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Topic - UK best soft touches

Jon Stewart - on 13 Jul 2012
Someone had to.

Not just the softest routes at their grade, I think that has been done quite recently (and it incited accusations of willy-waving) but the best routes in the UK which are right softies.

A useful list for those wanting a bit of an ego tick (even when you know it's a soft touch, it still feels better than if it was at the grade below, everyone knows that) but on a really worthwhile or classic route.

After all, if you're chasing the numbers, then it's pretty degrading to climb the poorest route at the crag just so you can put it down in your logbook.

Here's a few:

Geriatrics and Exorcist at Sheigra - both fantastic and really soft.
Time for Tea - great route, and not the 5c with a groundfall that E3 5c usually brings on grit
Welcome to Hard Times - lovely teetering up a slab, with some runners (and an easy escape)
Rock Idol - an ambitious VS leader should manage this. A couple of 5a moves and plenty of rests. It just looks absolutely mental!
Elastic Collision, Reiff - so much easier than Seal Song next door, if you're pushing your grade, make sure your mate does that one! Loads at Reiff in fact: The Executioner (HVS not E2), Moronic Inferno (HVS not E3), Brave Heart (E1 max, not E3)
Glass Arete and Fourteen Fathoms at Carn Barra. Great routes, and good for the ego too unlike most of Cornish Granite
Diamond Smiles, Lower Sharpnose, and many others there it seems
Easter Rib, Stanage Popular. The softest of all the E1 softies at Stanage, competing with Saliva, Morrison's Redoubt, Millsom's, Kirkus' Corner, etc. All brilliant routes.
Black Grub - it's a clip-up, f6b/+, and it's great.
The Moon, The Strand, True Moments/Freebird - the best of low-E Gogarth and all with really good holds
Arcturus - a superb route, with just one or two bold moves above a dodgy peg (back it up - and you won't fall off anyway)

Crap routes that are easy for the grade are 2 a penny. But really great routes where you get your top grade at a knock-down price are worth knowing about.
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