/ Falling off Aladdin's Mirror Direct

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Caspar - on 02 Feb 2013
Some friends and I headed up to the Cairngorms last weekend and had a bit of a nightmare on Mirror Direct. Enjoy.

http://caspianjames-adventure.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/falling-on-ice.html
jas wood - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Strange thing to do IMO
Caspar - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to jas wood:

What is? Fall off?
Joel Perkin - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Wow, you got yourself into a trick situation there! Sorted yourselves out though.
ox - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: If you let go of your ice axes you will fall.
Caspar - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to ox:

I didn't. My axe ripped. My mate, however... He pumped out and let go, and we haven't let him live it down. :)
Darkskys - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: nice write up and I enjoyed the video :) thanks for sharing
Misha - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
Amusing. And lucky. Razor sgarp tools, good footwork and brute force needed for hard ice!
almost sane - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
Excellent :)
clivecops - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: made me smile :)
Caspar - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Misha:

I was so surprised I didn't end up with an ice screw in my leg!
The Green Giant - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Aiding ice huh? Interesting...

Looks good though, good video as well which is rare.
Jim Hamilton - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
> (In reply to jas wood)
>
> What is? Fall off?

publicize your own incompetence ?!
Only a hill - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
Well I thought it was a great video and I enjoyed watching it =)
Greg Boswell - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Unbelievable! The second guy clearly just let go! ( you were both lucky you didn't break your ankles! )

I think it is pretty irresponsible, and anyone watching this video should not think that this is an ok way to act/climb in the mountains!

Build up through the grades, don't just jump in at the deep and and think its ok to fall off stuff in winter like it is on the rock. It's so easy to break yourself with crampons on, and then it becomes not just your problem, but the mountain rescues as well.

May I advice leashes if your just going to let go of your tools, or perhaps some sort of lanyard.....they don't always snap.

Glad you're both ok though :)
Caspar - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Greg Boswell:

I think I should point out that I didn't just jump on a climb that was out of my depth. I've climbed it a few times before, and have climbed harder things, but conditions change as we all know. I certainly didn't mean for my axe to rip, or my leash to snap.

My friend, however... Well, he was having problems getting his crampons to stick in the ice and pumped out. I don't know why he wasn't wearing his leashes, but I think that's a personal choice. He just pumped out and after trying and failing to climb down, let go. I'm sure that it wasn't his first choice.

As for publicising my incompetence, that wasn't the intention of the video. Well, maybe it was, but in a fun way. As I've mentioned, I certainly didn't mean to fall off, and it was purely chance that my partner was wearing a headcam when it happened. Criticising people for falling off routes is certainly not productive, though. I'm perfectly aware of the dangers that the mountains present, but accidents happen.
In reply to Greg Boswell: Inclined to agree with Greg, anyone can of course be unlucky but both climbers falling off in the same place suggests it was just too hard for both of them. If you don't want to climb with wrist loops (which would have stopped the first fall, as clearly the placement that stayed in was good) then something easier is the way to build up experience. It's hard to read ice if you don't get the chance to climb it often, but it's like Will Gadd says, if your tool rips on ice it because you didn't place it right! That's why leading ice safely is much harder than seconding the same thing - you just can't accept the same "this will probably work" sticks that you can when seconding.

Have fun, but take care too.
In reply to Caspar:
> I certainly didn't mean for my axe to rip,

Of course not, but you have to ask a) why did it rip? And b) why couldn't you hang on to the other one when it did rip?
Caspar - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

But then the second half of the video is me cruising up it the next day, which perhaps shows how changeable it is. I'd agree with you though, about working up through the grades and staying safe. I'm not a dangerous climber and don't mean to become one.

Nice quote from Gadd. I hadn't heard it before. Should probably triple check my placements in the future to stop it dinner plating like that.
Caspar - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

It ripped because the ice it was in pulled off - it had been dinner plating the whole way up. I had my right crampon resting in a dimple in the ice as balance, but when my axe ripped I barn-doored. :/
In reply to Caspar: Conditions of course change, it was probably just warmer the next day, but grades are for "average" conditions, so I suppose everyone has to be ready that their grade III or IV or VII(!) could be a bit harder or a bit easier than "normal".

Ice does dinner plate, but you can normally see that it is going to happen from your first or second strike. Then you have choices to make; do you clear the plate? Or if you think your stick is good despite a visible fracture, then you have to make very sure your next placement for your other tool is well clear of the likely plate, meaning that even if the plate goes, you are still holding onto to your second tool. Placing tools above each other, not next to is essential for that but takes some time and practice to do with out thinking about too much.

I think it's just really hard for most British climbers to get that much experience on pure ice. When I moved to Finland I quickly realised I was shite ice climber despite having lived in Scotland for four years before and climbed most winter weekends. I could climb V,6 by then but had still done only a handful of pure water ice routes. Come to Scandinavia to get some practice! :-)

Caspar - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

It is certainly tempting!
xplorer on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Greg Boswell:

Why wasn't they wearing bubble rap aswell?!

Have you never fallen before?

NeilBoyd - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Excellent video and great music. It's Laurel and Hardy on Rum Doodle. You should put in for the Banff Film Festival next year...pity there are no animals involved.
Samuel - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to xplorer: Of course he has! I've seen this man climbing and he's a total liability. He has no regard for his, his partner's or the MRT's safety. In fact that's how he's stuck at Grade 11...:)
newtonmore - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to xplorer: lol you must be having a laugh mate. totally agree with what greg said in his last post. nice video though casper looks like a wild day
Dave Perry - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

I'm not too sure whether it was you climbing but what I did notice is that the axe placements were just one whack in then pull up. They didn't appear to go in as far as I'd prefer. Most climbers would probably bury them a little deeper by whacking them in two or three times in the same hole before pulling up on them.

I'd guess - and I may well be wrong - but that sort of thing was probably happening down at his crampons to.
Caspar - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Perry:

I had the gold axes. My partner's crampons didn't fit properly apparently - he said they were flexing when they hit the ice. I don't know though.
stevieweesaxs107 - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: wow a quality route massacred by u numpties ;,)
Good weather and in spanking condition, good video tho made me laff
In disbelief amazed no1 was injured in the making of this production
John Lyall on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Most fallen off winter route in Scotland, and most folk seem to be lucky and get away without injury. Best not to be a lucky mountaineer - it eventually runs out!
Orgsm on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Axe placements were poor and I didn't see you shifting your centre of balance to be below upper axe as you went. You were also square on to ice most of time. Try twisting your body now and again to get better balance...
Caspar - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Beat me to it!:

I didn't know you had to do that - I haven't done much steep ice. I'll try that next time!
Andy Syme - on 02 Feb 2013
I can see that they were unlucky &/or impetuous, but they sorted themselves out so why is everyone giving them such a hard time.

I did things when young and 'keen' that make me shiver when I think about them now. I'm not advocating stupidity in the hills, but would suggest that they have done nothing worse than many others have done.

I for one would not be casting stones at people!
steveej - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply

How not to winter climb.

I'll be blunt....

Best change your attitude and your strategy or else you won't be lasting to long.

I guess the upside is you won't have to worry about your pension.
Orgsm on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
> (In reply to Beat me to it!)
>
> I didn't know you had to do that - I haven't done much steep ice. I'll try that next time!

You'll find it make a big difference to how hard it is, and you can put a lot more wright through your feet, and less strain on your arms on steep ice. Think how you rock climb, you twist and turn and shift your centre of gravity. If you think why, you'll realise why it benefits your ice climbing.
Big Lee - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Inclined to agree with Greg. If your friend pumps out that easily then he shouldn't really be climbing completely untethered from his axes. Particularly if his crampons didn't fit properly. A member of my old uni club fell off from where you both did incidentally. Ended up with a complex tib/fib fracture. Needed helicopter rescue.
In reply to Andy Syme:

> I for one would not be casting stones at people!

Yep. The Monday morning quarterbacking is best done on Monday. I've just made my sarnies for going ice climbing tomorrow; so telling other people how silly their mistakes are just before you go yourself might be rather tempting providence a bit too readily!

It is interesting though how much more you hear of people falling off winter routes of all types, but particularly pure ice, since the majority of people have moved to leashless tools.

Kevin Rutherford - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Circus......
Andy Syme - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA: That's why I'm decidedly old school. Leashes are not just for cissys :-)
mrchewy - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: That route was only my second ice climb - it was a fair bit leaner than that too. It's fair to say I'm pretty poor at ice climbing but this was an interesting read.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4316
DanielJ - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Ouch. That wasnt pretty.
May I suggest that you follow more experienced partners so you can get some more mileage on ice before leading. Or head over to Rjukan (or equivalent) and toprope yourself silly so you know what youre doing.

At least have a look at the videos here, the guide one maybe overly pedagogical ( and a little bit to much zig-zagging in the climbing) but got the basics nailed.
http://willgadd.com/x-vs-t-why-the-old-x-technique-is-inferior/#comments

This one shows that you dont need to do a lot of mistakes to fall, I think he climbs pretty well til the actual fall.
http://www.vimeo.com/58137144
Franco Cookson on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Greg Boswell: You obvs don't know much about pushing the grade. These guys know though and are living the dream.
janiejonesworld - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to Greg Boswell) You obvs don't know much about pushing the grade. These guys know though and are living the dream.

narrowly avoiding dying the dream is probably closer to the mark :-)

not getting at anyone, have made plenty of mistakes myself, but use some imagination guys -
poor ice technique and lack of experience may well mean poor screws - and that's a looong drop, possibly inverted if the screw fails. A leader shouldn't be setting off up that with any significant chance of falling off in the manner shown
David Cowley - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Is this a serious comment????
scottie390 - on 02 Feb 2013
I like this video cos it shows you have a sense of humor. humor seems to be lacking here. Bomber screws eh? ;) good video mate!
Ghastly Rubberfeet on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to David Cowley:
> (In reply to Franco Cookson)
>
> Is this a serious comment????

I think Franco knows who Greg is!

I think it was T.I.C.
Caspar - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to scottie390:

Bomber. And thanks. :)
Run_Ross_Run - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Nice vid. Glad you`re all safe after it.

Gives the forum something to talk about if nothing else.
Robert Durran - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

The shot of the tools receding into the distance is awesome!
Franco Cookson on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to David Cowley: yeh, all I see is two chaps out giving it a bash and getting valuable experience from it. Maybe if those criticising did the same, then winter climbing in the UK would be moved on rather than being stuck in the stone-age as it is.
dek - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Caspar)
>
> The shot of the tools receding into the distance is awesome!


Not something I'd like to see often! :-)
stevedude888 - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Whats the song in this?
Caspar - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to stevedude888:

Ghostwriter - Rjd2
TheSooper on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Nice one Caspar. I'm with Franco Cookson...just continue enjoying your adventures and ignore this lot of miserable armchair know-it-alls.

My only suggestion would be not to post your videos on here!
highclimber - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Post videos to UKC at your own peril. anything you do post (and it's contents) will be used agaisnt you for whatever people perceive as bad practice, regardless of how petty it might be. If you still decide to post a video, even after knowing this, then don't be too surprised when someone ridicules you. It is UKC after all!
mark turnbull - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
Great vid Caspar well mixed , would love to have 1 off those
head cams
Dave Kerr - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to TheSooper:
> (In reply to Caspar)
>
> ignore this lot of miserable armchair know-it-alls.

Armchair critics are a pretty small minority on here. There is in fact a massive wealth of experience on UKC and most criticism is knowledgeable whether you agreee with it or not.
Caspar - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to DanielJ:

> This one shows that you dont need to do a lot of mistakes to fall, I think he climbs pretty well til the actual fall.
> http://www.vimeo.com/58137144

That's a pretty cool video. Far scarier looking than my fall!
mrchewy - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Well, I have to say I've learnt some decent stuff regarding technique due to this thread being posted. Cheers.
iksander on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Falling off once on ice is once too many, you were very lucky and had an opportunity for a valuble lesson and walked away from it. I fell off on my first ice lead when both feet and a tool ripped in crappy ice, I was lucky too and vowed never to climb on slush again. What did you learn?
Robert Durran - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to TheSooper:
> (In reply to Caspar)
>
> ......ignore this lot of miserable armchair know-it-alls.

An interesting description of Mr Boswell.
Jamie B - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> Armchair critics are a pretty small minority on here.

Agreed, but describing any contradictory voice as such is a well-traveled get-out clause.
Dave Perry - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Actually Caspar, I think you are very brave posting the vid knowing what people may say on here. That said I, like many of us crumblies, never had the opportunity to get feedback on technique from anyone else other than your climbing partner. So Its been (I hope) a useful experience.

And you now know that your screw placements were excellent.!!
Well done!
Caspar - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Perry:

I think that was the main thing, knowing that my screws will hold a fall. But yes, lessons learnt.
SARS on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Strange that you fell off. The ice looks good and the ground not particularly steep. Plus it's quite a short pitch from what I could see in your video - although I don't know the route in question well at all.

I can only think your mate who let go was not fit enough for this route. Best go get some stamina...

So I can only join the chorus above that says get more experience and get fitter.
mrchewy - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to SARS: It's a lot steeper than it looks. It was overhanging at the top when we did it in Dec... we'd thought it was III 4, so it was a little bit of a surprise. Bit more banked out in this video but the top's always going to be steep.
Jamie B - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

> I think that was the main thing, knowing that my screws will hold a fall.

Hmmmmm... that depends on the ice they're placed in. I've never wagered my family's future happiness on a screw holding, and would suggest you don't either.

SARS on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to mrchewy:

Sure but even so with decent stamina it will be very doable.
philhilo - on 03 Feb 2013
Posting videos of themselves falling off winter routes whilst pushing the grade....terrible....I do believe Mr McCloud did a similar thing, another incompetant! ;-)
jas wood - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to philhilo: Are you serously comparing Dave mcloed falling on a mixed route to a 21 yr old throwing himself off onto a screw that had already been loaded ?

IMO scottish winter climbing is dangerous in the first instance and i see no reason to increase the risk.

Last year had a friend die when a screw failed.

Lets face it some winter routes you cannot afford to fall from !



philhilo - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to jas wood: Lets face it whatever form of climbing we do, we all fall off sometime (although a few on here would deny it), we also choose how far to push the boat out, however we don't often fall off for fun. This even happens with winter climbing where frequently we would rather not look down - yep 'can't afford to fall of this'. Slating these guys is I suspect highly hypocritical in the most part, and certainly counter productive - that is why pilots are encouraged to report near misses - people learn from their mistakes, if their peers are willing to participate in positive feedback. If all they get is a slagging then they will not seek advice again.
By the sounds of it one of them had done the route before and felt able to do it - fair enough. Sometimes to step up a grade you even have to do stuff that you are not quite sure about. This route looked pretty fat and with plenty of gear, and at some point you have to trust in an ice screw - not as reliable as a number ten hex, but can be fine, otherwise we would not use them.
Sorry to hear about freind that died, was that the accident on Zero?
jas wood - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to philhilo:
I,m not slating these guys and that was not my intention.
I agree totally that trying to break into new ground on a well protected route and falling off is part of "climbing". I would say though that winter climbing is particually dangerous and I would never encourage falls, especially to those of lesser winter experience, as i beleive this is best gained by seconding routes of a higher standards.
Seriously i think the "go on lads" brigade should be a little more responsible.
If the attitude of "its ok to fall off" attitude is taken to a serious route then we know what the consequences could be.

My friend died on Cautley Spout :O( maybe i'm just being sensitive to this!
Caspar - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to jas wood:

No, you're not. It's a fair point. We didn't get on it knowing we'd fall off - I've climbed it before and shot up it the next day no problem. But I've learnt a lot from it, so I guess that's a good thing.
philhilo - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to jas wood: I can understand your sensitivity (I have attended many funerals through my pursuit of adventure sports and it hits hard when it was just for fun) , it's a fine line on winter routes, and certainly no-one would encourage falling on dangerous routes especially when it's my neck on the line! Some on here (not yourself Jas) would be better off offering help and advice (maybe even 'if you want to come climbing...') rather than a slating, some people that I am suprised at. Lets be as supportive on the forums as we are at the crag - or is that wishful thinking? (takes off rose tinted specs). Back to the spreadsheets.... :-(
Fultonius - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Andy Syme)
>
> [...]
>

> It is interesting though how much more you hear of people falling off winter routes of all types, but particularly pure ice, since the majority of people have moved to leashless tools.

I'm convinced that a GoPro (or similar) massively increases the risk of one of the party falling off or being caught in an avalanche...
Caspar - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Fultonius:

It could do, but I don't tend to think much when I'm climbing, especially on steeper stuff. I forget about all that. Can see where you're coming from though.
Kevin Woods - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: I think it might have been a joke
Robert Durran - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Fultonius:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> I'm convinced that a GoPro (or similar) massively increases the risk of one of the party falling off or being caught in an avalanche...

Maybe just a correlation between incompetence/inexperience and the buying a GoPro. Or maybe just a correlation between posting videos and buying GoPro. Probably both.

In reply to Caspar:

> That's a pretty cool video. Far scarier looking than my fall!

It's a very good video and his comment is really apt. When you're getting pumped out of your box you start pulling on stuff that you know is shite, or somehow wrong, but you don't have much choice about it! The guy in video knew he shouldn't have put his tools level with each other because the fracture could take out both, but I guess was too knackered to do something different! That's what I was saying about when the ice is 'platey' your tools need to be vertically above/below each other but it's easier said than done when you're knackered and getting the panic!
Big Lee - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Maybe consider a sling & crab, or fifi hook attached to your harness. I use a fifi hook when I'm concerned about pump. Better to hook onto an axe and rest if you're getting pumped than take a fall.
Goucho on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Ooops - that could be one of your nine lives gone :-)

But at least you're both in one piece, and will learn from the experience.

Nic DW - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Cheers. That video made my evening!

And you've got a lot of flack that's a bit OTT to be honest. Probably not the most sensible thing ever, but if your going to fall on a winter route then thats probably a good one to pick. Bomber screws. And if it makes you feel better i've known it to spit out several aspiring IV leaders before you. They just didn't film their experiences and put it online.

Well done for taking some public humiliation so that folk could have a laugh!
Ed F - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Climber takes short fall onto gear rated at 8kN - stop the press...
Caspar - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Ed Feldman:

It's not about the size of the fall.
Roberttaylor - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Are you paraphrasing Samuel Clemens?

R
Caspar - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Roberttaylor:

I had to look up who that was... But no, I don't think so. If anything I was paraphrasing the Joker: "It's not about the money. It's about sending a message." Except that it wasn't for either of those reasons.... Meh.
Ed F - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
> (In reply to Ed Feldman)
>
> It's not about the size of the fall.

Sorry not a criticism of the video - it was aimed at the people who think you were reckless...
CurlyStevo - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
Your friend could have been carrying a cows tail to clip his axes enabling a rest (or just run the rope over his grip rests or clipped a runner to his axes and got you to take)
Wee Davie - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

I thought it was entertaining. Couldn't quite believe it when whoever it was took the 2nd lob though!!!

Jeff Lowe had some good advice for climbing ice, 'make every stick a belay'.
jazzyjackson on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

my god what a clip! Almost chocked on my croissant. U guys are v lucky!
Well done but please get a new hobby asap.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Jamie B - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> Your friend could have been carrying a cows tail to clip his axes enabling a rest (or just run the rope over his grip rests or clipped a runner to his axes and got you to take)

Or just climbed lots of grade III ice to consolidate skills at a lower (safer) grade. This is the traditional approach and it still works for a lot of people.

Roberttaylor - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B: But that is boring and takes ages.
CurlyStevo - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
Agreed and that's the way I did it, but if you are climbing ice that you may pump out on its good to know what your options other than falling off are.

That said I lead the screen (IV 4) a week or two ago after not climbing at all since October (although I did do a grade III first). I didn't have that much in hand to be honest (just because it's pretty steep and my arms were prone to pumping out) and did need to shake out a few times on lead, but I really wanted to climb it and really enjoyed the climb!
Wee Davie - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

I've done that route a handful of times. Everybody goes through a learning curve- I certainly struggled on it the first couple of times until I learnt a bit of technique. I think the problem is that it looks really short from below so encourages people onto it.
Once I belayed a guy on it who'd only done one Winter route before, a grade III in Lochnagar but that was 'too easy' and he wanted to get on grade Vs as the next step.
I managed to persuade him into doing the Mirror Derek and Pygmy Ridge combo. I won't name the guy but he was a strong and solid E3 leader but had no idea of how to use his tools or feet. He climbed that pitch as badly as you 2 but somehow managed to stay attached to it- how I don't know. I've done some harrowing belaying in my time- that was in the top 3 for sure!

In reply to CurlyStevo: > its good to know what your options other than falling off are.

In my experience, you cut the margin so much closer when climbing leashless though, things can go wrong much faster*. Obviously staying a bit more in your comfort zone whatever that is, is the way to avoid that, but I guess most of us try to push ourselves eventually!

So having a cow tails might be a sensible thing but I know I've been in situations where I wouldn't have had the strength to let of of one tool and pull it up. It's like people I've watched whilst belaying battling to put an ice screw in and clip but having to repeatedly stop during the process and swap hanging arm just to shake out a little. I know when I'm similarly terrified with my wrist loops on, I can sort of hang there enough to get a screw in and clip.

*others' arm-experience may differ.
DesperateDan - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Thanks for sharing this totally unegotistical video/blog :-)
It's shows a willingness to share what went wrong - hopefully your description and explanation can help others learn from your adventure (mishap?).
I'm glad you're not put-off by having to struggle for a clean ascent - its a tricky wee route as I and many others can testify!
Happy landings and I can't wait for your next "how not to climb" video :)
CurlyStevo - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:
I was thinking of getting a fifi hook on a cows tail just to make it easier, I'm off to cogne pretty soon and am planning on climbing leashless (although I will take my leashes!). (I've also been dry tooling indoors recently to increase grip strength/endurance!)
Fultonius - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA: I sometimes do one thing on steep ice to reduce the risk of a big fall:

I always climb leashless and if I'm getting a bit pumped but I see the angle eases or there's a slight rest soon (mushroom or ledge for feet, or a bridge etc.) I'll gun for that, place a good axe nice a deep, clip a quickdraw into the axe loop, clip the rope to the draw then place the screw and quickly unclip the draw from the axe and clip the screw.

I think it's probably mainly psychological but it helps me relax and place the screw without over gripping etc.
Big Lee - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Years ago I got really pumped climbing a route in Rjukan. I let go of the axe thinking I could hang by my leash. The last picture probably sums up what happened: http://leeharrisonclimbing.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/the-lower-gorge-kroken-rjukan.html

I think my stamina has improved tenfold with leashless tools (although probably a lot to do with more training and better technique). I don't understand how you can fight the pump when both your hands are tethered to your axes overhead. Pump was like a ticking timebomb when I climbed with leashes. I think a lot of people maybe grip their axes tighter than necessary when moving to leashless, which maybe leads to a sudden onset in falls.

Fifi hooks are definately worth considering. I mainly use them on steep chalk where I really don't want to fall. Definately quicker to hook the fifi to my axe loop than to place a screw. I use Nomics but, given their recall history, have never been overly happy to loop rope over the rest to avoid a fall. Plus generating the rope slack in order to loop the rope is the last thing I want to be doing if the pump is taking over. Best strategy of course is simply to improve stamina by practicing lock-offs, etc.
sebrider - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Lol, cheers for posting :)
In reply to Big Lee:
> I don't understand how you can fight the pump when both your hands are tethered to your axes overhead.

When your placing a screw obviously one hand is free anyway, of course the other hand still in the leash its hard to do, although I find even re-gripping my with my free hand on my free tool for a few seconds and letting go and relaxing my leashed hand for a that time noticeably helps. Sometimes though when climbing leashed once I've got the screw in and am happy with it, i'll unclip the leashed hand (normally the left) after I've reclipped in with my screw placing hand (normally right) to give the left a shake. With android leashes of course it's not as quick as being leashless, but its 1-2 seconds difference I'd say.

But more than that, for me (and I'm sure everyone's different) I just don't get nearly as pumped using wrist loops, just like in summer I can hang from a fist jam much longer than I can hang from a good jug; just how my arms/hands work.
Offwidth - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

No disrespect but you should consider getting yourself some formal tuition on ice work. You're a brave group leading ice with that level of competance for axe and crampon work on display. Scottish winter climbing on anything but perfect pro should have 'the leader does not fall' as almost a maxim. If nothing else do a lot of top-roping (even indoors) and get some instructional films out (the Jeff Lowe one is really good). You also need to be much more careful about trusting placements you've taken a lead fall on (back them up in future), especially following untidy footwork near the pro.

We have all been there, so one day you will sit back and laugh (or cry, or both).

iksander on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Big Lee:
> (In reply to TobyA)

> Fifi hooks are definately worth considering. I mainly use them on steep chalk where I really don't want to fall. Definately quicker to hook the fifi to my axe loop than to place a screw.

How does that work then? Do you have the fifi attached to your harness? What do you mean by "my axe loop", the bit of tat through the pommel?
Big Lee - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to iksander:

I larks hitch the rope with my fifi hook to the front loop of my harness. I wrap the rope around the back of my waist and hook it to a gear loop on the opposite side. My rucksack has gear loops on the shoulder straps so I often alternatively hook the fifi onto these loops so that it is in my line of sight. When I say 'axe loop' I mean the same short rope fastened to the base of my axes that I clip my lanyards to. You obviously need a good axe placement for this system to work as a last resort!
Caspar - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

Yeah, maybe I should just get more practice. I've never had a problem before - my feet feel good and my axes bomber, but hey, what do I know?
Simon Caldwell - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Ed Feldman:
> Climber takes short fall onto gear rated at 8kN - stop the press...

What was the rating of the dinner-plating ice?
Offwidth - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Seriously, show the film to a guide or an experienced winter climber and see what they think. To not put too fine a point on it I think your 'bomber' threshold may be a good bit too low. Those conditions looked OK to me so you simply shouldn't be falling unless you were partly unlucky and the ice failed. Sometime ice conditions in Scotland can be really tricky: two examples are brittle dinner plating ice that takes a lot of stamina to climb safely or scary soft exits to steep ice (as damp lower angle snow rots the top). You basically need more 'in reserve' and better technique for climbing ice at this angle. There are people who climb like this but its not wise and you're much safer off in future sorting this out properly.
Caspar - on 04 Feb 2013
Would anyone argue argue with what in I've put in my follow-up then?

http://caspianjames-adventure.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/ice-climbing-technique.html
Offwidth - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Too defensive and OTT so I've adapted it below. You're not the only one out there with bad technique on III 4 terrain... just sort it and get better. My line is add up how much you pay going up there and for kit and then work out how much a guide might save you if you take some classes to maximise your investment.

Anyhow:

•Try not to fall off ice.
.Be aware of avalanche risks on approaches and exits.
•Learn some technique and dont get bogged down with guff like X and T methods for grade III's. Feel for balance, build stamina with practice, try and learn tricks to conserve strength, don't trust to marginal placements if a good one is available, ensure your kit is fit for purpose and keep it sharp.
•Drop grades if you get pumped easily. Place gear from half rests where possible.
•Build up leading through the grades, and top-rope or second harder climbs to build technique confidence and stamina.
.For extremis learn to clip in to your axes, place a screw, replace your axes (ie you shouldn't normally need to do this at your lead grade and be careful when you do it). Also, learn to down climb. Whatever you do, try make sure you're safe.
•If you don't know what you are doing beware what you film, and then post on the internet. However, if you make that mistake learn from it (in both respects).
Caspar - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

Well put.
ColinD on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
Firstly, good on you for making it out and back! The video was good, in the sense it provoked some debate and I think some learning. I thought you were going to pop a few times before you did. I looked away for your mates clip, had to rewind. Really?

Going leashless, still clipped on spike has transformed my enjoyment of the sport, but I've never been close enough to a pump to let go of both hands simultaneously.

IMHO reading ice is more of a skill than climbing it. I learnt winter climbing in Wales, soloing up to about IV and getting away with some very thin conditions, forget dinner plates, that would be a nice problem! Ironically my Scottish climbing, I've not led much above a single pitch of V; that didn't go well, leading is hard work.

Enjoy the hills, film it, let us know what you did, we can only improve if we share and learn from experience and each other. Just make it to the next lesson okay :D
Goucho on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Offwidth: What a condescending and patronising post.

You've obviously missed being a fully qualified mountain guide and top class climber off your profile page.
franksnb - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: looks like they had more fun than me on the weekend. btw its my understanding that lanyards are supposed to snap to prevent a large static load on the climber in the event of a fall.
rossn - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: I liked your video. Good to see somebody with a sense of humour. I'm just glad you did that on a single pitch climb and not pitch 4 of something a lot more serious where failure of your runner might have had catastrophic consequences. Thanks for an amusing wee film.

RN
CurlyStevo - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
AMD is IV,4 not III,4 and can be quite tough on the crux compared with many other IV,4 climbs.
Father Noel Furlong on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to rossn:
>I'm just glad you did that on a single pitch climb and not pitch 4 of something a lot more serious where failure of your runner might have had catastrophic consequences.

And how do you know that failure here wouldn't have resulted in a catastrophe?
neilnt - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Thanks for posting the entertaining video. Hopefully dispite all the criticism, you will still get enough good postings out of it to feel that it was worth while to post it up.

Personally I would recommed that anybody wanting to lead on ice gets a good bit of ice climbing on top rope under their belt first. What I mean by a "good bit" is a minimum of 1000m, preferably in the WI 4 and 5 range.

Then start leading on WI 3 and if it goes well progress through the grades SLOWLY.

Oh and sharpening your tools would help a fair bit as well (the DMM ones look very blunt).

Mr. Will Gadd also has a good posting, with some very good points, called "Ice climbing is not rock climbing" with a simular video to yours here:

http://willgadd.com/ice-climbing-is-not-rock-climbing/

Hope this is useful for you / anyboady else wanting to lead ice,

NeilNT

Roberttaylor - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to neilnt: I kinda wish we had a nice icepark like the Ouray one here in the UK, that would be ace.
Caspar - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Roberttaylor:

I wish!
In reply to neilnt:
>
> Personally I would recommed that anybody wanting to lead on ice gets a good bit of ice climbing on top rope under their belt first. What I mean by a "good bit" is a minimum of 1000m, preferably in the WI 4 and 5 range.
>

Seriously?


Chris
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Jamie B - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Or just climb lots of grade III ice to consolidate skills at a lower (safer) grade. This is the traditional approach and it still works for a lot of people.

> (In reply to Jamie B) But that is boring and takes ages.

A compound leg fracture is not boring, but it also takes ages. To heal.
iksander on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to neilnt)
> [...]
>
> Seriously?
>
>
> Chris

I think this is sound advice. There is a large and general prejudice against top roping in the UK/UKC and a lot of willy waving about "manning up" and "getting on the sharp end". Maybe a case for that sentiment on grit, but not on ice.
Roberttaylor - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B: S'ok, I hate falling off too much to ever want to do it.

R
In reply to iksander: I take Gadd's point, although I regularly watch beginners top rope steep ice and you see a lot of them pulling on 'sticks' that should never be pulled on if you were leading. I'm sure lots of us here climb quite differently when seconding or top rope, the old "that looks good enough" thing. Oddly when you're leading the same stick really wouldn't look good enough!
George Ormerod - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to iksander:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
> [...]
>
> I think this is sound advice. There is a large and general prejudice against top roping in the UK/UKC and a lot of willy waving about "manning up" and "getting on the sharp end". Maybe a case for that sentiment on grit, but not on ice.

Whilst the general principal is sound, good luck finding enough top-ropeable WI4-5 (i.e. Scottish V and VI) to do 1000m worth of laps!

Caspar - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to George Ormerod:

Maybe set up a top rope on the CIC falls?
alasdair19 on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to franksnb:
> (In reply to Caspar) looks like they had more fun than me on the weekend. btw its my understanding that lanyards are supposed to snap to prevent a large static load on the climber in the event of a fall.

As opposed to hitting the ground! Lanyards are not rated so the can be light cheap and stretchy.

Norries's line used to be that arms are only for balance up to v. You guys are lucky like many before you.

Had an intetesting chat on leashes with some guides for ice they would use them to reduce fatigue on euro ice
alasdair19 on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to franksnb:
> . btw its my understanding that lanyards are supposed to snap to prevent a large static load on the climber in the event of a fall.

As opposed to hitting the ground! Lanyards are not rated so the can be light cheap and stretchy.

Norries's line used to be that arms are only for balance up to v. You guys are lucky like many before you.

Had an intetesting chat on leashes with some guides for ice they would use them to reduce fatigue on euro ice
Mike Lates - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
> Would anyone argue argue with what in I've put in my follow-up then?
> http://caspianjames-adventure.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/ice-climbing-technique.html

Well listened, disected, digested & surmised.
billy no-mates - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to David Cowley) yeh, all I see is two chaps out giving it a bash and getting valuable experience from it.

Are you willing to pick up the pieces after they've been bashed? If you had any sense of responsibility you would not have written that, especially with the Ben antics you were involved in.

> Maybe if those criticising did the same, then winter climbing in the UK would be moved on rather than being stuck in the stone-age as it is.

This just shows that your knowledge of winter climbing in the UK is in the stone-age, you are the last person that should be dishing out advice.
Milesy - on 04 Feb 2013
Devil's Advocate: What about the likes of Tim Emmett taking a lob of Pic n mix? Much more experienced but could have injured himself just the same.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEpgvN_Gycw
Heike - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Mike Lates:
> (In reply to Caspar)
> [...]
>
> Well listened, disected, digested & surmised.

Yeah! Let's give it a rest, (please???)! Self-reflective evaluation passed!

machine - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Its a bit like Mr Bean goes ice climbing. I enjoyed it, it made me laugh.
Baron Weasel - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: I had an interesting time on mirror direct too, although for different reasons!.. glad you are ok and had fun - i'd get my partner to get some leashes if I were you though.

BW
Ginger McGrath - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Milesy: but generally speaking harder mixed routes are better protected with rock gear and are much steeper with less things to snap yourself on during your fall as well as this, your crampons are less likely to snag on rock and snap your ankles!. ive taken a few falls while out climbing steeper mixed routes and I'm generally pretty happy setting up off one with the knowledge that i may fall however i'd never dream of doing the same on an ice route!
Paul Crusher R - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Good god. Be smart and be safe chaps. Far too many people in the hills these days with bugger all common sense, hurting themselves, take some time to find your feet.
telemarker79 - on 05 Feb 2013
for a climber who can onsight TD+ in the alpine world i think you need to consider carefully where you go out with your skill set. maybe dont run before you can walk.
rossn - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong: I think the comment I made, in pretty general terms, is correct. The fall he had could end in severe injury or even a fatality in some situations, but on AMD your likely to take a bit of a slide and get knocked about a bit. But if you want to be pedantic, which you obviously do, I'll admit its possible to be killed tripping up in high street. RN
Jamie B - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Ginger McGrath:

> generally speaking harder mixed routes are better protected with rock gear and are much steeper with less things to snap yourself on during your fall as well as this, your crampons are less likely to snag on rock and snap your ankles.

True, but I'm aware of a bad compound fracture on The Message, which on paper is the most definitive steep and well-protected mid-grade mixed route out there.
Big Lee - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

No relation to the OP here, but in all fareness AMD is probably a magnet for people trying their first IV so likely sees a few off-the-record falls. Because the steep bit is relatively short people think it will be a soft touch. But, unlike a lot of grade III or III,4 ice routes, placing a screw at full reach from the base of the steepening isn't enough and at least a couple of higher screw placements with one hand are needed. Serious injury could occur if you fell off the top half with no additional runners so it shouldn't be treated as a highball ice climbing boulder problem. I am sure that AMD is some people's first experience at placing screws with one hand on steep ground so needless to say accidents probably happen if their technique isn't up to scratch. I would say getting your ice-screw placements safe and efficient ais probably as important as good ice climbing technique.
CurlyStevo - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Big Lee:
When I lead it I placed two screws near the base of the steeper ice, unfortunately the ice at the top wasn't fat enough for screws, placed one and hit air, took it out tried again, started getting quite seriously pumped and made a snap decision and climbed for another metre or so to get established past the steepening.

Seconded it another time and it was in much easier nick with an easy not nearly as pumpy way up the left hand side of the ice fall.
Jim Hamilton - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Big Lee:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
>
> Because the steep bit is relatively short people think it will be a soft touch.

I seem to remember it was a soft touch - there are easier IV's around ?!
It looks like someone managed to get back up to the axes without axes, so only a couple of moves from there and over the top ?
CurlyStevo - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton:
I think as with all Ice Pitches it varies considerably in difficulty. There certainly are many grade IV's that can form in ways that have easier cruxs than the way AMD can form.
thebigeasy - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> It ripped because the ice it was in pulled off - it had been dinner plating the whole way up. I had my right crampon resting in a dimple in the ice as balance, but when my axe ripped I barn-doored. :/

Watching the video it looks like your hooking most of the placements. If it had been dinner plating I wouldn't have expected there to be any axes left in the route when you both had fallen off.
jcw on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Re Telemarker79. Purely out of curiosity can you tell us what the Alpine TD+ was?
Offwidth - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

AMD is a route that gets both grades depending on the person you ask. It might just push grade IV in my opinion when it forms more steeply sometimes and it hasn't had traffic. Often though it's a path for grade III with great hooks from all the axe bashing and near enough kicked steps. Even when its not heavily bashed I've climbed harder grade II's high on the Ben that are still II in the new guides.

In reply to goucho

Coming from a master of the patronising post I guess that makes me proud ;-) Funny how he didn't take it that way though and even included the information on his site. Call me careful maybe but thats because I helped introduce over a hundred students new to scottish winter climbing (with the help of starter courses paid by our club and run by UIAA guides and BMC videos and talks).
Offwidth - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Big Lee:

Serious injury can result from falling from easy terrain on a lot of ice climbs. 3 ice screws for such a short tricky section on AMD is OTT IMHO as stopping to place unnecessary screws on steep ice can increase risk. Although I agree its good to practice one-handed placements, most climbers should have done this already as there are plenty of short near vertical steps even on grade IIs and depending on conditions you might need this skill to protect the steep bit on almost any ice III's. Climbers moving into IV 4 should be comfortable and efficient technically on near vertical ice.
CurlyStevo - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Take up your issues with Andy Nisbet who wrote the new Cairngorms and Scottish winter climbing guides it's listed as IV,4 in both of those.

If you search about on these forums you can also find posts from other Scottish MIC who say it can be no push over for the grade (Note can be, my point was that it can form very differently at different times of the season and also season to season.) You seem to be speaking from a position of greater authority, but remember I did actually live in Scotland for 6 years!

Which grade II did you find harder?
RCC - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> If you search about on these forums you can also find posts from other Scottish MIC who say it can be no push over for the grade (Note can be, my point was that it can form very differently at different times of the season and also season to season.)



I've always thought IV, 4 pretty fair in most conditions. I've climbed it as a beginner (when it felt desperate), and a number of times since with several grades in hand. I've never found it a pushover, but it can look pretty unassuming from below. The steep bit is not long, but it is very steep for a grade IV. I think that is why so many people get caught out.
Offwidth - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

The guidebook grade is the guidebook grade. I however think its on average a hard III 4 and am entitled to my opinion. Since when is proper hard III a push-over given the grade in winter always assumes normal good conditions within a range. The reason it's often described as a good first IV is based on it being low in the grade, protectable, accessible and escapable and you can rescue easily from the right. I ran the kit for a student club for about 15 years with plenty of feedback, worked closely with guides in scotland and winter climbed regularly from the early 90's so stop comparing dick size please because your 6 years insitu certainly isnt going to dwarf that.
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MG - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Offwidth: How do you fit near vertical ice for several metres in to the grade descriptro for three of "Sustained gullies or ridges and steeper than grade II routes.", bearing in mind grade IV is "...either long sections of between 60-70 degrees or short vertical steps..."?
CurlyStevo - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
So what you managed a few trips a year for 20 years and I went out regularly every winter most weekends and also during the week taking holidays to maximise weather and conditions for 6.

Yes you are entitled to an opinion but I'll go with Andy Nesbits over yours any day of the week.

I note grade IV is the hardest you've lead so I don't think you are really rounded enough at the grade to have such a strong opinion.
Erik B - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Offwidth: I agree with you. That short video alone has two safe leader falls, III,4 is a fair grade.Isuspect it gets IV,4 in guide to perhaps reduce the number of jeffreys trying it and thus reducing its status as scotlands top route for falling off. I find the video incredibly frustrating, tippy tappy climbing as if its a highly featured and brittle WI7! bang the axes in and kick your feet in firmly FFS! what a kafuffle,a good argument for using leashes on routes below grade V.
Erik B - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: despite your assumed superiority, Offwidth speaks more sense than you
CurlyStevo - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:
If so then how about you name some III,4 ice routes that are harder than AMD in TYPICAL conditions. I've done left twin which is high in the grade III,4 (in lean nick) and it was nothing like as pumpy and steep as AMD when I lead it.
Caspar - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to thebigeasy:

I was placing my axes when I first went up - there were no hooks. When my partner went up, he was hooking my placements. The next day when we did it again our placements were still there.
Caspar - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to jcw:
> (In reply to Caspar) Re Telemarker79. Purely out of curiosity can you tell us what the Alpine TD+ was?

Haha, are we now going to start judging my climbing ability to that level?
Poeme a lou, Aiguilles Rouges TD+
Rebaffat route, Aiguille du Midi TD

Both rock routes, so no reflection of my ice climbing.
Andy Say - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Big Lee)
>
> 3 ice screws for such a short tricky section on AMD is OTT IMHO as stopping to place unnecessary screws on steep ice can increase risk.

Have to admit though that when I first did it I did regret not having ANY ice screws with me. Perhaps one and a half is the appropriate number? :-)

I do recall weighing up my chances of jumping back down onto the ramp but then deciding that that was just not going to work.....
zero six - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
> Haha, are we now going to start judging my climbing ability to that level?

Looks to me like your climbing ability has been comprehensively judged and you've been found guilty, by ukc majority verdict, of incompetence on easy ice. But tbh I'm not really sure what else you expected after posting footage of you flailing on a WI3 and simply asking people to 'enjoy'? (A Darwin award?). Very naive of you to not expect criticism after posting videos of yourself displaying eye-poppingly poor technique - after all you didn't have to share it with the world.

And don't blame the ice! :)

Goucho on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
>
> Yes you are entitled to an opinion but I'll go with Andy Nesbits over yours any day of the week.
>
How dare you make such a comment :-)

Don't you realise that Offwidth is a moderator for mid - grade single pitch grit crags - that makes him an authority on all aspects of climbing.

I'm thinking of sending him some old video clips of me on The Cad, Salathe Wall, and the Freney Pillar, for a critical appraisal of my technical ability and competence :-)
Caspar - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to zero six:

It was actually posted because I thought some people might get a laugh out of it. But yes, posting it on here has attracted a lot of negativity. And I'm sure that everyone else's technique is flawless, we just don't get to see it in action. :)
Wainers44 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Good for you. I am not qualified to judge your climbing technique, but I do think you have dealt with a number of the unhelpful comments on here very well. With that positive attitude to learn you will only improve :)
Scomuir on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> Yes you are entitled to an opinion but I'll go with Andy Nesbits over yours any day of the week.

You take advice from Rab C's distant cousin? :o)
Kane - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: and thank you for posting it - the sight of 3 axes all stuck in the same place was pretty funny.

Don't get too hung up about all the negative comments - at the end of the day the worst thing you can do is not try. Still I'd avoid falling off ice in the future, even the shortest of falls can injure ankles and knees. My partner sprained an ankle seconding because of rope stretch once - just caught the front point at a bad angle. Not falling on ice is pretty easy - just make sure every placment is bomber, no matter how long it takes or how much crud you need to remove and if you're getting progressively pumped, and there is no natural rest in sight, then clip into your bomber axe or a screw and take a break.
zero six - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
> (In reply to zero six)
>
> It was actually posted because I thought some people might get a laugh out of it. But yes, posting it on here has attracted a lot of negativity. And I'm sure that everyone else's technique is flawless, we just don't get to see it in action. :)

A laugh? I've seen funnier things. Listening to Andy Kirkpatrick is a laugh. A vid of a punter climbing badly is just everyday banality on film. I didn't find your vid funny. You must have expected 'negativity', you've also had some decent feedback.
The Bad Cough - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Having read the whole thread and watched the video (amusing but naive on the climbers part) and looking at grade debate of AMD compared to The Curtain( Devil's Kitchen) then AMD should only be a III 3 if that compared to Curtain IV 4. Always depends on conditions though and quality/build up of ice. I personally think AMD is a III 4 and probably soft touch at that grade.

Just good that the climbers were uninjured but they need to get stronger/more stamina and use better placements with the tools and crampons.
Offwidth - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho:

That looks a bit patronising to me ;-)
nniff - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Good on you for putting that video up.
My turn to admit to flight time - In 1978 I managed to fall 100 feet from the top of the first pitch of a route on Ben Nevis to the bottom, where I fortunately landed in a very deep and soft snow drift, accompanied by the person who knocked me off (who had slid from the top of the second pitch).
The key learning points from that were 1) never sit down on a snowy ledge un-belayed when wearing over-trousers 2) don't think that someone attempting to ice axe brake above you will stop 3) you can fall a long way on ice and not hurt yourself, but mostly you'll kill yourself and 4) Packing two people and 54 sharp steel points into a snow drift at terminal velocity is most unwise. This is called experience. I wasn’t any better for it, but certainly wiser.
Subsequent learning points have included
- Never try and hold the top of the axe when it's in steep ice (as in the video) it might seem secure and give you a breather, but it will lever out with no warning.
- Think in triangles, whether you're moving one axe at a time or climbing up to below one before moving the other.
- Get a fifi hook and have it attached somewhere at nipple level where you can grab it easily and pop it into your axe when it's all looking a bit shaky.
- Get some dumbbells and train for overhead swings so you don't get 'stupid arm', in which the axe twists against the ice instead of going in.
- Climb in zones – protection zones and climbing zones. Work out where your next screw is going to go (preferably somewhere which will offer some relief) and climb there with a sense of purpose instead of dithering as you climb. Get some gear in, look for you next spot and move to it. As far as possible, make sure you’re not in a stress position when you’re placing gear (fat chance!). You’ll climb faster, more purposefully and will probably enjoy it more.
- Place an axe and flex your fingers – to keep the blood flowing and to force you to release your death-like grip.
- Don’t fall off – the ‘guide’s break’ is a broken ankle from a minor slip and catch when wearing crampons. All you need is for your crampons to dig in before the rest of you stops and you’ve got a broken bone.
Offwidth - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I'll happily take Andy's view direct, he doesn't need you playing 'chinese whispers' or your spin. He always seems like a sensible chap to me.

Left Twin and SC Gully are both about as hard I'd say, mainly because of seriousness, not steepness and pump. I can't think of a steeper III 4 under normal conditions which corresponds with it being right at the top of the grade (and it does more rarely form as a IV) which is what I said. You can also make any such route harder and more fun by taking a more direct line.

Of course with better modern tools and more access to better ice screws etc I guess grades should really have got easier since the early 1990's (I started climbing III ice with rock gear, scubes and warthogs and soon supplemented my rack!).
Michael Gordon - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Ginger McGrath)
>
> [...]
>
> True, but I'm aware of a bad compound fracture on The Message, which on paper is the most definitive steep and well-protected mid-grade mixed route out there.

I think he was probably talking about harder routes than The Message.
ERH - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

"what a hilariously shite situation"

Awesome comment :)

Good on you for doing this. As a total know-nothing about ice climbing I just saw the funny side!
Misha - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
Trouble is you weren't placing them well. It was gentle tapping but the ice was fairly fat from the looks of things so whack it in hard and make sure it stays in would be my advice. Don't overdo it so it's a pain to extract though. A fine balance. But if in doubt I to for the whack it in option as that way I'm sure of the placement and if I'm really tired I can clip into the axes and trust them to stay in. Never had to do that though (yet!).

If it's any consolation, clearly it depends on conditions but the time I did it I thought it was pretty hard for a IV 4, fairly short but steep and no hooks. I've done IV 4s on ice that hae been considerably easier. Depends on the conditions on the day of course.
Jamie B - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I note grade IV is the hardest you've lead so I don't think you are really rounded enough at the grade to have such a strong opinion.

Don't know how thorough your own logbook is, but you're hardly solid at the grade yourself.

Nath93 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Milesy: But that's Tim Emmett, so its OK for him to fall off and not get stick because it was a IX,9.
Drew_boy on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: This post is turning worse than the crap posted after a Daily Mail article on climbing!

Yes these guys f*cked up a route and came close to hurting themselves really bad. I've been there and I'm sure many others have too! The difference? I didn't post a video of it! They got away with it, dusted themselves down and recovered! Sometimes you lot just need to get over yourselves!!!

Anyway, made me laugh!
Andy Peak 1 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: I took the same fall on A M D on Friday afternoon! I learnt more about ice climbing and ice screw placements in that 30 min than the rest of my routes combined! Very glad to se im not the only one that has fallen on this route:-)
The Ellon Yeti on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

I will never forget doing it as my first ice climb some 20 years ago with straight axes and not ashamed to say that it ended up with four of us bawling our eyes oot with hotaches fae hell
Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> ....the same stick.....

Stick? Does that mean placement?
In reply to Robert Durran: yup, and has done in at least my head for what seems like forever. Have you not heard it!? Perhaps it was reading Jeff Lowe's "Climbing" in the late 80s or something American like that left "stick" stuck in my consciousness!
Offwidth - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

"Don't know how thorough your own logbook is, but you're hardly solid at the grade yourself."

Well I guess CurlyStevo has been exceedingly lucky as Ive climbed plenty in bad nick over the years that tested me thoroughly with my max official best lead grade as IV and got lost a few times and climbed slightly more desperate stuff and yet I found AMD OK as a hard III when fresh and a bit more of a path when well used.


Offwidth - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

"How do you fit near vertical ice for several metres in to the grade descriptro for three of "Sustained gullies or ridges and steeper than grade II routes.", bearing in mind grade IV is "...either long sections of between 60-70 degrees or short vertical steps..."?"

Sometimes I don't know as I've climbed many awkward ice steps on II's, and at hard III stuff like SC Gully and Left Twin felt no different in seriousness to Comb Gully or AMD (both of which in fact felt easier when well used). I've also climbed properly bulging IV (Four Arms on the Ben was probably the steepest I've done). I guess people have forgotton grades are for good conditions when the route is fresh, yet conditions vary with build up and traffic and you need to be prepared for surprises. Anyhow, like I said at the start we have all been there, pushing things a bit much and this video post and thread has pulled up some good discussion and advice. The OP is also a bit of a star for taking it all in good spirit.

One thing nniff didn't mention was belays...don't scrimp on finding a good one when there is a hard pitch ahead, there is usually something under there somewhere.
spa_bob - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

I can't beleive how patronising some of the stuff you post on here is..
Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) yup, and has done in at least my head for what seems like forever. Have you not heard it!?

Heard it for mixed, but not ice. Must have blinked!
Jamie Simpson on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:


Hi Caspar,

Thanks for posting you movie, nice sound track (whats the music anyway?). Really educational, I am sure many people will learn something from it. Its a shame a few people feel the need to judge you so harshly and I think it shows a high level of maturity that you have come back with well balanced comments throughout the life of this thread. Especially considering some of the comments by others have been really immature and harsh.

Like many people I have worked and played in and around the Cairn Gorms over many years and I have been witness to many acts of climbing ability and from what i saw in the movie the way you climbed and looked after yourselves was equal to or better than most. Shit happens, for what ever reason, you got out without the help of anyone else, lessons learned, time for tea.

Boy! I am so glad no one ever filmed me in my early days of climbing, the jackals of UKs would have eaten me alive :)
Simon_Sheff - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Nothing wrong with having fun, we all started somewhere.

The leashless is a 'magazine' driven fad. I.e it works for some top end climbers, but is not really the best at beginner/intermediate or even expert level for most.
If you were on the Ben, not having leashes could cause you serious problems, and really with the advent of clip leashes it isn;t necessary to not use them for 95% of us.
Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:
> The leashless is a 'magazine' driven fad.

Nonsense.
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Nonsense.

Agree completely, and that's from someone who does tend to still use wrist loops on the hardest routes I do. Anyone who has climbed with modern leashless tools and who climbed leashed before will quickly see all the advantages that are very apparent. I believe there are some disadvantages and these are sometimes less apparent.

Where I climb, climbers with wrist loops are now a small minority and all beginners seems to learn from the start leashless, Scotland doesn't look so different either now although I guess people coming through from hillwalking/scrambling might introduce a higher proportion to the idea of wrist loops than here.
zero six - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie Simpson:
> Like many people I have worked and played in and around the Cairn Gorms over many years and I have been witness to many acts of climbing ability and from what i saw in the movie the way you climbed and looked after yourselves was equal to or better than most. Shit happens, for what ever reason, you got out without the help of anyone else, lessons learned, time for tea.


This deserves a response. The way they both climbed in that vid was poor and below the level required by the choice of route - that isn't harsh criticism it's just blatantly obvious, no offense intended. Novice climbers watching the vid/reading this thread should not go away with the idea that climbing like that is ok, the MR are overworked as it is!
Folk on here regularly berate idiot walkers/scramblers who get out of their depth and call the MR for assistance to get off the hill. I place this close to the same level of incompetence; ask yourselves - if one of them had caught their crampon points during one of their falls, which they avoided through sheer good fortune, and had broken/sprained a lower limb resulting in a call to MR - would you still be applauding their actions? Nobody's saying don't have adventures, the overriding message on here is you owe it to yourself and other people who might have to scoop you up to be at a certain level of competence before taking on whatever adventure it is. I think that's just standard good practice. These guys were demonstrably below the level of competence required for climbing the route within their limits but I've yet to hear Caspar recognize that fact, instead talking about how they 'cruised' up the route the next day. The same thing (incompetent leaders on ice routes) was happening in Devil's Kitchen a couple of weeks ago - three falls off ice routes in one day, including one broken leg requiring a helicopter evac. It's like watching expensively outfitted lemmings.

Simon4 - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: Well it certainly has the air of an unthinking orthodoxy in many of its proponents. Many of whom actually have very little experience of ice-climbing and are very influenced by the prevailing fashions. Obviously that is not the case for some people, who clearly know what they are doing, but the aura of conformism is striking in others.

There are a great many circumstances where leashes are a good system, as they both stop axes from being dropped and also can be rested in when the climber is pumped. I recall a story of Joe Simpson going to climb The Screen in Glencoe, disdaining the idea of leashes (well ahead of the trend there), then getting pumped on the crux, loosing grip of his axes and taking a long fall onto a poor belay. I, on the other hand, went up The Screen, got pumped, took a rest hanging from leashes and finished the route in good order.

It is also striking that at the start of the leashless fashion, no attachment to the axes was allowed at all. This had the entirely predictable result, with the consequence that more and more use was made of clipper systems to stop the axes being dropped. Now there is increasing interest in whether the tethers could be used to rest in. It looks a bit like the re-invention of the leash.
Offwidth - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to zero six:

I think Casper did rethink...check his blog. I also think some posting critics were probably too strong (or trite) and some too sympathetic.... none of this is especially unususal on a web forum. I'm more worried about people recognising clear deficiences and doing something about it so they can climb harder and safer. MR callouts are a pain and do entail extra risk at times but people avoiding hurting themselves and their partners is more important.
Caspar - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to zero six:

What if I told you that my partner had slipped on sheet ice during the walk out and had fallen over, narrowly missing hurting himself. He could have broken his arm or leg, or twisted his ankle. In the same vein as what you've said, would this not also potentially burden the MRT?

I don't think anyone has been left in any doubt that the way we climbed is not how you should climb. I would also not compare myself, going well kitted and prepared, to some punter climbing snowdon in trainers without a jacket when it's raining.

You'll also notice that I was on second the next day, and was not actually leading. Whether I found it easy or hard is irrelevant at that point.
Caspar - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

The music is Ghostwriter - Rjd2
Offwidth - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

That's not fair. The fact that accidents happen isn't a justification for making them more likely. The snowdon case you describe is just an extreme example of innaproprite response to risk. Your team was lucky that someone wasnt badly hurt.
Simon_Sheff - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Simon4:
>
> There are a great many circumstances where leashes are a good system, as they both stop axes from being dropped and also can be rested in when the climber is pumped. I recall a story of Joe Simpson going to climb The Screen in Glencoe, disdaining the idea of leashes (well ahead of the trend there), then getting pumped on the crux, loosing grip of his axes and taking a long fall onto a poor belay. I, on the other hand, went up The Screen, got pumped, took a rest hanging from leashes and finished the route in good order.
>
> It is also striking that at the start of the leashless fashion, no attachment to the axes was allowed at all. This had the entirely predictable result, with the consequence that more and more use was made of clipper systems to stop the axes being dropped. Now there is increasing interest in whether the tethers could be used to rest in. It looks a bit like the re-invention of the leash.

Completely agree. Some posters (above) only use their expansive 5 years experience to make silly judgments. For the vast majority of climbers a leash or at least 'tether-leash' is best. There is currently a 'phase' of everyone 'going leashless' - thats the definition of a fad

CurlyStevo - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:
I think most "leashless" climbers I see are using lanyards / tether leashes.
zero six - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
> (In reply to zero six)
>
> What if I told you that my partner had slipped on sheet ice during the walk out and had fallen over, narrowly missing hurting himself. He could have broken his arm or leg, or twisted his ankle. In the same vein as what you've said, would this not also potentially burden the MRT?

It would have been a burden yes, as any accident is, but the context is different - it's walking not climbing. Starting up a climb involves, or should involve, an acknowledgement of personal responsibility over and above that of deciding to walk on a hill path - which in itself has, or should have, a greater burden of responsibility than walking down the high street. And if he really did do that then I'd say 'it sounds like you're a bit more of a liability in the hills than average'.


> I don't think anyone has been left in any doubt that the way we climbed is not how you should climb. I would also not compare myself, going well kitted and prepared, to some punter climbing snowdon in trainers without a jacket when it's raining.

Again context is all. Being well-kitted is almost a prerequisite for getting to the start of many winter climbs. Getting up them safely demands more than just adequate kit. Climbing safely demands, amongst other things, good decision-making and an ability-level matched to route choice.
Your Snowdon punter example is equivalent to a climbing punter, it's all just punterdom in different contexts with different expectations.

Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> There are a great many circumstances where leashes are a good system, as they both stop axes from being dropped and also can be rested in when the climber is pumped.

You won't drop them if you use a lanyard. Problem solved.

I would have failed on the route I did last Saturday if I had been using leashes - I would have got too pumped placing gear and not been able to shake out. Admittedly this was a mixed route and the case for leashless on ice might not be quite as strong.

Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> Now there is increasing interest in whether the tethers could be used to rest in. It looks a bit like the re-invention of the leash.

Not at all. Leashes and tethers/lanyards serve very differnt purposes. I've never climbed without lanyards in thirty years, for twenty eight of which I was also using leashes (except once soloiing in the Alps without a harness - I dropped both my tools....)

In reply to Simon_Sheff: So what leashless tools have you used and on what type of routes?

On fads: well, in 1999 wearing leather single boots was a fad, but how is Koflach doing now? Bouldering mats were a fad, just a fad that never went away. The genie is out of the bottle, it won't go back in. Besides anything else Android leashes cost about €100 a pair if I remember right and even simple old school webbing wrist loops are gonna add 20 quid to the purchase prices of your tools. With modern tools with hand rests, I doubt many people will spend the extra. And that's leaving aside the obvious point that many people, including the elites, are climbing harder without leashes.
Simon_Sheff - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Your missing the point. Don't get upset just because you climb 'leashless'.
In reply to Simon_Sheff:

> Your missing the point.

And you're missing an apostrophe and e, but there we go. Please inform me what your point is as if it is not that you are right and everyone who has found something different is wrong, I'm not entirely sure what it is?

> Don't get upset just because you climb 'leashless'.

But the funny thing is I don't, or at least not all the time. I'm one of the small minority of ice climbers who still prefers wrist loops when on routes that are hard for me.

So I'll ask again, have you actually tried modern leashless tools? And if so on what type of routes?
GridNorth - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: I'm by no stretch of the imagination a hard ice climber, WI5 is my best, but I have ice climbed for almost 50 years and in that time used every method known to man. Each one in it's time seemed like a revolutionary improvement but a couple of years ago I went leashless with my Quarks and it was a revelation. You don't get as pumped as you might think,you don't have the faffing about that you get with clipper leashes and sideways steps and traversing are a doddle. Anyone want to buy some Petzl clipper leashes with mounting stubs, unused?
James91 - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: this thread is brutal. I pity you fella! I bet (and its probably incredibly accurate) that everyone currently on their high horses has done similar or worse while learning. Maybe they have forgotten that sometimes in a learning process things can go wrong and it can be very hard to judge your limits until that happens? Just take the useful advice, be happy you got out in one piece, and move on methinks! Which is what you appear to have done anyways, so, lol. I found the video quite amusing especially your accurate comment of ' What a hilariously shit situation' ha.
Simon_Sheff - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Simon_Sheff)
>
> [...]
>
> And you're missing an apostrophe and e, but there we go. Please inform me what your point is as if it is not that you are right and everyone who has found something different is wrong, I'm not entirely sure what it is?
>
> [...]
>
> But the funny thing is I don't, or at least not all the time. I'm one of the small minority of ice climbers who still prefers wrist loops when on routes that are hard for me.
>
> So I'll ask again, have you actually tried modern leashless tools? And if so on what type of routes?

I think people who start pointing out spelling mistakes out are generally getting into difficulty.

You also seem to be under the mistaken impression that 'leashless' was crap or no good.
What I actually said was - the vast majority of climbers don't need to go 'leashless', especially if they are not climbing really hard stuff. There is no doubt that a huge amount of climbers are going leashless, because that it is the 'fad', - you don't see anyone doing hard routes in the mags with leashes these days.
Several recent accidents would not of happened if people were using leashes, and as a fellow poster said above, people are now re-designing tethers to be used. The OP video - guy wouldn;t of fallen if he had leashes.

To summarise - leashes are a good thing - they've been used for a longtime for good reasons.
Leashless is also has some great advantages - but most people don't need to go leashless.


To answer your question, I've climbed winter routes for 20 years. Mostly with leashes, sometimes in the past few years I've climbed without. I like climbing without sometimes, my point still stands though, for most junior - intermediate ice climbers leashes work well, and result in less falls,accidents (especially on the higher, longer routes, rather than the roadside Norway type stuff)
Still I'm sure you know better.
Simon4 - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: I don't doubt that you know what you are doing, also that you are capable of recognising that there is no magic solution to the best ice-climbing configuration. I was pointing out that a lot of inexperienced climbers don't, but just repeat the currently prevailing dogma with the fervour of a convert, not adapting it to different conditions.

Anyone who has been climbing a while knows that there are fads that are proclaimed as "the solution", some of them fall by the wayside, some of them last as they genuinely do improve matters. Equally a genuine advance can be pushed too far, well beyond its reasonable limits, so it can eventually become more discredited than is justified, but a few unrepresentative accidents.

With regard to the original lads, they may have been a bit gung-ho, especially for both of them to take a very similar fall in a very similar place, but climbers have always had a bit of an RAF attitude that "any prang you walk away from is a good prang, and makes a great story in the pub afterwards", so I don't think they are particularly guilty for that (or no more guilty than most of us, paragons of virtue aside of course).
Steve Perry - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to James91:
> (In reply to Caspar) this thread is brutal. I pity you fella! I bet (and its probably incredibly accurate) that everyone currently on their high horses has done similar or worse while learning. Maybe they have forgotten that sometimes in a learning process things can go wrong and it can be very hard to judge your limits until that happens? Just take the useful advice, be happy you got out in one piece, and move on methinks! Which is what you appear to have done anyways, so, lol. I found the video quite amusing especially your accurate comment of ' What a hilariously shit situation' ha.

Well said especially the high horse stuff because there's plenty of it.

CurlyStevo - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Steve Perry:
Agreed the OP has been remarkably good natured about it.
Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
> Anyone want to buy some Petzl clipper leashes with mounting stubs, unused?

I think you will find that the bottom has fallen out of the saturated market.

Anyone want to buy an abacus - I've just discovered the advantages of an electronic calculator.

Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:
> (In reply to TobyA)
> Leashless is also has some great advantages - but most people don't need to go leashless.

Nobody needs to, but almost everyone would benefit from doing so (and I speak as a very late and bhighly sceptical convert.)
I suspect that accidents are not really caused by people going leashless, but just by the hurry to get on harder routes without a sensible amount of experience (leashless or not) - hopefully this is the temporary "fad".

ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to Simon_Sheff:

> What I actually said was - the vast majority of climbers don't need to go 'leashless', especially if they are not climbing really hard stuff.

Your original statement said it was a magazine driven fad and "not really the best at beginner/intermediate or even expert level for most." You didn't say it was crap, but did you say leashes are better "for most". Lots of people disagree.

Oddly, I find I get all the advantages of climbing leashless more when I'm climbing what is easier to mid-grade stuff for me. It's faster; you generally place your tools less and it's faster to place gear. Plus you keep your hands warmer if climbing in cold conditions. I suspect it is actually cases like this where people are pushing their grade on steeper routes, be that IV or VI, where leashes could give some extra security but I suppose if people have got up to that stage climbing leashless they're not going swap.
In reply to Simon4:
> there is no magic solution to the best ice-climbing configuration.

Very true, although I suppose ethics are evolving with the technology within the sport; i.e. people used to clip and rest to places screws. I think that it's only because many climbers now say they find it easier to climb leashless, that wrist loops haven't been moved into the same 'ethically dubious' category.
scorpia97 - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to zero six:

Having followed this thread from the beginning, my question to you zero six is: At what point are you in a position to make the judgement call to start a route that you believe is within your ability?

- When you have confidently climbed the route in the past.
- When you have tackled a reasonable amount of II's and III's involving ice steps and ice sections.
- When you have been out in Scotland and the Alpes in a variety of conditions.
- When you believe you will not fall off.

My point is that the OP meets all the above. Even if he had done a course with guides, then his swing and placements would be better. But as has been mentioned previously it doesnt mean that he would have been taught T technique over X. i.e. that he could still have barn doored resulting in the same fall as his top pick did not fail.

I dont feel that this thread has encouraged or glorified bad technique or falling off, IMO it has done quite the opposite. Providing the collection of many useful articles and videos that the average aspiring ice leader will benefit from. Very few people get the chance to either see themselves climb or get constructive criticism.

I feel there has been enough berating and that the thread should now focus on the emphasis of educating those viewing it; to better technique and hill safety to prevent further falls in the future. The grade debate achieves little and the petty squabble over who has more experience is counter productive.

Just to clarify my position on the second fall, the situation where the second lets go of both his axes is unacceptable you should never just let go.

Scorpia
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
> some punter climbing snowdon in trainers without a jacket when it's raining

I believe the normal term for such a person is "fell runner".
Erik B - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: look, no need to get rabid about the leashes thing. a fact in the video featured is that if BOTH leaders had been using leashes they wouldnt have fallen. Now I have to say Im amused when folk rant on about how brilliant leashless is on grade IIIs or IVs!! cheezo. perhaps instead of rabid pro leashless posts folk should actually step back and perhaps recommend that shite climbers actually use leaches until they have learned their trade and start to get on to the ground where leashless actually makes a difference and becomes a clear benefit.
Simon_Sheff - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) look, no need to get rabid about the leashes thing. a fact in the video featured is that if BOTH leaders had been using leashes they wouldnt have fallen. Now I have to say Im amused when folk rant on about how brilliant leashless is on grade IIIs or IVs!! cheezo. perhaps instead of rabid pro leashless posts folk should actually step back and perhaps recommend that shite climbers actually use leaches until they have learned their trade and start to get on to the ground where leashless actually makes a difference and becomes a clear benefit.

Good post

jcw on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
Not at all. I wouldn't dream of entering this debate. My curiosity was simply to know what is considered "Alpine"" TD+ nowadays. Thank you for answering the question.
muppetfilter - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Toreador:

In reply to Caspar:
> some punter climbing snowdon in trainers without a jacket when it's raining

I believe the normal term for such a person is a "Scouser".

There you go, I fixed it for you ;0)
lithos on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to muppetfilter:

only if carrying a can of special brew see

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=100132
Simon_Sheff - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to lithos:
> (In reply to muppetfilter)
>
> only if carrying a can of special brew see
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=100132

I used to do that with my dad!
jshields - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to lithos: excellent!!
Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) look, no need to get rabid about the leashes thing.

My carefully thought out reply is hardly rabid, so no need to get rabid just because you happen to disagree.

> A fact in the video featured is that if BOTH leaders had been using leashes they wouldnt have fallen.

So would they have just been left hanging from their leashes until someone rescued them or they died of cold then?

> Now I have to say Im amused when folk rant on about how brilliant leashless is on grade IIIs or IVs!

Not a rant. The fact is that many of us think that all winter climbing is easier and more fun without the encumberance of leashes, so why not avoid the faff and go leashless on easier routes. In fact, there might be a stronger case for leashes on harder routes.

> Perhap folk should actually step back and perhaps recommend that shite climbers actually use leashes until they have learned their trade and start to get on to the ground where leashless actually makes a difference and becomes a clear benefit.

They make a difference on all ground. Anyway, perhaps getting used to going leashless on easier routes might in fact be better preparation for going leashless on harder routes.

Goucho on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: I had my first go with leashless a few weeks ago, and I must admit that there is a certain freedom of movement you don't get with leashes.

However, personally, and certainly on longer routes of V and below, I'll stick with leashes, simply because of it's what I'm used to, and also I think they offer greater variety and versatility.

But of course there's no right or wrong - it's all about personal preference.
Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> I'll stick with leashes, simply because ...... I think they offer greater variety and versatility.

I'm not sure what you mean by this! Do you mean you can always just not use them?

Goucho on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: I still use a pair of Chacal's, and for the grade I climbed/climb, they are perfect, and I can use a variety of different grips and positions - I think this is what I meant.

As my grade is likely to 'decrease' over the years, there's no point this old dog getting gear that is ultimately designed for a much harder and different style of climbing.

Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> As my grade is likely to 'decrease' over the years, there's no point this old dog getting gear that is ultimately designed for a much harder and different style of climbing.

This ageing dog is hoping to stem grade decrease and delay total punterdom as long as possible by getting whatever advantage from modern gear that he can! With leashless tools, monos and a cowardly rack he can climb nearly as hard as he could with a Curver and a Chacal 25 years ago!

DH3631 - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: as a long term bumbly plodding my way up stuff inthe III-V range, I find that going leashless, with springer lanyards, is a big improvement on mixed routes, along with the rest of the modern gear I use now, compared to the MT technical axes, koflachs, strap on salewas, scrubes etc I started with. However I still use leashes on any ice route unless it is easy (for me). Having been doing it for long enough I find it easy enough to place screws with this set up although IMHO there are in any case normally opportunities to do so standing in balance at acceptable intervals on what I presume are now the diddy grades. Basically for me it feels safer and more efficient and I don't really see what the benefit of going without would be. If I was lighter and stronger it might be different though.
Erik B - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: try and step back man! and maybe understand what I am trying to say. the fact is beginners are popping off cos they are letting go of their tools, leashes eradicate that problem. perhaps folk should be encouraging beginners to climb with leashes? there is plenty of time to climb leashless with springy things. man alive, this thread is awful
Pids - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) try and step back man! ........ man alive, this thread is awful

Perhaps take your own advice and step away from this thread?

Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) Maybe understand what I am trying to say. The fact is beginners are popping off cos they are letting go of their tools, leashes eradicate that problem. perhaps folk should be encouraging beginners to climb with leashes?

I see what you are saying, but given that it is highly debatable whether leashes increase or decrease the tendency to get pumped, maybe beginners should be encouraged not to throw themselves at things on which they will get horrendously pumped until they have built up the experience to know where their limits are - leashed or not.
nufkin - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) try and step back man! and maybe understand what I am trying to say. the fact is beginners are popping off cos they are letting go of their tools, leashes eradicate that problem.

Not sure they necessarily do. You can't let go entirely, maybe, but your grip can still weaken to the point where you can't hold on any more, or swing effectively, at which point you're still likely to fall off.
Without leashes, you take steps to remedy the situation before the critical point.

> perhaps folk should be encouraging beginners to climb with leashes?

Or just encourage them to learn without to begin with, and get into the habit of shaking/resting? Saves having to re'learn later.
And maybe more importantly, moving as efficiently as possible, as per the well-written article that's just been re-posted ( http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4316 ), or the numerous links to Will Gadd's comments, or books on the subject such as the Parnell/Gresham one, and also Gadd's again.

> man alive, this thread is awful

I think it's been quite useful. And the OP's been a good sport about comments and criticisms
Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to nufkin:
> (In reply to Erik B)
> Not sure they necessarily do. You can't let go entirely, maybe, but your grip can still weaken to the point where you can't hold on any more, or swing effectively, at which point you're still likely to fall off.

I was about to back down and admit that Erik was right; that, given they will inevitably badly misjudge things occasionally, it might perhaps be better for beginners to use leashes. But you have persuaded me that I am possibly right after all. Thanks.
puppythedog on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: I'm a beginner back from my first trip. I had spinner lanyards rather than leashes, one our party had leashes and he had a much harder time, any traversing was a nightmare and placing a screw was harder for him too.

Also everyone is saying that both popped because they were leashless but didn't Casper say that was his mate and that when he popped it was because his axes blew?
nufkin - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to nufkin)
> [...]
>
> But you have persuaded me that I am possibly right after all.

Of course you are.




Unless you're not - don't discount the possibility that I am, in fact, wrong.







Though maybe this isn't the place for nuanced uncertanty
Erik B - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to puppythedog: there were two axes stuck up on the route sans climber! lol BTW so what it was harder for your mate,at least he was attached to his axes! Pids,you are right, I'm out!
MG - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: How about one leash?!
Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) How about one leash?!

That's called a clipper leash once one of them has inevitably unclipped when it shouldn't have.

john irving - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
It's not about the leashes. The poor footwork was the real issue. Best thing I did learning was ice bouldering near Hell's Lum. Would have been a long hop out if I had fallen off and broken something, but getting balanced on the front points saves loads of energy in the arms.
Bradders - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to john irving:
I agree, good footwork means that in most situations your always in balance and you don't get lactic acid build up in your arms.
But when you get calf pump oh Jesus then your screwed haha.
Climbing with or without leashes is a very personal subject and I would be very happy climbing leashless with the BD Vipers the Caspar had. However i dont know what others feel, but from swinging the DMM rebels friends own etc i have never thought of them to be used as a leashless axe, the hand grip doesn't promote a more relaxed grip. Maybe thats just me...
Misha - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to zero six:
I get what you're saying but where exactly is the level of competence beyond which it's ok to get on a given route? Someone who is pushing the grade will inevitably one day try something that's harder than what s/he's done before. Clearly you have to pick your routes carefully and not stray too far out of your current grade but progression requires sticking your neck out every so often. Indeed that's part of the attraction of climbing. No one in their right mind sets off on an ice route expecting to fall off but there's always a possibility that you might do.

My mate is an experienced winter climber but he fell off the Appendix the other week (he was fine - and lucky). It was the hardest bit if ice that he had tried but hardly way out of his league. He certainly didn't expect to fall off. Does the fall make him incompetent? I don't think so. If you or one of the other top climbers fall off one of your hard routes and get badly injured, does that make you incompetent and irresponsible? Again, I don't think so. Where is the line? Does it depend on the grade (falling off pushing it on a II is incompetent but on a X that's ok)? Who's to judge? Sure, we all have to be sensible but everyone can have an adventure if they want to. Otherwise we'd only ever go bouldering! An innate sense of self preservation tends to kick in to prevent excesses of risk taking...
David86 - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Dont have much time for all the negative comments I think its a sick video definitely shows you guys have got balls nice one!
Alexandre Buisse - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to jcw:

But it's not. Saying you're a TD+ climber because you've done those routes is a joke. Poème à Lou is a 5 pitches bolted route, Rébuffat a very easy to protect trad route at altitude, both with very short cablecar approach and no descent at all. It's high altitude cragging, not alpine climbing.
Gudrun - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Wow!
Thankfully i have never fallen on ice so IMO it seems you were very lucky not to have done some serious damage.
I led this route many years ago and just managed to haul myself over the bulging ice right at the top which if memory serves me,although short lived was like a slight overhang and a real struggle for me.I have done a fair few IV's that were not as difficult and i have never done a 3 that was as hard as AMD.
mike kann - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Alexandre Buisse: to be fair, I don't think he's said he's a td climber, he said he has climbed some routes graded td, and told you what routes they were, and if you have any knowledge of alpine routes then you know they are not particularly serious routes... He's been absolutely honest with what he's done and his abilities...
razzorbuzz - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Seems like your famous now, Alpinist Magazine have run an article as well as it being all over there FB page, seems like things have been blown way out of proportion now! I feel for you. http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web13w/video-scottish-ice-fall
Michael Ryan - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Caspar....has anyone asked you why you posted your video to YouTube?

If not: What were your reasons for posting your video to YouTube?

All the best,

Mick
John Rushby - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Erik B)
> [...]
>
> I see what you are saying, but given that it is highly debatable whether leashes increase or decrease the tendency to get pumped, maybe beginners should be encouraged not to throw themselves at things on which they will get horrendously pumped until they have built up the experience to know where their limits are - leashed or not.

AMD was one of the first routes I did, way back when, using a pair of mangled old pair of 8th hand Stubais and a pair of dayglo Koflachs 3 sizes too big. The only pro I had was a couple of warthogs.

It wasn't pretty and I got up it due to pure luck.

Begineers will always throw themselves at stuff that's way too hard.

On the leashless thing - I climb both leashless and with loops, depends on the route, how I am feeling and steepness of the ice. Where beginners go wrong is that leashless demands pretty efficient footwork, heel angle and placement. If you have not got efficient footwork, then it's all about clinging onto the axes, which is not going to end well.
freeheel47 on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

Dear Caspar.

Firstly I am very very sorry to reply to your post. Really I am.

I have sort of read through the thread, there is quite a bit of bickering really. And a lot of criticism of you and your buddy.

I'd love to say some isn't deserved.......but you can see where this is going............

It is all 'tough love'. Most seems to be by somewhat older folk (like me) who maybe had a few epics in the past and might even look at you two in a bit of a paternal way. Doesn't really make it any easier to take though. In fact I registered as a new user just to post a reply to your video.

Tough.

The video is ghastly. The pair of you are very lucky to have walked away unscathed. Almost everything you film yourself doing is badly done and you had no insight at all else you'd have never posted the shameful escapade. Or at least you didn't.



Why don't you spend a bit less money on gear and a bit more on going climbing- either easyjet it to Chamonix for a month- or go to Canmore and actually get some climbing done- but with just a little less risk of getting seriously injured before you try something harder? It actually isn't that hard to get a thousand or so meters of ice in - if you put your mind to it, it can be done in a couple of days to a week.

Best of luck- really. I'm sure all of the beastings you've had are meant with at least a grain of real concern for you both. It was actually quite horrifying to watch.

The ice by the way looked just fine. It's just everything else.......
Caspar - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to freeheel47:

You needn't have registered a new account just to say that! There's been worse.

I'm very well aware, and was before I'd even posted the video, that we were lucky to come away unscathed. The UKC forum masses seem to almost think that it's a revelation to me that falling on ice is bad. It's not. I've been aware of that from the start, since before I'd ever picked up ice axes. But accidents happen, and I've learnt.

Almost everything I film myself doing? Is that just in this video? Or other videos of myself? I tend to find the videos of everything going very well lack something in a lot of cases. It's when things go wrong that you see character, and I think it gives it a little bit of something extra. If you didn't like it, fair enough. Not everyone has. But some people have, and that's enough.

The video was originally posted to show that things don't always go to plan - something goes wrong, two people were lucky to get out unscathed, and the world keeps spinning. That's not to say it hasn't been useful: I was up on the Ben this weekend and I adopted the T technique (much nicer) and even hung off a screw when I got tired. My axes were buried to the hilt (though it made them a nightmare to get out) and my feet were good. Who knows, while I take the flak, perhaps some other people are learning something too.

I'm sure you're not suggesting that everyone who wants to do any winter climbing go to Chamonix or Canmore for a month. I'd love to do that, I really would. I've been to Chamonix a few times, but have never really done much ice over there. A friend of mine's just bought a house in the Dolomites, though, so the idea of heading out there and top roping/seconding some steeper ice is enticing.
AdrianC - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: I just want to say that whilst I agree with much of the feedback you've been given, I've been impressed with both your relatively calm acceptance of some very forthright views on here and your apparent ability to pick up on the best of the suggestions. I'm sure you're right that others will have learned from this thread and if that saves one broken ankle or worse, then it's a good job done.
freeheel47 on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Re "which video/s?" The "Falling off AMD video" The ice technique in the video is terrible. Footwork, ice screw placement, axe placements. Compare and contrast with the guy falling off Taurine Scream. Which was some pretty twisted, rotten ice with nasty chunks but with the respite of a little stance. Also compare his attitude....he knew what he was doing and he knew it was going really badly.....

"I....even hung off a screw when I got tired...." Oh dear you really aren't getting it are you?

As for going to Canmore / Chamonix- I'm not suggesting that for everyone- I'm suggesting that for you- in a nice way. Perhaps the money spent on the Go Pro / laptop/ bike would be better spent on airfares / bus tickets? Your a student, take advantage of the time you get. You won't get it back later on you know.....

Oh well.

Caspar - on 11 Feb 2013

> "I....even hung off a screw when I got tired...." Oh dear you really aren't getting it are you?

Not getting it? This was advice agreed on a while ago? If you're uncomfortable, clip in to your axes or a screw and rest, as long as you don't fall. I thought I'd got it spot on...

The financial advice is appreciated though.
Scott_vzr on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: Because it's the 21st Century version of telling folk in the Pub about.....
freeheel47 on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: The problem is so soon after you are getting pumped / out of your depth.
nufkin - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to AdrianC:
> (In reply to Caspar) I just want to say that whilst I agree with much of the feedback you've been given, I've been impressed with both your relatively calm acceptance of some very forthright views on here and your apparent ability to pick up on the best of the suggestions. I'm sure you're right that others will have learned from this thread and if that saves one broken ankle or worse, then it's a good job done.

Seconded.

I've been impressed with Caspar's postings on this thread, and don't quite understand the degree of harshness to some of the criticism.
Why not look at the video as being posted with humility as a cautionary tale - which Caspar's responses have also suggested - and not an attempt to show off?
nufkin - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to freeheel47:
> (In reply to Caspar)
>
> "I....even hung off a screw when I got tired...." Oh dear you really aren't getting it are you?
>
>

As Caspar mentions, this was advised previously in the thread.
It might be worth pointing out that it's also advised by Will Gadd (who spends lots of time in Canmore); certainly it's best to try to avoid pumping out in the first place, but resting on a screw is definitely better form than falling off.
dek - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:
Im glad you've taken all the flak on the chin, and in good humour! There's little point in kicking a man when he's down. A photo was posted recently of Point Five with about five ropes of two climbing it, it's probably scenarios like yours on busy popular routes, that's at the back of some posters minds?! Lesson learned ( I hope) now move on.:-)
Misha - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to freeheel47:
Please tell me where to do a 1,000m of easy ice (no more than easy grade IV, that's what Caspar would be looking to do I guess) in two days which doesn't involve a sizeable Alpine North Face (which might be relatively easy technically but obviously presents its own challenges). Anyway, is it really necessary to do a 1,000m of easier stuff to get on a short but stiff IV?
Misha - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to freeheel47:
> (In reply to Caspar) The problem is so soon after you are getting pumped / out of your depth.

Are you suggesting it isn't ok to get pumped on ice? And to have a safe rest if you do get pumped? May be you're Will Gadd and never get pumped!
Cuthbert on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Misha:

I think it's fair to assume that unless he has posted something he hasn't suggested it.

Are you really suggesting that I have coffee instead of tea tonight?
mike kann - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to nufkin:

>
> and don't quite understand the degree of harshness to some of the criticism.


I do. It's because there is a large contingent of f**knuggets of UKC who know absolutely everything better than everybody else and because they're sat behind a screen they feel they can say whatever they want, not having the first clue about the person they are attacking - what they are, what drives them, how prepared they are to accept risk, what experience they have etc.

The trouble is that everybody forgets what it's like to be starting out. They might think they remember, but usually its a watered down, slightly wishywashy version of the truth. I can personally say I've had a shedload of epics. Some of which I came far closer to death than Casper and his buddy did. Getting in over your head is part and parcel of learning how hard and far to push yourself - without it you always will remain at the bottom, bumbling about. As you learn, as long as you have the good sense to survive your epics you end up stronger for it until a day comes when you are still having epics, but you can more or less control the epics - you know when to stop pushing and when to turn back, or when to push even harder else you won't get off at all. That is the adventure of climbing, especially ice climbing, alpine climbing and big walling. To me its all about control - control of your brain, your body, the environment about you, and the situation you find yourself in in the here and now.

Caspar will go away from this knowing that he needs more ice experience. That's the lesson. His main sin was posting a video so that he could gain the collective wisdom of UKC. I don't think he was expecting not to be at the end of a shitty stick, but to get helpful advice, some of which he's had. This thread is everything that is good and bad about UKC all rolled into one. I think he might have the salient message now chaps - if you want to give advice that hasn't been repeated 20 times further up the thread, then do it, but fer fecksake, give the chap a break...
Jim Walton on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Misha: I wonder if feelheel47 is outlining that getting pumped on a short grade IV highlights some technique issues.

I'm nothing special when it comes to ice climbing but I've learnt a few things along the way.

1) It's all about your feet.
2) If going leashless, you don't have to grip the handle as tight as you think. About as hard as you would hold a broom handle when brushing. Any harder and you'll end up with thumb cramp and it won't make the climbing easier.
3) Direction of pull is important. Pull down in the line of the axe shaft, irrelevant of body position (slightly different rules for mixed but not much different)
4) Don't swing from the wrist. Keep a straight line from shoulder, elbow to wrist.
5) Learn about ice and where to place the tools, bit of basic physics is important.
- Ice over a bulge will be in tension and much more liable to fracture/dinner plate.
- Ice in a depression is under compression is much more likely to give you sweet placement.
- Grey ice usually has lots of air bubbles which will give you sweet placements.
- Dense clear ice will more likely fracture.
6) Your hips are your friends. They rotate, use that rotation. It will put you in better balance and if you rotate your shoulders at the same time you can gain another 4" in height for no effort.
7) Buy good gloves. If you are leashless AND using big thick gloves then you may tend to grip the axe too strongly and pump out. Buy and expensive and good pair of climbing gloves (Marmot do some great ones) and a big set of belay mitts. You'll also find it easier to take stuff off your harness etc.
8) Look for natural foot holds to enable you to place your foot sideways.
9) Bridge as much as possible.
10) ITS ALL ABOUT YOUR FEET
Jamie B - on 12 Feb 2013
Returning to the grade debate, although I've not done the route (too short to be of interest) it looks to me like benchmark III,4. Grade 4 climbing for sure, but too short and non-serious to attract a higher overall grade.
zero six - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:
Don't disagree with much of that, except perhaps the 'not knowing anything about the person...' bit. The original poster decided to post a vid of them climbing ice very badly - so we know enough to say they're not good ice-climbers by any stretch of the definition, that's not uninformed conjecture.
Leaving aside the original poster, one thing this thread highlights is two camps - one applauding the 'just have a go' attitude, the other not impressed by the lack of competence shown.
I'm confident if you showed that to a cohort of climbers in a country where ice-climbing was more of a norm than it is in the UK (U.S., Canada, Norway, Swiss, France etc) you'd find more climbers with the second view than the first. Perhaps it's a stereotypical British outlook to applaud 'having a go' whilst being relatively shit at something. It's seen on ski hills the world over but funnily enough I also don't aspire to be a shit skier.
I'd rather be known for being good at something and 'having a go' at that.
RCC - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> Returning to the grade debate, although I've not done the route (too short to be of interest) it looks to me like benchmark III,4. Grade 4 climbing for sure, but too short and non-serious to attract a higher overall grade.


Try it. It is a nice route to do if you have 1/2 an hour spare on your way down. The route is short but steeper than it looks from the bottom (probably why it is so frequently fallen off).

It is hard to call routes like this, as the feel will depend entirely on your strengths, but I would say that it is a bit too sustained at the angle to qualify as a III(even a III,4). In terms of similar routes, perhaps not as hard as something like juniors jaunt on Udlaidh, but definitely harder than quartzvein scoop.

mike kann - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to zero six: I'm not saying that they wouldn't laugh their tits off at it - it's ridiculous. But then how on earth do you gain experience if you aren't allowed to screw up? I've done plenty of climbing in europe and I can assure you,the level of proficiency is no higher than here. I've seen plenty of climbers who absolutely not a frigging clue what they're up to. Grigris threaded the wrong way, people halfway up routes on a rope that's half the length of the route, climbers on the badile north ridge who didn't know how to tie a prussic or thread a belay plate, a whole group guided by a hotel guide on via ferrata using a chest harness... the list is long. So don't think its because brits are bumblies - infact I'd say Brits if anything are too safe and apply their cragging rules to the alps which doesn't work. If you applied your idea that ice climbing euros would laugh at Caspar, then why don't you apply the same to a euro trying to trad climb? Their efforts would be equally laughable.
Jamie B - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to RCC:

Not trying to duck the "challenge", but I don't see me ever doing it. When I'm in Sneachda I'm inevitably in mixed mode, with blunt points and no screws! Plus the lure of the Mountain Cafe in Aviemore always seems to trump a second route...
RCC - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

> Not trying to duck the "challenge", but I don't see me ever doing it. When I'm in Sneachda I'm inevitably in mixed mode, with blunt points and no screws! Plus the lure of the Mountain Cafe in Aviemore always seems to trump a second route...

Screws! You wouldn't be needing a rope on a grade III would you :-).

Jamie B - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to RCC:

> Screws! You wouldn't be needing a rope on a grade III would you :-).

On that one, yes. I've rarely if ever soloed at grade III, and when I have it's been a bit scary!

neil the weak - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B: Oh come on Jamie, you really can't get up a 12m grade III on your blunt points?

My view on the grade would be IV,4 and at the short but tough end of that grade. I can think of lots of easier IV,4 based ice / snow ice routes and not many harder. I'd put Quartzvein Scoop, Green eyes, Comb Gully, as all easier / less "falloffable" in normal conditions.

I guess AMD might occasionally only be III when it's really fat/banked out but the grade should be for average conditions I think, and in "average" condition it's just too hard.
Erik B - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann: harshness of criticism? fu**knuggets of UKC? I can assure you the criticism and slagging i would have received from my comtempories pre-internet for 1. both me and my partner falling off AMD and 2. filming it AND publishing the film, would have been intolerable and far worse than this tame thread!

i do enjoy the lurking addicts of UKC who dont post but criticise often the posters, as if posting on UKC is some sort of uncool thing to do by the self procliamed elite or the climbing whispering classes and big nose brigade as they are also known as
Milesy - on 12 Feb 2013
How does AMD compare to Waterfall Gully? It is short as well.
mike kann - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B: Haha - you reckon I don't post? I might not post on the same subjects, but I post plenty thanks. I just get bored of the negativity. It's entirely obvious that he f*cked up, he realises he's f*cked up, and posts something about it and then gets slammed - which was naieve to say the least. There's been plenty of useful advice but plenty of " well you're just a retard and you should get off the mountain" posts. Which is of course horseshit and doesn't help. You may come from a background where you learn by banter, but sometimes a bit of positivity helps. It's often like theres a pack of marauding wolves in here - they sniff a bit of blood and all pile in for a piece of the prey. And the simple fact is he's actually taken the abuse in good humour and tried to learn from it... and when he reports back that he's tried some of the advice he still gets slammed as being an idiot. Sometimes this place goes too far. That's all I'm saying. And yes calling people f**knuggets is harsh, but I'd say in some cases its entirely accurate. And by the way you spelt f**knuggets wrong ;)
jon on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:

> I can assure you the criticism and slagging i would have received from my comtempories pre-internet for 1. both me and my partner falling off AMD and 2. filming it AND publishing the film, would have been intolerable and far worse than this tame thread!

But the difference is that it would be just your contemporaries that would be ridiculing you. In this instance it is quite literally the whole world that has access to this assassination. Obviously the OP also forgot this when he made the video public. Can he not now withdraw it if he wanted?
Jamie B - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to neil the weak:

> Oh come on Jamie, you really can't get up a 12m grade III on your blunt points?

I suspect that I can, the point was that after a far more fulfilling mixed route I'm unlikely to want to. Have you seen the cake at the Mountain Cafe?
neil the weak - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B: Not yet. I'll make a point of it now though.

@milesy: I've only climbed Waterfall Gully once, in thawing conditions so a little hard to compare. The day I did it, it was easier than AMD I'd say or at least no harder. AMD definitely has a (very) short section steeper than anything on Waterfall.
In reply to Misha:
> (In reply to freeheel47)
> Please tell me where to do a 1,000m of easy ice (no more than easy grade IV, that's what Caspar would be looking to do I guess) in two days

500 mtrs of ice (i.e. having to properly swing axes) sounds bloody hard work! I often do about 100 mtrs of ice on a day - about 4 or 5 lines on our local diddy ice falls, and I'll ache plenty the next day! Although perhaps that is just getting old... :)

Anyway, there are some long easier routes around Lyngen/Kåfjord but even there getting a 1000 mtrs done in two days would be pretty good going! I suspect there aren't that many 500 mtr long pure flows of ice around - i.e. steep snow doesn't count!
zero six - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:
Yep don't disagree, I just find the difference in viewpoints more interesting than the O.P's vid. From living and climbing in Canada for 4 years I know that the average punter in winter usually goes to whichever is the most convienient out of a number of beginners' ice crags and sets up top-ropes on the 'harder' ice or leads lots of easy WI2 and WI3, thus gaining experience. Consequently you don't see that much punterism on WI3 in places like that. Obviously we don't have that luxury in Britain, that's why you see punters out on routes on our mountain crags.
Your euro punter trying to lead trad example is probably about right - their efforts might look laughable/sketchy - the point I'm interested in is: is puntering and sketching about in a dangerous environment something to glorify (through stupid videos), and then applaud and commend - as some on here are doing? Personally I'd rather applaud higher levels of skill than that and ignore the mediocre.
mike kann - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to zero six: Well no, and I don't think the point of the video was to glorify it. So the fault doesn't really lie with the film, it lies in what people take from it. To me it shows a day that went wrong, and the shenanigans that they went through to rectify the situation. It's honest, which is more than you can say for many climbing films which only show the successes. Even the music is slightly comical which suggest that the filmer knows what he's done.

We have a huge number of films and articles lauding these successes, usually made by experts, taking sometimes immense risks. Over the years films like hard grit have been held in the highest respect - the sequence on Gaia is one segment which is incredibly famous and depicts someone almost losing their life. It could easily have gone either way. And yet you don't say that that film is stupid or that it's glorifying being in a sketchy situation and surviving by the grace of god and all the angels and all the saints do you. The difference is because Jean wotshisgob is famous, and its a proper film, and the climbing is immensely hard you don't feel the same way.

But the reality is that kids have followed the example set because hard grit became cool and in vogue - that film has had far reaching effects and now international rock jocks travel from all over the world to nearly die on Gaia. The simple reality is that because AMD is a IV and not a IX, you are calling the filmer a punter and making out that what he is doing is foolish and irresponsible. So you'd better start criticising all the professionally made films which depict bad falls aswell...
John Rushby - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to zero six:

That's a fair view - a couple of days at the Junkyards on a top rope means the Seal Clubbers develop their skills in an environment a typical UK based climber would not (unless the Tebay ice smears are in condition).



Erik B - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to John Rushby: i must admit, if i saw a winter climber with a helmet cam, I would instantly think "what a choob!"
edinburgh_man on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:

Why?
nniff - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:

Hear, hear!

The pious nature of some of the comments have been distinctly unpleasant. Talking entirely personally, I've learnt more from when things have gone wrong than when everything went fine. The fact that those moments are not recorded for posterity is fortunate for me.

I reckon that anyone who hasn't had an 'oh my God I'm going to die' moment when winter climbing is perhaps delusional, unimaginative or slow on the uptake or, at best, just pottering. I certainly remember a good few instances of teetering up on the square root of naff all, with nothing but profanities keeping me in place. If I had fallen off, who's to say whether it was incompetence, inexperience, misfortune, poor judgement or a 'racing incident'? My 100 footer was a little bit of all of those.

These days, I tend to think that it doesn't matter much if I get myself into trouble, just so long as I've got enough low cunning and deviousness to get myself out of it unharmed. I rather think that Caspar has been building that useful trait himself.
Only a hill - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:
> (In reply to John Rushby) i must admit, if i saw a winter climber with a helmet cam, I would instantly think "what a choob!"

To be fair, helmet cam footage can make great film if decently edited.
Goucho on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann: This thread has made me feel very humble, and inferior, as it seems that the vast majority of UKC er's have never made mistakes and screwed up, and I am therefore in awe of their brilliance, expertise and faultless pedigree's.

John Rushby - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:

hmm, horses for courses I suppose.

IMHO they were lucky, like a lot of beginners are lucky, in a lot of sports. Filming it and putting it on UKC was as niaive as the climbing.

If I had had a helmet cam around 19 - 20 you'd see me get my ponytail stuck in my figure of 8 while abbing into Tower Gap............
Erik B - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to John Rushby: exactly! :) go pro helmet cams werent designed for bumblies and jefferies bumbling and falling their way up chossy routes! they were designed for extreme skiers and rad mountain biker types!
mike kann - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B: In the words of Derek Zoolander:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY9qVhC3VPo
In reply to Goucho:
> This thread has made me feel very humble, and inferior, as it seems that the vast majority of UKC er's have never made mistakes and screwed up, and I am therefore in awe of their brilliance, expertise and faultless pedigree's.

We have all made mistakes, we just have the sense to keep schtum about them!


Chris
Gwilymstarks on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to RCC)
>
> Not trying to duck the "challenge", but I don't see me ever doing it. When I'm in Sneachda I'm inevitably in mixed mode, with blunt points and no screws! Plus the lure of the Mountain Cafe in Aviemore always seems to trump a second route...


I find the fried breakfast quite often causes me to "trump" on the first route.

Having said that, I did it eaxctly as suggested as a second route, (after Fingers Ridge I think) with blunt crampons and one screw. I do think it only delayed my cake by under an hour.
Caspar - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to John Rushby:

> If I had had a helmet cam around 19 - 20 you'd see me get my ponytail stuck in my figure of 8 while abbing into Tower Gap............

See, that made me laugh. :)
Misha - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:
Agree.
zero six - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to zero six)
> - the sequence on Gaia is one segment which is incredibly famous and depicts someone almost losing their life. .. And yet you don't say that that film is stupid or that it's glorifying being in a sketchy situation and surviving by the grace of god and all the angels and all the saints do you. The difference is because Jean wotshisgob is famous, and its a proper film, and the climbing is immensely hard you don't feel the same way.
>
> The simple reality is that because AMD is a IV and not a IX, you are calling the filmer a punter and making out that what he is doing is foolish and irresponsible.

Well yes, he's sketching on a grade IV. Punter is an apt description. A grade IX sketch-fest would be just as daft were the climber incompetent at the level required. And it's got nothing to do with cool.
I'm all for sketchy adventures except very few will ever know about most of them. I have an elitist mindset because I'm apologetically elitist - it's preferable to the alternative.
I think 'Jonwhatshisgob' earned his 5 minutes of limelight - whatever dubious worth that has - through being dedicated and operating far above mediocre. Obviously the makers of Hard Grit agreed - there isn't much of a market for 'Shit Grit'.
Being a complete elitist I don't see much good about the O.P.'s video of him being a punter. There's an audience for it, just as there's an audience for video's of sleeping cats falling off chairs, people walking into lampposts, and old women farting. Doesn't mean it should make it beyond the O.P's hard drive, facebook page or one of those 'climber falls off cliff face' youtube searches. Unless you believe ukc should be the home of banality and punterism. Oh, hang on ...


Goucho on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to zero six: So basically, if someone operating at the top standards screws up, it's understandable because of the grade, yet if a 'punter' (no doubt someone like Adam Ondra would consider someone who only climbs F8a, to be a 'punter') screws up on a mid grade route they are a cock!

Someone pushing it out on at the limit on an X1, is no different to someone pushing it out on the limit at IV - or with your 'elitist' approach, is it only considered the limit, when it's got a big grade attached to it?

In my experience, those who have to advertise the fact they are 'elite' seldom are, apart from in their own mind!
Hay - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho:
Not really the same at all. Falling off grade iv ice is more dangerous than falling off many of the modern viii+ test pieces.
In reply to zero six:
> I'm apologetically elitist -

Not on proofreading it would seem! ;)

BTW, I think the guy in the Alaska video did make a mistake and admits as much in his description of the vid. He got knackered and settled for a placement that he knew wasn't great.
Goucho on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to Goucho)
> Not really the same at all. Falling off grade iv ice is more dangerous than falling off many of the modern viii+ test pieces.

I think you need replace the word 'is' with 'can be' otherwise it's a rather sweeping, and inaccurate statement.

Hay - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho:
No I don't. Dangerous is an adjective.
Dangerous. Risky; hazardous; likely to cause harm.

JimboWizbo - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: Great video, thanks.
Caspar - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo:

You're welcome. Thanks.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Damo on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to zero six) The difference is because Jean wotshisgob is famous, and its a proper film, and the climbing is immensely hard you don't feel the same way.
>
> But the reality is that kids have followed the example set because hard grit became cool and in vogue - that film has had far reaching effects and now international rock jocks travel from all over the world to nearly die on Gaia. The simple reality is that because AMD is a IV and not a IX, you are calling the filmer a punter and making out that what he is doing is foolish and irresponsible. So you'd better start criticising all the professionally made films which depict bad falls aswell...

Way to go comparing apples with oranges, Mike. In your previous thread you mastered wilful ignorance and self-righteous hypocrisy. Now if you can just bring in the Nazis that should wrap this thread up nicely and consign it to the UKC Hall of Fame.
mike kann - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Damo: sorry which one? Just so I can be sure? All I'm pointing out is that the op is hardly glorifying what happened, whereas there are plenty of professionally shot films which do exactly that, and we don't haul them over the coals...
Damo on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

So, in reply to that miserable, armchair know-it-all punter Greg Boswell, about 16 posts down from the top, Caspar says:
"I've climbed it a few times before, and have climbed harder things..."
and yet on the actual blog page he says:
"This time we flew up it ... Unfortunately Jordan lead it, so in three attempts I haven't once managed to actually do the hard part!"

So he says he's climbed it, but he hasn't really. As has been said above, leading and seconding steep ice are quite different things. I guess Caspar knows this by now ;-) As others have said, his resilience and openness on this thread is admirable, despite the stupidity of the original heinous crime. I hope he goes back, leads it no problem and gets a bit more clarity on the whole thing. And films it.
Goucho on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Hay: Thank you for the benefit of your vast experience and expertise.
benallan on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar:

You fell off!! Thats totally unacceptable, proper climbers never fall, never do anything wrong, you should hang your head in shame, sell all your kit and never disgrace our mountains again,, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..

Awesome guys, spirit of adventure and all that, glad you survived ;)


......(your crampon-ing IS poor though, use yr feet ;) )


Hay - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho:
No problem.
mike kann - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Damo: I'm really trying to think when I've been wilfully ignorant and hypocritical... The main one I can think of was a thread about gay marriage? If that's the one, then I did admit I was wrong... Maybe I'm like that more often than I think, if you've got the time, maybe you can let me know via pm... Genuinely not trying to be obtuse here, but also don't think some of the abuse that Casper has received is all that justified... Would have pm'd you but I can't.
Damo on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to nufkin)
>
> [...]
>
>
> I do. It's because there is a large contingent of f**knuggets of UKC who know absolutely everything better than everybody else and because they're sat behind a screen they feel they can say whatever they want, not having the first clue about the person they are attacking - what they are, what drives them, how prepared they are to accept risk, what experience they have etc.
>
> ... Getting in over your head is part and parcel of learning how hard and far to push yourself - without it you always will remain at the bottom, bumbling about. As you learn, as long as you have the good sense to survive your epics you end up stronger for it until a day comes when you are still having epics, but you can more or less control the epics - you know when to stop pushing and when to turn back, or when to push even harder else you won't get off at all. That is the adventure of climbing, especially ice climbing, alpine climbing and big walling. To me its all about control - control of your brain, your body, the environment about you, and the situation you find yourself in in the here and now.
>
>


So you'll have a go at the 'f**knuggets of UKC', because they criticise (sorry, Gen-Y translation: 'negative'), even though most of them you presumably don't know, have never met, to defend someone else you presumably don't know, have never met, who has put their display of giggling incompetence on display for all, even though you don't know "what they are, what drives them, how prepared they are to accept risk, what experience they have etc". Such selective chivalry.

Sounds like you're more worked up to attack the f**knuggets than actually defend Caspar, and this was just an opportunity.

"Good sense to survive your epics?" Or just good luck? Which doesn't last forever. People trusting their own safety, and that of others, to dumb luck are fools and should be treated as such. There is no need to trust just luck at this level of endeavour. It's just basic ice climbing, well within the reach of anyone who puts in the requisite time, effort, practise and thought. There is simply no need to have an 'epic' on a climb of this level, in this location.

But this has all been done before. In fact, I can't believe no one has linked to this already:
http://gravsports.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/ice-climbing-is-not-rock-climbing.html

As Gadd says on that page:
"So, stop before you get super pumped, put in a good screw, reset, maybe back off if you can't climb the pitch without getting super pumped. Or, climb it in five-foot sections putting in a screw and hanging; I have FAR more respect for someone who doe that than gets pumped and falls off. If you're super pumped stop, reset. No "free" pitch is worth getting injured for.
<snip>
-Climb on toprope more. Many, many laps. Practice putting in screws, climbing with and without crampons, hooking, making placements, etc. I'd bet this climber had done less than 30 pitches total of ice in his life. At least 150 30M laps is the bare minimum to have any sort of understanding of ice."
Goucho on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Damo:
> (In reply to mike kann)
> [...]

At least 150 30M laps is the bare minimum to have any sort of understanding of ice."

Bollocks!

mike kann - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Damo: ah ok, so you're referring to higher up the thread. I actually don't disagree with a lot of what you are saying. I totally agree the best way to approach it is by practicing and knowing your limits. Me saying good sense to survive epics, well sense is also to do with experience, the ability to know what to do in a pinch, including when you're pumped and scared. And yes, there is always a degree of good fortune - you can't control everything can you.

And yes it riles me when people on here are only negative, many derogatory and that vein continues for hundreds of posts.

It doesn't help that I've climbed with Casper, and feel sorry for the poor bugger that he's being slammed badly here. I know that he has taken to heart a lot of what has been said here, and there comes a point where there is not really any more advice that can be given. Yes he's young and bolder than he should be sometimes, hopefully this experience will have knocked some of that out of him.

And I do know quite a lot of people from UKC, probably 100 or more. My comment was no harsher than some of those being made about Casper. People in chat rooms often are bolder than they would be in real life which is exactly why I used that term, because its a perfect example of that type of behaviour - it was meant to be a bit abrasive...
Damo on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to Damo)
> It doesn't help that I've climbed with Casper,

Ah, so you *do* know Caspar. I stand corrected re:hypocrisy - my apologies, Mike.
Misha - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho:
Have to agree on that, I don't profess to be Will Gadd and I'm sure my understanding of ice could be better but 150 30m pitches, really? May be if I lived in Canada...
mike kann - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Damo: does that mean I'm still wilfully ignorant ;)
Euge - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to freeheel47:

>
> "I....even hung off a screw when I got tired...." Oh dear you really aren't getting it are you?
>

My brother is a guide in the States and he uses this technique. I call it cheating, he calls it staying alive!!!

E
Wainers44 - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann: Its an interesting one though, the whole "Elite" and "Punter" thing on here. A admire zerosix for for clarifying his elite status, thats very thoughtful of him.

Being clearly a "punter" myself in this winter climbing field I think we need some way of deciding who is who on the mountain, just for clarity. Someone suggested gopro=punter and anyone who is trying to learn to ski=punter so thats "punterdom" sorted.

But what about the "elite", how do I spot one of those on the hill, any one have any ideas????

Maybe we could all wear sticky badges like on those courses....
Hay - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Wainers44:
The thread seems less about climbing ability and more about thinking ability.
In the red corner, folks who think it is okay to advise falling off grade iv ice as part of the learning curve. In the blue corner, folks who don't.
mike kann - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Hay: I don't think anybody thinks it's OK to fall off. It's more like people who know that all turned out ok, baulked at the video and didn't think it was worth roasting him about it.
Wainers44 - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to Wainers44)
> The thread seems less about climbing ability and more about thinking ability.
> In the red corner, folks who think it is okay to advise falling off grade iv ice as part of the learning curve. In the blue corner, folks who don't.

Its about ability, its also about attitudes and especially attitudes to those who are developing their skills or gaining experience.

I cant see too many posts saying its OK to fall...many have just said its something that does happen, and although isnt OK or to be recommended, is one of the experiences that was a part of their own development.

The nonsense elitism displayed by some could be one reason why there seems to be a reluctance for anyone to be perceived as a "beginner", ie to learn, progress, do the basics etc which was a good point made by another poster.



climber666 on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to Wainers44)
> In the red corner, folks who think it is okay to advise falling off grade iv ice as part of the learning curve. In the blue corner, folks who don't.

Having digested this over the past couple of weeks and read many of the usual infantile UKC-type comments, it looks like the withering incompetence of the team shines through, and the poster seems to humbly recognise this, credit to him.

That type of climbing is all about skill, self-reliance, leadership and personal responsibility and each of those were massively lacking in this case. They should feel lucky.
Roberttaylor - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Caspar: More videos please.
In reply to climber666:

> That type of climbing is all about skill, self-reliance, leadership and personal responsibility and each of those were massively lacking in this case. They should feel lucky.

Oh for gawds sake! it's a hobby lots of us do at the weekend, not invading a middle eastern country or something important. It wasn't a brilliant bit of climbing but it was far from the end of the world too. No one got hurt, and nobody else had to help them out.

The chap who posted the film seems perfectly willing to listen to sensible advice on what he could do better, but you seem to be "massively lacking" in a sense of balance between the height of your high horse, and the "depth" of their "crime".
Goucho on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA: +1

I think it's about time a lot of folk on here faced up to the reality that the vast majority of us (probably over 95%) are all basically 'Punters' of varying degrees.

And anyone out there who hasn't been a complete numpty at some point, is either so divinely gifted, that they probably shit gold dust instead of turds, are kidding themselves, or been so risk averse, that they rig a top rope to get up the stairs.
edinburgh_man on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to climber666:
>
> That type of climbing is all about skill, self-reliance, leadership and personal responsibility and each of those were massively lacking in this case. They should feel lucky.


Chill out, its 10m of grade Scottish IV not Stone Temple Pilots.
Misha - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to zero six:
To be fair, most people aren't applauding it, just saying it's all part of the adventure of climbing, especially when starting out, and giving good advice as well. Most people have had punter type epics, I certainly have, it's part and parcel of gaining experience. All's well than ends well. Sure, they were lucky to get away uninjured but it sounds like he's taken on board some of the advice so it an only be a good thing in the long term. I don't mind making mistakes if I learn from them.
Misha - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Wainers44:
The elite are the people falling off the hardest routes at the crag. Everyone else is a punter. Sometimes they fall off as well. Difference being that punters get flamed for falling off, whereas the elite get applauded for having a got at something really hard.

In the latest news, Greg Boswell fell off before repeating a Dave MacLeod route that sports a massive roof. Wonder how many people though 'ha, falling off, you punter!'. Presumably he fell off into space and clearly he has the ability to climb at that grade and I'm not suggesting he's a punter. But nor is someone who is trying to break into a new but much lower grade. You can have the same experience on a IV as on a X if that's your limit.

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