North Berwick Law Quarry

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North Berwick Law Quarry, which lies at the base of North Berwick Law, provides a small number of low to mid grade sport climbs for East Lothian. The sport routes lie of the North end of the quarry where the rock changes in colouration and angle from fiery volcanic red slabs, to subtly coloured steep metamorphic sandstone. The routes are short and brutal, but give climbing on good rock which is fast to dry after rain. Revived interest in recent years has seen a few new routes, repositioning of old bolts and a grading consensus. (NT 554 839) South facing


Getting there

From the town of North Berwick, head for North Berwick Law, the pointed hill above the town. At the north-west side opposite Law Primary School a narrow road leads to a car park. North Berwick is also served by bus and train services, taking around 35 minutes from Edinburgh.

Approach: Around 10 min, from the car park walk south around the base of the hill until you reach the quarry on your left.

The routes

NBerwick topo.jpg

1. Necktie 10m 6b+ *
Bruce Kerr, R Young - 1989
The lefthand arete of the wall is gained and followed to the lower of the two bolt belays.

2. Fogtown 10m 7a **
Bruce Kerr, R Young - 1989
Crimp upward on hidden holds to gain first of two finger breaks. Reaching between them provides the difficulties. An alternate finish steps right before the L.O. to finish up Law of Gravity at F7a+, without use of the ledge or arete.

The space between the bolt lines of Fogtown and Law of Gravity has been climbed to give Eliminate Law, 7c. Boulder over the bulge just left of Law of Gravity to gain necktie like crimp. Move left to join Fogtown continuing directly to the ledge via a long reach.

3. Law of Gravity 12m 7a **
Rab Anderson - 1989
Start either holding the ledge or standing on it! Or, by using the crimp rail to the left at 7a+, to reach better holds. Power through using matching crimps to gain better but spaced holds above. Stay direct for the finale.

4. Jaws of the Law 12m 6c *
Rab & Chris Anderson - 1989
The first of a trio of reachy numbers. Make a long move left of a pinch (jug on right may be a better choice for dwarfs). Follow good holds to a crux using undercut cracks.

Miket darkness.jpg

5. Law of the Flies 12m 7a
Rab Anderson - 1989
The name of this route is a clue as to the style of climbing required by those short of stature. Move up to the large flat jug before moving right. Now make a series of long moves up to the jug rail.

6. Law and Disorder 12m 6a+ *
Rab & Chris Anderson - 1989
The last route on the wall gives easier climbing than its neighbours. Follow niche and steep corner, did I mention the dynamic start.

7. Law of the Rings 25m 7a
Rab & Chris Anderson - 1989
A left to right girdle. Start up Necktie then take the obvious traverse line clipping the second bolts of the routes to Law of the Flies. Follow this to the third bolt, the finish up Law and Disorder.

The Red Wall

The Dark red wall on the right hand side.

8. Darkness Falling 12m 6a+ *
Calum Mayland, Tom Muirhead - 2003
Contort up the groovy corner line on the left hand side of the slab, continuing up the slab on good holds. Tricky first clip.

9. Igneous Intruder 12m 6c
N. Ashton - 1993
The line up the middle of the slab seems to have chequered history. A short time sport route before the bolts were removed, and sadly it seems, some of the holds.

10. Old Law Breaker 12m 6b **
Rab Anderson, C. Greaves, Kenny Spence - 1989
Taking the right side of the slab after an easy start, some hard committing moves are required to gain better holds. A harder variation exists climbing to the left of the first two bolts at 6b+.

11. Wild Iris 12m 5+ **
Calum Mayland, Tom Muirhead - 2003
The blunt right arete of the slab avoiding the difficulties of the previous route.

12. Solitary Soul 6m 6b **
Calum Mayland - 2000
The final route can be found at the extreme right side of the main quarry, next to the marking spray paint marking 'GBH'. Two bolts to L.O.

13. Anarchic Law 8m 6b **
Calum Mayland - 2000
The arete to the right of solitary soul has 3 bolts to a lower off.

New Routes

The Brazilian 10m F7a*
Calum Mayland, Tom Muirhead. 00-09-2005
Climb the line direct,on the crimps, right of Darkness Falling.Trend towards the overlap and continue direct to the lower off.

Dosage 10m F7a+*
Calum Mayland, Tom Muirhead. 00-10-2007
Move up the direct start of Old Law Breaker. Make some very hard moves using a one finger pocket, trend leftwards, and surmount the overlap with difficulty.Continue direct to the lower off.

I Fought the Law - Font 7A*
Direct standing start into 'Law of Gravity'.

And The Law Won - Font 7A+
SS into the stand-up.

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