Would love to scramble this tor should I find myself in the Ben Avon area some summer's day but finding any decent ascent info/photos isn't easy. I've heard it's quite a high grade - and it looks nearly impossible unroped from it's western side - but the eastern side (although no straight-on photos of it) does look potentially doable unroped. Anyone been up it or have any decent photos?
> Would love to scramble this tor should I find myself in the Ben Avon area some summer's day but finding any decent ascent info/photos isn't easy. I've heard it's quite a high grade - and it looks nearly impossible unroped from it's western side - but the eastern side (although no straight-on photos of it) does look potentially doable unroped. Anyone been up it or have any decent photos?
This photo looks like it may be of the western side https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1690270
Looking in an adjacent map square there is this https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/139558
Although the author hasn't shown his directional view, it looks like he's looking end-on to the outcrop? That would make sense as the background is down into the valley. So that would make the right side the one you are interested in.
Cheers - had had a look at both these images; right side definitely the go-to for the uninitiated like myself. The thing's so bloody big only photos 50+ metres away are any good for reference! Think it'll end up being a suck it and see attempt.
Report here http://www.munros.patrickrevell.me.uk/trip-reports/2005-cairngorms.html says it's a Grade 2, but gives no further details.
New routing was mentioned here https://www.smc.org.uk/downloads/climbs/new-routes-2015.pdf and it does reference am old smc journal(not currently scanned) that may give more clues?
Mind you, Ian Thow is bound to have been there
> Report here http://www.munros.patrickrevell.me.uk/trip-reports/2005-cairngorms.html says it's a Grade 2, but gives no further details.
I've just briefly read his report and I think he gets it wrong saying that Clach Bun Rudhtair is the highest point of Ben Avon. It's not. It's further south at Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe. If he went up that tor at Grade 2 that's fair enough. It's 25 years since I've been there and I'm sure I got on the top but can't recall how hard it was. Don't remember crapping myself. The Clach seems to be a long way off to the north and downhill quite a lot so would he actually have made the detour? Doesn't seem logical for a trip over Ben a' Bhuird and Ben Avon?
Sadly I haven't yet Mike (it's on the list). Alan Dawson has however, and reckons the higher tor is 924m with about 12m drop and the lower one 899m with about 20m drop. He didn't climb either, having a sprained ankle at the time (which must have meant a helluva long hobble). He said the higher one looked easy enough but the lower one looked more climb than scramble. Hopefully I'll get to have a look next summer.
> I've just briefly read his report and I think he gets it wrong saying that Clach Bun Rudhtair is the highest point of Ben Avon.
Oh. That's not how I read it: "The hardest (but not the highest point on Ben Avon) is the central pillar of Clach Bun Rudhtair which is reached by a Grade 2 scramble and remained unclimbed until the 1930s", but he implies that he did not visit it on the day he is writing about as the weather was too poor.
Ah, the joys of skimming ....
I can't check as my copy is back in Scotland but doesn't the SMC district guide for the Cairngorms by Adam Watson describe the tors & the climbs on them ?
Adam Watson's District Guide does mention them, describing them as "gigantic rhinoceros horns" and giving the middle one a height of 25m, but doesn't give routes up them. The current SMC Climbers' Guide doesn't mention them, but I think there have been some newer routes recorded in the SMCJ.
cheers for that Dave - duly noted!
From RB Frere's article in SMCJ, 26/137(April 1946), p355. Incidentally the same one in which he reports his first ascent of the rather better known Savage Slit.
"Here are one or two notes regarding the curious rock formation, known as the Clach Bun Rudhtair on Ben Avon. The pinnacles run north to south. The first and third are easily ascended by at least two routes each. The central pinnacle is divided by a deep crack; rocks falling into this crack have formed a window, mentioned in the “S.M.C. Cairngorm Guidebook.” The part of the pinnacle lying to the north of the crack can be climbed by an easy chimney on its north side; or by a narrow and strenuous fissure on its northwestern aspect. That part to the south of the crack can be ascended by a through-route in the top of the window followed by a short traverse to the right. Interesting scrambling can be found in the group of rocks. I note that the “Guide” mentions that one of the rocks had had no recorded ascent. This must refer to the central pinnacle, since the other two are very readily ascended. K. A. Robertson and I climbed it yesterday (7th April 1946)."
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