/ North Devon and Cornwall -route info
Please submit any info via the logbook system, and email me with details too.
PS meeting for all involved this Saturday, please contact me if you'd like to help.
1 grade increase for every route at Sennen?
> 1 grade increase for every route at Sennen?
I happen to agree on this. IMO most routes at Sennen are under-graded. However this guide does not include Sennen.
Bunch of softies ;)
Skip you're correct, different guide & Sennen has been dealt with already.
So N Devon coast (Hurlstone, Valley of Rocks etc) not included? Seems a shame as it was excluded from the last guide too, and now seems to be orphaned.
Out of interest, are you downgrading the whole of Lower Sharpnose?
> So N Devon coast (Hurlstone, Valley of Rocks etc) not included?
> Out of interest, are you downgrading the whole of Lower Sharpnose?
No plans to! (Anyway Fay ought to be E5!!). If you would like to suggest down grading of specific routes, please let us know. (A list + reasons would be really helpful.)
You are like a stuck record on this subject Jon. Lower Sharpnose has already been downgraded from the original grades and there is a limit to how much we can downgrade to suit fitter climbers in these days of indoor training. Perhaps we should upgrade Bosigran to take account of the lower level of skill?
The Smile HVS 5a. E1 5a usually indicates either a bold route or a very sustained one. The Smile is all 4b/c with a couple of 5a moves towards the end, and is safe, so I don't get why it's E1.
Daimond Smiles E2 5b. The climbing's about f6a+. There's plenty of gear except for a slightly bold bit at the start. There are no 5c moves.
The couple of others I've done were just low in the grade I guess.
> Perhaps we should upgrade Bosigran to take account of the lower level of skill?
Well given that Bosi grades are stiff and Sharpnose grades are soft, it all depends on whether your aim is to give an indication of the difficulty of the routes or to preserve tradition.
If you show me a climber who can cruise Suicide Wall but struggles on the Smile, then fair enough. I susepct you're more likely to find a lot of people who can cruise E4 at Sharpnose but fall off the crux of Bow Wall.
The Smile = HVS 5a
Diamond Smiles border line E2 5b/E3 5c
Shame Baggy won't be in the guide. Is there another new guide in the pipeline that will include it?
Lower Sharpnose is an endurance venue and if you are above average endurance you'll find it soft (eg. Jon). If you lack endurance (eg myself)you'll find it tougher than other venues. Most of the grades are there or thereabouts. Diamond Smiles - is E3 5c. I agree with the majority of voters on UKC (19 ot of 32 votes). The Smile is E1 5a - Many an HVS leader will be blown out by the time they have placed their gear for the headwall. The ropes are heavy at this point. The majority vote is E1 5a (36 out of 64 voters)
Some minor tweaks ...
Break on Through E4 5c - tiring not technical
Misery Goat E2 5b
When the Goat comes in E3 5c
Crooked Mile E3 6a
Fay E5 5c - no rests and the pegs are rotting?
Flying Circus Doyden is only E1 5b - easier than the superb Lotus?
Crazy Streak at Marsland is E1 5a not HVS
I would suggest E1 5a for Kleptomaniac at Maer - slightly sketchy gear but no hard moves
Lord Lucan is missing deserves E2 5b at Screda since it is so hard to protect well.
> The Smile is E1 5a - Many an HVS leader will be blown out by the time they have placed their gear for the headwall. The ropes are heavy at this point. The majority vote is E1 5a (36 out of 64 voters)
Yep that's me. Big fall from the crux which felt about 5b at that point, ¡Ay, caramba!
On the flip side of the coin, More Than a Match*. Some people seem to think that the harder start is 6a/b. There is no way that's the case. It's just a steep bouldery start and if you do a fair amount of bouldering it feels about English 5a. No problem with the overall grade of E3 5c, but the 5c is on the slab.
*NB. I have only seconded this route, but that doesn't really matter when discussing tech grades, does it? ;)
Should Wreckers Slab stay at VS 4b?
Is it graded such to keep beginners off it?
The climbing is reasonably easy, not sure where the 4b move(s) are. I understand it may be graded thus for reasons of lose rock, inescapably etc.
Agree re The Smile. I got spanked years ago when I tried it too.
I felt in control pretty much the whole way up Diamond Smiles but I was massively overfit at that point so don't really know. It felt easier than Guillotine up at Reecastle which I did at a similar time.
i would agree with flying circus at doyden - i thought it was HVS 5a max.
There is a Somerset guide (including bouldering) in progress and Exmoor is earmarked to go in but i doubt there will be room for it (as the Exmoor section will be bouldering as well).
I would put money on there being a separate Baggy and Exmoor Guide.
> I agree with the majority of voters on UKC (19 ot of 32 votes). The Smile is E1 5a - Many an HVS leader will be blown out by the time they have placed their gear for the headwall. The ropes are heavy at this point. The majority vote is E1 5a (36 out of 64 voters)
I tend to ignore UKC votes, as they are hugely swayed by ego. I cruised that E3 (votes E3 when the route is only E1/2) vs. I really struggled on that E2 (votes hard E2) vs I fell off that E2 (votes E3). That E2 felt about HVS - I must be going well (votes soft E2)...but it felt HVS because that's how hard it is. Etc.
No, Exmoor is not earmarked to go in the Somerset guide, though that may be the most likely outcome. The plan is to wait until script sizes and completion timescales are clearer and then decide where Baggy and Exmoor will best fit.
Have you got any money to lose?
> I tend to ignore UKC votes, as they are hugely swayed by ego...
But nobody can see what you voted, so why the ego? I tend to think that they are a reasonable reflection of the grade.
Perception is maybe a better word. It takes someone with a certain amount of honesty with themselves or insight into their own climbing to admit that they struggled because they're crap or cruised because it was easy when the alternatives are to decry the route as a sandbag or assume you were going well respectively.
The middle section of The Earth Sea Trilogy 1 at Dyers Lookout has fallen down. As of last september I do not believe it has had any accents in its current state as the Walk of Life to its side looks like a path in comparison.
> No, Exmoor is not earmarked to go in the Somerset guide, though that may be the most likely outcome. The plan is to wait until script sizes and completion timescales are clearer and then decide where Baggy and Exmoor will best fit.
Well it says Exmoor is included in the Somerset book on the CC website so maybe better change that so as not to disappoint anyone!
> Have you got any money to lose?
Two routes in the guide at Hell's Mouth Skip. E3 5b and a vdiff. One's been repeated and has/had a star, so they definitely exist(ed).
God only knows whether they're still there, glad it's you and not me who has to find out!
> Two routes in the guide at Hell's Mouth Skip. E3 5b and a vdiff. One's been repeated and has/had a star, so they definitely exist(ed).
> God only knows whether they're still there, glad it's you and not me who has to find out!
Can't easily spot anything that looks like it may have even a semi-safe/possible top out. Can't see anywhere were a belay could be set up on top.
Yup! Sounds like a three star Culm route!
What's your question, caller?
Climbs 2 Rocktype UNKNOWN Altitude ? Faces ?
Not a lot to work on there!
It may well be the case that safe top outs/safe belays were never the order of the day here. Probably need to look from sea-level to be sure. First ascentionist may have placed and removed stakes for belays, or maybe something's changed. The routes are old.
> Hell's Mouth
> Cornwall, ENGLAND
> Climbs 2 Rocktype UNKNOWN Altitude ? Faces ?
> Not a lot to work on there!
You can't go o n the info on here Skip, they've probably never been repeated, so info wouldn't have been entered. It's all in the existing guide.
> I tend to ignore UKC votes, as they are hugely swayed by ego.
Except that the votes do usually indicate when a route is mis-graded. If what you say is true, votes for EVERY route would be higher than the given grade.
Just has a look at satellite images, think I've a better idea as to exact location now.
> You can't go o n the info on here Skip, they've probably never been repeated, so info wouldn't have been entered. It's all in the existing guide.
Sorry, clearly contradicted myself there, just have a memory like a sieve. As I mentioned above, the E3 has been repeated. The vdiff, not at the time of going to press with the last guide. Do you want me to email you a copy of the page? Might be worth getting hold of a copy though.
Firstly I have to say I don't normally get involved in these online debates, I prefer to be out climbing & lost in my own little world but as mark has bought this thread to my attention and I am working on the Sharpnose section of the guide I felt I should ad my feelings before dropping of the radar.
Grades are subjective and our individual strengths and weaknesses are many, what suits one can be impossable for another, they are just to be used as an aid, we will never agree on whats what because their are too many variables..Grades are reached by a general consensus of opinion and UKC seems to provide that via its logbook system.
Climbing at Sharpnose is about stamina and confidence' it can be an intimidating place for many, the landings are unforgiving and the rock is not above suspicion... some of the routes may feel a soft touch if you are fit and they are below your normal climbing grade.
I am happy to change grades if that is the general view,
"The smile" maybe HVS 5a not E1 but I have seen many people puffing and blowing and sitting on the rope at the final head wall having run out of steam.
"Diamond smiles" bold tricky start often damp,with a nasty landing, thereafter pretty juggy and straight forward until the headwall, again if you are pretty fit and confident and use your feet well its all there albeit steep and fingery,once again stamina is the key...how would it feel if i removed that old ring peg? it has already been down graded, personally I think E3 5c is about right but again I will go with the general view
If you want a few routes at SN that are not soft touches to get the blood pumping get on Azreal E4!or Flying finn E4! or Devonian all solid E5s in my opinion.
Culm grades have always been a bit of an oddity, where else do you find E1 4c? but their is good reason for that, the rock or pro is not always good and even when you get pro in it is not always reliable this all has to be taken into account,as an adventure I feel VS for Wreckers slab is still the right grade even though the climbings easy enough.
comparing the culm to tintagel or gowla to granite etc is never gonna cross over as they are all different types of rock and different climbing styles needing different mental or physical approaches,Personally I dont think bosi grades are hard, I think it depends on what you climb on often, granite can be tough if you only climb on it once in a blue moon, it has attitude and is very 3D but it also has solid rock brilliant friction and great pro.
Kafoozalam, I agree with your comments, you are talking my language,I know you have been around a long while and have covered some trad ground, we seem to be on the same page.
Ps just one little niggle, I have to say as a passionate long time trad climber I hate the use of climbing wall/ sport grades used in relation to trad routes what about the pro? what about the fear? E= adventure, its not just a number! cheers all.
I have a copy of the old guide, just not with me at the moment.
Apologies for any offence caused by reference to the french grade of the climbing on Diamond Smiles - just another way of saying it ain't 5c. And as for the peg, it makes no difference to the route except as a handy marker for where it goes - I didn't think it looked worthwhile (of course I clipped it all the same!) and had plenty of other gear.
Perhaps I should just pat myself on the back for finding the route so easy...but I did fall off Bow Wall, thought the top pitch of Thin Wall Special was desperate (and I learnt to climb on grit), thought the crux of Suicide Wall was not very well protected and the route worth E2, (are you meant to be grateful for the belay ledge to land on?), couldn't do the crux of West Face Direct, thought Astral Stroll was very hard for E1 etc, etc, so I was pushing my grade at Sharpnose. It's just that it's completely brainless climbing where all you have to do is pull on holds and before you know it you're at the top. And I love it for precisely that reason!
> If you show me a climber who can cruise Suicide Wall but struggles on the Smile, then fair enough. I susepct you're more likely to find a lot of people who can cruise E4 at Sharpnose but fall off the crux of Bow Wall.
Lol, its very funny you should say that Jon.
I "cruised" Suicide Wall (thought it was soft), and indeed struggled on The Smile where the route starts going up (E1 for loose rock aswell mate). I very nearly fell off the crux off Suicide Wall (VERY VERY Nearly!) and was hanging out my arse at the top of Faye -E4. I was equally pumped on those 2 routes infact.
I think its important that you consider other people may not be as good as you, or as experienced, or perhaps you are good at climbing certain rocks therefore effecting your overall view of difficulty.
For instance, i enjoy Granite and seem to climb on it well. I would not agree with the above comments that Sennen is overgraded. I would almost consider the opposite on many routes.
Hi Tom. Did you mean Suicide Wall here - "I very nearly fell off the crux off Suicide Wall (VERY VERY Nearly!) ". Perhaps you meant Bow?
All the best mate.
I think I've said this before but in 2001 I did Illegal Alien and there was no suitable belay above the steep climbing and before moving left into the groove. Felt very serious although the climbing wasn't too difficult. More like E5 than E3 but 6a about right. I won't be going back for a repeat!
I've got Vicarage Cliff, and have managed to check pretty much all of the routes except the friable choss fest at the landward end of the Promontory - Choss & Chips, I'm Back, Big Willy Style & C.U. When I.C.U. - I am declining the opportunity to check them. Has anybody done them and have an opinion?
The guide on this web site lists ascents by masochists who enjoy loose dangerous routes - I need some counter opinion.
> I think I've said this before but in 2001 I did Illegal Alien and there was no suitable belay above the steep climbing and before moving left into the groove. Felt very serious although the climbing wasn't too difficult. More like E5 than E3 but 6a about right. I won't be going back for a repeat!
Hi Geoff I totally agree, I did it in 2011, the peg in the groove has also gone, pretty stiff & committing, we thought E4, still a fantastic outing but once was enough!
FWIW, I think that Diamond Smiles is E2- the start is less scary than the start of out of the blue and the headwall feels surprisingly easy if your expecting an E3 tussle (as I was).
Break on through is pretty soft for E4 as well- not sure it should be the same grade as Fay. Fay does have 2 pegs below the crux (last summer at least!)- you'd be unlucky to break them both. There is backup gear just below also. Saw someone give the pegs a proper testing last year and the they were OK.
Agree with the smile as E1. Mascon also E1 but feels hard when greasy.
I agree that the climbing isn't hard, but when I climbed it in the summer I thought it was pretty dangerous. On the lower section the gear is very insecure and the rock so friable that every hold is VERY suspect. I'd argue for HVS 4a. Admittedly this sounds silly, but in the peaks you find HVS 6a, for very safe, technical routes- why not the other way round for rotten sea cliffs?!
I should add that it's an awesome route, but perhaps the grade should take into account the care with which it should be approached.
> I agree that the climbing isn't hard, but when I climbed it in the summer I thought it was pretty dangerous. On the lower section the gear is very insecure and the rock so friable that every hold is VERY suspect. I'd argue for HVS 4a. Admittedly this sounds silly, but in the peaks you find HVS 6a, for very safe, technical routes- why not the other way round for rotten sea cliffs?!
> I should add that it's an awesome route, but perhaps the grade should take into account the care with which it should be approached.
Which route are you talking about please?
> Which route are you talking about please?
Ah ok, i thought so, thanks
Yeah. tricky one to grade.
Maybe VS 4a is about right?
Yes. Don't know the route, but I reckon VS 4a is pretty much the edge of "normal" grading. A route that seemed to call for HVS 4a, especially one with loads of loose rock rather than just very bold, would be XS, wouldn't it?
Are there any other areas in the UK that are as "esoteric" as the Culm? I grew up and cut my teeth there, it certainly seems a world apart from the plastic climbing I'm currently doing.
I climbed Wreckers a while ago when it was HS, can't remember it being particularly scary, but I was young and crazy in those days.
>(are you meant to be grateful for the belay ledge to land on?),
That's what your belayer's for, isn't it?
4a would seem about right, but the belays are sound, plenty of gear available for Culm and safe as houses compared to the neighbouring routes such as Heaven and Hell. Which is Dire! (after the first pitch)
Realisticly i think its Hs 4a, but VS 4a isnt a bad grade for the entire outing.
George, id say HVS 4a would have to be a 50m 4a gearless solo.
Sounds like it's the TPS of the Westcountry! :D
> I susepct you're more likely to find a lot of people who can cruise E4 at Sharpnose but fall off the crux of Bow Wall.
Exactly what I did.
It could have just been me - and my similarly perplexed second - but Dr Bollox at Cow and Calf (if my memory hasn't let me down completely!) appeared unusually hard for 6a, or E3, or both. Anybody?
Can the description for Gillian say something along the lines of 'groundfall potential in the first 25 feet'. Its not in anyway soft for E3 and irresponsible of people to say so. Felt bolder than scarlet runner (no siderunner)
> George, id say HVS 4a would have to be a 50m 4a gearless solo.
Wreckers' isn't as bad as all that. Decent pegs, solid belays and even a few good wires here and there. Let's face it, Wreckers' is pretty conventional as Culm goes so if this got HVS 4a, you'd need to give half the coast XS!
Yeah the general consensus seems to swing towards VS/HS. I'd onsighted quite a few of the area's classic E3s and a couple E4s etc in the months before, climbed on quite a lot of dodgy rock in Wadi and I wouldn't say I was phased by the exposure. But it did still feel quite dangerous for the grade to me. Must have been having a really rubbish day I suppose!
You too man, I'll be dropping by soon(ish)! Peace.X
I put up Choss and Chips. The name says it all. It is Choss and the holds are like soggy friable chips at the top. Don't bother to repeat it. I think the grade is "Culm Correct"
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