/ Obscure objects on routes
I was looking back through some old logs of mine in my guidebooks and came across this comment on a route at Clach na Beinn: "Led O/S, fiddly gear and felt a bit off-balance, chipfork jammed in finger crack at crux added a bit of spice". It got me thinking about other obscure stuff I've found on routes - rusted WWI tin cans on a ledge on a route on Lagazuoi in the Dolomites, the hoover hanging in the tree by the Trundle slab at Auchinstarry (very different historical contexts right there...)
So what's the weirdest non climbing-related object you've found on a route?
There used to be a garden gnome on Pencoed Pillar on Cadair Idris. A V Diff "botanical ramble" and great fun.
He moved to Eliminate A on Dow at one time, not sure where he went from there!
There’s the tap on a route in Calpe. You can turn it but no water comes out.
I suppose the sword is still on the Cioch on Skye.
I have found 2 glass marbles embedded into the rock on two routes in Cyprus.
It’s tough to beat the human skeleton on the route “Tibia” in New Zealand though (slightly spooky to pull into the chimney and see the skull looking at you, even when you are expecting it).
The toilet hanging off a peg on the top pitch of Malbogies
The bench, bus stop and accompanying timetable on the Hannibal Turm in Switzerland
There used to be a little wind up toy on the New Quarry Traverse at Avon, which would get periodically moved from place to place. Not seen it for ages though, wonder what happened to it?
That wasn't dog shit
Somewhere in Squamish, deep within an offwidth chimney there was a heavily decorated statue of a pig....
I forget the route, but it was on Cabin Door in Range west. A perfectly intact bullet, balanced on its base on a crimp no bigger than the width of the bullet. How it came to be there I have no idea.
There was a small plastic white horse on the traverse pitch of Dream of White Horses in 1976.
> I suppose the sword is still on the Cioch on Skye.
The sword used to be replaced regularly by the guides so clients could get the “Highlander” photo... not sure if demand has dropped off enough for that to have stopped...
A dish brush at the top of Wrinkle in the Llanberis Pass. Apparently being used to belay off.
IIRC there is part on an engine and propeller blades from an Avro Lancaster wedged into one of the gullies on Beinne Eighe where it crashed with the loss of it's crew in 1951.
A sizable metal tin securely wedged in plain view by a belay after a 'key pitch' high on the Spenglerkamin in the Austrian Tyrol. Spenglerkamin (VII) Inside was a very old notebook and several pencils. The notebook had been left by the first ascentionists in the 1930s and the very first entry in the book was their names and the date of their ascent. All subsequent ascents were also recorded. and we were surprised to see that ours was seemingly the first British ascent. It was very humbling to leave our names in the book alongside those of Hermann Buhl and the like.
A caravan on the moraines on the descent from the Stralhorn. Nearest road maybe 5km and 1500m lower.
There's also a bicycle wheel on Pic du Midi d'Ossau (Flammes de Pierre route)
> The bench, bus stop and accompanying timetable on the Hannibal Turm in Switzerland
Good memories! Funny to take a rest there ontop of the tower.
> IIRC there is part on an engine and propeller blades from an Avro Lancaster wedged into one of the gullies on Beinne Eighe where it crashed with the loss of it's crew in 1951.
Yes, Fuselage Gully!
> The Fahrrad on Fahrradlkante (V-)#overview; yes - there really is one! <
I remember that, I think it was from the 1920s or 30s. There was also a kayak suspended from near the top of a more impressive face nearby.
Edited to note that I'm not remembering it from the 1920s!
Is it strong enough to be clipped for protection?
Many years ago found gnomes on three climbs inc. Zennor Upper Cliff and Pordenack Point. Presumably there were many more around as we certainly weren't actively searching them out.
Was walking down the zig-zags on Gear Aonach with my wee son the other day and all the trees had been decorated with multi-coloured loops of rope.
There's also a plastic superman or similar hanging off what must be an aid roof (no holds as far as I could see) on the Main Wall in Avon Gorge.
There's a mixed route on the Breitwangflue in Kandersteg which features a bottle of whisky on one of the stances. Not sure if it's still full but there's a video of someone doing the route and taking a sip.
A few years ago there was an art installation at Fairy Cave Quarry. This included a collection of wire cages filled with orange plastic fencing attached to the crack on Halfway to Kansas (HS 4a). They were held on by some old school hexes wedged in the crack.
Isn’t there a practice artillery shell wedged into a crack in Huntsmans Leap?
There were certainly plenty of them littering the floor of the zawn last time I was there (a while back). Plus a rather dodgy-looking big rusty one under a rock that we left well alone.
For those of us old enough to remember, it's Action Man, not superman. Brings a smile to me, every time I see it
In response to the OP, i heard of some cavers who were 5 hrs into Daren Cilau who came across a prosthetic arm, sticking out of the mud, holding a dinky toy car. weird... Who on earth put it there :-?
More than that,
It was a wet misty day more than
30 years ago when I ate my lunch in what was left of the cockpit.
Horsehair seats , some metal levers left.
A bit spooky.
The engines and blue asbestos were still down by the lochan.
A Poo on a multipitch in Sardinia,
A snake on a belay in El Chorro,
A fridge, A Bed frame (of the borstal/prison variety), A tv, A burned out car,and finally, Sadly a Bag full of Dead Kittens - all on or around routes on Portland Cuttings and Sacred Angel / Pregnant Pause areas
The shell is long gone. The floor is clean too these days - it used to be littered with detonators 25 years ago.
I once saw a wooden puffin half way up a route in Lofoten. I don't know why someone needed to place a wooden puffin when there are enough real puffins around in Arctic Norway. It was quite sizeable and not the sort of thing you'd just happen to have in your pocket.
A plastic cactus (think Saguaro cacti with arms, like in John Wayne films) at the summit of Mont Blanc, next to an igloo. I thought I was hallucinating until I heard the cursing of my French mate at this scene of sacrilege on the sacred summit of La Belle France.
There was a road sign warning of ice half way up Crowberry Gully for many years....
> It’s tough to beat the human skeleton on the route “Tibia” in New Zealand though (slightly spooky to pull into the chimney and see the skull looking at you, even when you are expecting it).
I do remember a grinning ceramic skull cemented near the chains of "Constant Gardener" at Giggleswick, but that's a poor-man's echo of Maori bones in the chimney... It also reminds me of video footage of Catherine Destivelle exploring the ruins of an ancient pygmy city mid-climb in Mali - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N70DLM8Az_8
Well I did say it was a long time ago. Really need to get back to Pembroke. Last logbook ticks in 1991 and my current guide is still the red one with Trevallen Pillar on the cover. Sigh.
There is a lady gnome complete with large cleavage halfway along the VF on Rocher St Julienne at Buis le Barronais.
I was once messing around on a wee loose scruffy crag in the Ochils that has no recorded routes and I found a pound coin on a wee edge that was just big enough for it.
> There was a road sign warning of ice half way up Crowberry Gully for many years....
Not on a climb this one, but for many years there was a road sign saying "Wookey Hole 3 miles - avoiding town centre" just as you surfaced beyond the short dive through Sump One in Swilden's Hole. The significance will be lost on those who don't know the hydrology of this bit of the Mendips but I just burst out laughing the first time I saw it.
Not done the route ,The fish , on the Marmolda was reputed to have a stack of porno mags and a illuminative dildo in the half way bivy / cave. Perhaps others can confirm this .
A £20 note, climbing Bellows on the back of Cairngorm. 2nd best swag ever....
There's a really weird cross thing at the top of the Tour Ronde. Not sure what that's all about
This was hilarious - Robert the Bruce's Spider (6a)
A non functioning beer tap at the end of this one - Via Ferrata Diavolo (VF4A)
Is the elephant still on mitre ridge? https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=67477
I forgot to mention Spofforth.
Bouldering at Spofforth around 18 years ago we came across a lot of coins on one of the boulders. Some were stuffed into small cracks and others laid out on flat rocks in repeated patterns. It was quite spooky!
> Not done the route ,The fish , on the Marmolda was reputed to have a stack of porno mags and a illuminative dildo in the half way bivy / cave. Perhaps others can confirm this .
Several hooks held in place by gaffa tape on the difficult bit below the cave...but alas, no porn.
2 swords on the Cioch in Skye, for reenacting that Highlander scene!
Wasn't there a piano on the summit of The Ben until recently?
More old gnome sightings, there was an outbreak of tiny gnomes on the culm coast in the 90s. One on mozambique at foxhole slabs, can't remember the other routes.
slightly offpoint. A friend of mine was climbing the old man of hoy, he was gesticulating when a small object fell past, he reached out an snatched said object which turned out to be a banana
> So what's the weirdest non climbing-related object you've found on a route?
My uncle told me about this years ago!
The spanner on Spanner Wall. Gone but now returned
According to Harry Griffin there used to be a Public Footpath sign fixed part way up Middlefell Buttress. My oddest would be a metal chair on the top of the Cobbler summit pinnacle, a golf ball halfway up a mountain route in Mull and a high heeled shoe several hundred feet up Bilberry Terrace on Lliwedd.
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