Steep Sandstone and a piano

“I don’t suppose you fancy helping load a piano into a van at Sandwick early tomorrow before climbing?!”

Al’s text lit up my phone at work on Friday—well, at least he was up for climbing!

Al on Kalessin, HVS 5a

Al on Kalessin, HVS 5a

So Al, Ross and I found ourselves hefting a piano down a flight of stairs and into a van on Saturday morning for delivery to Al’s house in Eshaness that evening. Suitably warmed up, we headed a few miles further south to Fogla Taing.

Situated out on the headland at Troswick, Fogla Taing is a sandstone sea cliff with excellent compact rock and generally fantastic gear. It’s also uncompromisingly steep with no routes at less than HVS, and even those are stiff for the grade.

I had never climbed at the crag, so didn’t have my eye on anything, but Al was keen to repeat Kalessin (HVS 5a **). This brilliant, sustained corner has everything from finger jams to laybacks to crimps and definitely deserves its two stars.

Andrew on Cadence, HVS 5a

Andrew on Cadence, HVS 5a

Ross then decided to have a look at a route on the next wall south which was awaiting a clean ascent. This short corner gave the well-protected Chrysophalax Dives (HVS 5a). I headed down to finish off the day wandering up the easy corner to the back of the geo; thankfully Al pointed out the unclimbed arete to the right of Chrysophalax…, which turned out to be a great route, with almost every move a rockover. This gave Cadence (HVS 5a *).

There are still plenty of routes in the harder grades to go, so hopefully we’ll be back soon feeling strong!

The piano, thankfully, made a safe descent down Al’s path later in the day.

Ross on Chrysophalax Dives, HVS 5a

Ross on Chrysophalax Dives, HVS 5a

 

Leave a Comment