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Orkney Islands.. and the Old Man of Hoy
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Yesnaby Castle 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a PG13

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a PG13 [details]
FA: Joe Brown and party, July 1967
Page Views: 654
Submitted By: James Garrett on Jul 28, 2013

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Yesnaby Castle


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 Arête 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.

Photos of Yesnaby Castle Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Yesnaby on the Main Island of the Orkneys in Scotl...
Yesnaby on the Main Island of the Orkneys in Scotl...

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