Sunday 6 June 2010

Triple 5 challenge

Enjoying a wall of immaculate Gabbro on St Kilda
In preparation for The Great Climb on August 28th - our live Climb on Sron Uladail, Richard Else from Triple Echo set Tim Emmett and myself a separate climbing challenge to attempt.
5 new routes on 5 Hebridean islands in 5 days - the Triple 5. The parameters were totally fixed. No second chances, no extensions, no workarounds. I was fairly skeptical to say the least that we could pull it off. Sometimes I’ve barely managed to get five new (hard) routes in five years in the hebrides due to it’s fickle weather. The idea of turning up by boat each morning on a different island, rigging ropes for four cameras and coming away with new hard rock climbs back to back seemed a tad far fetched. 
And so it turned out. We had rain, problems with boats, gales, soakings by waves, breaking holds, falls and violent sea sickness. In amongst all that we had some surprising successes. Obviously to see the outcome you’ll have to tune in to the BBC on your preferred platform on August 28th. How much you’ll see of our adventure will depend on the action happening on our Sron Uladail attempt. If it’s all guns blazing on the Sron then our Triple 5 adventure might be shown a little later. We’ll have to see…
Here are a some pictures to give you a taster of a week that all of us will remember for a long time:

Tim eyes up the Shiants as we approach.

Lonely cottage on the Shiants.

The 30 foot roof on Creag Mo which I fell off three times.

Interested locals watch us on Galta Mor, The Shiants.

Tim enjoying the wildlife packed sea lochs on Lewis.

A moment of concentration as precious cargo is carried aboard.

The Cuma waits patiently for us in Village Bay, St Kilda.

Lewis local. Didn’t say much..

Tea and frantic planning for tomorrow on the boat.

Nice Brian, nice.

Gary takes us across Loch Seaforth after a long night aboard. On the journey to St Kilda I was the most violently sick I've been in my life. My fulmar impression was only matched by Cubby. The nausea failed to wear off as we prepared for our new route on the island. I nearly fainted on the 'high street' of Village Bay. What a state.

Joe enjoying the tour of St Kilda.

St Kilda’s stacks blew us away.

A magic sight of St Kilda’s spiky surreal skyline.

Me, and a team of people who are quite amazing at what they do. It was a pleasure...


  1. Wow! I don't think I've ever been so jealous of a trip in my life! Need any riggers for Strone?

  2. Andrew Latham07 June, 2010

    Looking forward to seeing this! Coming from Harris myself, I used to work on a lobster boat around St Kilda a while back, and always wondered about the climbing potential there. Did you need to get special permission from the National Trust, or have they loosened up their position on climbers?