/ Esoteric winter routes

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Big Lee - on 19 Nov 2012
Suggestions please. Mammoth traverses, tight squeezes, etc. I'll get the ball rolling:

Crab Crawl, Creag Meagaidh
Crypt Route, Bidean
The Clanger, Ben Nevis
Anything on Southern chalk
Full moon addict - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee: george - liathach
deepstar - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee: The Alpine Ridge in Fairy Cave Quarry,I`m sure somebodys done it but I`ve not seen a photo of it yet.
Ken Applegate - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:
Post Box Gully, Sgorr Ruadh
Gardyloo Gully, Ben Nevis
MG - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Ken Applegate:
> (In reply to Big Lee)
> Post Box Gully, Sgorr Ruadh

But don't assume it will be II...
Ken Applegate - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to MG: II,4 I thought.
MG - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Ken Applegate:
> (In reply to MG) II,4 I thought.

Probably about right, yes. Good route.

Ken Applegate - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to MG: Or even II,4a. The tunnel involved more rock climbing than winter climbing, and you're right, good route.
Al Evans on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee: Black Cleft on Cloggy, though you need a really hard winter.
davidbeynon - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:

Couple of peak options come to mind:

Blue John Rib, or anything else on Mam Tor.
Matterhorn Ridge/Elbow Ridge
Tom Last - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:

What about that thing on Ladhar Bheinn?

Also Direct Nose on Sgurr an Fhidhleir.

Jamie B - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Southern Man:

> Also Direct Nose on Sgurr an Fhidhleir.

Esoteric? It's a modern classic.

Dave Kerr - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> (In reply to Southern Man)
>
> [...]
>
> Esoteric? It's a modern classic.

Doesn't see so many ascents though. Not VII 7 either but totally brill.

Jamie B - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:

What grade is it then?
Dave Kerr - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

VI 7 imho.
Jamie B - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Hmmmmm... that moves it from the "pipedream" to "long-shot aspirational" category, although I'd still need to improve!
Dave Kerr - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

Have you done it in summer Jamie? It made a massive difference to how long we took as I knew exactly where I was going. Also, I only remember 2 hard pitches but both were quite high up (last and second last?). One was getting onto the slab with lumps of turf and the other was the top 5a crack which is tech 7 but very well protected.
Dave Kerr - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Can send you some pics and beta if you really want to blow the onsight? ;-)
Jamie B - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Not bothered about the onsight, or for that matter a bit of Aid on that top pitch! I'll take you up on the beta if and when it seems like a serious proposition.
Fergal - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:

Route 1 , Rannoch wall, an offering from the fox of Glencoe, deserves to see more ascents, classic steep mixed.

Astronomy, another from the old master, fantastic and ephemeral, strike while the iron is hot.
French Erick - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:
Fear of a flat planet, rannoch wall: just love the name. Never heard of anyone climbing it.
The sea the sea, slioch: nevewr heard of anyone either.
Some of them ice routes on Fionaven: I think they're called stuff like waterfall I, II... from memory.
Vishnu, eastern rampart, beinn eighe. Been there several time to climb stuff and it was nowhere near in.
The cul, cul mhor, wester ross. Has been talked about a few times with my usual partner in crime.
Purple blaze, beinn an lochain, arrochar
Rapunzel, somewhere weird in the coe (name?)
There are so many less well known routes really...when should I stop.
In reply to French Erick: Hasn't Postie Stuart done Purple Blaze? Maybe even the FA?
Fergal - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to French Erick:

It would be great to see Fear of a Flat planet repeated, i like the fact that it was climbed in summer as a Bridge to far and given E2!, the hard start, a bulging crack has reasonable hooks, but little for the feet.
Tom Last - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> (In reply to Southern Man)
>
> [...]
>
> Esoteric? It's a modern classic.

Fair enough, God knows it's waaaay beyond me.
Jamie B - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Southern Man:

> God knows it's waaaay beyond me.

Why?

LakesWinter on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:

Esoteric in terms of never seems to come into nick then how about the Wabe or Mome Rath Face Route on Gearr Aonach in Glencoe?

Or else those waterfall routes on Foinaven; they look superb!
Al Evans on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:
> (In reply to Big Lee)
>
> Couple of peak options come to mind:
>
> Blue John Rib, or anything else on Mam Tor.
Blue John Rib
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=125957
And of course there is always Green Death at Millstone
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=160872
Scott_vzr on 20 Nov 2012
Dalness Chasm ?

Never done it but must meet the 'esoteric' criteria........
French Erick - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA:
Not FA but an early repeat. I did it on his recommendations and absolutely loved it. It comes with a note of warning though. The finish is really out there: not hard, delicate and really run out.

Quagmire: I really fancy this route... I'm wary though. It's a Garth route and it's on the buachaille (flat hooks) I bet it's stiff for the grade. May be this winter? However, I already need a rematch with the crux pitch of Raven's edge (10m lob from just below the finishing ledge as seen on the SMC winter climbs...still fuming).

To OP: I really fancy doing a remote Wry Gob route. I need to MTFU for one of these pieces though.
Stuart the postie - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:

Once In A lifetime, Labyrinth, The Ozone Layer, Cir Mhor.

Nuis Chimney, Beinn Nuis.

Fingals Chimney, Fall Out, Aonach Dubh.

Stuart
andyinglis - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to French Erick: Give us a shout for ravens edge Erick, would travel west for a look at that, or some of your earlier NW thoughts!

Andy
Only a hill - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:
Plenty of the routes on the S flank of the Aonach Eagach are pretty esoteric... never climbed any of them myself!
AlH - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Only a hill: My wife proposed to me after leading the second ascent of Donald King's Midget Gem in there (yes, it was a leap year).
hwackerhage - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:
- Crypt route definately. If you are chubby diet first or you will have to diet whilst climbing!
- Glen Esk...
Jamie B - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to AlH:

Wasn't that on the North side? Or did Alex make a slip of the keys?
Nigel Thomson - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
>
> Hmmmmm... that moves it from the "pipedream" to "long-shot aspirational" category, although I'd still need to improve!

I love it when a route enters or re enters this category.

Big thanks to Ice Factor for our *session* where blind eyes were turned and clocks ignored to give the bears a mammoth session well over the allocated time.
It's shit like that that keeps you coming back!!! Cheers.
Al Walker - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Stuart the postie:

Ahhh, The Ozone Layer......

And any of the routes on Nuis deserve to be considered esoteric, especially that chimney/gully at the left-hand end (sorry, the name escapes me), and Gully 3 has one of the finest through routes out.
AlH - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: Oops you are right! My brain assumed he was talking about the side that sees less climbing action. Blu Riband on the south side is much sought after and was well worth the wait.
I remember when I lived in Glasgow day dreaming about the Nuis Chimney...
In reply to Only a hill:

> Plenty of the routes on the S flank of the Aonach Eagach are pretty esoteric... never climbed any of them myself!

Has anyone climbed the incredibly obvious chimney at the East end of the South flank? Anyone who has climbed in Glencoe must know the one I mean as its so regular and obvious. I heard back in the 90s people had been into it but not made much progress, but I imagine in past recent winters when the Blue Ribband has been in good nick, that line would have been too.
Mark Kemball - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee: It won't often be in condition, but in the south west Salute to the Admiral http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=237692
jonnie3430 - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:

The road cuttings on the way up the A82 have seepage lines down them that iced up two years ago. I didn't do the Lomondside ones, but I did about 12 on the overtaking straight to the north of Inveraran. They probably fit the bill for the shortest winter route and easiest access from the road. I have pics somewhere, but never stuck the routes in...
Murko Fuzz - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA:
Fairly sure Arthur Paul climbed that.
paul-1970 - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:
Anyone mentioned Mick Fowler's St Pancras Station frozen toilet outflow route yet? Must be still waiting on a second ascent.

Not in the same class of difficulty as most already mentioned, but Fuselage Gully in Coire Mhic Fhearchair with the aircraft debris is reasonably esoteric. I've certainly never belayed off a propeller since that climb.
Stuart the postie - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Walker:

The Ozone Layer strikes me as an improbable, superbly timed, voyage across granite slabs, in an outstanding location! Knowing this face, I'm amazed it's they're at all, I'll bet you enjoyed being on it!!!

Nuis Chimney and Gully 3 are the same route. I know someone who done it a few years ago, describing it as 'amazing', probably climbable more often than the ferry timetable allows!!

Do you know anything about Once In A lifetime VII,6, you were on the scene around then???

Thanks

Stuart
davidbeynon - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to paul-1970:
> (In reply to Big Lee)
> Anyone mentioned Mick Fowler's St Pancras Station frozen toilet outflow route yet? Must be still waiting on a second ascent.
>
> Not in the same class of difficulty as most already mentioned, but Fuselage Gully in Coire Mhic Fhearchair with the aircraft debris is reasonably esoteric. I've certainly never belayed off a propeller since that climb.

I went to one of his talks last year, and I'm pretty sure he said the overflow has been fixed so it doesn't come in any more. An ex route.
Iain Thow - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to davidbeynon: When I was a student in Birmingham ages ago one of the drains off the railway embankment in Saltley used to freeze fairly often into a perfect 20 foot vertical ice pillar. Might still do?
Murko Fuzz - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Southern Man:

Tir Nan Og? That's been on my wish list for a while. I think a right good adventure could be had by kayaking across from the other side rather than marching for a day from the east.
Jamie B - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Murko Fuzz:

Shhhhhh.... let's talk.
rogerwebb - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Murko Fuzz:
> (In reply to Southern Man)
>
> Tir Nan Og?

Possibly the best route I've walked past! (sorry Jamie)
Enty - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:

Cliviger Gorge near Burnley - was good a few years ago.

E
sgl - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Stuart the postie: Nuis chimney is indeed brilliant. The whole experience with the ferry etc made it all the sweeter. Although the face catches lots of sun, the gully is really enclosed so will hold snow well and benefit from lots of water trickling down it. Pure thrutching heaven.
I climbed it in a cold spell of not a particularly cold winter so as you say probably in condition more than you think.
Al Walker - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Stuart the postie:
> (In reply to Al Walker)
>
> The Ozone Layer strikes me as an improbable, superbly timed, voyage across granite slabs, in an outstanding location! Knowing this face, I'm amazed it's they're at all, I'll bet you enjoyed being on it!!!
>
> Nuis Chimney and Gully 3 are the same route. I know someone who done it a few years ago, describing it as 'amazing', probably climbable more often than the ferry timetable allows!!
>
> Do you know anything about Once In A lifetime VII,6, you were on the scene around then???
>
> Thanks
>
> Stuart

Sorry Stuart
I was away from home and had a brain freeze. I actually meant Gully 5 on the Nuis Face. Anvil Gully is the other one which is vaguely character building. Actually, Gully 4 is worth it too. None of them are hard, but interesting in their own way.

Being in NZ now, I don't know what Arran Winters are like these days, but the place does come into climbable condition more often than folk appreciate, you just have to be flexible about where you go. Like when we did The Ozone Layer, we went over to have another try at South Ridge Original (stories there too), but the turf and snow on that line looked far better through the mist. It would be good with well frozen turf and a light covering of snow. The middle pitches were really good padding up cleanish slabby grooves.

Once in a Lifetime is indeed as good as the name suggests. Unfortunately, it's also in what we would have considered climbable condition less than you might like. For quite a few years that line was the one we were looking at and waiting for on Arran. Graham and Dave were better with their timing and got it. Modern gear and attitude might make it climbable more often now. Knowing the face from old, nowadays I would be going back there as soon as the turf froze, and would be placing less reliance on the ice we used to wait for.

Hope that helps, there are still a few gems over there waiting to be unearthed.

Al
Stevos - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:
The Clam on Lochnagar. Has anyone done this? It sounds pretty entertaining in the guide and maybe is quite hard at V.

Breech of the Peace, Edinburgh Castle

French Erick - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:
Salmonella on aonach beag
Moonstone on Meall Garbh
Enigma on Mainreachan buttress.
Anything on creah an dubh loch
Michael Gordon - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Stevos:
> (In reply to Big Lee)
> The Clam on Lochnagar.

The Straight-jacket as well. Does NOT sound like an easy one!

>
> Breech of the Peace, Edinburgh Castle

Ah yes. Wonder how many folk would give this a go if it came in?

Jamie B - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:

To me esoteric means the road less traveled, two that come to mind for me are Hidden Ridge on Ben Starav and Flaky Ridge on Creag Coire an T-Slugain.

Both share certain characteristics, but are longer, infinitely better and a bit harder than the over-travelled Dorsal Arete (the antithesis of esoteric). Well worth seeking out!
James Edwards - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
If not already mentioned i thought flaky ridge was hard for the technical grade. More III,6. I guided it under powder so may have missed some hooks on the short crux but it was harder than 4.
Nice corrie though.
P.s. lots of snow in the Straths today, looking reasonable for combat this weekend.
James e
MG - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to James Edwards:
> (In reply to Jamie Bankhead)
> If not already mentioned i thought flaky ridge was hard for the technical grade. More III,6. I guided it under powder so may have missed some hooks on the short crux but it was harder than 4.


I thought is was bloody hard too!
Jamie B - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to James Edwards:

Do you mean the wee wall that you step down and left onto, maybe 2/3s of the way up? Remember that being tricky, but I think the hooks were good.
Jamie B - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to James Edwards:

Great wee crag, super-accessible from the Fort or Inverness but still virtually unknown. Have also done Hong Kong there, which I thought was very good. Keen to explore Druim Shionnach next!
jonnie3430 - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

I enjoyed Hidden Ridge, but think Crypt Route is way more esoteric! More like that please!
rogerwebb - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

The Beast's Lair, Glas Bheinn, (Glen Carron) 200m of contortion, well maybe not the full 200 but quite a lot!
jonnie3430 - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to rogerwebb:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> The Beast's Lair, Glas Bheinn, (Glen Carron)

Here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=11643 ? Very interested
rogerwebb - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

That's the right hill but not quite the crag, it's the next one on Sgurr A'Gharaidh, Greenhorn Gully on Creag Na H-Iolaire is very good too.

Beast's Lair just needs cold, Greenhorn needs some build up. Short walk ins but low.
James Edwards - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
I can't remember anything about stepping down and left ; I remember a couple of awkward steep moves straight up with a hoolie's worth of powder in my face. I was expecting it to be a mear speed bump but it was more of a red light!
The other corries are good too, but I haven't been that way for a couple of seasons now.
James
Andy Nisbet - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to James Edwards:
>
> If not already mentioned i thought flaky ridge was hard for the technical grade. More III,6. I guided it under powder so may have missed some hooks on the short crux but it was harder than 4.

It always feels harder guiding, but you probably did miss a hook. I don't solo tech 6.

petemacpherson - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to rogerwebb
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=160880 http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=160879
Shadbolts chimney has to be one of the most esoteric routes about. Extreme chimneying and upside down moves.

Also Marathon corner on Ben Loyal Tuft heaven..
Dave Kerr - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee:

Ghlastail GTX. The very acme of esoteric.
French Erick - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to petemacpherson:
Was thinking about marathon corner... but I wanted to mention only things I can actually try.
When you did the 2nd ascent...I was still delusional enough to think I could. Was working in Thurso and knew it was in: thankfully my partner told me to get lost ;)
Jamie B - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Tell me more; very keen to explore that area.
rogerwebb - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to petemacpherson:
> (In reply to rogerwebb
>
> Extreme chimneying and upside down moves.
>

Now that does sound good!
Dave Kerr - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
>
> Tell me more; very keen to explore that area.

Not done it Jamie but ran past it the other week and was most impressed. Only an hours walk in from Strath Conon but obviously needs a long low freeze. Mates went to do it during one such freeze a few years ago and found the top pitch not sufficiently iced.
petemacpherson - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to French Erick: Hi Erik, Get on it, its not all that hard for VIII. Its quite bold in places, infact myself and Ian place about half a dozen nuts in the whole route! Having discussed the route with Guy we seemed to have got more ice on the crux pitch (pic of Ian on it in my gallery) which i reckon would make it a bit easier. The amount of turf on that route is beyond a joke so take loads of hooks...

Cheers,

Pete
Jamie B - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Just looked it up, an "up and coming classic" apparently. Presumably when it achieves this status it won't be esoteric anymore?

It is however water-ice, and therefore fundamentally wrong; having picked up that guide I'm now much more drawn to Sgurr na Muice and a great pic of The Sorcerer. Anyone done it?
petemacpherson - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to rogerwebb:
> (In reply to petemacpherson)
> [...]
>
> Now that does sound good!

Just the route for you Roger, all you need is a few 16foot slings and a sense of humour. By the way, next week could be good for some leftfield routes...

Dave Kerr - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to French Erick:
> (In reply to petemacpherson)
> I was still delusional enough to think I could. Was working in Thurso and knew it was in: thankfully my partner told me to get lost ;)

Dude, I never said you couldn't climb VIII just that you needed to do some training so that you had the strength to climb the route AND place gear too.

Call me old fashioned but that's important to me.
petemacpherson - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr: Marathon corner isn't strenuous so training isn't required i would say. Theres not that much gear to place either, mind you falling of would definately not be a good idea. Its sort of the opposite of climbing on say Beinn Eighe.
French Erick - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:
Aren't you old fashioned? Who else would be riding fixed wheeled bikes...aren't they a 19thC thing?

I found a couple of VIIIs to train for the big ones (short and well protected...and far from the laughing crowds), perusing books this am. Shin and neck aching (from fall and carrying).
Lone Rider - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:
> (In reply to Big Lee)
>
> Ghlastail GTX. The very acme of esoteric.
Don't thinks so - straight forward ice climbing with a wee steep bit unless you count belaying on trees in places.
Lone Rider - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to rogerwebb:
> (In reply to petemacpherson)
> [...]
>
> Now that does sound good!
Don't believe it Roger the photo is upside down!
Dave Kerr - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Lone Rider:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
> [...]
> Don't thinks so - straight forward ice climbing with a wee steep bit unless you count belaying on trees in places.

Remote(ish), beautiful location, rarely in nick. Works for me.
rogerwebb - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to petemacpherson:

You wouldn't happen to have Thursday off would you?
petemacpherson - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to rogerwebb: No such luck Roger, i'm a weekend man these days. I hope sundays good, would be good to nail one of the big ones off the list!

Cheers
Cardi - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Big Lee: Pillar Chimney on Clogwyn Du probably fits into this category, a proper grovel!

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