John Biggar.com : Climbing Instructor and Guidebook Author

Rock Climbing in Galloway Index page

Major Crags in Galloway

Go Climbing  Information about the services I can provide as a Mountaineering Instructor.

This is an index page to the main crags of Dumfries and Galloway, all but one of which are actually in Galloway itself. Both rock and winter climbing are covered. There are links to further information pages for each crag containing photos, descriptions and route topos.

There is now also a Minor Crags page with brief details of some of the smaller, poorer or less popular summer venues and a Minor Winter Crags venue that does the same with snow on it. I also have a specific page detailing  New Routes in Galloway that I have been involved with, mainly since the publication of the definitive 2004 SMC guidebook. Also for those interested in skiing check out the Skiing in Galloway page.

Trouble choosing the perfect crag?? See the Galloway Crag Chooser page for tips about the best and worst venues for all kinds of climbing. From serious adventures to mellow barbecues and picnics, the quickest and slowest drying crags, the best venues for an evening trip and the worst venues for midgies and loose rock. There is also now a map at the bottom of this page.

 For details of what the stars, season,  grades, etc., mean see the bottom of the page or click here.  Also scroll down to read the notes and see the map of where the crags are.

 Name, Photo & Link Star Rating Season No. of Routes at Grades Notes
Cairnsmore of Fleet

** JFMAMJJASOND 6, 5, 1 Remote and rambling but with some very good quality rock.
Clifton

Rock climbing routes at Clifton Crag, Kirkcudbrightshire 

*****  JFMAMJJASOND 12, 21, 11, 3 Easy access, classic routes and generally good protection make this the best evening venue in Galloway, 10m-20m long routes
Clints of Dromore

*** JFMAMJJASOND 13, 7, 4 A pleasant south facing crag with lots of long easy routes. It can be warm enough to climb here on sunny days throughout the winter. Routes to 60m.
 Corwar

Corwar Crag near Newton Stewart

***  JFMAMJJASOND  2, 4, 5, 1 A good afternoon venue in spring and autumn, but often midgy on summer evenings. Routes to 30m.
 Craigdews

**  JFMAMJJASOND  7, 10, 1 Covered in goats and goat inspired route names - both equally bad.!  A few routes are up to 100m  long.
 Name, Photo & Link Star Rating Season Routes Notes
 Craigencallie

Rock climbs at Craigencallie

**  JFMAMJJASOND 5, 9, 4, 4 Can be damp and often midgy. Best in the mornings. Routes up to 50m long.
 Craighoar

*  JFMAMJJASOND 1, 4, 1 A nice wee venue in a remote setting, with a sunny outlook and excellent 10m routes.
 Craiglee

Criaglee, the wee but brilliant sound clint.

***  JFMAMJJASOND  1, 7, 2 A very small and remote venue, but the rock is perfect and it has an idyllic grassy base. 10m-15m high.
 Craignaw - Memorial Crag

****  JFMAMJJASOND  4, 4, 6, 1 Very remote, but short (15m) and steep with excellent rock. Entirely birds-nest free and mostly midge-free.
Craignaw - The Slabs

*** JFMAMJJASOND 4, 1, Entertaining slabs giving long routes with strange grades on impeccable but unprotectable granite. Easily combined with Dungeon Hill.
Craignaw - Snibe Hill

Snibe Hill, Kirkcudbrightshire

*** JFMAMJJASOND  8, 11, 3, 1 Very remote and mostly short routes, but south facing with excellent rock. Routes to 50m long.
 Craignaw - Ice

Ice climbing routes on Craignaw

****  JFMAMJJASOND  Grades II-IV Relies on a good 3-4 day winter freeze, but no snow is necessary, routes to 250m long. Usually best in January and February.
 Name, Photo & Link Star Rating Season Routes Notes
 Crammag Head

Climbing at Crammag Head

****  JFMAMJJASOND  16, 20, 8, 2 Some excellent friendly wee areas and some bigger, scarier granite sea-cliffs near the Mull of Galloway. Routes are mostly single-pitch, some are only 10m.
 Dungeon Hill

Dungeon Hill rock climbing routes

****  JFMAMJJASOND  7, 15, 10, 3 A remote but excellent big cliff with lots of great rock. Mostly midge free, especially on windy afternoons. The biggest routes are 150m long, but there are lots of shorter routes too.
Fleshmarket -Rock

 (Craig an Eilte)

***  JFMAMJJASOND 7, 11, 2, 1 Some areas are very slow to dry, but the outlook from this large south facing crag is very scenic. Routes to 60m.
 Fleshmarket - Ice

**  JFMAMJJASOND  Grades II-IV Relies on a good 6-8 day winter freeze, no snow is necessary, routes to 80m long.
Fish Kettle

& Kiln o' the Fuffock

Climbing at the Fish Kettle

* JFMAMJJASOND 1,8, 4, 7 Two nice areas a short walk south of Portobello. Short 10m-20m routes, with abseil approaches only.
 Garheugh

Bouldering at Garheugh Point near Port William

** JFMAMJJASOND 3, 10, 4, 4 A fairly limited climbing area, but an all year round bouldering venue (weather permitting of course..!)
 Name, Photo & Link Star Rating Season Routes Notes
 Laggantalluch

Rock Climbing at Laggantalluch

***  JFMAMJJASOND 14, 12, 15, 5 Big granite cliffs to 50m, on the west coast of the Rhinns, some high quality lines.
Larbrax

Killantringan Lighthouse from Larbrax Beach, Wigtownshire

** JFMAMJJASOND 1,1, 5, 3 Lots of hard routes on steep 20m greywacke slabs in a lovely location.
 Loch Grannoch

Loch Grannoch Slabs, Cairnsmore of Fleet

**  JFMAMJJASOND 10, 4, 2 Lots of wee slabs and walls up to 20m high on these mountain outcrops.
 The Lookout

Family climbing venue on the Solway coast near Dumfries

* JFMAMJJASOND  3, 2 A very small climbing area near Sandyhills, but a pleasant spot for picnics and barbecues.
 Meikle Ross

Climbing at Meikle Ross, sea cliffs near Kirkcudbright

***  JFMAMJJASOND  28, 38, 14, 3 Huge sea-cliffs with a great atmosphere. Soe very good routes but also some dubious rock in places and lots of lichen. Routes from 10m-60m long.
 Name, Photo & Link Star Rating Season Routes Notes
 Merrick Icefalls

 Merrick Icefalls

****  JFMAMJJASOND  Grades I-VI Big 200m icefalls that rely only on a good 4-6 day freeze. Snow is not really necessary for many of the routes. Usually best in March.
Money Head

Money Head 

***  JFMAMJJASOND 5, 4, 2 Small but high quality sea cliff in a remote and scenic location. Some of the best greywacke rock in Galloway. Routes to 20m.
 Mull of Galloway

Puffins Galloway

**  JFMAMJJASOND 13, 14, 5, 1 Big atmospheric sea cliffs in an exposed and scenic location.
 Point of the Cleugh

Point of the Cleugh

**  JFMAMJJASOND 3, 2 A nice wee 15m high granite slab just north of Crammag Head.
 Portobello

Portobello near Stranraer 

***  JFMAMJJASOND 14, 15, 10, 5 A small scenic area on the west coast of the Rhinns. A big variety of short routes, with a nice beach and grassy picnic area on site.
 Rhinns of Kells Ice

Ice climbing in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

***  JFMAMJJASOND  Grades II-IV Winter routes at the southern end of  the Rhinns of Kells. Many are best with some snow.
The Thirlstane

The thrilstane at Powillimont, bouldering venue in southern Scotland

**  JFMAMJJASOND  4,3, 1, 1 An excellent family picnic venue and bouldering spot on the beach near Dumfries. 10m high.
 Minor Crags Brief details of the smaller, less good and less popular summer rock climbing areas.
 Minor Winter Venues Brief details of the smaller, less good and less popular winter areas.
Galloway Crag Chooser

Trouble choosing the perfect crag?? See our Galloway Crag Chooser page for tips about the best venues for serious adventures or mellow barbecues and picnics, and the best venues for an evening trip and worst venues for midgies and loose rock.

  Star Rating A crag star rating out of five is given. Stars (or part stars) are awarded in an approximate way for the following:-
1. quality of rock/ice, 
2. quality of climbing,
3.
accessibility,
4. likelihood of good conditions (weather/midges/weeping),
5. setting and scenery.
  Season Green = optimum season and/or conditions.  
Grey = neutral, not optimal but climbing will be possible in good weather. 
Orange = bird nuisance or ban in some areas, or poor climbing conditions very likely.
Red = climbing not possible or bird ban.
  Routes The approximate number of average, good or excellent routes at these grades is given. Green VD, S, Blue VS, HVS, Red E1, E2, Black E3, E4 or harder Generally speaking poor routes are not mentioned on this website..!! This same colour coding system is used in the photo-topos deeper into this website.
 Note I have only given information on this website on routes I have climbed personally, or have detailed personal knowledge of (e.g. from belaying someone). There is a lot more climbing in Galloway, particularly at the higher grades. The last definitive guide to be published was the SMC Lowland Outcrops guidebook, 2004 edition, now out of print. There is some variation between the grades quoted in the guidebook and on this website - these reflect my abilities (slabs) and prejudices (I don't like jamming!).....

Pictured Below :- Giant tussock grass in Galloway, Winter 2006. Known locally as "Dougals" (...think of that wee dog in the Magic Roundabout...). These ones were on the way across the Silver Flowe towards Craignaw  and were the deepest yet!

Giant tussock grass in Galloway, known locally as "Dougals", Winter 2006

Go Climbing  Information about the services I can provide as a Mountaineering Instructor.

FURTHER PAGES ON THIS WEBSITE

Minor crags page with brief details of some of the smaller, poorer or less popular summer rock-climbing venues.

 Minor Winter Crags  does the same with snow on it.

New Routes in Galloway  First ascents that I have been involved with, mainly since the publication of the definitive 2004 SMC guidebook.

Skiing in Galloway  For those interested in skiing (often mainly on grass!) check out this page.

 

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