Creag an Fhithich – Ruby Wall and Russet Wall

It’s not all just seacliffs in Sutherland, and with temperatures creeping back up to the high twenties we went in search of shade on one of the “roadside crags” a few miles south. This dome shaped hill has an impressively steep wall of fine red granite on it NW facing flank, looking over Loch Inchard.

Russet Wall on the right is home to half a dozen good HVS/E1s and we did Horseshit (it isn’t!), Apple Pie, and Dragonfly – all very good (though you need to wear blinkers to separate the moves on the latter two).

Moving back left, you come to the even steeper and higher end of the crag: Ruby Wall. We did the eponymous route which is well worth its 3* and is good value for E3 5c. Exhilarating moves off the ground through the big pockets in the swirly rock lead to easier ground up to a niche capped by a roof. Wild bridging and laybacks land you in another niche from which a thuggy traverse gains a heathery top-out. Happily, there’s a situ lower off here which avoids a lot more heather bashing, and you arrive back on the ground a remarkably long way out from the rock!

We finished off with Gaff, a lone HVS at the left end of the crag, which takes a striking diagonal crack – well worth checking out.

The sun had come round by now and it was unbearably hot (northern Scotland hotter than Rome was the headline on Google’s news feed). Time for a dip at the truly splendid Oldshoremore beach before dripping dry on a baking hot natural granite sun-lounger. Fab!

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