/ Pillar Rock
I'm planning to take a walking mountaineer up Pillar Rock to help him complete the English 2000 footers. He says he's not a climber. Will a confidence rope do or should I carry a climbing rope?
I haven't done it either.
You will need a min rope length of 30m (the ab into Jordan Gap is circa 15m). Treat the route as a climb, the easiest way up is graded 'mod' and has plenty of exposure so it's going to feel very much like climbing.
The final section of the approach is very airy, loose, and can feel rather exciting too.
Do you need to ab? I'm sure you can get onto Slab & Notch scramble without. I've only descended this after climbs elsewhere on the rock and found it quite intimidating as an unroped downclimb. To the OP - definitely take a short rope and a few runners in case your friend needs the reassurance.
I think Mark is suggesting abseiling back down after climbing Slab & Notch rather than down climbing the route.
As Gav mentions, my suggestion would be to climb Slab & Notch then abseil into Jordan Gap. As you quite rightly say, it's a bit of an intimidating down climb otherwise!
Did the same with 2 "Nuttall baggers" (non climbers) a few years ago. Up and down Slab and Notch (roped) posed no problems but the prospect of an ab into Jordan Gap scared the cr@p out of them. A few runners and slings from what I remember.
Yes, no need to abseil at all. The 'scary' bit on Slab and Notch is the slab, and that's the same both ways, because it's a traverse. The notch bit is just a mass of huge jugs.
Can you rig a rope above the slab to protect the traverse?
> Yes, no need to abseil at all. The 'scary' bit on Slab and Notch is the slab
Might have changed a bit, cause there's now basically a path along the bottom of the slab. I'd say the hardest bit is the steep but juggy section up to/down from the notch.
I'd definitely rather scramble up and down (slab and notch both ways, don't bother with the old West, it's rubbish and has a hard move at the top) rather than teach soneone to ab - although they might find the latter more adventurous and exciting.
The slab is very easy - no need for a rope in my opinion. I find the trickiest bit to be the top bit around the corner from the notch if its greasy. Route finding on Old West is more complicated but I wouldn't say that its rubbish. A bit broken, yes, but some nice situations and it makes a good traverse of the rock and is much longer than Slab and Notch. I made a little video of Slab and Notch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzafwiFrcG4.
agreed, the slabs in the Gulley is awful unless there has been a few days of dry weather
That really is very helpful. Many thanks.
Did it today. Quite greasy and wet following yesterday's rain. It improved during the day. Didn't fancy reversing it in the conditions so I lowered my mate into the Jordan Gap and followed him on abseil. Left a nice locking crab on the substantial in situ tat. You can have it if you hurry up. A big tick for my friend who has now done all the Nuttalls in England and Wales.
Thanks for all the advice . I used it all.
Glad it went well, was a bit worried this was you when I read it! https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2019/09/22/injured-lakeland-climber-rescued-from-pillar-rock-in-seven-hour-operation
> Glad it went well, was a bit worried this was you when I read it! https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2019/09/22/injured-lakeland-climber-rescued-from-pillar-rock-in-seven-hour-operation
Thanks. That's really strange because we weren't aware of anybody else around. We were just talking to a fellow Black Sailor at Robinson's Cairn and that's the only person we saw all day. I'm 67 by the way and my mate is 73. There's no way Slab and Notch felt like a scramble on Monday. Hope the guy is OK.
Ah I see it was the day before. We were walking into Black Sail and got very wet. So not ideal conditions.
Lake District-based runner Kim Collison has set a new speed record on the Bob Graham Round in winter. Kim completed the round in just 15 hours 47 minutes, knocking a big chunk from the previous fastest winter time of 18:18 set by Jim Mann in 2013.