UKC

/ Skye: Inn Pinn query

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MG - on 12 Jan 2018

I've been up the Inn Pinn numerous times but always with others who were happy with exposure.  I now need to take a Munroist almost compleater up who isn't familiar with ropes or exposure.   

What do people recommend?  From memory there are two pitches really - the flank and then the ridge.  Is there space to park a novice at the top of the flank, or would running things together be a better option? I'm concerned this would leave a big gap and make communication difficult.

Mark Collins - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

For me it depends on the person's experience. I'd be tempted to send them up the short side. Any falls could be protected more effectively from above and communication should not be an issue either. Perhaps a rock climbing session on single pitch elsewhere in preparation would be a good idea.

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Mark Collins:

Where does the route start on this side? I tried a little to the left once and found it bulgy and overhanging so presumably not there.  Maybe the new guide has a photo?

Mark Collins - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

I did it last year and looking at it nose on, took the left side of the front face along with the left arete and then went around the left arete higher up to a ledge, only to turn the arete again, to the right near the top. I didn't find it very well protected from a lead point of view, about half way up is a bit of a pinnacle you can get something round. I seem to remember starting was the hardest. I don't climb well these days but would say that I was capable of leading anything on the ridge. I had also had no sleep with a shiver bivi the night before when I attempted this.

Mark Collins - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> Maybe the new guide has a photo?

Don't have the new guide on me I'm afraid, will post back later if I remember.

JLS on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

>" I tried a little to the left once and found it bulgy and overhanging so presumably not there."

I suspect that probably was it.  The difficulty of the first couple of moves surprised me.

This photo shows a climber just above where I think the start is...

http://www.mountainsofscotland.co.uk/Photos/Scottish%20Hills/Inpin/InPin9.jpg

 

Post edited at 10:30
illepo - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

There's a perfect little flat section right between the pitches that is perfect. You can keep an eye on them and talk to them if needed. I took my novice GF up there in April and it worked really well. I'd advise that otherwise you won't be able to see them or talk to them if that is of concern.
Tip: use slings in that stance between pitches if they are unfamiliar with removing gear, there are spikes which suited me well.

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to JLS:

Thanks.  Yes that's where I tried.  Pretty certain that won't work with my prospective partner.  Even the easy side may be too challenging for them...

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to illepo:

Thanks!  That's what I want to hear!

mal_meech on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

West Ridge Route (S) is pokey for severe, and polished (for gabbro). JLS’s photo is the best illustration, there is no photo topo of it in the new guide.

I’d recommend some single pitch to let you assess if they are likely to make it.

If he really is a munroist (I know a few who just can’t cope with anything vertical) then the mod up the east ridge may be easier, depending how his head for heights (and the wind) is, as he can sit down /crawl most of the way up. You can lead to a good platform, sit him in a recess, and then finish to the top if you trust him to scramble, or short pitch it. I wouldn’t recommend it in any blustery conditions unless you’re sure he is happy on similar terrain.

Dave Hewitt - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

As someone who is similar in ability to your friend, I coped reasonably well (I think) with being seconded up the long side. Wouldn't have fancied the short side at all - it's now quite a bit harder than it used to be after a chunk fell off the start - think it's now V Diff as against Diff of yore. (Actually, UKC now seems to give it as Severe as mal_meech has pointed out.) The long side is Mod as you'll know, although the little blank-ish wall on the ridge just below the halfway stance is probably at the top end of the grade as it's quite polished and the big drop to the right is very apparent at this point.

We did it in two pitches, with a fairly spacious belay stance just above the awkward step. I'm glad we did it this way rather than as just one long run-out, as much because of easier communications/encouragement as anything - I found it very helpful to have my pal who was the leader just above me at the awkward step. There were four of us on the rope and there was space for us (plus a rather pushy guide with two clients) on the stance - there's a picture of the scene here if that helps:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/warbeck/27572570/in/album-623946/

I found the upper part markedly easier, really just a scramble. Abbing off was OK (again I'd done very little), as it was either that or spend the rest of my days up there. Probably best to do a bit of abseil practice with your friend beforehand however, assuming they haven't done any/much.

Good luck - it's an amazing thing and certainly worth waiting for good weather, both for views and making it easier (I've also been there on a cold wet cloudy day when I didn't fancy it in the slightest and a friend who did give it a go retreated in tears after about an hour). Delays/traffic is likely to be an issue on a fine summer weekend, although we were very lucky in that regard - a sunny Sunday lunchtime in August and we only had one party in front of us, who had set off by the time we'd geared up.

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

Thanks for that full response.  Very helpful and encouraging!

summo on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Find a confident third person. Novice comes up in the middle or just behind depending how you run your ropes. They can remove the gear and keep your nervous friend on the move. 

skog on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Sorry MG, but now that your query hass been answered I have to point out that it isn't the "Inn Pinn".

In Pin, fine; In Pinn, if you want - but not Inn Pinn, even though you are asking about a comfy place to rest. ;-)

 
MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to skog:

I see you are right, dammit. I can't spell inaccessible.  But...

...I now challenge your In Pinn on the same grounds.  It must be only In Pin.

mal_meech on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

The diff fell down about 10 years ago. Lightening strike I think, was a bit further onto the North Face.

Robert Durran - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

I hope this isn't going to be yet another grubby top-roper illegitimately claiming compleation. 

2
skog on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> ...I now challenge your In Pinn on the same grounds.  It must be only In Pin.

I like In Pin better, but I can't really argue with In Pinn - what's the problem with it (other than looking a bit odd)..?

 
MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to skog:

> > ...I now challenge your In Pinn on the same grounds.  It must be only In Pin.
> I like In Pin better, but I can't really argue with In Pinn - what's the problem with it (other than looking a bit odd)..?
>  

I thought your objection to Inn Pinn was on grounds of spelling?  Is it just lack of beer?

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I hope this isn't going to be yet another grubby top-roper illegitimately claiming compleation. 

No, don't worry, they will be following a leader as a pitched climb.  Does this meet the Durran criteria?  I know they can be strict

skog on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Pinnacle?

 
Robert Durran - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> > I hope this isn't going to be yet another grubby top-roper illegitimately claiming compleation. 
> No, don't worry, they will be following a leader as a pitched climb.  Does this meet the Durran criteria?  I know they can be strict

No, I would expect a headpoint as an absolute minimum standard, though I don't really know how any so-called Munroist could live with themselves if they hadn't at least flashed it.

 

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to skog:

Yes, that's a fair point.  For some reason I was thinking of "pine"....

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

Phew!  I did it solo onsight, so I think I'm OK.  My friend is 75, so I hope things can be eased a little for him on account of age.

Robert Durran - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> Phew!  I did it solo onsight, so I think I'm OK.  My friend is 75, so I hope things can be eased a little for him on account of age.


Sorry, but if they have left it too late to climb it in acceptable style, then that is just tough I'm afraid.

1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to illepo:

> There's a perfect little flat section right between the pitches that is perfect. You can keep an eye on them and talk to them if needed. I took my novice GF up there in April and it worked really well. I'd advise that otherwise you won't be able to see them or talk to them if that is of concern.
> Tip: use slings in that stance between pitches if they are unfamiliar with removing gear, there are spikes which suited me well.

i agree with this. i took a friend up it some years back- he had some experience of seconding single pitch gritstone, but no real background of hillwalking or mountaineering.

 

He was fine on the way up, and had no trouble with the exposure. It was getting him down again was the difficult bit... Make sure they've had some practice of being lowered off first before its the only way down!

IanMcC - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Long side. Lead to belay stance halfway, Sling belay. Bring up second. Tell them to sit on their bottom and keep sling taut. Organise rope. Repeat to top. 

 

streapadair - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

>  Abbing off was OK (again I'd done very little), as it was either that or spend the rest of my days up there. 

 

Ach, just sclim back doon it, ma mannie, same way you came up.

 

Trangia on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Mark Collins:

> For me it depends on the person's experience. I'd be tempted to send them up the short side. Any falls could be protected more effectively from above and communication should not be an issue either. Perhaps a rock climbing session on single pitch elsewhere in preparation would be a good idea.

I agree. The first time I climbed the Inn Pinn in the early 1960s with a companion with lots of scrambling experience but no rock climbing experience. I took him up the short side.

IIRC it's only about V Diff, exposed but not difficult. He was fine on it.

The bigger problem was trying to set up an ab as this was long before the ab bolt was installed.

mal_meech on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Trangia:. 
> I agree. The first time I climbed the Inn Pinn in the early 1960s with a companion with lots of scrambling experience but no rock climbing experience. I took him up the short side.

> IIRC it's only about V Diff, exposed but not difficult. He was fine on it.

 

As I said above, the diff on the NW face fell down 10yrs ago, easiest short route is about severe now.

 

Trangia on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to mal_meech:

Sorry I missed that. Do you think it is still reasonable proposition  for an experienced scrambler as a second?

IanMcC - on 12 Jan 2018
Tony Jones on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to IanMcC:


Ouch! I thought someone was going to find their dachsteins punctured around 6:57 in that video.

mal_meech on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Trangia:

> Sorry I missed that. Do you think it is still reasonable proposition  for an experienced scrambler as a second?

That was my other comment above:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rocktalk/skye_inn_pinn_query-677325?v=1#x8709503

The ridge is better for a pure scrambler (especially one in their 70s as the OP request) the short route is still used to bring up novices but it’s definitely climbing.

 

 

Post edited at 09:28
oldie - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Met a lady, probably in 50s, who was trying to do all Munros. She was not a climber and had no head for heights. She seconded it blindfold, presumably under instruction and splitting ridge as posted earlier.

duchessofmalfi - on 13 Jan 2018

There is a nice belay station at 1/2 way.  It is a bit like leaning on a garden wall and quite comfy.  From what I recall a 60m rope does not go all the way and belaying from the top puts you a <long> way from your climber.  

For such a novice be prepared to place a lot more in the way of runners low because it is pretty much a traverse - the ground follows the ridge so on the left side you are never that far (in terms of swing and rope stretch) from a ground fall. 

The top is massive but for a nervous novice consider that a hand rail from the belay point to the ab point is a useful thing.

Having done pretty much exactly what you're planning you might also want to take some ear defenders just in case there are some young people or delicate flowers watching.  I remember the language got fairly strong... 

Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

I remember the stance half-way up the East Ridge being very comfortable, a bit like an armchair in a wonderfully exposed position. 

mal_meech on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

It is, a great place to deposit a scrambler between pitches.

 Dave had a good photo of it in his reply https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rocktalk/skye_inn_pinn_query-677325?v=1#x8709514

Dave Hewitt - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to mal_meech:

> It is, a great place to deposit a scrambler between pitches.

I'm the one on the left of that picture with my back to camera (wearing a borrowed bicycle helmet!) and from memory it was as comfortable and safe-feeling a spot as a nervous soul like me could have wished for at that point.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/warbeck/27572570/in/album-623946/

Overall l think there was space for about four people there - in the picture my pal Warbeck (centre) is also comfortably seated as you can see, while Chris Tyler who took the pic evidently felt happy enough. Kevin Sutton of Skye MRT who was leading had already started up the second pitch. The guide on the right - unconnected to us - had two clients who were still a little below at this stage as I recall - the three of them followed us up the second pitch (and then skirted the actual summit on a ledge below the main one, thus not really getting close to the summit block). So there's definitely a fair bit of space on that halfway stance, as various people have said - although a nervous second such as me is always likely to be feeling a bit uncomfortable there in terms of what's still to come, particularly the eventual ab.

Solaris on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> I hope things can be eased a little for him on account of age.

Yup, by upgrading it a couple of grades ;)

I'd take him up the S ridge, taking a stance in the middle and, as others have said (not read whole thread), being careful with pro to protect him.

And don't forget the hip flask for (modest) celebrations on the summit. Nice route to take a beginner up. Have fun.

 

Michael Gordon - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Trangia:

> Do you think it is still reasonable proposition  for an experienced scrambler as a second?

Definitely. Being a Mod, it's a reasonable proposition for an experienced scrambler to solo! (though some rope skills are of course required for the abseil). So unless age is making things much harder for them now, they should really have no bother at all seconding.

Edit: Ah, I see you mean the west side. Hmmm, hard to say then really (depends on ability).

Post edited at 09:06
jon on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

I thought the East Ridge was the best climb of its standard I've ever done - anywhere. We'd approached via that great trilogy on Sron na Ciche and the Coire Lagan horseshoe. I remember thinking as we walked along the ridge, that I must be mistaken, that it couldn't possibly be mod... But it was, and  it was just the icing on the cake of a brilliant day. I'd imagine your friend might be intimidated by it at first sight but once on it would find it just as enjoyable as we did. As someone said above, a practice climb or two wouldn't go amiss, though.

 

Michael Gordon - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to jon:

> I thought the East Ridge was the best climb of its standard I've ever done - anywhere. 

Agreed. And King's Chimney has got to be one of the very best Diff pitches around.

 


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