/ Showcase Britain and Ireland

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Andy Moles 10 Jul 2019

I would like to invite nominations the best routes in these islands, viewed through a particular lens.

You are hosting a well-travelled foreign climber who wants to sample the best that Britain and Ireland has to offer. This person can be of any ability, so the grade of route is not important, but they have climbed at a wide variety of the best destinations in the world, and they are hard to impress.

In other words, routes that you would recommend to anyone, without knowing their idiosyncrasies, and be confident they will like it.

Assume the season and conditions are appropriate.

Go.

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Jon Stewart 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

Prophesy of Drowning

It's just the ultimate in adventure sea-cliff climbing, and I would think pretty unique to the UK. Setting, rock quality, climbing, positions, approach...it's everything UK climbing can be, turned up to 11.

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planetmarshall 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Absolutely. You should have seen the big fat smile on my face for the entire duration of the route.

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Jon Stewart 10 Jul 2019
In reply to planetmarshall:

I think I did!

Other routes on the Islands are incredible too of course, but the fact that Prophesy is really immaculate (and dry!) is a big winner. Routes on Dun Mingulay certainly give it a run for its money, but the crag faces North and I like climbing dry rock in the sun.

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planetmarshall 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> ...I like climbing dry rock in the sun.

Aren't you based in the Lakes?

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Simon Caldwell 10 Jul 2019
MichealMurphy 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

The Green Pool (E1 5b)

Amazing climbing in a surreal setting.

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Jon Stewart 10 Jul 2019
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Aren't you based in the Lakes?

Fair point! But when the sun shines here for long enough, the rock eventually dries out, and what glorious rock it is. The best Lakes rhyolite is second only to Lewisian gneiss...but there isn't anything round here that meets the OP. The crags are simply not big and clean enough to be world class - they're magical and charming in an understated, British way. And often covered in grot/ a little bit fally-downy.

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Andy Moles 11 Jul 2019

This is good, already two routes that weren't on my radar at all.

I'm going to venture Left Wall Direct Finish (E3 5c) and Track of the Cat (E4 6a) as two of my own favourite pitches. 

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Jon Stewart 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

The rock's a bit funny, and they might be a bit puzzled by the pegs, but you can't help but impressed by Fay (E4 5c).

Astral Stroll (E1 5b) and The Moon (E3 5c) are unique and unforgettable experiences too. 

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alan moore 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

Old Man of Stoer for sea cliff climbing, atmosphere, adventure and oddity.

An Idwal link-up for mountaineering, charm, perfect rock and a chance to watch the crowds disappear as you continue.

Something at he Roaches to distill it all down to the quintessential experience.

(sorry Ireland, your still an unknown quantity to me...)

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steve taylor 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

Fair Head - some of the best trad climbing in the UK (and a little more accessible than the islands).

Highlights there for me were Titanic (E2 5c)Jolly Roger (E3 6a) and all of the jamming routes on the prow.

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Alex@home 11 Jul 2019
In reply to steve taylor:

Good call, Scorpion (E3 5c) was my fave there. 2 amazing contrasting pitches. Although An Bealach Rúnda (E1 5b) runs it very close.

Also The Bug (E2 5b) which is probably the best single pitch I've climbed

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FactorXXX 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

Has to be something on slate included, but which one?
The Quarryman is perhaps the obvious choice (from a punters perspective), any better ones?

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FactorXXX 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

Strawberries and with a real possibility of doing it On Sight.

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FactorXXX 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

Gaia.
Not the hardest on grit, but still the one that everyone would love to climb.

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Tom Last 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

Rainbow Bridge - Berry Head

No doubt about it, one of the best experiences to be had anywhere, doing anything. Might as well do Moonraker while you’re at it.

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Andy Moles 13 Jul 2019
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Has to be something on slate included, but which one?

There doesn't have to be, but if there is, the Rainbow.

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Andy Moles 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Tom Last:

Rainbow Bridge, yes. Moonraker, not so sure.

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Andy Moles 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Astral Stroll (E1 5b) and The Moon (E3 5c) are unique and unforgettable experiences too. 

In the traversey above the sea vein, I would say The Prozac Link (E4 5c) is even better than The Moon.

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Andy Moles 13 Jul 2019
In reply to alan moore:

> An Idwal link-up for mountaineering, charm, perfect rock and a chance to watch the crowds disappear as you continue.

Better still, a link up on  Sron na Ciche?

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summo 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

In the right weather, the shrike, axe or vember. 

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summo 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

> Better still, a link up on  Sron na Ciche?

And the finish day scrambling round a couple of tops and zoom up the In Pinn. Always good to finish on a summit, a classic one and you have the views over the other side of the ridge. 

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kevin stephens 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

I was going to say don’t waste any time on grit but on second thoughts just include one route (any will do) just to demonstrate how insignificant it is compared to the best climbing across the British Isles

A selection at Fairhead eg Jolly Roger, Solango, Cornwall Dream Liberator, Rock Dancer, Mercury Direct, numerous at Pembroke Huntsmans Leap, Stackpole and Mother Carey’s, Cloggy: Axe, Shrike Geat Wall, Jelly Roll. At Gogarth Concrete Chimney (tell them it’s dowh so as not to disappoint them). Slate Desolation of Smaug and Poetry in Pink

ill leave others to recommend for Lakes and Scotland but include Centurion on Ben Nevis and loads on the Hebrides including Prophesy of Drowning and lots on Lewis sea cliffs

Post edited at 08:49
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kevin stephens 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

What would be good would be a nice big coffee table photo/essay book  illustrating this, what Extreme Rock should have been

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Mick Ward 13 Jul 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

Now that's a good idea!

Re routes, maybe the Great Wall, Pinnacle Arete, Hand Traverse combination?  A great way up the crag and the routes are drenched in history.

Mick

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Lankyman 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

Main Mast (E2)

Has to be high on the list.

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Andy Moles 13 Jul 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

I think it's fair to have a few of the best grit routes, sure it's small but it's often very nicely formed and plenty of people are into it.

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Andy Moles 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

A few shouts for Cloggy routes, but I'm not so sure. It seems like a very British thing. I feel like some foreign visitors might wonder what the fuss is about, and why it's worth the longer walk than crags in the Pass. 

Compared to mountain crags elsewhere in the world it's not very big. It's often a bit grubby and rattly and bold. There's an annoyingly loud train chugging nearby. Kind of playing devil's advocate here because I do like Cloggy a lot, I'm just not sure our hypothetical globetrotter is likely to 'get' it.

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Jon Stewart 13 Jul 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> Cornwall Dream Liberator

Absolutely.

> Mercury Direct

Absolutely not. Wet loose terror - many visitors find gogarth a bit too weird and British - gowler is like gogarth on acid. 

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kevin stephens 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I thought it sublime; but then I’ve been conditioned by over 100 routes at Gogarth. I guess for a showcase for UK climbing we should give more regards to rock quality, hence on Cloggy Axe, Shrike and Jelly Roll (also helps to access ab for the other two) rather than the West Buttress routes. No one has mentioned Lundy; brilliant place but maybe few outstanding routes except Devils Slide?

Post edited at 18:20
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Andy Moles 14 Jul 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

>  No one has mentioned Lundy; brilliant place but maybe few outstanding routes except Devils Slide?

A route on the Diamond maybe. I've only done a couple so can't say which is the best.

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CaelanB 20:41 Sun
In reply to Andy Moles:

Everyone has gone for Summer climbing options so in that vein I'd probably venture Minus One Direct (E1 5b) as the best route I've ever done and surely a good route whatever metric you use? sticking on the Ben I'm sure many of the routes on the Carn Dearg Buttress would be worth a punt? Any takers for Shelterstone or Dubh Loch routes?

Are we including winter routes in this or just summer?

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Andy Moles 06:25 Mon
In reply to CaelanB:

Rock only, winter is a big can of frozen worms and you shouldn't freeze cans.

The Ben should have at least a route in there, if only because it's the Ben. Is Minus One Direct good enough? Better than Centurion or Torro or Titan's Wall?

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CaelanB 10:10 Mon
In reply to Andy Moles:

I did Centurion and Minus One Direct on consecutive days a few years ago. In my opinion, Minus One is faaaaaar better, it has an alpine feel like nothing else I've ever climbed in the UK with some truly mesmerising exposure. After pitch 3 the rock is immaculate and every pitch is incredible. I've never done Torro or Titan's wall though so can't comment on those. But Minus One definitely gets my vote!

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AlanLittle 10:20 Mon
In reply to Andy Moles:

I actually have expereince of bringing a group from the Munich DAV to North Wales for a week, and the spots that most impressed them were the Slate and Gogarth. 

They also absolutely insisted on going to Tremadog to gaze upon the scene of Stefan Glowacz's onsight of Srtawberries, but I'd suggest thats reall only of historical interest and certainly not a must-visit for any other reason.

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