Hard Scottish Winter Repeats by Will Sim

Will Sim and Andy Inglis have made the second ascent of Tomahawk Crack VIII,9 on Ben Nevis, followed by Will making a rare onsight and early repeat of Happy Tyroleans IX,10 in Coire an Lochain.

Will commented: "Nothing's been on a plate this winter so far, strong winds and inconsistent temperatures have made every route hard-won."

Andy Inglis battling wild weather on pitch two of Tomahawk Crack, 161 kb
Andy Inglis battling wild weather on pitch two of Tomahawk Crack
© Will Sim

Describing Tomahawk Crack, he added: "It's a fantastic route with two tricky and contrasting pitches and 4-5 pitches overall, and although only the second ascent, its the kind of thing you can tell will be a total classic in the future, just like its easier neighbour Sioux Wall has become. Andy Inglis and myself made the ascent in good old snowy, windy and wild weather!"

Will Sim on the thin seam of Tomahawk's third pitch, 201 kb
Will Sim on the thin seam of Tomahawk's third pitch
© Andy Inglis

Regarding Happy Tyroleans, Will said: "This much talked-about route is an absolute gem, with fantastic climbing from the first move up, and a brilliant finale which keeps the tension until the very end. Many thanks to Luke Partridge for doing this route with me! It was also interesting to see how this historic test piece felt compared to other hard routes in Scotland."

Will Sim on the first pitch of Happy Tyroleans, 113 kb
Will Sim on the first pitch of Happy Tyroleans
© Andy Inglis
Happy Tyroleans has an interesting history; first climbed by Austrians Florian Schranz, Heinz Zack and Egon Netzer during the 2001 international meet, they gave it a very tentative/guess grade of VII, 9. After ground up ascents by Dave Macleod and Tim Emmett the grade IX,X was suggested. Greg Boswell then made the first onsight thinking IX,10 to be a bit on the hard side. 


According to Will, the route didn't quite merit the grade of IX: "Although by no means easy, it's hard to see how a short safe route can earn the grade of IX. Somewhat ironically, it feels much closer to the VII grade that the Austrians "guessed" back in 2001 and I'm sure once its reputation becomes a bit more friendly it will be an absolute future classic, which it well deserves."



Will is sponsored by: Grivel, Outdoor Research and Scarpa

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