Longhope Route | E7 Trad climb at St Johns Head

See also Longhope Route Direct.


Ascents

2 recorded ascents.

Climber Style FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Dave Turnbull Lead (Ground up) 1st August 1997 (approx)

First free ascent.

John Arran Lead (Ground up) 1st August 1997 (approx)

First free ascent.

When Dave went to quiz Oliver Hill (who did the FA with Drummond) on where the route went up the headwall, he was extremely helpful. I remember Dave reporting his advice, that the FA aided up an impressive thin crack, which according to Oliver might be possible free but extremely hard (what foresight from 1970!), but that an easier way to free the route would be to take a left-hand variation and traverse back to the crack higher up, which we did. Apologies to Oliver if I've misremembered or misinterpreted his message, but it definitely suggests he thought our way would be another way to climb the same route. I'm also mindful of the Scoop on Sron Ulladale, which takes a notably different line at times to its originally aided version.

What I don't doubt is the difficulty and quality of the crux pitch that Drummond aided (no small feat in itself, I'm sure) and Dave MacLeod later freed. I recall looking up at it and thinking it would be amazing if it were to be climbable free, but it seemed well out of our league at the time, especially ground-up! It almost certainly would have been too hard for us even after practice, though that wasn't the game we were playing at the time. Such a pitch at the end of such an adventure deserves a status of its own; whether it's the principal free line of the route or a stunningly good and hard variation I'll leave for others to decide. [1]

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rock_talk/not_a_hope_in_hoy-754177?v=1#x9714420