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If you're looking for a F6a-6c venue to ease the radical jump between indoor and summer trad in the mountains, Ardvorlich "Hidden Walls" is an excellent venue: sportingly bolted 15m technical walls that will improve your on-sighting ability and work your head round to the idea of climbing above gear. The climbing is never desperate - all very steady crimps and pockets on two excellent sunny walls and the bolts come just when needed! Many combinations can be created by mixing the routes up a bit to allow a bit of traversing experience...

The rock is excellent schist, if still a little dusty - a little more traffic will help. Usually gets a wee breeze to keep midges off - the bracken in summer makes approach more difficult.


Getting there

Grid Ref: 323 123 Landranger 56


Being only forty minutes from Glasgow, and ten minutes from the roadside, this is an idyllic sport venue on the west bank of Loch Lomond. A knoll behind Ardvorlich B&B hides twin west facing walls - this is a few miles north of the Inveruglas tourist spot on the Loch (by the Power Station). Parking is found in a layby about 150m before the B&B


Take a path up the left side of the barn (facing the hill) to a gap in the stone wall. Immediately hop the fence to the right just before the railway embankment. At the stream scramble under the culvert and hop the stream via boulders. On the other side is a vague path winding uphill and right towards a hillock. Veer left of this rise and the walls suddenly appear after five minutes.

The Routes

Ardvorlich Sport Crag.GIF

Left Wall

1. Carnage 6c
The wee roof is butch: a bolted boulder problem which can be extended to a 7a by bouldering in along the break and boosting for the jugs at first bolt. Lower off third bolt or step onto next route!

2. That Sinking Feeling 6a+
Excellent technical climbing up the left arete, step right, crux move to big layaways (careful belaying needed here), then jugs and clip, then truck to the top through good holds in the groove right of the wee roof.

3. The Groove - 6a
Good climbing up the juggy central groove and pocketed headwall, veer left at top to mantel out.

4. Drifting from shore' - 6b/6c
The bulge and headwall direct, the crux bulge can be worked by travelling right and back left once over. Good headwall crimping...

5. Lake Lomond - 6a
Right hand route - climb up behind saplings to a crux step left onto wall and follow the pale wall all the way to the top - one of the best lines here. Traversing left from the tree to finish up Head Game is worthy too.

Right Wall

Jo George on Dilemma 6a+

6. Dilemma - 6a+
The furthest left line crosses over the next route at about half-height. Pull on by quartz pocket (crux) and follow bolts to a thin section travelling up and right, then straight up to lower-off. Super climbing.

7. Snake Eyes - 6a
Pull through central roof and climb up and left to junction with Dilemma Step down and traverse left to bigger holds and follow quartz straight up to sapling, easy right to lower-off.

8. Magic Carpet Ride - 6b
The half-bolted, half-pegged right hand route through the steepening overlap near the top to the apex. You'll need your trad head for this one. Keep your nerve between bolts and pegs - the climbing is never desperate.


These walls were originally climbed trad up to about E3 by J. Watson, C. Lampton and G Foster. As they demanded crux peg placements and had generally poor gear, it became an accepted retrobolted venue. The left wall was bolted and climbed by Graham Harrison (Routes 3-5), the right wall mainly by John Watson, who also added a few more bolts and lines to the left wall, as well as ring-bolt lower offs. The grades may feel a grade harder to onsight.

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