/ Unfrozen routes logged in Database

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Jamie B - on 30 Nov 2012
Recently I've seen some routes logged here which simply will not have been in acceptable condition, based on what I've observed and seen from having been in the area.

We're talking about turf like runny porridge, loose blocks all over the place and no ice where it is normally required.

Some people have made very intelligent route-choices at the same time - rocky routes with little or no turf. But for chrissakes, when will people wake up to the fact that just because it's white and stuff is getting done, it doesn't mean that everything is in?

This poses a major question in my mind about whether the database is a good or reliable feature - it may be actively encouraging the unaware to go and repeat someone else's vandalism.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

You must have made mistakes in your beginning days? Unless there is more information on what routes are good in early season condition and what aren't how can you judge? It's a fat lot of good you knowing that a route wouldn't have been in good nick because you've done it before and know what it's made from. Would you have known before you got on a route and when you only have a guidebook for help that the route would be in condition? (If so care to share how!!)
Jamie B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

I made loads of mistakes, still do. But I didn't have a magic computer list telling me what to climb! And I was prepared to back off things that were obviously not in condition - and did.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

If your point is that someone may look at the winter climbs done and think "that must be in, because someone climbed it yesterday," then discuss it, get it out there otherwise the information will never spread.

I doubt whether Recess Route had frozen turf.
Cuthbert on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

You are right. Many people are now convincing themselves that routes are in condition by using get out clauses such as "early season conditions", "marginal" etc.

The hundreds of blogs, all the same - climb now, climb yesterday, climb tomorrow, climb on the computer etc - are now being feed with a desire to out blog every one and being seen to be climbing for a self-recognition reason.
nw - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
What he said.
Jamie B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

> If your point is that someone may look at the winter climbs done and think "that must be in, because someone climbed it yesterday," then discuss it, get it out there otherwise the information will never spread.

That's pretty much my point. Others will of course interpret it as an attempt at gaining moral high-ground, but that's not my motivation. I'm just querying the usefulness of the database when it doesn't tell the whole story.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Jamie Bankhead)
>
> You are right. Many people are now convincing themselves that routes are in condition by using get out clauses such as "early season conditions", "marginal" etc.
>
That is not his point. His point is that the "What's in Condition," page on UKC which lists every winter route logged by someone on UKC is suggesting to others where they should climb. If the first person made a bad call, then they have just opened the floodgates for others, maybe those with less experience to judge correctly (or don't care as long as they get their buzz,) to go after the same route and it will lose all it's turf.

> The hundreds of blogs, all the same - climb now, climb yesterday, climb tomorrow, climb on the computer etc - are now being feed with a desire to out blog every one and being seen to be climbing for a self-recognition reason.

As regards the "hundreds of blogs," that you mention; what you think motivates people to write them and what actually motivates the individual to write them are two different things.
IainMunro on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

> I doubt whether Recess Route had frozen turf.

Recess Route is effectively a snowed up rock climb. The only turf we pulled on was exiting the last pitch above the crux, it was exposed to the wind and frozen.

Iain
jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

I agree, but regard the database as a good thing so long as it's not misused.
It states that "This Winter Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are."

So either that is changed to say "this is what has been climbed, be aware it may not have been in condition," (fiver says that the ascent of Recess Route claimed on the 7th of June wasn't,) or don't log routes that aren't in good nick (leave it a week or so,) or discuss on here any claims that are though dodgy, so that people can build an understanding of conditions?
jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to munri:

Fine, I didn't expect that. I walked in to do it the week before and walked out because the buttress was black. I then spent this weekend working close to it and assumed the buttresses were again black because they looked the same as they did when I walked in for a look.
fergie on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

Is there a "how to tell if a route is in condition" article on here or anywhere else that I should read?
jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to fergie:

This is good, tells you why and offers suggestions of where to go. http://www.mcofs.org.uk/winter-climbing-guide.asp
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
Playing devils advocate.....
Are the resent logs of this route the thin end of the wedge?
If everyone did it would the route get trashed?
Are rare alpine plants likely getting damaged?

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=38135
James Edwards - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
If you are earning your living from the outdoors then there is a big pressure to blog constantly. Indeed I don't blog at all now and although I did more climbing in more interesting places last season than for several seasons several people I know ask me why I "don't climb anymore". This pressure of face bookisation of people could be a factor in an increase in marginal ascents as people rush to be first to get the scoop and traffic.

It is a perennially recurrent thread, but a more interesting slant this year!
fxceltic on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: indeed, hopefully we can soon have a repeat of that thread a few years ago when those 2 lads got publicly slaughtered for doing some route in the corries that wasnt in nick. That was fun...

It happens every year, route database or not, Im not generally given to fatalism but I cant see this changing too much anytime soon.
Milesy - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> Are rare alpine plants likely getting damaged?
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=38135

It is a mountaineering route. I don't see any more damage being done than just winter walking in the same conditions. It is a ridge. Fair and acceptable game.
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Milesy:
difference is that if the snow is soft and the ground soggy personally I don't wear crampons and smack axes in to the ground, so I disagree no more damage is done.
Milesy - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> I made loads of mistakes, still do. But I didn't have a magic computer list telling me what to climb! And I was prepared to back off things that were obviously not in condition - and did.

This thread from you Jamie should have been in the winter sweepstakes. I said it last year, and the year before - not everyone has the advantage of living on the cusp of all the climbing. Not everyone can afford to drive a long distance to explore quite corries or seek out new routes. I vividly remember a post of yours last season where you claimed the route wasn't in condition and you were back in your house for lunch time or something - if only I could do that.
Milesy - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Milesy)
> difference is that if the snow is soft and the ground soggy personally I don't wear crampons and smack axes in to the ground, so I disagree no more damage is done.

You rarely need to smack axes into the ground on Sron na Lairig. The bits where there are turf don't require your axes, and the bit you require your axes at are snowed up rock and very little turf.
Martin W on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

> So either that is changed to say "this is what has been climbed, be aware it may not have been in condition," (fiver says that the ascent of Recess Route claimed on the 7th of June wasn't,)

There are two entries in the database for Recess Route: one for the summer grade and one for the winter grade. AFAIK this is the case for all such routes ie those with recognised grades for both summer and winter style ascents. Being charitable, I think there's a fair chance that the 7th June ascent of Recess Route was logged against the winter grade entry by mistake.

However, I'd agree that it is misleading for UKC to suggest that a logbook record of a winter ascent "shows what is 'in' nick at the moment" (which is what it currently says on the main Logbooks page). It shows noting of the sort - all it shows is what people have added to their logbooks as having climbed. There's no guarantee that the route was in nick - or indeed that they actually climbed it all! People could be helpful and add comments such as: "superb condition, should stay that way until the forecast thaw next week," or "marginal, needs a sustained freeze to get properly in nick". But then very few people add comments to their logbook entries anyway. And they're hardly going to write something like: "not really in nick, pulled out quite a bit of turf but in our judgement a two-hour drive with axes and crampons in the boot overrides ethical considerations every time."
jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin W:

I agree with pretty much everything you have written. The point about the summer ascent of Recess Route is that another mistake like that would flash up as a winter route on the conditions page, suggesting the route is in.

I agree about the comments, I updated my entry for the route I did yesterday after this thread started. Comments on the condition of the route, especially early season would be great and would be a great way of giving the information out on what routes are good early season and which need a wait. This would also make the information available to those who look for it and stop honey potting when someone claims a route is in great nick (I saw Steall Falls after it was announced that it was in good condition a few years ago.)
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin W:
Well still more damage is done, if this damage is acceptable or not is another matter.

The summer write up of Sron na Larig says it is loose and grassy, so all the bare rock you describe on the climbing sections is somewhat of an over exaggeration.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Did they wear crampons or use axes?
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
This isn't witch hunt by the way, I'm just curious as Jamie seems to condone this whilst there is oblviously a line somewhere here.

I think possibly it should be if you need to wear crampons or use an axe on turf that's not frozen you shouldn't be there.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> This isn't witch hunt by the way, I'm just curious as Jamie seems to condone this whilst there is oblviously a line somewhere here.
>
> I think possibly it should be if you need to wear crampons or use an axe on turf that's not frozen you shouldn't be there.

Can't you just not use the axe and crampons?
Ramblin dave - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
Is there anything that could usefully be added to the crag pages? Eg a "conditions reports" thing, a bit like the user feedback but at the top of the page, with the date, maybe a red / amber / green status, and a comment.

So if you go up, have a look, and go back then you can stick a note on saying "rock routes are iced up but turf not frozen yet" or even if you didn't climb anything...
Milesy - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> The summer write up of Sron na Larig says it is loose and grassy, so all the bare rock you describe on the climbing sections is somewhat of an over exaggeration.

So you haven't actually done it in summer yourself then you mean? Yes it is loose the grassy on the "walking" bits. The climby bits are pretty much just a few small sections of reasonably clean rock.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_OzhJhHnFjAA/S_HFhFRw8hI/AAAAAAAABuI/fkFExPG-AYA/s400/P5160021.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_OzhJhHnFjAA/S_HFhFRw8hI/AAAAAAAABuI/fkFExPG-AYA/s400/P5160021.jpg
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Milesy:
No I've not done it, I was using it as an example and as I said playing devils advocate in any case.

However I don't think it's fair game to do all the mountain ridges in unfrozen turf conditions just because the grade is III or less. Even if you add in to that the main cruxes are rocky, there is still plenty of routes that have slightly less harder sections on turf that really shouldn't be climbed in unfrozen conditions. Its also not unusual to need to plant the axes in turf at the end of a steeper rocky sections, these have been badly eroded on several quality routes out there, especially the starts which are more likely to be unfrozen. NE Butress and Western Rib on Aonach Mor are both seeing damage in these areas.

It seems a bit unfair on the routes and fragile environment. I'm of a different opinion if by far the majority of the route is on rock. Or indeed on rock for the scrambling and between broad flat grassy areas although these will still see damage if crampons are kept on.

IainMunro on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Fine, I didn't expect that. I walked in to do it the week before and walked out because the buttress was black. I then spent this weekend working close to it and assumed the buttresses were again black because they looked the same as they did when I walked in for a look.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=209528

Would have been a struggle in rock shoes ;)

Iain
ads.ukclimbing.com
Jamie B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

My take is fairly simple - if you're pulling hard enough on unfrozen turf to rip it out (unlikely on grade II) you shouldn't be there. If you are walking over it I don't see a lot of damage being done, certainly no more than a crampon-clad winter walk.
Jamie B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Milesy:

That corner is quite awkward, I usually go around it on the right!
Jamie B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to fxceltic:

> hopefully we can soon have a repeat of that thread a few years ago when those 2 lads got publicly slaughtered for doing some route in the corries that wasnt in nick. That was fun...

Which one? There have been so many.. As far as self-regulation goes, I do think that peer-pisstaking is quite a democratic method, as long as it stops short of threats and nastiness. Nobody is committing crimes of evil and malice here, just maybe being a bit misguided?
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
but when walking would you be wearing crampons in unconsolidated snow and unfrozen turf conditions anyway? probably not very often so the damage is a lot more if climbing with them on.

I think on grade II axes can be required for more than balance especially if your feet aren't very stable because they are also in disintegrating turf which they are damaging. Grade III can certainly require axes to be pulled on hard enough to be damaging turf.
Simon Caldwell - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

I'm not sure that the logbooks have all that much to do with it. Just look at all the threads talking about easy gullies in the Lakes.
Probably all the reports of superb conditions from the top climbers - so newbies assume that conditions must be superb on their routes as well.
Gael Force - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: What a load of pish...
drunken monkey - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: Someone elses vandalism is quite often guides/instructors dragging punters up trade routes that are in marginal conditions.
Jamie B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to drunken monkey:

> Someone elses vandalism is quite often guides/instructors dragging punters up trade routes that are in marginal conditions.

I haven't seen much evidence of that. Guides and Instructors tend to have the experience to see that a route is out of conditions, and certainly wouldn't put clients on something that was dangerous and loose.

Cuthbert on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

This one: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=104448

It's so bad that you can only laugh at people thinking that is winter climbing.
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
The thing is they aren't really hurting anyone, it's a rocky route with very little turf on it. OK it's not winter climbing but compare with climbing in light early season hoar frost its probably not much easier and very little more damage is being done. I'm not entirely convinced that climbing some of the grade II's and III's in current conditions is more ethical!
Cuthbert on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Didn't say they were. It just isnt winter climbing in any form. It's scrambling in winter gear and pretending that they are winter climbing. It's a dilliusion fed by use of terms such as "marginal". I was there that day and spoke to them at the top of the route. They said there was verglas on it. Oh dear.
mrchewy - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba: With you all the way there. I took this pic on Wed, on Tryfan, and did think seriously as to whether I would log it as a winter route. The snow was firm and we put crampons on but my axe stayed on my pack. I've logged it.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=209532
Cuthbert on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to mrchewy:

You had snow! There was a flake in Coire an t-Sneachda that day, the crubbliest, most flakiest flake!
mrchewy - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba: Chocolate makes most things better.
Martin W on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Martin W)
> Well still more damage is done, if this damage is acceptable or not is another matter.
>
> The summer write up of Sron na Larig says it is loose and grassy, so all the bare rock you describe on the climbing sections is somewhat of an over exaggeration.

Eh? I assume you intended to reply to someone else - I don't recall saying anything about Sron na Lairig. Though if asked, my recollection of the route in summer is that there are one or two patches of rock that you can climb up if you want to (I did) but they can all be bypassed, as the remainder of my party did.
Erik B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: some folk on here will remember my rants way back when i used to get rabid when conditions reports started appearing along with the 'will x route be in condition next thursday' lunatic fringe posting on here.. it has progressed(forthe worse) beyond all my most cynical comprehension, folk even tweet about their succesful ascent at the top of a feckin route!

is this madness salvagable? guess the database needs a turf conditions tick box, turf good, turf bad and turf totally gash mush.. this enables the recorder to be totally humiliated by a party who climb it the next day if the route was reported to be in good nick.. Turf is the only finite resource in winter climbing, it deserves to be protected!
Andy Moles - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Surely if everyone does their bit and rips out as much turf, heather and club moss as possible, our ridges will become rock routes and the problem goes away?
Cuthbert on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Erik B:

Yes you are right. I am looking forward to the ClimbYesterdayMountaineering (all the good names are taken) blog about early season conditions.
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Andy Moles:
the thing is you're not entirely wrong, from a purely selfish rock climbers perspective there has been quite a lot of summer rock route improvement been going on by winter climbing in the northern corries.
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin W:
Sorry I probably copy and pasted to the wrong reply.
Erik B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Andy Moles)
> the thing is you're not entirely wrong, from a purely selfish rock climbers perspective there has been quite a lot of summer rock route improvement been going on by winter climbing in the northern corries.

man alive, what substances are you abusing yourself with?
Jamie B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

> I agree, but regard the database as a good thing so long as it's not misused.
> It states that "This Winter Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are.".

"What the prospects are" - What a nonsense. How can it tell you what's coming? All it tells you is that on a given day route x got an ascent, in conditions that may or may not be enjoyable/safe/ethical. I'm sure that we'd all love to be able to tell "what the prospects are" at a simple key-stroke, but fortunately to my mind (as I relish adventure and uncertainty) that is not the case.
Andy Moles - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Erik B:

And THEN we can complain about people scratching up rock routes. It's beautiful.
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Erik B:
have you climbed pot of gold in summer?
drunken monkey - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: Also the first ones to try and make a buck or two in marginal conditions.

Not saying this is the majority, just playing devils advocate a wee bit here. Seen some photo's on here from guys that make a living from climbing, that were barely winter nick.
drunken monkey - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Erik B: maybe the bawbags that tool these routes in pish conditions should be made to re-turf the routes in summer.....
Erik B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: do UKC have any legal disclaimers for the winter conditions page? if they dont, they need to get their skates on! cos if they dont,either they or the recorders could be open to litigation..
drunken monkey - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: Most of the Norries is falling apart - Tooling thes routes in winter in pish nick, is just helping them crumble.

Frozen mud/turf/grass/choss is what holds most of sneachda together!
Erik B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: where are you going with this nosense man? some sort of perverted justification for the irreversible damage to turf? once its gone, its gone, no turning back
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to drunken monkey:
The norries was always falling apart mate that's what makes it such a good winter venue.

Which routes have you climbed in summer? There are certainly a good few that were pish summer routes and are now much cleaner due to turf and a bit of loose rock loss. Pretty sure Andy Nesbit mentions it in the Cairngorms guide.
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Erik B:
Are you unable to follow a thread?
Erik B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: clearly. however, only your posts. what IS your point on this thread caller?
drunken monkey - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: They will always get better through traffic in summer. The grit will shift and the route will clean. You can climb a summer route in any nick without ripping out turf.
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to drunken monkey:
I'll check later but I was pretty sure Andy specifically mentions the loss of turf winter climbing as having improved the routes for summer. I've done some of the summer routes in the area and had a look about whilst climbing and you can see a lot of axe/crampon cleaned rock and cracks that were previously turf laden.

I am in no way condoning this, if that wasn't obvious. Personally I don't agree with climbing routes out of condition and try to avoid it but I'm sure we've all done it to some extent or another when most of the route was fine.
drunken monkey - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: You can spot magic crack about 200m away because of the tooling damge.
graeme gatherer - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: I've heard Glen Clova is in great nick folks.

Far too much turf and heather on the ledges and could do with some gardening.
drunken monkey - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to graeme gatherer: haha
Erik B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: of course summer routes are improved! what a strange thread. all your digression into a completely nonsense topic has spoiled the impact of this thread.. shame.
Erik B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to graeme gatherer: from bitter experience its very difficult to strip mushy heather, as ones axes tend to keep bouncing off!
CurlyStevo - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
"This poses a major question in my mind about whether the database is a good or reliable feature - it may be actively encouraging the unaware to go and repeat someone else's vandalism."

I believe the opposite is more likely, people will research the routes done and the comments made and search out the best conditions. Sure if nothing is in acceptable nick then people will still climb out of condition routes, but this is about education not use of the UKC database. Education isn't helped by polarised opinions about acceptable nick that seem to differ between protagonists and special cases for areas with differing ethics (lakes V scotland).

If everyone left comments regarding the conditions it would be a positive thing over just logging ascents.
dek - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to graeme gatherer:
> (In reply to Jamie Bankhead) I've heard Glen Clova is in great nick folks.

Here in Edinburry, the puddles are frozen hard on top of Arthurs Seat for the third day. The mud and ground are firming up very nicely. Clova must be well 'Phat'.
>


3leggeddog on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

Tom with all the numbers came in very close with Dec 2nd.

Well done Tom!

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=521730&v=1#x7034705
AlH - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: There have always been people climbing things in poor nick. Its just with increased participation and online information we are all more aware of it now as its obvious when they record it on the web. Sometimes people's errors are self evident but there is also a trend towards leaping to criticise people first and not giving the the benefit of the doubt (often based on assumptions and one or 2 photos). Yes the Web tells people what others have been up to and the undiscerning wont know what side of the line things fall unless someone raises the topic like you have Jamie. And therein lies the rub. The poor conditions ascents generating discussion like this might actually be a good thing as it educates a few more people about why its bad news to squander our turf by tearing it out.
Before blogs and databases people would phone a friend or ask other climbers in the pub what was happening, or just go and take a chance and sometimes it wouldn't pay off. But now there are more people on the hills in winter than ever and the information is more accessible too so it does mean that those blogging should try to be honest and encourage people to make good decisions.
I started blogging when Mike P, Alan K and Ron W were about the only others doing it. Now mine is just one amongst many. I try to be honest about what I post and my clients seem to enjoy it (both seeing themselves and seeing what I've been up to- I'm a year round blogger) and it still brings me business. If people find them samey... don't read them or stick to those of your friends.
Ginger McGrath - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: completely agree!
Only a hill - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to AlH:
On the subject of blogs, I don't know why people complain about them. I've been blogging since 2003, about climbing since 2008-09, and have found it hugely rewarding. I love reading about the adventures of others in the hills and the blogging/twitter community surrounding climbing is brilliant.

Would people prefer climbing blogs to fall silent? I suspect some people would secretly quite like it if people stopped talking and writing about climbing online, out of a selfish wish to keep the mountains to themselves.
Fergal - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to AlH:

I like reading about other peoples adventures as long as there is more of an interesting slant, the problem with the mainstream/instructor type blogs is the lack of original content, they all spray about routes people have been climbing for decades, so come the first dusting of snow, the usual suspects start blogging about how core they are for making a snowless ascent of fall out corner or what ever and whinging about how a little ice in the cracks, made it awkward, it's winter climbing ffs, please be original, you are right you guys blogging about bumblies on Tower ridge for the millionth time, is fine by me, i just won't read it. Nick Bullocks blog is quite refreshing, but then i guess his escapades are usually a cut above the rest.
Milesy - on 30 Nov 2012
Well the people who are hiring these guides are likely to go on what they see on their blogs and these paying customers probably want to do Tower Ridge. Supply and demand.
AlH - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Quagmire: I read Bullock's blog too for its excellent writing (and Andy K - may he never give up writing and James Roddie's for the pictures and some of my mates to see who has been up to what). But most regular blogs are simply a diary and wont be that interesting. Also the regular Instructor's blogs maybe aren't aimed at you?
I know 2 Instructors who mentioned iced up cracks this year one of whom was me and the ice was exceptional. We couldn't even tell if there were cracks or not. People often forget that Instructors are (usually) keen climbers too. When I watch a mate who is climbing a pitch with a couple of Grades in hand fail to make any progress at all after over an hour because of the amount of ice on the crag I'll probably say so on the blog- normal levels wouldn't get a mention. I reckon Ken was the same. If folk don't want such details they needn't read it. Every now and then (because we are climbers) we'll be out and about somewhere different (I've been on Routes on Shelterstone and Mullach Nan Coirean this year- not quite the Northern Coires) and that might be worth a glance but if its really juicy then you'll probably see it on Simon R's Blog to save you trawling through what is of little interest to you.
I blogged about Ledge Route today but as usual it's not 'spray' (love that term :-) about Ledge Route that some folk will read the blog for. It'll be for any other bits of chat about who else was doing what/pics of the other crags. Useful for those who haven't been following conditions or wanting a picture, especially perhaps those less experienced in anticipating conditions. I know that I and some other bloggers get enough emails expressing thanks for it. For those less interested... don't click.
Fergal - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Only a hill:

I would much rather look at one of youre drawings than another photo of a goon on Hoarmaster, eccentric ramblings are fine, keep blogging, youre partner in crime James Roddie is entertaining to.
Only a hill - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Quagmire:
I appreciate that =) I think we agree, but from different sides of the same coin. I think the phenomenon of the climbing blog is brilliant as a whole, but I agree that something original and entertaining is always going to be better than something you've seen before.
French Erick - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
>
> Some people have made very intelligent route-choices at the same time - rocky routes with little or no turf. But for chrissakes, when will people wake up to the fact that just because it's white and stuff is getting done, it doesn't mean that everything is in?
>


Please leave the Lord out of it... he was born in the middle east and despite being omniscient knows very little about scottish winter climbing etiquette.

I have to admire your attempt Jamie. Last time I tried to say something on a thread a few years back I was condemned to the elitist jail!

Jamie B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to French Erick:

I'm not good enough to be sent to Elitist Gaol, I just got packed off to Bumbly Rehab.
Simon Caldwell - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> If everyone left comments regarding the conditions it would be a positive thing over just logging ascents.

Only if they tell the truth (including to themselves). Many people climb in average to poor conditions and then log it as being in perfect nick. Apart from anything else, if you log an ascent saying "turf completely unfrozen all the way up" there's a high probability it'll be the subject of a thread about vandalism.
French Erick - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
I'll make another thread as to avoid too much hijack.
sphagnum - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> Recently I've seen some routes logged here which simply will not have been in acceptable condition, based on what I've observed and seen from having been in the area.
>
> We're talking about turf like runny porridge, loose blocks all over the place and no ice where it is normally required.
>
> Some people have made very intelligent route-choices at the same time - rocky routes with little or no turf. But for chrissakes, when will people wake up to the fact that just because it's white and stuff is getting done, it doesn't mean that everything is in?
>
> This poses a major question in my mind about whether the database is a good or reliable feature - it may be actively encouraging the unaware to go and repeat someone else's vandalism.

What routes in particular?

I find the routes database quite amusing really.
Neil Adams - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> Recently I've seen some routes logged here which simply will not have been in acceptable condition, based on what I've observed and seen from having been in the area. [...] This poses a major question in my mind about whether the database is a good or reliable feature - it may be actively encouraging the unaware to go and repeat someone else's vandalism.

The logbooks could be a very valuable tool in avoiding other people's mistakes. I've certainly posted comments on routes along the lines of "turf not frozen so backed off" or "thawing a bit", and have been grateful for similar comments from others. Likewise, I've seen comments on (or, more commonly, photos of) routes on here that have inspired me to try stuff I wouldn't have otherwise.
Scott_vzr on 03 Dec 2012
There is another thread about a new route, which is basically climbing with tools on a rock route, dry tooling ?

Where's the line between a mixed route and a rock route ?

Always gonna be controversial, remember the bolts at Udlaidh........
Jamie B - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Scott_vzr:

> There is another thread about a new route, which is basically climbing with tools on a rock route, dry tooling ?

Please tell me you are not talking about Tomahawk Crack? It's not an established rock route and I saw for myself the amount of clearing required - a long way from dry-tooling.

> Always gonna be controversial, remember the bolts at Udlaidh..

Surely that was a different "controversy", one about fixed gear and sport ethics?

neil the weak - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: That all depends on whether you think climbing a rock route (as in a route made (almost)purely of rock) stops being drytooling just becasue you have to clear some snow off it to find the placements or not. I don't think he was suggesting it wasn't in condition.

It could be (semi reasonably) defined that dry tooling is the climbing of pure rock with tools (no ice, no vegetation used for upward progress). Taken that way, a lot of harder "winter" routes, scottish or otherwise could be seen as such. Doesn't seem much point in denying that.
CurlyStevo - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
>
> [...]
>
> Only if they tell the truth (including to themselves). Many people climb in average to poor conditions and then log it as being in perfect nick. Apart from anything else, if you log an ascent saying "turf completely unfrozen all the way up" there's a high probability it'll be the subject of a thread about vandalism.

Actually I think that is a fair point, especially on easier climbs. I've actually been caught out on this one myself before reading a report of a gully being in good nick when it clearly wasn't (with minimal time and no thaw between the report and me checking it out)
Michael Gordon - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to neil the weak:

'Dry tooling' would suggest that the rock is dry. If it's covered in snow then by definition it's not drytooling.
jonnie3430 - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

Breaking UKC email confidentiality; they aren't interested in changing the conditions page with any of the suggestions.

Rampikino - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Jamie Bankhead)
>
> Breaking UKC email confidentiality; they aren't interested in changing the conditions page with any of the suggestions.

UKC Aint a democracy.
Scott_vzr on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Ok - so clearing a rock of most of the snow and placing your tools on dry rock eg not ice, turf or snow is what type of climbing ?
Scott_vzr on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: So clearing snow off rock is NOT dry tooling ? I'm confused.......
Michael Gordon - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Scott_vzr:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon)
>
> Ok - so clearing a rock of most of the snow and placing your tools on dry rock eg not ice, turf or snow is what type of climbing ?

Winter climbing? If it's in condition (should be below freezing for a start) the rock is rarely 'dry' under the snow.

It's like glaciers. A wet glacier has snow on it; a dry glacier doesn't. What stops the glacier/rock being dry is the wetness (snow) covering it.
Michael Gordon - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Scott_vzr:
> (In reply to Jamie Bankhead) So clearing snow off rock is NOT dry tooling ? I'm confused.......

Dry tooling would be is there wasn't any snow in the first place.
Scott_vzr on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Michael Gordon: So a browse of recent blog posts that show dry rock/brushed off rock - is what type of climbing ?
Michael Gordon - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Scott_vzr:

If you mean Greg Boswell's route then what about calling it Scottish winter climbing?
Scott_vzr on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Michael Gordon: No just thinking about any route that is not snow,ice or turf. Lets not kid ourselves that hooking or using rock for the majority of holds and moves is winter climbing. Not trying to demean efforts or not against any type of climbing just trying to clarify what really is Winter Climbing.
jonnie3430 - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Scott_vzr:

But if you can't use the hold because of snow on it, yet it can be hooked, where does that leave you? Maybe with something that is easier to climb with axe and crampons? So to avoid the masses turning up on some routes that have lots of pick sized cracks, winter conditions need to be present. What are they? Must look white (no talcum powder or dandruff for a start.)
Michael Gordon - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Scott_vzr:

Why shouldn't it be winter climbing? It's done in the winter, in freezing temperatures, with winter gear.
Scott_vzr on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Michael Gordon: So the poster asking about 'Aberdeen sea cliffs for dry tooling' if he climbs just now 1_ freezing, 2_ it's winter and he will use ice axes and crampons 3_winter gear ????
Michael Gordon - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Scott_vzr:

Now you're just being silly!

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