/ Unusal & interesting routes you must do VD-E2

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mav - on 21 Aug 2013
The thread running on routes you must do threatened to get interesting for a while when, before deviating back to 'must do' = 'best', some people began to conflate 'must do' and 'interesting or unusual'.

Lets face it, everyone who lurks and posts here knows the usual routes that get votes for 'best' at a particular grade. But while, for instance, Bludgers or Centurion maybe two of the best HVS's in the country, they aren't unusual - they aren't unlike any other route you have ever done.

So what's out there, and why? To give you four, at least two of which are mentioned on the other thread:
Cuillin Ridge traverse - 11 summits in one day, with rock climbing required. Nowt else like that in Britain
Crypt Route - Bideam - how many other routes require a head torch?
The Chasm - Buchaille - how many other routes come as 'wet-suit recommended'
Monty Python's Flying Circus - Kyloe In - VS 6a anyone?

So what else is there? Are there routes that involve downclimbing, threading chockstones, or head jams? Anyone? It's routes you should do for the 'experience' I'm looking for.
johncoxmysteriously - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Preposterous Tales is the (most) obvious suggestion.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Also Right Eliminate.

jcm
Bulls Crack - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Spiders Web and Deep Space spring to mind
White Slab and Lithrig with the lasso moves and not the dull cop-out free-climbing malarkey
johncoxmysteriously - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:

I never really get Deep Space. Is it that unusual? Now Inner Space is quite unusual, and indeed in similar vein Labyrinth at Berry Head.

jcm
Ann S on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

In Idwal the original VDiff route up the left wall (facing in) of Devils Kitchen will give anyone their money's worth for unusual adventurous climbing. Take a waterproof camera and wear your oldest clothes for this one. I haven't forgotten it many years later and just getting to the start is great fun in itself.
Mark Kemball - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Another vote for Prepsterous Tales. Also, Lockwoods Chimney.
The Ivanator - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav: Benny at Swanage fits the classic and unusual criteria at VS/A1. An aid traverse into the bowels of a sea cave, followed by ascending a chimney and bridging back across the cave roof to emerge into daylight - brilliant.
BnB - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Dove Nest Crag on the other side of the valley from Raven Crag (Corvus) fits the bill. Two nice clean face-climbing slabs (only Diff) wrapped around an awkward short down climb into a cave, exited by a thrutchy back and foot squeeze, that I'd grade at MS. Very enjoyable, even hilarious route. 3 stars in my book.
mav - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:
liking all of these - never looked up so many routes!
Gordon Stainforth - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Peapod.- Is there another feature quite like that in the UK?

Monolith Crack (Gribin Facet) - the deep crack you have to squeeze into, far into the mountain. Is there any other such cave/chimney pitch that narrow in UK?

and ...

Ceootaph Corner. Surely there's no other diedre as big and grand as that in the UK (except possibly Carnmore Corner, which I haven't done or seen)?
johncoxmysteriously - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Ann S:

True, and even more so the VS up the back, which I think might actually be called Waterfall Climb. I took one look at this and ran away. Has to be the most demanding VS in the country, contrasting nicely with Monty Python's FC.

Bantham Hand (descent by the traditional 50' jump into the water).
That pinnacle with the terrifying simultaneous abseil in that cove in North Cornwall - Trebarwith? Backways Cove?
Skeleton Ridge.
The Exmoor Coast Traverse.
Waterspout Chimney (Sennen) - or has this one disappeared?

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Indeed, CC makes CC look like a boulder problem. Although the spring atop the former is a bit tiresome.

On which theme, The Black Cleft (summer, obviously).

jcm
Mark Kemball - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Ann S)

> Waterspout Chimney (Sennen) - or has this one disappeared?

Sadly no more.
Gordon Stainforth - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

The Old Man of Hoy is another obvious one. No other stack remotely as big and pencil-like as that in UK
jkarran - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Gee Gee Rider slightly busts the grade rules at E3 though I thought it was in the old guide at HVS/A1 or something similar

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=73355

jk
johncoxmysteriously - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to jkarran:

Baw's Crawl, of course. And whatever that stomach traverse is on Gardom's - do I mean Vaya Con Dios?

jcm
Needkraken - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav: Janker's Crack (HS) at Froggattm maybe not the most interesting out there but the most hilarious time I've had on a route, both leader and me ended up stuck in a boob jam, some good wiggling required
Ann S on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

The chap I did it with used to take his novice climbers up the route and then abseil them down the waterfall.
GrahamD - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Traverse of the Gods at VS at Swanage is pretty interesting - aid moves, tyroleans and a swim.
Spantastic may not be the greatest HVS out there but the moves up the detached dolerite spike are certainly interesting.
Magic Flute at Pembroke is a great little E1 (stupidly given a DWS grade in RF, despite the abvsence of any DW covering the rocks below) with a bizarre climbing through a pipe sequence.
Kinky boots start to midnight cowboy at VS has to be one of the more ridiculous starts to a route.
Mousetrap for a full on climbing cheese experience
Iain Peters - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Ann S)
>

> That pinnacle with the terrifying simultaneous abseil in that cove in North Cornwall - Trebarwith? Backways Cove?
> Skeleton Ridge.
> The Exmoor Coast Traverse.
>
> jcm

It's in Trebarwith Quarry. Well worth a visit.

Other suggestions would be, Breakaway at Henna,which combines massive DP (death potential) with a vivid imagination on exactly what constitutes rock, ice climbing experience and a surfeit of brain cells so that the loss of at least half will permit enough remaining to either complete the climb or retreat. On my attempt we got hit by a storm on the third pitch, and were followed down by a major shale slide and most of the anchors.

The Big Picket Rock is also an esoteric masterpiece, including sea cabbage runners, 6" nails and hammered in reinforcing rods. Don't be tempted to use friends, they'll either get buried in the sand or push the whole thing apart; finally do not use holds, they will snap, and rain turns the whole stack into red mud, as we discovered.

Dodger's Chimney at Chair Ladder is a must, particularly for the stout. When I first climbed it as a skinny 5YO, my grandfather and great uncle both had to remove most of their outer clothes before emerging from the hole at the top. Watching these two distinguished veterans of the Battle of Jutland, prostrate on the sharp granite with blood staining their combinations was an awesome sight. I was summarily dispatched back down into the guts of the thing to rescue their garments, so that dignity could be maintained for the walk back to the car park past the coastguards. Just realised, it's only Diff so doesn't count.
Carless - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Almost any seastack
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=22412

That one at Avon where you start up a tree and step onto the wall

mountain.martin - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

I second Inner space at Mother Carey's if you want an unusual, interesting & exciting but safe HVS.

Also Kinky boots at Baggy point as mentioned above is another great shout at VS (?).

North Crag eliminate (E1) at Castle Rock is another classic climb the tree and onto the rock route. That's on the 3rd (?) pitch, not the 1st. Although I hear that part of Castle Rock is in danger of collapse. That will be a shame.
Guy - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav: Skeleton Ridge, Isle of Wight has to be in there too.
Le Chevalier Mal Fet - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav: I'd nominate Carrot Ridge in Connemara. It's only a Diff, but the positions and solitude are amazing. To top it off you get to tick Irelands longest rock route. Bonza.
Jimbo C - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

The Exmoor coast traverse. It's not really a climbing route but certainly looks like a unique adventure with some dodgy rock traversing thrown in.
abseil on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Carless:
> That one at Avon where you start up a tree and step onto the wall

Petros

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=219667


Ann S on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Also think the quartz pavement on Pinnacle Wall on Craig yr Isfa is a wonderful feature. Where else can you walk along half a pitch with your hands in your pockets whistling Dixie?

And also not forgetting up and down the huge flake on Valkerie at the Roaches.
Tom V - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Ann S:
Same goes for Advocate's Wall on the opposite side.
Ann S on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Tom V:
> (In reply to Ann S)
> Same goes for Advocate's Wall on the opposite side.

Not familiar with that one Tom. Can you describe it?
MJ - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

'Lost in Space' at Mount Sion East: -

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=47605

ianstevens - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav: Just Fits at Pembroke (Carreg-y-Barccud) is a glorious, skiddy, smelly HVS offwidth. And its amazing.
Tom V - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Ann S:

From memory I would say it's about 180 ft, three pitches about 4a/4b.
In a single word -"atmospheric".
Rob Naylor - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Avernus at Swanage. Climb up the back of a cave then traverse left to exit through the blow-hole.
Ramblin dave - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:
It's not a comedy squeeze or anything, but Scrattling Crack at Baggy Point is quite an experience for a VDiff leader - an abseil approach, a massively atmospheric location in a narrow zawn surrounded with overhangs, a stunning natural line, a choice of whether to go for paddy slab moves or offwidth thrutching, and it's got some fairly scary runouts unless you've brought a properly massive cam...
James Oswald - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:
Shelob - that's a pretty small hole in a pretty exposed position that you have to squeeze through....
Gordon Stainforth - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

I think the Dubhs Ridge in the Cuillin should definitely be on the list. OK, the ordinary route is Mod, but if you follow a line directly up the slabs well to the right of the furrow of the ordinary route you can make a route of anything between about v.diff and VS (depending on how direct a line you take - you can wander anywhere) on immaculate slabs of gabbro, for nearly 3000 feet. There's nothing remotely like that anywhere else in the British Isles (and possibly few places in the world).
Rob Naylor - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Definitely sounds like one to "dubh"!
Gordon Stainforth - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to Rob Naylor:

Yes, you must do it. It's "ddu" best.
teflonpete - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Of the routes I've done...
Kinky Boots, that flop over then "what now" move.
Old Man of Stoer, a swim or tyrolean to start it.
BAW's crawl

Routes I've yet to do but like the sound of...
Right Angle
Cave crawl (froggatt)
Preposterous tales
Snakes and ladders
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Leif Andrews - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav: I realise it's graded E3 so it doesn't really count, but there's a route out of Gaping Gill, down the Dales. That's got to be unusual!
Offwidth - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav: Some obvious one's not yet metioned: The Pennine Way, Standedge Quarry; Preposterous Trails and Purgatorial Progress, Shining Cliff; Ravenstones Stomach Traverse; Nod's Cave, Eastwood; Mousetrap, Gogarth.
cem on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Not in the UK, I know, but Cornish Rhapsody (Glendalough, Ireland)
Al Evans on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth: For the V Diff category can I mention Lockwoods Chimney in the Wenault, and also Sea Tube on Rusty Walls in Pembroke.
Offwidth - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to Al Evans: That reminded me of Under Milk Wood, Gower and the Twopenny Tube on Kinder and a great Mod!: The Chimney, Manifold Valley (you could add Cumberbund there as well).
Toerag - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav: Guernsey would seem to have an unusually high number of 'hole' routes, most of which are actually chimneys - 'The Black Hole' takes you up about 15feet into the crag for 2/3rds of it's length, then into a gravity defying ramp and groove. Add in the odd disposable hold near the top and you have an entertaining experience at HVS 5a *. 'Slimmer's chimney' weighs in at VD, 'Life's a drag' is a 'take all your rack off' VS 4c, 'The Blowhole' S is less constrained apart from the top which is a proper hole. Petit Port Chimney is the ultimate though - 2/3 pitches up a chimney, first climbed in 1908. Chockstone weaving required along with bellyflop moves onto mud ledges, pigeon dodging and a vegetated topout. Now given HVS. Good account of the only modern ascent on the GMC blog.
caradoc - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav: Probably mentioned already but Monolith Crack is quite unbelievable.
Ramblin dave - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:
So many of the routes in here have been caving / squeezes that that's beginning to seem like old hat!

Having said that, Little Cham for the bum-shuffle and Donkey's Ears for the into the cave / out of the cave / up through the ears routine are probably worth it.

But what about routes that are unique for their location or atmosphere or appearance or style rather than just because you have to squeeze through a hole at some point?

Thoughts:
Land's End Long Climb and Commando Ridge?
Anything on Beinn a'Bhuird (wild camp more or less obligatory)
Marathon Ridge (sounds crazy...)
alexcollins123 - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:
The Chasm Route on Glyder Fach, above rainbow slabs. Don't do the final pitch and escape through the cave on your left. Awesome!!
Peter Metcalfe - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Sifta's Quid (HS) - Roaches
Alex@home - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

an bealach runda at fairhead
first pitch involves chimneying between the crag and a detached pillar
the rest is more normal but it's still the best e1 i've ever done
Offwidth - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to Alex@home:

Remembered two more: Flake Crack Gribben facet and Oak Tree Wall Agden Rocher
Tom V - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
The crux on Oak Tree Wall is proportionate to your weight as well as your height.Hilarious.
Al Evans on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Good grief, is the oak tree still surviving, I think I first did that route in 1963 or thereabouts and it was a shaky step off even then :-).
Al Evans on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Alex@home)
>
> Remembered two more: Flake Crack Gribben facet and Oak Tree Wall Agden Rocher

I mat being pedantic, but I'm sure it was Oak Tree Walk in those days.
mav - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Ann S: Pinnacle Wall sounds great!
dustyrat - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
I agree with GrahamD - a fall across the zawn to the jugs on Kinky Boots and the downclimb on Midnight Cowboy must make this a strong contender!
What do you think AndyC123?
scorpia97 - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

The HVS on Avon Main wall: Pink wall traverse, great mix of climbing. Starts with a walk from lunchtime ledge across towards the big roof, then an interesting down climb that becomes more and more exposed before you have to commit to grabbing one of the iron stakes that sticks out the wall. Once you have gained the stakes, there's a bit of urban ladder climbing, where the rungs are just far enough apart to keep it exciting while you enjoy the views from the middle of the pink wall. After the stakes you arrive at an excellent hand traverse along a break before finishing onto the Downs. Well worth doing!
ripper - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:
I've said it before but at E1, Aplomb on Plum Buttress, Chee Dale, surely has to be a contender? first pitch is a fairly standard, pleasant VS corner but then you get a pitch of slightly loose, slightly vegetated thinness, then a pitch of the wildest wild traversing with huge roofs both below and above, then a pitch of overhanging juggery with a yawning void beneath your feet. top entertainment.
Wesley Orvis - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Inside Route- vdiff - Dove Nest Crag, head torch and a bit of caving.

Grey Knotts Face- diff - Gillercombe Buttress, through the letter box, not many routes you have to go through a cave backwards.

Dove Nest Attic Cave- only a scramble but nothing else like it.
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IainMacG on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Cioch Direct (or something there... take your pick!) - the Cioch FFS *and* you can pretend to be in a film

Little Chamonix - hiding in plain sight - sounds too much of an obvious classic... but that descend-y bit on to the slab. I would contend one of the reasons for its classic status is because it has exactly the attributes the OP is looking for

something at Brimham Rocks for the weird formations and feel
Offwidth - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to IainMacG:

Dancing Bear and that fabulous VS on the east side Crown Rock that climbs into a sliced open funnel (that seems to be missing from the database).
jonnie3430 - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Thanks for the list! My contribution would be Snakes and Ladders (and Tunnels,) in California. One that I haven't done, but is on the list.

I put the routes (most of them,) on a ticklist for easier finding: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=673
deepstar - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to mav: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=175541 It is not a classic route but I love it because of the highly unusual protection.
Offwidth - on 24 Aug 2013
In reply to deepstar:

Good call and it obviously leads on to this:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=18910
IanMcC - on 24 Aug 2013
johncoxmysteriously - on 24 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

Intriguing note there - 'spanner reinstated'. Really?!

jcm
Fredt on 24 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Has anyone mentioned Helfenstein's Struggle yet?
Tom V - on 24 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Starvation Chimney on Wimberry will never be anything but a fond memory for me, I reckon.

Cable Way on Lundy had a great finish.

Speaking of old iron, what happened to Tubing the Loon? I thought it was a bit of an adventure in its day.
masa-alpin - on 28 Aug 2013
A bit late response..
But Magical Mystery Tour 1 in Berry Head surely fits the bill (though it is perhaps out of the "trad" category)?
340-metres heavily-overhung, wild, and continuous traverse at an amenable grade is unrivalled!
Masa
Offwidth - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Yeah they put the spanner back in (pointing the other way)!

Another: Pieces of Eight, the propriaceptive octet at Birchen.

The Brimham VS missing from the database was Keyhole Cops (FA Gaz Parry and Ben Bransby), an absolute must.
Pete Stacey - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:
The Sheugh on Buzzards Roost in the Mournes, round the corner from Divided Years takes some beating for a full on adventure. I know of one guide who asked for a top rope out at the finish
Al Evans on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth: For years Kaiserberge Wall in the LP was protected by a jammed bike crank, I have no idea what the history of this was or when it disappeared.
John2 - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Al Evans: It was still there earlier this year, Al.
Tom V - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Doris's Route at Ilkley. It shouldn't really exist, should it?
wilkie14c - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to teflonpete:

> Snakes and ladders

Yes, brilliant wet day route. also, great gully if its been dry for a spell and the Bat, dove holes <aid> all three of those will leave you buzzing!

Predictable but great, very atmospheric - A dream of white horses.

The Ivanator - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to mav: Exposure Explosion HVS at Ogmore - 7 pitches traversing through wild territory in and out of wet caves on a band of good rock through a (in many areas) rickety cliff. Crazy tides, hard 4c moves on undercut sections where a fall would be serious, all round entertainment.
Mike C on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to mav:

Fuselage Gully on Beinn Eighe must trump a spanner with a belay off a chunk of a Lancaster.

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