John Biggar.com : Climbing Instructor and Guidebook Author

Rock Climbing in Galloway Index page

Choosing a Crag in Galloway

This page gives some ideas for choosing a rock climbing venue in Dumfries and Galloway.

Click on the links in the table below to get through to a page about each climbing area, with more information and route topos. Now with a new "Time to Dry" table.

We also have a large index page detailing the more important Galloway Climbing areas. Another index page details the Minor Crags of Galloway, those that are smaller, less good, less popular and our Minor Winter Venues page does the same for those little winter crags.



This is not a definitive and/or exhaustive table.   Just because a crag is not listed below doesn't mean it might not be good or bad. So all the crags can be midgy and adventurous in the worst conditions, or if you choose the wrong day or the wrong route...and you can picnic or barbecue anywhere you like if you really want to.!

THE BEST

OK

THE WORST

Evening Crags and Socialising

Clifton Thirlstane, Meikle Ross (certain areas), Corwar (can be bad midges), Garheugh, Portobello Dungeon of Buchan, Tauchers,

Short Walk

Thirlstane, Clifton, The Lookout, Garheugh, Craigdews, Meikle Ross, Crammag, Portobello, Craigencallie, Laggantalluch, Clints of Dromore, Corwar, Lions Heid Craignaw, Craiglee, Dungeon of Buchan, Cairnsmore of Fleet, Tauchers

Midgy Conditions

Any sea cliff such as:- Meikle Ross, Laggantalluch, Garheugh, Crammag, Portobello Clifton (especially daytime) Corwar, Tauchers, Craigencallie, Loch Grannoch, Craigdews

Adventurous

Dungeon of Buchan, Clints of the Spout,  Craignaw Slabs,  Laggantalluch, Meikle Ross, Burrow Head, (very!), Mull of Galloway (very!) Crammag, Craigencallie, Snibe Hill, Craignaw Thirlstane (except the Cave Route), Garheugh

Solid Rock & Clean Routes

Craignaw, Craiglee, Corwar, Crammag (most areas), Clifton, Laggantalluch Dungeon of Buchan, Craighoar, Snibe Hill, Meikle Ross (though some areas are OK), Burrow Head, Monreith, Portobello
 

THE BEST

OK

THE WORST

Reliable Gear Placements

Clifton Snibe Hill, Laggantalluch, Crammag, Meikle Ross, Dungeon of Buchan, Thirlstane,  Craignaw Slabs,   Clints of Dromore, Clints of the SpoutLions Heid,

Good Easy Grade Routes

Clints of Dromore, Crammag (Lighthouse Walls), Snibe Hill, Clifton , Loch Grannoch, Dungeon of Buchan, Craigdews, Kiln o the Fuffock, Larbrax

Beginners

Clifton (but hard grades), Crammag (Lighthouse Walls only), Clints of Dromore (selected routes) Thirlstane (good but very limited), Loch Grannoch Portobello  (Primrose Slab only), The Lookout, (small and a bit loose), Most of the sea cliffs.

Bouldering

  Thirlstane, Garheugh, Clifton, Craignaw, Monreith, Snibe Hill, Cat Craig Most of the sea cliffs.

Barbecues & Picnics

The Lookout, Thirlstane, Portobello, Crammag (Lighthouse Walls),    

Good for Damp or Showery Conditions

Clifton, Thirlstane, Crammag Meikle Ross, The Lookout, Garheugh, Portobello Tauchers, Craigencallie, The Fleshmarket, Cairnsmore of Fleet,

Quick Drying

Clifton, Thirlstane, Crammag Meikle Ross, The Lookout, Garheugh, PortobelloLaggantalluch, Craignaw, Snibe Hill, Tauchers, Craigencallie, The Fleshmarket, Dungeon of BuchanCairnsmore of Fleet,  Craignaw Slabs,

Winter Sun & Warmth

Craigdews, Clifton, Clints of Dromore Snibe Hill, Crammag (some areas), Portobello  
 

THE BEST

OK

THE WORST

 

Time to Dry

The table below gives the approximate time needed for the "majority of good routes" on a crag to dry after several days of rain. Most crags will dry a lot quicker after just a brief shower, of course, and the table is only approximate because some routes at some crags may take much longer to dry. This is based on my opinions and experience, but should at least give a relatively reliable "graded list" of drying speeds!


  OUTCROPS SEACLIFFS MOUNTAIN CRAGS
Dry within hours Clifton (some areas) Crammag & Meikle Ross (some areas)  
Dry next day Clifton, Thirlstane, The Lookout Crammag, Meikle Ross Clints of Dromore
Dry after one full rain free day Lions Heid, Craighoar Laggantalluch, Portobello, Mull of Galloway Craignaw - Memorial Crag, Loch Grannoch
3 to 4 days to dry Corwar   Dungeon Hill, Criagdews, Craigencallie
One week or more     Craignaw Slabs, Fleshmarket, Tauchers


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