/ WI grade of UK ice routes
I'll kick off with:
The Screen (Devils Kitchen) - WI3
The Pumpkin - WI3+
Vanishing Gully - WI3
Eas Annie - WI2+
Good Friday Climb - WI2
Alladins Mirror Direct - WI3
You think Vanishing and Aladdin's Mirror Direct are the same grade? Vanishing is at least 1 full grade harder IMO whichever grading system you use.
Not done a huge amount of ice abroad so ...
Vanishing Gully WI4
Smith's Gully WI4
Ritchies Gully WI3+
Last Post WI3+/WI4
Peter Pan Direct WI4+
Cascade (Craig y Rhaeadr) WI4+
Smirk WI 4+/5
Peter Pan WI4
Vanishing Gully WI 4 (soft)
Last Post WI 3+/4
Orion Direct WI3
Silver Tear WI4
Quartvein Scoop WI3
Blue Riband WI 4
Pumpkin WI 3
So pretty much deduct 1 or 1 1/2 from the Scottish grade to get to the WI grade. I'd just stress though, that the scottish routes aren't actually much "easier" overall despite that, only easier to toprope.
> You think Vanishing and Aladdin's Mirror Direct are the same grade? Vanishing is at least 1 full grade harder IMO whichever grading system you use.
Orion Direct only being WI3 is surprising although the protection and belays have a reputation right enough.
What about Hadrians Wall, Point 5 or The Wand ?
Yeah I've only lead AMD once and it was hard that time, admitedly seconding a year or two later in very different nick it was a lot easier. Also I did vanishing in fat conditions but the first pitch was easier than WI3 and the crux a few meters of steep climbing off a ledge before it got easier.
Orion Direct is pretty easy technically - the hardest bit is the rib out of the basin and the difficulty of that depends on build-up. It is very serious though - I think we had one decent runner on the route!
Hadrian's Wall is probably easy WI4, long time since I did it though.
Hadrians Wall WI3
The Wand WI3
Compression Crack maybe WI4+ ??? (the full route!)
Zero Gully WI3
Would also agreed Orion Face is only WI3.
> Yeah I've only lead AMD once and it was hard that time, admitedly seconding a year or two later in very different nick it was a lot easier. Also I did vanishing in fat conditions but the first pitch was easier than WI3 and the crux a few meters of steep climbing off a ledge before it got easier.
Which goes to show how variable Scottish climbing can be! Both times on Vanishing I found the first pitch thin with cruddy snow-ice (tools pulling through) and poor protection with any cracks iced up. Both times the second pitch, although steeper above the cave, was with good solid ice. So as usual, any sort of grade is really just a guide and the route can be easily a grade different either way.
OK it's lunch time so I'll play.
Point 5 - WI4 Hard one as it's neve when in good nick it's bomber placements so easy climbing i.e. one hit one placement. I've not done it when it's been blue ice although I'm not sure it would ever form like that?Still it can be steep(although it would only be a Ghost River WI3...)
Orion Direct - WI3 R (runout not that gear gear overall)
Astral Highway - WI4 R(runout again not all that great gear overall)
Slav Route - WI4 R(runout not great gear overall)
Curtain - WI3
Alladins Mirror Direct - WI3- (crux is pretty short and well protected if good ice)
Blue Riband - WI3+/4
Vanishing Gully - WI4 (although only a Ghost River WI3...)
Hadrians Wall Direct - WI3+
Sickle - WI3+
Smiths (on the Ben) - WI4/4- depending on line taken
Steel falls - WI2/3 (depending on line taken)
Cascade (on the Ben) - WI4
> Orion Direct only being WI3 is surprising although the protection and belays have a reputation right enough.
> What about Hadrians Wall, Point 5 or The Wand ?
Well, that was sort of my point about Scottish not comparing well to WI. The hard thing about Orion is not the physical difficulty. It's very long, hard to retreat from and sometimes it's hard to get gear and / or belays (it's also prob scottish technical 4 in good conditions) so the difficulty is all in the brain really.
Hadrians WI 4.
Point 5 WI 3+ to 4+? I've climbed it banked out in snow ice and it was easy and bold. I've also been up it on leaner water ice with good screws and far more challenging climbing. Varies a lot. Usually WI4ish with pish gear I'd guess.
Wand WI4 or so, no harder.
> Compression Crack maybe WI4+ ??? (the full route!)
Compression Crack I'd have given 4+ when I did it. It was thin ice up the left wall of the upper corner, tapping hooks into deep ice eyebrows and then pulling carefully. Just slabby enough with enough rock gear to keep it sane. I can imagine it's much easier thicker but it was ace that day.
A few i have done:
Elliots Downfall - WI5
Gemini WI5+ - to thin for screws, picks hitting rock!
Mega route X - WI5 usuall thin condition, has been a romp and super thick on occasion.
The Shroud - WI5 direct
I'd say it is the same grade as the others on fergal's list (i've not done elliot's mind). And Gemini didn't need the + in the nick I did it in.
If your going to compare WI grades to Scottish Grades your probably about right with this. Routes like Smiths/Blue Ribband/Curtain/Sickle/ALM are much easier to compare than say a traditional gully like zero gully. Orion Direct probably 3+ though (from my experience).
Conditions vary so much from day to day...we climbed Red Chimney on Creag a Coire Etcheacan on Sat and i couldn't give you a WI grade for it due to poor snow conditions on the crux. Better using AI (alpine ice) grade comparisons for traditional Scottish gullies.
> If your going to compare WI grades to Scottish Grades your probably about right with this. Routes like Smiths/Blue Ribband/Curtain/Sickle/ALM are much easier to compare than say a traditional gully like zero gully. Orion Direct probably 3+ though (from my experience).
> Conditions vary so much from day to day...we climbed Red Chimney on Creag a Coire Etcheacan on Sat and i couldn't give you a WI grade for it due to poor snow conditions on the crux. Better using AI (alpine ice) grade comparisons for traditional Scottish gullies.
You're right - I was racking my brain to think of more 'icy' routes. I must admit I think ice routes at the end of the day though come down to steep with gear or steep with poor gear! A few years back I did Labyrinth Direct - fresh from ice climbing in Canada doing a lot of WI5s and above. I still thought it was tough and the gear was pretty poor. WI grade? no idea - felt steeper and harder than some WI5+ I'd done as there were no rests on the steep section - albeit not that long (possibly around 10m+). I was pumped out by the time I got to a wee ledge. If pushed I'd guess WI5 R...
Test Department - WI5 Scottish tech 6 ice, seeing the pattern.
Salmon Leap - WI5
Chancer - WI5
yep Gemini at 5+ is certainly for thin conditions.
Two step not there at all at the moment??
Two folk made it to the cornice exit on Yesterday afternoon, did they levitate there??
Did it fall down today?
In North Wales:
South Gully WI3
Devils Appendix WI4+
Devils Appendage WI5 R
Interesting I clean seconded laberynth direct in very good nick (09/10 season), it was still hard though (10 metres of vertical undulating ice probably about 20cm thick). I hear it gets VII because of the belay before the crux pitch, although we made that OKish after much digging and banging stuff in. I think the ice screws placed on lead would have held anyway tbh.
There's a cheeky half rest on Labyrinth if you put your shoulder behind the icicle that often drips down its right hand side. How much of a rest depends on
1 how high up you wait before you try to use it and
2 how much you'd like your belayer to live!
But I'd agree that it is a similar grade to the other Scottish tech 6s mentioned.
The Fly Direct WI 5-
Runout and super sustained though.
Just a stab cos I've no experience of the WI system whatsoever btw.
I would agree in good conditions labyrinth is probably VI, 6 or WI5 when we climbed it a few years ago... to be honest the hardest routes i did in the usa/canada tended to be steep long 80 degree or so pitches where you cant bridge or get a rest for your legs and these usually get WI4+.
Ok, lets start this fun again using the ice evaluation grade as well :-)
Smiths Route IV 4
Alladin's Mirror Direct - II 3
The route must have been hidden from view and I must have been mistaken if it is being climbed.
Thinking about it the Chancer is more like 4+
Test Department could be 5+.
How about a few musings on mixed icy things:
Messiah IV M5 WI 5 R
Postman pat V M6 WI 4+ R
Pointless V M4+ WI 4 R
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