/ lubyanka/skull, cyrn las

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AJM - on 09 Jul 2013
How do the pitches break down? Not got a guide to hand but I recall Lubyanka has several 5c pitches and it sounded like the last one was the crux, but how many of the others are E3?

Ditto the skull, I seem to remember the guide mentioned a 6a pitch at the top (thin bridging?) but how does the rest of the route break down?

Basically wondering about logistics of trying it with an E2/3 leader, how well it would split down. Any other tips welcomed...
johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to AJM:

Lubyanka is 5c/6a 5b 5b 5c (plus a couple of VS pitches below). Pitches 2 and 3 would be about E1/2 on their own. Pitches 1 and 4 are of about equivalent difficulty.

The Skull is 5b 6a (short and sharp) 5c (the thin bridging). I've only done the first pitch but that would be a tough lead in its own right for an E2/3 leader; it's a little bit bold and worrying low down.

craggyjim - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: I found the first hard pitch of Lubyanka much harder than the last pitch. Definitely the crux for me. The last pitch was brilliant but not that hard if you get over the exposure. That being said I don't suppose it would be a good pitch to try and back off!
Frank the Husky - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to AJM: I thought the first pitch as the hardest technically (which I seconded) and the top pitch was bold but brilliant (which I led). How the pitches break down means that you'll only lead one of the hard pitches. As the weather's so good, you should also do The Ghost further down the hillside. Not hard, but atmospheric.
AJM - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to AJM:

Thanks guys. So lubyanka has a couple of E1/2 and a couple of E3 pitches plus some easier stuff. Not in quite the right order I guess but not unworkable.

Skull 1 mid E pitch and 2 E4 pitches, maybe a bit much for right now, I think if nothing else 2 E4 pitches in a day would wipe me out!
The Ex-Engineer - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to AJM: I'd agree with the other posters. I found that the individual pitches on Lubylanka were pretty much worth E3,E1,E1 & E2/E3.

Anyway, it's a stunning route. It is up there with West Buttress Eliminate as one of the finest routes I've climbed in North Wales.
a lakeland climber on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to AJM:

In keeping with the other posters I'd say that the first of the hard pitches is the most technical and the last pitch is the head game one - the moves aren't hard but you really wouldn't want to fall off! Good stances between pitches so easy to shuffle leads.

Enty - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:
> (In reply to AJM) I thought the first pitch as the hardest technically (which I seconded) and the top pitch was bold but brilliant (which I led).

That's exactly my experience of it.

wynaptomos - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to AJM: Agree with the responses here. You should carry some prusik loops for the top pitch of Lubyanka in case your second comes off the traverse.

I found the Skull quite hard for the grade - I needed a couple of rests on it even though I was confident on E4 at the time.
Rick Graham on 09 Jul 2013
Lubyanka is a brilliant route. It and the Grooves give Cyrn Las a must visit venue reputation. I have been disappointed with everything else I have done there, maybe I am just not good enough.

On pitch one of Lub however me and boB had an earthquake !
We both thought it was the end. I lowered off a spike and after calming down checked every runner on the way back up.
The grimace on my face on pitch 4 (photo in extreme rock) is because I was desperate to relief myself from the PTSD.

I never done the Skull. Done pitch 1 twice but always have a thunderstorm or other hassle. I have given it up after Dave Musgraves accident.

Bulls Crack - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to AJM:

Top pitch of Skull more like E3 I thought but the whole thing - and that's how it works - is E4
richparry - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to AJM:
When we did the skull, to try and save weight, I wrote the description on a bit of paper instead of carrying the guide book. We managed to do the first hard pitch of Hindenburg by mistake, which felt much harder than what we were expecting. Managed to make it fit the description. The 6a pitch on the skull was quite hard, but only for a couple of moves, and the top pitch was ace, but out of sight of the belayer. Loads of runners but very precarious in the groove. I haven't got round to doing lubyanka yet.
Will_he_fall - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to AJM:

Did the skull on Sunday. I thought that the last pitch was as hard as the 6a crux pitch- but it was wet and pretty grim so this could have been conditions. Even in the dry I don't think it would be much change from E4, but this might have been the conditions. The whole route felt pretty safe, with the possible exception of the first couple of hard moves of the first 5c pitch and they would be more exciting/clattery than properly bold.

The 6a pitch is short-lived but awesome.

kingholmesy - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to richparry:

Worth noting that when I climbed Lubyanka in 2008 I found the top pitch pretty bold - it looked like a lot of former gear placements in the traverse right had blown out. Apparently there is a cam placement further right around the arete, but I didn't bother going to look cos my mate (who had backed off the lead) reckoned it wasn't up to much. It's only one tricky move, but you wouldn't want to fall off it. A great route though, and easy enough to swap ends of the rope at the belays if there are pitches your partner doesn't want to lead.

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