Orkney and Hoy Climbing 2015 – Sea Cliffs, Stacks and the Old Man of Hoy

Boat access to Hoy

Boat access to Hoy

Course Details

Dates:  24th – 30th May/23rd – 29th August

Duration: 5 Climbing Days

Client Instructor Ratio:  1:2

Price:  £1295  (Course must be full for this price to apply – see page footnote)

The Old Man of Hoy

The Old Man of Hoy

Course Information

This guided climbing trip offers the unique opportunity to climb some of the most adventurous sea cliff routes and stacks of Orkney and Hoy, including an attempted ascent of The Old Man of Hoy, Britain’s most impressive and iconic sea stack at 137 metres high, and arguably Britain’s hardest summit.  We will explore different cliffs and sea stacks of Orkney and the surrounding islands while on this rarely offered trip while soaking up some of the ancient local history and culture of this unique group of islands.  Orkney and Hoy are like few other places in the UK and have an atmosphere of their own and a Norse legacy that is evident in everything.

The Old Man of Hoy, the route follows the obvious crack system

The Old Man of Hoy, the route follows the obvious crack system

The climbing will take us onto some of the remotest and wildest sea cliffs and stacks in the UK, a successful ascent of the Old Man of Hoy will likely be the climax of the trip!  However every day will offer an adventure of its own with access to the smaller island of Westray and the North Gaulton stack being by a small privately chartered boat if the sea conditions permit.  With the support and local knowledge of the team at http://insideorkney.com this will be a brilliant and highly adventurous trip!

 

Sample Itinerary for the climbing days (Subject to changes based on the weather)

Day 1 – West Coast of Mainland Orkney – Yesnaby sea cliffs. Evening travel to Rackwick bothy, Hoy.

Day 2 – Old Man of Hoy ascent, night in Rackwick.

Day 3 – Morning travel back to Orkney mainland. Sea cliff climbing at Tomb of the Eagles, South Ronaldsay.

Day 4 – Fast boat charter to Westray for sea cliff climbing.

Day 5 – West Coast of Mainland Orkney – North Galton stack.  A stack with an exciting approach!

 

 

 

Climbing at Tomb of the Eagles

Climbing at Tomb of the Eagles

What if the weather is bad?  Its no secret that these Islands get their fair share of bad weather, climbing is generally still going to be possible but if its not we have local attractions on offer for the worst weather, other activities also for when its just wet include Coasteering, this is exploring the coast line from the waters edge and includes cliff jumps into the sea, tyrolean traverses, abseils and climbing traverses!

Who is this trip for?  This trip is aimed at people who have some experience of multi pitch climbing, it is fine if this was in a guided situation but should have been at or above the grade of British Hard Very Severe (HVS) if the Old Man is central to your motivations!  If you are not sure you could always organise a Lake District training day/course with us, see – Mountaineering & Climbing – Private Guiding & Instruction – Summer.  Some training will be included on the trip whilst sea cliff climbing as well, but the ability to follow HVS is important for the Old Man of Hoy ascent.

Note – We run this course at a 1:2 instructor client ratio max.  We can supply additional instructors for larger groups wanting this course.

What is included

list-tick Guided days out
list-tick Technical Equipment
list-tick Accommodation
list-tick Breakfast and Pack Lunches
list-tick Evening Meals
list-tickPick up/drop off to ferry/airport on Orkney
list-tick Daily Transport
list-cross Travel to Orkney (however see lift share option)

Sometimes, depending on where people are travelling from, there is the potential to arrange car sharing reducing the travel costs for everyone as well as being a bit more eco friendly. Please let us know if this is of interest. If you would prefer to make your own way there then we will pick you up on Orkney on your arrival, some options are listed below.

Ferries go from either Scrabster to Stromness, or Aberdeen to Kirkwall. Pick up from the ferry is organised by us.

You can also fly to Orkney from the major Scottish airports (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen) and from London Stanstead (summer only).

The big abseil off the Old Man

The big abseil off the Old Man

Accommodation

We will use accommodation in Kirkwall or Stromness as our base for this course.  All meals will be arranged either at our accommodation or in the best local options with the advice of our local team at Inside Orkney.  There will be at least 2 nights spent at the amazing Rackwick Bay bothy for the ascent of the Old Man of Hoy (sleeping bag and mat required). The stay at this isolated beach side bothy feels like a time warp and is another highlight of the trip.

The relevant Kit List is in our Resources.

For more information please Contact Us.

Note – We can still run this course/trip even if it is not full, however there might be an additional charge to bring the price up to a minimum daily rate/trip price for the relevant course or trip.  Should a course not be viable due to lack of numbers we can discuss other options with you.  As everyone has different levels of flexibility with dates and cut-off times for cancellation it’s best if you let us know your situation when booking.  In situations where you have offered last minute flexibility but Mountain Circles can not fill a course and has to cancel, we will refund the course fee and deposit in full, if you cancel from a course that is full and running then normal conditions apply, see Cancellations in How to book.

 

The sea cliffs of Yesnaby

The sea cliffs of Yesnaby

The isolated Rackwick bothy

The isolated Rackwick bothy

 

Not many local climbers around here!

Not many local climbers around here!

 

The top, don't wander off!

The top, don’t wander off!

Mark Rock Climbing Course

‘Having spend three days in the mountains with Paddy I’ve got to say he’s the best guide I’ve ever worked with. Everything was pitched perfectly for my individual level - the choice of climbs, the balance between learning and mileage on the crag, all suited my level of experience. In three days I went from never having climbed trad to leading VD, seconding HVS+ and ticking off a classic mountain route, all thanks to Paddy’s professionalism and enthusiasm. Can’t wait to get out there again!’