/ More Hoy advice
1. What's the rock quality like on Big John and Mucklehouse Wall? XS?
2. What's the best route on the Old Man?
Thanks in advance!
From my limited experience on TOMOH I would suggest the Original route is a must do, haven't done any others. Mucklehouse wall the rock is good for sandstone, no ignore that, it's just good, it would be a three star anywhere.
I don't know if the wall right of our route Paternoster has been climbed yet but it looked very sound (perhaps worth an abseil and deserves an ascent.
When I did the Old Man twenty odd years ago, it was very sandy! did the original route. doesnt look.like the others get much traffic!
Crispin Waddy has done a fair bit on TOMOH. You could get in touch via Living Stone climbing walls
The quality varies with the horizontal bedding in the rock - it can go from bomber to wet talc in a few inches, repeatedly. Not done Big John but I think the rock is worse lower down (or buried under steep grass) and better higher up. Probably still all XS due to the lichen, damp and birds though - Longhope to the right is much cleaner on the last few pitches.
Mucklehouse wall has some sandy sections and some very clean sections, but the top quarter is sandstone as good as you get anywhere.
I doubt very much that if you're up to climbing Big John or Mucklehouse wall, the best route on the Old Man for you will be the original. We did For a few dollars more on the north face, which was great. The South face and bounding aretes looked good too.
I have an account of climbing the GMB (west face) of the old man at
and Big John on St Johns Head at
They might help give a feel for those routes. I've also been on Mucklehouse Wall which was amazing but much more conventional.
The South Face is consistently and pleasantly dire :D
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