This is well worth doing, but there was a lot more walking/Scrambling than we expected. The climbing is easy and the route finding straight forward as long as you stick like glue to the description. The walk off is a little longer and more complicated than the book sugggests though.
Ewan - 17/Jul/04
I couldnt recommend doing the Edwards finish. The climbing is vastly inferior to what you get lower down and getting off the top is a bit of a mare.There will always be a route to the top of a mountain but sometimes the best climbing isnt to be found there. If the top is important to you or you just fancy along day....worth doing. If its the climbing your interested in just do Esponal central direct
Shaun Walby - 05/Oct/04
I've done this twice now and despite the 'mountaineering' the situations make it very worthwhile, and a memorable long day. Need to follow the route description carefully. The books walk off description needs looking at: we kept left on leaving the summit to follow the steep walls (on our left) into the main descent gully via, eventually, a cabled steep ramp.
Derek Morton - 19/Oct/04
The climbing above is not difficult (or particularly 'good')but there are some spectacular situations and even better views...
I agree that the 'walk' off description in the guide is unclear. Once you get into the large 'notch', we found two possible ways down: 1) left (looking out) takes you down a large steep ramp with loose stones - care needed by the second.
2)Descending a little and then going left at a lower level takes you over a small ridge/notch where there is a much shorter and safer ab to the same finish as (1). Both require a good look around for and I wouldn't like to try it in mist!
markm - 20/Oct/04
After losing out on the plumb leads on the way up to the Edwards Finish, I lucked in with the last two pitches on the climb. For my money the best on the entire route. Leave plenty of daylight to find the descent route.
Keith Cowburn - 25/Oct/04
We had fun on this finish. The scenery is excellent and it was worthwhile, even if the climbing doesn't match that below.
Pitch 2 in the guide didn't make sense to us at all. Here's what we did after pitch 1.....
At the foot of the pinnacles we walked right on a faint path under the pinnacles to a good bolt at the foot of a rock face and 'EF' scratched on the rock. One pitch of about 20m grade 4 with fixed gear took us on to a ledge 5m to the right of the col. We then followed pitches 3 and 4.
We found the descent description to be correct and easy to follow although the traverse path to the abseil bolts was a bit vague. The notch is a fine atmospheric place.
Note that this route as described takes you near to the top of the ridge but not to the top of the mountain. To get there you would need to follow the descent to the scree gulley then go up the gulley on the path to the true top with the summit register.
Is there a continuation finish that would carry on up the far side of the notch and along the ridge to the summit? That would be very satisfying.
brianrunner - 16/Apr/05
As has been said before route-finding is tricky on the first 175m 'pitch'. At the end of Espolon Central you are on the blunt front base of a ridge shaped like an isosceles triangle with its pointed end butting up against the summit headwall. You continue up and then along this broad base - up, down and round huge boulders that block the view forwards. Keep going, this section goes on longer than you think (it took us a good 40 mins of adventuresome roped scrambling much too far to the left!). The thing is that though you can't see it the ridge gets narrower as you go, so whatever route you take (other than the 'What we did' comment from brianrunner above) you'll eventually find yourself at a point where the ridge is only a metre or two wide (exposure!!). After traversing this, you'll be at the base of the final pinnacle (loop of white tat) from which you have the choice of up, over and ab down (pitch 2a) or traverse round ledges to the left (pitch 2) to reach the col.
Official pitch 3 goes up-left from here, but 5 metres to the right of the obvious big chockstone, along a ledge, is a nice shiny bolt and a much easier pitch that trends diagonally leftwards to the same big ledge as the original pitch 3. This bolt ties in nicely as the continuation of brianrunner's alternate route to the headwall described above.
Once in the notch (follow cairns along the righthand (sea-ward) side of the summit ridge), drop down 30m on the sea-ward side, traversing in the same direction as you have been to find the abseil station. We descended too far and had to improvise our abseil! If you do the same, be careful to then head back _up_ the gully you ab into to find cairns and the descent path.
I would stress setting off early if you plan to climb to the notch summit. We didn't want to have to rush the climbing, so we were on rock at 8 am (after one hour's walk-in) and summitted at close to 8pm with the light fading fast! A proper mountain undertaking - all about the ascent and positions and not about the technical difficulty. Took us 16 hours car to car :o)
By the by, there is apparently a continuation from the notch to the true summit; Orange House Rich says that the far side of the notch goes at about 6a, but beware loose rock at the top.
Ian Silvester - 28/Sep/07
Descent from the South Summit (1318m):
Dropping down to the Notch is fairly simple - a few cairns lead the way on the seaward side to an easy gully and the Roldan Notch.
From the centre of the notch the path heads down for about 30m on the seaward side and then traverses north (i.e. left looking out). This is the tricky bit as it goes behind a tree and is hard to spot, whilst below the gully looks feasible - at first. The traverse line takes you over a shoulder to the gully where you can abseil from twin bolts. There is also an old cable at this point.
A 25m abseil brings you to the top of the main descent gully. The path isn't exactly easy (nasty scree), but is fairly obvious.
Took us 9:20 from car to car !
chris_moor - 07/Feb/11