/ VS's (in Scotland)

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SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
No fannying about this summer, this is going to be my time to get on a few VS leads (have done one a couple of yrs ago, but it was a soft touch)

So, I want recomendations please, and it will probs only be the Scottish lot that reply cos VS's down South are too far obv.

Have a couple of criteria,

Must have good gear. Doesn't matter if there is a hard move above gear, as long as it's *just* above the GOOD gear and not miles above.
Routes mustn't be considered reachy. ie a lot of the routes at the Pass of Ballater I find have really tough (for me) bouldery and reachy starts a good example being Original Route where I had to pretty much dyno(ish)to get off the ground. I'd like to not have to resort to using wincy intermediate holds on my 1st few VS leads thankyou.
Must be single pitch.

Erm, that's about all really!

Things I have in mind are Flake Route at the Pass of Ballater (a soft touch, a good confidence booster for my 1st go)
Poacher at LogieHead, another soft touch
Erm some VS at Limekilns which was recommended to me as a 1st VS lead (can't remember name but I think it's either Red Flag, One Ringer or Two Ringer)

Right that's the VS4b's out the way and the soft touches. But what about proper VS's or 4c's?

The Pobble (mainly cos it's one VS that really stuck in mind as being a fab route)
Schoolboy Alcoholic at Clashrodney. This'll be a toughy for me I reckon, but with the confidence of the others behind me, then I reckon I could do it.

Any others?

Away for a quick run, look forward to hearing your suggestions.
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
PS - they can be anywhere in Scotland, doesn't just have to be East as I do go West a fair bit.
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
Oh, another criteria,

I don't like delicate/balancy routes. Well, I do like them but find them scary so not keen for 1st few leads, ta. No brutal chimneys either!
Scomuir 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
It's been a while since I have climbed the routes, but he VS at the far end of Logie Head (Fallen Star ?) is good.

Jamie Jampot at Suidhe Biorach, Elgol on Skye is excellent (the severe there is also very good BTW).

Having fallen on the top wall/crack on Schoolboy Alchoholic many years ago, i can recommend it as a safe choice from that point of view. I seem to recall it was some very small wires, and they held, much to my surprise/relief.

Original Route at Pass of Ballater is reachy at the start - it's the technical move, and is much easier after that. I think a lot of people sort of launch themselves to the good holds on that one! Have you done Razors Crack yet (my first VS lead)? Steep but well protected. The main corner of Little Cenotaph is VS I think if you move right at the top rather than finishing left (HVS), although that might feel like a cop out to you.
t_stork 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: what do you want to climb then?! Building confidence on climbs that are not your style is just as important as pushing your grades. Try routes that arent your style in lower grades, better to be comfortable with diffrent styles than just sticking to what you know you can do.
Bill Davidson 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Hey, never mind all that pish Sonj ;-) you & Becka coming down on Sat to support the team?
EwanR 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Ressurection at polldubh - fantastic VS and great gear.

Aberdour (hawkcraig) is great for VS routes. 5 or 6 really nice ones.
Mike C 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

The second VS I led up here was The Bridge at Meikle Partens which I found fine apart from an early committing move getting into the corner above the starting ledge. That might be worth a look for you.
Chris F 23 Jun 2008
In reply to EwanR: Was going to recommend Hawkcraig too. Both the VSs on the star zone at logie head are good; nice gear, nice moves and good rock.

Spanish Corner at the Graip is good too. There are some other VSs there, but the names elude me.

I reluctantly recommend Pround Corner at Clova, as I think it is fantastic climbing, but not that easy, unless you are happy running it out on OK wires.
Chris F 23 Jun 2008
Bag loads at Reiff too. Be hard pushed to throw a jellyfish there without hitting a good VS.
Will W 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

A few of the softer VSs I have done in the last year or so.

For the worlds easiest VS Razor Flake at the pass of ballater, gear placed whilst you on the ground, one move and then severe to the top.

Convoy at the pass of Ballater ( Easy climbing one hard pull at the top, well protected.)

Original Route. Pass of Ballater, again one move wonder.

Anthrax Flake at Jetty Crag, Gear where ever you wanted and a massive jugs, just steep.

Charlies Corner Jetty Crag. The best VS I have climbed, so good... good gear.

Anything on Aztec Tower, Cortes is the worlds second easiest VS(see razor flake above). Human Sacrafice is HVS 5a in the guide, feel HS4b. Honest (I am a wimp)

Stegasaurus at Cummingston, Fantastic.

Intimidating place Coire an Lochain but Fallout Corner, found Prore distinctly harder, is a nice easy multipitch VS.

For a full VS tick
Dead Tree wall at Huntlys cave.
King Bee Creag Dubh
Brute (above)
Lucky Strike Pass of Balleter.

If I think of any more, will let you know.
CurlyStevo 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
red flag at limekilns is good but overgraded and only worth HS 4c in most other climbing areas. Humbug is low in the grade but proper VS with good gear. White Ensign is a bit harder (unless you can jam) and DTs harder still both also well protected.

Schoolboy Alcoholic is high in the grade, pobble and poacher are not too hard but easy to get pumped on, (I actually think the crux of poacher is not that well protected but that may just be me)

Here's some recommendations:
Aberdour, Gismo, Saracen
Limekilns, Humbug, White Ensign
Rosyth, Heathy
Creag na h-Eighe Raptors Chimney Direct start,
Pass of Balatar - Giant Flake Route (soft touch IMO)
Clashrodney - Do Glaswegian Snotter Direct Start for some 5a
The Graip - Spanish Corner

It sounds like you mainly after single pitch routes that are lowish and well protected in the VS grade? If not I can recommend some multipitch or also well protected harder single pitch routes at the VS grade.
CurlyStevo 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Will W:
In Northumberland Razor crack would get S 4b. I certainly think it's worth no more than S/HS 4c.
Will W 23 Jun 2008
Also have notes that I found some of the VS5a at Dunkeld ok. Wriggle I gave three ***but can't remember it!

Pain Pillar- Aberdour also good.

Heathy
Cathy Rosyth I also enjoyed these and found them well protected, and pretty straightforward.
Will W 23 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo:


> Creag na h-Eighe Raptors Chimney Direct start,

Have you done separation here, I thought that was a full on VS4c. Liked it but a very awkward move!

Agree with razor flake. I don't think you have to go to Northumberland for it to be S4b I think it will be that in the new guide.
Will W 23 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> pobble and poacher are not too hard but easy to get pumped on, (I actually think the crux of poacher is not that well protected but that may just be me)

I think Poacher at Logie Head is another one that deserves a S4b tick, I think you may have had a bad day, there is good gear on this.
Iain Forrest23 Jun 2008
In reply to Will W:
> Cathy Rosyth I also enjoyed these and found them well protected, and pretty straightforward.
There are a lot of good suggestions on this thread, including your other ones, but I would absolutely not recommend Cathy at Rosyth to someone who wasn't already very solid on VS.
Will W 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Iain Forrest: awkward perhaps but I recall very good gear, and I think if you like corner/crack routes this would be a good earlyish VS. Maybe not your first but not too bad, or do I remember it wrong.
heather monkey23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Left, Middle & Right at Cummingston - one is soft touch, one is fair & I think the other is actually HVS, but I can't remember which is which.
Anthrax Flake at Jetty Crag has plenty gear & good holds, but some of them are quite far apart for those of us who are a bit short (1 move in particular comes to mind).
There's a nice one on the L/H wall at Raven's Crag (Leac MacCeac?) but it's fairly delicate & the gear is quite spaced so maybe one to leave till later in the season.
Open Secret at Stone Valley, although I think that might actually be a severe now I think about it...
And in agreement with Chris, loads at Reiff.
Iain Forrest23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
There are a lot of good suggestions already.

I feel I have to suggest Dirl Chimney at Clifton Crag (as a proper VS, not a particularly soft touch).
The Whangie is worth a visit once in a while when it's dry and the midges aren't out, if only to climb Ivy Crack, Backstep Chimney and the short-but-sweet, extremely well protected (with big gear) Vampire Crack. The belays at the top of these are good, but many of the other routes have loose finishes and bad belays. If going to the Whangie, try to time it so you can watch the sun set over Loch Lomond and Arrochar.
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to t_stork: Oh answer the bloody question and no smart alec responses please!! I do lead slabs AND chimneys below VS. I'm happy with lots of styles of climbing and lots of rock types and lots of different venues thankyou very much!

But.......for the 1st few leads at a higher grade then I'd like to avoid things that I personally find harder. Not exactly rocket science and quite normal I believe. Once I'm comfortable leading a few VS's then I'll do more of them in different styles, if I should wish to do so. I might not wish to do so, that's one of the joys of climbing eh, no hard and fast rules!

!!!
Iain Forrest23 Jun 2008
In reply to Will W:
Cathy is definitely a lot easier for those good at awkward jamming, but unless you have monster cams the gear is not good at the crux.
Everyone I know finds it hard and a bit worrying.
Heathy, on the other hand, is very nice and has more gear than you can shake a rack at.
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Scomuir: Oooh, I forgot about Razors Crack, it's been a while since I've done it though. Can you get gear in though before pulling over the roofy/overhang bit, I can't remember? Or have it so there is gear by your waist or just below if you do come off those initial moves.
Will W 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Iain Forrest: It was a long time ago, maybe I have just morphed the two in one nice VS. Oh well at least Heathy might suit.
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Bill Davidson: Aaaaah, is that this Saturday? Probs not Bill. The comps seem so far away now, and getting out and doing some proper (erm) climbing is more important! But pass on our well wishes to Jamie, I've no doubt she is gonna kick ass!
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Oh loads of suggestions cheers, keep em coming! Sorry, in a rush now but will have a good look over all this later.

One point for Will though, that VS you recommended at Pass of B, Lucky Strike. You'll not catch me on that ever! It's a horrible route!! A polished nightmare! I've done easier HVS's! (when I 2nded it, I had come from not climbing for ages though, but still........no f*cking way!)
Will W 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Yeah I actually put Luckystike under "the full VS tick", ie bloody hard. By that there is no chance your VS tick will be downgraded.
Ivy Crack at dunkeld is another that comes to mind as a nice VS.
Stuart S 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Razor's Crack has gear you can place from the ground, and then step up, place another bit, and come back down to the ground before you go for it. There's a sling on a spike to protect the upper section too.

Wouldn't agree with the recommendations for Little Cenotaph - it's got good gear, but is definitely harder if you lack long/supple legs. Brut is a better option - quite technical, but you can place loads of gear below the crux and stand around on good footholds all day while you work out how to do the one hard move.

Schoolboy Alcoholic was my first VS onsight, and is nice and safe. Capitol Wall at Clashrodney is another one to consider - boldish but easy at the start, harder but with better gear for the finish.

The Bridge at Meikle Partans has a couple of awkward moves to get established in the corner. Shallow Diedre is another safe VS, again with one hard, well-protected move and a mid-height ledge to stand about on while you work things out.

At Logie Head, Poacher is the softest-touch VS, but Moray Eel is also worth a look (and is easier than Fallen Star).

At Reiff, Jenny Wren on the Piglet Wall is probably the easiest VS I can think of. Short, not too steep and good gear, but an awkward move at the top. Hy Brasil is one to aspire to - move intimidating than hard, and great climbing.

Have you done Kinhaken at Floor's Craig? Another well-protected one move wonder. South Paw isn't too bad either - more sustained, but not so steep.

Cruise at Deceptive Wall is another one I suggested downgrading for the current NEO guide, but was out-voted (they upgraded All Quiet instead to a very soft-touch HVS).

Anyway, that's my tuppenceworth.
niallk 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Another vote for the Hawkcraig.

Also a few at Dunkeld - the Rut, the Wriggle which are 5a but well protected and with good solid holds (you mentioned you don't like balancey stuff), though the starts are a bit of a pig.
Scomuir 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S:
> (In reply to lasonj)
>
>
> Wouldn't agree with the recommendations for Little Cenotaph - it's got good gear, but is definitely harder if you lack long/supple legs.

I don't have either, but you're probably right
Stuart S 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Scomuir:

I think it was Greg Strange who noted that a friend of his with very long legs reckoned it was a nice VDiff!

VS is probably fair if you bale out at the ledge, but you have to work for it if you're on the short side.
Jonny Tee 69 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S:

Gear isn't very good in the bottom half of South Paw.
Jonny Tee 69 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris F:

I wouldn't have thought Proud Corner would be a good recommendation for someone wanting to break into VS.

There's much more appropriate VS's down at Clova such as Alder & Parapet Route.
Jonny Tee 69 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Iain Forrest:

Cathy is quite hard for VS I thought, and you're right about the cams. Heathy is a much nicer route.
CurlyStevo 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Iain Forrest:
agreed Cathy is top end of the grade.

Scomuir 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S:
I found the lower corner surprisingly straightforward which gave me confidence to try the normal finish, which was a mistake, particularly as it had started to rain. I did get a hand on the top, but it didn't stay there for long...
CurlyStevo 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Will W:
Ivy crack is MVS 4b, I'd say more like HS 4b than VS 4b also.
CurlyStevo 23 Jun 2008
In reply to niallk:
I think the VS climbs at Dunkeld are all either too bold or too tricky to recommend whole heartedly. That said some of the HS 4c's would be great practice before a first VS 4c lead. I'd advise Beach tree wall and terminal Buttress here.

Of all of the VS climbs I've done their I'd say the chute is the least awkward and best protected where it counts.

Incidentally I think the best way to move up a grade is to do the technically harder climbs at the grade your on (HS4c rather than the standard and HS 4b for example) then move to the next adjectival grade up at the same technical grade, so after a few HS 4c try a VS 4c. If you try for the lower tech grade compared to the adjectival grade (VS 4b or HVS 4c or E1 5a) you can end up with some nasty surprises (either pumpy or unprotected or both).
Stuart S 23 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I think the VS climbs at Dunkeld are all either too bold or too tricky to recommend whole heartedly.

Agreed, based on my limited experience. I didn't think Wriggle was a giveaway, and Springboard was one of the scariest VSs I've done (10m run-out followed by the crux before you get to your next runner).
Stuart S 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69:

> Gear isn't very good in the bottom half of South Paw.

True, though with a bit of work, you can get a couple of friend placements.

SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Thanks all! Sorry, just a brief reply as still tottering about doing stuff at the mo.

Yeah, I quite like that idea Steve. There are a few HS4c's I'd like to do, Beech Tree Wall being one of them, Something Blue at Reiff and Promises at Polldubh. It's all time, time, time though and I seem to be getting a bit of a bee in my bonnet about getting cracking on some VS's. And usually I'd stay away from the lower tech for adjective grades as they might be too bold, but I've done all the VS 4b's I suggested above and found them all ok.

Ivy crack sounds like the sort of thing that would be ok.

Stu, think I did the one at Floors Craig on 2nd and found it hard (but again, it was when my back was fecked and I had very limited flexibility) My hip flexibility is still not great so Little Cenotaph would be a no no.
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S: 10m run out, followed by crux is defo not what I'm after for 1st VS leads!
andyinglis 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Renegade at Harpers Wall (north of Aberdeen) is decent. Prore and fallout corner (easy for the grade) have been mentioned....got to do The Edge at Loudon Hill at some point in your life! I know its not east, but its quality!
niallk 23 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Yeah thought that too and wasn't going to add it, but then remembered the Grooves there was my 2nd proper VS lead and I found it mostly OK (not bigging myself, just figure if I can blag it...). Plus it relies on strength rather than delicacy as per lasonj's OP.

Beech Tree wall is a good prep HS as you say. I found the crux less obvious than stuff on some VS's! Further afield, Integrity would be another good preparatory HS and well worth it in it's own right
EwanR 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Ivy crack is pretty easy and either Beech Tree wall is nowhere near 4c (much easier) or I was very off route.

Terminal buttress (HS 4c) is much closer to VS and had two nice moves over bulges/overlaps, both of which are nicely protected.
Iain Forrest23 Jun 2008
In reply to EwanR:
> (In reply to lasonj) Ivy crack is pretty easy and either Beech Tree wall is nowhere near 4c (much easier) or I was very off route.
You must've been off route. I've often seen people nipping round left onto Twisted Rib (VD) avoiding the crux, which is very well protected but quite nippy and definitely 4c.
CurlyStevo 23 Jun 2008
In reply to EwanR:
Incidentally where did you go over the bulge from the ledge on terminal butress? I always find that a bit bold, I go up the shallow depression at the left end of the ledge on small holds trending up and right towards The End (with no gear for the first few metres but a good belay and the 4c part is with feet 3 foot off the ledge). The diagram always seems a bit off to me trending left over the flake 'the end' goes to the right hand side of (it's probably me that's off right enough though).

Beech Tree wall seems to be about the right grade to me, the 4c part is going up the narrow corner crack and pulling up on the flake hold. It is easier the taller you are though.

To Sonja:
Seconding VS 4b may end up being quite a different experience to leading it though ;) I think VS 4c (away from the soft Peak VS 4bs anyway) often ends up being a more normal straightforward VS leading experience.
Jonny Tee 69 23 Jun 2008
In reply to andyinglis:

Renegade has a bold, fingery, strenuous traverse to start. Not a good choice for one of Sonya's 1st VS's. Great route though.
Aly 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Have you done Akimbo Crack at south cove, I remember that being very good, with gear all the way up?
CurlyStevo 23 Jun 2008
In reply to andyinglis:
Is prore really easy for the grade?

I guess it's open to a fair amount of variation, the climbing I did although quite fingery and delicate was not strenuous and was straight forward enough. However the gear on the first 20 metres was much more spaced (and a bit unusual/not great) than the amount of cracks in the rock would suggest.
Jonny Tee 69 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

The Niche at Berrymuir is suberb. Well protected, quite pumpy.

Left Hand Crack at Ballater is good, but you may not like the start.

Gorgon at Clashrodney is brilliant but you probably won't like the sea, or the start, or the balancy move off the quartz jugs.

Jonny Tee 69 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Aly:

Great route, but has a balancy move followed by a long step/reach/swing across the wall.

Jonny Tee 69 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S:

Aye, you can get some gear in - I just remember not being very convinced that it would actually hold a fall.
Stuart S 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69:

Fortunately I've not had to test it, or seen anyone else test it either. I know what you mean though!
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
Wow, cheers all, loads to go at here!

So, things to check out are,

Aberdour - Gismo/Saracen (Steve, where is Creag na h-Eighe??)
LogieHead - Poacher/Moray Eel/Fallen Star
Pass of B - Flake Route/Razor's Crack/Convoy/possibly Original and left hand route once I'm more confident I think though.
Meikle P - The Bridge/Shallow Deidre (really like the sound of this one)
The Graip - Spanish Corner (never been here but always meant to check it out)
Deceptive Wall - Cruise (did my 1st HS here
Reiff- billions of stuff! Stu, I've seconded Jeni Wren the year I started climbing. I seem to recall it being a bitty delicate and slabby no? (I'm possibly thinking of a different route though)
Cummingston - Stegasaurus/left/middle/right wall (not convinced about the gear at Cummingston though, but I've only been once and happy to have another look)
Aztec Tower - Corbes/Human Sacrifice (I can imagine some soft touches here, certainly is at Stone Valley Crags and Gruinard area)
Limekilns - Redflag (think this will be one of the 1st seen as it's such a soft touch) Humbug (I 2nded you up this Steve and seem to remember it being ok. Different on lead yes, but it seems the thing I'd be fine with)
Polldubh - Resurrection. Hmmm, anymore opinions on this one? My experience of Polldubh is of much polish!!
Dunkeld - Ivy Crack
Rosyth - Heathy (did my 1st EVER lead at Rosyth)
Clova - Alder/Parapet with VS finish (what is the gear like John, what with it being a 4b??) Also, Proud Corner sounds nice. Could you do it in 2 pitches? Then I could do the better sounding 1st pitch (assuming the gear is ok on that?)
The Whangie - hurrah! I've always wanted to see the infamous Whangie, lol! Ivy Crack/Backstep Chimney/Vampire Crack (I'm assuming that's a biiiiiiiig crack/come chimney type thing Iain??)


Now, Harper's Wall sounds too scary (I'm scared of the sea!) Akimbo at South Cove is partially tidal so no good.
John, The Niche at Berrymuir is partially tidal and you know what I'm like! How big is the ledge below it (and don't say 'big enough!' Is it my kind of big enough??) Oh and Gorgon is a def no no, you really weren't selling it to me there anyway, lol!

Prore etc are multipitch, just after single pitch just now. (Steve, don't mind a bit harder as long as I can lace it with gear)

One multipitch VS that REALLY inspires me is Sword of Gideon, so that's something I'm aiming for in the long term
CurlyStevo 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Creag na h-Eighe is just a bit further up the A9 than dunkeld, in the highland outcrops guide.

There is a VS at cummingston that goes up a hanging corner. You swing up in to it holding a big block it's the one I comment on in this pic http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=27148 think it's called centre. The rock is excellent and the gear good (honest!)
Iain Forrest23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
> The Whangie - hurrah! I've always wanted to see the infamous Whangie, lol! Ivy Crack/Backstep Chimney/Vampire Crack (I'm assuming that's a biiiiiiiig crack/come chimney type thing Iain??)
Vampire crack's a wide jamming crack - takes arms, feet and big hands!
It isn't easy for the grade, but it is very protectable indeed with big hexes or biggish cams.
The other two are Hard Severes, fun and good pro, but polished, and may feel like easy VS's.

I did Proud Corner last year and found it pretty exciting, by the way - adequate gear, but below you at the crux, which felt quite committing. I'm not good on granite, though - maybe it was just me.

> One multipitch VS that REALLY inspires me is Sword of Gideon, so that's something I'm aiming for in the long term
If you're feeling OK on VS 4c just go for it. The crux pitch (the only VS bit) is excellent and not soft, but you can walk right to (or from) the base of it, and the pitch above is just Severe or HS and only that for a few metres. If you can do single pitch VS and can set multipitch belays it'll be fine.
Iain Forrest23 Jun 2008
Beanstalk at Clova is a good single pitch HS/MVS, by the way.
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Ooooh, now that route looks nice! Cheers Stevo Can't be arsed looking at the guidebook, but I'm gathering that those routes are on the left side of Cummingston? (looking into the cliffs)
I've only been to the right hand side where the stack and bouldering cave is and found the gear quite dubious around that area (shame cos the rock is lovely looking to climb!)
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Iain Forrest: Hmmm. Don't like polish and you're making Vampire Crack sound like an offwidth! (bet it is, the name makes it sound like one. I'm just 5foot nothing and I've got wee (ish) hands!)

Ok, Proud Corner maybe not good just now then.

Don't want to know too much about Sword of Gideon btw! I will want to onsight that and get the full experience as it just looks so good.
Alexander123 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Didnt think poacher at logie head was a soft touch when i did it a few weeks ago, but then again i did mess up placing the gear but still. Climbed Pain pillar at hawkcraigs in fife recently and although i only seconded it you could tell it was awsome. good gear but relatively spaced. no distinct hard crux but good gear under what i thought to be the hardest part.
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Alexander123: Well, a lot of folk go on about it being a soft touch and how it should be downgraded. It is a pretty sustained route I reckon and pretty pumpy. I think it's one of these ones that's hard to grade. It def feels harder than 4a to me so HS4a wouldn't be right, but HS4b wouldn't be right either because that would tell you that it was sustained. I'm happy with having a VS tick for Poacher.

Re Painpillar. It's not a route I particularly enjoyed. I only did it on 2nd mind, so it will obv feel different on lead. But I found it a pretty boring route and I really can't understand just why it gets 3stars. The climbing was all samey, samey and other than the 1st few moves it didn't seem to give any real interest.
Jamie B 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

There've been a lot of VS discussed here, too many for me to go through in any sort of systematic fashion but suffice to say they cover the full range of the grading spectrum! Email anytime if you want specific thoughts on any you might be eyeing up; my Scottish VS logbook is fairly extensive...

What I will say is that I honestly didn't think Sword of Gideon was all that hard; I was able to second it cleanly in my trainers having annoyingly forgot my rock shoes. Good rock and good gear all the way, and its high quality should make you raise your game.

Softest VS in Scotland? Maybe Terrace Arete on Aonach Dubh. One admittedly awkward 4b move off a ledge, a couple more easier but bold steps and you're on well-protected severe climbing to the top. A worthwhile add-on to any day's cragging in the area. You might also like Spider Right-Hand on the tier below; quite sustained but on big holds all the way and with gear on demand; benchmark VS 4c IMHO.
JimGoodman 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Pain Pillar at the Hawcraig is very good although the start may be intimidating. Resurection is also excellent.

Jim
Not Remotely Foz23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

At Dunkeld, they've been mentioned before but Terminal & Beech are nice HS to get a feel for the rock, having VS moves in a position of safety.

Ivy Crack really is toffee.

The Groove is Groovey and probably the easiest of that trio - I found the Rut steep and Wiggle a bit more intricate and exposed. The move through the overlap is not actually that bad but possibly a little commiting.
Iain Forrest23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
> you're making Vampire Crack sound like an offwidth!
No, it's a jamming crack but not an offwidth.

> Don't want to know too much about Sword of Gideon btw! I will want to onsight that and get the full experience as it just looks so good.
OK, just saying it's very non-serious for a multipitch VS. It isn't a great route, to be honest - but it is a great pitch.
Iain Forrest23 Jun 2008
In reply to Jamie B.:
> You might also like Spider Right-Hand on the tier below; quite sustained but on big holds all the way and with gear on demand; benchmark VS 4c IMHO.
To give a different opinion, I found it sustained and quite hard for the grade! Good gear, though, and a really brilliant long pitch (just a shame it's only the one).
Stuart en Écosse 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Have you been to Northumberland? Kyloe out has reams of stuff that would suit you, and Berryhill has a couple too. I can't remember the names though.

Stuart
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Iain Forrest and Jamie: It's so subjective isn't it though? I just love the sandstone up that way and that piccy of it the other week just made me drool and it's not often that a rock route has that effect on me.

Jamie, will keep your expertise in mind ;o) Think I'd find Aonach Dubh a bit intimidating for 1st VS's though?
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to biped: You know, that is the one climbing area that I *havn't* been to which I'd really like to go to just to sample the Sandstone! Isn't it meant to be quite tough there?
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Not Remotely Foz: Not done much at Dunkeld really, just a couple of routes. Doing Kestral Crack, followed Terminal Buttress then Beech Tree Wall, then Ivy Crack sounds good.
Stuart S 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:


> Reiff- billions of stuff! Stu, I've seconded Jeni Wren the year I started climbing. I seem to recall it being a bitty delicate and slabby no? (I'm possibly thinking of a different route though)

That sounds like Jeni Wren - a slabby-ish corner with technical little moves between good bridging rests and decent gear. It was the first VS lead of a friend of mine, who found it ok.
Stuart en Écosse 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Mostly the northern crags are not as bad as they're made out, and the gear is generally good. Giz a shout later in the summer if you fancy a trip down there, I usually make Kyloe my default summer crag (<1.5hrs from Edinb).

Stuart
SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S: Yeah that's the one. I recall it being quite thin and delicate.
Rowie B 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Off the top of my head I can give you a short arsed perspective on some Vs's & would recommend (in no particular order - these are a few I can remember as not being too reachy)

Ridgeway View Crag (NW Scotland) - Row The Boat Ashore
Reiff - Pooh Corner, Black Gold, Black Pig
Sheigra Sea Cliffs - Kiska
Clashrodney North - Set Up



SonyaD 23 Jun 2008
In reply to biped: Cheers, I may do that. If I find the time that is! Have half planned trips to Carnmore and Hoy on the cards and mulling over a trip to Mull as well! I could maybe squeeze a weekend in down there towards the end of the summer. Didn't really realise it was so close! Hour and half from Edinburger is no far at all!
Jonny Tee 69 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
> Clova - Alder/Parapet with VS finish (what is the gear like John, what with it being a 4b??) Also, Proud Corner sounds nice. Could you do it in 2 pitches? Then I could do the better sounding 1st pitch (assuming the gear is ok on that?)

The gear is bomber on Parapet Route.

> John, The Niche at Berrymuir is partially tidal and you know what I'm like! How big is the ledge below it (and don't say 'big enough!' Is it my kind of big enough??) Oh and Gorgon is a def no no, you really weren't selling it to me there anyway, lol!

When the tide is out and with a calm sea the ledge is massive. Yes, it's your kind of big enough.
Jamie B 23 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

> Think I'd find Aonach Dubh a bit intimidating for 1st VS's though?

Not the East face. Unless you do The Gut.

barney_edin 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Jamie B.: Spider Right Hand is good.
The Gut is probably the most scared and committed I've ever been. HVS at least, maybe E1.
Fiona Reid 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:


> Aztec Tower - Corbes/Human Sacrifice (I can imagine some soft touches here, certainly is at Stone Valley Crags and Gruinard area)

Warrior God is probably worth a pop too.

> Polldubh - Resurrection. Hmmm, anymore opinions on this one? My experience of Polldubh is of much polish!!

Resurrection is nice. The start is a little bold as you need to go a wee bit up the slab to get to a good placement, after that it's nice and not at all polished. There's enough gear that you can run out of quick draws...



nwdave 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Have to second EwanR on his routes.

Ressurection at polldubh - fantastic VS and great gear.

Aberdour (hawkcraig) is great for VS routes. 5 or 6 really nice ones.

Got a friend to lead ressurection the other week as his 20th lead its a great route but a light touch VS/

Aberdour has my fav single pitch VS in Scotland Pain Pillar steep good gear and continually interesting, and its a great place
nwdave 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Polldubh - Resurrection. Hmmm, anymore opinions on this one? My experience of Polldubh is of much polish!!


If you Walk a little bit higher and not so much to the standard areas you can find some hidden gems in the Glen with little polish but maybe some greenery, its all about self discovery though.
Colin Moody 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Three star routes are often sustained so it might be worth looking for one star routes and leaving Spider, Resurrection and Jamie Jampot for another day.
Chris F 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69: I found the Niche pretty pumpy, and wasn't totally happy with the rock quality (or bird poo) at the top. There is a nice VS on the Nippet Rocks at Berrymuir too, just don't get caught by the tide!
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Colin Moody: Hey Colin. I'm not bothered at all whether the routes have stars or not. See my post above re Pain Pillar. It has 3 stars and I found it a crap route, whereas there are no starred routes that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I'm not convinced by the bold slabby bit at the bottom of Ressurection anyway, it sounds exactly the sort of thing I'm keen to avoid for my 1st VS leads.
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69: Quite keen to go to Clova at some point, not really climbed there other than that pointless Mod! Might check out Berrymuir at some point (although Chris isn't selling it to me)
Colin Moody 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

I was only pointing out that these three routes are sustained.
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Colin Moody: I know
Andy Nisbet 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S:

I'm not surprised Sonya doesn't like Pass of Ballater when locals grade like this. Lucky Strike and Little Cenotaph (even if you don't do the top) are both HVS (in Scottish Rock Climbs). Little Cenotaph is 5b if you're short
Chris F 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
> Might check out Berrymuir at some point (although Chris isn't selling it to me)

Just voicing my opinion, which may or may not be bollocks. Rowie's suggestion of Set Up is good too, nice thoughtful route.

Stuart S 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

Yeah, but I'm 6'3" and the crux move for me on Little Cenotaph is leaving the deck (and is probably 4c at most)! Agree with Lucky Strike being worth HVS 5a though.
Burnsie 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S:

i recon that is always the crux when pushing yourself ... (Leaving the deck !)
Jonny Tee 69 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
> (In reply to Jonny Tee 69) Quite keen to go to Clova at some point, not really climbed there other than that pointless Mod! Might check out Berrymuir at some point (although Chris isn't selling it to me)

There's plenty for you at Clova for a day and more.

The Niche is well worth going to do - it's a quality route, I thought the rock was fine, and the bird poo makes it a more complete sea-cliff climbing experience. It can be a bit difficult to get the route in ideal condition (I did it when it was very wet and greasy this year), but Berrymuir is a superb place to visit at any time - the scenery is stunning, usually lots of Puffins etc, and look for the orchids on the cliff top.

I wouldn't limit yourself on what other people say though. Going and checking out these routes for yourself is the only way that you will ever find out if they're any good or not, and whether you can actually climb them...
Jonny Tee 69 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

And what about browsing the guidebooks looking for roputes/venues that sound like the kind of thing that really appeals to you? Make a list of routes/venues?
Jonny Tee 69 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

One VS I'm really keen to go look at is Hells Hole up at Berry's Loup. "A not to be missed opportunity" - can't wait, sounds brilliant!
Stuart S 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69:

> I wouldn't limit yourself on what other people say though. Going and checking out these routes for yourself is the only way that you will ever find out if they're any good or not, and whether you can actually climb them...

Best bit of advice on this thread!
CurlyStevo 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S:
Hmm Lucky strike is quite a soft HVS 5a though right. When the small tree on the upper ledge goes I think it will be solid HVS.

Strawberry ripple seemed pretty stiff for VS also to me.
Stuart S 24 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo:

With Lucky Strike, the crux is low down, polished and poorly protected, but on Strawberry Ripple, the crux is at the top above good gear.

Strawberry Ripple used to get HVS 5a in an old guide anyway, so it is either a soft HVS or a tough VS.

For real soft HVSs at Ballater, have you done Shivers or Rock n Roll?
CurlyStevo 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S:
I've done lucky strike. I found small wires for the lower part (more than one) and felt it was ok protected and not hard enough to warrant HVS especially as you attack it from a large starting ledge. The crack above I thought was borderline HVS though, especially if you don't run it out and put gear in as you go.

Stawberry ripple = 2 tries and 2 failed attempts I found the gear reasonably good, but less so and less of it as you go up the crack and the crack also get's harder as you go up (and then peters out). That was a while ago now though. Not tried any HVS leads at ballatar. I'm pretty solid on most VS leads now a days, finding most pretty straight forward, but HVS 5b is my leading limit. I've probably only done 15 - 20 HVS leads.
Will W 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S: Alternatively for a real stiff HVS at the pass of Ballater have you tried JINGS? Only 8mts but....
Barber Baz24 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S: i thought cowardie custard was a fairly easy route for HVS there, just next to lucky strike- (which i thought was stiff for VS-but i had just done a 20 mile run in the hills).
iceicebaby 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Hi good thread! I've not lead any VS yet but been seconding some this spring. Puckered Wall at Reiff was an easy VS 4b. Its got one hard-ish move at the start which is slightly overhanging (but on big jugs) but then its basically Severe to the top. Should probably be HS actually.

Hy Brasil (VS 4c) was also a nice route there, its an arete so is exposed but good holds and gear. A classic! Aye steer clear of Little Cenotaph at the Pass - I found the corner a tad tricky for VS - and i'm 5'7!

I thought The Bifurcator at Cove main Face was a nice VS 4c - its quite exciting! The crux was a big overhanging V-Groove which you have to pull through, but there was good gear for it from what I remember, and you can stand around under it figuring out how to do it for a bit.

Have fun!

Burnsie 24 Jun 2008
In reply to iceicebaby:

Hy Brasil is brick hard for VS (If you do it properly and stay on the left of the arete)
Stuart S 24 Jun 2008
In reply to iceicebaby:

Forgot about Puckered Wall at Reiff - like you say, it should be HS at most. Nice climbing too.
gforce 24 Jun 2008
A bit of discussion of Resurrection. How about Damnation at the same crag. I thought it was the better route. Steep climbing with big jugs and good gear. Unlikely ground for a VS but it is no harder than that.
Stuart S 24 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I suspect you'd get on fine with Strawberry Ripple if you're solid on VS, though don't try it on a hot day as you need to use the big sloper to top out!

Green Laughter is another Ballater HVS that's harder than several E1s I could mention. Does Pink Wall get HVS? It's another one with a hard start and then a steady finish, with decent nut placements.

I did Close Shave last year, which was fun, and didn't feel too bad for HVS 5a.
Stuart S 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Barber Baz:

It's been a while since I did Cowardie Custard, but don't remember it being a giveaway (unlike the neighbouring Fungus Face, which is closer to HVS 4c than E1 5b).
Chris F 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S:
> (In reply to Jonny Tee 69)
>
> [...]
>
> Best bit of advice on this thread!

Indeed. Nothing like seeing the route for yourself to see if it inspires you to want to climb it or not.

iceicebaby 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Burnsie:

Hmm I seem to remember we moved right onto the crest near the top... was that cheating!? Damn!
Barber Baz24 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S: yes- i jumped on fungus face after doing cowardie custard - and got caught in the pissing rain one sequence to go and downclimbed it instead.
Chris F 24 Jun 2008
In reply to iceicebaby:
> (In reply to Burnsie)
>
> Hmm I seem to remember we moved right onto the crest near the top... was that cheating!? Damn!

No it wasn't cheating, that is where the route goes.

danm 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Butterknife, Garbh Bheinn. Steep, good gear, immaculate rock. Maybe MVS?

Yir, Ardnamurchan gabbro. Good gear, bit go-ey to start. Loads of other great stuff, bit delicate and slabby though.
Burnsie 24 Jun 2008
In reply to iceicebaby:

you move right onto the crest and climb the arete on the left hand side.
If you move right past the arete and climb the cracks on the right hand side you are climbing the upper cracks of the HVS to the right (Easier as the HVS bit is low down !)
Stuart en Écosse 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Burnsie:

Agree about Hy Brasil, I thought it was harder than the HVS (can't remember its name).

Stuart
Stuart en Écosse 24 Jun 2008
In reply to gforce:
> A bit of discussion of Resurrection. How about Damnation at the same crag. I thought it was the better route. Steep climbing with big jugs and good gear. Unlikely ground for a VS but it is no harder than that.

Damnation is a good route, if a bit too "Polldubh" with a steep start and a long easy but nae-gear slab finish. I pulled a big flake off it years ago, it hit my mate on the shoulder. It's probably still lying on the deck at the start.

Ressurection is a great route, with better gear than the guide suggests though I've not done it years. Sad to hear of polish.

Stuart


SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Andy Nisbet: Hah, glad to hear Lucky Strike was upgraded Andy! Even the language coming from my mouth when I did it on 2nd was worth HVS, lol!
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris F: I'm just not too sure about Clashrodney, I remember finding it a bit intimidating there (it's the sea thing) but I don't think I've actually been to Clashrodney North, can't remember. Aye, Set Up sounds ok, only gets 4b though, is there a lack of gear or is it sustained? Rowie's other suggestions are noted too.
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69: I'm not really limiting myself though, just wanting to hear other's thoughts on what they thought were the best VS's to crack into the grade. Ultimately, it will be a case of going to wherever, spotting a route and thinking, 'ok that one looks nice,' or 'there's no way I'm leading that monstrosity!'

Now Berrymuir on a nice, sunny and calm sea day (with tide right out) with the puffins etc might be nice.
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69: That does sound a fun route (but is probably horribly fun eh?) Berry's Stack itself sounds entertaining!
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to iceicebaby: Cove Main face is tidal though.
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to gforce:

Steep climbing with big jugs and good gear.

Now that sounds like my cup of tea!
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to biped: Funny, that's 2 differing viewpoints on gear on the same route there (damnation) One says good gear, you say run out slab at the top. I guess one man's well protected is another man's run out. I can imagine it being run out though as it's 4b? Mind you, I don't mind things being run out if they are on easy ground at the top of a route?
CurlyStevo 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
If you want a big mountain route at VS that is lowish in the grade but big on great climbing and situation look no further than this:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=15752

Do pitches 1 and 2 as a oner for full affect!
Andy Nisbet 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

I didn't think Damnation was 4b. 4c and quite powerful. Just because it's got big holds, doesn't necessarily make it 4b (but it's debatable). Gear was OK, I think, but tiring to place. Not a soft touch, middle VS
Jonny Tee 69 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Pretty sure it's possible to climb routes like The Slide, Insect Groove & Bifurcator at high tide if the seas not too rough. I remember doing Akimbo Crack at high tide - just needed a step left onto the route. And there's also Quartz Bicycle there which is non tidal.
CurlyStevo 24 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo:
PS gets VS 4c I think in the new glencoe guide. Felt more like VS than HS to me also.
Jonny Tee 69 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
> (In reply to gforce)
>
> Steep climbing with big jugs and good gear.
>
> Now that sounds like my cup of tea!

The Niche is like that.
gforce 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Damnation: The steep bit is well protected. The slab above probably less so. But the 4b bit is the steep bit. The slab is easier.
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Is that you? Looks nice (the route that is ;o) What pitch is that?
Chris F 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
> (In reply to Chris F) I'm just not too sure about Clashrodney, I remember finding it a bit intimidating there (it's the sea thing) but I don't think I've actually been to Clashrodney North, can't remember. Aye, Set Up sounds ok, only gets 4b though, is there a lack of gear or is it sustained?

Clashrodders North has an easy approach down big blocks to large platforms / steps high above the sea. It's pretty sustained with OK rests. Gear is fine. Unfortunately there isn't a lot else to do there, but you can walk from there to Clashrodney or Cairnrobin quite easily if you use the traintrack parking, not the one described in the book (which you can use, but makes for a long walk back, if that makes sense).
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Andy Nisbet: Quite sustained then? One to have a look at later maybe (or not, Polldubh has never been a venue that inspires me)
tommyb 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69:
> (In reply to lasonj)
>
> One VS I'm really keen to go look at is Hells Hole up at Berry's Loup. "A not to be missed opportunity" - can't wait, sounds brilliant!

Surprisingly good, clean rock with plenty of gear - just in the dark. It didn't feel VS5a the way I did it though - more like HS4b.
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69: Good, will check it out when I'm comfy having a done a few VS's I think. The venues I go to will end up having to have easier stuff too to climb on, to warm up on etc.
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris F: Yeah, I think in reality, I will probably stay away from the Aberdeen seacliffs for my 1st ventures onto VS as I don't really like them too much. Meikle Partans is winning me over though as a nice place to climb.
Not Remotely Foz24 Jun 2008

>Not done much at Dunkeld really, just a couple of routes. Doing Kestral Crack, followed Terminal Buttress then Beech Tree Wall, then Ivy Crack sounds good.

That's a nice morning....afternoon would probably be The Groove, over to Cave Crag for The Hood http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=45939 and back for The End.
Chris F 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: The Graip is very friendly too; faces south, good gear, good holds. Make sure it's a low tide and you have an ab rope though, to save a long walk round.
el diablo 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris F: The Graip looks a super wee single pitch crag which was unfortunately too wet when i was up there at Christmas. Also good to pass the great man Patey's first new route on the way to the crag!
jd
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Not Remotely Foz: Lol! You are obviously a quicker climber that I! Doing 4 x 30m (ish, sure that's about how long the routes are at Dunkeld?) routes in a day will be about right for me. I like to have a wee breather, natter and choccy break etc between routes. Can't be doing with this rush, rush, rush and try to get as many routes done in a day malarky.
Jonny Tee 69 24 Jun 2008
In reply to tommyb:
> (In reply to Jonny Tee 69)
> [...]
>
> Surprisingly good, clean rock with plenty of gear - just in the dark. It didn't feel VS5a the way I did it though - more like HS4b.

Thanks Tommy, will try and make sure I get to it this season.
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris F: Yeah, the Graip looks alright. Roll on the bloomin summer holidays!
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to el diablo: Aah, nothing like a bit of history. Erm....what was his 1st new route?
Jonny Tee 69 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
> (In reply to Jonny Tee 69) Good, will check it out when I'm comfy having a done a few VS's I think. The venues I go to will end up having to have easier stuff too to climb on, to warm up on etc.

Aye, not much to warm up on at Berrymuir really. You just got to go for it, be confident, keep moving, try and place gear at rest positions.
Chris F 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69: easy stuff on Nippet Rocks.
Andy Nisbet 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
>
> So, I want recomendations please

Fall-Out Corner. I think it's a soft touch VS now that a small block has come out of the overhang giving an extra hold. Well cleaned by crampons and not too long. Prore and Bulgy are also there and lowish VS. Just need a summer!

Will W 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Andy Nisbet: When did the block come out, I did fallout corner a couple of years ago and thought the move to establish yourself on the shelf-above the overhang was 4c.
Also I don't agree that prore is a lowish VS i thought the gear in the first 20mts very poor, we did try to stick the arete though, subsequent pictures I have seen have people climbing a little inset corner on the left of the arete. Not as the guide book describes it though.
Stuart S 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
> Aah, nothing like a bit of history. Erm....what was his 1st new route?

Think it was something like Crab's Wall. It's a wee Diff in a small inlet just out to sea from the car park at Collieston.

Andy Nisbet 24 Jun 2008

Fallout Corner
The block came out around 1988, so we'll have to disagree about the grade.

Prore
OK, it was a long time ago, so you might be right. Also Bulgy I haven't done, but both are popular and I haven't heard any complaints
Andy Nisbet 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Will W:
> Also I don't agree that prore is a lowish VS i thought the gear in the first 20mts very poor, we did try to stick the arete though, subsequent pictures I have seen have people climbing a little inset corner on the left of the arete. Not as the guide book describes it though.

If you start from underneath and stick to the arete, it's HVS 5a. The corner is the intended line

Will W 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Andy Nisbet: Fall out corner I agree is lowish VS but the move felt 4c.

Prore ahhh! That makes more sense, the bulge on the arete felt 5a, the guide book description does suggest you just go straight for the arete rather than the corner and the face. Oh well HVS5a seems fair.

Bulgy. hopefully get done this summer, along with daddy longlegs any tricks or is that a straightforward HVS5a, just need a few dry days.
Will W 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Andy Nisbet: My mistake the new guide has a much better description of Prore. I used the old guide which did just suggest you head up the arete.
Andy Nisbet 24 Jun 2008
In reply to Will W:
> Daddy longlegs any tricks or is that a straightforward HVS5a, just need a few dry days.

I haven't done it since 1983 (except the start in winter). A mate did it last summer and thought it quite good, but not a soft touch

Will W 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Just thought and no one has mentioned The Giant Flake route at Pass of Ballater, VS only for the first three moves and then away up steep well protected flakes. Great route and worthy of a * or two. Perhaps not really VS but would get you underway. If you enjoyed this you could then do Convoy and escape onto Giant Flake Route at the top if you don't fancy the final roof of Convoy.
Stuart en Écosse 24 Jun 2008
In reply to gforce:
> (In reply to lasonj)
> Damnation: The steep bit is well protected. The slab above probably less so. But the 4b bit is the steep bit. The slab is easier.


Aye that's what I meant. The pull over the overhang has good gear, it's the slab above that is run out, though not bad. It's a stiff wee pull at the grade, and the route that convinced me, and a couple of friends, to always wear a helmet.
I was belaying a pal who fell off the overhang, flipped upside down and banged her thankfully helmeted head on the rock. Horrible noise, her husband managed to get it all on film. My mate Chris (didn't own a lid, but did regular big mountain routes) who was standing next to me and saw it, turned to me and said "I'm gony buy a helmet."
SonyaD 24 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: In reply to biped: Aaaaarg, I don't want to hear these sorts of things!

Will, see my original post, Flake Route was the one I mentioned as a soft touch to do first. It's a route I enjoy too. I was always too scared to lead it cos I find the 1st move really hard and I was scared if I came off that I'd land on my belayer and we'd both go tumbling down the hill (yes, I think too much!) but it has recently come to my attention that it *is* possible for the belayer to be anchored in and that would make me feel a lot more comfy about that move off the ground.
CurlyStevo 25 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
top tip; think about climbing not falling off ;)

Technically VS 4c is well within you grade I should imagine, so most of the difficulties encountered will be in your mind. Get that sorted and it will seem easy. I used to struggle up VS's until I realised this! Climbing does have inherent risks, embrace them as part of the challenge and the sport and it all gets much easier! (well it did for me)
SonyaD 25 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Yeah, I struggle with my confidence as ever Steve. But logically I know that my gear is good and well placed, and that VS is well within my ability. My main fear has always been, 'will I have the stamina to hold on for long enough to place gear' but I'm fast coming to the conclusion that there is only the one way for me to find that out! Being doing a lot of sport climbing of late, and climbing regularly at the wall has made me realise, 'hey, I can hold on for a lot longer than I thought!'
Remember I used to get scared leading 5's and scream take at every bolt, frigging my way all the up? Well, I onsighted a 6a+ yesterday and that was scary cos my calf locked up and I couldn't move my foot for a couple of moments. Was above the clip at this point and going, 'aaaaarg, gggr$%^E&^!!' but I refused to shout take and my calf loosened off and I got it
Trick I have found for me is I have spent *far* too much time thinking about stuff way too much whereas I should just stop thinking and just get on the damn routes with less faff in my head.
rusty_nails 25 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Sonya, there are a couple of nice short VS's on the Sea cliffs south of Aberdeen. I would be willing to head up there some time and try them with you.

Or Dunkeld. I lead a VS5a there on friday with Phil Hudson. He did the 4c pitch then i did the 5a pitch, and it was well within my climbing ability, just a bit of a head game really

rusty_nails 25 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69:
> (In reply to Chris F)
>
> I wouldn't have thought Proud Corner would be a good recommendation for someone wanting to break into VS.
>
>

Seconded!

I think proud corner was my first VS and attempted purely because it was a 3 star route and my mates said it was an ok climb.

Cue a 3 hour long ascent, with about 100 attempts to move up the bold section above the pocket on the slab.

I seconded it about a month ago to re-acquaint myself and was astonished how i managed to lead it on only around my 10th trad climb.
Jamie B 25 Jun 2008
In reply to rusty_nails:

Agreed; very bold (and sustained) for VS 4c. Don't agree with the re-assessment of VS 4b as per bumper fun guide but it actually gives you the feel of the route better, ie don't f*ck up!

Very much top of the grade in my opinion; if HVS 4c was a more widely-used grade (only ever seems to be applied to complete horror-shows) it might be appropriate. In my opinion it is only VS and it is only 4c but this only tells you half the story...
In reply to lasonj: hey sonya hows tricks? how did you find spartan slab?

a good vs at the pass called convoy i think is soft for the grade with the crux at the top though off a ledge. if your ever in cumminston go for center on the prophet wall. 4b i think. very good climbing, though good gear and lots of rests! theres a couple up at meikle partons on the coast the bridge is one of the better ones.

say clear of pobble. it's a brute.

happy hunting. R.S.
SonyaD 25 Jun 2008
In reply to mulletcocktail2000: Hey, Spartan was ok, fantastic 4th pitch which made the route. (I had to aid the overlap on pitch 3 though I didn't think it worth 4**** though.

Yup, Ballater ones will be 1st I think, then ones at Meikle.

Pobble is a fantastic route though, yeah very pumpy but it's utterly jugtastic!
SonyaD 25 Jun 2008
In reply to rusty_nails: Lol! Was just talking about your ascent of Proud Corner the other day. So, you'll need to get yourself consolidated on VS and lead it cleanly now seen as it's a bit of a nemesis, lol!
gazevs26 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Climbed Dunkeld Ivy Crack last Saturday - my first guidebook VS. Great climb. Big crack. Jamming. Bridging. Fab. I was very ineligant but definitely one I'd climb again (hopefully with a bit more style next time).
Dr Rorlasaurus 26 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

I just led Vampire Crack, VS 4c at The Whangie.

Fantastic challenge, my 4th VS and hardest climb to date without all the cams my friend was using on his ascent of it! He said I wouldn't be able to do it without them... I was however thankful of my 3 day old DMM 1.75 3CU which saved me falling any more than 2 inches.

Hextastic!
Chris F 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Jamie B.: I don't get why Proud Corner is believed to be bold. I don't want to give too mch beta away other than that i think peg is pretty unnecessary. Will email you if you want to discuss minuitae.
CurlyStevo 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris F:
I agree with you, I also agree with the VS 4b grade.

However that said if your not carrying the right gear and you miss a crucial placement it could be pretty bold!

I also think the peg is unnecessary for the grade.
CurlyStevo 26 Jun 2008
In reply to gazevs:
Ivy crack get's MVS 4b in the definitive guide. It doesn't feel like a full weight VS to me. I think HS 4b would describe it fine also. VS 4b should only be given to very pumpy/sustained or bold routes which Ivy crack is neither of.
dek 26 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Has the peg been replaced in recent years? It was always regarded as 'rotten' (20+) yrs ago, seem to remember the grade was nippy 'HS' even pre chalk and stickies, but thought provoking none the less. One of the first time's we fiddled about with tri-cams was on Proud Corner, small friends might help nowadays?
Chris F 26 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Chris F)
> I agree with you, I also agree with the VS 4b grade.
>
> However that said if your not carrying the right gear and you miss a crucial placement it could be pretty bold!

The crucial placement is part of a standard rack. Question is will you have used it already by the time you reach that point?

(cue people carrying double racks on the route forevermore).


Chris F 26 Jun 2008
In reply to dek: I think it is still the original peg.
dek 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris F: We climbed up the glen after work on summer nights. My mate had 'problem' feet and climbed in his walking boots. Belaying PC was an exercise in patience compared to the other crack routes.Still good fun though.
jonnie3430 26 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Has anyone mentioned The Edge at Loudon Hill? It should be a four start route in the guide, but probably because it's tucked away at Loudon Hill it doesn't. The route takes the very edge of a sharp pinnacle that stands clear of the cliff mid way up. The first pitch is poor, so a traverse from the left is recommended. Gear is good in a horizontal crack near the base of the pinnacle, then there is a bit of a gap, but the fall would be safe! An outstanding route, I don't know of anything similar...

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=87678
CurlyStevo 26 Jun 2008
yhm
CurlyStevo 26 Jun 2008
In reply to dek:
I thought the peg was regarded as poor because the position is not good and you couldn't actually get a biner through the eye (need to use a sling) rather than it was rusted through. That said if it's as old as peops are saying then I wouldn't trust it in isolation.
Iain Forrest26 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo:
I didn't think the bit with the peg was the bold bit, but feel there has been enough beta given now!
I think Proud Corner's a good route for someone who often leads VS, but not a good route for someone breaking into the grade.
graeme gatherer 26 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Sonja, as folk have said Proud Corner is well worth doing after you've done a few others. It usually gets climbed boldly but that's only because the gear near the top requires to be placed from smallish holds and isn't hugely obvious(but there is plenty of it!)

Most folk find the likes of Wandered (HVS) an easier excusion as there is overhead gear for every move and it's all very positve climbing. If you are climbing 6A+ on bolts then this would be significantly easier climbing and with the potential for much more gear!
trailertrash 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Will W:
> Also have notes that I found some of the VS5a at Dunkeld ok. Wriggle I gave three ***but can't remember it!
>
> Pain Pillar- Aberdour also good.
>
> Heathy
> Cathy Rosyth I also enjoyed these and found them well protected, and pretty straightforward.


If I remember correctly the lower part of Wriggle and the two other routes sharing the same start rely (for the inexperienced and those short of small cams) on a rusty old in-situ peg to protect the climber from a possible ground fall from the difficult sideways move over the lip. Even if you get a poor cam in, you find you have then filled your best handhold with protection and things get harder. Such situations are always to be avoided for those just breaking into a grade surely?

I also think Cathy is a very serious proposition for someone just breaking into VS, and not recommended at all.
icehockeyhair 26 Jun 2008
In reply to jonnie3430:

I remember looking at that just after I started climbing and thinking it would be a good route. Have to get back down there sometime and do it.

Nobody seems to have mentioned Auchinstarry Quarry yet either. Probably a wee bit away from Dundee but I did Spirogyra as my fist VS there and that felt like a good choice... Seem to remember Trundle being pretty decent as well.
CurlyStevo 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Caned_but_able:
Cathy has tonnes of gear if you have the right size!

The wriggle as tonnes of nuts around the peg (I'm not saying where). The peg is in a very poor state now and last time I didn't bother clipping it.
Jonny Tee 69 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris F:

I carry a double set of nuts on every rock route regardless.
trailertrash 26 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Caned_but_able)
> Cathy has tonnes of gear if you have the right size!
>
> The wriggle as tonnes of nuts around the peg (I'm not saying where). The peg is in a very poor state now and last time I didn't bother clipping it.

Well, overlooking the fact that you just did say where the placements are, the point is that a novice might well clip the peg or fill the handholds with poor gear and possibly take a ground fall when attempting the difficult moves over the lip. So I wouldn't recommend it myself.

Are you the Stevo that climbs with Kenny?

SonyaD 26 Jun 2008
In reply to graeme gatherer: Hi Graham. That's 6a+ at the wall though! Best *real* lead on bolts is 6a and that's not onsight. Best onsight is only 5 (probably should be 5+ really, but I'd toproped pretty much all the 5's at Kirrie previously when I couldn't lead cos of my back injury) So 5/5+ probably equates to about VS but of course I'll need more stamina to hang about and place gear (and my gear placement isn't as fast as it could be due to not really leading the past couple of summers)
CurlyStevo 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Caned_but_able:
Aye that's me....

I personally think the moves on the wriggle around the peg are very awkward for a novice and a bit polished so I agree with you.



Chris F 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Jonny Tee 69:
> (In reply to Chris F)
>
> I carry a double set of nuts on every rock route regardless.

Who says it's a nut?

I'm not saying it isn't just being the devil's avocado.

SonyaD 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris F: Assuming it's a nut as you don't see many folk climbing with a double set of hexes or cams?
Chris F 26 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
> (In reply to Chris F) Assuming it's a nut as you don't see many folk climbing with a double set of hexes or cams?

Now that's telling!

SonyaD 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris F: No, that's assuming, lol! (ps - you started it ;oP
Erik B 26 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: crows nest crack, bottleneck chimney, hangmans crack, brevity on the buachaille are all excellent positive and safe VS's in a nice stress free sunny mountain location
SonyaD 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Erik B: Bottleneck chimney then Hangman's crack sounds nice but I'm really after wee single pitch routes in a non mountain environment for my 1st VS leads so I don't have the walk in to think about excuses, or any chossy scrambles to base of routes etc to deal with. Just get out the car, get to crag, gear up and do it.
rusty_nails 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris F:
> (In reply to Jamie B.) I don't get why Proud Corner is believed to be bold. I don't want to give too mch beta away other than that i think peg is pretty unnecessary. Will email you if you want to discuss minuitae.

Because you clip the peg (which i never trust), back it up with one nut, then up and across to the pocket (a questionable hex placement, or reasonable friend), then it's blank (of decent holds or pro) for the next 5m to the final 2m crack
Colin Moody 26 Jun 2008
In reply to Erik B:

Every time I've been on Brevity I've found it hard for some reason, Mainbrace was fine compared to it.
WilliamBurnside 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Erik B: I would not describe Bottleneck Chimney as nice. Maybe I was unlucky but when we did it it was as slimy and chossy as get out!
Jamie B 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Willy:

I did it when it was bone dry and still found it harder and bolder than expected; VS 4b? In fairness I was hungover...
Jamie B 27 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

> I'm really after wee single pitch routes in a non mountain environment for my 1st VS leads so I don't have the walk in to think about excuses, or any chossy scrambles to base of routes etc to deal with. Just get out the car, get to crag, gear up and do it.

What, no warm-up? A brisk walk-in is most efficatious in this respect.

CurlyStevo 27 Jun 2008
In reply to rusty_nails:
no, there is more gear before the final crack after the reasonable cam/other stuff placement.
Fiona Reid 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Caned_but_able:

> I also think Cathy is a very serious proposition for someone just breaking into VS, and not recommended at all.

Agreed, fell off the crux twice on Monday night and nailed it third go. I'm only 5ft2" and found it pretty stretchy and thuggy. The gear is good but I found it a bit awkward to place. It felt easily an order of magnitude harder than Heathy - which is nice.
niallk 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Willy:
> (In reply to Erik B) I would not describe Bottleneck Chimney as nice. Maybe I was unlucky but when we did it it was as slimy and chossy as get out!

Did it a couple of weeks ago and thought it absolutely cracking!
Erik B 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Jamie B.: it is and always has been a classic Hard Severe

have you done Wappenshaw Wall with the direct start yet? Awesome
Erik B 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Fiona Reid: Cathy (the route) is desperate
Fiona Reid 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Erik B:

It's definitely one of the hardest VS's I've lead. I had a serious attack of verbal tourette's before I fell off the first time (apologies to the guys climbing close to us if you are reading this, my language was pretty choice) as I wasn't 100% happy with my gear, it turns out it was bombproof. I'll do it cleanly next time.
CurlyStevo 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Fiona Reid:
Yeah I lead it a couple of weeks ago and am solid on most VS's. getting out of the top of the chimney was pretty hard work and sustained. Definately easier HVS's out there (like most the ones at limekilnes for example)
rusty_nails 27 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to rusty_nails)
> no, there is more gear before the final crack after the reasonable cam/other stuff placement.

Perhaps i missed it in my moment of panic/desire to top out.

haven't seen anyone else put in any gear between those points though.
SonyaD 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Fiona Reid: Hah! I am an expert when it comes to choice language, and I'm 5"2 also. Think I'll be staying well away from Cathy, she sounds like a bitch!
SonyaD 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Jamie B.: Erm, efficatious? The walk up to the Pass will be just as efficatious I should think, followed by a severe to get moving, then jump on a VS. It depends what it's like getting to the base of the route really? I've only climbed on the Buachaille once before and I found the approach to Rannoch Wall more hairy than the actual climbing itself! I don't want any loose and chossy scrambling to get to the bottom of the route I want to do when I'm going to do something a bit harder.
Not Remotely Foz27 Jun 2008
In reply to icehockeyhair:

> Nobody seems to have mentioned Auchinstarry Quarry yet either. Probably a wee bit away from Dundee but I did Spirogyra as my fist VS there and that felt like a good choice... Seem to remember Trundle being pretty decent as well.

Spirogyra is a bit on the steep and awkward side but rewarding enough if you can crack it. Trundle is steady enough and my first VS lead 16 years ago, but Red Lead has position to recommend it and although its 5a it's technical 5a, not strenuous and well protected.
Burnsie 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Jamie B.:

I did it pished the day after ErikB got us all barred from the Kingie but that's a whole other story ....
Erik B 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Burnsie: ha ha!!! id forgotten all about that!! brilliant!!!
GrahamJ 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Stuart S:
> (In reply to lasonj)
> [...]
>
> Think it was something like Crab's Wall. It's a wee Diff in a small inlet just out to sea from the car park at Collieston.

Crab's Wall it is. I did this with a very dark sky and a big swell sending spray onto the wall. Was an early lead for me and I was absolutley s#itting it.

It involves an unprotected 8m traverse getting increasingly exposed and most of the holds erode when you put any pressure on the rock making them feel kind of sandy.

There is no decent gear on the route to speak of though I assume that Tom would have soloed it so this would not have been a problem.

Jamie B 27 Jun 2008
In reply to Not Remotely Foz:

> Trundle is steady enough and my first VS lead 16 years ago.

Interestingly enough your somewhat venerable "Glasgow Outcrops" mini-guide gives it HVS 5a. I don't agree but can see where they might be coming from; you need to be good at placing gear in tenuous positions.
Not Remotely Foz28 Jun 2008
In reply to Jamie B.:

> Interestingly enough your somewhat venerable "Glasgow Outcrops" mini-guide gives it HVS 5a. I don't agree but can see where they might be coming from; you need to be good at placing gear in tenuous positions.

Is that the old 1970's guide book? Interesting historical throwback. There were two sets of about the same age, one done by Ken Crocket and another done by a shop on Great Western Road. The Crocket one grudgingly gave one route and one route only (Route Royale at Dumby) HARD VS. It's now E3 5c.

As for Trundle I don't agree at all. You do need to stand on smallish edges for a while placing gear but nothing you wouldn't expect at the grade. It may have had something to do with objective dangers from rockfall etc. Even since I first lead it, it has lost a decent sized flake higher up.
aln 28 Jun 2008
puiohereIn reply to Not Remotely Foz: Trundle has a few moments at the start where you have to hang on to place gear but it doesn't last long and it gets easier quicker. Sonja, you need to stop talking about it and get out there, VS really isn't hard.
SonyaD 28 Jun 2008
In reply to aln: Erm, well I can hardly just get up mid week and go do it when I have work to do and a daughter to look after now can I?! And I know VS isn't *that* hard but for me it's a head game, cos I've never been confident with my lead climbing on rock. Infact, some muppet from ScClimbs told me I should just give up climbing when I started a thread not long after I first started lead climbing to ask about how to mentally train. And for the past 2 summers I have had a severe spinal injury resulting in spinal surgery which held me back

However....................





















































I just f*cking did it today! Hurrah!
dek 28 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Trundle today? well done! what else Red Lead? ;-)
SonyaD 28 Jun 2008
In reply to dek: Oooooh no, not Trundle!

Just my 1st (well 2nd really but I don't think the 1st one counted) VS lead today

Went for Giant Flake Route at the Pass. Just a 4b, but a good one to start on I reckon and I'm having none of this, 'it's not a VS,' from anyone cos it felt bloody hard leading it, lol! That move right at the start is fecking desperate! I had to stand right up onto my tippy toes to just get my fingers round that 1st hold. Took a couple of half hearted attempts to do that bit, before I realised a more confident approach was needed. Then I did it, and had a wee, 'woohoo moment,' before realising that the crack bit is more awkward to lead than second! Placed a billion bits of gear in the crack, did my 1st ever hand jam on lead (I had bleeding knuckles and everything and made upward progress, followed by another woohoo moment at the top of the crack. Standing on the big block at the top of the crack felt ace! Traversed the shelfy bit, spotted one of my other climbing partners who had been rained off LogieHead and had a wee dance mid route, shouting, 'hey, my 1st VS,' followed by a bit of arse wiggling, lol!
dek 28 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Well done you, have a wee libation to celebrate ;-)
SonyaD 28 Jun 2008
In reply to dek: Cheers Dek
Andy Nisbet 28 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Nice one Sonya! Good training for crag X
SonyaD 28 Jun 2008
In reply to Andy Nisbet: Aaaaarg, now you have me scared *and* intruiged about your mysterious cragX, lol!

Hopefully try a couple of VS's at Clova tommorrow too (if the rain stays away!)
CurlyStevo 29 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Well done. Keep with it and glad you did one of my recommendations too ;)
iceicebaby 29 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Good job!! Sounds like you did it in style..
SonyaD 29 Jun 2008
In reply to iceicebaby and Stevo: Cheers Yup I did it ok. Didn't get another one done today though Went to Clova, sunny blue skies driving there, got out car and up to base of cliff and it started raining, enought to start wetting the rock. Hung about for a bit to see if it would pass but it got heavier. Sacked it off and went up the coast to Souter Head. Went down into Rainbow Inlet, an area I've always felt too intimidated by, so quite pleased that I managed to get down there! But then proceeded to have a 'mare on a fecking Diff chimney!!! Climbing is a funny old business at times eh, you can lead a VS one day yet get bamboozled by a Diff the next! 2nded a severe, we were both gonna have a bash at the Pobble but partner has hurt his back and it was getting pretty painful and then it started raining again.

Hoping to get to Ballater one day this evening though as RB is at her Dad's this week and do Convoy onsight.
aln 30 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj: Well done on cracking it. BTW I wasn't trying to be cheeky or nasty, it just seemed like you were overthinking it to the point where you were putting yourself off. Congrats again, worlds yer oyster now!
SonyaD 30 Jun 2008
In reply to aln: Yeah I know that's what you were trying to say, but you were wrong. I just posted this thread on Monday having just that day thought, 'right, I'm gonna do it!'
Before that, I just didn't think I was good enough and it was just on Monday that I had a revelation of sorts that the only way I would ever find out if I *was* good enough was just to jump on one and see how I got on.

I do have a tendency to think about things too much though as regards my climbing, such as, 'oh but what if.......,' or, 'oh but a, b, or c might happen......' Throughout the time since I first started climbing I've battled with these thoughts but I've just now come to the conclusion that rather than try and *not* think about these things, which just makes me think about them even more, that I should just accept these thoughts as a part of myself and just get on some VS's anyway regardless. Very simple really, lol! And seemed to work a treat

Cheers for the congrats though

And yes, it does kinda feel like the world's my oyster, so much more opens up when you can lead VS!
Iain Forrest30 Jun 2008
In reply to Not Remotely Foz:
I may be wrong, but I think Trundle might originally have finished up the steep crack in the wall above the ledge, to the left of the slab, rather than up the recessed corner straight above the lower section (or scrambling off from the ledge, as seems popular now). This upper section is now the top part of another VS which starts round the corner to the left of Trundle (can't remember the name). This upper crack is very steep and looks like it should be harder than VS 4c, but actually has great holds and isn't any harder than the start - but it may have been harder in the past if there was more loose rock on it (and maybe fewer holds?)

In reply to lasonj:
Congratulations. If you can climb VS, it'll take you a very very long time to run out of good routes to do!
SonyaD 30 Jun 2008
In reply to Iain Forrest: I know! It's going to be a very novel thing for me for a good while I think, turning up at a crag and looking at VS's, instead of just V.Diffs and Severes. I don't normally pay attention to the VS's and just second up anything at that grade. Now I'll be having a better look!

<the 2nd pitch on Beanstalk at Clova looks amazing btw!>
CurlyStevo 30 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Thing to remember is just cos you can lead a VS crack doesn't mean you can lead all the Severe chimneys and alike (as you found with the Diff, although I suspect there was some other reason for this like broken holds or bad conditions). It's worth trying to get fairly rounded at a grade so you can perform ok on multipitch where you have less choice over the pitches you climb. To do this you may need to force yourself to lead the sort of climbs at lower grades than your limit you may have been avoiding (like poorly protected routes, chimneys, off widths and jamming cracks.).
Iain Forrest30 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Beanstalk's very nice, aye. And well below your new lead grade
SonyaD 30 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Erm, I do lead stuff I'm not keen on at Severe and below though! I enjoy chimneys, I just struggle on them (but doesn't everyone pretty much) The Diff chimney just had a really reachy move which made it harder for me. A few weeks ago I led a Severe slab and the 1st pitch of that had pure friction climbing and naff all gear and I coped just fine. Re the jamming cracks, I've not been avoiding them, it's more that I've just not had the oppurtunity! I can't think of any V.Diffs/S/HS that you need to use hand jams in? Certainly none that I've led. So.......when it comes to pushing my grade I'm obviousely going to avoid the things I'm not sure of on my 1st few attempts. Like I said to someone above, I think that's fairly normal to do when you're trying to push your grade. I think I'm a pretty rounded climber when it comes to different styles and rock types (other than jamming, but like I said that's lack of oppurtunity as opposed to avoidance)
SonyaD 30 Jun 2008
In reply to Iain Forrest: It's the 4c finish up the arete that looks nice. I didn't even look at the 4b finish, your eye just gets drawn to that arete.
SonyaD 30 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Actually tell a lie, there is a Severe jamming crack at the Pass. We passed in on Saturday and I thought to myself it looked nice to lead but I was on mission to get my VS though.
CurlyStevo 30 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Plenty of jamming cracks under VS on Grit. But agreed less so in Scotland.

Nope not everyone struggles on chimneys some people even specialise in such routes!

I was just thinking that failing on a Diff when you just lead VS shows there must be some holes in your climbing skills that need patching up.

Personally I think that if the crux of a climb is pure chimney climbing once it get's above severe your asking for some hardship.

The big hole in my climbing at the moment is off widths and nasty chimneys.. Hardly ever climb the things. I reckon I'm fine to HS on offwidths and chimneys but I'm not solid VS on these features yet.
SonyaD 30 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Yup, that's why I said *pretty much* everyone and not everyone fullstop.

I didn't fail on the Diff!! I led it cleanly (and onsight, lol!) I just found a bit of it hard due to my lack of reach (something that bothers me throughout the grades on nearly every style of route, bar slabs) And I don't care that folk like Lynn Hill are only 5foot, she is a sh*t hot climber, I'm not.

And of course I will find it awful if the crux of a route is a chimney above severe. But......until I am comfortable at leading VS's in styles of climbing that I am better at, then I'll stay away from things like brutal VS chimneys and VS slabs.

Put it this way right. If you personally were trying to break into E2 (you're leading E1's now right?) would you be looking at E2 offwidths? I don't think so. Which is why I don't want any VS chimneys or thin routes (until I feel more confident and consolidated)
CurlyStevo 30 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Sorry I wasn't suggesting you should try VSs of a style you dislike. Just that its a good idea in general to try and get rounded at a grade and the best way to do that is to work on your weakness at a lower grade. I'm currently trying a lot of the VSs that I put off previously for one reason or another (and generally finding out why ;)

I'm generally leading VS/HVS......

Glad you got up the chimney in the end ;)

PS E2 offwidths.... hmmmm nice ......
SonyaD 30 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Yes I know that! Some person said that above too and I replied just as I did above, that I DO climb all styles at a lower grade! Also, you don't *have* to do that if you don't want to. If you wanted to spend your whole life avoiding chimneys then you could do that if you wanted to. You might struggle with certain multipitches like you say but you could always back off if that was case (although that would be frustrating obviously)

<Now, repeat after me, 'Don't argue with Sonya, she is a woman and therefore knows best> ;oP

Re offwidths, aye shudder! Although.......I've never actually done an offwidth. There is a severe offwidth at Ballater on the upper Eastern sector, have you done that? It looks utterly horrendous!
CurlyStevo 30 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
ach that wasn't me arguing trust me ;)

babbling shite right enough though, I have a hangover from hell.

Only been to ballater a few times so pretty sure I've not done the severe you mention.

take care,
Stevo
SonyaD 30 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Oh? Good night last night then?

Ballater is fab (but reachy(for me!)) Normally I couldn't be bothered with it as I'd led everything I could do several times but I'm seeing it with fresh eyes now
CurlyStevo 30 Jun 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Yeah went to the Dundee blues bonanza from 2pm until the end about midnight. Eventually the beer took it's toll though (as you may expect). Some of the acts were quite good and others a bit so so. By the end of it my mate was spilling more beer on the floor than he was down his throat.

Serves me right I should know better than to get that carried away on a school night!

Yeah really liked ballatar when I've been good solid rock and more positive edges than the mountain granite (looks kinda quarried not sure if it ever has been). It's great for VS as there is so many good ones there.
SonyaD 30 Jun 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Yeah, the rock is really nice and clean there.

Sounds like you had a good evening anyway!

I've not had a night out in ages, and my next night out won't be for ages either! Just booked tickets to see Dylan Moran at the Rep, can't wait! (not until September though, so ages away)
Mark Bannan 02 Jul 2008
In reply to Jamie B.:

If the current "Spider Right Hand" is the same as the old "Spider" in the old Glencoe guidebook, then it is definitely HVS and no slouch for that grade either. Both myself and my mate Gareth were leading E1 when we did this (at different times) and we both found it quite hard.

Back to the OP - many of the reccomendations given (Reiff, Logie Head) are excellent reasonable VSs - just avoid Cullenary Delight at Logie - closer to HVS.

Other good VSs

Sideline, Sheigra (very improbable, but fine)
Grey Coast, Latheronwheel (pro a bit spaced but only 4b)
Entasis, Raven Crag (bit awkward, but short crux)
Shield Direct, Raven Crag (excellent, slabby climbing)
The Grunter, Diabaig (requires reasonable jamming on Pitch 2)

One of the most memorable ones that is low in the grade is Tip-Off at Creag Dubh - very pleasant, quite a lot easier than King Bee or Brute, but a great route with fine situations and good gear at the crux (which is at the top of the route - wher it should be IMHO!)

Hiccup, June Crack and May Crack (on the Buachaille) are harder (fairly high in grade) but all superb - possibly good to do later on?

hope this helps!

M
Boistelle 02 Jul 2008
In reply to lasonj: If you are able to head down to dunkeld polney crag. That has four VS's that are great and fit your criteria. They are all single pitch and good gear.

The groove VS 5a*** (smith route) is the classic of the crag, brilliant climbing with good gear and good moves.

The Rut and The Wriggle are both variations on this, both at VS 5a** (both enjoyable climbs)

The End** is one of my favourite climbs it has two pitches but you can walk off after the first pith which is only 15m at 4b. The start of the second pitch takes me a couple of times, everytime so don't be put off. It also has a textbook number two (DMM) nut placement.

Hope this helps, Let me know how you get on.

gb
Boistelle 02 Jul 2008
In reply to Boistelle: Just to add the end is delicate and balancey but very enjoyable.
Jonny Tee 69 02 Jul 2008
In reply to Mark Bannan:
> (In reply to Jamie B.)
>
just avoid Cullenary Delight at Logie - closer to HVS.
>

I wouldn't have said Cullenary Delight qualifies for HVS. The crux section is quite short, very well protected, and not too hard if you just move through it.
SonyaD 02 Jul 2008
In reply to Mark Bannan: Thanks for that. Didn't find Cullenary Delight HVS, but about right at VS5a I think.

Tip-off sounds a nice route but not one for one of my 1st VS's I think as there is nothing at Creag Dubh to warm up on. (well, there is a few routes below VS but I'll bet they are scrappy/vegetated etc?)

If the rain would just stay away then I'd maybe get another VS lead in, grrrrrr!
SonyaD 02 Jul 2008
In reply to Boistelle: I don't think 5a's are what I'm looking for, for my 1st few VS leads thanks. Once I'm competent at doing 4c's, then I'll think about upping it to 5a. I like taking things one step at a time. If I go to Dunkeld, I think Ivy Crack will be the one I look at.
CurlyStevo 02 Jul 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Ivy crack get's MVS 4b in the definitive guide. I think terminal Butress at HS 4c is more tricky but maybe that's just me.
SonyaD 02 Jul 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Probably more tricky cos it has a 4c move or two?

I'd like to do Ivy crack (if I like the look of it (and it's not too polished, lol!)), Beech Tree wall and Terminal Buttress.
CurlyStevo 02 Jul 2008
In reply to lasonj:
have you seconded terminal buttress?
SonyaD 02 Jul 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: No.
CurlyStevo 02 Jul 2008
In reply to lasonj:
Cool I won't spoil if for you then. It's a great climb. Make sure you get pitch 2. Borderline VS 4c in my opinion.
SonyaD 02 Jul 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Cool. Not sure when I'll ever get a chance to go there right enough. There's other venues and routes I'd do before choosing Dunkeld. And I'd probably like to lead a good few 1st that I've seconded before going for an onsight.
bawbag 02 Jul 2008
In reply to lasonj: why not give clova a go its ace
SonyaD 02 Jul 2008
In reply to bawbag: See above, went to Clova on Sunday, got to bottom of crag and it started raining. Rains every time I go to Clova!
rusty_nails 02 Jul 2008
In reply to Boistelle:
> (In reply to Boistelle) Just to add the end is delicate and balancey but very enjoyable.

I concur wholeheartedly!!!
CurlyStevo 02 Jul 2008
In reply to Boistelle:
you can get a sit down rest half way through the crux of the end on pitch 2 (just off the ledge) by leg hooking with your left leg, makes it much easier, borderline 4c/5a. Keep both legs initially in the groove to the right of the flake.
Boistelle 02 Jul 2008
In reply to CurlyStevo: Didn't know that! Will look out for that move next time.
Boistelle 02 Jul 2008
In reply to lasonj: Sorry should of thought about that but if you do visit try and get them on second. The quality of climbing is that good it would be criminal not to pull on them.
Chris F 03 Jul 2008
In reply to lasonj:
> Tip-off sounds a nice route but not one for one of my 1st VS's I think as there is nothing at Creag Dubh to warm up on. (well, there is a few routes below VS but I'll bet they are scrappy/vegetated etc?)

Tree Hee has a bit of veg, but is a great Severe.
Jonny Tee 69 03 Jul 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Long Slough has 3 VS's - the middle one (Zeta?) is good climbing, 3 hard but well protected sections.
Jonny Tee 69 03 Jul 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Floors Craig also has some good VS's. Well protected routes above big platforms - Kinhaken, Left Jab, the one on the right wall of Right Hook etc.
Mark Bannan 05 Jul 2008
In reply to lasonj:

Cullenary Delight is fine at VS, just a little high in the grade.

Tip-Off really is a good first VS - not at all hard for the grade and good gear,

M

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