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The Old Man of Stoer

5.8, Trad, 240 ft (73 m), 4 pitches, Grade II,  Avg: 3.9 from 13 votes
FA: Tom Patey,Brian Robinson,Brian Henderson,Paul Nunn 1966
International > Europe > United Kingdom > Scotland > N W Highlands > Old Man of Stoer, Loc…

Description

Descend steep grass to reach the sea. One has to swim a 30' channel to reach the stack and then set up a tyrolean .Starting from a cluster of pitons. There are two other routes up the stack one 5.9 the other 5.11. Described is the original route .P1)Climb the landward face for 12' to gain a big horizontal crack that leads one around the corner to the left arete (cam pro)to a large corner ledge. Climb up left wards from under an overhang to reach a groove.Go directly up the crack to another large ledge on the arete.70'5.7 P2)Climb the a steep wall via a rightwards curving crack to overhangs through these using a crack.Go delicately left to ledges and continue to a cave with a thread belay.70' 5.8 P3) Go rightwards around the arete back to the landward side and right up a ramp ignoring the first upward break to gain a small ledge with a block belay.Beware of pucking Fulmers.40'5.5. P4)Climb the obvious groove to easy rock and finish up a small corner to a fine airy summit.50'5.6. Make a 150' rap mostly in space down the SE corner to a platform. Then rap to the base from the right side of the ledge.

Location

Stor Peninsula. NW Scottish coast.

Protection

Normal rack cams and stoppers.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The Original Route.240'5.8 (HVS)
[Hide Photo] The Original Route.240'5.8 (HVS)
P.Ross on the summit
[Hide Photo] P.Ross on the summit
Rapping off the top to the second belay point because we only had one rope. Make sure to have at least two 60m ropes and you can rappel the whole thing in one rappel.
[Hide Photo] Rapping off the top to the second belay point because we only had one rope. Make sure to have at least two 60m ropes and you can rappel the whole thing in one rappel.
Busy day on the Old man of Stoer
[Hide Photo] Busy day on the Old man of Stoer
Old man of Stoer looking down from the landside
[Hide Photo] Old man of Stoer looking down from the landside

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Andy Weinmann
Campton, NH/Warmington, UK
  5.8
[Hide Comment] A couple notes. Take a rack to 3" for the regular route. If you want to do something different from the original route (as in the E1 route that starts from the end of the original route's start) take doubles of 2-3" cams. A 4" cam isn't necessary but would not go unused. Many variations are possible to the original route to make the pitches after P1 a bit harder or more interesting. The hand crack above the belay through the overhangs that is described here as P2, for instance goes at about 5.8 and is not part of the original route (it's part of the E1 (5.10) route up the face) but it is the better way. P2 on the original route goes left from the belay and up to the ramp, then follows the ramp right, avoiding the overhangs. The original route after P1 is about a 5.6 climb that keeps moving up and right around the stack after P2.

Whatever you do, do the route with double ropes...makes life much easier and for a really nice rap to the base.

Fantastic day out. If you're in the area, do it. Sep 21, 2015
[Hide Comment] If you aren't hip on the steep grass descent to reach the stack, there's a boulder you can tie a rope to and rappel. If you choose to do this, bring a 60m or 70m rope to leave for the rappel (70m is ideal). It's a slope, not a cliff, so this rope could be an 8mm or 9mm to save some weight.

The tyrolean rope that you see in some pictures and videos (to avoid the swim) apparently comes and goes. When we did the route in early May 2018, the rope wasn't there. A 50m or 60m 9mm works if you want to rig this tyrolean. That way, just one person swims and you can easily get back even if the tide has come back in.

This might mean you bring:
1) a 60/70m skinny rappel rope for the steep grass slope
2) a 50/60m skinny rope for the tyrolean
3) two ropes for the route (although it's possible to rappel the stack with a single 50m rope)

If you're planning on swimming, bring enough dry bags for your clothes, camera and anything else you want to keep dry (same goes for Am Buachaille).

There are some good lodging options in Stoer - campground, rental houses, and even the Stoer Lighthouse:
stoerlighthouse.co.uk/index…

Worth checking out the small sea cliffs at Reiff (south of Stoer) and the Am Buachaille sea stack while in the area. May 6, 2018
Paul Ross
Keswick, Cumbria
  5.8
[Hide Comment] There are a couple of pleasant moderate climbs on the true Point of Stoer about a quarter mile past the Old Man. Look under North West Highlands for descriptions.. May 6, 2018
Paul Ross
Keswick, Cumbria
  5.8
[Hide Comment] Well done Hobo Greg ...not ... Glad you had fun ... Best Wishes May 16, 2022