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

Old Man of Hoy T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Yesnaby Castle T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Unsorted Routes:
Type: Trad, 100 ft, Grade III
FA: Joe Brown and party, July 1967
Page Views: 681 total, 13/month
Shared By: James Garrett on Jul 27, 2013
Admins: Chris Owen, Euan Cameron, Nick Russell

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A short but sustained, aesthetic, and steep route which requires good gear placement skills. The rock quality is quite good and possibly better than Old Man of Hoy. It is a true Seastack surrounded by the sea on all sides.

Pitch #1: Once over the water, face climb discontinuous cracks up the east arete. Bird nests and excrement and some loose rock make the final exit moves to the slopey grassy top somewhat precarious. 5.10a, 30m.

Though short in length from a climbing perspective, it feels committing and is the full meal deal seastack approach. Not so easy keeping your shoes and chalk dry! Not so frequently climbed as other Stacks with easier approaches.


Yesnaby is on the main island of the Orkneys about 5 miles north of the town of Stromness. A classic stack approach is necessary, that being a rap from a stake to small ledges opposite the East Arete. Once down to the water, one takes the plunge into the Atlantic, swims across and fixes the rope on a small platform below the start of the East ArĂȘte route. Once the tyrolean traverse is established the other climbers can cross with climbing equipment.


A set of Nuts and full set of Camalots to #3. A wobbly stake on top is the rappel anchor that awaits you. a simul rappel would also bring you down safely to terra firm, however, their is no guarantee of staying dry after a ride in the waves.