Ardmair Crags

These extensive sandstone cliffs are set on the sunny north bank of a lively burn, just 10 mins from the coast road, about 3 miles north of Ullapool (hint – 30m east from the parking follow the well worn path over a fence then over an ancient bridge to cross the burn and then up to the crag).

The well-named Monster Buttress is the first major developed sector (but not the first big bit of rock you encounter, and we spent a while trying to make this match the picture in the guidebook!) It looms impressively over the path; an overhanging tangle of cracks, grooves and roofs. Steepness abounds! Like most Torridonion sandstone, it looks superficially like a Peak grit crag (a 30m high one!), but climbs a bit differently: more face holds and features, but the cracks tend to be more blind and flared, taking fewer jams and gear.

Immediately right is Dancing Buttress, named after the 3/4 height ledge (or Dance Floor) which marks the top of most of the routes. We did three HVSs here (pretty much the entry grade): Spider Jive, Sculptress (these two pictures are of a visiting Scottish / Aussie couple)

… and Just Add Lib (here’s me)

All excellent and would merit 3*s at Stanage.

Having got my eye in, we headed back to Monster Buttress

for the plumb 3* line of Gravity’s Rainbow, E1 (what a great name)! This takes a straightforward corner up the right of a pillar before a stiff pull through a bulge and a wild swing over a small roof. Awesome – can’t believe this place isn’t better known. Plenty more to come back for!

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