Arbroath Sport Climbs

Arbroath Sea-Cliffs, Scotlands Premier outdoor sport climbing venue!



This crag lies just outside Forfar on Pitscandly Hill. Developed in 2005 and 2006 by Scott Muir and in 2006-2010 by Neil Shepherd, Ken Edwards, Iain MacDonald and Derek Armstrong.

Scott did sterling work here especially by gaining access from the landowner. This leads me to one of the most important issues:

THE CRAG IS BANNED FROM 1ST SEPTEMBER UNTIL 1ST NOVEMBER.  Please take this seriously for your own safety as well as future access to this excellent crag. The landowner keeps red deer on site, see the gathering of stags below! ( and even more menacing at the bottom of the page "Deer oh Deer" ) During the Rutting season they can become very aggresive.


The crag faces south (in general) and gets a fair degree of sun. The left end is shaded by mature trees. A very pleasant spot with flat and grassy landings. see below, Derek cleaning a line at the left end.



We have found access easiest from the east end. There are electric fences surrounding the deer enclosure of a fairly high voltage but these are not always active though I wouldn't take any chances! A couple of miles out of Forfar on the Montrose road (just after a nice series of bends passing the gravel pits) there is a tarred farm road on the left signed Wemyss Farm. Go up here passing through the farm- TAKE GREAT CARE HERE WATCHING OUT FOR KIDS AND WILD SHEEPDOGS- 10MPH ADVISED MAX.

Continue to and round a 90 degree left bend to a large turning area at a right hand hairpin bend. Park here. DO NOT PARK ON THE TARMAC SECTION AT ANY TIME   Farm vehicles turn here with long trailers so if your car gets clipped don't say you weren't warned!!! From the parking walk along the rough track for 30m to a gate on the right, climb over this with care and near to the hinges and follow the path straight up the steep slope. Once on the plateau follow the track westwards for 350m below various broken buttresses descending gently at the end to eventually reach the crag over a small rise on the right. You will arrive nicely warmed up at the right hand sector of the crag!


The crag is up to 16m high and is conglomerate on a sandstone base with further sandstone bands running through it. Not all routes run to the top though and a variety of route lengths will be found. The rock has a tendency to lose pebbles especially on some of the less well cleaned routes but after a few ascents most of these have now cleaned up well. Its a crag where a controlled, fluid style of climbing helps, not one for the gung ho boys and girls, aint that right Jeff   I was sceptical to begin with but it becomes addictive. To paraphrase someone famous (certainly Steve Haston talking about Gogarths Red Walls)  "it gets in your blood does Robs Reed"

PROJECTS are marked in the usual way with either hangers removed or taped over. Please leave these alone as the work involved is extensive. An almost upto date topo is available from AVW and a new version might appear this year 2011


Pitscandly Chainsaw Massacre 7a, Neil on first ascent

Below Derek on an ascent of a nice 6a ( Italian stallion) in the centre of the open wall. Goes up and left to a chain belay shared with a good 6b. More photos below.





Ken Edwards has dusted down his drill and added three new lines to a previously untouched crag at Robs Reed.

This piece of rock  is about 150m to the right of the main crag and is a seperate quarried bowl above the walk in. It is quite high and nice and steep. The routes at present are nameless and from left to right they go at 7a+, 6b and 6c. Grades need to settle down as there have only been a handful of ascents so far. Ken reports the climbing is good and technical and this is confirmed by Iain and I on the 2nd/3rd ascents and the Aberdeen boys on Sunday 16th. Though possibly some bolt repositioning required at a later date. sounds like some good work there, well done Ken.

Below Ken on 1st ascent of Swine Flew 6b, below that Harry Trotter 6c and lastly the 7a+ Spider Pig. All ably belayed by Richard Lowe who also sent in the pics. Thanks due.



obvious further challenges lie in wait on this new buttress.



Reinforcements have arrived!


On an early season 2010 sortie south from their Aberdeen redoubt a strong team of Tim, Neil, Wilson and Sandy took Robs by storm. In addition to repeating all of Kens new routes in the first small bay (details above) Neil laid Trailer Trash to rest and made a good on sight of End of the Road 7a+

Below Tim unleashes 8b power on The Reinforcer 7c to bag the second ascent.


photos courtesy of Neil Morrison collection


Let the punishment fit the crime is a common enough saying. Well at Robs Reed and in the Dirty Harry cave in particular its a case of the punishment fitting the climb!

Below Big Al tackles the route, one of the best at Robs and sustained from start to nearly the finish! It shows no mercy to the weak and shows no favours to tall or short.


Below Al setting up for the last hard move. More ascents have failed here than on any other move!

Thanks to Al for the use of the excellent photos.

ROBS REED The place to be!

Below Iain MacDonald sends the fine warm up route Skullduggery 6c in Dirty Harrys Cave

This shows possibly the hardest move on the route, thankfully the pump hasnt come on yet   If you are pumped here I wouldnt bother going any further. . . 

A semi rest of sorts can be had around here, the dilema is do you hang around hoping to recover or forge on up the blind and pumpy headwall?

The end is in sight. Though you can still fall off from here, eh Iain!

Doing the Robs Reed Jig is de rigeur after a successful ascent, though this was a few years ago and Iain doesnt get excited at sending anything less than 7b now!

Feeling Lucky....?

The Enforcer 7b. The easiest of the 4 routes to breach the main cave roof.

A real roof fest for those critics of Robs who used to moan that it was all a "bit vertical". Now it will be complaining that its all a bit horizontal 

starts gently enough.....


Pulling into the crux, quite a hard move in itself.


A rest coming up, not great but better than none.

The last hard moves reaching to a lovely jug below the chain!

Good 6a "Italian Stallion"

Further pics of the nice 6a in the middle of the crag. Unfortunately there are only about 6 routes of 6b and under at the crag. The great majority are 6c-7a.



This route climbs the first big roof reached at the left end of the crag. Technically I suppose the roof to its right "Totally Trashed" is the first of the big roofs  Very gymnastic it involves pulling up on the "guillotine" to cross the roof. The upper groove is easy. Goes at good 7b and all photos courtesy of Derek. In case you are wondering why Ken is belaying out near Coupar Angus somewhere its not that hes doing one of those daft dynamic belay jobs but merely keeping the rope out of my way and more importantly himself out of a large nettle patch! 

Above, hanging almost full body weight off the "guillotine".                                                                                                                             Below."things can only get better" no shit, I spoke too soon and they're getting worse  The crux is just coming up!


Dont break a hold here and have to climb that roof again 


Its in the bag   Now time for Totally Trashed a much harder 7b to the right, shouldnt that make it 7b+ then 

You looking at me !!


Once again the reason for the annual closure of Robs Reed from the start of September till end of October is evident!

 Got several visits in to Robs Reed during Nov and December 2006 and it was bone dry and almost roasting in the sun. 

The pics below were all taken on the 2nd of december.

Thats Czech Tom down from the granite city making a fine ascent of a warm High Voltage 6b+ (known as Forfar Calling in the topo guide)

Neil Morrison and tom had a very productive afternoon doing a bagful of routes whilst Ken and I bolted five more lines!

Below Mr M gets that High Voltage buzz......... 


Below Self on the first ascent of "Fretting over Nothing"  probably worth 7a+!