UKC

160m, 6 pitches. The route is forever changing, but essentially wade out (at low tide) to the cliff below the col between the first and second pinnacles of the ridge line. Gain this somehow and follow the ridge for approx 6 pitches to the headland. Then have 10 pints. In reality you need to be leading a good deal harder than HVS, and that goes for all members of the party, in fact it may well be XS 5a now. This route does not require the use of ice axes and crampons however a few pegs or a couple of warthogs may be helpful but ascents have been made without. Some very long (16') slings may be a good idea. Previous ascents have used one or two ice screws on the first pitch, the holes of which may or may not still be usable.

M Fowler, L Smyth 11/Nov/1984

Ticklists: HVS Adventures, Sunny Side Up, CLIMB Mag's Top 100 routes in Britain, Unusual and Interesting Routes You Must Do VS- E2, Trad on every UK island, The Road to Shibboleth, Ultimate HVS ticklist, The best the UK has to offer for mere mortals (apart from the lakes cos its always wet), The V.S.+ Ticklist, High Quality Adventure routes, The Ridges of England, Wales and Ireland.


ClimberDateStyle
Matt Crolla 28/Oct/17 2nd O/S
routrax 28/Oct/17 2nd O/S
with Matt, Dan
danjouan 28/Oct/17 Lead O/S
with routrax
alexm198 20/Aug/17 AltLd O/S

One of the most bizarre climbing experiences I've ever had. NT guys & Coastguard very helpful, make sure you talk to them before you do. Did the cheesy abseil on an 80m single which was plenty long enough. Walking along the beach in rock shoes under the white cliffs with no-one around was like being in a Salvador Dali painting. The rock quality on the route is far better than it's made out to be - mainly solid with the occasional loose hold, but no worse than many alpine ridges. The exception is the final ridge to the headland which is quite feta cheese-like. Going a cheval would've made this feel more secure but I hand traversed it and survived so I guess that's fine too. Gear is also adequate on the route IMO, probably placed about 4/5 wires, slung some big chalk gendarmes (take a couple of 240cm slings) and clipped several pegs in various states of decay. The climbing is never hard and ranges from extreme walking to VDiff. Requires a cool head in places but I would argue that any competent VS leader who has spent some time in the mountains would take this in their stride. Will fight anyone who maintains this is HVS. Took 1h30 and topped out moments before the heavens opened!

Matt Harle 20/Aug/17 AltLd O/S

A great outing on some stunning scenery! Thankfully the rock on the route is much better then the choss you ab down. The climbing is never harder than 4a and pegs now abound. Key beta: An 'a cheval' approach yields the most secure route and the most fun, but don't wear your best Patagucci trousers.

Kemics 19/Aug/17 AltLd O/S

Drove down after a night shift so only sleep was 30 mins in the car. Coastguard recording 50mph winds.. but I think the shape of the ridge was creating bottlenecks so it felt faster. Really added to adjective grade... nearly got blown off starting pitch 4, a cheval like a limpet. Didn't place a single wire, only gear of any worth was sling runners (1 or 2 per pitch) and pegs for the belay. Left a new peg on 3rd belay. Amazing day out, finished at sunset. I guess HVS, kind of impossible to grade really. Really regretted not bringing sunglasses, spent half the climbing trying to rub chalk grit out of my eyes. Although Dan got it worse!

with Dan, Pete
Lil_Pete 19/Aug/17 AltLd O/S

Most outrageous day I've had. Ropes horizontal and quickdraws flying vertical out of reach once clipped, ludicrous. Best climb ever. Don't go and climb it if you're an HVS leader, but it is an HVS climb ...

with Caleb, Dan H-B
Chris Sansum 13/Aug/17 AltLd O/S

Ewan P1,3,5. Chris P2,4,6. Awesome climb and situation, but not recommending it as it is bloody dangerous!

with Ewan Whitmey
Samuel Wainwright 15/Jul/17 AltLd O/S

Such a fantastic adventure! Once you get over the scale of the commitment required the climbing isn't too bad as its not that tricky. We took some gear and actually managed to place some of it! Don't bother with pegs or other winter gear, the idea of hammering anything into that 'rock' is pretty sickening!

with Rob Steer
outdoorrob999 15/Jul/17 AltLd O/S

Amazing adventure route. Unreal exposure throughout but pitch 6 is totally mind blowing. I will not return!

PilarMartinez 02/Jul/17 AltLd

A great adventure but it is a serious climb on chalk.. the exposure add to the experience but check any hold you pull on and try to protec with slings as much as you can. We started belaying on the water as the tide didn't go out as much as we expected. The climbing itself is not very hard but there isn't much places for gear apart from slings and the exposure can be intimidating together with the fact that is chalk so the holds are not very trusting. The last pitch although is easy it is very scary as you have to shaffle yourself along a 10 cm wide ledge bettwen your legs and can be a bit uncomfortable and at the same time scary due to the fact that you have a 100mt drop on your right side. I pulled down a big hold on the traverse top pitch which never expected to be loose and left sat down on it, lucky I had put a sling on a kind of a chicken head 5 mts below so that held me.....Ouch.. It did hurt... and coming off was F.. scary....... It is chalk so you need to be extra careful.

with juliano
Julesthe1st 02/Jul/17 AltLd O/S

One hell of a day. Got it done. Highly memorable but never going back.

Bob M 22/May/17 Lead

A grand day out in perfect weather for a team of four oldies with combined age of 267. Started at low tide at 1.50 pm, just made it back in time to catch the last bus to Yarmouth. Only downside was that they wouldn't accept our bus passes!

with Nick Foot, Ket, Carolyn Lyness
AlexD 15/Sep/16 AltLd O/S

very pleasant

with Debbie, Marti
Marti999 15/Sep/16 Lead O/S

A great adventure, a lot nicer climbing then it looks. a steady head and good belay construction is needed other than that its only about HVD climbing, but don't even think of falling off even as a second. Scott from the battary is very helpful and friendly.

with Debbie
David Staples 30/Jul/16 AltLd O/S

Absolutely bonkers!

Hidden 30/Jul/16 AltLd O/S
Bob M 26/Jul/16 AltLd

Led 1,3,5,6. A great adventure route - the exposure on the last pitch is outrageous. The first pitch seemed the most worrying part of the route - climbing a steep slab on embedded flints with 12m ground fall potential. The upper section felt a bit easier than expected, with nothing harder than 4b, but maybe we had got used to the style of climbing by then. Glad to find new pegs on a couple of the belays and on the last pitch.

Norman_P_W 26/Jul/16 AltLd
with Bob M
Cheese Monkey 25/Jul/16 AltLd O/S

Led 2,4,6. New belay peg on 1 and 3. Replacement 2nd peg on p6 after the origninal came out along with the rock holding it in. Definitely one of the maddest routes I have done, absolutely excellent in many different ways.

with Colin
Dale Finnie 09/Jul/16 AltLd
superturbo 09/Jul/16 AltLd

Ridiculous climb, ridiculously windy. Led the crux, not hard but you don't want to fall. Top adventure

Hidden 08/Jul/16 AltLd
gobbledigook 28/May/16 AltLd O/S

Nice outing, a bit nervous on the abseil but after we got up on some rock settled into it nicely. Exposure is ridiculous! especially the last pitch riding the ridge to land!! Lead P2 and P5 mostly walking. Had SO much fun on this climb, was grinning maniacally after each pitch :)

BALD EAGLE 28/May/16 2nd

A fantastic adventurous outing on a rollercoaster ride of buttock-clenching ridge, featuring amazeballs arêtes and fantastic fins of à cheval awesomeness on the edge of nothing! Duly filmed with a myriad of cameras + drone so a new Bald Eagle Production coming out soon so watch this space... :-)

with Dan Guy, Rich Ive
Graham Westbrook 16/Apr/16 AltLd O/S

Fantastic day out! The climbing isn't hard or sustained but the leader requires a steady head. The pegs are all rusty and a fall would be bad news!

richardashe 16/Apr/16 AltLd O/S

Good day out! The rock felt like feta cheese in places so be careful though the climbing isn't hard or sustained so unless 4b is the top of your grade you should be fine. It's more a mental game!

with Sam
mattkemp70 ?/Apr/16 AltLd
with Westy
Piers Harley 08/Aug/15 AltLd

highly recommended! Completed the route in 3 hours and ran pitches 3-4 and 5-6 together. Being comfortable with exposure is the key to success and enjoyment on this route.

with Jeremy Windsor
Kevster 16/Aug/14 AltLd O/S

I shall not spoil the leader of the first pitch's thunder. But the rest of it was fine. As described, easier and mostly less serious than expected. As Tony isn't claiming... It may be a new first pitch option for the brave. Estimate XS/E3 5c. If you abseil off the wrong side of the headland (80m) - ie the north side. You can wade/scramble along the base until almost at the end. Here is a smooth but definite corner which has green growing on it low down. A short wade will see you round the point (and I think the correct start). The corner looks stupid and gearless for the first half, but 15m or so back east is a weakness/groove and a trending, rising line leading right wards towards the top of the afore mentioned corner. Pitch 1 XS/E3 5c (25m): Climb the weakness (gear) to where the crack effort runs out at 5m, traverse up across the groove using shaky flakes and slick feet above your now dubious looking gear. Once stood on the rising traverse line, attempt to place gear (warthog/peg) but without real success. Keep going. Enter the corner At 3/4 height, close to the corner. Ground fall opportunity here. Climb the slick face, tantalisingly close to the corner and what from the ground looks like pro possibilities. Keep going and if god smiles on your soul, top out at 16m above the sea level. Belay off the spikes adjacent. Pitch 2 (12m): Just below the north side of the ridge, traverse up to the obvious summit spike. Sling. Traverse down the other side (pegs). The pegs are the belay for the proper first pitch stance.

Gavdee1 16/Aug/14 2nd
with Tony Johnson, Kev
Col Kingshott 22/Jul/14 AltLd O/S

What a route. 4*'s. Amazing.

jtree03 22/Jul/14 AltLd O/S

A fantastic adventure. Not hard technically but massively exposed and very committing. Pitch 6 is outrageous!

with Col, Tony
uncontrollable 26/Aug/12 AltLd O/S
with Max
Hidden ?/Jun/12 AltLd O/S
Hidden 14/May/12 AltLd dnf
climbtim 14/May/12 AltLd dnf

Awesome day out, weather unfortunately curtailed the attempt due to high winds and rain arriving earlier than anticipated!! There's now some gear left at the end of pitch two which tide dependant (we got wet) will allow you to bail/retreat. The national trust were very helpful throughout the day and a thank you must go to them, if you liaise with them early and are courteous it'll make your day a lot easier. A jumar would have made the Prussic back up the ab rope easier. Unfinished business here will definitely be back this season.

Jonny M 31/Jul/10 AltLd O/S

Started off in drizzle with crossed fingers... but thankfully the weather had improved by the time we reached pitch 3 and conditions remained good. What a day and what a route!!! There's (currently) a very good description in 'The Ridges of England, Wales and Ireland' by Dan Bailey which is worth reading before attempting the route. Thought grades seem about right at 4b,-,4c,-,-,4b but that discounts the fact that most of the gear is beyond suspect and hand and footholds detach without warning. The wave-washed first pitch seems relatively solid. There's currently 2 pegs at the end of pitch 1, 4 pegs at the crux on pitch 3, 3 pegs at the end of pitch 3, and 2 pegs on the last pitch - all look in a bad state.

with Ian Ferguson
davenev 03/May/10 AltLd O/S

Great adventure - route seems to have changed from original guidebook description at pitch 5 - 20ft of ledges seems to be at least 100ft then no chimney on pitch 6 - crux probably now on this last pitch - 2 rusty (ok?) pegs then no other protection until you gain the 'fine position' - the loose holds add to the whole drama - 60m ropes just reach the tourist cage at the top for a good final belay - agree maybe XS 4c/5a

with luke
Mr Tickle 03/May/10 AltLd O/S

Great adventure...kayaked from mainland, stoed the boats at Alum Bay and then traversed across to the start. Amazing exposure. Not too bad climbing i think hardest move now is on final pitch protected by two 'ok' pegs but no gear after for around 4m. Probably hard 4c taking into account crumbly footholds! Great experience.

with davenev
Hidden 27/Sep/09 AltLd O/S
Helen Gibson ?/Sep/09 AltLd

brilliant day...

with mikey P
mjeffery 14/Aug/09 AltLd O/S
Hidden 27/Jun/09 AltLd
Hidden 27/Jun/09 AltLd O/S
Jane Weir 27/Jun/09 AltLd O/S
Hidden 22/Jul/06 AltLd O/S
duncan 04/Nov/03 AltLd O/S

2 Warthogs, 2 Long Lost Arrows, 3/4", 1",11/2" angles, 2x16' slings, 4x8' slings. Grade? MXS 4c would give a fair guide as to what you are letting yourself in for.

with James Avery Cunliffe
Ian JL ?/Jun/02 AltLd O/S
with Duncan Henderson
Paz ?/Feb/02 AltLd O/S

Hot and Cold variation.

with AR
babymoac 28/Sep/97 AltLd
with Alex
kp64zl 17/Mar/96 AltLd

This is what I wrote in my guidebook at the time: It was very scary. The chalk was as crumbly as expected and there was no gear. The abseil involved tying three ropes together. The change over at the knots gave added interest to the descent down loose shite. By the time we got to the base of the route, the tide had come in, so that we had to walk through the sea to get to the base of the route. The first pitch was unprotected and covered in wet seaweed. James led magnificently, using ice axes and simon's shoulder. Simon's beautiful ice axe, obviously perturbed by the thought of a five hour escapade on guano covered chalk, decides to leave the expedition at this stage and jumps out of my hand for a watery death.. The third pitch was led by myself up a flaky vertical arete, protected by a peg which went in surprisingly easily! A crucial hold came off at a crucial time and I felt myself drop approximately 2 feet. Somehow saved myself from a 40 foot fall on a dodgy peg and a single 9mm rope and struggled to the belay ledge (surprisingly good) and belayed James, with a sling round a flint for the belay. Another magnificent lead by James, whilst watching an even more spectacular sunset over the needles, the arete was narrow. Sore bottom time. Darkness fell, a moonless night as the final pictures were dealt with by Simon, however we were unable to see the comet.

with James B, Simon V
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Voting
High E1
Mid E1
Low E1
High HVS
Mid HVS
Low HVS
High VS
Mid VS
Low VS
Votes cast 22
High 5a
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High 4c
Mid 4c
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High 4b
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Votes cast 22
Votes cast 21
Style of ascent
Alt Leads
Followed
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Onsighted
DNF
Not Set