/ The Message

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Milesy - on 15 Jan 2013
I really want to try and push myself and stop bumbling about in snow gullies and grow a pair of baws. How would The Message be for a first harder mixed route? I am assuming the IV,6 means it is technical but pretty well protected? The only IV I have done so far is on ice. If I am going to end up dangling upside down with my new softshells teared I will gladly steer away. It has been appealing to me though.
conorcussell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy: Well protected and reasonably straightforward on good hooks. Crux is guidebook second? pitch up the obvious right facing corner. Corner above has a slightly tricky top move as well.
CurlyStevo - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:
If you have only ever done IV on ice I would suggest you start on either III,4 or IV,4 and work up from there. Tech 4 mixed climbing is technically quite a lot harder than tech 4 ice IMO.
John Rushby - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:

It's tricky but as you say well protected. If you need a few nice IV's to get a feel for the grade on mixed then have a look at something like Pygmy Ridge - that's steady away.
CurlyStevo - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:
How about fingers ridge, the haston line, invernookie, wavelength etc to get your eye in before moving up to IV,5. Some of these routes that get III on here do get IV in the new guide I think.
CurlyStevo - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:
At IV,5 hidden chimney direct is good and I've not done it but the seam is popular.
John Rushby - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Patey's Route is a fav of mine but it seems to not be favoured - probably due to it needing decent conditions otherwise it's too hard perhaps?
CurlyStevo - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to John Rushby:
I backed off it when we tried it and with someone who's a fair bit better than me. I think unless it's got good build up it's quite a lot harder. But yeah I'd love to get it done in good nick.
Milesy - on 15 Jan 2013
Thanks folks. I was thinking about The Message just due to its quick walk in which would give me more time on the route itself.

Fingers looked more serious to me than The Message? And I had dismissed Pygmy due to route finding problems. I couldn't find it in summer in the clag.
CurlyStevo - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:
I have a friend that fell off the message near the start and hurt his ankle. Fingers ridge is mostly pretty well protected. If you are looking for good gear hidden chimney direct is a good choice.

But I'd start at tech 4
RCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to John Rushby:

> Patey's Route is a fav of mine but it seems to not be favoured - probably due to it needing decent conditions otherwise it's too hard perhaps?

Always been pretty popular when I've done it, though I would describe it as pretty much a pure ice route rather than a mixed climb. Maybe that's why you found it quiet...
John Rushby - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

The first bit over the little roof is the bugger - a lot of scratching and looking for the magic axe placement, after that it's steady.

I
John Rushby - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to RCC:

Aye - it's always been thin when I've done it.
Milesy - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> But I'd start at tech 4

Thanks I will look at Fingers Ridge then. How does that compare to say Twising Gully at III, 4 ?
Milesy - on 15 Jan 2013
I was also looking at the IV,4s at Creagan Coire Cha-no?
saintlade - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: In a similar position to you. Will second Hidden Chimney Direct, loads of good gear wherever there's a tricky move.
CMcBain - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:

HC Direct is a good shout, I think most of the III's and IV's on Mess of Pottage are a good intro to mixed climbing. Generally the gear on most of the routes is good and escaping is relatively easy because the crag isn't very high. Haston Line and Hidden Chimney (regular) are both nice intro's to mixed climbing and safe as houses.

I've not done the Message but its on my wishlist for this season, personally I was hoping to get a bit of mileage on some of the tech 5 routes that have already been mentioned before giving it a shot as it is tech 6. Good luck with whatever you choose to do though, I always find the hardest part is just convincing myself to get on the route, never tends to be as hard as it looks!
The Ex-Engineer - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy: If your profile grades are correct, tech VI may feel pretty hard for you. If you've got a strong partner, then go for it but I know of several people who have failed on it, so there is a real risk of you having a bit of a wasted day.

As mentioned by others, there are a whole load of great routes at III,4 which will get you away from straight-forward gullies. There are then plenty of quality routes at IV,4.

If you do want to get into doing harder mixed moves, go do some dry tooling first - it will be a more sensible progression than jumping straight onto The Message and just seeing what happens.
In reply to Milesy: and don't forget, while the hard bit may be well protected there are other bits that might not be. When I did it, I led the steep corner at the top - great fun, hard but bomber high gear. As I remember you swing out on to slab. We did in VERY heavy snow conditions, and the slab was terrifying: not hard at all but so buried in deep powder you were teetering about for a long way with no runners just praying you were standing on something. Add in oncoming darkness and stormy weather and that sticks in my mind as much as the 6 move lower down!
Lamb - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to TobyA: To add onto that, the section below the crux chimney is balancy and awkward I found, I think this was something to do with the fact I was concentrating solely on the approaching chimney, rather than what I was climbing at that very time - not so smart.
Dry tooling is the name of the game, but as someone else mentioned, if you have a strong partner, fire away on second. I'd also add too that Hidden Chimney Direct is a gem, well worth doing before you jump on the Message.
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Petarghh - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy: I did the message as my first "harder" route from climbing grade III, and I found it relatively straightforward.

in hindsight I would look at something like "The Seam" over on fiacaill buttress at IV 5, it felt easier to me and its just one pitch of hard climbing.

cheers.
Big Lee - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> Thanks folks. I was thinking about The Message just due to its quick walk in which would give me more time on the route itself.
>

There's often queues for the Message though, which quite often means more waiting time on the route. The first time I went to climb the message I gave up and did something else. When I climbed the Message last year there was plenty of in-situ nuts that made the corner seem like a sport route. That said the climbing was firmly in tech 6 territoty and no soft touch for the grade.

Have you considered Central Crack Route in Lochain? The difficulties are all a short distance above the ground so not so commiting. Once you are up the first pitch you can race for the top. It's a good route.
Michael Gordon - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:

Fingers Ridge would be a great first mixed IV. Quite soft for the grade IMO and generally well protected.

Anvil Gully at Cha-No is a nice wee IV,4 and you should enjoy the top crux wall. There's enough gear there if you make the effort to place it. But though it (and other routes there) can be split into two it's really just a one pitch venue (in terms of the amount of interesting climbing) so you might leave disappointed.
Webster - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy: The first pitch of fingers ridge is quite serious as there is no protection and a dodgy starting belay, but in good snow the climbing is really easy, just dont have your belayer put you on belay untill you have reached some gear. after that it is prety steady IV 4 climbing all the way up with some sections much easier in lean conditions and others much easier in good snow/rime, so overall it stays about the same grade. it is well protected but when rimmed up it can take a very long time to find pro and dig out belays (i had to dig through rime over 1ft thick to find a belay below the final pitch!)
Withnail - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:

Recommend the message, probably midweek. Good route. The crux corner is very well protected as long as the crack isnt too iced. Overhead cams/hexes before hauling yourself up sort of thing.

Higher up, the move onto the slab is brilliant. Nice, sudden exposure and good protection again.

I know pygmy ridge gets iv5 or something but i think its a little overgraded. Maybe it was just really good conditions when i did it?

Honeypot is a good route, quieter and escapable over to the left midway. The crux tec 6 bit is high up but, again, body level protection. I think that moves a little more strenous than the message.

hope that helps

Jon
CacCarnBeag - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: I thought the first move of Hidden Chimney Direct was nails! I've seconded a few tech 6 pitches that felt easier. Or mabye I was just being a tit...

Fin
Milesy - on 17 Jan 2013
Thanks everyone. Good advice. I will take it all under consideration :)
Jamie B - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to Withnail:

> I know pygmy ridge gets iv5 or something but i think its a little overgraded. Maybe it was just really good conditions when i did it?

Glad someone agrees with me on that one! I'd agree with the very first move being tech 5, but it eases steadily thereafter, with great gear throughout. I'd give it III,5 in those conditions, and have a suspicion that with a build-up at the bottom it's tech 4.
Jamie B - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to CacCarnBeag:

> I thought the first move of Hidden Chimney Direct was nails! I've seconded a few tech 6 pitches that felt easier.

Agree it's hard without a build-up, but overhead gear and nothing as hard above. I'd still say it's a good lead target for someone who wants to get into more technical ground.
Pids - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:
Doctors Choice is for you
andyinglis - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Pids:

I would suggest Doctors choice is not grade IV in lean conditions (harder), it is a good choice when iced or good neve. Message would be a good mixed target I would think. Lots of gear, lots of ledges to break up the action.
Exile - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:

If you want a progression from where you are at I'd try:

The Seam IV 4 / 5, (depending on which guide book you read.)
If you find this ok go for the Message, (crux can feel tricky but very good protection.)
If you do ok on that it's not a big leap to Savage Slit or Pot of Gold.
Michael Gordon - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

Definitely IV,5 when I did it! But when plastered in neve I imagine it could be IV,3 or similar.
Milesy - on 18 Jan 2013
Thanks again everyone.

I don't know if it is just the perspective but The Seam looks way harder than The Message or Fingers from the photos on here?
Exile - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:

From most angles the Seam looks pretty steep and two dimentional - ie a bit like wall climbing. When you actually get on it it's simply not as hard as it looks. Superb pitch though.
CurlyStevo - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:
Have you ever lead tech 4?

What about grade III mixed?
Michael Gordon - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Milesy:

You get harder IVs and easier IVs. This may be stating the obvious but unless its particularly long or serious a mixed IV,4 will usually be an easier proposition overall than a IV,5 or IV,6 which usually tend towards the harder end of the grade.

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