Recess Route, Cobbler – Severe 

A stretch of Autum sunshine gave us the opportunity to climb on the cobbler in dry conditions. I’ve tried routes here in the past when it’s been raining or damp and it’s not at all pleasant. The mica shist rock is really slippy, like glass, when wet.

Recess route was an obvious choice for the choice for the conditions. A classic climb with amazing views down Loch Long and comfortable belay spots for taking in the sunshine.

The walk to the cobbler gives a good warm-up and after the initial haul through the forest it’s actually quite enjoyable.

Recess route takes an obvious line up the south face of the north peak and was easy to spot and follow from the approach.


the various peaks and climbing options 


the south face of the north peak

The first pitch climbs a left running diagonal crack which can be seen at the centre of the face in the above picture. This is good climbing and easily protected. The crack line turns vertical and a few awkward (for the grade) steps take you up to the first belay at the bottom of the first chimney.

The second pitch runs about 30 metres directly up a deep chimney (recess). This is great fun and require a lot of bridging. There’s not a huge amount of big positive handholds but plenty of options for getting the feet high. I made the mistake of climbing too deep in the chimney, a better method would be bridge all the way up. There’s an old peg and some slings insitu which I assume are from winter attempts.


a bit too deep in the chimney making the overhang exit tricker than necessary


the view from 2nd belay stance


taking in some Vit D and checking the route

After the first chimney the route traverses right, I ran this as a short pitch but should have probably just ran P2 a bit longer. The next pitch (4 in this case) runs directly up a steep groove. This was the crux for me. The moves are not obvious but eventually the foot placements become obvious. Again, there’s not much in the way of hand holds but a bit of palming got me up and to the cave and start of the 5th pitch. This run directly up a wide corner with an awkward overhang. This did require a bit of strenuous pulling round, I had a few attempts before finding the best way over. The remainder of the route runs directly up the chimney and isn’t too difficult.


on pitch 5


plenty of comfortable turf seats on the way up


on the descent

A great route and well worth the 2 stars. Hopefully we’ll get more dry days here in the future.