The Ossuary Block

Ossuary: noun  a container or room in which the bones of dead people are placed.

The Ossuary Block AKA Carragh Dearg is the obvious towering crag just south of the popular bouldering area known as Reiff-in-the-Woods. it is just above the east end of Loch Bad a' Ghaill and about 2km west of Stac Pollaidh (NC 091 093). It's not as far from the road as it looks and takes less than 10 minutes. Zig-zag down some steep slopes and go across rough ground. This esoteric crag has a mysterious feel about it, strange animal bones lurk in the back of horizontal breaks and there's a sensation of being watched. I wouldn't go there on Halloween. Although it's a shady place the excellent rough rock dries quickly.

1 The Beast’s Lair 6m Font 6B+**

At the left end of the terrace is a strange slot cave wherein lives the beast. Easy to the top of the flake, then hug your way up the hanging blunt arête to finish on good holds.

Ian Taylor psyching up for The Beast's Lair

2 Vipe-out 8m Font 7A***

Right again is a dirty corner. This highball quests up the wall right of the corner to an easier layback finish. Perhaps E5 6b in old money.

3 Find Meat on Bones 10m E7/8 6c***

Is it a route? Is it a highball boulder problem? Iain Small's under-the-radar line works it's complex way up the challenge of the middle of the wall. Start off the stonemason’s wall on the right. It's named after a Dylan Thomas Poem if you want to know.

4 Under Reiff Wood  10m E6 6b**

Another Iain Small dark horse ascent. Takes the central arete between the highball wall and Ossuary. Start from right end of the upper ledge and step out to gain a big block in a large break. Strenuously arrange small wires in the hanging corner on right side of the arete then pull out via a flake onto the left face before gaining small holds on the arete that allow you to swing over the corner and battle up the right side to slopey holds and a foot ledge. Bold moves above this in a great position lead to the platform top.

5 Ossuary 15m  E5 6a**

This, the original route takes the obvious crack in the front face. Climb up to a ledge on the left, then shuffle right along the break until able to make a long reach for the next break (Camelot 4 handy). Continue straight up, pull onto the wall above and finish up shallow cracks.

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