/ old man of stoer
new here & new 2 climbing, what a fantastic sport it is.
wish i'd ha e taken it up yrs ago(ex rugby player been looking for a buzz since packing in 10 yrs ago, found it now).
anyway my goal is to climb stoer next yr, been climbing on helsby a cple of times, & been doing local quarries with my brother who's been climbing for 15yrs.
done a few vs 4a's & a couple of hvs 5a's in denham, angelzarke & wilton. flaky crack a cple of times on helsby,
what do you need to be climbing to to climb old man of stoer.?
many thanks bazil
The Old Man of Stoer is more about the situation than the climbing. Vs 4b or something isn't it with slightly trickier and optional first traverse pitch.
Folk have died getting to/from the base and you need to abseil from the tat at the top.
It is one of the best days out I have had.
Technically, the climbing is not that hard. The first pitch is 5a and often a bit damp, though this can be avoided at low tides by walking round the back, and the rest no more than 4c.
However, it is one of the most intimidating and scary routes of the grade in the country: a very different prospect to single pitch outcrop climbing. Your ropework skills (multi-pitching, abseiling, rigging a Tyrolean) need to be spot-on if you are not going to get yourselves into trouble. I would certainly recommend getting some multi-pitch mountain VSs under your belt first, as well as some experience of sea cliff climbing with abseil access.
What a great aim!
Go with someone who has a good level of experience on sea cliffs and you should be fine. As others have said, the climbing isn't hard, but it's a committing adventure.
Take your swimming gear and learn how to rig a tyrolean...
Enjoy - it's amazing! VS climbing in an E3 position.
Four star route followed by a four star pie served by a four star waitress.
Good ambition! Stoer's a great day's adventure. Make sure you have a good idea of what you need to do for the Tyrolean traverse. Go when the sea isn't TOO cold. The climbing isn't hard as others have said
The rock is more like a 'natural' gritstone edge like Stanage rather than the crimpy stuff found in those quarries you mentioned. Helsby's not that dissimilar though.
If you just want to get to the top, you can rig a tyroleon to the south side of the stack and therefore bypass the crux pitch, or scramble around the seaward side of the stack at certain states of tide as someone has already mentioned.
My article may be of some use:
Also, if you do a search on here there will be lots of other threads with info.
You can buy your way past most of the difficulties...
If you have spare 60m rope and a shunt you can make the walk down to the shore much less harrowing.
A fifty 50m semi-static rope and the shunt, expendable prusic loop and a pulley will make setting up the tyrolenen much easier.
A few big cams will tame the short lived 5a traverse.
If you have 60m double ropes then the abseil can be done in a oney which cuts out some stress.
A regular VS leader isn't going to have too much trouble with the climbing IF he goes the right way and stays on route and IF he's not the type that will let crashing waves below intimidate him.
Study the photo topo well.
It's a very fine day out.
> Four star route followed by a four star pie served by a four star waitress.
Indeed - I'd recommend the experience to anyone...especially the pie and the waitress.
My advice is avoid the initial 5a traverse by swimming to its other (lefthand) end.
The exposure can leave quite an impression (and affect your climbing) if you're not used to it, but this is to be embraced! A few mountain routes will be good preparation.
> My advice is avoid the initial 5a traverse by swimming to its other (lefthand) end.
Each to their own, but I'd disagree. If you're confident at that grade by the time you go (should be OK in a year's time!), and have a couple of big cams I'd say do the whole route.
Why travel all that way and only do half the route, if the crux pitch is within your capabilities?
Well for one it's completely contrived and unnecessary.
It's fine for a VS leader when in good condition, but totally desperate when greasy! (and it's hard to predict which you'll find)
thanks for your replies, by this time next yr I should have a lot more experience, plu the people I climb with have been climbing for yrs & used to multi pitch routes.
about the pies:-D are you on about the pie shop in lochinver? top place!!
me & my wife go to clachtoll @ lest twice a yr.
I agree with other posters that it's a great expedition, probably the most interesting and exciting in the UK at the grade, but it is a serious undertaking and you need to go with more experienced people. Getting to it, setting up the tyrolean, climbing it, removing the tyrolean and getting out again (people often overlook the chossy and very scary, if soloed, approach down climb!)will take you much of the day, so get some experience of long mountain trad routes first.
If the tide is high and there is a heavy sea running, the swim can be exciting to say the least - see my profile pics. I would advise a wet suit - I didn't have one and consequently was cold for the rest of the climb.
That's the one! Best pie I have ever had.
> Well for one it's completely contrived and unnecessary.
A bit like many other pitches on many older classic routes...!
That's why I wouldn't advise the OP against doing it. It's a fun part of the route and he may just find it in great condition after a dry spell. As I said, each to his or her own.
My advice - avoid all that nasty, scary climbing stuff and head straight to the pie shop at Lochinver.
... and check the tide tables for the traverse otherwise you may look a bit of a tw*t getting your arse wet at high tide (oops!)
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