/ VS routes

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drsdave - on 01 Sep 2014
Hi heres a question. Now having got to grips with HS routes Im needing to do some VS stuff. Anyone have any good suggestions of VS routes that aren't brick hard i.e ''the file'', something that would be a good introduction to vs climbing. I climb near the roaches and the peaks.
Thanks :-)
Skyfall - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

> peaks

Tut tut - you've lost most of your audience already ;)
Post edited at 21:21
drsdave - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Skyfall:

hi there, lost the audience, please explain
john morrissey - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

THere are so many classic VS routes in the peak. Pick some with contrasting styles and hit all the 3* ones. you will soon be climbing HVS...E1.... Millstone, Stanage, Hen Cloud, the list is endless
drsdave - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to john morrissey:

agreed, do you have any favorites john you'd like to recommend
mattrm - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Read the guidebook. They often say when routes are easy for the grade. Take a look at the routes and pick ones that are straight forward and play to your strengths.
drsdave - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to mattrm:

Hi Mattrm, thanks for the advice. Do you have any favorites that you'd recommend
mrchewy - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Don't bother with The Mall at Millstone - totally over-rated. How on earth it makes Top 50 in the Rockfax guide I'll never know. It's a grubby, scruffy climb that happens to be next to a famous one...
rurp - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

The lost the audience thing is 'peaks' rather than 'peak' some people get tetchy about it.

Hargreaves original is great and has amazing gear if you have 3 or more , up to 10 friends of 2.5 and above.

Apple arÍte gardoms

High neb buttress , missisippi buttress.

Topsail is a soft touch good pro with friend 4 and thread it's about severe 4b

Fairy steps is wonderful but scary


Good luck
theomoore - on 01 Sep 2014
drsdave - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to rurp:

thank you
The Norris - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

I found Via Dolorosa at the roaches to be a great, varied route. Never that hard, but always interesting!
keith-ratcliffe on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

My first VS lead on grit was Inverted V on Stanage - it is now a little polished and still holds its grade. It looks quite improbable but the holds are all there. You can spend days on Stanage just doing starred routes.
PS There is an ongoing discussion on UKC about referring to The Peak District as The Peaks. FWITW I always thought it was The Peak until I saw posts here using the extra 's'.
drsdave - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to theomoore:

wow
john morrissey - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to theomoore:

The embankment routes at Millstone. great for learning to jam and place gear.
drsdave - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to rurp:

thanks rurp
Jon Stewart - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

My favourite VS on Stanage is Hargreave's Original Route, a really fantastic sustained route of big slope breaks all the way up. If you go along ticking off the classic VS's you'll probably think they're all great. Later you'll realise that some of them are horrible (Inverted V, Mississippi Buttress Direct).

The Brain at Curbar is a good one. A bit broken but quite exciting with a poorly protected slab to begin with (a pad might make it safer), a groove and a great finish on a very exposed arete. Barney Rubble at Dovestone is cool, being steep and juggy.
keith-ratcliffe on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

A further thought - when I started leading climbs the technical grades did not exist so I tried 2 VS's on Froggatt and learned something about the weakness of this simple system. Look up Sunset Crack & Sunset Slab to see what I mean.
drsdave - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Keith I was born in sheffield and the local crags are the peaks but when referred to their proper name in full everyone i know call it the peak district, but otherwise its always been the peaks. Thanks for the convo though and the tip
JHiley on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

I don't know many on the western side but I think Mitre cracks at Aldery cliff is ok and well protected. If you go over to stanage via media and central trinity are good, mild, safe VSs. Central trinity makes plenty of popular HS cracks look ridiculously sandbaggy. Mississippi buttress direct seemed ok too if a little awkward in places and I guess inverted V is pretty simple and a good line but I remember thinking the climbing wasn't great and there will be plenty of people to tell you its not a real VS. Hargreaves is quite a bit tougher than the others above but obviously excellent.
Another vote for Barney Rubble at Dovestone tor from me also.
Topsail at Birchen could be a good one although it might not be so soft if you don't know in advance what to do (have I given it away?). Also remember not to use the worn out cam placement (don't know why you would with the other options available)
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Andy Peak 1 - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Inverted V
Hargreves original
The coin
Rite hand trinity
Zig zag flake crack

Counts crack, Hard at the grade but very good
Ellis eliminate

The mall at millstone

There are so many grate vs routes on grit, mostly safe as long as your sensible.
In reply to drsdave:

Oddly I have lived in Sheffield for more than 40 years and have never heard anyone refer to it as The Peaks - just the Peak District or the Peak.


Chris

PS Eastern Grit graded list: http://www.rockfax.com/databases/graded.php?area=1

Western Grit grade list: http://www.rockfax.com/databases/graded.php?area=7

Pick one from the green end of the spectrum
drsdave - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

thanks
drsdave - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Andy Peak 1:

thanks nice format
Ramblin dave - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to JHiley:

> I don't know many on the western side but I think Mitre cracks at Aldery cliff is ok and well protected. If you go over to stanage via media and central trinity are good, mild, safe VSs. Central trinity makes plenty of popular HS cracks look ridiculously sandbaggy.

I'd say the same about Via Media, actually. Reasonably delicate and balancey on smallish holds but nothing too nasty. It's worth bringing two sets of nuts to the crag, for reasons that become obvious as soon as you look at the route...
jcw on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:
There is a wider world out there.
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Oh! I did the second hardest VS in the east on Saturday and thought it was fine; just a bit udgy. :)
In reply to TobyA:

> Oh! I did the second hardest VS in the east on Saturday and thought it was fine; just a bit udgy. :)

That's a very specialist technique you were using there - drops the grade a notch or two. :-)


Chris
JHiley on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Me too, I always thought if you put it next to Tower face at wharnecliffe and had central trinity next to Browns crack at Bamford (popular top50s) the VSs would look pretty easy. I guess the start is a bit tricky but very safe.
Orgsm on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Valkyrie at roaches is a cracking VS, my first lead at that grade.

BnB - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Orgsm:

I think he asked for an easy introduction not a chop route....
Dave Garnett - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

> (In reply to Orgsm)
>
> I think he asked for an easy introduction not a chop route....

It was one of my first VSs too. It's exciting but there's a runner above your head on the famous move and plenty of space to fall into (otherwise known as Cox's Leap).

It depends what your strengths are because I'm struggling to think of straightforward, well-protected VSs at the Roaches - try Aqua, perhaps, or Rhynose at Newstones. If you are strong and/or can cope with a bit of jamming then Little Crack at Roach End is excellent (finger jamming), as is Hedgehog Crack on Hen Cloud (hand jamming). If you are fairly bold, then Condor Slab is technically easy (and only bold for a couple of moves). Via Dolorosa is good and varied, but the start is very polished and can feel quite bold is it isn't perfectly dry and clean. The top is easier than it looks though! The Flaky Wall routes at Ramshaw are reasonable at the grade (by the standards of the crag!) especially on a fine sunny morning.

On limestone, I agree that Mitre Cracks at Aldery is lovely and very well protected.
Post edited at 08:48
Greenbanks - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Arguably, to cut your teeth on grit VS's will ensure that you are well-placed to be moving into HVS territory elsewhere.
ByEek - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Go to Stanage and pick any 3* VS. They are all excellent. Be aware though that there are some classic VS sandbags at Stanage. Fortunately, most don't have any stars.
RyanOsborne - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

+1 for Via Dolorosa. And Narrow Buttress and Hargreaves Original at Stanage. All definitely in the realms of VS without being sandbags.

I also thought Valkyrie wasn't as tough as its reputation - The down-climb from the flake was quite tough, but well protected and with an arm and a leg jammed in the back of it, I didn't feel like I was going to fall off. You have to think about ropework and what not though, so perhaps not the best one if you're pushing the grade.
Offwidth - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to JHiley:
Great post amongst some very mixed advice. Especial thanks for warning about the damaged cam slot on Topsail (and a punter for rurp on saying to use this and the subsequent grade....cams in damaged placements can pull and even if they dont it adds to the damage.). Those wanting the easy VS tick on Topsail should heed the guidebook advice and go for it from the thread. Its also one of those routes that seems a lot harder until you know how its done so the VS grade stayed when we downgraded a lot of the soft VS climbs at Birchen. Its also really hard for shorties and Chris the Tall says its hard for him too. People falling or resting on that cam is how it got to look a mess in the first place (see photo on my gallery) and you dont need to fall or rest on a VS if its really Severe.
Post edited at 12:09
GrahamD - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

The File isn't 'nails'. Its mid grade VS so definately one to test yourself on later.

Many Eastern Grit VSs are soft touches though - just pick one that suits your climbing style.
ark05 - on 02 Sep 2014
i find that 3 star routes are generally tough for the grade as they are normally more sustained 4c or whatever the tech grade.

If you go for 2 or 1 star routes they are more likely to be 1 move wonder routes, which are not as good.. but better for getting used to the difficulty of VS.

this isn't always the case.
The Ivanator - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Damascus Crack with the Tower finish at the Roaches (upper tier) gets VS and is well protected and an easy introduction to the grade, decent route too. Via Dolorosa is not much harder, although the polished moves near the start are a little unnerving.
Gordon Stainforth - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

> Great post amongst some very mixed advice. Especial thanks for warning about the damaged cam slot on Topsail (and a punter for rurp on saying to use this and the subsequent grade....cams in damaged placements can pull and even if they dont it adds to the damage.). Those wanting the easy VS tick on Topsail should heed the guidebook advice and go for it from the thread. Its also one of those routes that seems a lot harder until you know how its done so the VS grade stayed when we downgraded a lot of the soft VS climbs at Birchen. Its also really hard for shorties and Chris the Tall says its hard for him too.

Well, I'm a shorty and never found it hard at all. About as easy as overhangs come. A very mild VS.

Via Dolorosa at the Roaches (suggested by Ivanator) is much more of a route in every way ... and the term 'route' can be used without absurdity there. Another good one, where you'll really feel you've broken into VS grade properly is Central Climb at Hen Cloud. (Remember, it used to be Hard Severe:). 2nd pitch has a 5a boulder problem start, but of course anyone capable of climbing VS should be able to do that.

Technical Slab with the Neb Finish at the Roaches is also very low in the grade (not covered in protection, but v good where you need it), and an exceptionally fine pitch (done as one pitch).

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stevieb - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Are you looking for a soft touch to break into the grade, or some classic routes that are not too hard?
I think Limpopo Groove at Lawrencefield is pretty easy at the grade, also short with good gear.
There are plenty of other VSs at Lawrencefield, most of which are better. Gingerbread is not too hard and I think the gear is good enough. Most of the others e.g. Great Harry, Once Pegged Wall, need a decent amount of stamina.
drsdave - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Greenbanks:

yep agreed, thanks
drsdave - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to The Ivanator:

funnily enough I actually beasted that one out on sighted, I hardly remember doing the tower finish but i just got on with it. Went back a year later and tried leading it again and failed at the tower, unnerved by it. Mad eh.
Offwidth - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

You are not short Gordon...just shorter than most men. Moff has to do a full horizontal egyption off the undercut under that roof to get to the flake and even then has to adjust to get the best bit. She is 5'4" with a negative ape index. It is indeed an easy VS if you can reach without such technical shenaigans, bottom of the graded list, and much easier than most VS climbs with good beta or on subsequent ascents but it is not S 4b to onsight from my experience watching many climb it.
drsdave - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to stevieb:

yer stevie im just getting to grips with vs so its all about the change of gear, looking for placements, change and expectancy of foot placements etc etc
drsdave - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to adamki:

ok thanks
Duncan Bourne - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Some worthwhile Roaches VSs for you:
Central Route VS 4b - Not as thin on gear as it once was, still a little bold but straight forward climbing.
Via Dolorosa VS 4b, 4a, 4c - A classic, a big cam may be useful, but a big mountain feel at a reasonable grade.
Raven Rock Gully Left-Hand VS 4b - Sinister but plenty of gear with an unusual squirmy finish
Pincer VS 5a - used to be HVS but the bulk of the difficulty lies in the boulder start once on the ledge the rest is straight forward
The Bulger VS 4c - A real conundrum of a climb either impossibly hard or surprisingly easy depending on how you tackle it. You can at least hang around on decent gear while you contemplate it.
Aqua VS 4b - A one move wonder good practice for Tody's Wall
Gordon Stainforth - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Well, actually, Pincer was a very nasty/naughty Hard Severe once, Duncan :)
Duncan Bourne - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

That must have stopped a few :-)
drsdave - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

cheers bud
Jimbo C - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

A favourite of mine and not too tough is gargoyle flake at bamford. There are several other well protected vs routes there to have a go at.

Don't take too much notice of how many stars a route has, they're a matter of opinion. Unless the climb looks ming, it's probably worth doing stars or not.
Gordon Stainforth - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

I believe it was the first route I ever did at the Roaches c.1974 ... got up it, but got a bit of a shock!
Orgsm on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

> I think he asked for an easy introduction not a chop route....

I didn't find it hard for the grade, a gentle 4b first pitch with a nice 4c second pitch. Much harder VS out there.
Offwidth - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Another good list. Aqua needs care though as it's easy to fill the handhold with the gear. It's either VS 4b or maybe a very safe VS 5a.
Dave Garnett - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> (In reply to Offwidth)
> Another good one, where you'll really feel you've broken into VS grade properly is Central Climb at Hen Cloud. (Remember, it used to be Hard Severe:).

Still is!

> 2nd pitch has a 5a boulder problem start, but of course anyone capable of climbing VS should be able to do that.

Absolutely. To be fair, the 4b given in the Roaches guide is a little mean but the move is well protected and there is an easier (if bolder) alternative. Central Route Direct, however, is a proper VS and really isn't very hard if you can jam at all - and also very well protected. While at Hen Cloud, someone has already mentioned Main Crack, which is definitely worth doing - hilarious.

>
> Technical Slab with the Neb Finish at the Roaches is also very low in the grade (not covered in protection, but v good where you need it), and an exceptionally fine pitch (done as one pitch).

Hmmm. I always find the Neb Finish vaguely terrifying for some reason, but yes, a brilliant pitch if you are confident.
Post edited at 08:53
DubyaJamesDubya - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> (In reply to drsdave)
>
> My first VS lead on grit was Inverted V on Stanage - it is now a little polished and still holds its grade. It looks quite improbable but the holds are all there. You can spend days on Stanage just doing starred routes.
> PS There is an ongoing discussion on UKC about referring to The Peak District as The Peaks. FWITW I always thought it was The Peak until I saw posts here using the extra 's'.

Surely it's OK to use 'the Peak' if referring to the Peak District as a whole but 'the peaks' is fine if referring to the peaks in the Peak District.
Post edited at 09:30
Gordon Stainforth - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

There is nothing that anyone would seriously call a 'Peak' in the modern sense in the Peak District. It would be an amusing piece of hyperbole for someone to refer to Mam Tor, Thorpe Cloud, Win Hill or Chrome Hill as such.
Dave Garnett - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

You're forgetting the Matterhorn of Cheshire - Shutlingsloe
DubyaJamesDubya - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
You are underestimating the lay-man's abilities to be impressed by such things. After all why is the Peak District called the Peak District in the first place?
What's modernity got to do with it anyway?
Post edited at 10:36
Offwidth - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Can you stop this. We have threads and threads on why the name is what it is and the grey areas of correct usage in names, you can start another if you want and comment on at your leisure, without tainting a really good thread here.
Greenbanks - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

I sometimes wonder whether grit crags have a higher % of SQ (Sandbag Quotient) than other crags, per number of routes. I'd be inclined to think so. A couple of days at Stanage & I find myself going up harder-grade Lakes routes like sh*t off a shovel.

Or maybe grit doesn't agree with me.
Jon Stewart - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to Greenbanks:

It's all very variable. Many grit routes are trivial at their grade, being so short and just a single stand up on a smeary foothold, or move between breaks. Once you're familiar with the routes and the style, they can feel really easy.

But HVS cracks are often about as hard as E2s elsewhere in the country - things like Chequers Crack, Nonsuch, Hen Cloud Eliminate, the Wimberry cracks are all absurdly difficult for the grade.

I think in general grit routes around VS-HVS are probably more often hard for the grade than in other areas, as you often get very hard moves or a nasty fall potential on short routes. Depending on the routes you choose though, it is perfectly possible to pick out soft touches that suit your particular strengths, where elsewhere if you don't have the strength and fitness you won't succeed on anything.
Gordon Stainforth - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> You are underestimating the lay-man's abilities to be impressed by such things. After all why is the Peak District called the Peak District in the first place?

> What's modernity got to do with it anyway?

This has been discussed a million times over the last decade on UKC. Yes, the meaning is very ancient. Yes, it was originally (in Celtic, pre-Roman times) probably something to do with peakiness, as observed by incomers from lowland Europe. Some evidence that the whole upland area in general became known as the Pec, and that Mam Tor in particular may have been called the Pec. Roughly contemporary with that was existence of a tribe known as the Pecsaetan (Peak settlers), and some scholars have argued that the name of the Peak derives from them, rather than any geographical feature. All very circular. It seems that the name of the Peak or Pec for what we now call the Peak District was well established by Roman times.
Gordon Stainforth - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

But. as Offwidth says, let's drop this tired old OT subject on this particular thread.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Greenbanks)
>
>
> But HVS cracks are often about as hard as E2s elsewhere in the country - things like Chequers Crack, Nonsuch, Hen Cloud Eliminate, the Wimberry cracks are all absurdly difficult for the grade.
>

Agree apart from the Wimberry cracks which all seemed fine to me.

DubyaJamesDubya - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Sunset Crack (if it hasn't been downgraded) has got to be the easiest VS I've done (good pro too)
Jon Stewart - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Sunset Crack (if it hasn't been downgraded)

It has.

Kid Spatula - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

It's HS 4b is Sunset Crack
DubyaJamesDubya - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to Kid Spatula:
> (In reply to drsdave)
>
> It's HS 4b is Sunset Crack

Probably still a soft touch...
D Berry on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Greeny Crack at Burbage North was one of my first grit VS's. Well protected, a variety of techniques required, and the crux at the top.

Via Media at Stanage is well protected and eases with height.

Away from the grit Manx at Wildcat is mild at the grade, not overly polished and easily done in one pitch if you so desire when you get to the stance at the top of the first pitch.
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>
> But HVS cracks are often about as hard as E2s elsewhere in the country - things like Chequers Crack, Nonsuch, Hen Cloud Eliminate, the Wimberry cracks are all absurdly difficult for the grade.

Isn't always the case if there preponderance of a paricular type of climbing in an area the locals get good at it and the grades reflect this?

Chris
drsdave - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Guys thanks for all your suggestions, its a lot to sort through, some are more appropriate than others but non will be wasted. So this weekend is a warm up on Right Hand Trinity then get on with Inverted V.
BnB go easy dude and I'll catch you sometime yuo know where ;-)
Jon Stewart - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> Isn't always the case if there preponderance of a paricular type of climbing in an area the locals get good at it and the grades reflect this?

Guess so, yes. Particularly in the Peak it seems down to the history too, with the obvious crack climbs being climbed first, no matter how hard they are.
Gordon Stainforth - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Many people forget just how hard those cracks were without any modern protection. Sunset Crack was an anachronism coming from the completely different world of the 1950s and 60s when it couldn't be at all well protected. Bear in mind, also, that Joe insisted that the slab was still VS in its (then) totally unprotected state.
BnB - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave: Hey Dave, how's it going? You need a partner for Sunday? Stanage is a lot nearer than Skye.

drsdave - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

mate yhm
Duncan Bourne - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to Dave Garnett:

On the subject of bold VS routes I always found Bachelor's Buttress (VS 4a, 4b) a scary undertaking that lures you on with the promise of gear that barely materialises.

Incidently other hard VS's around the Roaches would be -
The Crank VS 5a - well protected but nasty jams
The Vixen VS 4b - That would be 4b going on 6a for all the good it did me trying to get up it. Another one for the jamming aficionado
BnB - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to drsdave:

Mate, No mail arrived at this end I'm afraid
Dave Garnett - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to Duncan Bourne:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
>
> On the subject of bold VS routes I always found Bachelor's Buttress (VS 4a, 4b) a scary undertaking that lures you on with the promise of gear that barely materialises.

Another one that's almost easier to solo!

> The Crank VS 5a - well protected but nasty jams

Yes, must get back to this. I last did it in 1977! Nastier at the top as I recall.

> The Vixen VS 4b - That would be 4b going on 6a for all the good it did me trying to get up it. Another one for the jamming aficionado

Oddly balancy to start. Only seems VS in comparison to the Fox.


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