/ Idwal Slabs - Ordinary Route

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JimboWizbo - on 06 Dec 2012
Just getting distracted at work.

We climbed this route a month or so ago, we found pitch 2 to be completely nails, granted we were climbing in B3s in rain/hail with packs on, it was still a bit epic for a diff.

For this pitch I climbed up and right out of the stance and over the tricky bit (lots of quartz) to much easier ground, maybe in rock boots in the dry it could feel closer to VD/HVD, the guide "Move over left to gain and follow the rightward-trending scoop" seems to suggest that you don't climb up and right straight away.

Was I off route? Or just having a wobble?
crossdressingrodney - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:

You climb about the same grades as me and I'd expect a polished VD/HVD to feel pretty hard in rain and sleet.
richprideaux - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:

Sounds like you were off route. I made that error the first time I climbed it (B3s!) and know what you mean about the sudden increase in grade...
JimboWizbo - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to crossdressingrodney:
> (In reply to JimboWizbo)
>
> You climb about the same grades as me and I'd expect a polished VD/HVD to feel pretty hard in rain and sleet.

Trouble is, it's graded at Diff!
GrahamD - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to crossdressingrodney:

Me too - a polished slab in big boots in November in the sleet will be "nails"
JimboWizbo - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to shingsowa:
> (In reply to JimboWizbo)
>
> Sounds like you were off route. I made that error the first time I climbed it (B3s!) and know what you mean about the sudden increase in grade...

It seemed like the obvious line to take, although we were pretty much just following the group ahead of us (a uni group with two leaders who seemed pretty competent)
GrahamD - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:

Its graded Diff assuming good conditions. Different climbs get harder by different amounts in bad conditions. If its any consolation I had to get rope assistance on Bowfell Butress in similar conditions last month and its "only Vdiff".
trish1968 - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo: That sounds like the right route. I've done it both in rock shoes and boots. It's a lot easier in rock shoes very delicate it boots.
JimboWizbo - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD: Looks like a nice route to do when the weather improves, we've been meaning to get some climbing done in the lakes, think I'll go with rock boots this time round based on your story
afshapes - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo: its the trench
Monk - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:

I've only done Ordinary route in big boots in the wet (as a waterfall), but I do remember there being a section that was fairly spicy for the grade once you left the major crack system. I think that Idwal routes, although frequently climbed in the wet, do take on a different character in poor conditions. I've backed off Faith before in the wet because wet, polished, slopey pockets in big boots felt incredibly insecure, but it was easy in dryer conditions in rock shoes.
GrahamD - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:

It is a really good route and I suspect the crux is actually 4a ish even in the dry. Have to admit I was nearly in tears on it from the cold the other week !
JimboWizbo - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VUl9C1IF9Ms/TmFIVJWkzQI/AAAAAAAAAbI/M-Lf2cTd494/s1600/DSCF2528.JPG

There are two obvious big cracks leading off from the end of pitch 1, I took the right hand one which was tricky but great, perhaps the left hand was easier (looks like you can climb left toward the vegetation and then up).

JimboWizbo - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD: I know that feeling, hands in the armpits to warm up is my usual response
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
I once soloed it in big boots (in the dry), and I'd never dream of soloing 4a on anything higher than a gritsone outcrop. I remember one short tenuous section, above a small ledge, but even that felt fair at Diff.

JimboWizbo - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Toreador: I think the 4a comment was regarding Bowfell in the Lakes
mkean - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:
I did it in b3s a couple of years ago and found it a bit tricky, although that could have something to do with the ice.

A nut key is not a good substitute for an ice axe ;-)
staceyjg - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to mkean:
> (In reply to JimboWizbo)
> I did it in b3s a couple of years ago and found it a bit tricky, although that could have something to do with the ice.
>
> A nut key is not a good substitute for an ice axe ;-)

A good reason to carry 2 nut keys! :-)
JimboWizbo - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to staceyjg: Three, don't forget your passive protection

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=209709
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:
ah, I think you're right.

That was Diff when I did it as well, though 20 years ago so probably shinier and harder by now :-)
ads.ukclimbing.com
GrahamD - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:
> I think the 4a comment was regarding Bowfell in the Lakes

Indeed it was.
Trangia - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:

It's barely a scramble in the dry, but in rain it becomes a waterfall!!

I had my only ever totally unexpected solo fall on that route. I was in big boots and confidently clambering up. The next second my feet just slid off (no warning!) and I finished up in heap (a wet heap) on on a ledge 5m below.

We used to down climb it solo as a descent route in the 1960s if we couldn't be arsed to scramble on up to the normal descent route.
Ian Black - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo: Did it a few years ago with boots and pack in the wet and don't remember it being too difficult. Bowfell buttress in the rain with pack on and a pair of Lowa plastics, epic!!!
Sean Kelly - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo: A number of classic routes spring to mind as being really interesting & exciting when it is cold and wet. The trashed pitch on Bowfell Buttress, Yelow slab in First Pinnacle Rib, top pitch of Flying Buttress, both the top traversing pitch on One Step... and 2nd pitch of Crackstone Rib when it's very windy. All the above from personal experience. An endless list really. However I have always thought of the Ordinary Route as dooable in most conditions, having even soloed this when it was draped in ice. If anything the steep pitch above pitch 2 where you have to traverse back right could prove tricky, and gaining the Traverse Ledge which can hold a lot of verglas/ice. All part of the fun of trad!
JimboWizbo - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly: I think doable is a fair summary. I didn't fall, don't think I pulled on gear. Wouldn't like to solo it unless I had my rock shoes though!
In reply to JimboWizbo:

You climbed it in rain/hail, in big boots and carrying a rucksack....... and found it hard for the grade - amazing!

I remember doing Avalanche/Red Wall on Lliwedd in similar conditions and it 'felt' E3 (really) though it was just a wet, greasy, badly protected Severe climbed in poor conditions.


Chris
JimboWizbo - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs: You always expect things to feel harder, it's more of a question of our route following ability. If we were off route on a harder section of rock then that's a failure on my part and could potentially really bollocks things up when we're in the alps!

The main thing I learned that day was that abseiling on a wet/muddy rope effectively wrings the entire thing out onto your lap, nice.
angry pirate - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:
I climbed it in the pouring rain in big boots and mitts way back when and I remember it being a romp except for one spicy move. The descent on the other hand...
Ian Black - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to JimboWizbo)
>
> You climbed it in rain/hail, in big boots and carrying a rucksack....... and found it hard for the grade - amazing!
>
> I remember doing Avalanche/Red Wall on Lliwedd in similar conditions and it 'felt' E3 (really) though it was just a wet, greasy, badly protected Severe climbed in poor conditions.






I did Avalanche, red wall, an longlands in dry conditions with boots and a pack, and it felt quite tasty. Great day though topping out and walking over Snowdon...

Ian.

mick.h on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:

I reckon you were off route. I did this one years ago, in crap weather and very hungover.........it was definitely not nails. And I am not a good climber.
woody5 - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo: A uni group with two leaders who seemed competent,sounds like a contradiction in terms ,if you are going tp blindly follow the group ahead you are going to get in trouble . I just fail to see how you can go off route ,you just follow a great big groove in the slab.
mattsccm - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:
Excellent.
Just the way it should be climbed. Well done!Never ever go back with more technical gear, it just won't be the same.
In the nicest possible way your surprise may well have been based on the modern trend of starting climbing on plastic with ballet shoes and then experimenting with big boots. Hence the surprise. Not criticising just pondering on the changes out there.
jcw on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo: Of course it's Diff. Always has been and always will be. The trouble is that for some reason people think Diff means easy and V.Diff Mod. try Heather Wall above
Bulls Crack - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:

Hope, in the rain, is interesting.

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