Bressay’s Immaculate Sandstone

Sid on Right of the Main Issue E2

Sid on Right of the Main Issue E2, 2008.

Shetland is one of those places where you can openly tell people that you have found an awesome looking route and put the information out openly on the web and in the Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal and still go back and find the place unclimbed six years later.

Sid and I made two visits to Round Point on the South East side of Bressay back in 2008 and found the most immaculate open book corner and hanging wall of sandstone we had seen in Shetland. However on the day the bottom corner got the better of us so we took a different line on the wall to below some steep hanging crack lines. We sneaked up the side of these only to be stopped at the capping roof by some loose looking blocks and I had to head rightwards to finish. We recorded the route at E2 with the name Right of the Main Issue, as we had effectively missed the main section of rock and the best climbing.

Ross FA, The Cosmographist E3, Pt1, Round Pt

Ross on The Cosmographist E3, Pitch 1

Ross FA, The Cosmographist E3, Pt1, Round Pt

Well last week I eventually made the trek back to Round Point, this time with Mark who was visiting for the week. After removing the loose blocks at the top of the crag we abseiled in. Mark climbed the perfect first pitch at 6a. A slightly overhanging open book corner of immaculate rock with a thin crack in the corner and a couple of spaced breaks for cams. The pitch is bold and the sequence committing at 6a, but brilliant.

The second pitch climbs hanging cracks on the right in the wall above. Expecting a relatively easy haul up the next section, Mark found the wall far more strenuous at 5b than it initially appears and our line is still right of the serious cracks that break up the middle of the hanging wall above.

From the second belay I pulled left into the final section and up to the capping roofs that had previously blocked my ascent back in 2008. This provided a spectacular pull through the roof at 5b on a series of large hanging flakes to finish. After the ascent the second block didn’t appear safe so we have now removed it to allow the route to be safely repeated.

Mark on FA of The Cosmographist

Mark on FA of The Cosmographist, pitch 2.

The route is called The Cosmographist and is graded E3.

So for those of you who aspire to climb perfect sandstone and are prepared to make the seventy minute slog out there, then you’ll be rewarded by some fantastic climbing and if you’re stronger and braver than us then feel free to try the superb cracks up the centre of the wall!

Go to the SCi Database page for Round Point

Article written by Ross – thanks very much!

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