/ Mountain Rock
We're putting together a list of routes for a guidebook to the mountaineering rock climbs of Great Britain - does anyone have any suggestions for routes that we may not have thought of? Looking for multi-pitch stuff in the mountains, up to and including HS with some of the easier and more historically significant routes at VS as well. Also looking to include a good mix of grades, styles, and crags, including a few of the less serious multi-pitch crag routes that make a good intro to mountain rock for the less experienced.
Any thoughts? What are your favourite mountain routes in Scotland, Cumbria & Wales?
In order to avoid a lot of repetition any indication/a list of what you have already?
Afterthought Arete-Final Selection link up.
Here's suggestions so far... Some of them are are only short, but included in there as part of a link-up...
Why not one of the central buttress routes rather than east buttress on Beinn Eighe ? & you have very few Cairngorm routes so maybe Mousetrap on the Dubh Loch ?
Talisman and Squareface are two obvious omissions.
Hmmm... I'd not thought of Mousetrap. It sounds like an 'adventurous' day based on the comments on the logbooks! As for Beinn Eighe... yes, I did have some of the other routes on the list, but decided that with a 3-hour walk-in should choose just one of them, and I love East Buttress! Will look into this again though. thanks
Colonel's Corner on the Dungeon of Buchan.
Cool, thanks - I hadn't heard of Final Selection, but it looks nice!
> Cool, thanks - I hadn't heard of Final Selection, but it looks nice!
As a mountaineering day the link up is lovely. Can also do a northern corries route on way in.
Looks like the same list as Classic Rock, but with some extras.
Can’t seen how The Wrinkle and Crackstone Rib are mountaineering routes but you could include something on Cloggy instead - Longland’s is the obvious one albeit VS.
Similarly The Cracks isn’t really mountaineering, although it’s a few (short) pitches long. You could include Slow Ledge Climb as a link up idea into the North Ridge of Crib Goch (or Main Wall for fast teams) but it’s not a particularly good route, though the middle pitch is pretty good.
Commando Ridge at Bosigran would be worth including.
It might seem overly critical, but Shepherd's Crag is not "mountain rock" - a dubious term at the best of times in the UK, but certainly not to be applied to a very popular valley crag right by a road and cafe...
I think Original Route (VS 5a) on the Holly Tree wall is a really good route worth touting as an alternative to Lazarus.
You've not included anything on Pavey - that could be a good option?
I'll think a bit more...
looking at the list again, the distribution between crags seems odd in places. Why so many routes on Idwal ? why all 3 of Faith, Hope & Charity? & why not give links of eg Tennis shoe & Lazurus as one outing ?
Butterknife on Garbh Bheinn of Ardgour.
Echoing the poster who said the list looks very like classic rock, though I admire your motivation in writing about these lovely routes, there has to be a new perspective.
There are plenty of new climbs at the sub VS level you specify on newly developed mountain crags - the Rhinogs come to mind. But there must be others too. Plus the less celebrated non-honeypot routes on the classic crags. I think, for example there have been a few good routes put up on Gimmer to the left of The Crack.
I’ve often wondered about the easiest ways up hard crags. Clearly climbers value a good line and hard moves but there’s also some satisfaction in finding the easiest way up a cliff even if it’s devious. I think a lot of these exploratory routes were ascended in the past and not recorded as they were regarded as a failure to ascend the ‘line’ but I’d love to find a sub VS line up say Scafell East (other than Mickledore Grooves) even if it needed a bit of descending and mucking about.
Anyone know any hard crags with an easy way up?
Innominate Crack, Kern Knotts
Engineer Slabs, Gable Crag
North-West Climb, Pillar
Glyder Fawr, Central Arete
Pisgah Buttress Direct, Scafell
Not Troutdale Pinnacle - it's a valley crag
P.s. Perhaps Grey Knotts Face instead of Gillercombe Buttress and Raven Crag Buttress instead of Corvus.
Also, Pavey: Crescent Climb or Crescent Slabs into Gwynne's Chimney; or Rake End Wall and Coati.
Hopkinson's Gully (not a gully!) on Scafell Pinnacle is sheer delight at Mild VS.
As an alternative to Rake End Wall (which I assume has been suggested) you might think about Coati (VS) on Pavey.
What about ringing the changes on Raven Combe Ghyll with Raven Crag Buttress instead of Corvus?
On Gimmer I wouldn't have so many 'alphabet routes' - D route for sure and maybe another but others are a bit "samey" if you ask me. And F Route? In a list that is to 'just creep into VS'? There's no just creeping about F Route! You'd be better with Asterisk, for instance, or list as the link Asterisk/D Route.
Shackle on Buchaille Etive Mor?
Have you got The Talisman on Creagan a Choire Etchachan?
Clean Sweep on Hell's Lum? Though again not a pushover at VS.
Great Ridge Garbh Bheinn of Ardgour? Or is that too obvious?
That 3* V Diff at Craig Cwm Cowarch? Or has it gone back to nature before I got to do it?
Important thing is not to duplicate Classic Rock too much I should think.
Good luck with it.
> As an alternative to Rake End Wall (which I assume has been suggested) you might think about Coati (VS) on Pavey.
> What about ringing the changes on Raven Combe Ghyll with Raven Crag Buttress instead of Corvus?
> On Gimmer I wouldn't have so many 'alphabet routes' - D route for sure and maybe another but others are a bit "samey" if you ask me. And F Route? In a list that is to 'just creep into VS'? There's no just creeping about F Route! You'd be better with Asterisk, for instance, or list as the link Asterisk/D Route.
Rake End Wall, Coati and RCB instead of Corvus - echoes my comment above. So, there must be a good rationale - particularly for swapping Corvus for RCB.
I climbed F Route in early May this year and it was really quite dirty for a three star classic! Perhaps it is cleaner now, though.
I do wonder whether a better book would be produced if solid VS is embraced, rather than avoided...?
You'd probably have a better book by ignoring anything in classic rock and suggesting alternatives.
Definitely RCB not corvus
North west climb into gomorrah on pillar
Definitely something on pavey but there's a well dangerous block on the p2 belay on coati.
Botterils or moss ledge and jones' arete on scafell not MGG - spread the traffic a little.
Woodheads climb on scafell pinnacle?
If you've got F route you can have solid VS in.
What about scrubby crag in the lakes, grendel etc, not done this but looks good
2nd the suggestions to make it a bit more different from Classic Rock.
Swap Sou'wester Slabs with Caliban's Creep.
Mur y niwl followed by pinnacle wall.
> What about scrubby crag in the lakes, grendel etc, not done this but looks good
Did Grendel and Beowulf in 1974 when they were good and the whole crag seemed fine. Went back for Hrothgar in 2004 when the whole crag looked neglected except for Grendel, which we therefore did again. Not returned since. Anybody going there at all these days?
> Anybody going there at all these days?
Its on the to-do list...
As a good intro to low grades mountain rock I will suggest 2 routes that I have climbed in two separate bank holiday weekends and, amazingly, found deserted. Both routes have nice rock, easy moves, plenty of protection and are pleasant to climb, both are in a stunning beautiful mountain environment, with the benefit of not having the added pressure from other climbing team pressing you on, which can be quite daunting on your intro to mountain rock. I only had a team following about 3 pitches behind on the first route and had the route all to myself on the second one. Considering that all the near by car park were crowded, I couldn't beleive my luck.
the first route, in Wales, is: link up of table direct (easy VD) and Cyfrwy arete (Mod) 9 pitches in total, followed by 60 m of scrambling
the second, in the Lakes, is: Great How Crags original route (VD) 5 pitches.
If you're looking to keep the list at hs and below, with only some easier vs, then I'd probably not include eagle front. The summer that I did it I'd been leading a lot of lakes hvs and still found it pretty exciting.
As for a suggested route, I've never done it but always fancied the great ridge on Garbh Bheinn. I think it has a direct start as well that makes it even longer (don't have the guidebook with me at the mo). Also some stuff on stac pollaidh?
Amphitheatre buttress also an omission? Or great gully next to it for laughs? Surely you should include one big mountain gully for tradition's sake?!
The first pitch out of the table gap is definitely harder than mod, I'd say vdiff and harder than anything on Table Direct. Lovely route on the best mountain in Wales.
Fionn Buttress, Carnmore
Yes, you are probably right about the first pitch, the route is graded as a Mod in my guidebook.
I agree with you, it is a lovely route and one of the best days out to be had in north Wales . I can't think of many other routes with the same athmospheric ambience. I also love the continuity of it, no heathery or grassy bits to cross in between pitches, as is often the case on many other low grades multipitch routes.
Excellent list but, as has been said, a bit too similar to Classic Rock, and places such as Shepherds Crag don't belong (and Milestone and the Pass Crags are borderline).
If you're including VSs, Mousetrap is great (and personally I didn't find it too top end), and Clean Sweep too.
Another vote for Reade's Route, and Butterknife, and Final Selection,
Other possibles, how about Wisdom Buttress at Carnmore, Pagoda Ridge or Blank on Arran, and Manx Wall on Glyder Fawr.
Or in the "obscure but brilliant" category, Mullenium Direct on Indian Slab in Ardgour and Red Slab on A' Mhaighdean (the most gobsmacking Diff I've ever done)
I'd drop Auld Nick, I thought it unremarkable and replace it with Route II on the Ben.
Clachaig gully is generally a memorable experience...
Islivig Direct for a bit of obscurity.
> 2nd the suggestions to make it a bit more different from Classic Rock.
> Swap Sou'wester Slabs with Caliban's Creep.
No way. The Creep is the only memorable bit of the latter. Sou'wester Slabs is probably the best VD I've ever done.
> No way. The Creep is the only memorable bit of the latter. Sou'wester Slabs is probably the best VD I've ever done.
Aye but it's well documented and in Classic Rock. Hard to justify another book with basically the same routes.
> The Creep is the only memorable bit of the latter.
I can remember three bits like yesterday: the à cheval ridgelet near the start, the Creep, and emerging onto the crest from the amazing deep fissure not long afterwards...
And it was 35 years ago!
> The Creep is the only memorable bit of the latter. Sou'wester Slabs is probably the best VD I've ever done.
Funny, I remember Sou Wester as having only one good pitch. It's the whole experience and the Upper Pinnacle that make it a god route.
Oh... I was also thinking:
If you're going to go up from the Cracks to Main Wall, then maybe Slow Ledge Climb would make a good link route.
Clogwyn Y Person Arete and the Parson's Nose could also be in there.
Then you should have a Cloggy route - maybe Great Slab and/or Longland's Climb.
And Spiral Stairs, Nea, Shadow Wall, and pretty much anything by Menlove Edwards: https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=198
Also, anything by Kirkus that's not a complete sandbag ;)
Maybe exploring out from 'pioneer' figures could generate other interesting climbs.
This list could also be useful for Lakes routes of the beaten track: https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=637
One on Harrison Stickle I've always meant to do is 'Treasure' - but I don't yet know if it's as good as its name suggests.
Sobrenada on Eagle Crag, Grisedale, is also a great and quite exciting route.
> Then you should have a Cloggy route - maybe Great Slab and/or Longland's Climb.
I agree about Cloggy - how about Curving Crack
I thought Curving Crack was vile. If it had been called Overhanging Chimney, or Green Gully it might have felt better...
Have only done the first pitch (to start Troach) but agree, t'was utterly vile. I'd always wanted to do it, after reading about the FA in 'Let's Go Climbing'. Such a disappointment, due to the polish and generally worn nature of it. Still, a typically brave lead by Kirkus. By contrast, Troach was a delight.
What actually separates this book from Classic Rock? I thought at first you were talking about mountaineering-type routes which could have been interesting, e.g. the great ridges on the Ben/Skye etc, as well as proper mountain days out up big features where you wouldn't usually return to the foot of the cliff. Things like Fiddler's Nose, Minus 1 Direct and the big routes on Shelterstone Crag, as opposed to mountain cragging (e.g. Carn Dearg Buttress or Rannoch Wall). You could even have included sea stacks for a different 'mountaineering' flavour.
But it seems you're just talking about easy routes in the mountains, i.e. Classic Rock routes?
May have been previously suggested.
Great ridge, Garbh Bhein - not in CR and a great day
Dubhs Ridge on skye (grade3/mod) with good mountain feel
Old man of storr - maybe not a mountain but a bloody good adventure
Here goes with a few more suggestions
November Groove, Stac Pollaidh https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2019/05/15/stac-pollaidh-weather-to-fly/
Sword of Gideon, South Face of Sgurr a’ Chaorachain https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2019/05/11/applecross-sgurr-a-chaorachain/
Spider Right Hand, Aonach Dubh East Face https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2018/05/14/aonach-dubh-east-face-glen-coe/
College Grooves (HS 4b) and Canon Hole Direct (MVS 4b) on Henhole Crags in The Cheviots?
Steeple Buttress (VD) and/or Tower Buttress (VD) in Ennerdale?
South West Climb (MVS 4b) on Pillar? Makes a fabulous combination with North West Climb (also MVS 4b).
All days out that you have to work for.
I’d echo what others are saying about valley crags, if I bought it and found Little Chamonix in there for example, I’d feel short changed.
In the best traditions of UKC I’d offer a couple of routes that I’ve not done. So I think you want to extend to include a few routes from the far northwest. I recently did Brown’s Ridge on Ben Hope which was just brilliant but looking over at Bell’s Climb, well that looked even better.
Also, what about Rose Route on Suilvan? Not done it but an iconic mountain and very little info around on this route. Similarly if you extended your range up a little, then you could account for other obscure but iconic mountains, like Skyline Highway on Slioch and Fiddler’s Nose Direct on Sgurr an Fhidlair.
I’d buy the book purely on the strength of the inclusion of a few well researched descriptions of adventurous routes such as these.
Sounds good, best of luck.
I was really disappointed with the Long Crack - one decent pitch which I was lucky to be my pitch, but that was it.
I'd certainly look at including something in Etive Slabs (Hammer, Spartan Slab), for variety if nothing else.
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