The Curse of the Hobgoblin

Andy Huntington leading the second (crux) pitch of The Curse of the Hobgoblin (V,7) on Sgurr Thearlaich on Skye. The route starts just right of E Gully and climbs the obvious steep groove before stepping right to a steep blind crack. (Photo Mike Lates)

Andy Huntington, Mike Lates and Robin Clothier snatched a good new route in the Cuillin on Sunday (March 4). Andy takes up the story:

“I was over at Elgol with Robin on Saturday and we did a route before the tide came in and the rollers threatened take Robin off the belay. We were generally bemoaning the end of winter and trying to not get too depressed. As usual Robin was talking about the Ben and ‘how we could be climbing Hobgoblin [on Number Three Gully Buttress] today’.

Early next morning Mike pokes his head out the door and sniffs the air. It’s coldish and there’s a dusting on the tops. A flurry of activity and we’re chucking the tools into the car and heading for Glen Brittle, Sgurr Thearlaich and the Great Stone Shoot – Mike’s current favourite crag.

The day and night before was squally rain showers and then a snap-freeze overnight down to 550m.  That’s all this crag needs to come into nick, and on Sunday it was fantastic! It’s dolerite with very little turf to freeze and the rock gives great fun mixed climbing.

Unfortunately Robin was snoozing under the route and got hit on the leg by the only unfrozen block that fell from the crag –  The Curse of the Hobgoblin.”

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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