/ Third ascent of Trauma, E9 7a, Dinas Mot

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Alasdair Fulton - on 10 Jun 2007
Nice one dave, Interesting thoughts about Indian Face too:

http://www.davemacleod.blogspot.com/

Ally
In reply to Alasdair Fulton: An excellent effort. I didn't quite get the last bit though - did his friend Kev also lead Trauma, or was he head pointing something else? If the former - is Trauma the most climbed E9 now?
Pythonist on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to TobyA:
That would make it 4 ascents for Trauma, no?
I would believe Knocking of Heaven's Door has probably had more...

Another cracking job of Dave's!
Ed Booth - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to Alasdair Fulton: Thats awesome!! Cool work teo E9's for the 2 Daves
TomPR - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

Great effort Dave! - thanks for the link to his ever-informative blog.

I thought I'd be reading about an ascent of Indian Face this evening when I heard about him going up to check it out recently, but hey, it's good to hear someone vocalising the thoughts of a headpointer's mind and proving that the ego isn't always in charge.

Keep it coming...

Ed Booth - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to Alasdair Fulton: I think its a shame what he said about Indian Face. It comes accross as its easy but i'm not going to do it cause its a a rubbish route. No disrespect to him cause he is a truly wicked climber but it sounds like an excuse to not do it because reality is it is too dangerouser climbing for what he'd like to be doing in that position - which is all Indian Face has it's reputation for anyway??
ericinbristol - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to boothy:
> (In reply to Alasdair Fulton) I think its a shame what he said about Indian Face. It comes accross as its easy but i'm not going to do it cause its a a rubbish route.

I didn't interpret his comments that way. I thought his point was that living or dying on that route was going to be too much down to a foothold snapping or a foot randomly skidding, and he prefers risks that are more controllable: "When your chances of survival come down to whether a crystal decides to snap at that given moment, Iím not really that interested."
Joss - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

I just topped out from leading Direct Route on the Mot yesterday...turned round and there was Dave Macleod at the top of the crag...a very surreal moment indeed!
Ed Booth - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to Eric Herring: well i do kind of see it that way but many people have top roped it clean, but leading it is the big prize. So that it is backing out of the lead because it is too dangerous in the same style as many other people have.
I'll come back to comment when i've tried it this summer.
:-)
In reply to boothy:
> It comes accross as its easy but i'm not going to do it cause its a a rubbish route.

That's clearly not what he wrote, but I also knew that it was a 100% certainty that that is how someone would inaccurately paraphrase it on UKC.

A bit like watching an accident waiting to happen from a distance and not being able to do anything about it...

lps - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to TobyA:
what dave doesn't say is whether or not he thought indian face is a great route to climb. i get the impression he doesn't think it is.
Ed Booth - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to Alasdair Fulton: Indian Face is too dangerous and that is why nobody is repeating it. well done Johnny , Nick and Neil.
I have so much respect for all of the top climbers, dave mecloed is immense, it just seems a shock taht he won't repeat it. its totalyy understandable as he has his reasons, but i imagined as did probably he did that he'd do it easily and for a minute it sounded like he was about to. But going and doing Trauma instead is hardly a bad swap :-) well done that man!
Steve Parker - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to Joss:
> (In reply to Alasdair Fulton)
>
> I just topped out from leading Direct Route on the Mot yesterday...turned round and there was Dave Macleod at the top of the crag...a very surreal moment indeed!

I don't get it. Why is it surreal seeing another climber at the top of a crag?

Michael Ryan - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to boothy:

Wanna chance to die, or not wanna chance die, Boothy?

Think about it for a moment, cause that is all it takes.
Ed Booth - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: What do you mean?? I have been in positions where i could have died. But that doesn't mean i want to. Considering dave M's past record of routes, he has not been in the safest of positions.
Michael Ryan - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to boothy:

.....conditions, thoughts, emotions change....feelings, follow your feelings at the time....

but it may be different next time around
Steve Parker - on 10 Jun 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to boothy)
>
> Wanna chance to die, or not wanna chance die, Boothy?

I know where boothy's coming from. It is a shame in a way because it would have been really interesting to hear how IF shapes up to one of today's top climbers. An ascent of IF is a bigger story than an ascent of Trauma because IF still has that mythic aura about it. But you're absolutely right about following your instincts; and anyway no one can seriously criticise another climber for deciding not to do a route that he doesn't feel is justifiable on the day, especially someone like Dave Mac.
Enty - on 10 Jun 2007
Sounds like Indian Face is a bit like Hubble.
A ground breaking cutting edge climb at the time of the first ascent but nevertheless a shit route in the whole scheme of things.

The Ent
Skyfall - on 11 Jun 2007
I thought that write up was a bit of a shame. He was honest (which is great) but I felt his wingeing somehow demeans the route. Some routes are important for the history and he ignored that in his blog. IF has history and meaning in spades.
Agent Moog on 11 Jun 2007 - host86-137-82-51.range86-137.btcentralplus.com
In reply to JonC:
> I felt his wingeing somehow demeans the route. Some routes are important for the history and he ignored that in his blog.

Firstly it did not sound like whingeing, merely an explanation of why the route was not for him. The fact that he didn't mention the history is irrelevant, it's a blog, not a article on the merits of the Indian Face. I'm sure Dave is fully aware of the history, and so is everyone else.
gingerkate - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to JonC:
How can you praise his honesty, then effectively knock it in the same sentence? He didn't feel good about doing the route, he knew a crystal popping could kill him, he decided that for him, at that moment, it wasn't worth the risk, and he related these thoughts. How can you describe that as 'whinging'? I'd call it the cool-headed thought processes of a man who has nothing to prove.
galpinos - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to gingerkate:

I agree with what she said.

Bang on the money there gingerkate.
ericinbristol - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to gingerkate:

what she said
In reply to JonC:
> somehow demeans the route.

It's funny isn't it - there is an expectation that something that is horribly hard must be good, but actually there is no more reason why, in the non-personal sense, an E9 should be any better than an E1 in terms of star quality.

It's natural that whatever you climb at your utter limit becomes a huge experience within your own memory, and as a result anything I really really had to fight on becomes this moment of climbing brilliance in your own mind - always favourite route material. But I could well imagine someone who climbs 3 grades harder than me coming along, doing the route, and saying "yeah, it was alright I suppose but nothing that special".

I tried to onsight Sunset Slab some years ago, first I went up and looked at the crux with a rope and a rack on, to assure myself it really is unprotectable - it is. So I went back to the ground, dumped the gear and rope and went back solo. I got to the crux, thought about it, looked at the ground below, thought about it some more and then decided no, and climbed back down. I subsequently top roped it. It is very pleasant climbing, but ultimately for me I decided it wasn't worth the risk of breaking my legs or worse on.

In that sense, I can totally understand Dave's decision - it a route after all 2 E grades easier than he has climbed. He said the climbing is very interesting but for him the risk of getting badly hurt on it isn't worth the reward. A very honest and genuine decision. Most people could probably think of a dangerous route two grades below their best that they just can't justify leading to themselves, even though they know they could probably do it. Your mates (or in this case teenagers on UKC) pointing at you and saying "pussy" shouldn't change your mind one bit.
datoon - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TobyA: "it a route after all 2 E grades easier than he has climbed." Am not sure whether his route has been confirmed as an E11? Has Indian face been confirmed at E9??

I mean the grades above E8 are pretty much open ended because only a handful of climbers have climbed them?

In fact I would say that the way that hard climbs E8+ are being done a sport grade is more appropriate...
Chris F - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TobyA:
> I didn't quite get the last bit though - did his friend Kev also lead Trauma, or was he head pointing something else? If the former - is Trauma the most climbed E9 now?

It doesn't look like Trauma that he is on, and if Kev did lead it, it would be far and away the most impressive ascent of it to date.


abarro81 - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to datoon:
Rhapsody has not been repeated and so is not confirmed. IF is confirmed at E9 (by Gresham and the other dude (Dixon?)).
i dont understand your comments about the grades above E8 being open ended... its an open ended grading system. do you mean there's no good consensus on, say, when hard E9 becomes easy E10?
sport grades are for bolted routes, irrespective of style. trad grades for trad routes. i can see an argument for H grades for headpoints like john arran gave dr doolittle, but cant see an argument for giving sport grades just because it was a headpoint. (though usually at this level the first ascentionist does seem to put out a rough sport grade)
jkarran - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to datoon:
> (In reply to TobyA) "it a route after all 2 E grades easier than he has climbed." Am not sure whether his route has been confirmed as an E11? Has Indian face been confirmed at E9??

That's pretty irrelevant, his point stands irrespective of what the grades eventually settle at. Theres loads of routes I can technically do that I wont for fear of something snapping and killing me. It's not cowardice, it's judgement and I'm sure its the same for most people, climbing is fun, russian roulette isn't.

jk
wcdave - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to jkarran:
> It's not cowardice, it's judgement and I'm sure its the same for most people, climbing is fun, russian roulette isn't.
>
> jk


Absolutely. It seems a bit odd that Dave's getting a bit of grief because he values his life above everything else!

His honesty is very refreshing in fact.
ericinbristol - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to jkarran:
>Theres loads of routes I can technically do that I wont >for fear of something snapping and killing me. It's not >cowardice, it's judgement and I'm sure its the same for >most people, climbing is fun, russian roulette isn't.

Yup. I got on a steepish slabby E2 with really widely spaced gear and holds. Got 20 feet up. Stepping up, the right foothold snapped off. As I stepped back down, the left foothold snapped off and I got my right foot onto something just in time. The other holds above looked similar and I thought "stuff this" and managed to traverse off.

The decision not to do such a route is beyond criticism.


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Fume Troll on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to datoon:

> In fact I would say that the way that hard climbs E8+ are being done a sport grade is more appropriate...

This might be the most bizarre comment ever.

Cheers,

FT.
datoon - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to abarro81: Yes.

I am not criticising Dave for not doing the route, I have no real place to judge whether someone does a route or not - at the end of the day its all personal opinion, and choosing the risk for yourself...

The reason why I talk about sport grades and hard climbs (E8+) is because of the style in which they are done - through work on a top rope... I'd agree with both grades being used, but alas I don't climb at that grade so its not really for me to say, its just my opinion...
handyman - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TobyA:
Toby,
I didn't lead Trauma mate,very inspiring line but way above what I'm capable of,at the moment anyway :) The route I was on was just up from the bridge and on a short smeary Arete,not sure what it was yet......

Kev Shields
In reply to Chris F: Hotaches blog mentions it was an E4 IIRC, but no name. Looks very fine climbing in the pic. It also says he doesn't have any fingers on one hand!? So along with Dave Musgrove it appears the UK has at least two very talented fingerless climber! :-)
In reply to handyman: We posted at the same time! Thanks for the update.
Chris F - on 11 Jun 2007
Richard Bradley - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to galpinos: I agree with wot you said about agreeing with what Gingerkate said. :-)
GrahamD - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to boothy:

Dave is in a damned if you do damned if you don't position here, isn't he ?

Once he has been seen trying it, he is bound to have to write something about it (as a high profile sponsored climber). Having made the personal decision it wasn't worth the risk, whatever he wrote would be interpreted either as dismissive or cowardly or cocky or whatever. At the end of the day its his life which he doesn't have to justify not risking on my behalf. It must be a hard job keeping us punters happy !
IainRUK - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to gingerkate: I totally agree.

He looked, assessed it and decided against it.

He never said it was easy, he mentioned the word 'hard section'.

Part of being a top climber must be the skill of risk assessment and judgement as well as the physical ability.
Ed Booth - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TobyA:
(or in this case teenagers on UKC) pointing at you and saying "pussy" shouldn't change your mind one bit.
If your refering to me then your talking crap, i am not calling dave M a "pussy" he si hot shit and in my opinion one of the best Trad climbers we have including people like dave Birkett, caf and pete robbins and so on.
The fact that he is so good and like you mention, he has climbed 2 gardes harder than E9, suggets that it should be alrite. I too accept it may not be his route of choice or an amazing route, but it certainly doesn't look a bad route and i have been told that the climbing is nice - think how much priase Johnny Dawes gave it as a route!
If i found a route 2 grades below what i'd done that was dodgy i may or may not do it.
But a route with so much history i would certainly aspire to a repeat.
But at this standard there si so many factors taht success depends on, so it is hard to justify in any case.

In reply to boothy: you wrote:

> but it sounds like an excuse to not do it because reality is it is too dangerouser climbing

How else are we meant to understand that sentence? Macleod hasn't made any "excuses" at all. He said clearly he didn't want to do it because it was for him unjustifiably dangerous for the return he would get.
Ed Booth - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to boothy: basically, i am in no way immplying or putting any prsssure on dave to do it or should do it. we climb for our own reasons.

All i was trying to say when i first replied, was that i was surprised he didn't do it, as i had expected he probably would do it.
The fact that he has deffed ti out is no problem. good effort on Trauma!
GrahamD - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to IainRUK:

Part of being a top climber, it seems, is hitting exactly the right blog tone to avoid dissection from us armchair pundits. Inspiring yet nicely understated is the key.
Skyfall - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to gingerkate:

I went over the top by saying Dave was whingeing. I'll put my hand up to that.

But I don't think the two were contradictory. He was honest about trying the route and deciding not to lead it and I presume his reasons were honestly given. Great. However, I do think he came across as, let's say, negative about the route.

I'm not one of those people that thinks all hard route smust be great routes. Far from it. I often wonder how great some of the short but hard grit lines really are, for example. However, I did/do feel that his blog entry effectively ignores the importance and history of the route and, to my mind, this is a shame.

Glyn Jones - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to JonC: He was positive about the effort to stand on tinies all the way up and Dawes does say in Stone Monkey that 'all the holds ARE there'.

Also, Dawes does say that he climbed routes that worked to his strength to which it was why Gaia has spat many top climbers off.

Good on Dave and those that have led the route. Afterall it is bold!
seagull on 11 Jun 2007
I think all that this tells us is that despite the relative lack of straight "difficulty" Indian Face is still a bloody tough proposition.

The fact that it has had so few ascents is testament to that. The more top climbers who decide against attempting to lead it the more this is reinforced.

I didn't find Dave M's comments in any way disparaging about the route and, of course, it does not reflect badly on him that he made the sensible decision not to go for it when it didn't feel right.

However, it gives me even more respect for those who have done it. Particularly Neil Gresham for whom the style of climbing was even less suited than Dave M! The fact that his ascent 11 years ago was still the last despite the number of really good climbers operating at E8 and pushing E9 (and the handful climbing harder trad) tells a tale in itself. Many thought the route would have been on-sighted by now (after all it's "only 7b+") but it would appear that this is still quite a way off.

Finally this all really brings home the magnitude/insanity of what John Redhead was attempting all those years ago. Ground up with 80's gear. Each move further away from the sh*t rps, not knowing what was coming next. It really doesn't bear thinking about.
In reply to seagull:

> However, it gives me even more respect for those who have done it. Particularly Neil Gresham for whom the style of climbing was even less suited than Dave M!

I remember reading Neil's article about climbing it some years ago. IIRC he was recovering from some injury and picked it because the climbing was - relatively speaking of course - easy. But he also noted that he had been in a bad state of mind as well. It was fascinating - weird confluence of different situations.

Who went first - Dixon or Gresham? I remember whoever did it third did it in slightly better style but (maybe Dixon who did it with just one belayer?) said that this was only possible because the mental barrier had been broken by the former ascent.

Was it really 11 years ago!? I can see the picture on the front cover of High still in my mind. Makes me feel old!
Tyler - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TobyA:

Nick D got the second ascent, NG the third. I'm pretty sure ND had a lot of preplaced gear, not sure about NG. It was still a bit wet when ND did it IIRC
In reply to Tyler: Thanks. Did one of them tape on sky-hooks or was that another route...?
slim - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to Alasdair Fulton: I cant stand punters that top rope climbs that are too hard for them and polish up the marginal footholds for everyone who actually intends to do it!



*runs for cover*
Erik B - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to Alasdair Fulton: always makes me cringe the bollocks spouted by the armchair climbers on here, dave spent a few hours working IF and gets slated for not leading it. how many hours toproping was done by previous ascentionists before they got the right psyche together to lead it?
MikePemberton - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

* Potentially dumb question alert *

I find this whole E grade thing confusing, at the very high grades at least. As I understand it, the E grade is supposed to reflect, among other things, how bold/exposed/dangerous the route is. So if that's the case, if one E9 - in this case Indian Face - looks like a suicidal route of death, why should another E9 down the road be any less dodgy? And furthermore, if Indian Face at E9 is widely regarded as a 'you fall you die' route, how can routes graded higher than that not involve certain demise for anyone falling off - as Dave Macleod did several times on Rhapsody?

In short, how can a 'fall and you die' route have a lower E grade than than a route where you can fall and be pretty much unharmed?

slim - on 11 Jun 2007
the E grade is supposed to reflect, among other things, how bold/exposed/dangerous the route is.

you have answered your own question...
basically trauma is far from concidered a safe route, involving a cruical blind wire placement....

and a harder safer route would qualify for a high e grade

ie if a route had concistently hard 7a/7b climbing with great protection then it would be easily worth e10/11 (anyone) if a route had good pro but only one 7a move then e6 would be fair

if a route had poor pro and 6c clibming then e8/9ish....
In reply to MikePemberton:

> * Potentially dumb question alert *

Well, at least you said it.

> As I understand it, the E grade is supposed to reflect, among other things, how bold/exposed/dangerous the route is.

You write yourself "amongst other things", and then go on to ignore those other things.

I don't understand why people can't understand this - an E9 could be very dangerous, average, (and theoretically at least) safe, just like an HVS, or an E2, or an E5. The grade system doesn't magically change when you get to the higher levels.

So the climbing on Indian Face is (for an E9) straightforward, whilst on Trauma it's brick hard (hence being 7a!).
Stuart S - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to MikePemberton:

> In short, how can a 'fall and you die' route have a lower E grade than than a route where you can fall and be pretty much unharmed?

So, by that logic, should, say, Brown's Eliminate, also be graded E9 since unfortunately, people have died falling off it?

Obivously not - difficulty of climbing is also a factor. Indian Face is about F7b+. Rhapsody is F8c+ (and Brown's Eliminate is probably about F6a!)

MikePemberton - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to slim:

> ie if a route had concistently hard 7a/7b climbing with great protection then it would be easily worth e10/11 (anyone) if a route had good pro but only one 7a move then e6 would be fair

So to use your example, why not leave the E grade a bit lower and give a higher technical grade?
abarro81 - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to MikePemberton: because then it would have the wrong grade.
220bpm on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to abarro81:
> (In reply to MikePemberton) because then it would have the wrong grade.


pmsl :-)
Glyn Jones - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to abarro81: Nowt wrong with E8 7a for rhapsody!

Although we might have a video recall on our hands!







<<ducks for cover>>
MikePemberton - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TobyA:

> I don't understand why people can't understand this - an E9 could be very dangerous, average, (and theoretically at least) safe, just like an HVS, or an E2, or an E5.

That's contrary to what I've been told - I was under the impression that climbs with lower adjective grades such as HVS, are well 'protectable', otherwise they'd have a higher adjective grade...
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seagull on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to MikePemberton:

The tech grade is for the hardest individual move on the route. You can't just up it because there are lots of moves of that difficulty. The E grade represents how bold and/or sustained a route is encompassing both difficulties.

Therefore E7 6b could have one 6b move in a death fall position or lots of well protected 6b. It's usually pretty obvious by a route's description which one it is!
seagull on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to Glyn Jones:

You really do talk a lot of shite!

; )
Ian Patterson on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to MikePemberton:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> [...]
>
> That's contrary to what I've been told - I was under the impression that climbs with lower adjective grades such as HVS, are well 'protectable', otherwise they'd have a higher adjective grade...

As any number of other people have already told you that is incorrect.

TRNovice on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to MikePemberton:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> [...]
>
> That's contrary to what I've been told - I was under the impression that climbs with lower adjective grades such as HVS, are well 'protectable', otherwise they'd have a higher adjective grade...

So how would you view an HVS 4b route?
Stuart S - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to MikePemberton:

> That's contrary to what I've been told - I was under the impression that climbs with lower adjective grades such as HVS, are well 'protectable', otherwise they'd have a higher adjective grade...

Then I'm afraid what you've been told is wrong. How much gear is on Sunset Slab, for example, bearing in mind it's HVS?
TRNovice on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to Stuart S:

Or on 3PS, again bearing in mind that it is... oops!
In reply to MikePemberton:

> That's contrary to what I've been told -

I would take no more advice from whoever told you that then as they clearly don't have a clue what they are talking about.

If you like I'm sure we can come up with a list of easier routes that will kill or seriously injure you if you fall of them.

Sunset Slab for a start at HVS.
Browns Eliminate at E1.

Some one think of a dangerous VS? There's a VS 4b at Auchinstarry called Mr. Men I remember wobbling and panicking through the crux with no gear in at all but that's a tad obscure...
Stuart S - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TRNovice:

Don't go there! :-)
MikePemberton - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TRNovice:
> So how would you view an HVS 4b route?

Dunno, don't do much climbing these days, and trad only once - is obvious no? ;)
seagull on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to MikePemberton:

> That's contrary to what I've been told - I was under the impression that climbs with lower adjective grades such as HVS, are well 'protectable', otherwise they'd have a higher adjective grade...

Not meaning to insult but I find it staggering that someone can have been climbing for two years and not understand the basics of the grading system yet. This is not meant as a dig. I'm sure there are lots of "mainly indoor" climbers who are in the same boat but I still find it amazing as I had a firm grasp of the system by the time I'd been climbing that long (age 12) as I'm sure most climbers had 20 years ago (without the internet to help find out about it!).

seagull on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to seagull:

Posted before I saw your last post!

: )
TRNovice on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TobyA:

Fairy Steps @ Stanage Plantation - VS 4a, I'm sure there are others.
TRNovice on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TRNovice:

Crunchy Frog @ Shepherds Crag - HVS 4a. I am now on a mission to find an E1 4a.
Glyn Jones - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to Glyn Jones)
>
> You really do talk a lot of shite!
>
> ; )

Remind me to hit you with the sarcasm stick a bit harder next time!

;~)
220bpm on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to seagull:

Not all of us were so fortunate as to start so young and have a guiding hand in these matters.
I read the grading definitions in guidebooks for years until it (sort of) sunk in! And that was thanks to greater experience leading rather than a new set of words in a book ;-)
I think it was the day I tried an HVS4c after cruising one of my first VC4c routes. Got so pumped and had to downclimb to a safer place to lob off then missed the ground by inches swinging upside down. I still view that grade with trepidation!
TRNovice on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TRNovice:

If I find one, I'm assuming that it has either poison-tipped spikes, a lava flow, or an alligator pit beneath it.
seagull on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TRNovice:

Sure I remember reading about some creaking choss pile on slate that got E1 4a because it was basically just waiting to fall down.

This was years ago so I very much doubt it is still standing anyway.

Good luck in your search.
jkarran - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to TRNovice:

> Crunchy Frog @ Shepherds Crag - HVS 4a. I am now on a mission to find an E1 4a.

There must be something on the Culm or the Chalk.
jk
TRNovice on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to seagull:

No luck yet I'm afraid :-(. HVS would seem to be the highest adjectival for 4a, unless some one with greater knowledge / searching skills can find a counter-example.
Fergal - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to Armchair grimpers:

So it appears IF is not all it is cracked up to be, i feel a little dismayed to face up to this reality, a bit like font slabs, lowly grades but total bitches to climb, it is good to see Dave Mac rise above all the bull and see the IF in its true light, the ultimate death route, sketchy, improbable even but at the end of the day take away the history, the clamour for the FA and you left with a pretty escoteric line for those with every thing to prove, is it worth the ultimate sacrifice for the fourth ascent?
MikePemberton - on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to seagull:

Dead right, 'mainly indoor'.

I suppose the thing that I find most strange is the attitude particularly on this forum sometimes towards sport climbing - that it's somehow not 'proper' climbing. The logic seems to be that with all those bolts it's too safe, and therefore the psychological challenge is diminished. By that rationale, the most difficult climbs should be those with the biggest psychological element (highest danger of serious injury or death) and therefore those should have the highest E grades. Do you see what I'm getting at?
In reply to Conquistador of the usless:

I am a bit intrigued to find the point that Indian Face went from being too hard to do in case a crystal snaps to an esoteric pile of crap?


Chris
seagull on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to MikePemberton:

Different question as the grading system caters for both. Sport routes used to get and english grade as well back in the day (e.g. Hubble E9 7b).

I agree that some people take that attitude but maybe not as many as used to. More people now understand sport climbing as many more do it (as a percentage of climbers in this country).
seagull on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Ha ha. Spot on. It's amazing how the UKC chinese whispers have warped what Dave M actually said!
TRNovice on 11 Jun 2007
In reply to MikePemberton:

There are different elements to climbing, the psychological is certainly one, but the adjectival grade is not indicative solely of how likely you are to die on it; it is meant to sum up the whole experience of the route (including danger as one element). There is a "natural" technical grade for each adjectival - e.g. VS 4c, HVS 5a, E1 5b etc. If you get changes from this ďnormĒ, it tells you something.

  • Thus routes graded VS 4b, HVS 4c, E1 5a...

    are either pretty physical (or very long), don't have much gear (or the result of falling would be catastrophic), or have lots and lots of moves at the stipulated grade (rather than one or two).

  • Whereas VS 5a, HVS 5b, E1 5c...

    are either not physically demanding (or short), have bomber gear and/or really good landings or perhaps are one-move wonders.

    So two routes of the same technical grade could have very different adjectival grades and two routes with the same adjectival grade could have different technical grades.

    I realise that this can seem a bit confusing, but itís quite a good system IMO once you get used to it.
  • AJM - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to MikePemberton:

    > Do you see what I'm getting at?

    Well, yes, but it only holds true if you view the only factor affecting the trad experience as being the degree of mental control required.

    Trad is clearly not just a mental headgame, it involves physical and mental strength. Sport on the other hand has more of a bias towards physical strength although the mental stamina required to keep plugging away at hard sequences and redpoints is often underestimated.

    Its also worth noting that a sport route can often be no safer than a well-protected trad route. Hard slab or vertical sports routes are not really that different to hard trad slab/wall routes - I'd probably wear a helmet on both for example - and I'd want to fall off easy ledgey sport routes about as much as easy ledgey trad routes.

    AJM
    Fergal - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Chris Craggs:

    I'm reading between the lines here, i feel Dave Mac is being a little diplomatic!, holds breaking, green dirty, north facing doesn't sound like very much a three star classic to me!!?? one to die for, the Dawes threw down the gauntlet, a few have picked it up, but as i have said Dave Mac has nothing to prove.

    The British climbing media have flogged this as the real deal for decades. We have all found routes that don't quite live up to thier reputations.
    MikePemberton - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to TRNovice:

    > but itís quite a good system IMO once you get used to it.

    Could well be, I'm not sufficiently experienced to argue the point. I've often thought though, that grading all climbs with the same 'difficulty' scale (like the French grades for instance) would provide some uniformity, and trad routes could be given the E grade to indicate the level of danger / quality of gear. This would solve the slight issue with trad grades being for onsight attempts (AFAIK) when the situation seems to be that the top end trad routes get top roped extensively before being led.

    Anyway, not like my opinion counts for very much but it's an interesting discussion...
    davidplatt - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to TRNovice:

    Are you sure Crunchy Frog is 4a ?

    I know it says so in the UKC logbook and its a long time ago since I was anywhere near it but 4a doesn't sound very generous at all to me.
    TRNovice on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to davidplatt:

    Can't claim personal experience - not sure that VS 4a would be my cup of tea - haven't got on too well with stuff like VS 4b, generally feels like a boulder problem with no mat!
    TRNovice on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to MikePemberton:

    You keep saying that you are not experienced enough to argue the point and then arguing it :-).
    Tyler - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Conquistador of the usless:

    > I'm reading between the lines here, i feel Dave Mac is being a little diplomatic!, holds breaking, green dirty, north facing doesn't sound like very much a three star classic to me!!??

    Maybe so but you're also putting words in his mouth to justify an argument you go on to make. Dave makes no mention of "green", "north facing" or "holds breaking", he does, however, mention the foot holds being snappy. A lot of other people have been on the route neve questioned its quality, there are many other recognised classics on the same bit of rock, so to read so much into Dave's comments is a bit of a stretch and does him and the route a bit of a dis-service
    seagull on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Tyler:

    Well said. Just because the route did not suit him to the extent that he could justify risking his life on it doesn't mean Dave was "slagging" it.

    Reading between the lines is in this case the same as putting words in Dave's mouth which (as you say Tyler) is being disrespectful to the climber and the route imvho.
    Fergal - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Tyler:

    Very fair comment, it's so easy to get a little carried away on t'internet, just playing devils advocate.

    But anyways a very well done to Dave Mac on Trauma.
    Nj - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Alasdair Fulton:
    I thought it quite surprising to read DM's comments on IF, but when you think about it, the world has known that it is 'only' 7b+ slab climbing for ages, therefore meaning it must be terrifyingly scary to justify E9. I suppose that is exactly what DM found out in the end, and he didn't dare to do it. Fair enough really. It was amazing that after two days he was making the decision, and then Trauma took two sessions, it really does put Rhapsody into perspective when you consider how long that took him.
    MikePemberton - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to TRNovice:

    > You keep saying that you are not experienced enough to argue the point and then arguing it :-)

    I can't fault your logic! Just enjoying the banter :-)
    In reply to MikePemberton:

    > I've often thought though, that grading all climbs with the same 'difficulty' scale (like the French grades for instance) would provide some uniformity, and trad routes could be given the E grade to indicate the level of danger / quality of gear.

    Mike - you're still not getting it. British grades do tell you what scale of difficulty you are facing.

    > I'm not sufficiently experienced to argue the point.

    But it doesn't appear to be stopping you from trying, does it? If you start trad climbing regularly I'm sure you'll get it, but until you do I don't think you've got much to add to this. ;-)

    Right, I'm off now to the forums of USbaseball.com to tell the American baseball geeks how their rules should work on the basis of having played rounders a few times.
    Michael Ryan - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Conquistador of the usless:
    > (In reply to Chris Craggs)
    >

    > The British climbing media have flogged this as the real deal for decades. We have all found routes that don't quite live up to thier reputations.

    Now it is the turn of real climbers!

    Calvi - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to jkarran:

    Didn't Martin Crook give the hideous grade of E7 5C to some pile of choss. Bit of a deathwish on that one.
    Glyn Jones - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
    > (In reply to Conquistador of the usless)
    > [...]
    >
    > [...]
    >
    > Now it is the turn of real climbers!

    so we're all plastic climbers Mick?
    Michael Ryan - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Glyn Jones:
    > (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
    > [...]
    >
    > so we're all plastic climbers Mick?

    Only if believe everything you read in the climbing media!

    Glyn Jones - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I only read gravity, UKC and the Yorkshire limestone rockfax - what are you trying to say?
    Bob on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to MikePemberton:

    The UK adjectival grade is an all encompassing grade, that is it attempts to indicate how hard a route is to climb from bottom to top (or side to side if it is a traverse). It is best to equate it in its intent to something like the French grade which attempts to indicate how hard a route/pitch is to climb. The difference is that the French/sports grade effectively ignores any risk element because such routes are protected by permanent fixed gear at regular intervals so although you may take a whipper, such falls are usually exciting rather than risky.

    One part of the overall (adjectival) grade is technical difficulty. In the UK system this is indicated by 5b, 5c, 6a, etc. This indicates the difficulty of the hardest move on the route/pitch regardless of what has gone before or its situation, exposure, etc. (Remember that the adjectival grade also includes technical difficulty) It is the interplay between these two parts that provides both the richness and confusion of the UK grading system.

    A route like London Wall at Millstone gets E5 6a as does White Wand at Stanage, but these are two very different E5s. London Wall is steep(ish) sustained, pumpy but well protected whereas White Wand is delicate, bold and has short lived difficulties. The only way that you can really tell the two apart is by standing beneath them when it should be obvious. Of course these are the two extremes (pun intended) and there is a whole continuum between them. Not far from White Wand is a classic Stanage frightener - Calvary (E4 6a). This is a subtle example because the 6a move is actually quite well protected, it is the upper wall at around 5b/c that gets the route the E4 grade. People have died falling from here. So London Wall E5 is "safe" whereas the lower graded Calvary is somewhat risky.

    See http://www.aqvi55.dsl.pipex.com/climb/uk_grades.htm for more info.

    boB
    tonanf - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Steve Parker:
    > (In reply to Joss)
    > [...]
    >
    > I don't get it. Why is it surreal seeing another climber at the top of a crag?

    because hes famous you pedant
    TRNovice on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Glyn Jones:
    > (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
    > [...]
    >
    > so we're all plastic climbers Mick?

    Is that the type or artificial ivy you sometimes see in Greek restaurants?

    Samuel - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Alasdair Fulton: Aye well...I feel suitably motivated to stick my neck out and comment on the matter..The Indian Face is a route I'd aspire to do and it's not unfeasible that I could climb it one day. I won't let Dave's comments on the route mar that possible ambition or my respect for it.
    Dave's comments ARE ambiguously derogative- "
    After the huge hype about this route in films, books and the magazines, I was expecting some really awesome climbing". - read "it's not that good".
    "although not as big I expected (I guess Iím used to the Ben though)"- "bit small, The Ben's a real crag".
    "The climbing wasnít very technical, just standing up on many very small toe edges for 100 feet. You can take both your hands off on any move on the whole thing, but itís still super thin on the toes. My feet hurt! Foot cramp was putting me off at first, but then later when I thought about leading the route, I realised that the only thing that would make me fall off would be the snappy nature of the some of the footholds or one of my feet randomly skidding"- "shit climbing and poor rock".
    "although the RP protection was not nearly as bad as I had read"- "what's all the fuss about?"
    "So I sacked it and went in search of something more motivating to climb"- "it's a pile of shite"-(kind of comment you would make about some no-star choss-heap to be diplomatic).
    These comments serve their purpose in that you would find it harder to justify walking away from a route you'd praised or described as an awesome piece of climbing. For me, the unfortunate effect is to belittle the achievement of the three men who have led the route before him, not to mention the status of the line- hence comments on here along the gist of "it's not all it's cracked up to be".
    Dave has been commended on this thread for his honesty- I think a far more diplomatic and honest approach would have been to say "F**k that! Not my cup of tea and brings back bad memories- maybe one day, but respect to those who have". Dave, I would say a man in your position should think more carefully about what you write but I believe you do. Anything you write carries weight in the climbing community and I think you could help yourself with fairer, less self-motivated statements at times(re the NE coast). Anything else spoils it for others.
    Anyway, well done on Trauma!
    woolsack - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to TRNovice:
    > (In reply to TRNovice)
    >
    > Crunchy Frog @ Shepherds Crag - HVS 4a. I am now on a mission to find an E1 4a.

    Take a look at the Almighty at Blackchurch, if its still standing!
    Steve Parker - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to tonanf:

    > because hes famous you pedant

    And that makes a sighting of him a surreal experience? Rather smacks of some weird hero worship to me, that someone could be so profoundly affected by the sight of a famous climber on top of a crag. In fact a lot of the posts on this thread seem rather teenage in that respect.

    Steve Parker - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Chris Craggs:
    > (In reply to Conquistador of the usless)
    >
    > I am a bit intrigued to find the point that Indian Face went from being too hard to do in case a crystal snaps to an esoteric pile of crap?
    >
    You're intrigued, I'm bloody astonished. I see one man's opinion, misrepresented, just became *the word of God*.
    Wee Davie - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Samuel:

    I think in that you have been fairly guilty of writing shite on the internet yourself Mr Pot, so how aboot less of calling Mr Kettle black?
    Dave MacLeod should have the same freedom to write openly about his impressions of routes he has/ hasn't done in the same way as you are keen on your own opinions.
    The Aberdeen scene thing has no relation to any of this bit of news so why dig it up Craig?
    By the way, I don't know Dave, but I do feel you are being a bit unfair on him. Let the man praise or damn anything he wants FFS. He's a climber not a politician.

    Davie
    Samuel - on 11 Jun 2007
    In reply to Wee Davie: Thank you for your intelligent, well worded reply. I'll print that and keep it handy in case I ever run out of shit-roll. Talk about missing the point.
    I think Dave'll know fine well I've no personal intent in my opinion. The Aberdeen comment was quite relevant hence my reference. Put your brain into gear at the same time as your fingers Wee Davie before you criticise.

    Steve Parker - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to Samuel:

    >For me, the unfortunate effect is to belittle the achievement of the three men who have led the route before him, not to mention the status of the line- hence comments on here along the gist of "it's not all it's cracked up to be".

    I have to agree. Johnny, Neil and Nick must have been equally aware of the hazards of the route (friability/delicacy), and, for whatever personal reasons, decided the route justified the risk. Dave decided differently. No disrespect to him at all, but I absolutely agree that no one but those 3 is yet qualified to assess the value of the route as a total experience. Any number of clean top-roped ascents don't qualify anyone to judge it sensibly, and it would have been nice if Dave had acknowledged that fact a bit more.
    Greenbanks - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to Steve Parker:

    Accurate.
    Timo Austino - on 12 Jun 2007

    All credit to the guy - he's been there done the moves and made the choice he didn't feel revved up for the moves - not his type of route on the day as it sounds like there is more to go wrong outside his control than he'd like. Simple risk and reward - is the risk of tw@in' myself or worse worth the reward of not being belittled for doin' another E9 round the corner!

    The crag does feel small compared to the atmosphere of the ben - although bigger than stanage - fact!

    As for dissing the other 3, is he not giving them a compliment about their mental strength anyway.
    abarro81 - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to Samuel: even if he had openly said 'i thought IF was a pile of shite with crap climbing and bad rock, whats all the fuss about?' (your possible interpretation) then what's the problem? Dawes says it's the best thing ever, Macleod says it's crap - 2 perfectly valid opinions if that's what they think. I've certainly disagreed with friends/guidebooks/others about how good i think routes are: i've found the odd 3 star classic to be what i thought a pile of shite, and he think its fair play for him to put his opinion of this across in a blog (note it's on his personal blog, not his professional OCC one). of course the opinions of people who've lead a route count more than those who've just been on it on a TR, but i can think of at least one route i've done on TR and said 'sack this it's a pile of crap and i'm not risking it' and if i had a blog about my climbing i'm sure i would have put that in there...
    Chris F - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to Samuel:
    > The Aberdeen comment was quite relevant hence my reference.

    I'm intrigued as to why you see it as relevant? Because I (and clearly others) don't?
    In reply to Chris F: Ohh, a little bit of regional competition and back-biting! Excellent. We wouldn't expect anything less from the UK climbing scene.

    What exactly has Macleod done to upset some Aberdonians then?
    Glyn Jones - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to TobyA: showed them how to climb?
    Chris F - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to TobyA: Read his blog, it's all there. Point I am trying to make is it's irrelevent to this discussion and it shouldn't be dragged into this.
    GrahamD - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to Steve Parker:

    > and it would have been nice if Dave had acknowledged that fact a bit more.

    FFS the guy is young, he's enthusiastic, he's a climber. He is not a professional author and trying to read between his lines on his blog is really pretty unconstructive.

    ads.ukclimbing.com
    Wee Davie - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to Samuel:

    >Put your brain into gear at the same time as your fingers Wee Davie before you criticise.

    I don't know if I can carry on living after that. You've really hurt me......
    Anyway, glad to see you are keen on trying IF. Hope you get up it.
    I find IF an inspiring route too (although I will never climb it!), but there is no harm in Dave Mac having differing opinions. Simple as that.

    Davie

    Steve Parker - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to GrahamD:
    >
    > FFS the guy is young, he's enthusiastic, he's a climber. He is not a professional author and trying to read between his lines on his blog is really pretty unconstructive.

    I wasn't. I've got no criticism of Dave at all, and as far as I'm concerned he doesn't need to justify himself to anybody. I was actually talking about the reaction it had spawned among some people here, rather than the blog entry itself.

    Michael Ryan - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to Steve Parker:

    Ahhhhh the deconstruction of the original material and the response to it?

    Is this some kind of undergraduate English lit class?
    Richard Bradley - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: English twit class
    Steve Parker - on 12 Jun 2007
    In reply to Richard Bradley:
    > (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) English twit class

    Glad to hear you guys didn't feel out of your depth then.

    :)

    Fidget - on 13 Jun 2007
    In reply to TobyA:

    > Mike - you're still not getting it

    The way I read it, MP does now understand the British system, he's just suggesting an alternative that may make more sense as it would hold up at headpointed grades, i.e. instead of having one grade for the hardest technical difficulty and one for everything else (the adjectival grade), that we have one for everything BUT the safety (like the French system), and change the adjectival grade to represent the safety alone.
    curly ben on 13 Jun 2007 - 89.242.196.245 whois?
    In reply to Steve Parker: Agreed. if hed done it - comments would be fair. There must have been a few climbers who have top rpoed it clean and not felt the need to comment.
    curly ben on 13 Jun 2007 - 89.242.196.245 whois?
    In reply to curly ben: By writing a blog is he not inviting comment from public?
    Nj - on 13 Jun 2007
    In reply to Alasdair Fulton: Dave Mac has a new post on his blog, maybe after reading this thread, praising IF and giving more reasoning as to why he didn't go for it... Much less negative, and more in line with what 'one would expect' from him (given that I never met the guy and only have an opinion based on the web etc..)
    GrahamD - on 14 Jun 2007
    In reply to curly ben:

    Would you ? I would imagine that he finds all this dissecting-his-every-word somewhat tedious by now. Every now and again he posts on here.
    cool hand luke on 14 Jun 2007 - dsl-217-155-38-247.zen.co.uk
    In reply to TobyA:


    would I be right in thinking that the Dawes did the indian face in the best style? seem to recall on the story of IF that he top roped it, but he comments on the dvd that he never fully top roped it. Could be wrong though as it's been a while since I watched it. Maximum respect to the Dawes, Dixon and Gresham.
    Wry Gob - on 14 Jun 2007
    "FFS the guy is young... He is not a professional author"

    Yes he is, and quite a talented one too in my book. Dave clearly thinks quite deeply about what he says, so I reckon he will have meant every word about IF on his blog. It's a death route, and he decided on the day not to risk death - fair enough. Someone else made the point elsewhere - his walking away from the route will only serve to enhance its reputation. All the more well done to the three so far who have dared to tread...

    GrahamD - on 14 Jun 2007
    In reply to Wry Gob:

    He is not - he is a professional climber who has to write. He is a competent wordsmith fair enough but he is unlikely to see every nuance that us weekend warriors will choose to read into his work
    curly ben on 14 Jun 2007 - 89.242.196.245 whois?
    In reply to GrahamD:
    nope i wouldnt write a blog about a route i had decided not to do.
    Mark Stevenson - on 14 Jun 2007
    In reply to Alasdair Fulton and others: Having belayed JP on his first lead attempt on Trauma, all I can say is that the moves looked awesome and can easily see how they would inspire climbers bouldering font 8A and harder perhaps more move than a much longer slab route.

    I think it's pretty amazing that Dave turned up in Wales, looked at one E9, decided it didn't suit his style, so went of an lead another one that did in short order. That's bloody impressive and along with DB's repeat in Pembroke just shows that more hard trad climbing is happening this year then in the last 2 or 3 years.

    I've top-roped a couple of E7s clean but I've not been back to headpoint them so there is no way I'll ever say anyone else making a similar decision is wrong.

    It's great to see people getting out on these routes and I look forward to hearing about Trauma getting a 4th ascent.

    M
    GrahamD - on 15 Jun 2007
    In reply to curly ben:

    Thats because you aren't sponsored. When you are in Dave's position and have been seen near such a high profile route you probably have to write something in the full knowledge of it being disected.
    curly ben on 15 Jun 2007 - 89.242.196.245 whois?
    In reply to GrahamD:
    Do you? Do you have to write something? could be wrong but i think other 'sponsored' climbers have been there and not commented. I appreciate the media interest garnered by a high profile climber on a historic route. I still think by writing a 'blog' you are inviting comment from those who read it- the public. Self promotion is indeed a double edged sword. I think Dave Mcleods climbing 'Cv' and regular top end assents speak for themselves.
    I am sponsored- by my dad, visa and previously the student loans Co. They dropped me as i did not have enough coverage :wink:
    GrahamD - on 15 Jun 2007
    In reply to curly ben:

    Thats it in a nutshell, really. Publicity and especially self publicity is a double edged sword.

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