NH 107978 West facing, Partially Tidal
Just a short hop north of Ullapool, this small quality sandstone crag lies in a lovely setting at the south end of the stony beach at Ardmair bay. It has some good roof problems and is the kingdom of the knee bar, the toe hook, the foot cam and every other trick you can think of. Alternatively just grab the holds and pull as hard as you can. In the winter and after heavy rain it is affected by seepage, but once dry it is little affected by showery weather.
The crag consists of two sea caves on the right and a long undercut wall on the left. The right side is tidal and the beach level can vary from year to year. Because of this some of the sitting starts may need a bit of clearing to unearth the starting footholds, but you’ll have your bucket and spade anyway. Although it is possible to top out, this is unpleasant and most problems finish on good holds or easy ground. Only the main problems are described, there being many eliminates and link-ups.
Approach 10minutes from the road
Drive north out of Ullapool on the A835 and park in a lay-by just before the entrance to Ardmair Point caravan site (NH108984). Walk south along the beach to the crag. Closer but limited parking is available on grass verges above the beach.
From right to left
1 The Gargoyle Problems
Right of the first sea cave are a number of steep juggy problems on the gargoyles.
2 Black Wall Traverse 5
Start on the slab just left of the first cave. Traverse left on breaks and pockets to a high jug on the right wall of the second cave. Pullover to finish. The secret is getting your feet to stick.
3 Cave Problem 6C+
One for the lover of damp caves and slick rock. From a thin vertical crack jump for a high crimp in the right wall of the cave, match this then head off right into daylight.
4 Undercut Crack 6A Sitter
On the left wall of the second cave is a slanting crack. Start with hands in a rectangular niche in the crack and go straight up. Often wet.
5 Stones and Seaweed 6A+ Sitter
Another slow drying problem just to the left. Start undercutting the crack, span left for a shallow pocket, then slap up for a good finishing jug. Harder with a high beach level, so get digging…
6 White Jug 3
Pullover onto the slab using a white jug. Not the best problem here…
7 The Pockets 6A+ Sitter
Start with left hand on a three-finger pocket at the top of a thin, vertical seam. Up slightly rightwards to a shallow pocket, gain better holds above and pull over. This is another problem that varies with the beach level.
8 The Ledge 4 Sitter
Start sitting just left of the undercut nose and finish standing on the ledge.
9 Warm-up Wall 3 The wall left The Ledge has a couple of problems on juggy breaks. The sitting start goes at 6B, starting with a wee nick for the right hand.
10 The Pebbledash Roof 5 Sitter
From a good slot, go straight over the rectangular roof.
11 Pebbledash Right Hand 6C Sitter
From the same start make a big move out right to the lower break and go along this to gain the ledge.
12 A Right Bulger 6A Sitter
Start with left hand undercutting and right hand on an edge under the bulge. Employ some trickery to reach better holds and pull over. A harder version heads rightwards with a crimpy reach for a small pocket 6B.
From a good pocket on the lip. Gain the smiley hold and the crimp to its right, then slap up to a satisfyingly good hold and pullover to finish. 6B+ with a blindfold!
14 Frown 6C Sitter
Starting with the right hand on a crimpy pinch on the lip and left hand on a sharp hold on the underside of the roof, make moves up and rightwards to gain the ‘nose’ feature and an easier finish.
15 Jumping Bristletails 6B Sitter
Sitter From a tiny corner make a weird twisting reach out for a hold below a blocky jug. Gain the blocky jug then finish straight up on more jugs.
Halfway along the undercut section is a square-cut lower section. The next problem starts here.
16 Youzyernee 6A Sitter
From a cramped start, using well-chalked crimps on the left wall of a small corner, span out to the big half-moon jug on the lip and continue upwards on good holds.
17 Watch Your Back 6B Sitter
Starting from a horizontal rail, gain a flake in the middle of the roof, snatch to a fat pinch with the left hand, reach a good hold on the lip and finish straight up.
18 Watch Your Back Right Hand 6B Sitter
From the roof flake press out right, gain the half-moon jug and a variety of finishes.
19 Changing the Locks 6C Sitter
From the rail gain two crimps in the roof then crank hard for the break. Finish up a flake.
20 Boulder Ding 6B+ Sitter
The furthest left problem. Starting from a good undercut, make some excellent moves to gain good holds over the lip. The smooth sloping shelf is out of bounds. Don’t forget to apologise when your feet cut lose and hit your spotter in the chest.
|Watch Your Back 6B|
21 Cup Run 6C+ Sitter
A hybrid problem starting as for Watch Your Back. Make a move left along the rail and get the crimps on Changing… then continue leftwards following a line of holds to a jug. Finish by pulling over the lip on jugs. The ledge on the far left is a no no. A harder version gains the crimps from the roof flake of Watch Your Back.
22 The Grand Traverse 6B
Start with hands on The Ledge. Follow breaks left until past The Pebbledash Roof, drop down until feet are on the lip, then continue left following the lowest line of good holds and flakes above the lip. Finish on a yellow ledge. If successful then skim a few stones and watch the sun go down. Slightly harder from left to right. If you stay high all the way it’s about 5+.
23 The Lower Traverse 6C Sitter
Start at A Right Bulger. Go left, undercutting and using small holds on the lip of the roof, until able to gain the half-moon jug. Continue crimping left along the lower section until better holds lead to a finish on the yellow ledge. A harder version down climbs Watch Your Back, then finishes along Cup Run at 7A+. Award yourself an local's badge for that one.
24 Tricky Lippy 7b+ Sitter
From the pocket of Smiley Problem go left along the lip without using the back wall. Crux is at the start involving small crimps and a cunning sequence with feet.