/ parthian shot

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mudcow79 on 02 Jan 2013
I've been sifting through some old threads relating to the loss of the flake on parthian shot recently. This seems to have been discussed a lot elsewhere but thought i'd start a new thread instead of being ignored in a past one (plus it may re-highlight the subject).

First of all, i was shocked with regards talk of re-installing the flake on the route. I'm sure this would never come to fruition and should never have been considered in the first place, but in this day and age it wouldn't surprise me. Any news updates here? plus how do others feel about this?
Personally i'd prefer it was remembered for what it was, re-climbed and re-graded... The bonatti pillar still bears the same name after all.

I was also shocked and dismayed to discover that SG had subjected the flake to a drop test prior to his hard grit ascents. This may have been common knowledge, but it's a new one on me. I must say what a shrewd and cowardly act this was.
Due to all the hype surrounding that film and the way your ascent of parthian shot was portrayed, you won a lot of respect/credit for stepping into the unknown and facing that route in as pure a style as was vogue at the time. But with hindsight and the drop test revolation mentioned above it all just seems like a bloody publicity stunt now.
I'm a yorkshire dales resident myself, and have always believed in and stuck up for JD, but there have been times when the views of others have tainted my beliefs in him. Let's just say Mr D, you are vindicated of all the bullshit controversy you've ever had to endure, as far as i'm concerned.
The validity of parthian shot's 2nd ascent should be the thing in contention.
Please excuse me for bringing this subject back to the fore, it's not my intention to upset anyone or start an ethical pissing match, just dissapointed, that's all.
WJV0912 on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

"it all just seems like a bloody publicity stunt now."

Sponsored climbers & film makers pulling publicity stunts?

Surely not!

I think you're getting a bit to deep mate, chill your beans!
IOAN D - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79: what ascent of parthian shot were you then? and of course you are going to upset someone and start some kind of reaction to this. thats the whole reason you wrote this isnt it?........ or you could have left it drift over your head? same with me i guess. Anyway shit happens, flake blows off, happens all the time. Just happened to be on a pretty famous route and on a crag were there is a lot of routes and people crammed into one place. And dont go slating people off on here buddy, has happened in the past and life is to short to get in a huff about a piece of rock and who touched it first. Show your concern like this towards brain surgeons and cancer curers and i rekon it would go further.

take it easy

Ioan Doyle
deepsoup - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:
> I've been sifting through some old threads relating to the loss of the flake on parthian shot recently.

Did you read this article too?
http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3828

It's all in there I think.
Doesn't seem to me like a good idea to stick the flake back on, but I'm just a bumbly so what would I know? ;O)
mudcow79 on 02 Jan 2013
Just interested to hear how other people feel about it, that's all.
Please feel free to remove the thread, if it's going to be that big an issue.
The future of the route is what's most important to me right now, not the past.
shark - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:
> > I was also shocked and dismayed to discover that SG had subjected the flake to a drop test prior to his hard grit ascents. This may have been common knowledge, but it's a new one on me. I must say what a shrewd and cowardly act this was.


How about setting a good example of courage by posting under your real name
jon on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

> I must say what a shrewd and cowardly act this was.

Why for god's sake?

James S - on 02 Jan 2013

> I was also shocked and dismayed to discover that SG had subjected the flake to a drop test prior to his hard grit ascents. This may have been common knowledge, but it's a new one on me. I must say what a shrewd and cowardly act this was.


just because it wasn't done in the absolute best style? in which case as far as your concerned is it really as black and white as if it isnt done ground up then it is pure cowardice? can there be no middle ground?

think you're being overly harsh here.

Jamie B - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to jon:

Does the OP think it is more responsible to destroy the flake with a falling body than a bag of rocks? Imagine if Seb's drop test HAD broken the flake, the subsequent mythology would have been very different!

I do wonder how/why the flake took quite so many lobs before it failed. Did not one of the neck-risking suitors not see the possibility? Or did someone notably heavier spend time on it? Or was the use of a cam rather than a nut responsible? (I'm sure this has been suggested before)
In reply to mudcow79:

> I was also shocked and dismayed to discover that SG had subjected the flake to a drop test prior to his hard grit ascents.

Where have you been for the last 15 years? You didn't try the third ascent a week later, fall off, go into a coma and only just wake up now did you? Besides anything else, isn't the drop test in video?!? This is really one of the odder UKC posts...
shaggypops - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to TobyA: I was convinced I'd seen the drop test done on video too........but didn't want to say in case I'd dreamt it
Jamie B - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to TobyA:

In fairness, drop-testing the flake could be seen as a bit short-sighted. Unless the weights were much lighter and the aim was to establish ground clearance?
nai - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to shaggypops:
> (In reply to TobyA) I was convinced I'd seen the drop test done on video too........but didn't want to say in case I'd dreamt it

Don't think it was on Hard Grit, it was on Equlibrium though

Pretty standard practice back-in-the-day I thought.
Bulls Crack - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

'Shocked', 'dismayed', 'this day and age'

Do you read the Daily Mail perchance? ;-)
Peter Walker on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79: I distinctly remember Grieve quoted at the time of the ascent as saying his drop test was with an EMPTY rucksack...he was just checking the clearance on the fall, and didn't want to ruin the flake.

Bear in mind that on his Big Issue video John Dunne is seen using a weighted rucksack to test the gear on what became Carmen Picasso at Gorple.
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

> In fairness, drop-testing the flake could be seen as a bit short-sighted.

Perhaps but I don't think that some sort of test were done should be a surprise for anyone who read the climbing media of that period. I'd never even been to Burbage but back then but had at least read about it, and like others were saying if it's not in Hard Grit I think I had seen someone else doing similar in another video.
Kid Spatula - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

Have I gone to sleep and woken up in 1995? How come the internet is working well? I'm confused!
mudcow79 on 03 Jan 2013
For those of you who've responded in a negative fashion to my above thread i do apologise. My opinion relating to the hard grit ascent was a fleeting emotional response to learning about the drop test thing, and i must say, i was surprised that's all. I was hoping someone would dismiss the rumour as not true or something.
I watched hard grit for the first time, within a year of it being released, so my reaction is hardly based on a contempory viewing of the film. Plus i'm not in any way shape or form questioning the techniques climbers use regarding the ascent('s) of any given route. I was only responding to this isolated case.
Anyway without dragging this thread on for any longer or mentioning too much more (i will ask that it is removed in the next 24hrs), all i will say is, after all the toprope practice that was probably undertaken to 'wire' parthian shot, then the pre-placed gear, was it really ethical or respectful towards the very essence of the route or the first ascentionist (and his approach) to drop test the flake, if in fact the flakes integrity was being tested and not the fall line. Plus was it really necessary to take the fall and thus subject the flake to that sort of abuse in the first place?????. Anyway enough said, Hard Grit is f*cking brilliant regardless!.... Thers's nothing wrong btw with discussing the past and clearing the air. Some folk seem immune to gossip and others seem to garner it regardless. cheers
Gus - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

What a strange thread, even if it wasn't over 15 years out of date!

Drop testing the flake with a rucksack with a couple of ropes in is a long way away from drop testing it with a 13 stone man.

And I think it's probably harder than you think to get F8a+ climbing on grit "wired!"
Jamie B - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

> was it really necessary to take the fall and thus subject the flake to that sort of abuse in the first place?

I'm sure Seb would have preferred not to! It was subsequent suitors who got on the line fully expecting to test it.

It does still intrigue me that a gear placement thought to be bomber eventually failed. Anyone got any theories on how this happened?
Peter Walker on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79: Grieve didn't exactly have PS 'wired', did he? He just got himself to a position where he was prepared to risk taking the fall.

He never got his toprope percentage beyond 50% apparently. By comparison, before he did Meshuga he toproped that cleanly eight (I think) times in a row.
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

> It does still intrigue me that a gear placement thought to be bomber eventually failed.

I don't think anyone originally thought it was anything close to bomber. Didn't Grieve rip some of his placements in the original fall? Anyway - rock moves and changes, 15 years of rain, frost, snow, and of course various Brits and North Americans taking flight on to it!
Jamie B - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Can't remember who advanced the cam theory, but sure I remember it being suggested. Anyone?
Tony Simpson - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

Having read all the thread I have to say MC79 it did come across a bit strong, and as a slating of Seb.

Now I have to agree with you about John, I did climb a bit with John when I was younger and have a run in with him as well (but I am sure that is water under the bridge and we are both friends) he is a sound bloke a great climber and was a good teacher as well (JD if your reading this thanks a lot you taught me loads about climbing). I would have to say John was a very good climber but more so a very clever person as well, he got a lot of press coverage at the time both good and bad, but press coverage is press coverage and he was always at the forefront of climbing back in his day.

Anyway what concerns me more than the above and I know others have commented on this, is the fact that you have wrote this under a username that I and most other folks will not know who the hell you are. If you are going to make statements like the ones one did about someone you may or may not know, it is best to do this with your real name not hide away in the land of madcow.

EeeByGum - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79: Why don't you reclimb it (onsight of course) and show us how a manful ascent of a super-hard route should be done?
mudcow79 on 03 Jan 2013
Hey my user name is not an attempt to hide away btw, if that's how it comes across. And i am not slating Mr G at all, even though i guess that is how it comes across. Initially i was pretty upset to hear that the flake was possibly drop tested on that's all, the reasons sound justifiable. But it's how it was depicted in hard grit that made me react the way i did... apologies to all
Jamie B - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

I'd urge you not to delete the thread. There has been some useful discussion here and I'm hopeful that there will be more to come.
shark - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:
> Hey my user name is not an attempt to hide away btw, if that's how it comes across. And i am not slating Mr G at all, even though i guess that is how it comes across.


How can you say you are not slating Seb off when you called him cowardly. Also you also still haven't revealed yourself.

Mudcow? you are certainly full of shit.
mudcow79 on 03 Jan 2013
I referred to the act of drop testing the flake as cowardly, not necessarily meaning that seb was a coward, which for the record i don't believe is the case for a second. In the other hand i referred to the act as shrewd because of the film (hard grit) and the possibility of the fall being contrived, which again i am only speculating about. My motives for starting this thread have little or no relevance to me attempting to ascertain whether i am or am not full of shit. If i thought i knew all the facts i wouldn't have posted in the first place.
shark - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:
> I referred to the act of drop testing the flake as cowardly, not necessarily meaning that seb was a coward,


Call me hard of thinking but I fail to see the distinction
ads.ukclimbing.com
mudcow79 on 03 Jan 2013
Lets not forget that putting prejudice aside we are all welcome to our own opinions about things, that's a given. I must add that i am my own greatest critic and if i'd have done this i would have viewed myself or the act as erring on the side of cowardice and hence my referral to the act as being cowardly but not definitely cowardly as i made it sound, which was my mistake.
Gus - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:
wtf are you talking about??
jon on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:
> Initially i was pretty upset to hear that the flake was possibly drop tested

But why were you upset? What effect could it have on you to make you so upset?
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
>
> It does still intrigue me that a gear placement thought to be bomber eventually failed. Anyone got any theories on how this happened?

It was described at the time as 'a ship-wreck of a flake' - how does that = bomber?


Chris
Jamie B - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:

It clearly didn't! But I'm pretty sure that nobody would have tried it ground-up if they hadn't been pretty damn confident about it.
Bulls Crack - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
>
> It clearly didn't! But I'm pretty sure that nobody would have tried it ground-up if they hadn't been pretty damn confident about it.

you may be wrong there!
peteJ23 - on 03 Jan 2013
Almost every climb in the UK (barring some grim mudslides) are changed every day by the passing of countless boots.

Parthian Shot is no different. (just less frequent boots)

Grades go up and down with the effect of accelerated erosion.

I just love it when people get all upset because its an iconic route

its just a piece of rock like all the rest

X factor for top climbers on special routes next.......................

Get over it... there is climbing to be done

paul mitchell - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79: Other gear is available,apart from the expanding flake.Ab it and look,if you are thinking of doing it.

Mitch
jon on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:

Expanded Paul, not expanding.
mudcow79 on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to jon: The use of upset was mean't more in a metaphorical sense to indicate my dissapointment as opposed to an actual physical/emotional reaction.
Albeit.....
I do wonder (hypothetically) what would have been the reaction and ensuing controversy had the aforementioned first ascentionist of parthian shot not having got the first ascent but! bagged the 2nd ascent using some of the tactics mentioned above, namely the pre-placed gear and the possible flake integrity test.....
Kid Spatula - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

Who cares?
Robert Durran - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:
> Plus was it really necessary to take the fall and thus subject the flake to that sort of abuse in the first place.

Eh? I imagine he was trying quite hard not to fall off.
Mick Ward - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

> I must add that i am my own greatest critic and if i'd have done this i would have viewed myself or the act as erring on the side of cowardice and hence my referral to the act as being cowardly but not definitely cowardly as i made it sound, which was my mistake.

Am not quite sure what you mean here and not having a go at you. But (as must be clear to anyone who's seen 'Hard Grit'), cowardly was the very last thing Seb was. What perhaps doesn't come across from the film was just how hard he worked at his climbing. I saw him at a lot of sport crags and he was there practically from dawn to dusk, giving it his all, long after stronger folk had gone home. He didn't just wander out one day and think, "Oh, I fancy an E9..."

Seb had ambitions and he achieved them. He was massively determined. A lesson for all of us.

Mick



In reply to mudcow79:
>
>
> First of all, i was shocked with regards talk of re-installing the flake on the route. I'm sure this would never come to fruition and should never have been considered in the first place, but in this day and age it wouldn't surprise me. Any news updates here? plus how do others feel about this?


Why are you so against the route being repaired? Assuming someone is up to the job and the bits can be found AND the result would be long-lasting, I would have thought it a far better option than the route languishing in battered obscurity.


Chris
shark - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to mudcow79)
> [...]
>
> Why are you so against the route being repaired? Assuming someone is up to the job and the bits can be found AND the result would be long-lasting, I would have thought it a far better option than the route languishing in battered obscurity.
>
>
> Chris


Wow. Sense at last.

The bigger issue with the flake breaking is that the move is n times harder. If reclimbed in the current condition it will be a substantially diffrent climb which for an iconic route would be a huge shame for aspirants. A great example of a repair job on an iconic testpiece (and of someone who gave a shit) is Kristian who replaced the large low block which broke on Mecca. A positive act of thoughtful graft at the crag as opposed to spouting ill thought out half baked bollocks on the web that makes no distinction between the mores of then and now.
Tony Simpson - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

The above two post are a couple of the best posts on here.

I for one would vote yes if a possible repair could take place.

jon on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

> And i am not slating Mr G at all, even though i guess that is how it comes across.

> not necessarily meaning that seb was a coward

> erring on the side of cowardice and hence my referral to the act as being cowardly but not definitely cowardly as i made it sound

> The use of upset was mean't more in a metaphorical sense to indicate my dissapointment as opposed to an actual physical/emotional reaction.

So, let's get this right. You didn't actually mean anything that you've written. You seem to have back tracked on most things. What did you mean?
mudcow79 on 04 Jan 2013
Behind most gossip there is a foundation and although i did regret starting this thread and did try to get it removed, mainly because i have massive respect for SG and hadn't intended in causing offence but got carried away in my attempts to prove a point. The point being, my original motives being..... How easy it is to spread unfounded gossip about people through hearsay.

also
I must add that i do not agree with repairing parthian shot, the damage has been done! it should be left, reclimbed and regraded. We are trad climbers after all not .........
john arran - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:
> Behind most gossip there is a foundation ...

There's been lots of gossip about JD over the years ;-)
Offwidth - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

"Behind most gossip there is a foundation" yep, low level meaness. While we are on this subject, I notice you still haven't given any link to your name (most of us using aliases on here can be easily identified by other climbers).

I'd support those above viewing repair is a longstanding reasonable solution in climbing, especially on classics when key holds break. I'd only be swayed if most people likely to be able to climb it thought otherwise.

As a trad guidebook worker I don't really understand what you mean by "it should be left, reclimbed and regraded. We are trad climbers after all not". If you mean trad climbers would mostly prefer to leave broken routes as they, even if they are reparable, I can assure you you are plain wrong.

Adam Long - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to shark:

The big difference with Mecca being bombproof artificial protection nearby.

Do you really think it would be possible to restore the Parthian flake so that the expanding wire placements were close to their original state? And if so, would you or Kris be the person to craft a dodgy wire placement? Or would the 'sensible' option be to create something bomber?

Restoring the hold is a nice idea but the reality is not so simple.
Jamie B - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Adam Long:

Climbs at all grades evolve like this, be it from weather or human abuse. Rather than try to reverse nature, why not celebrate the rich history of the "old" route and look forward to the new (massively difficult) challenge that lies ahead...
Adam Long - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

I agree completely. And I'm fairly sure a repair attempt would end up being a bolt.
Hephaestus - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Adam Long:
> (In reply to Jamie Bankhead)
>
> I agree completely. And I'm fairly sure a repair attempt would end up being a bolt.

How does the strength of sika (or alternative) compare to that of the original rock? Anyone who glued the flake back on would have to be pretty confident that it would withstand the force of a substantial fall given that protection would probably be placed behind it again.

I know the flake fell off (obviously) but that was in it's natural state. It could leave someone with a very bad conscience if they fixed it and a further fall resulted in a serious injury.
Hephaestus - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Hephaestus: Apols, meant to include the question - do you mean the repair would have to include a bolt to secure the flake back onto the main face, or that the protection behind it would be the equivalent of a bolt once completed?
Jamie B - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Hephaestus:

Don't think it's ever going to be the equivalent of a bolt! I read it as using a bold to secure the flake.

Don't know what that would look like aesthetically, but it seems like an almost impossible brief to restore what was, namely a protection point that is probably OK but which might fail. And who would want that failure on their conscience? Niall Grimes writing about Seb's efforts acknowledges that a fall could be fatal.

So are there any placement possibilities in what is left of the flake, and would the moves past it now constitute the crux?
MikeTS - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Adam Long:
> (In reply to shark)
>

> Restoring the hold is a nice idea but the reality is not so simple.

Restore it. Then get Seb to fall off at the crux a few times to fine tune whether it holds or not.
Fraser on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to anyone:

I must re-watch the original HG video at some point, but can anyone say how thick the flake is/was?

Assuming the flake is still there on the deck, it would be relatively straight forward to reattach in theory - similar actions are done on buildings all the time. I've been involved on several projects where this type of remedial work has been required. On natural rock though, it would be slightly harder to achieve an acceptable organic appearance than if working with dressed stone.
Jamie B - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser:

> Assuming the flake is still there on the deck...

I believe it is on a certain Sheffield mantlepiece.
Dave 88 - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser:

The flake is in a pub in Sheffield isn't it?
Fraser on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Dave 88 & Jamie:

Ah right, but still in one piece (-ish) presumably?
GrahamD - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

The original state of the route when it was first led was that it didn't have any gear which would hold a fall - physcologically at least. What people are arguing about doing is restoring it to the state it was in for its second ascent where there was the start of a belief that it was protected.
Jimbo C - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

That's what I thought, that flake was recovered and taken away after it broke off.

A repair job would be a tricky business. Firstly, it's not just gluing a hold back on, who would take on the responsibility of re-instating a dubious gear placement. Secondly, how would you re-attach it. The only reasonable thing for the repairer to do would be to fix it on as securely as possible - personally I'd drill 2 long holes into the stub of the flake and resin in 2 lengths of stainless threaded rod onto which the old flake can be attached. That would fix the hold back on securely but who's to say that gear behind it would be any good - the flake could still flex and let all those nuts pop out.

I think it should be left in it's current condition as a challenge for those who are willing and able.
Jamie B - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo C:

> I think it should be left in it's current condition as a challenge for those who are willing and able.

Agreed, not sure how many are, but in a way the route as it was had (almost) ran its course, and this unfortunate episode does at least mean that the legend can live and develop...

Simon_Sheff - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

According to TE, it was a cam that did in for the flake
shark - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Adam Long:
> (In reply to shark)
>
> Do you really think it would be possible to restore the Parthian flake so that the expanding wire placements were close to their original state? And if so, would you or Kris be the person to craft a dodgy wire placement? Or would the 'sensible' option be to create something bomber?
>


Seb would be the one to put it back. Although a loon on one level he is very practical and originally an engineer. Whether glue would be sufficient (modern glues of course being very strong) or bolting the flake would be required (all evidence of this would be hidden)I'm not sure. Where there is a will there's a way. The key issue at this point is not the practicality but that John Dunne is against it, and rightly deference is due to the First Ascentionist's wishes.

Arms Cliff - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to shark: Mecca would have probably been a nice 8c without the sika jigsaw flake effort, but then what would all those ageing aspirants have queued up for instead?
deepsoup - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to shark:
> The key issue at this point is not the practicality but that John Dunne is against it, and rightly deference is due to the First Ascentionist's wishes.

While respect is clearly due to the opinion of the first ascentionist, I don't think that is the 'key issue' really. For any repair to be legitimate (for the want of a better word) there would have to be a much wider debate first.

The big lump missing off the flake of Right Eliminate is still out there, would it be ok to retrieve that from its current home and glue it back on?

How about M35 at Bamford, should that be restored? (And if so, as M35? Or is A35 the route that should be reconstructed?)
Ok, silly example as that one clearly wouldn't be practical, but do you see what I'm getting at?
Offwidth - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to deepsoup:

You mean Right Unconquerable (I hope).
shark - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Arms Cliff:

It would have been a different route. I think many people of any age find it inspiring to repeat a historic testpiece that mainly resembles the form in which it was first climbed. Mecca had already lost a key hold in the base of the groove and acquired a lot of polish and recently (!?) gained a kneebar (karma restored) so is approximately an equivalent challenge to the one Martin did back in 1888 or whenever it was.

For those that don't know when the block started coming apart Steve Mac took the pieces out and reclimbed it and left the pieces on the ground. Stu Littlefair AFAIK was the only other to try it in that state and thought it was nails. Keith was keen to reinstate but Kristian did 90% of the graft and I don't think many appreciate what a tricky job/labour of love that was. Overall a good act of conservation in the circumstances.
shark - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to shark)
> [...]
>
> While respect is clearly due to the opinion of the first ascentionist, I don't think that is the 'key issue' really. For any repair to be legitimate (for the want of a better word) there would have to be a much wider debate first.
>


Screw wider debate. In this instance it isn't democracy where UKC gets to vote. Its about activists on the ground who have a passion and involvement deciding whether to do something or not do something.
CurlyStevo - on 04 Jan 2013
http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3828

you can see gear placements in the article from others leads that are not in the broken off bit of flake, how good they are I have no idea!
Arms Cliff - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to shark: If the routes one aspires to are at chossy crags, one must be ready for them to change in nature! I think the flake being stuck back on had more with maintaining the difficulty level of people's multi-year redpoint project, rather than any historical inspiration. I doubt a hold would get stuck back on if the break had made the route easier.
deepsoup - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> You mean Right Unconquerable (I hope).

D'Oh! What a numpty. Yes, of course I mean Right Unconquerable.
Offwidth - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Arms Cliff:

When routes have changed to make them easier some have been changed back (chips re-filled etc). The decision to try and fix something seems to me to be very much concerned with the desire of the activists likely to climb it, within the bounds of the practicalities of the fix (not very practical for broken grit flakes).
deepsoup - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to shark:
I'm not suggesting it should be a democracy, or that UKC should host a vote.

But 'passion and involvement' do not give 'activists on the ground' carte blanche to take a drill to Burbage without seeking a wider consensus first.

Not that there actually are any 'activists on the ground' who'd be daft enough to do that.
GrahamD - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to deepsoup:

>
> Not that there actually are any 'activists on the ground' who'd be daft enough to do that.

There are activists daft enough to take an ice axe to Millstone.
Dave Searle - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79: Why not fire a bolt where the flake used to be and make it the worlds best sport route?
Hephaestus - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to shark)
>> Not that there actually are any 'activists on the ground' who'd be daft enough to do that.

You wouldnt be able to reach high enough from the ground anyway. Any keen activists would have to be on a rope, or at the very least on the crag.
Duncan Bourne - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

> I was also shocked and dismayed to discover that SG had subjected the flake to a drop test prior to his hard grit ascents. This may have been common knowledge, but it's a new one on me. I must say what a shrewd and cowardly act this was.

I find this a puzzling comment. While I question the validity of a drop test, as it seems to me that such a thing could weaken the flake and thus invalidate the test, on the other hand given that it is the main point of your protection and the piece most likely to save you from a, most likely, fatal fall then a drop test seems an eminently sensible way of seeing if you are soon to be departing this world or not.
shark - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to shark)
> I'm not suggesting it should be a democracy, or that UKC should host a vote.
>
> But 'passion and involvement' do not give 'activists on the ground' carte blanche to take a drill to Burbage without seeking a wider consensus first.
>
> Not that there actually are any 'activists on the ground' who'd be daft enough to do that.



For the purpose of illustration let's assume the act of replacing the flake took place in the middle of the night and the following day you took a look at it and couldn't tell even on abseil how the flake had been re-fixed. What difference would it make ? or is just that the mental shutters come down when bolt and grit are used in the same sentence.
deepsoup - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to shark:
> or is just that the mental shutters come down when bolt and grit are used in the same sentence.

If I'm honest, yes, maybe there is a bit of that.

Though I also wouldn't, by and large, approve of anything that needs to be done by stealth in the middle of the night. Even if your hypothetical nocturnal activist was capable of such impossibly good workmanship.

You didn't respond to my hypothetical case - should Right Unconquerable also be repaired? Should A35 have been repaired before M35 was led? Should M35 be repaired now?
Jamie B - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> While I question the validity of a drop test, as it seems to me that such a thing could weaken the flake and thus invalidate the test.

It seems to have been established that the drop-test was not heavily weighted and that it's purpose was to establish the ground clearance, not the integrity of the flake. The OP appears to have thought otherwise, hence his initial outrage.
shark - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to shark)
> [...]
>
> Though I also wouldn't, by and large, approve of anything that needs to be done by stealth in the middle of the night. Even if your hypothetical nocturnal activist was capable of such impossibly good workmanship.
>
> You didn't respond to my hypothetical case - should Right Unconquerable also be repaired? Should A35 have been repaired before M35 was led? Should M35 be repaired now?


The nocturnal aspect of the illustration wasn't implying stealth was needed but to...oh, work it out for yourself

RU wasn't made any harder or more serious so the issue was a matter of visual aesthetics - the broken flake was and is an eyesore so yes it would have been a good act if someone had made such a good repair job that you'd never known it had been broken.

Re A/M35 I haven't been to Bamford for years or done the route before or after so don't have an opinion.
simon cox - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

I have to say I find this the most bizarre of threads... you start out by questioning the validity of the 2nd (SG) ascent of PS - not a very nice thing to do - but then say you are a great admirer of Seb's... Jeez, I would hate to be an enemy of yours!

And then talk of cowardly acts, all of course behind complete anonymity! But perhaps you dont want to big yourself up too much before your on-sight attempt without the flake ;-)

I dont actually have a strong view on putting the flake back - I think this would be visually desirable but can see the practical challenges - and bolting the flake back on would seem very much (to me)the wrong thing to do; but the players who want to re-ascend the route will I believe want to preserve the spirit of gritstone climbing and come up with an acceptable compromise if not the perfect solution...

But to be clear Mudcow - I think you make some fairly cheap shots from behind a cloak of anonymity; the optimism of the action is more powerful than the pessimism of the thought.

Cheers,

Graham Hoey - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to thread:

Too many guesses and rumours here.
1. The missing part of the flake is in two parts and is safe and sound in Sheffield.
2. Seb has stated to me that he did not drop test the flake with a loaded rucksack, but recalls dropping a light/empty rucksack to see where the fall would end.
3. Seb himself used a cam in the flake, but not near the top where it was most bendy.
4. Runners are still available lower down the flake e.g. Chouinard stopper 2, filed down RP2, RP3, HB curved brass 2 and 3 to name but a few. It would however be harder to get these in now the good handhold has gone.
5. Seb was confident the gear would hold. John Dunne was not but he didn't fall and prepared himself physically and mentally until he was confident he wouldn't.
6. It has not yet rceived a proper ground up ascent, unless you count yo-yoing as ground up.
cheers
Graham
jon on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Graham Hoey:

A sort of compromise might be to glue the two pieces back in place in such a way that the repair was invisible, but filling the crack so i wouldn't take any gear. This would leave the climbing the same and of course leave a hold to place the gear from that you refer to. Of course it'll never get done...
Jamie B - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Graham Hoey:

Thanks for the clarification. I quite like Jon's suggestion; the idea of trying to recreate a "mostly safe" gear placement feels a bit flawed and I'm not sure anyone would want the responsibility.
deepsoup - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to shark:
> RU wasn't made any harder or more serious so the issue was a matter of visual aesthetics - the broken flake was and is an eyesore so yes it would have been a good act if someone had made such a good repair job that you'd never known it had been broken.

I remain unconvinced that its a purely a question of visual aesthetics rather than a bigger ethical question, but you're probably right about RU. Which is somewhat moot because 'such a good repair' job wasn't possible then, and its not possible now. (Even visually, let alone mechanically when you're talking about a flake that provides crucial gear placements.)

> Re A/M35 I haven't been to Bamford for years or done the route before or after so don't have an opinion.

Well no, of course I haven't climbed A/M35 either. I don't think anyone has since some time in the '80s. The flakes broke off progressively making it harder and harder. The 1989 guide book expressed a hope that it might be climbed again in its current state, which didn't happen. The 2005 guide includes the old description for historical interest only.

So, hypothetically, would it be ok for an aspiring ascensionist to go and glue some of the holds back on it now?
Adam Long - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to deepsoup:

> [...]
>
> You didn't respond to my hypothetical case - should Right Unconquerable also be repaired? Should A35 have been repaired before M35 was led? Should M35 be repaired now?

Unless I'm mistaken M35 has since been re-climbed as 'May35'.

>In reply to shark:
>
>For the purpose of illustration let's assume the act of replacing the flake took place in the middle of the night and the following day you took a look at it and couldn't tell even on abseil how the flake had been re-fixed. What difference would it make ? or is just that the mental shutters come down when bolt and grit are used in the same sentence.

Well unless you propose erasing history, we would all know it had been repaired. It is not as simple as an aversion to bolts on grit, the lack of bolts on grit is the result of an entire philosophy of adventure; that the rock is the challenge and you do not change it. Clearly that philosophy does not apply at Raven tor where the climbs would not exist had not the hand of man created them.

In reply to Graham Hoey:

>4. Runners are still available lower down the flake e.g. Chouinard stopper 2, filed down RP2, RP3, HB curved brass 2 and 3 to name but a few. It would however be harder to get these in now the good handhold has gone.

There was a piece in situ for a good few months even after the flake had broken, I think it was the blue WC superlight half-a-rock that was left in after KJ's ascent due to the difficulty of removal. I'm not sure anyone would have been happy to fall onto that single piece though, and as you say placing them would be much harder. PS where do you get a Chouinard stopper 2 nowadays!

>6. It has not yet received a proper ground up ascent, unless you count yo-yoing as ground up.

As far as I've understood it, the definition of ground-up has always included yo-yoing. That's not to say there isn't much to improve on where this route and style is concerned.
Jamie B - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:

You're getting a bit of a hammering here; you mistakenly thought that Seb had load tested the flake, which certainly would have been selfish and short-sighted. You've subsequently learned that he didn't and retracted the accusation. Surely that should be the end of the friction?

Unlike some I do believe that there should be a right to anonymity on here. It's possible to raise important and relevant points which might still lead to vilification and nastiness on your doorstep. In a climbing world where every one is known to someone not everyone is willing to compromise relationships by being candid, but sometimes there is a need for someone to say these things.

Last paragraph more a general observation than specific to this thread.
Graham Hoey - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to thread:

I think the best thing that may come out of the Parthian Shot mess is that climbers learn to be more circumspect about the type of gear they use in particular placements, the routes they try and what style they try them in. Gear has ripped out of Parthian, The Promise, Gaia and the gear slot in One Step Beyond is degrading. Grit has a thin surface, once broken the inner rock is soft and weathers/erodes quickly. Look at the self-drilled cam placements in Three Pebble which never used to exist. These will eventually blow out. These fantastic routes are a precious resource we need to look after them and be less selfish or maybe just get better?
deepsoup - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Adam Long:
> Unless I'm mistaken M35 has since been re-climbed as 'May35'.

Ah, so it has: http://www.rockfax.com/databases/r.php?i=285
(It was a good call leaving it in the current guidebook then.)

My analogy was prolly a bit silly anyway, ho hum.
mudcow79 on 04 Jan 2013
I know I can hardly talk considering my contribution to this thread, but I really can't believe some of you would ever consider (or even speak of) repairing the route fullstop!....

I must admit to having had my eye on the route (ps) with the intention of at least repeating it in a similar style to the 1st ascent. Well that was before the bloody flake got ripped off. But I must admit to being unsure of whether I had it in me to undertake the headpoint of that thing in the first place, let alone in such a clean style.

With regards my anonymity, I have kept my identity a secret because of work/business reasons, I don't want to upset my employers and that's the only reason.
I will also admit that reading my original statement now makes me wince and had I proofread the piece before submitting it wouldn't have sounded anywhere near as harsh or disrespectful.
johncoxmysteriously - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to mudcow79:


I'd have thought repairing anything which was going to be used for gear was a pretty slippery slope. I can't think of a precedent for that, and I really don't think it would be a good idea.

Personally I also think we'd do better to keep glue off grit in general.

jcm
In reply to Adam Long:

> As far as I've understood it, the definition of ground-up has always included yo-yoing. That's not to say there isn't much to improve on where this route and style is concerned.

I've always thought yoyoing is falling off and leaving ropes attached to the highpoint (I believe how Cubby did Requiem for example). Ground up is fuzzy but at least I've always taken it to mean no top roping, and probably at the strictest level getting someone else to abseil to take your gear out. The few things I suppose I've "ground-upped" normally means routes I fell off where I've stripped the gear and tried another time/day.
shark - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to mudcow79)
>
>
> I'd have thought repairing anything which was going to be used for gear was a pretty slippery slope.


If a repair took place then it would make sense that it was reinstated for use as a hold only with glue filling it what were the gear placements.

As Graham pointed out gear remains in what is left of the flake but is now even harder to place than before.
jon on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to mudcow79)
> Personally I also think we'd do better to keep glue off grit in general.

Balance that against what an eyesore it is now and I think we (as climbers) almost have a duty to restore it to its natural state. Lets face it, it's climbers who have done the damage but it's all the other countryside users that have to look at it. Think back to cases of graffiti on grit, climbers lost no time at all to remove it. OK, this isn't quite the same, but its not that different either! With a careful invisible repair you'd kill all the birds with one stone. I really don't understand the resistance to it. True, if it was a bodged job with Sika oozing out all around it, it'd be going from bad to worse, but carefully done you wouldn't even know.
Jamie B - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to jon:

> it's climbers who have done the damage but it's all the other countryside users that have to look at it.

Do you think an afternoon stroll around the Burbage valley is going to be negatively impacted by a small piece of newly-exposed rock high on one of the buttresses? Not so sure myself, although I'd agree if it was happening on an industrial scale.
jon on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

No, of course not and I'd say that chalk has a far far greater impact on other users. But it's just the principle of it. We damage it, we should be prepared to repair it. Like I say though, it's more that I don't understand the resistance to it. Apart from it being god's own rock and all that goes with that!
Jamie B - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to jon:

I'm with you - trying to repair the hold is a good idea. Trying to repair a marginal gear placement is a really bad idea!
Ramblin dave - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to jon:
Because deliberately modifying rock to make it easier to climb getting into decidedly dodgy territory, even if you start off by dressing it up as "restoring" the rock rather than "improving" it...

I'm not absolutely and 100% against sticking the flake back on, but it does seem like it asks some rather difficult questions. Like, if we can do this on a classic hard route, should we also be allowed to "roughen up" polished holds on easy classics to return them to their natural state?
Jamie B - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> if we can do this on a classic hard route, should we also be allowed to "roughen up" polished holds on easy classics to return them to their natural state?

That's a seperate debate, but a valid one. Numerous routes and in some cases whole crags have been massively devalued by polish. I believe that on certain foreign limestone crags remedial work has been trialled - it would be interesting to see how successful this has been.

Offwidth - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Depends what you mean by roughen up. It won't work on grit as once the surface has gone erosion accelerates significantly. Like Graham Hoey says we need to think hard about our impact on grit or get better so we fall less on protection. I can see a time in about 10 years when we will be talking about limiting the use of cams on mid-grade grit classics due to damage. Go look at Orpheus Wall or Topsail at Birchen some Stanage Routes are now in the state these were back 20 years ago. On limestone roughening has been done and will be done again despite disapproval from some quarters.
Robert Durran - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to jon:
> We damage it, we should be prepared to repair it. Like I say though, it's more that I don't understand the resistance to it.

Yep. Seems a no-brainer to me.

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