I think this route is missing a tree. The guidebook says there are three trees, but I only found two. This made Pinnacle Ridge surprisingly confusing.
Pinnacle Ridge is a two-pitch, Severe graded rock climb at Polldubh crags in Glen Nevis in the Scottish Highlands. It’s a lovely and interesting climb and it feels justified that the guidebook (Scottish Rock, Volume 1, South by Gary Latter) gives it two out of four stars. The route pretty much follows the crest of the buttress and so I thought route finding would be easy. However, I was trying to judge the exact positions of rock features by refer to trees.
The guidebook says of the 1st pitch “…and up to a small birch. Step right and belay at good crack immediately below another birch.” For the 2nd pitch it states you should climb “up then along the top of the large flake on the right (past a third birch) then up rightwards…” After belaying by the second tree and climbing a little higher, I found myself in a tree-less expanse of crag and got puzzled.
Whenever there is a discrepancy between what the guidebook says and what I can see, my first thought is that I’ve missed something or I’m not where I thought I was. This is why I spent some time moving around the second pitch looking for a tree. My thinking was that if I could find this tree, I could figure out where the route went and finish the climb. I didn’t find a third tree and in the end just made a best guess on the route and climbed to the top.
The only real result of my confusion about this missing tree was that I wasted some time and got some unnecessary rope drag from belaying in the wrong place. Not serious, but annoying. My guess is that it is the second tree that is missing, meaning that I belayed by what was the third tree according to the guidebook. However, let me know if you think I am wrong or if you find another tree.