The thread running on routes you must do threatened to get interesting for a while when, before deviating back to 'must do' = 'best', some people began to conflate 'must do' and 'interesting or unusual'.
Lets face it, everyone who lurks and posts here knows the usual routes that get votes for 'best' at a particular grade. But while, for instance, Bludgers or Centurion maybe two of the best HVS's in the country, they aren't unusual - they aren't unlike any other route you have ever done.
So what's out there, and why? To give you four, at least two of which are mentioned on the other thread:
Cuillin Ridge traverse - 11 summits in one day, with rock climbing required. Nowt else like that in Britain
Crypt Route - Bideam - how many other routes require a head torch?
The Chasm - Buchaille - how many other routes come as 'wet-suit recommended'
Monty Python's Flying Circus - Kyloe In - VS 6a anyone?
So what else is there? Are there routes that involve downclimbing, threading chockstones, or head jams? Anyone? It's routes you should do for the 'experience' I'm looking for.
In Idwal the original VDiff route up the left wall (facing in) of Devils Kitchen will give anyone their money's worth for unusual adventurous climbing. Take a waterproof camera and wear your oldest clothes for this one. I haven't forgotten it many years later and just getting to the start is great fun in itself.
In reply to mav: Benny at Swanage fits the classic and unusual criteria at VS/A1. An aid traverse into the bowels of a sea cave, followed by ascending a chimney and bridging back across the cave roof to emerge into daylight - brilliant.
Dove Nest Crag on the other side of the valley from Raven Crag (Corvus) fits the bill. Two nice clean face-climbing slabs (only Diff) wrapped around an awkward short down climb into a cave, exited by a thrutchy back and foot squeeze, that I'd grade at MS. Very enjoyable, even hilarious route. 3 stars in my book.
True, and even more so the VS up the back, which I think might actually be called Waterfall Climb. I took one look at this and ran away. Has to be the most demanding VS in the country, contrasting nicely with Monty Python's FC.
Bantham Hand (descent by the traditional 50' jump into the water).
That pinnacle with the terrifying simultaneous abseil in that cove in North Cornwall - Trebarwith? Backways Cove?
The Exmoor Coast Traverse.
Waterspout Chimney (Sennen) - or has this one disappeared?
In reply to mav: Janker's Crack (HS) at Froggattm maybe not the most interesting out there but the most hilarious time I've had on a route, both leader and me ended up stuck in a boob jam, some good wiggling required
Traverse of the Gods at VS at Swanage is pretty interesting - aid moves, tyroleans and a swim.
Spantastic may not be the greatest HVS out there but the moves up the detached dolerite spike are certainly interesting.
Magic Flute at Pembroke is a great little E1 (stupidly given a DWS grade in RF, despite the abvsence of any DW covering the rocks below) with a bizarre climbing through a pipe sequence.
Kinky boots start to midnight cowboy at VS has to be one of the more ridiculous starts to a route.
Mousetrap for a full on climbing cheese experience
> That pinnacle with the terrifying simultaneous abseil in that cove in North Cornwall - Trebarwith? Backways Cove?
> Skeleton Ridge.
> The Exmoor Coast Traverse.
It's in Trebarwith Quarry. Well worth a visit.
Other suggestions would be, Breakaway at Henna,which combines massive DP (death potential) with a vivid imagination on exactly what constitutes rock, ice climbing experience and a surfeit of brain cells so that the loss of at least half will permit enough remaining to either complete the climb or retreat. On my attempt we got hit by a storm on the third pitch, and were followed down by a major shale slide and most of the anchors.
The Big Picket Rock is also an esoteric masterpiece, including sea cabbage runners, 6" nails and hammered in reinforcing rods. Don't be tempted to use friends, they'll either get buried in the sand or push the whole thing apart; finally do not use holds, they will snap, and rain turns the whole stack into red mud, as we discovered.
Dodger's Chimney at Chair Ladder is a must, particularly for the stout. When I first climbed it as a skinny 5YO, my grandfather and great uncle both had to remove most of their outer clothes before emerging from the hole at the top. Watching these two distinguished veterans of the Battle of Jutland, prostrate on the sharp granite with blood staining their combinations was an awesome sight. I was summarily dispatched back down into the guts of the thing to rescue their garments, so that dignity could be maintained for the walk back to the car park past the coastguards. Just realised, it's only Diff so doesn't count.
I second Inner space at Mother Carey's if you want an unusual, interesting & exciting but safe HVS.
Also Kinky boots at Baggy point as mentioned above is another great shout at VS (?).
North Crag eliminate (E1) at Castle Rock is another classic climb the tree and onto the rock route. That's on the 3rd (?) pitch, not the 1st. Although I hear that part of Castle Rock is in danger of collapse. That will be a shame.
In reply to mav:
It's not a comedy squeeze or anything, but Scrattling Crack at Baggy Point is quite an experience for a VDiff leader - an abseil approach, a massively atmospheric location in a narrow zawn surrounded with overhangs, a stunning natural line, a choice of whether to go for paddy slab moves or offwidth thrutching, and it's got some fairly scary runouts unless you've brought a properly massive cam...
I think the Dubhs Ridge in the Cuillin should definitely be on the list. OK, the ordinary route is Mod, but if you follow a line directly up the slabs well to the right of the furrow of the ordinary route you can make a route of anything between about v.diff and VS (depending on how direct a line you take - you can wander anywhere) on immaculate slabs of gabbro, for nearly 3000 feet. There's nothing remotely like that anywhere else in the British Isles (and possibly few places in the world).
In reply to mav: Some obvious one's not yet metioned: The Pennine Way, Standedge Quarry; Preposterous Trails and Purgatorial Progress, Shining Cliff; Ravenstones Stomach Traverse; Nod's Cave, Eastwood; Mousetrap, Gogarth.
In reply to mav: Guernsey would seem to have an unusually high number of 'hole' routes, most of which are actually chimneys - 'The Black Hole' takes you up about 15feet into the crag for 2/3rds of it's length, then into a gravity defying ramp and groove. Add in the odd disposable hold near the top and you have an entertaining experience at HVS 5a *. 'Slimmer's chimney' weighs in at VD, 'Life's a drag' is a 'take all your rack off' VS 4c, 'The Blowhole' S is less constrained apart from the top which is a proper hole. Petit Port Chimney is the ultimate though - 2/3 pitches up a chimney, first climbed in 1908. Chockstone weaving required along with bellyflop moves onto mud ledges, pigeon dodging and a vegetated topout. Now given HVS. Good account of the only modern ascent on the GMC blog.
The HVS on Avon Main wall: Pink wall traverse, great mix of climbing. Starts with a walk from lunchtime ledge across towards the big roof, then an interesting down climb that becomes more and more exposed before you have to commit to grabbing one of the iron stakes that sticks out the wall. Once you have gained the stakes, there's a bit of urban ladder climbing, where the rungs are just far enough apart to keep it exciting while you enjoy the views from the middle of the pink wall. After the stakes you arrive at an excellent hand traverse along a break before finishing onto the Downs. Well worth doing!
In reply to mav:
I've said it before but at E1, Aplomb on Plum Buttress, Chee Dale, surely has to be a contender? first pitch is a fairly standard, pleasant VS corner but then you get a pitch of slightly loose, slightly vegetated thinness, then a pitch of the wildest wild traversing with huge roofs both below and above, then a pitch of overhanging juggery with a yawning void beneath your feet. top entertainment.
Cioch Direct (or something there... take your pick!) - the Cioch FFS *and* you can pretend to be in a film
Little Chamonix - hiding in plain sight - sounds too much of an obvious classic... but that descend-y bit on to the slab. I would contend one of the reasons for its classic status is because it has exactly the attributes the OP is looking for
something at Brimham Rocks for the weird formations and feel
A bit late response..
But Magical Mystery Tour 1 in Berry Head surely fits the bill (though it is perhaps out of the "trad" category)?
340-metres heavily-overhung, wild, and continuous traverse at an amenable grade is unrivalled!
In reply to mav:
The Sheugh on Buzzards Roost in the Mournes, round the corner from Divided Years takes some beating for a full on adventure. I know of one guide who asked for a top rope out at the finish
In reply to mav: Exposure Explosion HVS at Ogmore - 7 pitches traversing through wild territory in and out of wet caves on a band of good rock through a (in many areas) rickety cliff. Crazy tides, hard 4c moves on undercut sections where a fall would be serious, all round entertainment.