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DESTINATION GUIDE: The Orkney Islands: The Old Man of Hoy and beyond

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 UKC Articles 16 Jun 2016
The Old Man of Hoy and St. Johns Head in the evening sun, 3 kbThe Old Man of Hoy has to be one of the greatest icons in British rock climbing, but there is far more to climbing in the Orkney Islands than the Old Man itself. Hopefully the following destination article will give you one, two, or even three reasons to stay around for a day or two longer

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 Wft 16 Jun 2016
In reply to UKC Articles:

Enjoyed that, thanks Rob. If you could ensure all further trips to that neck of the woods have the same weather as your trip that would be a great help.


p.s Great pictures.
 rpc 16 Jun 2016
In reply to UKC Articles:

What a GREAT article! Wish I could go now. Thank you!!
 IceBun 16 Jun 2016
In reply to UKC Articles:
You'll get a wee idea of what Yesnaby has to offer here https://www.flickr.com/photos/8027420@N04/albums/72157626926123671
In reply to IceBun:

Great pictures. Liked the original article too. Definitely worth planning more than the flying visit for OMOH, which we didn't di and regretted.

Here Ms D showing how it's done:-


 Chris_Mellor 16 Jun 2016
In reply to UKC Articles:

That is a lovely article. Thanks Rob.
In reply to UKC Articles:
Nicely done. Rackwick Bay is magical. Burning dried out seaweed from the beach in the bothy was a curious experience. It had a peculiar smell, good for warding off the few midges which were around. Mucklehouse Wall looks amazing.
In reply to IceBun:

Some great shots there Neil.

You and Tim must have had a field day developing that area, so much good rock and so few existing routes (at least there was before you got in there!!). From my experiences on Thing of Dreams I suspect you were going pretty well at the time too, because it felt mightily like E4 for an E2 ;-) Jokes aside, having done a small number of first ascents myself I am aware of the difficulties of grading something you know quite intimately.

If you've got any other specific routes you'd recommend let me know, it'd be good to hear your advice. I'm aware that Dragonhead (E6 6b) should have gone on the list really, as everyone I know that's done it has suggested it's brilliant and the guide goes so far as to say it's one of the best of it's grade in the country (quite a claim).

Thanks for sharing the link to the Flikr account anyway, really good to have a bit more inspiration out there for potential visitor.
In reply to UKC Articles:

Immaculate pictures - and a great guide. Doesn't see to have changed too much in the last few decades.
 Al Evans 17 Jun 2016
 Al Evans 17 Jun 2016
In reply to UKC Articles:

Tried to edit my post but failed. I just wanted to say that as far as I know nothing has been done on the fine wall to the right of Paternoster, or the obvious lines just left.
 IceBun 21 Jun 2016
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:
hi Rob, great to see the article and looks like you hit it lucky with the weather. In terms of other top routes there would be many as there are very few poor routes but Ronnie the Axe is great at E5 and Crowdpleaser is a cracking E3. There's not a bad route on the Point Wall though they are short. Somewhere I have been working on a full guide to Yesnaby and I was updating UKC but I lost my momentum. I'm back up in July so will try and get a bit more input.
 dmacmorris 22 Jun 2016
In reply to UKC Articles:

Hey Rob thanks for the great read.

Heading myself soon in July and wanted to confirm that it is possible to absail in two sections with 60m half ropes? because when the add the pitches up in the guide comes up a little short.

Thanks for your time
 JR 22 Jun 2016
In reply to dmacmorris:

Great article Rob

I was expecting to be able to do it in 2 abs, but having done it on Saturday, my 60s didn't reach the top of P2 (which is the one that takes you to the floor), from the abseil tat just below the top of the stack by about 3 or 4m. So we did a short 12m-ish ab from the belay above. I guess you could make it on stretchy skinny 60s... Just. Or maybe I'm skinnier than Rob ;)

I did try, but climbed back up to the belay above. It worked out ok for us as we were abbing as a 4 and the 2nd belay is a bit cramped for more than 2. Have fun.
Post edited at 19:56
 Michael Gordon 22 Jun 2016
In reply to dmacmorris:

2 abseils to reach the top of pitch 2 - usually either the top two pitches together followed by the 3rd, or the top pitch followed by the 4th and 3rd together.
 Andy Moles 03 Jul 2016
In reply to JR:

We made it back to the top of P2 on skinny stretchy 60s, only just.

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