Newtyle Quarry

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Newtyle Quarry (AKA Birnam) is a unique climbing venue. In a short history it has been host to the development of a few good middle grade rock climbs, both trad and sport, and also some aid projects in the deep amphitheatre, The Tube. The rock here is Slate, which is pretty unusual in Scotland.

In 2003 a further spate of development has seen the establishment of some hard routes of several styles. Side by side in the Tube now sit a dry tooling route D13, a sports route F8b and a trad. route E7. There are also four sport routes above the tube which are all in the french 6a/b category.

Since Fast and Furious was completed by Scott Muir further dry tooling routes have been established, and now a variety exist ranging from an amenable D4 to a savage D13.

  • Please do not dry tool any established rock climbs, or any new lines that are rock-climbable.
  • Particularly do not dry tool Spandau Ballet. The rock is soft and tools will damage the finger crack.
  • The rock is loose and chossy. It is also quite soft. Placements, especially slots in seams, will sometimes blow out.
  • Most routes have some manufactured holds. The two D4s are all on natural placements.
  • Experience has shown that it is worth wearing a helmet when belaying. This is because of both loose rock being knocked down, and also the occasional axe being dropped.
  • If you hook any in-situ draws, do it with the handle of your axe, not the pick.



  • "D" grades are used to reflect the "dry" ethic, routes being climbable all year round. They roughly equate to M grades.
  • Comparison with Scottish winter grades is pretty meaningless given the total contrast in styles, but as a very rough guide D4 at Newtyle is about Scottish tech 6.


  • Grades reflect use of leashless axes. Normal axes are fine on the lower tier, but elsewhere leashless is beneficial.
  • Mono point crampons are best on all routes. On the lower tier any crampons will suffice. Heel spurs will make all the routes in The Tube less sustained. The current grades on this guide reflect a spur-less style.

Climbing Style

  • It is wise to pre-clip the first bolt on all routes. Ground falls with axes and crampons are painful. Note on F&F pre-clipping the second bolt is needed, note also that people have hit the deck from the third bolt and higher.
  • Pre-Inspection
    • On the lower tier the routes are fine to onsight.
    • On Happy Hooker Wall it is best to abseil (trees above) and place quickdraws This is also a good way to check out hard to spot axe placements.
    • In the Tube ground up is the only possible way.

Directions & Approach

Newtyle accessmap.jpg

Taking the A984 from Dunkeld toward Coupar Angus, after 2km you will reach the Deans park housing estate. The Quarry is in the wood to the right of these. The old entrance to the quarry is marked by an iron gate.


Please park with consideration to local residents.

Park either by the start of the private road, or in the open ground up the rough track.

The Routes

Doorjamb Slab

Newtyle lowerwall.jpg

I. Taylor

2.Spandau Ballet E2 5c
D. McCallum. 1981
The thin crack

3.Pulliscious D6
S. Muir

4.Roofiliscious D5+
S. Muir

5.Grooviliscious D4
S. Muir

6.Bonzai D4
F. Murray. 2003
Right most route on lower slab (right of spandau). Red Hangers to chain lower off.

Happy Hooker Wall

Newtyle happyhookerwall.jpg

1. A Mind of Metal D7
P. Diffley
Climbs the left end of Happy Hooker Wall. Start 1 metre right of the ramp at the left edge of the wall. Follow the crack until it’s possible to break out straight up following the white strip passed several bolts to the chain lower off.

2. Insane in the Membrane D8+
D. MacLeod. Sept 2003
Parallel cracks wall, left hand line of bolts taking the thin seam. The hooks are thin on the lower section - dont pull out too much! maybe D8+?

3. The Happy Hooker D7
D. Brown. Oct 2003
Follows the widest crack line on parallel cracks wall. Start at large flake. Follow line of blue bolts to chain lower off. Some big moves off positive holds.

Also a link up line Urban Turban D7, start up Va Va and finish up the Happy Hooker.

4. Va Va Voom D8
S. Muir

5. The Sting D8
M. Tweedley. Oct 2003
Climb the arete right of va vavroom. Start of block and span out to mono placement then use the block in pod to stretch to a crimp that is on arete. Hook this then up to various placements on arete and cracks. Near top of arete go left to finish up Va Va Vroom. A keen eye for this and a couple of other moves will get you to top. Wee drilled holes are the Key.

Also an lower start from the very bottom right D8+.

The Main Slab

Just Gentleman E3 5c

Pulse E2 5b

Shot Shoe Shuffle

Raspberries E3 5b**

Atomic E3 5c

Slateford Road E2 6b**

Compulsive Gambler E5 6a***

Counting out Time 30m E3 5c**

The Tube

Newtyle thetube.jpg

1.Gone in 60 Seconds E7 6c
D. MacLeod. Aug 2003
A serious lead taking the leaning arete gaurding the entrance to the tube. Start below a detached block and smear rightwards to a good jug. Make a series of committing moves across the lip to a hard move to gain a borehole (unprotected). Continue up the arete, reaching right to clip the bolt belay on Hurlyburly and finish directly up the easy wall above. E7 6c (FA headpointed).

2.Hurley Burley F8b
D. MacLeod. June 2003
Please don't tool this route as its one of the few steep routes in the quarry that's naturally climbable.

The left hand bolted project in the tube, climbing the best rock in the cave on completely manufactured slots throughout. Excellent, unusual moves and totally sustained. Thankfully there are no desperate cruxes. Start at the highest point it is possible to reach the rock (more bolts extend lower down the cave, but the rock is manky and no slots are drilled). Suggested as high in the grade as repeat ascents haven't been quick!

3.Project (Sport)

4. Training for Something D12-
W Gadd / D MacLeod

Torchlite D11
M. Kent. 2009
The line to the right of the (usually) dripping crack of TFS. Finishing at the pink/red lower-off in the niche.

Alternate start: A good alternative/variation on the start is up the first 3 moves of "DTS Spirit" then bear left onto "Torchlite". A.Russell, 2012.

DTS Spirit D12
J. Mercier. 11/11/11.
The line immediately left of "Fast and Furious", finishing at the same lower-off.

F.C.U.K. D12/+
A. Russell. 04/03/12
Climb "DTS Spirit" and finish up "Too Fast Too Furious".

Frankenstein D13
G. Boswell. 07/10/12
Climb "DTS Spirit" to the last clip, move up and left from the stein-pull to follow the two big undercut flakes via more stein-pull moves to reach Torchlite. Follow Torchlite to the place where it goes right at the top, and tackle the roof of the cave direct via a huge moves then follow the hairline crack up the triangle rock shield to finish as for BBW (no using the crack of TFS or the resting pod of TFTF at the top. Fight the pump and follow the hairline crack to reach the BBW leftwards traverse and finish up this.".

The Big Bad Wolf D12
G. Boswell. 11/01/12
Start up "F&F", swing left into the stein pull on "DTS Spirit" then climb this for one (big move), swing left into the core hole on "Torchlite", climbs this to the point where it heads right at the top. Swing left into the crack of "Training For Something" and climb this swinging right into the pod of "TFTF" and then follow the line of bolts up and left through the headwall to the right of "Hurly Burly" and rock up onto the slab, climb this up and right to the chains and lower off. (DO NOT USE ANY HOLDS ON "HURLEY BURLEY" THE ROUTE IS FAR ENOUGH AWAY FROM THIS LINE THAT IT WILL NOT BE A PROBLEM!)

5. Fast and Furious D10
S. Muir

6. Too Fast Too Furious D11/+
S. Muir

Hammerhead and the Quarryman, D8+
P.Diffley. April 2004
Hammerhead and the Quarryman Climbs the lip on the upper tier (above the Tube, follow the path to the left). Finish on tree lower off. BTW The name comes from the events of my first attempt. I hit myself squarely in the head with an ice axe. Luckily I was there with a Niall McNair, a trained medic. When he saw all the blood rushing from my head he ran to his pack and passed me a small tissue! Later that day I expressed my concern to Niall about a very sharp looking boulder just in the drop zone for the first few moves. Niall sprang into action again and began smashing the boulder with my old ice hammer. After 30 minutes of frantic hammering the large boulder had been reduced to a pile of rubble.

To the left of Hammerhead and the Quarryman is a clean slabby butress, All following routes start here.

el Ringo 16m F6a+ *
Fiona Murray. Jan 2004
Follow first 3 bolts of Dance into the Groove, continue up and left to lower off

Dance into the Groove 18m F6b+**
Michael Tweedley. April 2004
Climb obviuos groove untill a few balancey moves takes you rightward to the chain.

Like a Virgin 18m F6c*
Michael Tweedley. April 2004.
As for Dance into the groove. Then at second bolt traverse right and head for a obvious big flat hold. Make a tricky move round arete to gain jugs and chain. Very balancey.

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