Since the late 60s Dumbarton Rock has been Scotland’s most popular climbing venue, partly due to its location and ease of access, but mainly due to its vast quantity of top class boulder problems, trad and sport routes. It has numerous boulder and sport climbs between the 6th and 8th grades and is home to a plethora of trad climbs, including one of the hardest trad routes in the world. However, sadly Dumby is more than often overlooked by the climbing community. To those who haven’t visited, its reputation of being a littered and graffitied venue, occasionally frequented by dysfunctional youths drinking and smashing bottles, is too much of a frightening prospect for a day’s climbing. If you do manage to pluck up the courage to visit Dumby and you get used to the climbing style and the infamous basalt, so polished in places its friction resembles that of glass, it will without doubt grow on you. You’ll forget about the broken glass and the graffiti (much of which is now gone) and you’ll get down to some serious climbing. Once you experience an evening of clear blue skies and a beautiful sunset over the mouth of the Clyde you will be sold...
This short flick is about a recent event at Dumbarton Rock, where climbers, dog walkers and local Dumbartoners alike, came together in an attempt to clean up Dumbarton climbing area. Hopefully seeing this will encourage you to relinquish any preconceptions you might have about Dumby and give it a shot if you are in the neighborhood. Now would be a great time to go as it has it is litter and ‘almost’ graffiti free, following a recent effort by Historic Scotland.
For a full and far more eloquent depiction of Dumbarton rock climbing have a read of ‘PHYSICAL GRAFFITI’, an excellent short article written by John Hutchinson - dumby.info/history.htm.
If you’re keen for a trip Dumby.info has everything you need to know.
Thanks to The Climbing Academy, Stone Country, Glasgow Climbing Centre, West Dunbartonshire Council, The Mountaineering Council of Scotland and Force Ten for supporting the event.