyline. Start just left of the Direct Start to On the Western Skyline at a thin crack. Boulder up the thin crack, then easier climbing leads to the good ledge. On the wall above, just right of Market Day, is a short flake. From the flake bold and insecure moves up and rightwards lead to better holds. Step left and climb directly to easier ground. Head pointed without any side runners in Market Day.

34 Galgael E5 6a* 20m 2007

Start right of the Direct Start to On the Western Skyline and follow a thin crack to a break. Move left and follow the flake of On the Western Skyline to the thread, then step right and climb straight to the top. A bit gritty at the final section.

Neart nan Gaidheal is left of (not right of) Unleash the Beast. It's a great 'first' E5 as it would only get HVS in Yorkshire.

Unleash the Maker E5 6b*** 25m

Linking the start of Beastmaker into the top of Unleash the Beast gives a really good route. Varied and well protected, it's possibly the best on the buttress.

35 Timorous Beastie E6 6b** 25m 2005

Start up Beastmaster. Where that route takes a short diagonal crack into Unleash the Beast, reach up and left to a good hold and make hard moves through a poor break to gain a flake. Finish up and right to gain the top of Unleash the Beast. Head pointed.

36 Mark of the Beast Link E4 6a* 25m 2007

Start up Unleash the Beast, then go straight up the wall on the right (following Beastmaster) to a large break, move left and up a wide crack to finish.

Tess Fryer on Unleash the Beast

Edinburgh Rock

37 Child’s Play HVS 5b 10m 2006

Take a line up the cracked pillar on the left side of the buttress.

Roof Buttress

37A Last Laugh  VS 4c 10m 2010

The next crack to the left of Jammy Dodger, past a small holly to an off-width crack in a corner.

37B Jammy Dodger (Another One!) VS 4c 10m 2010

The jam crack to the left of Offside and the groove above.

38 Offside VS 5b 10m 2007

From just left of A Bit on the Side take a short steep jam crack to a ledge, then finish direct.

Acrimonious Acrobat Very good, but probably not worth ****

39 Sunstroke Cold Start E2 5b* (overall) 8m 2007

Start just left of 99 and go diagonally leftwards up the wall to join Sunstroke.

40 How Soon is Now? E7 6c* 18m 2006

One of Ardmair’s hardest routes taking the fading diagonal crack-line up the wall left of Siesta. Start up the left facing groove of 99 to gain the crack. Follow it easily, then use a hollow flake and side pulls to gain a thin break and crucial protection (Friend 00, hard to place and two RP 1s). From here, hard sustained climbing leads slightly right up the immaculate orange wall to the top. Red pointed with the crucial protection in place.

41 Boneman E4 6a* 10m 2007

This is the short crack in the wall right of Drinks on the Terrace.

42 Relax and Swing, Obtuse Start E1 5c 10m 2007

Starting just left of Skeletons, follow black rock before heading left to gain the start of Relax and Swing.

43 Two Ton Ted Does it Again E5 6b** 20m 2009

The hanging crack left of Skeletons was one of Ardmair’s last great problems. Start up the Obtuse Start to Relax and Swing, then struggle up the very steep crack above.

Ian Taylor on Two Ton Ted Does it Again

44 Maisy E1 5b* 25m 2007

Start up Stone Canyon to the big ledge, then head rightwards to join Kidz on the Block and finish direct through the capping overhangs.

45 Dangerous Dancer Variation E4 6b 25m 2007

Climb Dangerous Dancer until over the initial overhang then move left to another crack-line and follow this to the ledge. Finish up the corner of the original route.

Dangerous Dancer is E3 5c***

Exasperated Escapologist Direct is E4 6a***

45A Exasperated Escapologist (Houdini’s Finish) E4 6a* 25m 2011

Climb Exasperated Escapologist Direct for 6m, then make a hard move right into the right-hand crack. Follow this pulling rightwards onto a juniper ledge. Finish up the fine flake crack and easier ground above.

45B Nerve Damage E7/8 6c*** 25m 2011

Well named - an incredible pitch up the obvious blank seamed headwall between Cruel World and Colour Co-ordinated. Desperate, insecure and intricate climbing above tricky micro-gear would make this a very hard onsight, the upgrade from E7 may be conservative! Climb Cruel World and swing right to the ledge. Tricky moves lead to the nose and gear (strenuous to place), then more hard moves gain a standing position and micro-gear (blind to place). Powerful and technical cruxes above lead left and up to good holds just below the top. Pull over with a lot of relief.

46 Punk Rock  E3 6a* 8m 2007

This is a direct start to Skinhead Violence up a hanging corner just right of the original crack.

47 Blood Sport E3 5c* 12m 2007

Another new start to Skinhead Violence taking a bulging jam crack just left of Let it Bleed.

Let it Bleed is E2 5c

Friends Retrieval climbs a right-facing corner rather than a left-facing one.

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