The Camel

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Finalstraw LO.jpg

Lying at the Southwest end of Loch Duntelchaig this large crag has been "looked at" to death! Despite the development done over the years at the nearby and more amenable Ashie Fort nothing happened. The nature of the rock and the lack of available protection put off most people. The essence of this outstanding crag lies in its height and in the rock type which is a hard conglomerate. It has very few cracks and little scope for natural protection. Coupled with the risk of the occasional "popping" pebble it all adds upto possibly the most suitable crag for sport climbing in the entire country.Seepage is only occasional but run off from the top overhangs can sometimes be a problem. The crag does not get much sun and the gully can sometimes be a wind funnel but at least that helps keep the midges at bay! Not the worst crag for midges but worth having a hood handy in case the breeze drops.The routes are mainly 25 to 30 metres in length and a 60 m rope is to be recommended. All the routes have been equipped to a high standard and have in situ lower-offs.


Access Restrictions

The down side to the venue (there's always one isn't there!). Due to the presence of rare lichen on the crag it has been agreed with SNH that climbing will be limited to the area of rock between Inverarnie Schwarzenegger and the top of the gully. Thankfully this is the best area of the crag.

BIRDS Raven-soaring.png Please check if there is any restrictions in place for this season before climbing.

Nesting birds at the left end of the crag, beyond the main face (miles away from the action) also restrict climbing with a complete ban from February until July. This may change in the future so its wise to check with the MCofS.


By car, coming from the south, turn off the A9 onto the B851 Strathnairn road. Follow this for a few miles until the obvious crag of Brin Rock is passed to the right of the road. About a mile further on a small road turns off to the right signed to Loch Ruthven. Follow this for about 3 miles, leaving behind the excellent Loch Ruthven boulder, before the crag becomes obvious after rounding the shoulder of the hill below the lone windmill. Carry on downhill for a further mile until parking is reached at the roadside directly below the crag.

From Inverness it is best to follow the B862 South Loch Ness road to Dores. Here follow the same road uphill heading towards Errogie. Once the road levels out onto Ashie Moor and the south western tip of Loch Duntelchaig is reached a small road leads down steeply to the left again signed to Loch Ruthven and the RSPB reserve. Follow this for about a mile and a half to reach the parking below the crag.


Time: 10 minutes. Straight up the hill to reach the foot of the obvious gully.

The Routes


All routes are on the left bounding wall of the gully and the only area where climbing is permitted on the crag. Thankfully it is also the best area of steep rock here. Split into 2 sections by the obvious fault of "There's Sand". The left hand routes are on the photo diagram. The right hand routes are described only.

Routes are described from left to right as reached from the car. The star ratings are relative to the crag as all of these routes are excellent.

1. Inverarnie Schwarzenegger F7a 25m *
Neil Shepherd 2000
The first line of bolts up the left side of the huge vertical wall. Easily identified because it is equipped with resin ring bolts. Sustained climbing to a crux at 20m then easier to the lower off.

2. Stone of Destiny F6c+ 27m ***
Neil Shepherd 1999
The sustained line up the centre of the wall which is almost always dry. Gaining and leaving the biggest "pebble" on the crag will constitute the crux for most people. One of the best routes at the grade in the country.

3. Closed Project: The capping roof above the lower off on "Stone"

4. Paralysis by Analysis F7a+ 25m **
Neil Shepherd 2004
Continuously overhanging this line is a challenge to route reading and forearm stamina. Will make an excellent training route. Starts just right of Stone and keeps right of that line up the impending wall. Lower off two large staple bolts.

5. There's Sand in my Pants F6c+ 25m *
Ali Robb 2004
Another old line cleaned and done. This one heads for the huge fissure which starts 10m up. Gain it by easyish wall climbing then some harder moves up the fissure lead to easier climbing, a ledge and the lower on route 3.

6. Final Straw F7a 30m ***
Neil Shepherd 2000
Outstanding climbing up the huge hanging ramp starting just to the right of the previous route. Hard moves up the initial wall are rewarded by exposed and easier climbing up the ramp. The final groove provides little respite and the capping overhang a further test before the lower off is gained.

7. Giza Break F7b 30m ***
Neil Shepherd 2005
The line crossing the ramp of Final Straw and up the wall above to the same lower off.

Death is a Gift F7c+/8a 25m ***
Andrew Wilby 2009
Climb the slab to the left of Ubuntu to the obvious hole in the steep wall. Climb through the bulge above (keeping right of the loose arete) and make a long move rightwards to the block on Ubuntu. Climb directly up the steep wall above to the lower off. Excellent sustained climbing.

The Gift Link F8a+ 25m
Dave Macleod 2009 ***
Link previous route into the next.

Ubuntu F8a 25m ***
Dave Redpath 2007
After an easy start up the slab at its highest point this line breaches the centre of the sweeping bulge. Tedious moves on undercuts lead right to a powerful crux off small edges reaching to a handrail. Continue following the cool line of cobbles above.

8. Two Humps are Better than One F6b 23m *
Neil Shepherd 1997
The highest prominent rampline near the top of the gully. A little dirtier than the previous routes due to lazy brushing but will improve with traffic. Sportingly bolted in places (you wouldn't want to fall) more like E2! Crux just below the lower off.

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