/ Advice for first f7c - In England
A simple question here. What are peoples opinion on the cream of the crop of sport routes in England at French 7c? What style are the routes (powerful,bouldery,stamina)?
I haven't done one yet, and I'm looking to do one in the easter season.
I should say, in the UK.
The classic 7cs at Malham and Kilnsey are probably better quality than any other 7cs in the UK and there are certainly more to choose from.
Where are you based? Makes a big difference if you're looking at a multi-day project.
J: I'm based in Abergavenny, S.Wales. I like to be in good shape and do projects fairly rapidly after working them. Multi-day seigeing of a route would be a fairly new experience for me.
But 7c would be a new grade for you, right? So it may not go that smoothly which is fine if it's somewhere local but even 2 or 3 trips to Malham for a particular route adds up and the more time between sessions, the more time wasted re-learning the moves, the more sessions the project takes.
All true. Perhaps then, recommended 7cs in S.Wales?
Almost me is very good. There's some good looking stuff at Dinas too, not tried myself but some nice looking routes to try.
Presumably you can't be a million miles from the slate and the ormes either?
Gunfighter in Cheddar.
The Wrist Business (7c+)
Return of the Gunfighter - Cheddar
Ultimatum - Gower
Any idea on font grades of the cruxes on the powerful routes?
> Short, Powerful:
> Smashed rat
> Almost me
> The Wrist Business (7c+)
My mate was trying Wrist Business briefly a short while back, it gets 7c+ from about 5 moves in the middle of it, with about 3 moves either side. He reckoned, based on trying the moves but not from making major links of them, that somewhere in the low-mid Font 7s was about right. Based on another friends adage that a boulder problem route was generally about 3 grades higher as a French grade than a font grade that wouldn't seem massively far off. I've done sequences which they say are V5/6 or V6 at Cheddar (the crux of Everyday Lives of Ordinary People and of Right Hand Man), which admittedly are more in my style, and I can't do a single one of the hard moves on Wrist Business.
Almost me is power endurance, not really power. From the no hands rest on the ledge there's about 6 steep, long but relatively juggy moves (mainly on sidepulls, the feet aren't as often on jugs), then about 6-7 hard moves to a good hold in a very steep position, then about 4-5 moves to finish off. I'm not confident enough in my ability to grade things like that really, but if they put it up on the Mothership at TCA they'd probably give it about 6B+ or something, plus or minus the usual random grading element. It's just that the moves to get into it drain you, you've either got to make a strenuous mid-crux clip (or skip it if you feel safe to do so; I did), and the outro moves involve quite a hard rockover when you're tired, so the grade of the crux section in isolation doesn't give as complete a measure of the difficulty...
got a few to recommend
Follow the slick red road to Gdansk is good, 9 metres of power endurance climbing to a 6c+ slab to Finnish.
Circus Circus is really good but will seep for the next few months
Valley of the blind good steep with big moves but again will seep for a while
Return of the gun fighter is very good but hard.
7 months later is good but a very hard first move
Mescalito is a bit of climbing to a cruxy section
Brean down is good for the winter
El chocco or bullworker or guilt edge?
Will do Tomar, and I'll report back!
It is even 9? Good call though, not the hardest one out there but some good moves if I remember.
I don't know what it's like low down since the big wobbling undercut just below the second fell out (at least, the last time I walked under it I couldn't see it, which for a hold that size means either it went or my eyes are even more shot than I thought!). But it is excellent above that and as you say will be seeping.
Not that I've tried it, but the comments suggest it goes beyond low in the grade to "downright dubious at the grade" - what do you reckon? It's got a nice position, so I suppose I should check it out some time next year...
AJM: "Vertigo" and I checked that one out last year. It seemed like a sequency boulder problem in the air to me. v6 maybe?
The cream of the crop 7c's are New Dawn, Mark of the Beast and Dominatrix and they are all burly and tough
Body Machine, Arch Enemies and Bad, bad, boy used to be on the list but they are now, or always were, 7c+
Anything at Cheddar graded 7c is going to be 7b+ or 7b so you would just be kidding yourself
Now with certainty like that you're going to have to give examples you've done, or I'll just have to assume you've heard about a few soft touches on the internet and have extrapolated wildly to include the whole crag...
Out of Circus Circus and VotB, which has the harder crux move? I had a play on VotB, and it seemed like a long pump fest to me - PE all the way.
The only one i've done is Skin 'ed at Dinas. Fair, maybe touching on soft for the grade. Quick to dry and a really good route.
The last time I tried VotB I found the reach in the middle, and one move low down, tough, notably more so than the rest of the route, so if you found VotB fairly sustained in difficulty I'm not sure any beta I can give on difficulty relative to Circus, Circus will be useful to you. Circus circus I would describe as power endurance to a shake to a weird holdless-groove crux. VotB I would find a good sustained route if it weren't for those two moves, which I struggle with.
Worth noting though that, on grounds that a hold apparently broke since the last guide, Martin put VotB in the new South West Climbs guide at 7b+. It's a bit of an odd route because people who have done it have often done it quickly, but then there's others who would usually operate round that sort of grade who really struggle with it.
The hold on Circus,Circus has gone but there is still a hold there and it hasn't made a lot of difference to the grade. I have the hold in my van (but it wasn't me who pulled it off)
The Wrist Business is really hard, a ridiculous suggestion for someboddy looking for a first 7C. Might as well suggest One Scream's Enough
Bullworker and Chocco are good suggestions at Brean, particularly for the winter.
Circus, Circus has the harder crux, and is generally harder, and better, but it's still quite pumpy. VotB has been downgraded to 7b+ anyway. Another good route is Human Zoo, which is accepted to be 7c now that all the holds have fallen off.
Come to think of it, I got shut down on that lower move on VotB. It seems hard for 7b+, however, the only 7b+s I have done are in Cheddar.
Gaz, when did the hold break on Human Zoo? I had a play around August 2011, was it since then?
It's not one hold, holds have been coming off the crux of Human Zoo for a long time making it steadily harder. It will be different now to what it was in August 2011, but it was 7c then.
What style of routes do you prefer length/style wise?
Do you want something solid at the grade or something soft?
What are your strengths? Bouldering? Good at crimping? Dynamic? Steep, slabs?
I'd like to do a short <10m, steep, brick hard sport route on crimps. ie more or less an extended font 7b(+).
Also looking for a 10-20m pe fest on slopers/crimps.
Also, looking at the few 7b/+'s you've logged, they are all on the soft side (I mean no disrespect, just stating) and generally pumpy more than bouldery.
I'd go with some of the longer, pumpier recommendations.
Fair, go on ...
Though crimpy roof isn't pumpy in the slightest!
Wow, that's ambitious to do in the same season. I suppose you could do the bouldery stuff straight after a winter of training.
The wrist business certainly fits the short route criteria, probably a 7B boulder problem. Lurking Sear at wintours is similar and about Font 7A+.
Longer stuff is not my style but I managed Circus, circus in a couple of sessions so it must be more bouldery than pumpy.
There's so much to try at the grade in Cheddar just jump on the stuff with 2/3 stars.
> Fair, go on ...
> Though crimpy roof isn't pumpy in the slightest!
Sorry, I didn't look at your boulders as we were discussing routes. If you're capable of hard bouldery moves then climbing routes in both styles is certainly possible. I just find that when I start to get good enough endurance to do 20m+ sport routes, I lose my ability to pull hard on the bouldery ones. Maybe that's just me!
I thought you ment the font 7b+ that I've logged - which is crimpy roof - and also people think 7b now. But you obviously meant french 7b+...
This is based on nothing more than the length and the grade, but Millimetre War is short and 7c and I think crimpy?
Ban y Gor
Almost Me - soft 7c
Drilling Fields - 7c rather than 7c+?
96 Tiers 7b+/7c rather than 7c+ in the guide
Really Big Sur actually 7b / 7b+ rather than 7c in the guide
Chives of Freedom 7c
Outta Time 7c (Chives direct)- Hard Bouldery finish on upper arete
Hyabusa 7c+ - superb and bouldery sections above a shake out
Smashed Rat - good bouldery 7c
I've not done much but
Skull Attack - soft 7c very good wall climbing
Turkey Lurking or Poultry in motion (I thought PiM 7c rather than 7b+ given)
Bitchin - given 7b+ but very tough and great quality
The routes such as ultimatum are said to be very condition dependant, but I'll hold your ropes when and if the dry weather ever returns
Mescallito - difficult to grade - very reach dependant. not a great route
Slick red road - only given 1 star but very good
Return of the Gunfighter - Andy Sharp considered it one of the best routes he has done. - high praise
Valley of the Blind is very pumpy. I think 7c
Bird of paradise is fantastic at 7b, 7b+.
Got to go now, but I'll finish the list later!
Thanks for all the advice. So, as a goal list to go for this summer, heres a little compilation of the routes that inspired me at around about the 7c mark.
Routes for trips away:
Body Machine - 7c - Raven snor.
I've been a bad, bad boy. Pen Trywn. 7c+, but used to be 7c so possibly low in the grade?
Cry of despair - 7c - Cornice cheedale.
Out of my boots - 7c - is there a better short hard bouldery 7c/+ at this crag or in the peak?
Almost Me - 7c. Ban y Gor.
Return of the Gunslinger - 7c. Is this more of a stamina route (ie lots of easish moves?)
Durbin two, watson nill - D.Rock - 7c.
Smashed rat - 7c D.rock.
In its own genre?
Encore, Magnifique - 7b+ but bouldery and fingery.
Really big sur - 7b+/7c. Ban y Gor.
Millimeter war - 7c - cheddar.
Nothing on sandstone at 7c here unfortunatly. Mad at the sun appears to be a sandbag even at 7c+.
Hall of Mirrors (The Cuttings, Portland East Coast ...probably some of the best Winter conditions you'll find in the UK ...sequency crux, but according to my friend feels low in the grade once you've unlocked the moves) http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=14207
Keyboard Wall (Battleship, Portland ...thin and fingery) http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=13413
Screaming Skulls & Tennessee (Coastguard South, Portland ...powerful routes with long moves, tidal approach and less likely to have good Winter conditions) http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=13752 (the UKC Photo of SS is my partner Sean on the route) & http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=13753
There are a number of good routes at/around the grade at Winspit Quarries (Swanage) and this is a pretty reliable winter venue http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=258
The Promenade (Swanage) might also be worth a look http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=252
they say that peak limestone its pretty difficult- reason being is that its harder to find the holds than it is anywhere else.
In the peak the type of the route very from very short and boldery at water cum jolly
to long and stamina-like in raventor and chee dale.
I recommend you check out chee dale-huge variety of climbing plenty of 6's and 7's
Raven tor has the famous Hubble 8c+ there. Grades start at 7a though and work there way to 8c+...
Water cum jolly again all start at 7a...
ps. Sardine 7b+ is one to try!!! 21metre stamina fest at Raven tor, peak district
> Power Endurance.
> Body Machine - 7c - Raven snor
> Out of my boots - 7c - is there a better short hard bouldery 7c/+ at this crag or in the peak?
> Millimeter war - 7c - cheddar.
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