Garheugh Point

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From a guide originally by Dave Redpath.


Garheugh Point lies on the South West tip of Scotland, about 15min drive from Stranraer. The crags comprise of Greywacke which has been cut by the sea in a diverse maner. Although the crags have a coastal nature only a couple of the problems are tidal the majority lie above a pebble beach which gives good landings. The first routes done here were done in 1985 in a traditional manner although bouldering no doubt took place nothing was ever recorded as such. Details of the trad action can be found on page 184 of the Lowland Outcrops Guide, trad routes will not be mentioned in this guide.


Garheugh Point is situated mid way between Glen Luce and Port William on the A747. Around 15 miles east from Stranraer. From Glasgow follow the A77 to Stranraer, before this is reached turn onto the A75 Glenluce. Passing the Glenluce turn off contine up the hill to turn right at the top onto the A747. Follow this untill it reaches the coast by a caravan site, the crags can be seen along to the coast to the east of here. Park on the left before the hill, (quite long walk) or continue over the hill and park by the B7004. Allow ~2H from Glasgow. If in doubt use OS landranger sheet 82, Grid ref 265,505, else refer to the Lowland Outcrops Guidebook page 184.


My involvement with Garheugh started on a fateful day in North Wales Summer 2001...

After a short spate of training I was desperate to try something hard only to knacker a pulley in the process. Having climbed since I was twelve, I wasn't taking to well to the layoff nonsense. Perhaps I couldn't go climbing but I could still think about it. It was by chance that I pulled out an old guidebook flicking through I happened to come across a place described as having a steep undercut slab and a few boulders, putting Hubble on the back burner for now I headed for Stranraer and a place called Garheugh Point.Driving toward my destination the potential was pretty obvious, large area of rock lay exposed above the road and across the beach. Mmm time to explore...

Mikestatestrav B.jpg

That day I came away with an ascent of Life is Beautiful, so named after my emotional top out at realising life wasn't over yet as I could still get up a 5c, and what a line to boot.I also climbed many of the easier problems on Point-1 showing that feet and 7 1/2 fingers still got me climbing. Nosing around I eyed up some hard projects indeed. Next visit I brought a step ladder to do some cleaning, this led to an ascent of 'Suck my Wooly' Br6b and revealed the potential of the States boulder. A week later the physio had given me the clear to do some light climbing? I got stuck into the projects, a slab and a roof proj. The slab involved a heinous directional crimp that I had to use with my sore hand, the roof proj involved a long-long reach to grab a hold, at least it was a sloper. After an hours attempt between the two I conceded defeat.

By this time everyone was starting to get suspicious where I was disappearing of to each weekend. Mark and Mike got let in leaving me in a bad position with all these projects about. Paranoia got a hold and I swiftly got up 'Bowfinger!' Strangely finding that 2 inches that had been lacking the two previous days attempts. On the roof problem Mark scratched his head and promptly jumped for the lip, flashing the move, so much for reaches! Inspired I sent it quickly leaving Mark and Mike for a quick repeat of what became know as 'Snowhite and the 7 Dwarfs'. Mike eyed a counter line to Snowhite thrashing out onto the hanging arete, after much grief Mike came away with 'Stretch Armstrong' at Font 7a+.


A line was spotted on the sea boulder up a blunt arete, despite its ledges to the left the arete was very difficult. The sit down being even more so. Mike came away with the booty to give 'Shadow Dancer' Font 6c-ish.

The end of that night had me trying a very hard project thought to be Font 7c of two very tilted slopers.A couple of weeks later I was back for the project, a cool evening and a change of sequence dropped the grade to Font 7a+. Due to events in the world that day (7-11) the problem was called Changing States. Next visit a week later Mark and Mike were back, the two making swift ascents of states thinking more font 6c with a heel hooks than my sequence.

As the nights came in a year passed by, Now June 2002 I was back with Mike and Tom. Mike went about doing a traverse of the states boulder and a straight up. Meanwhile Tom was on a slab mission doing two lines on the approach slab, taking a blank and highball line.

I went about repeating some of my lines from the year before, just having had a couple of months lay off I was having trouble. Ok so maybe my two lines Pirates and Life is... were harder than 5c, hmm a Font 7c climbers rendition of a 5c is poor indeed!

The problems

The Approach Slab

This is the first slab seen on the approach from the parking spot. The rock is immaculate however the problems are a bit high ball which will indeed leave a lasting impression on your memory if not your knees. Bring a few mats, or even a rope?

1. Mr Prickles 6a *** - Font 6a
Sit start at base of big arete, match sharp sidepull, pull up onto the big arete, beautiful.

2. Project
Start just to the right of the arete, move up the slab till its possible to reach the slopy pod high up right finish up the crack, no escaping up the arete.

3. Afterlife 6b *** - Font 6c/7a?
Climb directly up the slab as marked, an inspiring peice of climbing. Apparently there are holds when you get up there, might be of help if your 6' tall.

4. A Sense of Danger 5b **
Take a line along the faint curving ramp, watch the landing!

5. Princess VS 4a **
A highball up the hanging crack, you could always bring some gear for next time!

6. Suck My Woolie 6b ** Font 6b+
Sit start jug at base, up to undercuts or crimp to swing out onto holds on the nose of the arete, hence finish up the slab if you're up for it!

7. 5b
Sit start pockets under left arete, traverse right to pull over onto the slab on the right. Lip is out of bounds!

Sheep Pen 2

Small butress 20m along to the left of the approach slab. A couple of eliminate problems exist.

1. High Heels & Low Lifes 5b *
Sit start at base of right arete and up, no hands or feet in or left of the crack.

2. 5b *
Sit start low sidepull RH, up to good crimps, no crack or anything to it right.

Sheep Pen 3

This is the arete of the cave to the right of 'Point 1', although there's only a few problems they are hard.

1. Eat my Greenie 5b
Sit start on the left wall, up on slopey crimps to the ramp, then right.

2. Brunch V4 6b *
Sit start on obvious jug, up to slopey pinch and straight up to good edge, finish right on ramp.

3. Stretch Armstrong 6c *** Font 7a
Sit start on RH Boss, then use the undercut fin to gain the arete and layback this to victory. Excellent climbing on funky features.

4. Snowhite & the... 6c ** Font 7a/+
Sit start on the boss, , make a massive throw to the fine sloper on the lip, then more hard and/or reachy Font 6c climbing to get established over it. Purely morpho but good.

5. 5b Font 6c
Sit start under arete. LH good crimp, RH circular crimp on right, now up.

Also eliminate dyno, match LH crimp then power at lip 6b.

Sheep Pen 3 Right-hand Wall

Long slab in front of sheep pen 3.

5. Don King 6b *
Start by wall in cave, traverse lip missing juggy foothold down low, around arete. Now traverse all the way to the crack staying at mid height without topping out.

6. Darkness Falling 5b
Sit start matched on big undercut to right of cave, then up along crack.

7. 5b
Climb the slab, no use of crack on left.

Point 1

This is long slab seen from the road. It is about 30 degrees off and about 6m height. Some of the problems have rules about what your allowed to use, this is of course left to you discretion?

1. Tied and Bound 5b *
Climb the slab avoiding use of the large trianguilar jug for hands and feet. Aim for the apex.

2. Rib Tickler <5a *
Start just to the right of the arete, move up the slab till its possible to reach the slopey pod high up right finish up the crack, no escaping up the arete.

3. 5c *
Climb the slab untill a tricky move high up forces retreat leftward, or go direct to finish! Dont touch any of the jugs on the left.

4. ~5a
Follow the jugs.

5. Nuclear Puppy 6a ***
Find the short crack to the right of the ramp. Start left of this to atain a standing position on the crack, now rock up left to a long crimp, hence the ramp. Phew.

6. ~5a
The Ramp.

7. Dumby boys 5b **
Start left of the jaggies on the jugs, get stood up then move right to some good holds. Now stand up move leftish to finish (worrying).

7a. Lizard Line 6a/b
For the bold, a line can be pushed directly up from the starting pod, see picture in gallery!

8. ~5a
The lefthand arete, easy, except the very start.

Scream Slab

Small slab directly behind point 1.

1. ~5a
Layaway up the sharp arete.

1a. Robotica 6a *
Sit start feet on jug, layaway of arete. Now pull around onto slab to finish as above.

2. Screamers 5b *
Start just right of the first apex, using tinies pull on and up to catch the apex.

3. 5a
Climb the slab on good holds.

Manky Boulder

This is the boulder which faces the split boulder, on first impressions it doesn't seem worth while it does however have a few worthy problems.

1. 5b *
Grab the break then mantle.

2. 4c
Same again.

3. Shadow Dancer 6b * - Font 6c
Sit start on slope, slap up to ledge climb arete following holds. No flake or juggy foothold to left allowed hands or feet. If you can't see the juggy foothold to the left the pebbles are probably to high, wait for another day?

4. 5a
Same again.

5. Boy Racer 5b
The shallow scoope/groove on the landward face.

Split Boulder

This is the south face of the split boulder seen from the road that sits on the high tide line.

1. Life is Beautiful V5 *
The obvious L-R diagonal seam from a sit start to an easy finish is an excellent line but marked by unpleasant tight-fingered cranking with bad footholds.

1a. 5b *
Again sit start at base of crack, move up left to pocket then over the lip.

2. BowFinger! V6 ***
The real classic of the face, climb directly through the LIB on tiny holds and delicate balance, award yourself the extra font grade if you can do it from sit down.

3. Pirates 6a *
Sit start at right base of arete on directional flatty, pull on swing round arete then move up to ledge. Cunning down low on right may help you to start.

3a. Curmudgeon 6b/c *** Font 7c
This climbs the innocuous looking thin crack down and right of Bowfinger. Start on the juggy slot and desperately gain the crack. No jugs on arete allowed?

4. Project STEEPNESS! 6a *
Needs cleaning, a crash mat and long arms might also help.

States Boulder

This is the west face of the split boulder, unfortunately the lefthand side is not as good as its parallel. However the righthand side is steep and featureless in it central section.

1. Mikes Traverse 6a/b *** - Font 6b+
Needs cleaning, a crash mat and long arms might also help.

2. Slap and Go 6b *
Standing start to what will be a very hard sit down. Font 8a perhaps?

3. Altered States 6b *** - Font 7a+
Sit start undercuts move up and right to a pocket and some crimps, then make progress toward jug.

4. Changing States 6b ** - Font 6C+
Start on good crimp behind right flake, cross under for arete crimp, then match slopers using crafty toe to progress to jug. Or just heelhook?

5. 5b
Slabby side of the states arete up some dodgy flakes.

Pidgeons Cave West: The west cave facing the second split boulder west past Garheugh crag and the small quarry.

1. Stop The Pidgeon Fr 6c+ **
Start in the cave on some crimps by a pile of blocks, traverse out and keep going for some 15m to a big smooth foot ledge on the far right. Excellent, loads of crimps, slopes and undercuts to keep you occupied!

Extension from the brown mess hole at the back remains to be done but is dirty?

Roadside Bays

Big Growly Thing V5 * The hanging "bear's arse" at the left end of the prominent Barrel Roof in the roadside bay just N of the wee stream. Start sitting from a L sloper and R sidepull crimp, and gain the arete via a variety of shenanigans. Pull onto the slab finish and a short drop off. Slightly flakey rock around but fun climbing, decent landing, and a sheltered spot.

Further Development

So whats left to do? Apart from the mentioned projects plenty remains to be done in the easy grades but bear in mind these were the lines we felt were not worth the effort to clean.

Plenty of remote problems exist along the beach.

particlar ones worth mentioning are...

  • The steep cracks at the start of Garheugh crag.
  • Steep Promontry at west end of beach around 6b-ish
  • The other one some 50m right, pool needs filling.
  • The Barrel Roof next to road, at least 6c from back (see pic).
  • Pidgeons cave east, big, dark and wet.
  • The two small quarry walls, perhaps better for short solos.

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