Agassiz Rock

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Agazzis rock lies beside Blackford Quarry in Edinburgh and provides easily accessible bouldering in the city. The outcrop is south facing allowing climbing all year around. The rock is steep, partly staying dry in the rain. The leftside of the crag gives fairly stable climbing, however the right is horrifically loose.

The rock is named after Louis Agassiz a famous Swiss naturalist, who during a visit to Scotland in 1840, attributed the striations on the rock surface to the effects of the passage of glacier ice. Agassiz and the striated lava of Blackford Hill are therefore key elements in the introduction of the glacial theory in Scotland. Agassiz Rock was also one of the first geological sites in Scotland to be conserved. [1] - please bear in mind that this rock is of international geological and historical importance and treat it with care!

Agassiz Rock.jpg

Provided some care is taken this is an excellent venue for moderate-hard bouldering with plenty of scope for setting problems at your own grade. This wiki listing is to allow visitors to record there own problems. I've begun by listing some of my own favourites to get the holds rolling...


Directions & Approach

From Edinburgh head to Blackford Hill. The quarry can be found on the south side besides Blackford Glen. By car either park in the Edinburgh Observatory car park or at the road depo on Blackford Glen Road.

Accessable by public transport, Lothain buses have services that go close.


The crag is divided into 3 sections. Both obvious and eliminate problems have been listed.

Left Wall


Obvious Problems

1. 4b
From the boss follow jugs up and left.

2. Br 4c
From the boss gain the twin pockets and make a move right to a long flat jug.


Gen rules, boss for feet then following

1. Crossfire Br 5b Font 5+
RH/LH-F12 (jug), RH-B10, LH-B7, RH-D6, LH-G5, RH-IJ4, LH-H3, RH-I2(jug), LH/RH-F1(jug).

2. Wrenched Soul Br 5c/6a Font 6a
D12 (flatty) matched, D10-RH(undercut/sidepull),LH-DE5, RH-H3(flatty), LH-G2(jug).

3. Sawtooth Br 6a/b Font 6c
LH-F12,RH-G12 (jugs), RH-G9 (tiny sidepull edge), LH-G7 (edge), RH-H3 (flatty), LH/RH-F1 (jug) .

4. Walk the Dog Br 6a/b Font 6c
LH-F12,RH-G12(jugs), RH-I8 (top part), LH-H3 (flatty), RH-I2(jug), LH/RH-F1(jug).

5. The Wizard Br 6b/c Font 7a
F12,G12 (jugs), LH-I9 (slope pinch), RH-K9(edge), LH-J4 RH-J4 (flatty). Easier since K9 got better, one grade harder if you use smaller top part only.

6. Slippery Slope Br 6b/c Font 7a
F12,G12 (jugs), RH-I9 (slope pinch), LH-G7 (bottom edge), RH-F5, LH-F5 (slope), LH-F2 (slope edge), RH-G2(jug).

7. Mr Sheen Br 6b/c Font 6c+
H11(slope) matched, LH-F9(slope), RH- G7 (top bit only), LH-F5(slope), RH-H3(flatty), LH-G2(jug). Heel and toe hook with RF behind boss are in.

8. Experiments in Procrastination Br 6a Font 6a+
RH/LH-F12, RH-FG9, LH-EF8, RH-HI7 (tiny sidepull edge), LH-F5 (sloper), RH-IJ5 (Jug), LH-G2, RH/LH-I1.

Central Bulge


Obvious Problems

1. Burl Br 6b
From jugs use the flat undercut above to gain higher jugs

2. Puny Worms Font 6b+
SS on crimps on right (off picture) and tackle centre line of jugs around the boss/flake. Keep traversing left until reaching jugs atop previous plan.


1. Kissing the Guns Br 6c Font 7b
Ye old pocket problem that's too steep to get any easier. SS. RH-F13,LH-E13,LH-C10,RH-D10,RH-E7 (side pull what suits you), LH-E4(match), pop RH-D0 (match).

2. Middle Age Spread Br 6c Font 7b
SS. RH-F13,LH-E13,LH-D10,RH-DE10,RH-GH78,LH-H6 (top sloper),RH-I5,RH-H2,LH-D1 flatty, match.

3. Murder by Numbers Br 7a Font 7c/+
SS. RH-J13 u/c, LH-H13 sidepull, RH-I10 (crimp), LH-F8(pocket), RH-I7(crimp), LH-I6(middle crimp), RH-H2(flatty), LH/RH-D1.

4. Jammin' Beneath the Darkness Br 6b Font 7a
SS. Starting on the jugs on the boss span right RH-D10 sloping crimp. Cross over LH-E10 Gaston slope and pull up into the obvious undercut in the roof RH-H8 (ish). Get a good heel-toe jam-L9 and swing up to the sloper LH-H6 and finish in the juggy crack RH-J5.

5. Nunes Br 6b
LH-D10, RH-E10, RH to undercut triangle F9, hard lunge with LH to jug D/E/4/5, RH-H3, LH-D1, match.

Right Wall


Obvious Problems

1. Br 5a
Shuffle up the sloping jug rail from SS on the right.


Stick to the pillar, jugs either side out for feet. Toe hooks on the pillar are in.

1. Strength in numbers Br 6c Font 7a+
LH/RH-G12 big sidepull, RH-G10, LH-F9 sloper, RH-F9 sidepull, LH-A8, RH-D5 sidepull, LH-AB2, RH-E1.

2. Procrastination Br 6c Font 7B+
RH/LH-D12, RH-F11 sidepull, LH-D7 crimp, RH-E5 pocket, LH-C3, RH/LH-E1.


1. Louie Louie Br 5c Font 6b (F6c+/7a)
Traverse leftwards starting on jugs just left of the large chest height undercut in the middle of the crag. Alt. The same but L-R. A little harder at the end.

2. Last Gasp Br 6a Font 7a (F7c/+)
Same as above but traverse left to right and back again. This time going all the way to match the big chest high undercut (crux) around the middle of the crag (no kneebar rest).

3. Who's The Boss? Font 7a (F7c)
Starting as prev, stay on handholds below head height the whole way. Move around the pillar (crux) into the jugs then follow the rail left dropping into the boss. Head left on jugs till they run out. Alt R-L extra grade. L-R-L F8a+/b?

4. Life Beneath the Darkness Br 6b Font 7B+ (F8a/+)
SS from the low spike on the right, make a low traverse into the pillar. Cross pillar on edges and slopers and make a reach for a flat hold in the cave. Drop down into low cave handrail without using jugs, and traverse this to the starting hold of Slippery Slope, finishing up this problem. Alt. Keep traversing on slopers and finish making a low traverse until the crimps and slopers run out!

5. Dynamic Earth Font 7c+ (F8b/+)
Traverse the entire crag with a kneebar stop in the middle! Starting on the slab on the extreme right drop down on a chossy band of rock for 5m and drop very low around a big solid orange boss shield (the stuff higher up is choss) to reach a resting spot. Next follow a shelf system left past the bore hold two finger pocket on sloping holds and poor footholds. There is one decent foothold close to the ground that unlocks this section. A hard drop under move blocks access to the knee bar rest. There is a reasonable shake possible before. After the knee bar cruise left on anything via the high method until the crag runs out. Also been done L-R at same grade. Section on its own is F8a+/b R-L,L-R. Very good despite it's loose nature.

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