/ Going the wrong way on Castle Ridge
It's been a number of years since I climbed the route but that sounds like the right way to me. In March 2008 there was a fixed piton at the base of the crux.
It is indeed fairly hard for Grade III!
Hsve you done Glover's Chimney? That too is 'only' III, but the last bit up to the Gap has always struck me as distinctly technical. If you don't get your tools in the right grooves and place your crampons carefully and accurately, you are not going to do it.
The last time I did this it was only given a Gd II; can't recall owt hard on it. What's changed?
I've done it 3 times up and once down.
> Hsve you done Glover's Chimney? That too is 'only' III, but the last bit up to the Gap has always struck me as distinctly technical. If you don't get your tools in the right grooves and place your crampons carefully and accurately, you are not going to do it.
Did that final pitch in the dark with no head torch. Yes it felt hard for III.
Yep - Done Glovers and this seemed way harder, that's what got me thinking I might have gone the wrong way. Guess my ego will just have to take the hit :)
I don't think the 'V' chimney you did is the correct line. It's some years since I did it but I remember traversing to the base of that from the slab on the left and thinking it looked desperate. I traversed a further 3-4m maybe and found the chimney (seemed to remember it from a summer ascent) and went up that. Got to say though I found that bloody hard too :-) but I don't think you traveresed far enough and the route you went looked *much* harder that III.
> The last time I did this it was only given a Gd II; can't recall owt hard on it. What's changed?
> I've done it 3 times up and once down.
I suppose it depends on your definition of 'hard'!
As far as I know, Castle Ridge has been III for a good 20-25 years, possibly longer. A lot of routes have shifted in grade since then to reflect more accurate grading and changes in average conditions.
Did it earlier this winter. I would not have argued with IV,5. Pretty sure we went the right way.
Of course, things can vary a lot because of the snow build up etc. If you did the top of Glover's when it was plastered in neve', it would be grade I really. Every time I do it (I think it's three times now) it's all been hacked to bits already and there's only rock to go at :-)
> but I don't think you traveresed far enough and the route you went looked *much* harder that III.
I hope so - anyway, my ego thanks you for the lifeline :)
Yep, I'm sure you were of route - I remember looking up that V chimney and thinking "no way!" :-)
No pictures looking up from it on UKC so here is one I took. The in situ peg mentioned earlier the next runner on the right of the pic I think.
I have other pics that show this from above, but I didn't take them myself, my partner Ben did and I don't know if he would mind me posting them. They show pretty much the same as this pic though.
They show the same as http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=188113
Sounds to me like you were on the route. Martin Moran and Bruce Goodlad gave it III 4 in an article in Climber a while back, iirc.
> No pictures looking up from it on UKC so here is one I took. The in situ peg mentioned earlier the next runner on the right of the pic I think.
> I have other pics that show this from above, but I didn't take them myself, my partner Ben did and I don't know if he would mind me posting them. They show pretty much the same as this pic though.
> They show the same as http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=188113
I can't see the first picture, but the second is definitely the correct route.
Nope, I still think you didn't traverse far enough right :-) The pics show the the blocky/stepped chimney which is the correct line I think.
My partner was leading intially and came back because he couldn't get into the 'corner'. I took over the lead, traversed past the V corner (the one my mate couldn't get into and the one I think you went up), clipped the rusty peg traversed further right and then up the blocky chimney shown in the pic.
I think datastream describes it perfectly .. . "Traversed right around the corner from the rusty peg and then up some stepped ledges onto the top of a block. Pretty tricky but there are hooks and torques that reveal themselves eventually." but I guess you're right. . you'll just have to go back and do it again :-)
> I can't see the first picture, but the second is definitely the correct route.
Well that settles it - neither of those pictures is of ground I crossed :(
I have a dodgey memory of it from a late autumn climb with a pal about 10 years ago, but i remember two 'climby' bits on the whole ridge. The rest was scrambling I think.
Higher up there's the sort of nose, a bit exposed, that we did traverse out right to get to. I think we did pass a piton. We pitched that bit and it lead to a flatter section and a little bump and arete. There had been rockfall i think.
A fair bit lower down, while we were soloing, we came to an awkward v-corner-chimney bit that looked ok but proved increasingly awkward and 'wish i was on a ropey'. The rock was cold too. Was it 20 feet or a bit more? Cant remember. Not sure i've a photo but will look.
i've no idea if this link will work but its a profile of the whole ridge, from my gallery.
As thedatastream said in his post (I'd lead the crux up the real flakey chimney just minutes before he and his mate arrived below us)I also went round to the right of the block which held the rusty piton (as I felt the direct route over the blocks to the left of the piton was very sketchy and involved some high stepping ~ I'm only a short arse!)
And whilst it was only my second III or higher lead (and third III route overall) I'd say it was the hardest I've done so far and probably knocking on the door of mid-range IVs at least!
This is much lower down on the route, nowhere near the crux corner (I took the picture myself).
Hopefully these will work. They are both looking up from belay at bottom of crux pitch.
It was my first III and I certainly found it interesting at the top pitch! I haven't climbed it since 2008, however; my brother James soloed it and wrote up an account for Glencoe Mountaineer (which he now runs). Certainly was a ballsy solo ... he's a much better climber than I am! =)
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