/ New VIII on Skye
I tried one of these mental chimneys in winter a while back, a very scarey face!!
Wow! What a place for a route like that. Excellent stuff.
Should we be following these guys anywhere if they think this is the 'North end of Skye'.
Not wanting to start the inevitable, but conditions do look very, very lean... Discuss?
> very, very lean...
very, very steep...
Dawn Grooves is also very steep, but as we saw, in the right conditions can look like a winter route.
Just read this and was about to post. Another one for Ian P's list.
You're right there, but he got flamed for everything (not by everyone though).
Never mind the conditions, check the picture on the bottom right - he's clearly not got his helmet on properly!
In fairness they do say 'It was -1°C at 800m and the route was plastered in verglas with nevé on the ledges and the occasional piece of frozen turf.'
Not always easy to tell from photos?
> I tried one of these mental chimneys in winter a while back, a very scarey face!!
Top effort Nick, hows the shoulder now?
some of the other replies are a pretty sad reflection of a real armchair climbing mindset that often exists on this forum.
Congratulations Nick, an inspiring line & location.
the route was plastered in verglas with nevé on the ledges and the occasional piece of frozen turf.
Which part of that do you consider "marginal"?
> Never mind the conditions, check the picture on the bottom right - he's clearly not got his helmet on properly!
Don't be silly, thats just the new cool way of wearing it. Personally i wear mine backwards and slanted to the left.
It was a genuine question - do you consider verglas, neve & frozen turf "marginal"; or are you doubting the description?
Fisrtly compare the top down and bottom up photos. It’s a very steep line...
Secondly it’s not about back slapping, its about trust. Both are very experienced winter climbers, the fact I know one of them is irrelevant, it is clearly explained in Nicks blog that it was plastered with verglass, neve, and frozen turf, what’s marginal about that?
These guys do know what they are doing you know.
"the route was plastered in verglas with nevé on the ledges and the occasional piece of frozen turf"
"verglas" for me, does not constitute winter conditions.
> "the route was plastered in verglas with nevé on the ledges and the occasional piece of frozen turf"
> "verglas" for me, does not constitute winter conditions.
Would other snowed up rock style routes such as say Savage Slit, Magic Crack etc be considered acceptable if they are just verglassed?
> Fisrtly compare the top down and bottom up photos. It’s a very steep line...
Being a steep line doesn't mean it's in condition, thats irrelevant.
Full winter nick?
I would say no, my opinion of course.
yes. Now don't get me wrong, a great climb by your mate and good to see someone is getting more done than me!
But if you had a look at the picies and you were unaware of what/who etc, would you say it was a winter ascent?
By the way, I'm a small time, low level winter climber but I am just being objective. On the other hand, as your friend is an experienced winter climber, then he must know what the definition of a winter climb, 1st winter ascent, is so I would have no reason to doubt him. Well, obviously a little bit!
Wasn't one of the more controversial routes in Lochnagar not lampooned for not being climbed in 'good nick'? A photo from one angle made it look like there was sod all on it but from another angle there was plenty of snow and Ice to be seen.
The pictures looking down show how "white" it was.
The ones of Lochnagar are just plain stupid, if your view is that it wasn't in winter nick, then fairenough, you are wrong, but entitled to be, its your view..
The picture of pygmy ridge also goes to shows how wrong you can be, it was white, but despite the hoar was a lot more marginal than fluted buttress. The turf, well what little there is of it, was less solid than the day on Fluted buttress. So pictures don't always tell the story, hence why I said. It's about trust.
Its a shame that a few pics of poky grade IVs get banded about, when we should be talking about the hardest new route of the season.
Incidentally, I'm impressed with the new route.
Don't know, wasn't there. Verglas is difficult to see in a photo. But if the guy says it was plastered I have a tendency to believe him.
And shouldn't be considered an oxymoron either!
Surely it could be plastered in verglas, or do you only associate "plastered" with snow in this case. It's not really a contradiction in terms, as plastered has just become associated with describing snow cover (as well as indicating the level of booze consumed).
It does look bare in some photos, but may well be covered in verglass as they say which would be remarkably difficult to photograph in a way that didn't result in wild speculation of conditions on an internet forum.
Photos of very steep ground are very hard to convey true conditions. I've got photos of steep routes that don't look in massive wintery nick but I was there when they were climbed and they *were* in winter nick and it was bloody baltic, hoar/rime and snow and very low freezing levels, but my photos don't show that so clearly.
And it was VERY wintery conditions in the NW at the weekend past.
Anyway, well done I say.
I don't know if you can say that it looks lean - does it ever look fat? Do you mean that it doesn't look like it's in winter condition? Does this route ever come into acceptable winter condition, and is it an acceptable winter route?
In reply to Will W:
Hi there again Will,
thanks for the reply. I know we all have our different views of things which is a great thing, good to be an individual which I thought you were eluding to at the start of this:
Unfortunately you then let yourself down.
Assuming someone elses view is just wrong for no other reason than in your opinion it is wrong, is a bad trait that will trip you up later in life.
Try and take it all in, mull over a considered response and don't be a sheeple, ie, not listening and just waiting for your turn to speak. The thread will still be here come midnight.
> I don't know if you can say that it looks lean - does it ever look fat? Do you mean that it doesn't look like it's in winter condition?
In some of the photos (particularly the one looking up at climber) it looks bare and not at all wintery. In the photos of the cliffs with the ground below, there is just a bit more than a dusting and many of us have climbed in those conditions (yourself and myself included)
But in all honesty, I don't know though, because I wasn't there.
Does this route ever come into acceptable winter condition
I wouldn't know.
and is it an acceptable winter route?
What is the justification for calling it a winter route? Is it not when it's easier to climb it with axes and crampons as opposed to just boots/rock shoes? (taking into account not doing any damage if it's a classic summer rock climb?)
Getting away from the side issue, along with Alan Mullins Lochnagar E4, are there any harder rock climbing that have now been climbed in winter??? Have heard vague stuff about a line in the lake district, but nothing else. Is it just me or does grade VIII seem like a sandbag for an E4? Northern coire's E2's seem to get roughly grade IX....The Secret doesnt look like a summer E4.....
so it seems like some people think that to be in condition there must be snow on the ground ? what difference would that make to the route in question i ask, routes as steep as this are never going to appear wintery due to their nature surely people can appreciate that.
if the chaps say it was in then thats fine with me unless anyone else was there and states it wasn,t.
hats off to them.
> Assuming someone elses view is just wrong for no other reason than in your opinion it is wrong, is a bad trait that will trip you up later in life.
Ok what I said was that you are wrong, with regards to the photos from Lochnagar, not for no reason other than my opinion, but for the fact the coire and climb were in full winter nick.
That route was very much in winter condition. The turf, of which there is quite a bit was rock solid. It was also a very dry weekend with little moisture about, so the rock doesn't perhaps look pretty, white, and well hoared up, but cracks were chocked with neve and verglas from a couple of days of freeze thaw action.
As I have said before pictures looking down the climb show how "white" it looked.
To you it didn't look in winter nick, that maybe just because its not white. I assure you I was very glad of my tools and crampons.
My other point was that in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter, its a short grade IV that any man and his dog could get up. This thread was about a route at the top end of the scale. Eriks comments earlier hit the nail on the head, it might well have been plucked in its very best condition. It doesn't look white in the photos but I am certain if the two of them say it was in winter nick, then it was. Thats one hell of a lot of experience people are questioning, from 3 pics on the web.
I might be wrong, but I don't think I am. :o)
apologies first for being facetious, not a good trait of mine.
I do agree with where you are coming from, I probably didn't explain myself properly, or did but didn't appear that way on "paper" easier to have a chat in the pub :0)
End of the day as I eluded to, I know nothing, your friends are more experienced than I so if they say it's a winter route, then it's a winter route. I just like mixing things up.
I definately am right, no question I'm wrong in what I say ;0)
Just had a look on the alpha web blog page
Is this really winter climbing ?
Or is it Dry tooling ?
Don't get me wrong, great effort well done guys, but.....
I think that each area requires specific conditions/acceptable winter nick in my experience. This can only be gained by visiting the cliffs over a period of time and experiencing the climbing first hand.
I have no doubt these boys enjoyed themselves, made a big effort getting there, an excellent and hard won ascent. Climbing is meant to be fun, that's why we do it afterall!
More people climb snow covered routes, not frozen underneath, experience harder climbing, than if it were properly "in", Cairngorms being the best example.
Now I have no doubt, my winter ascents of routes on Quadrocks (frozen turf, warthogs for pro, more snow on them) well over 10 years ago, wouldn't have been questioned!
Alan Mullin also springs to mind.
Ps. Scott Semple (Canada) once said "no wonder you guys are pish, you wait for conditions, we would never climb anything!!"
What an amazing adventure, well done to the first ascenionists.
Folk need to remember that different areas have different conditions ethics. This is due to geology (the proporties of the surface) the local climate and ecology. One can't compare the Norries with this line!
Anyone fancy a second ascent? Looks really hard for VIII in comparison to other VIII's...
This really is a great start to the season!
No decided not to go there, went east instead.
So who was it doing Fight or Flight ahead of Ian & Susan, and who shouted down hello to me?
Sounds like Fight or Flight is turning into a "modern classic"
re the am bhasteir line, could be more blootered.. could be icey.. all of that takes time and patience.. all of which the scottish scene has the heeby jeebies about.
to me, look up pete bensons flikr site for the raison d'etre of why we should exercise patience at all times.... how many years did it take after the FWA of the finest modern winter line on the ben?
I almost used Agag's as an example (and of course cited the Ben route earlier). I once climbed this in December - with big boots - under verglas. Not particularly pleasant but not VII, 8 or whatever it gets, either. I can't climb VI, let alone VII.
I remember you saying you quite fancied trying to lead F or F having seconded it. You should get up there and get on it. It's an ideal route for your first V,6 lead , good gear and all!
> Hello Will,
> I remember you saying you quite fancied trying to lead F or F having seconded it. You should get up there and get on it. It's an ideal route for your first V,6 lead , good gear and all!
> Cheers Pete
Your spot on! Your also correct in pointing out, I should have lead it first before commenting it was well protected. But I could clearly see that it was. But thanks for clearing it up.
Here you had a fun day yesterday. Thats another route I fancy in the next couple of weeks, did you free the move that James said he aided in the rush to get dry?
ps those offsets in?
My opinion. The definition of winter conditions gets difficult when routes get very steep. It would clearly have been impossible to rock climb it, since it is E4. So a winter ascent it definitely was. Obviously an impressive achievement (which no-one denies). The only thing that worries me is someone seeing it in a guidebook at VIII,8 and setting off when well rimed (as the crag does). I suspect it would be a grade harder. But we weren’t there and photos don’t tell all the story. So working from what the photos show, all the description needs to say is climbed when lightly iced (or something similar). If the FAists protest at this and say that no other hard routes have had conditions defined, then I don’t mind.
Given that Erik B has said that he has tried to climb near there when the cliff had a more traditional winter appearance, but as a result, the blocks were not frozen in place, resulting in not succeeding. In the case of this route, the conditions experienced may well have frozen any loose blocks in place and made the route possible (as Erik B also said). It doesn't look in winter condition, but given the type of route, it's probably the optimum conditions for it.
There are plenty pictures on the internet (even from the past few days) of steep routes that simply do not look white or anythin like it, but were obviously in winter condition. Plenty of route descriptions in guides hint at suitable conditions (e.g. hard if corner not iced, etc).
I was trying not to criticise the ascent, which is what it is, and I'm very impressed. The route I did on Beinn Eighe the other day was lightly rimed (so slightly whiter than this route), but it would have made no difference to this route if it had been similar, so I would be a total hypocrite to offer any criticism
I'm not criticising it either. I am agreeing with some that it doesn't look in classic winter conditions from the pictures, but agreeing with others who think that it would require the specific conditions found on this occasion for a successful ascent.
anyway, Im certainly not criticising the ascent, a 21st century line if ever Ive seen one. Had a feeling it would get done.
I doubt it, short of an icicle from top to bottom. It would be a long way out from the base
Was there snow there then, you decided to go there afterwards?
Ian and I headed for Lochnagar, road blocked, N Corries instead. Original Route Summer and White Magic on Sunday with French Erick.
When did the Old Bridge Inn change into a resteraunt? Pity, I used to enjoy a pint there, dry gloves by the fire!!
Ps. I'm sure you have other friends, Andy!!
I also said from the outset, that this was a very impressive ascent.
At VIII, 9 though, I believe it would also qualify as the hardest 'winter' route on Skye.
How did you find Original Route? Did you go direct up the upper corner or teeter out onto the arete?
Went straight up the corner/buldge years ago with Joe McKinney, in the dark!
Went out left since it looked nice and it was something different, buldge looked hard in daylight!!
> Was there snow there then, you decided to go there afterwards?
> Ian and I headed for Lochnagar, road blocked, N Corries instead. Original Route Summer and White Magic on Sunday with French Erick.
> When did the Old Bridge Inn change into a resteraunt? Pity, I used to enjoy a pint there, dry gloves by the fire!!
I looked at the radar pictures on the met office website and decided it had snowed (and it had). But decided at the last minute.
White Magic - Did you go direct at the top, instead of the original traverse way into Damnation?
Old Bridge Inn changed three years ago at least. Food is good and atmosphere good too, if you want that sort of thing
I should have shouted up hello, but I had tunnel vision on my route. Say hello for me
Until they downgraded it to VIII,8 perhaps for that reason
We traversed over towards Damnation, same way they did on TV! Actually found traverse much easier than I thought it would be. Much clearing to be had in crack for gear, slot them in and up you go.
A very good line.
I found it hard, but I was wearing tricounis and they didn't work so well on the wee edges
> Should we be following these guys anywhere if they think this is the 'North end of Skye'.
Should we trust you??? i thought it said "North end of the skye ridge!!"
At the end of the day the FA team have been honest - that's what counts. It's just a piece of rock and IMHO people should be free to climb it in the style they choose. More important is that they leave it as they find it so that others can enjoy that same freedom. On this route, the honour of the true the "white-point" is still there for the taking! :-)
Does anyone know if there was any pre-inspection of the line ?
Bet you don't get flamed by 'the experts' either ...
<PS - sorry, I'm bored again, inbetween exam study break :o)>
Martin Moran did the first (and only?) ascent in summer. He had mentioned the line to me in the past, but I didn't want to be involved (he is very ambitious and I'm not that strong). I'm 99% sure that would be his only knowledge
I found it hard, but I was wearing tricounis and they didn't work so well on the wee edges
you could try mariner spikes quite good for wee edges I have a pair from about 35 to 40 years ago I have a photo but do not know how to show it on here
> you could try mariner spikes quite good for wee edges I have a pair from about 35 to 40 years ago I have a photo but do not know how to show it on here
I now think modern crampons are better than tricounis for anything. So it was an experiment, but not a total success. Great on Fall Out Corner, but it cost me two points of aid on The Needle when it would have been fine in crampons. So thanks for the offer, but no
Having walked all the way up there and used a precious day, might you not give it a go anyway?
Discretion (or Patience), the better part of valour sometimes.
I mean, those photos... Come on! A joke surely?
The key thing is that you weren't there
My argument is simple - the route does not look to be in acceptable winter condition. There may be bits of snow around and even some verglas on the rocks (and I concede it may not have been possible to rock climb as a result) but the route looks akin to a Newtyle exercise in dry tooling.
Perhaps i'll go and repeat Guerdon Grooves in similar conditions - and look forward to the hypocrisy.
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