St John's Head, Orkney, Scotland

St John's Head, Orkney, Scotland

 James McHaffie and Ben Bransby have repeated the Long Hope Route on St John’s Head, Hoy, Scotland, making the second free ascent of the bold and crumbly sandstone trad route first free-climbed by Dave MacLeod in 2012. The route has nine pitches and goes at 5.14a. St John’s Head is a 350 m sea cliff. The face was first climbed in 1970 by early big wall specialist Ed Drummond, accompanied by Oliver Hill. They took seven days and several hanging bivouacs to do the climb, although they only used about fifteen points of aid in total. Drummond reported being haunted by evil spirits on the climb whom he asked “Who are you..what do you want from me?’ The area includes the famous sea stack of the Old Man of Hoy and several other formations. Many of the first ascents were made by climbers like Drummond, Rusty Baillie and Bill March who later moved to Canada.


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