John : Climbing Instructor and Guidebook Author

Rock Climbing at the Clints of Dromore

Introduction  The Clints of Dromore are a group of rocky outcrops near Gatehouse of Fleet that make a good venue for beginners with many pleasant climbs at V. Diff and Severe. The crags are south facing and quite quick drying. The climbing is on generally very good rock, but there are a few damp patches. Lichen is a problem on one or two routes. The longest routes, such as Spanish Inquisition and Central Buttress are up to 60m long by the time you find a belay.....  Unfortunately a bird ban can place restrictions on climbing in some areas during the springtime (mid-February to end of May). The Clints make a good autumn and winter venue, when they catch any sun going, but summer evenings can be a bit midgy.  

Access  The access is nice and short for Galloway. To get to the Clints drive north up the B796 from Gatehouse of Fleet to the disused Gatehouse of Fleet station. You'll see the view above of the crag as you approach the end of the road. From here a short public road leads rightwards past the SNH Nature Reserve office to the big old railway viaduct where you can park. A ten to fifteen minute walk along the forest road to the west and across a couple of fields then leads to the crags.

There is more climbing fairly nearby on the Knee of Cairnsmore and Spout of the Clints, see our new Cairnsmore of Fleet  page.

 Descents  Descent routes are mostly obvious, but can involve quite exposed traverse on steep grass and heather. Generally speaking, if in doubt, climb higher first!.

Dangers  Some of the routes here are very poorly protected and in general protection can be a bit fiddly to find, lots of small to medium cams are recommended.

Guidebook  A small selection of the better routes that I know personally are shown in the following diagrams, for full details of all the routes climbed to date here you will need the SMC "Lowland Outcrops" guidebook, 2004 edition.

Climbing at the Clints of Dromore, Kirkcudbrightshire


The first good route you get to at the east (right hand) end of the crags, is White Slab - a mitre shaped slab high up on the hill. It's worth the walk, probably the best easy route here is the ** Diff,  White Slab, 35m. This climbs the slab near the right hand edge - great rock, good runners in general and easy climbing, the small amount of moss and lichen really don't matter.

Across the broad grassy gully to the west (left as you look at the crag) is the Black Streaker Slab. It is partly hidden from below by a wee rise. There are four easy but quite bold routes on the Black Streaker slab itself and two new shorter, steeper and better protected routes on the rib up to the left. Descend on the right after traversing about 100m first. The direct start to Black Streaker, starting up the slab just left of the black streak is also very nice, about HS. The best belays are at least 15m higher up the hillside from the top of the 30m crag.

Black Streaker Slab, Clints of Dromore, Galloway

A short way further west is the largest area, the Central Slabs. Routes here are up to 50m long and are sometimes best split into two pitches. Descend to the left from the left hand buttress (make a 50m traverse first) or by going well over to the right from Spare Rib (exposed grass and heather!). Belays can be hard to find, 60m ropes are recommended.

Central Slabs, Clints of Dromore

A really nice combination is to climb Spare Rib, descend a short way down the gully on the left then climb the clean and much more pleasant upper section of Spanish Inquisition (still VS 4b).

Climbing at the Clints of Dromore, Galloway.

Climbing at the Clints of Dromore, Galloway, May 2019.

.Quite a long way further west is the small crag of the Black and White Walls, giving shorter more sustained routes. There are several harder routes here as well, all described in the SMC guidebook, but I haven't climbed them!

the small crag of the Black and White Walls, giving shorter more sustained routes.