/ The road to Grit E4...

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Jackwd - on 06 Nov 2013
I'm looking to build up mileage towards an E4 onsight which would be some of my hardest climbing to date. I want to try and use a pyramid scheme so... 16 E1 8 E2 4 E3 2 E4 as this will give me some mileage at other grades. I'd be climbing mostly on Eastern Grit, but that's not to rule out all other grit crags. I have climbed a few E1s and E2s but really looking to push into new territory as a trad leader. Do people have recommendations for this system? Also, any particular boulder problems? I'd like to get solid of Font7a by the end of winter. Thanks in advance.
JimboWizbo - on 06 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd: I have similar aspirations, I've done a bit of headpointing to help break into E2 and have an E3 lined up next, going for E2 5c onsight as a 2013 goal, the headpointing depends on your ethical stance though!
Dan Arkle - on 06 Nov 2013
The thing about grit E4, is it takes in so many different styles of climbing. Any pyramid of progression is a good idea, but make sure the routes are relevant to what you want to do.

Do lots of bouldering. Put a lot of effort into onsighting boulder problems at 5c/6a english, and if you can do that, and have some confidence from your routing you will be fine.

I'd reccomend the Strangler at Stanage. Its a little soft in the grade and reasonably safe for a grit E4 5c.

I know I'll be flamed for this but I'll risk it anyway... ..another thing to consider is to second/toprope or headpoint a few routes at E4. I've found that it gives loads of confidence for that new grade onsight if you've flashed a route of the same grade on TR, and then led it the weekend before.
Jon Stewart - on 06 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

All this numbers of routes at different grades is completely irrelevant to grit. Take each route for what it is and ask, "can climb that?". You might also want to ask "if I fall off will I be alright?".

I would forget any system and get out as much as you can, climbing the stuff you want to climb, bouldering and routes. Choosing something that you're really psyched for and that suits you is the best way to climb hard stuff and get a lot out of it. Trying to achieve a bunch of numbers just sounds like a drag.
Jon Stewart - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

And for boulder problems, if you haven't done the Stanage End - Plantation highballs, get on these: Germ, Monad, Pig's Ear, Headbanger, Shock Horror, Daydreamer, DIY etc.

Curber Edge also has a cracking highball circuit, stuff like Unreachable Star, Fidget (which I can't do), Finger Distance, etc.

I think this stuff, which involves doing 6a/b moves when you're scared, is more use than climbing 6c moves from a sit start, or traversing inches above the ground.
Jonny2vests - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

Traveller in Time is a very onsightable E4, not too hard, ultimately safe, especially with a big cam. If your good at cracks, Wellington Crack is good at Ilkley.

Don't really have an opinion on your pyramid scheme, apart from I think you're over thinking it.
Jon Read - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:
Depends what your favoured style is. Meat-grinding roof cracks? Necky, thin slabs? Crimpy, runout walls? Technical, narrow cracks? Bold, bad aretes? Too much choice between E4 5c and E4 6b+. Help us.

I think I agree with Dan: bouldering at the appropriate level, and the occasional top-rope/second never hurt anyone...
deacondeacon - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:
Hi Jack, I've recently followed 'the road to grit E4' predominantly on Eastern Grit. Perhaps you'll get some ideas of good ones by looking at my logbook. Put them in grade order to get an idea of what i've done in the grades relevant to you.
I prefer bold but ultimately safe routes but I always try to mix other styles in as well as you don't want to end up as a one trick pony. Also there's nothing wrong with bagging a nice, soft for the grade route at first but make sure you get some good, hard ones in there too as it's ultimately much more satisfying.

If you're just after a quick tick you could always headpoint something like Calvary, even preplace the gear or highball boulder something with a sea of pads. Or wait until the snow comes and get on something thats been turned into a nice safe boulder problem. but it won't feel nearly as good as a proper onsight of something at your limit.

Dans recommendation of The Strangler is a great one, and it's also one of my only E4's. The gear is easy to place so cant really be muffed and although there is potential to get a pretty big scare on it you'll walk away with just scrapes and bruises if you come off.

The best advice I found for getting up to E4 is to just get loads and loads of mileage in. When you go climbing for the day don't come back home with only three ticks. Get 5 leads done, go and solo a few easy things too. Then get down the wall afterwards and beast yourself!
Deacon



Enty - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Jackwd)
>
> All this numbers of routes at different grades is completely irrelevant to grit. Take each route for what it is and ask, "can climb that?". You might also want to ask "if I fall off will I be alright?".
>
> I would forget any system and get out as much as you can, climbing the stuff you want to climb, bouldering and routes. Choosing something that you're really psyched for and that suits you is the best way to climb hard stuff and get a lot out of it. Trying to achieve a bunch of numbers just sounds like a drag.


All this ^^^^

E
Rich D - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd: if you're not too far off being solid at font7a, then why not just got to froggatt and climb Oedipus ring your mother. it's v2/v3 and you can down climb a VS after one committing move and still get the tick. And there you go E4 onsight, job done.
Kafoozalem - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

I enjoyed reading about pyramid schemes in Self Coached Climber but it struck me then that applying the idea to trad is insane and could be a fast track to the A & E department. The idea that four successful E3 leads and two successful E4 leads means your ready to go on E5 makes me shudder.
1poundSOCKS - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Kafoozalem: Maybe it depends what you try. I tried an E1 after 2 HVS's, and I've tried to lead 2 E2's this year (and failed) without getting up a proper E1 yet. Nothing to do with being brave or stupid (or any sort of pyramid scheme), just trying routes I fancied, that were well protected. Maybe it's different and E5 though?
victim of mathematics - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Rich D:
> (In reply to Jackwd) if you're not too far off being solid at font7a, then why not just got to froggatt and climb Oedipus ring your mother. it's v2/v3 and you can down climb a VS after one committing move and still get the tick. And there you go E4 onsight, job done.

I don't think traversing off/downclimbing gets you the tick of anything more than the boulder problem. The route goes to the top...

:o

1poundSOCKS - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Kafoozalem: Although I suppose if you cruised Wellington Crack, having a go at London Wall wouldn't be such a crazy thing to do?
Fiend - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

Stop thinking about the mere numbers and start thinking about just progressing and embracing the challenge: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=2648

Rich D - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics: good point, so finish up Valkyrie then, still a soft touch E4 for a font 7a boulderer
victim of mathematics - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Rich D:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics) good point, so finish up Valkyrie then, still a soft touch E4 for a font 7a boulderer

If you're solid at font7a, shouldn't the crux of most E4s be a bit of a path (being more like font 6a)?
Jackwd - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd: Thanks for all the input. I do understand that the pyramidal system might be milking it a bit but I wanted to try and get some mileage in and this seemed a fairly logical way to do so. Those who have asked if i'm climbing close to Font7a on the ground and can't climb a crux on E4 6a/b, have you tried doing those moves with potential ground fall? That's a numbers game if you're thinking like that. The reason i'd like to climb grit E4 is irrelevant, but I feel there's better and more challenging climbing at those grades for me. That's not to say that anything below that grade is rubbish but I enjoy the physical and mental challenge, so if that's chasing numbers, so be it. Thanks for the all the recommendations, i'll check out your logbook Deacon, thanks.
victim of mathematics - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:
>Those who have asked if i'm climbing close to Font7a on the ground and can't climb a crux on E4 6a/b, have you tried doing those moves with potential ground fall? That's a numbers game if you're thinking like that.

My point was somewhat tongue in cheek. Of course the mental aspect of trad climbing matters. Otherwise all these boulderers would stop pissing about on boulders and start doing some proper climbing...

However, if you are genuinely 'solid' at font 7a, you probably shouldn't be overly challenged technically by the crux of most E4s. Of course it depends how you define 'solid', but in my book being able to do the odd one which might suit your style after lots of attempts, whilst very creditable, probably doesn't qualify.
galpinos - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

Jack, it’s not a case of thinking you’re chasing numbers, more that E4s (well, climbs of all grades) vary greatly in styles and what one person finds a soft touch is another’s sandbag.

So, which E4s do you aspire to? To tick a “personal best” grade wise for me normally involves REALLY wanting to climb the route, as this improves focus, commitment etc. Read the guidebooks, wander round the crags and find a route that shouts out to you.

Next, climb as many easier routes and harder boulder problems in a similar style, being a crack fiend is no use if you want to climb Downhill Racer. Grit isn’t harder than other rock types but it does require knack and familiarisation so spend as much time on actual rock as you can. Your pyramid only has 30 routes on it, that’s 6 days climbing! I’d want a lot more routes under my belt before going for the big tick!

Good luck!
Jonny2vests - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

He didn't say he was solid at F7A.
victim of mathematics - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> He didn't say he was solid at F7A.

Again, by 'you' I didn't mean the OP specifically.
Michael Gordon - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

The pyramid idea seems a bit strange as the mileage is at the wrong end. Surely two E1s, four E2s and 16 E3s would be better preparation?
Al Evans on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: I think the very few E4's and even rarer E5's I ever did were nearly always first ascents, hence for me motivation was a major factor.
Michael Gordon - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

They don't have to be dangerous of course, but if you are going to risk your neck it might as well be for a FA!
Goucho on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:
> I'm looking to build up mileage towards an E4 onsight which would be some of my hardest climbing to date. I want to try and use a pyramid scheme so... 16 E1 8 E2 4 E3 2 E4 as this will give me some mileage at other grades. I'd be climbing mostly on Eastern Grit, but that's not to rule out all other grit crags. I have climbed a few E1s and E2s but really looking to push into new territory as a trad leader. Do people have recommendations for this system? Also, any particular boulder problems? I'd like to get solid of Font7a by the end of winter. Thanks in advance.

I think it might be better if you turn your pyramid upside down - or better still ditch it.

I'd be thinking more than 4 E3's under my belt (and they need to be onsight) before going for solid E4 onsight.

Of course, it depends on the routes you choose - there are E4's, E4's and E4's

But as someone else said, the most important thing is to just enjoy your climbing - at the end of the day, grades are just numbers, but great days out on great routes, are memories.
Joughton on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd: Haven't read the rest of the thread but if it hasn't already been recomended, Jetrunner at Bamford is a very friendly E4.

I very rarely climb on grit, and it's a tiny little bit bold, but it was my first and only grit E4 onsight, so it must be pretty soft.
rurp - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd: I did a day with a famous climbing coach. Done a few e1's and fewer e2's . The day went pot black, e2(just) ! Telli e3 (just) Calvary e4 (started raining). Clearly he thought this was a reasonable ambition for a day! I have not yet led Calvary but will have a go when conditions/ brain allows, I do think it is possible. Tell is quite doable. Good luck
Phill Mitch - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd: Looking at your log book Jack I would recommend a good full season on E2 and throw in the odd E3, if you are feeling good then next season bump it up to loads of E2's and E3's and the odd E4.
Why the rush, so many great routes to do in the peak that you are brushing aside. Also there is, I think, a great deal to learn and enjoy learning about on sight leading that it can't be done fast. Enjoy the routes, enjoy the journey, and love the climbing. But don't rush to A and E!
Jonny2vests - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to rurp:

Wow, I thought for a minute this coach took you from shakey E2 leader to ticking Cavalry in a day. For me, that's always represented quintessential grit E4-ness, never quite got round to trying it though.
SI - profile removed on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd: Jack, I too want to on-sight an E4. It's all that matters to me, couldn't give a f*ck about E3. The E4 has to be solid, that's it. It's like a badge or an emblem, once i've got it it can't be taken away. Do you think the best climbers chase numbers? Of course they do! It's all they care about. Do you want to be a pro or a punter? If you want to be a pro think like a pro, punters are punters for a reason.

Look at Franco FFS, beasted the little shit all over the moors in my hayday, so what does he do, put's up an E5 on the scariest bit of rock in the Tees Valley. That's how a pro thinks.


(king of the punters)
SI - profile removed on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd: A bit pissed and playing devils advocate btw. It's what I think but I don't admit it... normally...

Perhaps some better advice might be try and go climbing with Deacon.
SI - profile removed on 08 Nov 2013
He's like the jesus of rock climbing (imo)
rurp - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to rurp)
>
> Wow, I thought for a minute this coach took you from shakey E2 leader to ticking Cavalry in a day. For me, that's always represented quintessential grit E4-ness, never quite got round to trying it though.

No, that would have sounded better in the pub but sadly it did not happen. It was still interesting to see that the coach thought it totally reasonable and doable to go from shaky e2 to quintissential e4 in a day. What's more I believed him enough to start up Calvary in the rain. Sometimes doubt holds us back. 'Just a counterargument to the 'a and e , do 97 e3's before you dare touch the hallowed rock of e4 people!'
deacondeacon - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to rurp: sounds like you were coached by Adrian Berry?
I had a coaching day with him having done a couple of E2's. Ended up doing breadline, silica, telli and Calvary.
Pyramids are ok as a vague rule but sticking to them religiously isn't really gonna help. I've done harder E2s than the E4s I've done :)
rurp - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to rurp) sounds like you were coached by Adrian Berry?
> I had a coaching day with him having done a couple of E2's. Ended up doing breadline, silica, telli and Calvary.
> Pyramids are ok as a vague rule but sticking to them religiously isn't really gonna help. I've done harder E2s than the E4s I've done :)

Correct, which makes the argument stronger. It sounds like a standard day at the office for him. Take an experienced but under confident climber, take the drama out of 'e4' then just go from steady e1 to e4 in a day, just get an experienced dude to pick them for you!
snoop6060 - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

Sack the grit off mate, E4s are way easier on all other types of rock! In any case, grit trad sucks. They aren't really real routes are they :-)...

But then I suppose its nearly winter, cometh the season and all that.
999thAndy on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

Do you know anybody who climbs E4 regularly? ~If you do the best way to get there is to team up with them and second a load of E4s.

Just out of interest why the grit fixation? There's good routes at every grade on every rock type - it seems a bit limiting to only climb on grit.
Jon Stewart - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
> (In reply to Jackwd)
>
> Sack the grit off mate, E4s are way easier on all other types of rock! In any case, grit trad sucks. They aren't really real routes are they :-)...

True that.

Grit gives you the options of really scary or really hard. Down in Pembroke you can just truck up a big pitch and not get too tired, easy!
deacondeacon - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
> (In reply to Jackwd)
>
> Sack the grit off mate, E4s are way easier on all other types of rock! In any case, grit trad sucks. They aren't really real routes are they :-)...
>
Or you could always let people decide what there own aspirations are.
And easier isn't always better, might as well just stay at hvs if that was the case.

Jonny2vests - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to snoop6060)
> [...]
> Or you could always let people decide what there own aspirations are.
> And easier isn't always better, might as well just stay at hvs if that was the case.

He's right though. Grit E4 is a bitch, and largely not better than than mountain or sea cliff E4. Grit just gets weird after E2, it's too niche for my liking.
Jon Stewart - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to deacondeacon)
> [...]
>
> He's right though. Grit E4 is a bitch, and largely not better than than mountain or sea cliff E4. Grit just gets weird after E2, it's too niche for my liking.

Yup, grit's a total pain in the arse. But on the incredibly rare occasions where it all goes well and the route, the body, the conditions and the mind all decide to cooperate for 10 minutes (this happens once every few years for me), it delivers some of the most intense and wonderful climbing experiences around.
jkarran - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

The road to grit E4... The A53. Wings of Unreason: No need for any kind of pyramid, just a deep breath and a bit of a slap. Good safe fun.

jk
ChrisBrooke - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to jkarran: That's how I did it :)
johncoxmysteriously - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to jkarran:

>Good safe fun.

Unless you rip your testicles off on the handle of the Friends sticking out of that pocket on the way back down. I suppose perhaps flexible Friends have reduced that hazard.

jcm
SI - profile removed on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests: Thats because your a short powerhouse able to sustain upsidedownness for 40m pitches. For me, a gangly giant with an ape index of +3" grit get's facinating at E1 and just get's better. One of my favorite grit routes is right eliminate at Curber, elergy at the Roaches another. I can set meself a proper, knarly mind boggling challenge without the inevitable - tedious pump fail.
deacondeacon - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to deacondeacon)
> [...]
>
Grit just gets weird after E2, it's too niche for my liking.

I love that niche, its a form of climbing where you can get away with not being strong, or not necessarily having the big cajones (although these aspects can often help) but good technique, and understanding the subtleties of the rock and body positioning really pay off.

It's often like bouldering with a rope on, but I like it.


deacondeacon - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to jkarran:
> (In reply to Jackwd)
>
> The road to grit E4... The A53. Wings of Unreason: No need for any kind of pyramid, just a deep breath and a bit of a slap. Good safe fun.
>
> jk

That's if you can get through the first bit which isn't trivial.
I loved Wings Of Unreason, its a pure gritstone rush that seems so unlikely until you commit and then it's all over. One of those rare climbs that made me smile for days after.

Jimbo C - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

Surely it's less 'what grade you want to climb' than 'what routes you want to climb'. As others have said a grade encompasses a wide variety of styles, level of physical difficulty and level of danger. Do you want to climb harder for the E4 tick or do you want to do it to experience some great routes?

Judging from what you've posted it is the latter, in which case ask what is stopping you from getting on the routes you want to climb. No doubt a combination of being worried about taking a bad fall and thinking that you're not strong enough/ don't have enough stamina for the route. Training will help, but only getting on a route will get you up it (top rope if you want).

Forget the on-sight (at first), it will come but don't save all your routes for the on-sight. At a lower grade, I really wanted to on-sight Flying Buttress Direct, but I pumped out and took the drop onto the slab. I thought I would be, but wasn't actually annoyed that I'd dropped the on-sight, it just made me want it more and train hard for my return visit.
Jonny2vests - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
> [...]
>
> Yup, grit's a total pain in the arse. But on the incredibly rare occasions where it all goes well and the route, the body, the conditions and the mind all decide to cooperate for 10 minutes (this happens once every few years for me), it delivers some of the most intense and wonderful climbing experiences around.

I agree with that too. It's bound to be a big deal when I do on the rare occasion tick a grit E4, it's like slaying a dragon. Limestone can be so obvious, you can tell its going to be purely about fitness from the ground, Arms Race anyone? Granite often strikes a nice balance, technical, but rarely height dependent.
Jonny2vests - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to shaun l:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests) For me, a gangly giant with an ape index of +3" grit get's facinating at E1 and just get's better.

It gets fascinating for me at E1 too, and E2. After that I am often defascinated, pebble wrestling above gear yet again. I despise slabs and I'm not great at massively unbalanced cruxes. I guess we are drawn to play the games were good at.
Jonny2vests - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jimbo C:

I know it's an unfashionable thing to say, but I don't think there's anything wrong with chasing grades. It's a good way to get motivated, provides a measuring stick, it's a good source of peer pressure, and I want to climb grade N, because I want the type of adventure grade N usually brings.

People who play the numbers game, which deep down, is almost all of us to some greater or lesser extent, don't enjoy the climbing any less than a purist, they're not literally walking round with a clip board.
Jon Stewart - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

Chasing numbers is an essential part of climbing. Breaking into a new grade, or doing a first route that's acknowledged as solid or high in the grade is the equivalent of being promoted at work. It makes people feel good.

If you climb a lot, you should get better at it. After climbing 100 E1s, climbing another one is not going to feel as hard as the first few (assuming that your first 100 weren't all massively soft and your 101th isn't a total sandbag that's really E3). So, to continue getting the same buzz of climbing at your limit, you have to climb progressively harder routes.

I don't chase grades as an end in itself, but I love getting objectively better at climbing and continuing to get the buzz of climbing at my limit.
Si dH - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
Well put.
Jonny2vests - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Si dH:

Oh, how come he always gets the kudos :-(
SI - profile removed on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to shaun l)
> [...]
>
> It gets fascinating for me at E1 too, and E2. After that I am often defascinated, pebble wrestling above gear yet again. I despise slabs and I'm not great at massively unbalanced cruxes. I guess we are drawn to play the games were good at.

Exactly, all the top boys have their own styles, you just get drawn to the routes that flatter you. I wish - oh how I wish I could climb 40m overhanging routes, just dropped to 11st so I can have a go next summer. Hopefully in a year's time i'll totally agree with you.

I climbed 80% of my e2+ grit routes on second so totally sympathise with the lack of gear perspective.
Phill Mitch - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd: If you are just wanting to tick an E4 then Brush off at Rivelin is ok. I know it's not the best protected route but the only gear is in the right place for the only hard move, then it's just a case of doing 5a moves in balance and keeping cool to the top. I am an E2 punter and have been back to solo it! If I thought all E4's were like that I might try more of them.
Offwidth - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Phill Mitch: there is marginal gear further up on TBO
Phill Mitch - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Ha, that's probably why I only climb E2!
Jon Stewart - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

If it's got all this gear, how come it's E4? When I'd been climbing for about 2 months and didn't know any better, I did it on toprope and didn't fall off. I've always assumed it was pretty damn soft as a solo, and after Phil told me about the wire half way up, it now just seems like a bit of a joke.
Jonny2vests - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Softest E4 on grit? More like E3 5b.
Phill Mitch - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Hello Jon, not seen you for a while. I think TBO is only graded E4 because the gear is not great or much off it! If there was much gear it would only be HVS 5a/b. Great if your only aim is to tick an E4.
Phill Mitch - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests: I thought so but who am I but a punter!
Jon Stewart - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Phill Mitch:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests) I thought so but who am I but a punter!

Sounds like an even more punterish climber like me could get up it too. I managed a couple of soft E4s in Pembroke, so a grit softie would be a good addition to the collection of 'stolen' E-points.
Offwidth - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Because its only just E4 and because the gear in the upper breaks is marginal and you need to stay calm at the top and because onsight it's potentially incredibly serious as you can easily miss the good nut hidden round on the left. It's a very soft E4 headpoint, easier than some E1 headpoints.
Offwidth - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: No E4 deserved now you know the beta.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Sorry but since I did it without falling off on toprope as a complete novice, if it didn't have any gear it couldn't be harder than E3 5b.

I'll go back and do it properly-ish either lead or solo (more likely solo since I can't be frigged with ropes and belaying and stuff once it's cold) and see what I think then. I shall post on here if I end up in the Hallamshire, along the lines of "Oh, OK it's E4".
Offwidth - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: note UKC votes show clear E4 5c so please don't get at me I am at least saying its soft (as does the Rockfax description). Like you I once thought it was E3 but changed my mind after watching too many wobble and miss the key gear.
Mick Ward - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Please be careful. From what I dimly remember, you can do TBO in balance, in a good headspace, everything goes OK, it seems a piece of piss. And you can do it otherwise (here be dragons!) I hope, for you, it's the first and not the second.

I really would heed Offwidth's opinion on this.

Good luck!

Mick



Jon Stewart - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:

Don't worry, I don't take these sorts of routes lightly (although my posted sounded rather flippant), I wait for the right day. It may not happen this year, as I'm pretty busy and not getting out every week, but I have had this and Strangler on the list for a while.
Phill Mitch - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: I am sure your style of climbing will stand you in good stead for it Jon, just go for it when you are feeling confident.
Jonny2vests - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) Because its only just E4 and because the gear in the upper breaks is marginal and you need to stay calm at the top and because onsight it's potentially incredibly serious as you can easily miss the good nut hidden round on the left. It's a very soft E4 headpoint, easier than some E1 headpoints.

For a first go, I think it makes more sense as a solo with mats (for a suitably skilled E2/3 climber). You can pad out the high ledge around to the left which is totally jumpable before you commit. Before the ledge, you can jump to mats on the ground on the right of the arete. Of course that might mean beta for the mat placements, does that blow an onsight? Oh god, what have I started.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> [...]
>
> For a first go, I think it makes more sense as a solo with mats (for a suitably skilled E2/3 climber). You can pad out the high ledge around to the left which is totally jumpable before you commit. Before the ledge, you can jump to mats on the ground on the right of the arete. Of course that might mean beta for the mat placements, does that blow an onsight? Oh god, what have I started.

No onsight for me anyway, I toproped it in my misspent youth.


Yes, I am ashamed.

Coel Hellier - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> No onsight for me anyway, I toproped it in my misspent youth.

Adopt my philosophy, that knowledge of a route expires after 18 months or so, and after that you can indeed "onsight" it.

[Actually, for me personally, having seconded/top-roped something a while back is usually a disadvantage, since I find myself trying to copy a mis-remembered account of how to climb it, rather than taking it as it comes. I guess it does help to know where the gear is, but on grit one can usually gather that beta anyhow.]
lurcher - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:

What Mick said.. I once backed off TBO (just didnt feel right that day) after an onsight of Auto da Fe. Now that's a good E4... tough start, bold but not dangerous top and quality climbing.





Cake - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd: Back to topic for a mo...

FYI: I have just done my first E4, Jetrunner, and popular soft E4; I have done about 4 E3s; about 8 E2s, but loads more than 16 E1s (talking on-sight here, mainly). At first I thought your strategy was doomed to failure as you might make silly assumptions about what you are capable of, but actually, perhaps it could work quite well, as without thinking about it, I did something similar.

I would say, however, that in my list of E1s, there are quite a few 5c routes, which I think has been important in getting into E2 and E3, and you are right to focus on bouldering too. However, on the positive side, Font 7a is well hard compared to the cruxes of E2, E3 and most E4 and getting solid at 7a is very different from having done a few and perhaps being solid at Font 6b+?, which I think would be a more useful (realistic) goal for your Trad aims. This is, at least, my experience.

But then, of course, I am me and you are you, so what do I know? But good luck,

Cake
Jonny2vests - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Cake:

That's an impressive progression. My histogram would look very different to that. Mainly grit based? Are you tall and strong?
deacondeacon - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to jackl:
It's just natural to end up with a vague pyramid of routes but I wouldn't overthink it, it's just inevitable that this will happen. You'll end up getting on easier routes when the weather isn't 100%, or you've got an injury or a million other excuses ;) and only getting on the harder routes when everything feels right.

My pyramid for onsights would be (approx):
2 E4's
15 E3's
50 E2's
130 E1's

But I take things pretty slowly and don't really push my grade. I reckon Cakes progress would be pretty achievable for you especially if you get on things in your style and soft. :)

Also don't get too disheartened if things don't go perfectly to plan, be prepared to change your goalposts.
I got sleeted/hailed off Jetrunner on saturday, then fell off an HVS. Shit happens, there's no exact science to climbing but when it goes wrong try and make sure it's your ego that gets bruised rather than you.

Also don't get on The Brush Off yet, get on something that hasn't got leg breaking potential.
There's bold, and there's bold.

deacondeacon - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Cake:
>
>
, Font 7a is well hard compared to the cruxes of E2, E3 and most E4 and getting solid at 7a is very different from having done a few and perhaps being solid at Font 6b+?, which I think would be a more useful (realistic) goal for your Trad aims. This is, at least, my experience.
>
I have to agree with this. Being solid at 7A is a seriously High goal. I have mates climbing in the low 8's and they still wouldn't flash every 7A thrown at them.

Cake - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests: Mainly on grit, yes. I am 6 feet tall.

Am I strong? Well, I can do steep traverse at Stanage, but I can't do green traverse. Not sure
Cake - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Cake)
> That's an impressive progression. My histogram would look very different to that. Mainly grit based? Are you tall and strong?

I should say that I've been climbing for at 12 or so years and leading E1s for at least 6. I think I limited myself to E1 for a long time for no good reason (quite a lot to go at in the eastern peak, eh). So all that time, I suppose I was getting in plenty of experience, while just 16 E1s may not include enough different styles and sandbag HVSs in that time to get going higher up the grades. Then again, Jack may have enough experience and skill, I don't know.

Cake
rurp - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to rurp)
>
> Wow, I thought for a minute this coach took you from shakey E2 leader to ticking Cavalry in a day. For me, that's always represented quintessential grit E4-ness, never quite got round to trying it though.

Update, as of today it took one day AND 14 months for this shakey E2 leader to ticking Calvary!

1 day to learn the skills and 14 months to psyche myself up to have another go. Here's to 'The road to grit e4' from a happy punter
Jackwd - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to rurp: Nice, and I managed to tick two E1s. Good day had by all!
Owen W-G - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

Jetrunner - my only e4, probably safe enough if you have the patience to place and equalise 5 crappy sideways microwires and micro cams, one hard move then about e1 to the top, non pumpy, softie for sure
Owen W-G - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to rurp:

Give me max beta while it is fresh in your mind, cam sizes and all!
how hard are the moves and are there any rests?
JimboWizbo - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd: And I got an E1! - no, wait, it's been downgraded
Cake - on 13 Nov 2013
In reply to Owen W-G: Before I jumped on this (also my only E4) I saw someone come off the crux twice onto just two of the 'crappy sideways microwires' and they didn't budge. They are not bad at all for micros
Jonny2vests - on 13 Nov 2013
In reply to rurp:

Nice one! I wanna go now.
rurp - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to Owen W-G:
> (In reply to rurp)
>
> Give me max beta while it is fresh in your mind, cam sizes and all!
> how hard are the moves and are there any rests?

sent you an email with full info to do with as you please!

Enjoy.

M0nkey - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to Jackwd:

Sorry late response to this party and can't go back and read through the previous replies. I would suggest as a road to grit E4 to drive to Froggatt, boulder the start of Oedipus (do it onsight for extra kudos) which is really not at all difficult in bouldering terms - if you have climbed in an indoor wall it will feel very easy with positive fingery holds. After the crux take a deep breath and keep it lit to the break - it's about HVS/E1 after the low crux.

Then go have a celebratory pint and tell everyone you are now an E4 climber. Easy peasy.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Fiend - on 14 Nov 2013
The Strangler - bold E3 5c - long fall but perfect gear.
Calvary - hard E3 6a - lower crux perfectly safe, good rests, good modern gear to finish.
Jetrunner - easy E3 6a - good modern gear right by crux, hard move though.
Oedipus - E4 6b without mats. V4 with. Moves to break at the E4 bit.
The Brush Off - soft E4 5c - easy but dangerous and committing as an onsight solo.
Also:
Autumn Wall - E3 5c - easy safe and positive.
Gypfast - E2 5c - loads of gear even without siderunners.

HTH.

Also:

> So, which E4s do you aspire to? To tick a “personal best” grade wise for me normally involves REALLY wanting to climb the route, as this improves focus, commitment etc. Read the guidebooks, wander round the crags and find a route that shouts out to you.

...is correct.

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