Great names for routes ?

What is your favourite name of a climbing route and what does the name mean ?

Skye has so many great names – Integrity on Sron na Ciche, Trophy Crack and Satans Slit. The Prow on Blaven and Stairway to heaven. “Spantastic” at Flodigarry and the marvellously named Kilt Rock

Spantastic at Flodigary Skye.

Some routes like “The Orion Face” on Ben Nevis are classic. What does Epsilon (Epsilon Chimney)mean ? (The 5 star in a constellation)

How did The Bullroar get it’s name?

The Bat on Carn Dearg has a great tale of its first ascent and the falls taken. There are so many here the guide book made me look at the dictionary when I first read it.

The Bat – Ben Nevis

The Cairngorms have routes like the “Chancer” a very bold route on ice in its day. As is “Hidden Chimney” in the Northern Corries for years a hidden gem.

Hidden Chimney

Savage Slit that line on Corrie an Lochan could there be any other name than this for that route? Clean Sweep” on Hells Lum is another so aptly manned climb. But can you beat Scorpion on Shelterstone for the sting in its tail?

Savage Slit

Creag Dubh (Called Creag Death) by some at Newtonmore had some incredibly rude names climbed by Haston and pals and many others. It has a history of some incredible climbs.

Glencoe has superb names – Ravens Gully on BEM and Rannoch Wall is full of superb names Agag’s Grove is another. On Bidian Church Door Buttress ” Crypt route” a classic caving /climbing adventure and a fun route! The Big Top, Trapeze and Yo -Yo on Aonach Dubh

Punsters Crack the Cobbler

“Punsters crack” on the Cobbler a great Scottish name. Typical West Coast humour.

Of course on Arran “Labyrinth” a classic chimney with a route description that is incredible! There is also “Blank and Blankist” over on Goat fell which describe the lonely journey to the belays.

Arran Labyrinth.

The famous Etive Slabs – “Spartan Slab” for the first time on Etive is a classic introduction. The Pause, the Long Reach and many others. You gear up on the coffin stone!

Etive the right way round?.

I have missed so many climbs routes Lochnagar , Creag an Dubh Loch, Torridon the far North and various cliffs all over Scotland what is yours?

  • Some Comments
  • Lorriane – Always wanted to name one. ‘Who turned up the gravity?’ but never got there….. my favourite existing one is still dream of white horses for name, situation and climb.

Andrew Woolston Loss of great route names in Scotland, I like the bat for such an amazing route and story. Swastika for the aptly names amount of horizontal traverses. Hamish ted’s at Dunkeld is a great name, can you ask cubby about the first ascent, I’d read somewhere that he done it on trad and gave it about E7 6b! Had it already been named before this.

Neil Reid There’s a high up gully on the north-east corner of Beinn Bhrotain in the Cairngorms. I always wanted to climb it and call it North-East Passage (perhaps inspired by an Aberdonian friend who has a tee-shirt with the North Face logo on it, but changed so that it says North-East).
Also, one of my actual new routes on Rum was named Rum Doodle because… well how could I not pay a wee tribute to WE Bowman?

Sophie Grace If that’s Glen Etive in the picture at the top of the thread, isn’t the picture mirror-imaged?

David Whalley Sophie Grace will sort it !!

Liz Gleave My first ever rock route was called Snotty Nose!! And memorable for that reason. My favourite route name is Applecake Arête in Lofoten. Not good enough to ever name a route myself though…

David Whalley Liz Gleave you will call it Dave’s dream !!

Graham Hassall I did two new routes with Owain, my ten year old last year which we called Owain Glyndwr and Owain ‘n’ Glynn’s Door 😀

Chris Townsend Cook’s Tour on Pavey Ark in the Lake District. It wanders all over the place!

Chris Townsend David Whalley in my rock climbing days it was a favourite and about my level.


David Kennedy I did a new route on Skye 18 years ago,called it after my new daughter – Murrins tickley rib. It was reported in Climber magazine, not sure if its in the guide books.

Gordon Binnie Love route names, some favourites are Wreckers Slab in Cornwall, Raspberry Ripple and Vein Rouge on the Etive Slabs (very thin climbing with 1 microwire in 60m pitch) Jack the Ripper on Stac Pollaidh and Stone Throwers Buttress on Ben Cruachan.
Hope your well Heavy.

Stephen Atkins Always a fan of ‘Autobahnsfart’ at Polldubh. That and ‘Mental Lentils’ in the Vivian. The best of all, IMHO, ‘Cockadoodlemoobaaquack’ at Creag Dubh.

Gordon Binnie Stephen Atkins Autobahnsfart is a great route. Had forgotten a about that one.

Jonah Jones Crocodile snogging

Tarquin Shipley North Ridge is my favourite. Says exactly what it is.

David Whalley Tarquin Shipley God “Tarps” show some imagination !

Tarquin Shipley David Whalley Not one for irony are you…

Pete Greening Although it won’t sit well with many folk, but the names of climbs by John Redhead are genius, in my opinion. A hard rock climber, mostly active in North Wales, he’s renowned for bold, futuristic climbs and even bolder route names…..Dissolutioned Screw Machine, Shaft of the Dead Man, Womb Bits, The Dwarf in the Toilet, Menstrual Gossip, Birth Trauma, The Tormented Ejaculation…. You get the picture. But it isn’t just about getting dodgy route names in a guidebook. Behind each ascent of a new climb, there is a story. You’ll have to read Jones & Millburn’s Welsh Rock, and Redhead’s …and one for the crow… to get the full storie

Andrew Woolston Pete Greening one for the crow is excellent, as is his scripts in extreme rock.

Pete Greening Andrew Woolston

Pete Kay It’s the Sloth for me, my most reversed route ever. And Polar Circus for 12 hours of tip toeing up 2300 feet of ice.

David Whalley Pete Kay your my hero and Barbarian !

Pete Kay The route that hasn’t fallen down yet.😈

Douglas Crawford Pigmys gulley Strathfarrar……impossible for anyone who’s a good climber over 5ft 6……first noisy ascent witnessed by 202……nobody around competent enough to ask for a tight rope…terrifying.

David Whalley Was that our day out ?

Douglas Crawford David Whalley your level instruction ….matched by my words of fear….not the most silent ascent of a frozen burn…🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  • News paper taxis on Skye. But only when done with the Bat.

Nick Sharpe Ardnfreaky, great play on a location name👍. Easy to guess the location? 2nd/3rd Ascent😉

Sean Richardson I remember doing Savage Slit with Andy Fowler and the Hammer with Fletch back in my Leuchars days, Glen Etive is a great place to climb and I really miss it.

Pete Greening My ice route in Cornwall (yes, Cornwall!) Was named because it was thin, brittle and doesn’t form often. When it does, it’s not for very long – “Smear Today, Gone Tomorrow”. Got an email from Heather Morning not long after…”Hey Pete, good to see you’re still at it. Great name!” What better accolade can you get?

Peter White I recall being at Creag Dubh one freezing day with, (watching), the crazy crew when Cubby completed some desperate new route followed by Callum Henderson. Later back at the hoose, there was a big discussion on the name. ‘Blazing Saddles’ happened to be on TV, I’m pretty sure big Callum and Cubby looked at each other as Gene Wilder spoke that line, “it’s colder than a hookers heart”, and so it was!

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Scottish winter climbing., Views Mountaineering, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

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