/ UK best soft touches

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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.
highclimber - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: Strand at Gogarth is a bit of a gift at E2! NW passage is def easier than the grade dictates.
conorcussell - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: Cemetery Gates, Star Wars, Rimsky Korsakov if you take the E5 grade it shouldn't get.
conorcussell - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to conorcussell: Grand Illusion at the Cliff
Simon Caldwell - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:
Hairy Mary (Elgol) at its new grade of HVS.
Cioch Nose (Applecross) at its new grade of Severe.
Tower Ridge.
DJonsight - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: dare I say Right Wall...
jacobjlloyd - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: Wings of Unreason at the Roaches has got to be the best quality soft-touch possible.
Unique route, fantastic moves on amazing rock, perfect cam slots for peace of mind, and you get E4 for a safe and easy move with awesome gear at your feet and a comfortable fall. Probably E2, especially if you're above 5'10", but who cares - one of the best routes I've done at any grade.

There are loads at Swanage as well, that get done far too little but pack in some awesome climbing and positions.
The Fabulous Professor Panic gets E5, but its totally safe F6b climbing, just in a committing and intimidating position. Get on it.
EZ on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Executioner (HVS not E2), Moronic Inferno (HVS not E3), Brave Heart (E1 max, not E3)

That does kind of raise the question what is a soft touch and what is just plain graded incorrectly?

I think that something along the lines of Technical Slab at The Roaches is more what I would consider a soft touch. It is absolutely HS and 4a but looks meaner and more serious than it turns out to be when you're in the thick of it. ( http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=20095 )
EZ on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to jacobjlloyd:

> Wings of Unreason... has got... perfect cam slots for peace of mind

Wow. There was me thinking that Piece Of Mind was an unprotected horror fest, but apparently there are some bomber cams 600 metres over to the left. Maybe Piece of Mind should be on the best UK traverses list?
The Ivanator - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: Golden Slipper on Pavey Ark is low in HVS and the main pitch must rank amongst the best slab pitches in the UK.
Blue Sky at Saddle Head is just awesome and pretty easy for VS.
Andy Moles - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Diabaig Pillar, obvs.

Not sure The Executioner and Moronic Inferno are quite as easy as HVS, maybe in Northumberland...
Neil Henson - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: Apple Arete at VS (Gardoms) fits the bill I think.
gribble - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

The Brush Off (E4) at Rivelin.
Compo - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: Time for Tea again. Still an awesome route.
Charm at Wimberry.
Lancaster Flyby at Dovestones Tor.
Liam Ingram - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Veritas Splendour (E3) and Angel of Sharkness (E1) at Elgol are both gifts at the grade but very very good.
GrahamD - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Wreckers Slab at VS. Superb route but HS tops (it would be S if the protection were a fraction better)
The Ivanator - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to GrahamD: Good call.
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to EZ:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> [...]
>
> That does kind of raise the question what is a soft touch and what is just plain graded incorrectly?

Yes, I'd say that a lot of the grades at Reiff are completely wrong. Same goes for Sharpnose. I'd accept Diamond Smiles at E1, and I found it easier than plenty of HVS sandbags.
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to conorcussell:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) Cemetery Gates

How did I forget that one? I would love to have climbed that when breaking into HVS...I'd have felt like a right hero! As it was, I was expecting an E1, and while it's a fantastic route, as the only route I did that day, I felt ripped off.
Al Randall on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: There are a lot of routes at Shornecliff that get E1 that shouldn't, they are more like HVS but then there is a HVS, "Tigers Don't Cry" or something like that which is hard for that grade.

Al
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Iain Peters - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> Wreckers Slab at VS. Superb route but HS tops (it would be S if the protection were a fraction better)

It will be (HS) in the next guide. The grade has always wandered a bit, like the route. Definitely VS on the FA, by a more direct, looser and more vegetated line, then HS in Littlejohn's SW Climbs, and back up to VS in the 1988 guide, when there were much fewer pegs in it, and some very loose holds on the second pitch.

Calder - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You may have started this with tongue in cheek, but it has to be a contender for worst idea for a list yet? I'm as gradist as the next man but this list is just for vain tarts who want to kid themselves about the grade they climb at.

Plus..........

.....the suggestions are either going to be

a) ... well, you've already mentioned the potential for willy waving....
b) Bold slabs - or other route types - that some folk specialise in to just to get big numbers.
c) Comments on classic routes that folk have done when they actually climb 4 grades harder. For example, if I went and did Crackstone Rib now I'd find it pretty damn soft - doesn't mean it is for those climbing at the grade. Question - did you really do Rock Idol as a VS leader? Suspect not....

The outcome is inevitably going to be an unusable and therefore utterly pointless list.
Jonny2vests - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Calder:

You're taking it way too seriously. Now go and hug your mummy.

In reply to Jon Stewart:

Ocean Boulevard at Swanage? Perhaps the softest good E3 in the UK.
Strike at Gogarth. It does for E4 what Strand does for E2.
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Calder:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> You may have started this with tongue in cheek

It's going to be one of the best lists ever. In fact, I will be surprised if it doesn't win an award.
>
> Plus..........
>
> .....the suggestions are either going to be
>
> a) ... well, you've already mentioned the potential for willy waving....

What's wrong with penis penduluming anyway?

> b) Bold slabs - or other route types - that some folk specialise in to just to get big numbers.

Not so far...

> c) Comments on classic routes that folk have done when they actually climb 4 grades harder. For example, if I went and did Crackstone Rib now I'd find it pretty damn soft - doesn't mean it is for those climbing at the grade. Question - did you really do Rock Idol as a VS leader? Suspect not....

No, but I climb E1s all the time, and sometimes they're really hard. Rock Idol however is a route on which the hardest climbing is 5a; it is cruxy, the rest being 4b/c; well protected at all time; and has multiple hands-off rests.

Question: is one of the above points not true? And if they're all true, how does this come out at E1? Some sort of gestalt principle? Or does "but it looks mental!" earn it an E-point?

> The outcome is inevitably going to be an unusable and therefore utterly pointless list.

To be absolutely serious now (and it is after all no laughing matter), the point is not to actually make a list to use for any particular purpose. If there is a point [scratches head] then it's so people can go to a crag and think "I know, I'll get on that route so-and-so mentioned, I wouldn't normally climb E-grades but everyone said it felt like VS [or whatever]". As such, this superb and deeply considered list may in fact result in someone having the best day's climbing of their entire life.

And there I rest my case.


Hat Dude on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Don't think Chequers Buttress has been mentioned yet
Jonny2vests - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Hat Dude:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> Don't think Chequers Buttress has been mentioned yet

Is it soft? Bog standard HVS I reckon.
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:

Low in the grade but too hard for VS IMO. As such, a 'feel good' rather than 'ego' tick.
Calder - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Fair dincum. I guess this thread just took the flak for me seeing a new, seemingly unnecessary (from my point of view), list thread every time I came on here. I guess I'm just pining for the good old days when a Franco thread could provide a whole afternoons entertainment.

Continue.....




PS. Throsher in Wilton 2 is the softest VS in all of Lancashire.
Jonny2vests - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Depends on your ape.
CurlyStevo - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Calder:

Butterknife Garbh Bheinn, South Wall, is stunning and very soft for VS (which it is in the definitive guide)
The Mole - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to jonny2vests: I'm 5' 8" and of average propotions and I have to say CB is one of the easiest routes at that grade I have climbed, maybe even easier than Knight's Move.

However they are both excellent
Jonny2vests - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to The Mole:
> (In reply to jonny2vests) I'm 5' 8" and of average propotions and I have to say CB is one of the easiest routes at that grade I have climbed, maybe even easier than Knight's Move.
>
> However they are both excellent

Yeah, if you're 5'8", fair enough. Speaking personally though, it feels like middle of the road HVS to me because I have to do something you don't.
mark s - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to jonny2vests: as another said wings of unreason is a give away at the grade.
whilst you are there do track of the cat,another overgraded but very good route.
at ramshaw the e4 at the very start,cant remember the name though as not been there for ages.
Jonny2vests - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to mark s:

Traveller in Time? Yeah, that's a good one, really good and proper soft.
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to mark s:

I really want to do Track of the Cat some day. I'm pretty certain I'll never be an e5 climber, but I reckon I might get up that one one day. The route's my sort of thing, it's a really inspiring piece of rock, great line, I bet the climbing's really subtle and cool - and a flattering grade. Sounds brilliant, but I'll do a few scary E4 aretes first.
jacobjlloyd - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:

> Ocean Boulevard at Swanage?

Not that soft, though it is good.
wilkie14c - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to EZ:
> (In reply to jacobjlloyd)
>
> [...]
>
> Wow. There was me thinking that Piece Of Mind was an unprotected horror fest, but apparently there are some bomber cams 600 metres over to the left. Maybe Piece of Mind should be on the best UK traverses list?

That comment didn't get the credit it deserved :-)

<tips hat>
EZ on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to blanchie14c:

*tips hat in return*
shantaram - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: There's a lot of hyper classic routes on Mingulay that are soft touch for the grade, but I think locating the abseil, the remoteness of the climbs and the awesomeness of the situation sort of adds a grade. You wouldn't really want to get in trouble on some of those cliffs.
rustaldo - on 13 Jul 2012
saturn 5 at chudleigh felt very soft E2..
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The Ivanator - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to jacobjlloyd:
> (In reply to jonny2vests)
Ocean Boulevard
> Not that soft, though it is good.

Ah, but Monsieur Deux Gilets eats Swanage overhangs for breakfast! :-)
A great HVS that is steady trucking is Laughing Cavaliers at Shorn Cliff.
The Bad Cough - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: TPS. Well i had too!
EZ on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to The Bad Cough:

Ever likely you've got a bad cough making comments like that!
jacobjlloyd - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to The Ivanator:
> (In reply to jacobjlloyd)
> [...]
> Ocean Boulevard
> [...]
>
> Ah, but Monsieur Deux Gilets eats Swanage overhangs for breakfast! :-)


If Ocean Boulevard felt soft to you jonny2vests, and you're climbing E4, get on Lean Machine. I hear that one is soft too, if you're good on Ruckle steepness.
nastyned - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to The Bad Cough:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) TPS. Well i had too!

I think Sunset Slab at HVS is more of a gift.
Goucho on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to DJonsight: Not sure you'll get many people to agree with you on this one? - including me :-)

Having said that, I remember talking to Dave Roberts at the crag, the day he made what I think was the 4th ascent of RW, and 3rd or 4th ascent of Memory Lane, and he reckoned Memory Lane was harder.

Can't say I'd personally agree with that though.
I like climbing - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Al Randall: Agreed - that was a right old wrestling match especially as it was my first route that day.....
Jonny2vests - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to jacobjlloyd:
> (In reply to The Ivanator)
> [...]
>
>
> If Ocean Boulevard felt soft to you jonny2vests, and you're climbing E4, get on Lean Machine. I hear that one is soft too, if you're good on Ruckle steepness.

Hmmm, votes for hard E5 and even E6! Are you guys trying to sandbag me in the soft touches thread?

I would, but its a bit of a trek since I accidentally moved to another continent. I am being held prisoner by the Yosemite Decimal System, she is an unpredictable task master to say the least.
Mark Warnett - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Can't think of anything at Swanage for this list! Ocean Boulevard probably low in the grade but not soft. Thought the Arrow at Pembroke was v.easy for E1
The Ivanator - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to Mark Warnett: Aventura and Quality Street are both good routes that are genuinely low in HVS at SWanage.
Dave Garnett - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to Mark Warnett:

E3 5b is a special grade and on a thread a while back I think Ocean Boulevard was the single example that anyone could think that wasn't tottering death or horribly insecure unprotected death.

Never having had any endurance I've only ever done the tottering death version but I understand OC gets E3 for the pump potential, so I guess it probably feels easy if you are used to massively steep long sport routes.
Mark Warnett - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett: The reason it ges E3 5b is because its 35m of unrelenting steepness which you v.rarely find on a single trad ptich. Another E3 5b i lead the same day was Soul Sacrifice and its the hardest E3 i've ever done which is solid and lots of pro(i haven't done loads)
JJL - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Dream of White Horses at HVS
Chalkstorm at E4 (I've never done an E3 let alone E4)
Sacre Coeur at E2
Goucho on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to JJL: Chalkstorm is no more than E2.

However I do feel DOWH is solid for HVS.
mark20 - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Anniversary Arete - Stanage, a gritstone route with holds and gear
Pot Black - Stanage Plantation, great moves rocking up those pockets
Lamebrain - Curbar(!), finger crack into classic grit sloper climbing
Safety Net - Roaches, 3 boulder problems, 3 rests, and more than 3 runners
Billingsgate - Millstone, good introduction to the grade on quarried grit
Erb - Millstone, as above

Jon Stewart - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to JJL:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> Dream of White Horses at HVS
> Chalkstorm at E4 (I've never done an E3 let alone E4)
> Sacre Coeur at E2

Me and mate thought Sacre Coeur was hard. Or at least, excruciatingly painful.
Jon Stewart - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to mark20:

I think Safety net is solid E1 - similar to wrong hand route, maybe a bit easier. I agree that Pot Black (supersoft) and Erb are softies, the others I think are about average for grit routes. Guess it depends how you're feeling on the day.
Trangia - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Devil's Slide, Lundy at Severe
mark20 - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:
I thought Safety Net was alright, decent rests and gear and fairly obvious climbing. Wrong Hand Route is a bit more technical and harder to read, actually I fell off it!
That reminds me though, Auricle, Jumping Jack Longland, Dirty Stop Out and Life During Wartime are all good Bamford soft touches.
Jon Stewart - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to mark20: Auricle's a funny one, everyone says it's easy, but I can't bloody do it!
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JJL - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to JJL)
> [...]
>
> Me and mate thought Sacre Coeur was hard. Or at least, excruciatingly painful.

Painful?

It was my first E2. I remember loads of rock 1 and 2 placements and lots of teeny edges for feet. The last 5m or so was a bit bare but I'd got a zipper full below that. Quite sustained but never really mde it out of the 5b bracket...
prog99 on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Calder)
>
> Butterknife Garbh Bheinn, South Wall, is stunning and very soft for VS (which it is in the definitive guide)

Definitely HS.
prog99 on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:
Kiln Dance with Me at Limekilns. Must be a mistake at E1 surely? I can lead it without swearing!
Jimbo C - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to nastyned:
> (In reply to The Bad Cough)
> [...]
>
> I think Sunset Slab at HVS is more of a gift.

Agreed, and it's by no means a poor route for it.

Staying at Froggatt, Tody's Wall is pretty damn soft and a fine route regardless.

jacobjlloyd - on 15 Jul 2012
In reply to JJL:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)

> Chalkstorm at E4 (I've never done an E3 let alone E4)

I seriously doubt that anybody who has genuinely onsighted chalkstorm would say it is soft. Now I'm all for sandbagging in the soft touch thread, but not onto chop routes. That is cold.
jacobjlloyd - on 15 Jul 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to jacobjlloyd)
> [...]
>
> Hmmm, votes for hard E5 and even E6! Are you guys trying to sandbag me in the soft touches thread?

Shame you're not around to try it. Bit contentious, that one. Good holds all the way, great gear, safe as you like, but about as steep as British wall climbs get. I have heard anywhere from F6c to F7a/+, from very competent climbers, all dead set against grade creep.
But its unanimously not soft (although Jordan Buys said it was 'not that pumpy, and really fun', but what does he know) but the guidebook says 'possibly E4 if you have arms like a gorilla'. I would love to meet the guy who inspired that. Still, the guidebook says its soft...
Jonny2vests - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to mark20) Auricle's a funny one, everyone says it's easy, but I can't bloody do it!

The reach is bigger than it used to be, some of the flake snapped off a few years back, but somehow it still retains the 'soft' tag. I can't do it either as there seems to be no short mans option (that I can find) below English 6b. One of grits 'polar' routes, either you can reach the hold, or you can't, and one of the reasons I climb harder on almost any other medium.
Jon Stewart - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> The reach is bigger than it used to be, some of the flake snapped off a few years back, but somehow it still retains the 'soft' tag. I can't do it either as there seems to be no short mans option (that I can find) below English 6b. One of grits 'polar' routes, either you can reach the hold, or you can't, and one of the reasons I climb harder on almost any other medium.

Since I'm not short, I don't really have that excuse/explanation. It's not English 6b for me, but it does feel like stiff 5c, and while I've done it OK on second I've failed to lead it twice. Don't really know why.
Jon Stewart - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to JJL:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]

Sacre Coeur...
>
> Painful?
>
> ...lots of teeny edges for feet.

I found after about 5m of the tiny edges and horrible toe jams my feet were in agony. Since there isn't a single decent foothold to rest on for the entire route, the burn in the calves and feet is like nothing I've ever experienced.

I like Barcud slabs, and slate's OK, but the angle of Culm slabs is such that all your weight goes on the tiny footholds, and it's excruciating after a few moves. This might be related to why Lower Sharpnose feels so soft: those who developed the Culm must have had insanely strong calves and feet, but nowt in their arms. Then they turned up at Sharpnose where you have to pull with your arms, and the juggy wall climbs all felt like E3/4 when actually they're E1/2!
Coel Hellier - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I've failed to lead [Auricle] twice. Don't really know why.

From memory, there's a decent sized pebble to pull on with the right hand, allowing the left to reach the flake. Not easy, but the gear's right there, so still soft E2.
Owen W-G - on 16 Jul 2012
Lancaster Flyby @ Dovestone Tor, softest of the soft touch grit extremes.

VS.
quiffhanger - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to jacobjlloyd:

Lean Machine is maybe soft if you're a Ceuse-honed "lean machine" with a BMI under 20 :) Get Some In @ St Govan's, for example, is pretty similar style, a good bit easier and ain't generally considered soft.

My recommendations for soft-but-good e5:

Track of the cat (but possible groundfall from the top crux @ ~8m)
Fabulous Professor Panic (if you manage to block out the outrageous positions you get into)
Minotaur (if you can handle a few bold 5b moves low down and aren't a midget)
The Jackal (if all the holds stay attached)

-ross
Bart Shaw on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: Great list - my favourite type of climbing! I think Central Pillar on Esk Buttress should make it on the list. Easier than say True Moments/ Freebird (although that is also soft and utterly brilliant!). The Gogarth routes are funny, all undeniably soft in terms of the climbing, but probably not the best idea to push your grade on.

Some of the grit suggestions might make the list in terms of being soft, but certainly don't in terms of quality (Lancaster Flyby? Billingsgate? The latter is also fairly bold I thought). Of the Stanage routes I'd go for Millsoms as the rest all have the possibility of a ankle worrying fall if you do happen to mess it up. I found Kirkus' corner safe but not that easy as I read the moves wrong.

Should Brown's Eliminate and Great Slab go on the list? Easy climbing but I certainly wouldn't want to mess them up. Great Slab with a mat (can of worms?) seemed ok at the time(1st E3) but it's difficult to tell.
Bart Shaw on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Bart Shaw: Oh, and a second vote for Diabeig Pillar. The Bug seemed similar, but maybe slightly harder to read?
Carless - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

What grade is Pembroke's Enter the Goat these days?

It was E3 when I did it!
Jon Stewart - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Carless:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> What grade is Pembroke's Enter the Goat these days?
>
E2 I think. I thought it was about normal for Pembroke E2, fairly easy by national standards, but not a total joke. Would be a joke at E3 though.

Christheclimber - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Carless:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> What grade is Pembroke's Enter the Goat these days?
It was E3 when I did it!

Yep I remember it was easy for E3
Jon Stewart - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Bart Shaw:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) I think Central Pillar on Esk Buttress should make it on the list.

Yep, brilliant route, and very gentle considering the other E2s round there are stuff like Ichabod (OK, but pretty full-on) and Saxon (super-nails!).

> I found Kirkus' corner safe but not that easy as I read the moves wrong.

I'm afraid you going half way to FBD doesn't make Kirkus any less soft.

> Should Brown's Eliminate and Great Slab go on the list?

Brown's certainly. Not so sure about Great Slab. I did it the same day as Archangel, and got more scared on GS. Just more time to think about how silly you're being I guess.

> Great Slab with a mat (can of worms?)

Undoubtably. I can't see what use it would be TBH, a big stack of pads maybe...
Pagan - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Saxon is hardly 'super-nails' - it's a pretty solid Lakes E2 but by no means desperate.

Central Pillar I'd rank alongside the likes of Astra - reasonable/easy for the grade but not properly soft (i.e. you couldn't really get away with giving them E1). The first 5b pitch of CP is fine if you're confident at the grade but if you're feeling a bit wobbly it's quite intimidating and the second 5b pitch is quite goey.

For absurd soft touches the (otherwise excellent) new Pembroke guides are pulling out all the stops - Tactician at E1, Aero at HVS, Lucky Strike at E2, Rock Idol at E1 5b and the list goes on and on...
John_Hat - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to jacobjlloyd:
> (In reply to JJL)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> I seriously doubt that anybody who has genuinely onsighted chalkstorm would say it is soft. Now I'm all for sandbagging in the soft touch thread, but not onto chop routes. That is cold.

Being one of the few who has genuinely on-sighted Chalkstorm I would agree. The crux isn't too bad, but the top section is (very) easily muffable. I came very close to muffing it until a part of my brain which was still functioning (as opposed to gibbering) yelled "Sort Your Bl**dy Feet Out".

'course, if you pre-practice it on a top-rope, you tend to know what not to do in advance. On the other hand, that also means you don't get an E4/E3 tick (depending on which guidebook you read), and also means you shouldn't really comment on the grade.
Goucho on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to jacobjlloyd: Being one of a number of people I know who have onsighted - solo in mine and at least 3 other instances - Chalkstorm (within a year of it's first ascent in EB's I might add) I think it's a decided soft touch at E4, and probably E3 too.
Jon Stewart - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Pagan:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> Saxon is hardly 'super-nails' - it's a pretty solid Lakes E2 but by no means desperate.
>
I found it had a total stopper move to get into the crack, which felt very hard indeed when I finally did it. That weekend I watched a succession of people jibber, fall off and rest on that route; and I think they were all fairly seasoned E2 leaders.

> Central Pillar I'd rank alongside the likes of Astra - reasonable/easy for the grade but not properly soft

Funny, I found them to be opposite ends of the grade. The run-out on Astra is longer than any on CP, and it's sandwiched between 2 really exposed 5c cruxes. Two of my favourite routes though, both exceptional.
Pagan - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Goucho:

As another Chalkstorm onsighter I'd agree - soft E3 is fair. It's easier than San Melas and that's pretty steady at E3!
Pagan - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I don't even remember the move to get into the crack - I remember the crack itself being a little pumpy and requiring some PMA, and I can remember just about every single move on the wall below (because the climbing and situation was so good), just not the moves into the crack itself.

> That weekend I watched a succession of people jibber, fall off and rest on that route; and I think they were all fairly seasoned E2 leaders.

Maybe not as seasoned as all that then!

Re. Astra - I'm pretty sure this used to be E2 5b and it wouldn't have been a total sandbag at that grade (unlike Saxon, which also used to be 5b!); the crux moves are pretty easy 5c and fairly well protected with obvious, easy to place gear. I agree that the run out is quite substantial but it's on relatively easy ground - whereas if you fell off the crux move on the first 5b pitch of CP you'd go a long way, possibly onto the belays if you've climbed it as per the FRCC Scafell guide. No disputing the quality though - Astra especially is one of the very best at the grade (that I've done anyway).
victim of mathematics - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Pagan:

>
> For absurd soft touches the (otherwise excellent) new Pembroke guides are pulling out all the stops - Tactician at E1, Aero at HVS, Lucky Strike at E2, Rock Idol at E1 5b and the list goes on and on...

Oh come on, you might not think Aero was HVS (although you'd be quite wrong), but I don't think you can suggest it as an absurd soft touch. Unlike Toil And Trouble.
victim of mathematics - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Trangia:
>
> Devil's Slide, Lundy at Severe

You think it should be a Diff?

As mentioned already Hairy Mary at Elgol is outrageous at its new grade of HVS 4b. It's a soft VS 4b with loads of gear.
Jonny2vests - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to jacobjlloyd)
> [...]
>
> Being one of the few who has genuinely on-sighted Chalkstorm I would agree.

Do you have a cctv camera set up then?
Offwidth - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:

From my grit perspective (Ive not climbed enough at my limit on other rock types) this sort of thread seems to me to show a lot of climbers who: either dont understand the UK grading system or willfully ignore it by grading way too much on technicality; grade on how it feels to them as oppossed to the average jo; ignore modern guidebook grades (/diiferences). Add to this the reach difficulties you rightly reminded us of, the condition dependance and weirdness of grit and you end up with a bit of a mess. I agree that some bolder routes are soft touches like Brown's Elliminate but routes like Sunset Slab or Billingsgate or Chalkstorm (at E3 in the definitive) are not soft they are just technically easy for the adjectival grade.
Bulls Crack - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

That weekend I watched a succession of people jibber, fall off and rest on that route; and I think they were all fairly seasoned E2 leaders.

Clearly not!
Jon Stewart - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:

OK, I guess what I meant was that the people having a hard time on Saxon had climbed a lot of E2s before, and were expecting something high in the grade. I think it's fairly unlikely that someone who wasn't capable of climbing most E2s would try their luck on Saxon, what with it being big, and having both bold and hard climbing.

Personally, I found it harder than a number of E3s at:

- Peak limestone and grit
- Gogarth
- Pembroke
- Sharpnose
- NW Highlands
- West Penwith

But it was easier than the only E3 I've done (seconded) in the Lake - Cruel Sister.

So maybe, as per the "Graded list of crags", the grades in the Lakes are just harder than those areas above (except the Peak, which is just hugely inconsistent)?
John_Hat - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
> [...]
>
> Do you have a cctv camera set up then?

? Confused.
loundsy - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to jacobjlloyd)
> [...]
>
> Being one of the few who has genuinely on-sighted Chalkstorm I would agree. The crux isn't too bad, but the top section is (very) easily muffable. I came very close to muffing it until a part of my brain which was still functioning (as opposed to gibbering) yelled "Sort Your Bl**dy Feet Out".
>
> 'course, if you pre-practice it on a top-rope, you tend to know what not to do in advance. On the other hand, that also means you don't get an E4/E3 tick (depending on which guidebook you read), and also means you shouldn't really comment on the grade.

If you top rope it you can't claim the E grade if you later lead it? Surely you do it's just not an onsight?

Tim
remus - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [wrt Auricle at Bamford]
>
> The reach is bigger than it used to be, some of the flake snapped off a few years back, but somehow it still retains the 'soft' tag. I can't do it either as there seems to be no short mans option (that I can find) below English 6b. One of grits 'polar' routes, either you can reach the hold, or you can't, and one of the reasons I climb harder on almost any other medium.

Pretty sure there is a 5cish short mans method, I certainly didn't find it overly taxing after id found the right sequence. From memory there's a reasonable crimp somewhere below the flake that's enough to get you established on the 'ear'.
Michael Gordon - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Certainly a lot of stuff at Reiff is soft or easy for the grade. I'd give Moronic Inferno E2 5b and Crann Tara to its left E2 5c - giving either E3 is crazy! If you want a proper E3 try the crack inbetween (Split Personality).

But The Executioner is definitely E2! (sustained and strenuous 5b).
Michael Gordon - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> >
> As mentioned already Hairy Mary at Elgol is outrageous at its new grade of HVS 4b. It's a soft VS 4b with loads of gear.

Is that the new grade?! HVS 4b should be death on a stick! I've never even seen one before. It's definitely VS.

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