Full size version is only available to registered users
Please Register as a New User or Login as Existing User to gain full access to all the photos on this site. Registration is quick and completely free.
Unregistered users can only view full size photos that have been added this month.
Ken Jackson belaying Tony Marr. Pitch 4, Swastika, Etive Slabs. 1966.
© Tony Marr, May 1966
Climbers: Ken Jackson belaying, Tony Marr climbing.
Camera used: Halina 35mm, scanned colour slide.
This is the "Moustache" pitch. I note from the latest guide book that it's now possible to protect the second with a Friend on this delicate 25m traverse. Unfortunately, in the 60's, long before Friends were invented, this was totally unprotected [like many of the pitches].
On another point, something that has surprised me many times over the years while talking to some younger climbers, is their lack of knowledge about how grades in Scotland used to lag behind the rest of the UK. Until the late 1970's, the highest grade used in Scotland was Very Severe....Swastika, Pause, Long Reach, Long Wait etc. were all graded VS. This made climbing extra exciting and always serious! You would never be sure if the climb was actually just a VS or a serious Extreme! Guide books from that time rarely helped, descriptions usually short / vague, and of course technical grades for individual pitches did not exist. How times have changed...
Tony Marr - 03/Jun/14
I remember doing a VS at Polldubh in the seventies. John Cunningham was with some students on a route nearby. I asked him if I was on the right line. He said yes. The conversation then went:
"VS in Scotland can mean anything"
"Yes I know"
"It could be Extreme 5c"
"Yes I know. What would you say this is?"
"That's VS - in Scotland"
Andy Long - 04/Jun/14
Login as Existing User to add your comments Search for comments
I agree they were very slow to accept other grades but some guides had graded lists at the back which helped.
I don't think you would have been able to place a friend in the old days (if you had them) because of the turf. The turf has reduced over the years as climbers walked on it, some of it gave way and some was removed.
Colin Moody - 04/Jun/14