/ lubyanka/skull, cyrn las
Ditto the skull, I seem to remember the guide mentioned a 6a pitch at the top (thin bridging?) but how does the rest of the route break down?
Basically wondering about logistics of trying it with an E2/3 leader, how well it would split down. Any other tips welcomed...
Lubyanka is 5c/6a 5b 5b 5c (plus a couple of VS pitches below). Pitches 2 and 3 would be about E1/2 on their own. Pitches 1 and 4 are of about equivalent difficulty.
The Skull is 5b 6a (short and sharp) 5c (the thin bridging). I've only done the first pitch but that would be a tough lead in its own right for an E2/3 leader; it's a little bit bold and worrying low down.
Thanks guys. So lubyanka has a couple of E1/2 and a couple of E3 pitches plus some easier stuff. Not in quite the right order I guess but not unworkable.
Skull 1 mid E pitch and 2 E4 pitches, maybe a bit much for right now, I think if nothing else 2 E4 pitches in a day would wipe me out!
Anyway, it's a stunning route. It is up there with West Buttress Eliminate as one of the finest routes I've climbed in North Wales.
In keeping with the other posters I'd say that the first of the hard pitches is the most technical and the last pitch is the head game one - the moves aren't hard but you really wouldn't want to fall off! Good stances between pitches so easy to shuffle leads.
That's exactly my experience of it.
I found the Skull quite hard for the grade - I needed a couple of rests on it even though I was confident on E4 at the time.
On pitch one of Lub however me and boB had an earthquake !
We both thought it was the end. I lowered off a spike and after calming down checked every runner on the way back up.
The grimace on my face on pitch 4 (photo in extreme rock) is because I was desperate to relief myself from the PTSD.
I never done the Skull. Done pitch 1 twice but always have a thunderstorm or other hassle. I have given it up after Dave Musgraves accident.
Top pitch of Skull more like E3 I thought but the whole thing - and that's how it works - is E4
When we did the skull, to try and save weight, I wrote the description on a bit of paper instead of carrying the guide book. We managed to do the first hard pitch of Hindenburg by mistake, which felt much harder than what we were expecting. Managed to make it fit the description. The 6a pitch on the skull was quite hard, but only for a couple of moves, and the top pitch was ace, but out of sight of the belayer. Loads of runners but very precarious in the groove. I haven't got round to doing lubyanka yet.
Did the skull on Sunday. I thought that the last pitch was as hard as the 6a crux pitch- but it was wet and pretty grim so this could have been conditions. Even in the dry I don't think it would be much change from E4, but this might have been the conditions. The whole route felt pretty safe, with the possible exception of the first couple of hard moves of the first 5c pitch and they would be more exciting/clattery than properly bold.
The 6a pitch is short-lived but awesome.
Worth noting that when I climbed Lubyanka in 2008 I found the top pitch pretty bold - it looked like a lot of former gear placements in the traverse right had blown out. Apparently there is a cam placement further right around the arete, but I didn't bother going to look cos my mate (who had backed off the lead) reckoned it wasn't up to much. It's only one tricky move, but you wouldn't want to fall off it. A great route though, and easy enough to swap ends of the rope at the belays if there are pitches your partner doesn't want to lead.
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