I shall not spoil the leader of the first pitch's thunder. But the rest of it was fine. As described, easier and mostly less serious than expected.
As Tony isn't claiming... It may be a new first pitch option for the brave. Estimate XS/E3 5c.
If you abseil off the wrong side of the headland (80m) - ie the north side. You can wade/scramble along the base until almost at the end. Here is a smooth but definite corner which has green growing on it low down. A short wade will see you round the point (and I think the correct start). The corner looks stupid and gearless for the first half, but 15m or so back east is a weakness/groove and a trending, rising line leading right wards towards the top of the afore mentioned corner.
Pitch 1 XS/E3 5c (25m): Climb the weakness (gear) to where the crack effort runs out at 5m, traverse up across the groove using shaky flakes and slick feet above your now dubious looking gear. Once stood on the rising traverse line, attempt to place gear (warthog/peg) but without real success. Keep going. Enter the corner At 3/4 height, close to the corner. Ground fall opportunity here. Climb the slick face, tantalisingly close to the corner and what from the ground looks like pro possibilities. Keep going and if god smiles on your soul, top out at 16m above the sea level. Belay off the spikes adjacent.
Pitch 2 (12m):
Just below the north side of the ridge, traverse up to the obvious summit spike. Sling. Traverse down the other side (pegs). The pegs are the belay for the proper first pitch stance.
Kevster - AltLd O/S - 16/Aug/14 with Gavin Dee, Tony Johnson
Gavdee1 - 2nd - 16/Aug/14 with Tony Johnson, Kev
What a route. 4*'s. Amazing.
Col Kingshott - AltLd O/S - 22/Jul/14
A fantastic adventure. Not hard technically but massively exposed and very committing. Pitch 6 is outrageous!
jtree03 - AltLd O/S - 22/Jul/14 with Col, Tony
uncontrollable - AltLd O/S - 26/Aug/12 with Max
Hidden - AltLd O/S - Jun/12
Awesome day out, weather unfortunately curtailed the attempt due to high winds and rain arriving earlier than anticipated!!
There's now some gear left at the end of pitch two which tide dependant (we got wet) will allow you to bail/retreat.
The national trust were very helpful throughout the day and a thank you must go to them, if you liaise with them early and are courteous it'll make your day a lot easier.
A jumar would have made the Prussic back up the ab rope easier. Unfinished business here will definitely be back this season.
climbtim - AltLd dnf - 14/May/12 with Tom Thorne
Hidden - AltLd dnf - 14/May/12
Started off in drizzle with crossed fingers... but thankfully the weather had improved by the time we reached pitch 3 and conditions remained good. What a day and what a route!!!
There's (currently) a very good description in 'The Ridges of England, Wales and Ireland' by Dan Bailey which is worth reading before attempting the route. Thought grades seem about right at 4b,-,4c,-,-,4b but that discounts the fact that most of the gear is beyond suspect and hand and footholds detach without warning. The wave-washed first pitch seems relatively solid. There's currently 2 pegs at the end of pitch 1, 4 pegs at the crux on pitch 3, 3 pegs at the end of pitch 3, and 2 pegs on the last pitch - all look in a bad state.
Jonny M - AltLd O/S - 31/Jul/10 with Ian Ferguson
Great adventure...kayaked from mainland, stoed the boats at Alum Bay and then traversed across to the start. Amazing exposure. Not too bad climbing i think hardest move now is on final pitch protected by two 'ok' pegs but no gear after for around 4m. Probably hard 4c taking into account crumbly footholds! Great experience.
Mr Tickle - AltLd O/S - 03/May/10 with davenev
Great adventure - route seems to have changed from original guidebook description at pitch 5 - 20ft of ledges seems to be at least 100ft then no chimney on pitch 6 - crux probably now on this last pitch - 2 rusty (ok?) pegs then no other protection until you gain the 'fine position' - the loose holds add to the whole drama - 60m ropes just reach the tourist cage at the top for a good final belay - agree maybe XS 4c/5a
davenev - AltLd O/S - 03/May/10 with luke
Hidden - AltLd O/S - 27/Sep/09
Helen Gibson - AltLd - Sep/09 with mikey P
mjeffery - AltLd O/S - 14/Aug/09
Hidden - AltLd O/S - 27/Jun/09
Jane Weir - AltLd O/S - 27/Jun/09 with Scott Titt, Sue Hazel
Hidden - 2009
Hidden - AltLd O/S - 22/Jul/06
Hidden - AltLd O/S - 04/Nov/03
Ian JL - AltLd O/S - Jun/02 with Duncan Henderson
Hot and Cold variation.
Paz - AltLd O/S - Feb/02 with AR
babymoac - AltLd - 28/Sep/97 with Alex
This is what I wrote in my guidebook at the time:
It was very scary. The chalk was as crumbly as expected and there was no gear. The abseil involved tying three ropes together. The change over at the knots gave added interest to the descent down loose shite. By the time we got to the base of the route, the tide had come in, so that we had to walk through the sea to get to the base of the route.
The first pitch was unprotected and covered in wet seaweed. James led magnificently, using ice axes and simon's shoulder. Simon's beautiful ice axe, obviously perturbed by the thought of a five hour escapade on guano covered chalk, decides to leave the expedition at this stage and jumps out of my hand for a watery death..
The third pitch was led by myself up a flaky vertical arete, protected by a peg which went in surprisingly easily! A crucial hold came off at a crucial time and I felt myself drop approximately 2 feet. Somehow saved myself from a 40 foot fall on a dodgy peg and a single 9mm rope and struggled to the belay ledge (surprisingly good) and belayed James, with a sling round a flint for the belay.
Another magnificent lead by James, whilst watching an even more spectacular sunset over the needles, the arete was narrow. Sore bottom time. Darkness fell, a moonless night as the final pictures were dealt with by Simon, however we were unable to see the comet.
kp64zl - AltLd - 17/Mar/96 with James B, Simon V