/ Cioch West
As in, done what's in the guidebooks and found all the features there described in the same order they're described in - I'm sure plenty have wombled roughly up the right part of the face as we did, hopefully avoiding an ascent of the crux oif Crembo Cracks by mistake like the party in front of us.
I believe it finishes somewhere near the Cioch. Couldn't see it when we were there. We lost the path on the way down and abbed off through a waterfall. It didn't get us any wetter than we already were.
Mildly assisted by following for two and a bit pitches a pair who knew the crag/route well. Don't remember any route finding hassles at all but maybe they navigated us through the ambiguous bit.
Sunbathing weather when we did it too which might help.
Done it twice and would agree that the guidebook description could be improved on - it does seem to be a favourite for getting lost on!
Yes, also about 20 yrs ago. Remember it being easy enough to follow, sorry. There was a key leftward traverse with a hidden jug in a ledge somewhere. Also remember there was a huge lightening storm that echoed round Coire Lagan and it slashed down all day. Traversed across beneath the Cioch and finished up Crack of Doom. Which was nasty.
We didn't find the route finding too hard, though there were a couple moments when I had to have a second and third look at the notes my partner had copied from the guide.
We had great weather so I guess it was fairly easy nav. Finished up the Nose. I didn't really feel it deserved Severe. Really fun though.
Did it last month. Only navigational tip would be to head right 10m along the grassy ledge at the end of the second pitch (as described in guidebook) before starting third pitch, then you can see what you're aiming for. Great mountaineering route with only short technical sections at about 3c/4a, felt like vdiff overall and can be finished up the nose of the Cioch at a similar standard.
Yes, did it last year. The route finding did require a bit more reference to the guidebook and head scratching than we were accustomed to doing on 'follow the polish' multipitches in the Lakes/N Wales. However we did follow it all as described, except for me climbing direct up a steep wall onto the ledge on Pitch 4 rather than traversing across a few metres further left where there is apparently a big hold.
The adventurous route finding was part of what made the route so enjoyable. A lot of it boiled down to judgement on whether the line looked realistic for Severe - probably easier to do if you are only a Severe leader!
Which guidebooks? There are a few. As for the grade its pleasant for severe and we felt there is nothing 4a on it.
Yup, did it some time ago. I'm afraid I can't remember any routefinding difficulties - it all seemed pleasant, rambling and straightforward.
If it makes you feel any better, I once went offroute on Cioch Direct, due in part to my limited knowledge of nautical terms.
Think it's one of those routes where you're better half-ignoring the description and putting yourself in the mind of the FA for where to go next.
Those saying it's easy for 4a, I think the crux is quite tricky - I took a beginner up it who had a fair bit of trouble on that move.
That wasn't you behind us at the end of May, was it?
Most of the route finding was fairly straight forward - apart from the crux pitch where we managed to get onto the crux pitch of Crembo Crack (HVS 5a). Thought it seemed a bit stiff for the grade (4a as we thought) - then when we got to the top of that pitch spotted the way we should have gone.
Yup. No problems route finding. Great route, maybe my favourite way to approach the Cioch.
Good route. Only bit in the guide that had us scratching our heads was "belay below the well-scratched wall". Needs some dry-tooling to make it a bit more obvious.
Yes I suspect that is what we did wrong. The crux of Crembo Cracks is a good pitch though...
Did it 2 yrs ago on the same day Nicholas Crane was climbing The Cioch guided by John Lyle. The route was fairly easy to follow and the crux has good exposure, Severe felt about right. I also tried it around 8 yrs ago and ended up on Crembo Cracks but I'd only just started climbing then and didn't have a clue so abbed off.
Did it about 8 years ago using the definitive guide available at the time. If I remember right, the first few pitches follow cracks until you reach a steeper wall and we initially had difficulty working out how to get though the wall. We eventually realised that if we took about 30m off one of the guidebook pitch lengths then it made more sense. You have to traverse right a bit below the wall and this lands you at a good diagonal crack line that takes you through the barrier. Nice climbing I thought.
Sorry, my memory is a bit vague but I do remember the guidebook description being a bit misleading.
Did it this June - a great route. The only route finding problem we had was continuing up a short crack forming the left side of a huge flake on pitch 2. On re-reading the guide I think we should have traversed right under this and across slabs and up - but we got to the same point in the end.
>That wasn't you behind us at the end of May, was it?
Quite possibly. A Kiwi fellow wearing something purple and a helmet, and myself wearing something else, probably a blue floral pair of trews.
We didn't experience any great difficulty in wandering up to the top via some natural line, just that the guidebook seemed to bear no particular relation to what we climbed. Other guidebooks seemed also to bear no particular relation, while being fairly different from the one we had.
Oh well. I bet the West Buttress is a whole lot worse. Anyone climbed that? It didn't look to me like it had had an ascent since Mallory's time.
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