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28 Mar 2022: NORTHERN HIGHLANDS CENTRAL, Rubha Mhor: Dave Kerr notes that the routes described as being in Deep Geo – Sron an Dun-Chairn (NG 864 984) are actually at Geodh’ Fuar (NG 86844 98321). Icicle Works and Baltic at Camas Point have been affected by a rockfall. The ‘stepped roof’ described in the guide has fallen down. Baltic is still climbable at about the same grade but the status of Icicle Works is unknown. The two routes at Camas Buidhe Eoghainn are correctly described but the GR is incorrect. It should be something like NG 87928 97811 as they are east of Opinan Slabs. And finally, between the two routes above and the seaward end of the Opinan Slab is some excellent, mostly non-tidal bouldering on a variety of small walls and independent boulders.
23 Feb 2022: NORTHERN CORRIES, Coire an Lochain:
Greg Boswell notes that Happy Tyroleans is over-graded in the Cairngorms guidebook and this factor is probably stopping people from trying it. Greg suggests Happy Tyroleans is VIII,9 at the most, maybe even Tech 8.
14 Feb 2022: LOCHNAGAR, The Stuic: Martin Holland made an ascent of The Stooee Chimney on 6 February with Euan Whittaker and notes they may have have climbed it differently to previous ascents. “Euan led the crux pitch. He preferred the look of the left wall, looking up, and climbed this to gain the through route. From the photo on Scottish Winter it looks like the previous parties who’d gone via the through route climbed the right wall. The left wall was steep, with not much for feet initially until it was possible to bridge one foot back to the right wall and it eventually passed some old tat. Euan still thought IV,7, but you did need to be strong enough to hang about and place gear, which thankfully he is.
7 Jan 2022: CONIVAL, South-West Face:
John Mckenzie notes that the map reference for Explorers’ Ridge (SMCJ 2013) is incorrect. The route takes the line eft of Geologist’s’ Ridge and finishes just west of the summit.
6 Jan 2022: BEN NEVIS, Cousins’ Buttress:
Andy Clarke notes that the first ascent account of The Shroud in Ben Nevis, Britain’s Highest Mountain is incorrect. The text states that John Main made a bold lead of the free hanging icicle, whilst in fact, this pitch was led by Andy Clarke. John Main led the first
pitch to the small ledge right of the icicle.
4 Nov 2021: BEN CHONZIE, Creag na Gaoth:
Willie Jeffrey notes that the A.L.Cram and other members of the JMCS were active on this crag in February and March 1930 and climbed and descended several gullies. These may pre-date some of the routes reported in SMCJ 2021. The descriptions are not specific, but as Willie observes “that’s how things were done back then.” (Copies of JMCS Meet Reports supplied).
28 Nov 2021: GLENFINNAN, Uachan Sab:
Colin Moody notes that Sputnik (SMCJ 2021) joins and follows The White Streak at 28m (not Protect the NHS).
21 Nov 2021: SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, Creag an Tulabhain:
Willie Jeffrey confirms that V Gully East (SMCJ 2021) is the unnamed Grade I gully mentioned in SMCJ 2013. Jeffrey climbed it with Anne Craig on 1 Mar 2013. Craig walked off and Jeffrey descended V Gully West.
17 Nov 2021: KILT ROCK, Ellishadder Wall:
Ian Taylor notes that the topo on page 70 of the Skye Sea-Cliffs and Outcrops guidebook is incorrect. Line 14 should be Received With Thanks (which is described in the wrong order in the text, as it is actually between Elliscrapper and Drop the Pilot). The line for Drop the Pilot should be further left. (Revised topo provided).
17 Nov 2021: CREAG DUBH, Bedtime Buttress:
Ian Taylor notes that a right-hand start to Hands Off (from below Legover) following the thin diagonal cracks all the way leftwards to join the original is E4 6a.
2 Oct 2021: CREAG AN DUBH LOCH, Central Gully Wall:
Comments from Tony Stone:
Naked Ape/Origin of the Species/Ascent of Man/Voyage of the Beagle: Nobody continues to the plateau. They all, wisely, abseil off at the spike mentioned. (I’ve been to the top once and don’t feel I need repeat the experience.)
Perilous Journey: This is worth 3 stars. The rockfall has resulted in the crack on pitch 4 now being an arete! Instead, finish up one of the other routes (Ascent of Man pitch 2, Hybrid Vigour pitch 4, or Voyage of the Beagle pitch 4) or abseil off from the spike at the top of pitch 3.
Cannibal: On pitch 2 there are good micro-cams in the roof to back up the peg. The pegs in the belay have gone but there are good wires and cams in the overlap on which to belay, rather than moving onto the higher slab. On pitch 4, ‘climb the wall right of the nose’ to gain the perched block forming the top of the nose. Pull onto the top of this block and follow the hanging slab up leftwards ‘to a stance’. For pitch 5, climb the crack above the stance, then traverse left to join Cougar pitch 4 at the start of its long traverse left.
Voyage of the Beagle: The peg belay at the end of pitch no longer has any pegs! A better description is, for pitch 3, climb across the slab to a small ledge at the far side. There are good wires on the upper slab a few metres up and left. Then, for pitch 4, clip the wires mentioned above then return to the belay before starting the pitch.
2 Oct 2021: SKYE, Coireachan Ruadha, Bealach Buttress:
Tony Stone notes that Rainman was thought 2 stars and perhaps low in the grade, definitely not a ‘must do for any aspiring mountain E5 leader’. There is no need to do the traverse left and then back right as described, just go straight up at the same grade.
2 Oct 2021: SKYE, Bastier Tooth:
Tony Stone notes that this is a cool feature but the rock is pretty naff, and the lines a bit non-descript (other than Naismith’s). Captain Planet in his opinion is 2 stars rather than 3.
Inconvenient Tooth: Worth 2 stars but may be E6 6c or perhaps E7 rather than E8 as the gear is good and close for the crux.
2 Oct 2021: SKYE, Sròn na Cìche, The Cìoch:
Tony Stone notes that The Highlander is definitely 3 stars, after a bold start on positive holds it is well protected. The microwires near the top are certainly not poor (they’re solid for reasonable sized micros), any number and sizes of cams are a bit below.
2 Oct 2021: SKYE, Sròn na Cìche, Cìoch Butttress:
Tony Stone notes that Bastinado is hard, E2 6a if done free (probably 5c for those with a big span).
2 Oct 2021: SKYE, Sròn na Cìche, Vulcan Wall:
Tony Stone notes that Uhuru and Clinging On seemed much the same grade, whether they’re tricky E3 5c or easy-ish E4 6a is splitting hairs. Both 3 stars.
2 Oct 2021: SKYE, Sgùrr a’ Mhadaidh, Northern Faces:
Tony Stone notes that revised descriptions and grades for Thor and Megaton (E3 5c ** and E4 5c ** respectively) have been submitted to the SMC Journal. Shining Cleft: Even in Extreme Rock they give this VS 4c, but it’s probably HVS 5a or more. It may be that Thor follows it from high on Thor’s pitch 2, but it also reads like Shining Cleft may have continued traversing the loose shelf rightwards, in which case Megaton’s pitch 4 is probably in common. There’s so much mountaineering terrain up there, it’s an amazing face. Just a pity it’s not more solid.
16 Sep 2021: CAIRN GORM, Coire an t-Sneachda:
Kenneth Daykin suggests the following alternative start to Pot of Gold that avoids climbing the first pitch of The Message, which is dirty and often wet. Start directly beneath the blocky chimney in the main groove line, as for Mariella. Scramble directly up to the blocky chimney, common with The Message, and climb it until a short traverse right can be made onto the buttress. He also suggests that the top of the route, instead of moving right and taking the ‘fine crack in a slabby buttress’, climb the slabby buttress up slightly overlapping tiers. Very pleasant and well protected. Following the very edge of the slab, overlooking the chimney, makes a fine finish and with the direct start and slab finish, the route is possibly worth three
9 Sep 2021: NEIST, Poverty Point:
On reflection, Andy Moles does not think his routes Urchins and Otter’s Arcade merit a star.
9 Sep 2021: NEIST, Poverty Point:
Andy Moles notes a tweak to the description of Vagrants – I described swinging in from the right at the start, but this only applies to a very specific tide level, so it should just say ‘Start at an obvious fault 5m right of Rhubarb Crumble, and climb boldly but easily on jugs to the coarse band’.
25 Aug 2021: LOCHINVER CRAGS, Strone Crag:
Dave Allan suggests the following revised grades: Choc Flakes (V.Diff *), Strone Flake (H.Severe is about right), Pollan Groove (Mild VS 4b *), Crofters Crack (Don’t know but harder than H.Severe – failed on it), Pollan Slab (On a top rope felt like 5a), Mossman (Severe 4b **), Borderline (H.Severe 4b poorly protected).
17 Aug 2021: LEWIS, Uig Central, Seal Bay:
Iain Thow notes that he climbed The Great Pretender on 3 Oct 2003 which pre dates the first ascent recorded in the Outer Hebrides guidebook. ” I thought was the classic Sunset Rib (Diff). It’s a good name – maybe the pair who recorded it made the same mistake? I wouldn’t mind it being added to the record as it’s a cracking route.” Iain later wrote “Noel Williams tells me that he and a bunch of others from Lochaber MRT climbed that rib in 1987, also under the impression that it was Sunset Rib. The name is definitely appropriate!”
5 Aug 2021, BARRA, Rock Island Area,Ice Cream Gully Wall:
Nathan Adam notes that Mr Whippy is nowhere near the E3,6a given in the guide, we thought it generous at E2,5b. It is steep but with excellent holds and good gear. Worth three stars when combined with the right hand finish. The route lengths quoted in the SMC Outer Hebrides guide also seem over estimated, from the belay of Mr Softee/Mr Whippy it is only around 25/30m to the top of the crag.
2 Aug 2021: BINNEIN SHUS, The Fortress:
Michael Barnard notes that avoiding the crux of The Rubaiyat by briefly stepping right to the arête gives a good HVS 4c pitch.
28 July 2021: BEN NEVIS, Number Three Gully Buttress:
Dan Moore notes that Knuckleduster is a superb route worthy of two stars (would be three if not for some dubious rock) but solid E1 for pitch 2 and better to continue along the traverse and up a bit to a better ledge and belay – it is also not really a slab? He suggests the following for P2/3 description:
2. 30m 5b Turn the overhang by moving up the wall on the right towards its outer edge. Gain a horizontal ledge and traverse back into the groove. Climb this for a few metres to a good ledge and belay.
3. 20m 5a Continue by a crack in the right wall to a belay.
28 July 2021: BEN NEVIS, Central Trident Buttress:
Dan Moore notes that he thought the crux of Metamorphosis was pitch 1 and probably 5c. A superb route and could be three stars but for some suspect loose rock. It deserves more traffic.
25 July 2021: SHETLAND, Lunning Head:
Michael Barnard notes that Hibernation (written up on UKC) climbs the lower slanting crack then handrails along the break to finish as for the above. It was repeated from the same logical starting point as The Fin and thought HVS 5a **, the best route on the crag. It is written up on UKC as E2 5c, but starting higher avoids the difficult start from sea level.
25 July 2021: SKYE, Basteir Tooth:
Michael Barnard notes that Captain Planet was thought E3 (not E4), but not as well protected as the guidebook suggests.
19 July 2021: LEWIS, Dun Othail, Grey Tower:
Jane Gallwey notes that Druid (E2) has suffered a rockfall and may not be now worth three stars. The main rockfall is to the right of the route but there is still hanging debris in the corner. They abseiled off after one pitch rather than climb through the blocks. The E1 to the right is unaffected.
17 July 2021: LOCHNAGAR, North-East Coire, Black Spout Pinnacle:
Simon Richardson notes that pitch 2 of Route 2 is 35m long (and not 25m as described in the Cairngorms guidebook).
15 July 2021: COIRE LAGAN, Cioch Buttress, Final Tier:
Paul Donnithorne notes that the ‘alarmingly loose block’ in the upper section of Ajax no longer appears to be there.
11 July 2021: MEIKLE ROSS, Limehouse Blues Cliff:
Roger Everett notes that the whole crag is very overgrown with loose bits of rock on the ledges, much green and yellow lichen obscuring the routes, and far too many very brittle holds for comfort. Not recommended unless it undergoes a very thorough clean.
11 July 2021: MEIKLE ROSS, The Red Slab:
Roger Everett notes that the cliff can be conveniently approached by a full 50m abseil from the belay stakes (a 60m rope may be better), avoiding the intimidating steep grass scramble down.
7 July 2021: Achmelvich Campsite Crags, Clean Cut:
Andy Moles suggests renaming Calypso to Collapso to reflect the significant change of line post-rockfall. He found Faithless high for the grade at E3 6a, especially as a good foothold fell off the second crux after he’d used it. Faithless doesn’t need low tide – just not high tide. The start can be easily gained by stepping in from the start of Flightless.
28 June: ORKNEY, Westray, Monivey:
James Thacker suggests Nice One, Angus (VS 4c) deserves a technical grade of 5a.
26 June 2021: GLENFINNAN, Druim Fiaclach:
Simon Powell notes an ascent of Arisaig Arete 0n 22 June 1988 (second did not follow). This pre-dates the 2011 first ascent in Highland Outcrops South. The route was climbed in two pitches and graded HVS (4c/5a, 4b).
23 June 2021: GLEN SLICHAGAN, Slichagan Buttress:
Andy Moles notes that Cheek of the Devil is harder and bolder than HVS.
20 June 2021: CAITHNESS, Ellen’s Geo:
Michael Barnard comments that Ellen’s Geo has a topo on UKC with routes not referred to anywhere else. He notes that The Yellow Line is the same as Breaking the Rules, climbed the previous year, and the recent route Gently George is an easier finish to Pork Scratchings.
7 Jun 2021: ELGOL, Suidhe Biorach:
Michael Barnard notes an ascent of the central of the three hanging cracks left of Fertility Left at E2 5c *. This is recorded on UKC as Busty Meringue with an elaborate description, but the above would suffice.
7 Jun 2021: ELGOL, Suidhe Biorach:
Michael Barnard notes that Mother’s Pride was thought E2 5c.
7 Jun 2021: CREAG AN DUBH LOCH, False Gully Wall:
Michael Barnard notes that a combination of Sans Fer pitch 1, Ludwig pitch 1 (SMCJ 2011) and a traverse right from the belay to gain the jam crack of The Snake pitch 2 gives an excellent four pitch E1 (5b, -,5b,5b).