Hesta Rock

Hesta Rock

Hesta Rock is the large headland to the East of The Clett of Crura (GR 466876) on the island of South Ronaldsay. The easiest approach is as for the sea stack “The Clett of Crura.” The Hesta rock headland is a rotting mass of extremely loose rock with some steep vegetation. The highest part of the crag is approx 60 meters. Running up the centre of the main headland and starting at half crag height is a very prominent black chimney. The following route tried to climb this chimney and is recorded as a warning to future explorers and is not a recommendation for a good day out. Access to the bottom is by a steep scramble down the grassy slopes to the East followed by a very pleasant sea level traverse along easy angled slabs to below a large overhanging wall.

Wriggle and Die 120m XS 5a

Pitch 1. 30m 4a From the sea level slab below the overhanging wall, climb the left trending ramp on good rock crossing a drainage line and some very greasy rock. Negotiate the drainage line to a nasty “step down” to a large sloping ledge. Cam belay at its far end.

Pitch 2. 30m 4a Make a tricky move up on shocking rock to a further ledge and scramble up thick vegetation trending left to a crack line in the wall at the base of the Black Chimney. Belay in the crack.

Pitch 3. 35m 4c Scramble up to the bottom of the black chimney, place two good cams and climb directly up the chimney until you realise you are committed on the loosest rock imaginable. Gear and rock is insanely loose. After approx 20 meters up the chimney make a terrifying traverse left onto a grassy ramp and belay around the large tottering pillar approx 10 meters up the ramp.

Pitch 4. 25m Scramble easily up the grassy ramp to the summit and solemnly vow never to return!

Return to the Clett of Crura.