Adventure Projects is hiring an Android engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Orkney Islands.. and the Old Man of Hoy

North Gaulton Castle T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Old Man of Hoy T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Yesnaby Castle T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Unsorted Routes:
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Trad, 460 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Tom Patey Chris Bonington Rusty Bailey.(over 3 days 1966)
Page Views: 11,566 total · 110/month
Shared By: USBRIT Ross on Dec 5, 2009
Admins: Chris Owen, Euan Cameron

You & This Route

6 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


I have climbed this twice ,the first time leading a group of four antique British climbers in their 50's and 60's ,two were grand parents.The following photo's were with my son Andy who flew in from Salt Lake City, Utah.If you like the desert Towers of Utah this is a must do! The most enjoyment of this climb is from the situations and the wild beauty of the Scottish Islands.The climb described is the original route . There are several more difficult routes to its top. Description :- See Topo photo.P1) Easy climbing to large ledge 5.5 P2)Climb down a few feet then across to the foot of a fine crack a couple of strenuous moves to belay.5.9.P3) Follow open corner (In Spring pucking Femur sea birds in this section )5.6.P4)Super climbing up the open book to a fine summit.5.6.Descent Rap the route.Be careful!


Hoy Island ,Orkney Islands ,Scotland


Normal rack cams and stoppers Two 60m ropes is good.
Birmingham, AL
BirminghamBen   Birmingham, AL
Next time I'm in Scotland, this is going down! Dec 5, 2009
I climbed his route in 1975 (supposedly 1st American ascent. What was the move out of the 3rd overhang on P2? There seemed to be no handholds but there was a wooden wedge pounded into the crack leading up with a drilled hole and threaded with half inch webbing. Are the old railroad spikes still place that were used for the rappel anchors?
Great pictures. Jun 6, 2011
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
None of that gear was there in the 1990's. Those items must have been left from the first ascent.Good effort in 75 .... and just getting to the Isle of Hoy itself.. Jun 10, 2011
John Martin
Kearns, UT
John Martin   Kearns, UT
I would love to do this route, check out this video:… Sep 23, 2011
Andy Weinmann
Silver Spring, MD
Andy Weinmann   Silver Spring, MD
Can be done with a single 60m rope (using alpine draws properly) and then rapped with a 60m and tagline. First rap: summit to the lower of the two anchors on the big corner (you'll have to step back out on the big ledge to pull the rope but it's a huge ledge you're on). Second rap: down to top of Pitch 2. Third rap: sweet free-hanging rap to ground.

Recommend taking at least two #3 Camalots and one #4...two #4s would not go unused! Sep 10, 2013
Has anyone done this route recently? What is the condition? anything new to watch out for? are the anchors still in good condition? Mar 24, 2018
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
I'm sure it will be fine.. Its been the winter months, but prior to that, it will have had lots of ascents.Might be reasonable weather from May onwards... Good luck with that ... Mar 24, 2018
ToDoubleD Whitney
Aptos, CA
ToDoubleD Whitney   Aptos, CA
Just a little heart warming beta...… Jun 11, 2018
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
Yes seen that .. tough wee lad . Jun 11, 2018
Ying Lau
Los Angeles, CA
Ying Lau   Los Angeles, CA
We climbed in 5 pitches. P1 climb up pillar fr boulder bridge to ledge. P2 down climb traverse right onto E face to chimney w/ move out & into OW as crux. P3 move right then back left to crack to ledge. P4 climb wall on right up to base of open book. P5 climb open book to summit. 17 hours ago
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
Well done Ying .. Hope you enjoyed the climb .. Did the birds like you? 15 hours ago
Ying Lau
Los Angeles, CA
Ying Lau   Los Angeles, CA
Loved the whole experience - visiting the town, the hike, the approach to the climb, & the actual climb! What a special place. The birds were not so keen on our visit tho. 2 hours ago

More About Old Man of Hoy