Dumbarton Rock

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Dumbarton Rock is the amazing basalt crag at Dumbarton, near Glasgow. It may not be Scotland's most picturesque climbing venue, but it's certainly got a climbing pedigree. Dumbarton Rock has been home to Scotland's hardest trad route on not one, but two occasions: Requiem in 1983 and then Rhapsody in 2006.


Directions & Approach

Through the lane, past the fitba stadium and the broken bottles of Buckfast.


The North Face

Alpha 20m HVS 5a

Beta 20m E1 5b

Gamma 20m E1 5c

Uisga Beatha 25m HVS 5a

Rising Power 35m E2 5b

Bohert 30m HVS 5a

Antigrav 30m E3***

  • 1. 20m 6a
  • 2. 10m 4c

Slainte 30m E2 5c

Crackerjack 30m E1 5b**

Drizzle 30m HVS 5a*

The Neilweg 30m E1 5b*

Big Ears 35m E1 5b

Boulevard 30m VS 5a*

Hailstone Climb 30m Severe 4a

Left Edge Route 30m VS

Monsoon Gully 35m Severe 4b*

Supple as a Brick 35m E4*

  • 1. 15m 5c
  • 2. 15m 5a

Nameless Crack 25m Very Difficult

Alleyway 25m VS 5a

Sunset Groove 30m VS 5a

Angel's Pavement 90m 5a**
A low level girdle traverse of the buttress

The Gully Wall

West-facing wall, with ivy on its left

Ganglion Grooves 20m VS 4c

Ciamar a tha Sibh 25m E2 5b*

Snowwhite 20m E2 5b***

Rag 15m Severe 4a

Tag 15m HVS 5a

Bobtail 12m HVS 5a

The Northwest Face

North-west face topography

Route Three 20m HVS 5b*

Stonefall Crack 20m HVS 5a**

Stonefall Crack Direct 20m HVS 5a*

Woops 10m E4 6a*

The Big Zipper 30m E3***
1964 / 1983

Chemin de Fer 30m E5 6a ***
1964 / FFA Dave Cuthbertson - 1980

Achemine 32m E9 6c ***
Dave MacLeod - October 2001
The desperate, bold but immaculate headwall above Chemin De Fer on the main face. Follow Chemin De Fer to the start of the traverse. Move through a small overlap above to reach a handrail going right. Follow this to its end and make hard moves upward on tiny sidepulls. Move back left using a pinch to a desperate traverse leftward, passing a half moon shaped hold, and move up to jugs and the top. About easy F8b to top rope. Beware of the swing in when you fall.

Requiem 45m E8 6b ***
1965 / FFA Dave Cuthbertson - 1983

Rhapsody 35m E11 7a **
Dave MacLeod - April 2006

Dave MacLeod on Rhapsody

An exceptionally arduous experience in every way. This climb takes the true line of the Requiem crack, following it to the top of the wall. Start up Persistence of Vision to gain the ledge. Climb the main Requiem crack to where it fades and Requiem goes right. Step left (good shake out). Launch directly up the wall, climbing a thin flange to gain better edges in a thin horizontal (avoiding escape left). Traverse desperately right along the horizontal to regain the crack, get established in this (crux) and continue up the crack without respite to the top. F8c/8c+ climbing with the prospect of falling the length of the pitch from the final moves. FA headpointed placing gear on lead. Notes on the grade: E11 7a. Obviously this is a remarkable grade. It arises mainly from the physical and technical difficulty of the climb. It’s the hardest link I’ve ever done, so harder than the 8cs and 8Bs. 8c+? maybe, I haven’t done one so I don’t know. So we’ll say 8c. But it’s also very technical climbing, a very devious sequence. The other aspect is the danger; a 60/70 foot fall from the top moves, sometimes glancing off the belay ledge. The swing in is extremely violent, sprained ankles, badly cut and bruised feet, legs and back and a crushed calf muscle were experienced. If you flipped and hit head first? I think the new grade might be justified as this route will only go if you are a high standard sport climber as well as bold. That sets it apart from previous routes. It’s definitely 2 E grades harder than my E9s and 3 E’s harder than Breathless. Grading hard routes is really just speculating about something where you have very little to go on. If not E11 then E10, repeaters will find out…

Direquiem 35m E10 7a? (8b+) **
Sonnie Trotter

Rock of Ages 15m E3 6a**
Gary Latter - 1983

Requiem Direct Start 15m E3 5b

Cyclops 45m E5*
1974 / 1981

  • 1. 20m 5a
  • 2. 15m 6b
  • 3. 10m 5a

Calm Before the Storm 40m E6 6c *
Dave MacLeod, Stephen Richardson - August 2003
A bold lead on the wall right of Cyclops. At the Cyclops bolt belay, place a size 1 Friend 5 feet up Cyclops and step down. Climb diagonally rightwards on the right wall to a hard technical section leading to a huge diagonal 'thank god' jug. Easy (5b) but virtually unprotected climbing leads directly to the top. E6 6c, FA headpointed.

Fever Pitch


Desperado 30m HVS 5a *

Eh Gringo 25m E4 5c *
Dave MacLeod, Richard McGhee - October 2003
The green arete left of Desperado, superseding the route Gaucho which climbs sections of the arete. Climb the shallow groove left of Windjammer then follow big holds leftwards to the slabby section on the arete. boldly climb the wall/arete above heading for a good undercut in the overlap near the top (serious). Move slightly right through the overlap, then easily back left to finish at the same point as Longbow.

Blackout 25m E6 *
Dave MacLeod, Stephen Richardson - October 2003
The black arete left of Windjammer Crack. Climb Windjammer to the base of the arete and continue up the corner for another 2 metres. Arrange runners and step across to the arete on undercuts. climb the right side of the arete with increasing difficulty past an overlap (dubious Friend 6 placement under this) to a serious crux near the top. E6 6a, some moves practised before FA.

Windjammer Crack

The West Face

Sport Routes

Omerta 30m F7c ***
Andy Gallagher - 1993
The amazing arete on the left of the main face. The start's the crux and the top feels very bold, despite the bolts!

  • Two open projects exist either side of Requiem. Both somewhere in the 9's.

Persistence of Vision 15m 7a+ **
Andy Gallagher - 1997
The line of bolts on the slab below Requiem to belay. Moving out left then back right at the fourth bolt is the crux. A popular route.

Abstract Art 12m 6c **
Dave MacLeod - June 2004
A great wee climb taking the compact slabby wall right of Requiem direct start. Technical but ultimately amenable climbing; a good warm up for harder things or a good challenge in itself! Move past the obvious undercuts and make a long move to good holds. Gain the tiny triangular niche and undercut this, with another long move to a line of good holds leading to the lower-off.

Sufferance Wall
Sufference wall.jpg
1. Dum Dum Boys F7c+ *

Andy Gallagher - 1993
Bolt line left of Sufferance. The crux is low down, but hard.

2. Sufferance F8a ***
Andy Gallagher - 1993
The central bolt line on the wall is a classic. Follow a line of crimps to a very technical traverse rightwards to a jug. Make one reachy move to gain the ledge and victory. Grade regularly debated. (I rebolted this and climbed it unaware folk are bridging up the gully to start! I propose the direct start straight up the wall is 8a, Sufference probably 7c+. A FA direct start to DDB at 8a+ could also be done without the gully shuffle.)

3. Tarrier F8a **
Mark McGowan - 1993
The right-most line is also brilliant. A boulder problem start leads to an OK rest and a pumpy wall above.

4. Tolerance 8b 25m **
Dave MacLeod - October 2003
Start up Tarrier and at the top of the initial flake break out left onto the smooth wall on sidepulls with a hard lunge to a handrail. Follow this left through Sufferance to arrive at Dum Dum Boys just before its crux (no reversing down this to jugs!). Finish up Dum Dum Boys. Superb sustained fingery climbing. (No so soft at 8b after the crux hold on DDB broke off, get good at mono's!)

5. Endurance F8a ***
Will Atkinson - April 2010
Links Tolerance with Sufferance. Climb Tolerance to handrail then move up to jug on Sufferance and finish up this to top. Easier for the tall. Video

6. Suffix F8a *
Ross Henighen - ????
A link up between Sufferance and Tarrier. Move right from the jug after the crux of Sufferance.

Appliance of Violence F7b+**
The short steep arete between the two big corners of Longbow and Windjammer.

Negative Creep 9m 8b *
Dave MacLeod - Novemeber 2004
Start up Appliance of Violence but break out left after the crux to gain a good sidepull. A long reach gains another big sidepull leading to a desperate crimping sequence to the finishing holds on the ledge. F7c to the last three moves, and the grade is definitely for clipping the belay rather than grabbing it!

Rough Sea

Bad Attitude

Half Breed

Unforgiven F7b***

Benny's Route 7m F7c

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