Lurcher’s Repeats

Louis Kennedy climbing Wolf Whistle (VII,7) on Lurcher’s Crag. This route was first ascended by Kacper Tekiele, Sandy Allan, Andy Nisbet in February 2018 and had possibly not seen a repeat. (Photo Nathan Adam)

Nathan Adam has had a busy winter so far, notching up some excellent ascents in the West and East. Here he describes a couple of early repeats on Lurcher’s Crag:

“Yesterday (January 9) we had a grand day on Rottweiler which I think may have been the fourth ascent according to UKC. It is a brilliant route that finds a smart way up the right side of the Amphitheatre Wall, the first pitch is enjoyable and sustained and the second has a quite ridiculous move off the big pinnacle. We thought VI,6 overall was a fair grade as there was some tricky moves but generally good protection throughout. Surprisingly there was no one else there at all but the Northern Corries had a steady stream in and out.

Today, Louis and I went back up in the hope of trying Berserker (VI,8) which had caught our eye the day before. It would’ve been our first go at tech 8 but unfortunately there was already a team established on it. I had brought some photos of other routes and liked the look of Wolf Whistle which we managed to convince ourselves was realistic at VII,7 seen as we had been intent on VI,8!

I started up the corner as per the description and was soon at a standstill as the cracks blanked out above a good block. It seemed like the corner above was totally devoid of any decent hooks so looking over to my right I spied an overhanging groove that had a crack in it. From the good block I managed to teeter rightwards onto a sloping slab and gain the base of the groove. From here a serious of strenuous moves with decent hooks and very small footholds led to an awkward exit onto another blank, sloping ledge. With a grunt and udge I managed to make the ledge thankfully, with another deeper groove now above me. This was super thin with a blank section in the middle but finished with a glorious chockstone and great turf to a spacious belay.

Louis soon joined me and finished up the next short pitch up a deep crack before I took us on a final pitch to the top. Checking the description whilst back at the bags revealed I had stepped right into the double groove system of Jaws without realising. Thankfully it turned out to have decent gear and some excellent hooks! I’m assuming this is probably the second ascent of Wolf Whisper/Jaws after Kacper, Sandy and Andy did the first ascents in 2018 but would be keen to hear if anyone has repeated it already.

So, it turned out a bit of a hybrid and not entirely sure of the grade, but it felt harder than any of the other VI’s I climbed this week. It has some great climbing on it although it’s a bit escapable in a few spots, but I’d say it’s worth a star or two.”

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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