/ NEWS/ARTICLE/VIDEO: The Promise - Ground Up

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
The Promise saw three ground-up ascents this weekend at the hands of Pete Robins and Ben Bransby. Yes, that's right, Three. Pete led the route twice.

NEWS: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/older.html?month=12&year=2008#n45496

ARTICLE/VIDEO: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=1499
Morgan Woods - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

"The crucial runner has now held around 20 falls and has been deemed "bomber"."

unless you knockout said "bomber" runner with your feet.

great effort all round boys.
Morgan Woods - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Morgan Woods:

oh and excellent summary at the end of the article Jack.....well done for getting so close.
GrahamD - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

I'm intrigued by your comments on mats. Everyone used them despite the fact that they make NO difference ?
north country boy - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Good work guys! Inspirational stuff....
Jus - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Excellent stuff. Good luck for when you get back on it.

On the subject of a Miles route; from UKB, Dan Varian repeated Superbloc this weekend.
simonwhittle on 08 Dec 2008 - user-514f18fa.l1.c3.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
Before people start questioing James i'll have my say...

I think James Pearson is obviously very very skilled at working out the moves on a route (promise, groove, line left of new statesmen) which many people have tried and have declared to hard/impossible. And has the guts to lead them before anyone else has so not knowing exactly what will happen, so i say good work James!!
JSA - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to simonwhittle:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
> line left of new statesmen

it's been done? that's amazing! what's it called/go at?
teddy - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to the inspiral carpet:
> (In reply to simonwhittle)
> [...]
>
> it's been done?

Not yet.
Jus - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to the inspiral carpet:

has it been done on a top rope even??
simonwhittle on 08 Dec 2008 - user-514f18fa.l1.c3.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to the inspiral carpet:
Not yet, i read on his blog hes done the moves so i guess it wont be long till he does it!
north country boy - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jus: its been done on a top rope a few years ago
Jus - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to north country boy:

how hard is it?
DEvans - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jus:
> (In reply to the inspiral carpet)
>
> has it been done on a top rope even??

the purist way of climbing.

Michael Ryan - on 08 Dec 2008


Did you all notice the new feature on the photos - some of them! Click on top left corner of them.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=1499

philip king - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
Nice idea, although they render a little strangely in Firefox
chris_j_s - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
>
>
> Did you all notice the new feature on the photos - some of them! Click on top left corner of them.

I get nothing apart from a Javascript error :-(

What does it do?
In reply to chris_j_s: Try forcing your browser to load the latest version of the page - Ctrl+F5 or Shift+F5. All of UKC is designed on Firefox, and then tested on other browsers, so it should work on all of them.

Cheers
Morgan Woods - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Nick Smith - UKC:

i must say i prefer clicking into the separate page and being able to see comments and crag info.
philip king - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Nick Smith - UKC:
That's a lot better, and also very cool. Much better than right click open in another window.
In reply to Morgan Woods:
> i must say i prefer clicking into the separate page and being able to see comments and crag info.

We aren't going to replace the separate pages for large photos throughout the site. This new feature is just for articles & news items really, where the photos don't have voting, and rarely get comments.

Cheers
Michael Ryan - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Sterling effort Jack getting that all done from getting home late last night to 11.22 this morning.... and Alan for uploading the video and photos late last night.
a lakeland climber on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Get a Javascript error "missing object" when using IE6 on XP, though this is IE's usual moan when it can't cope with something. At a guess Nick is doing some DOM manipulation but the means of getting the object reference is different in IE.

ALC
John2 - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to a lakeland climber: It's working fine for me with IE6 XP.
a lakeland climber on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to John2:

Could be the network proxy here at work then. IE is really poor at providing decent error messages - among all its other faults.

ALC
John2 - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to John2: Having said that, I don't like the way it's been implemented. I click top right and I can see the full sized photo but the text of the article becomes unreadable. When I click the back symbol I don't go back to the article I was reading when I clicked top right but back to the news item I linked to it from.
In reply to John2: Just click anywhere on the 'darkened' page except the photo John.

Cheers,

Jack
jonna on 08 Dec 2008 - 78.148.95.20 whois?
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Oh james what have you done?

Walk of life - really e9??


jonna
John2 - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Bloody hell - isn't technology wonderful!
a lakeland climber on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to a lakeland climber:

Nope. Turns out that the page hadn't refreshed correctly - the icon was outside the image - works now.

ALC
chris_j_s - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Nick Smith - UKC:
> (In reply to chris_j_s) Try forcing your browser to load the latest version of the page - Ctrl+F5 or Shift+F5. All of UKC is designed on Firefox, and then tested on other browsers, so it should work on all of them.


Thanks Nick.

Thats a great feature - much better than going backwards and forwards between pages to see the full size pics.

Also, I always think photos look better against a dark background.
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
> (In reply to John2) Just click anywhere on the 'darkened' page except the photo John.

In fact you can click anywhere on the page (including the full size photo) to pop the page back to normal. There is pop up help that reminds you about this, but perhaps we need an explicit 'close' icon as well?

Cheers

Kafoozalem - on 08 Dec 2008
So it's not just me that gets the rope behind my leg at crucial moments :-) -(at 1 min 45 sec)
bendurance - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to simonwhittle:

I would agree and us mortals arnt really in a position to criticse the Likes of JP and others. but I do think the UK grading system is in danger of becoming totally irrelevant at the upper grades if more thought isnt given to grading.

The thing I like in theory about the UK system is that it tells you what the overall difficulty of the route should feel like taking into account various factors. But then you see how it has been applied in recent years and it becomes a joke.

For example how can a route like Indian Face, that has only been repeated twice, and where a lead fall is out of the question, therefore demanding huge commitment from the climber, be an E grade lower than a 25ft boulder problem that can be done ground-up in an afternoons cragging! (The Promise - well done to JG & Co for suggesting a sensible grade of E7).

It also raises an important question - is current cutting edge climbign actually any more difficult than that being done 10-20 years ago and how can we tell when UK grading is so inconsistent?

And this is on top of the long standing issue of the difference in headpoint and onsight difficulty, which I thought was portrayed really well in the recent onsight film.





Tyler - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to bendurance:

> but I do think the UK grading system is in danger of becoming totally irrelevant

Is it irrelevant to you? It's not irrelevant to me, most routes I've ever done have been pretty reasonably represented by their accepted grade.

> at the upper grades if more thought isnt given to grading.

I think there has been far too much thinking on the subject lately

> be an E grade lower than a 25ft boulder problem that can be done ground-up in an afternoons cragging!

It isn't, haven't you been following?

> It also raises an important question - is current cutting edge climbign actually any more difficult than that being done 10-20 years ago

Yes

> and how can we tell when UK grading is so inconsistent?

Same as we always have, grading at the cutting edge has always been inconsistent for want of a better word (q.v Supersonic, Red Rose etc etc).

> And this is on top of the long standing issue of the difference in headpoint and onsight difficulty, which I thought was portrayed really well in the recent onsight film.

What issue, everyone knows the difference, anyone who doesn't probably doesn't care.

galpinos - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to bendurance:

Surely the issue in this case is the two different approachs to the climb and how it affects how hard they thought it was.

JP: first ascent, many tried before but failed (I'm assuming but feel free to shoot me down in flames), LGP, found it harder than Equilibrium, appauling landing with no mats and didn't trust the gear.

JG et al: the myth and repuatation of the route de-bunked by the americans, bounce tested the gear (as well as the americans), padded the landing with a ladder and lots of pads, "team effort".

I can totally see why JP thought it was E10. Harder than anything he'd done, no-one else had managed it despite it being a well known problem, above an bad landing with only a dodgy (in his mind) solitary bit of gear.

Maybe he was wrong, it's far outside my level of competance to know, but he seems to be getting a bit of a slagging over this which is a bit unwarranted imho. He climbed the route first, guessed at the grade and that's that.

As for Indian Face, I think it's pretty unique as though the climbing "isn't that hard" the rock is friable, the climbing fall-offable and the gear laughable (I'm sure I could squeeze another -able in there somewhere) so the consequences of failure are pretty high. That's not the kind of climbing that appears to be in vogue at the moment.

I seem to remember JP saying in his blog (I think?) Nick Dixon warned him off trying to onsight IF.
galpinos - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Oh, and well done to all the ascentionists. Sterling effort. I'm sure you'll get it next time Jack!
seagull on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to galpinos & Tyler:

Very good posts.

Grades at the cutting edge often take time to settle down. This is normal and doesn't mean the grading system doesn't work etc. JR & Bransby have suggested that E8 7a may be the actual grade with BB pointing out that with no mats and thinking the gear wouldn't hold it could add an E grade or two. Nobody's exactly certain at present, so what?!

Most of the people kicking up a fuss about this will NEVER climb E7 let alone E10 so why are they so bothered about the grades of these things being spot on after one or two ascents? If the grading system is working ok for you at your level then you don't have a problem.
galpinos - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to seagull:

If I try routes without knowing the grades, I rarely get them right.

As an aside, if it's "only" V8+ shouldn't you be giving it a go? :)

(I'm thinking you're a steely fingered blond poster on another forum who just loves V grades)
In reply to galpinos:
> JP: first ascent, many tried before but failed (I'm assuming but feel free to shoot me down in flames), LGP, found it harder than Equilibrium, appauling landing with no mats and didn't trust the gear.

As far as I know, Miles GIbson had previously top-roped it but couldn't find any gear. Instead he directed his attention at Superstition, the wall to the left, since that does take obvious gear. After watching Pete on both routes yesterday I am certain that Superstition is considerably technically harder. I know Kevin Jorgenson tried it but struggled to connect the moves.

> JG et al: the myth and repuatation of the route de-bunked by the americans, bounce tested the gear (as well as the americans), padded the landing with a ladder and lots of pads, "team effort".

While I was there the pads seemed pretty irrelevant. It certainly wasn't lots of pads, it was four and only one of them was in a significant position above the ridgeback boulder. That did come into play on the long falls as you can see in the video. The others may well have been useful had the runner pulled but only in preventing cuts bruises and maybe a break or two.

> I can totally see why JP thought it was E10. Harder than anything he'd done, no-one else had managed it despite it being a well known problem, above an bad landing with only a dodgy (in his mind) solitary bit of gear.

I don't know of many others trying it but I might be wrong.

> Maybe he was wrong, it's far outside my level of competance to know, but he seems to be getting a bit of a slagging over this which is a bit unwarranted imho. He climbed the route first, guessed at the grade and that's that.

No-one was slagging him yesterday at the crag, but there is some doubt about the grade for sure. He wouldn't be the first climber to grade a new route a bit high though. Moffat, Dunne and Fawcett have all given grades that looked a little ridiculous with the benefit of hindsight, that doesn't mean that they deserve slagging off though.

> As for Indian Face, I think it's pretty unique as though the climbing "isn't that hard" the rock is friable, the climbing fall-offable and the gear laughable (I'm sure I could squeeze another -able in there somewhere) so the consequences of failure are pretty high. That's not the kind of climbing that appears to be in vogue at the moment.

No, but I do think that when anyone grades a climb these days, and includes a significant factor in the E grade for the danger element of the climb, they should have the Indian Face as the benchmark E9 at the front of their mind.

Alan
galpinos - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

Cheers for replying Alan, as you were there your opinion certainly holds a bit more sway than my internet ramblings.

I always assumed that loads of people had tried it, maybe a case of a muth building without substance! I'm not surprised Miles G had climbed it, I wa always under the inpression he was an utter beast!

I'm surprised you say the pads made no difference, I certainly am a little bolder even when the pads are providing little more than a psychological crux but then I can't see the video at work. I'll have a look whan I get home.

Is Indian Face benchmark E9 then?
seagull on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to galpinos:
> (In reply to seagull)
>
> If I try routes without knowing the grades, I rarely get them right.

Me too.

>
> As an aside, if it's "only" V8+ shouldn't you be giving it a go? :)
>
> (I'm thinking you're a steely fingered blond poster on another forum who just loves V grades)


Just bouldering for me mate so I will pass thanks. It still looks as if you could hurt yourself quite seriously on this route whatever the armchair critics say. V what? ;-)

McBirdy - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

***January 2007***
"In January this year (2007) James Pearson (age 21) of Matlock, Derbyshire established perhaps the hardest route on gritstone with The Promise E10 7a at Burbage North."

***December 2008***
"The Promise saw three ground-up ascents this weekend at the hands of Pete Robins and Ben Bransby. The grade has now settled at E7 7a. (Jack Geldard - "Short routes are traditionally tough from a technical point of view. I have also done routes of this standard that have been graded 6c, but there is a bit of overlap in that area.")"

***September 2008***
"In an audacious and serious piece of climbing James Pearson has succeeded on one of the UK's most incredible lines and at an equally stunning grade of E12 7a. The route, dubbed The Walk of Life, is located on the dramatic steep slab of Dyer's Lookout on the North Devon coast and is without peers in terms of commitment, difficulty and danger."

***December 2009?***
"The Walk of Life saw three ground-up ascents this weekend at the hands of some *seriously* good climbers. Adding to an already impressive list of ground-up ascents of E7 or higher, these top-end climbers proved once and for all who are *really* pushing the boundaries of UK trad climbing. The grade has now settled at E9 7a. The North Face, Wild Country and Five Ten currently have sponsorship vacancies for elite climbers. In other news, I'm sorry to report that there is no longer a vacancy at Sheffield Burger King"
In reply to galpinos:
> I'm surprised you say the pads made no difference, I certainly am a little bolder even when the pads are providing little more than a psychological crux but then I can't see the video at work. I'll have a look whan I get home.

What I meant was that I didn't get the impression that Pete, Ben or Jack climbed the way they did BECAUSE the mats were there, I got the impression that they climbed that way because they trusted the runner (Jack says 92% although I think he might have been a little conservative there, looked more like 96% to me).

The runner appeared to be totally solid - obviously John proved differently later on although that one hadn't been lobbed on I don't think, which would make a big difference. Perhaps the mats made a difference when considering the consequences of a pulled runner, but it really was a minor factor in the ascent I think.

Alan

Morgan Woods - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to galpinos & Tyler)
>
>> Most of the people kicking up a fuss about this will NEVER climb E7 let alone E10 so why are they so bothered about the grades of these things being spot on after one or two ascents? If the grading system is working ok for you at your level then you don't have a problem.

Very good point.....also worth pointing out that british trad grades at least for mortals seems to work pretty well for most of us. Contrast that with some euro sport venues with lots of slash grades eg 7a+/b. This with the supposedly more accurate french grading system AND in the mid grade range as well.
bendurance - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Tyler:
> (In reply to bendurance)

> Is it irrelevant to you? It's not irrelevant to me, most routes I've ever done have been pretty reasonably represented by their accepted grade.

Im not talking about being irrelevant at the lower levels - just from around E8 upwards.

> Same as we always have, grading at the cutting edge has always been inconsistent for want of a better word (q.v Supersonic, Red Rose etc etc).

You dont explain how we know things are moving on. Because someone decides to grade something E11 or E12? Until there is a consensus, not just with recent routes but in comparison with established benchmark climbs of previous decades its difficult to tell IMHO.

> What issue, everyone knows the difference, anyone who doesn't probably doesn't care.

The issue that the style of how a route is climbed has a massive effect on the level of difficulty and this is not reflected in the grading system. The result being that a lot more media attention is given (undeservedly IMHO) to those headpointing routes due to the higher number grade attached, when in reality onsighting lower grades is far more committing and probably just as hard technically when all things considered.
Byronius Maximus - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:

Was that really necessary? A poorly disguised dig at someone who clearly is one of the best trad climbers in the UK.
GrahamD - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

If the mats were NOT significant, why bother with them ? They must make some difference.
Mike Stretford - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to galpinos & Tyler)
>
> Most of the people kicking up a fuss about this will NEVER climb E7 let alone E10 so why are they so bothered about the grades of these things being spot on after one or two ascents? If the grading system is working ok for you at your level then you don't have a problem.

If these first ascents and the proposed grade are used to create publicity for the climber then everyone is entiled to an opinion. Do you think those who have not played proffesional footbal cannot express an opinion on the premiership?

GrahamD - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:

Pretty cheap, don't you think ? Just because one route (boulder problem ?) is out doesn't mean the other is anything other than as advertised. Remember that Dyer Straits got harder than E7 even with pegs and an easier line.
In reply to Ben Darvill:

Bad form Ben.

Can I just re-iterate to you this section of my run down:

It is easy to get grades slightly out, especially on tough, technical routes like The Promise. Climbing the route thinking that the ball-nut had no chance of holding a fall would feel much more scary than climbing it like we did - with 92% faith in the runner.

And this:

"Climbing with no mats and (psychologically) with no ball-nut would feel harder. Gauging how many 'E points' you get for a broken leg is a strange business."

And also I liked Alan James' comment earlier:

"No-one was slagging him yesterday at the crag"

So I see no reason you should be now. And I'd also just like to say that I was speaking to none other than Mr real-deal/Indian Face/total legend Johnny Dawes about The Walk of Life earlier today - a route which he has tried in the past and he was extremely excited about it - and he thought it was absolutely nails hard. Really, really hard.

And most importantly - The Promise had some awesome moves on it. What a weekend - gorgeous. And made possible for me by the vision of James Pearson - a man who has flashed boulder problems I probably couldn't pull off the floor on.

Thanks,

Jack

seagull on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Papillon:

"Professional football etc etc"

That old chestnut. No, of course everyone is entitled to an opinion however wide of the mark it is (this thread proves that point!). I am talking about all this sh**e about the E grade being broken and so on. This is not the case for 99% of climbers in the country and for the 1% climbing hard new routes the situation has always been the same. Grades settle down after time.
bendurance - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to galpinos:
> (In reply to bendurance)
>
> Surely the issue in this case is the two different approachs to the climb and how it affects how hard they thought it was.

> I can totally see why JP thought it was E10.

I agree with you in part and Im not slagging anyone - they are all far skilled and brave than I will ever be. Whilst I understand that it may have felt bloody hard at the time, It is apparent now that it was significantly overgraded, and its good that things ahve been rectified. But what does this say about similiar big number routes put up recently - possibly that they are overgraded too. And I still dont see how you could look at it objectively and grade it higher than IF or even Margins of the Mind, or some of the harder routes at Gogarth.

> As for Indian Face, I think it's pretty unique... That's not the kind of climbing that appears to be in vogue at the moment.

Regardless of whether or not its in vogue our grading system should be able to cope with different types of routes and indicate comparative difficulty. Perhaps IF is just massively undergraded but there are many other E8s and E9s that, when you really think about the 'overall' level of difficulty, appear far harder than many of the current so-called cutting edge routes on Gritstone.

In reply to GrahamD:
> If the mats were NOT significant, why bother with them ? They must make some difference.

I suspect that initially they weren't aware of how good the runner was, after that the mats were just left there.

There is also a big difference here between ground-up and headpoint. Yesterday's climbers chose different methods and all were excellent ascents. However, on a ground-up you are pretty sure you are going to fall, on a headpoint you make that possibility much less likely. In this case I think a ground-up with mats is actually a better ascent than a headpoint without. What that makes John's ascent with kicked out runner I don't know but the thought of doing that iffy move at the top having just turned your ascent into a solo doesn't bare thinking about for me.

Alan
Sam Mayfield - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Nicely put Jack.

So is Johnny going to give WOL another go?

Sam
John Roberts (JR) - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

I haven't got loads of time to reply on here or anywhere to anything directly so I'll post here a copied/edited version of what I put on UKB:

For the record I reckon its E8 7a. Though with the disclaimer that I haven't done that much in those numbers, but its definitely a good deal harder than EOTA! Fb 7b+ is about right.

I didn't trust the ballnut that much, but thought I'd prob be ok having seen Jack wing off it, so went for it after linking it for the first time (i'd had a few goes on the moves on a rope the previous weekend). Someone else has clearly been trying it cos there was loads more chalk on it than last weekend, and on some "non sequence" holds.

The gear fell out on me mid crux, having had a pull test from the floor, after it had been placed "on lead".

Something to watch now is that the placement is pretty scarred after Sunday's GU antics and I wouldn't be surprised if the next size up fits now or soon if people continue to wing onto it, whether that contributed to it falling out on me or not I don't know, I'm just glad I didn't take the solo fall onto the pads which wouldn't have been in the right place.

I didn't have the ladder/pads in the hole, just 2 pads covering the block you start off (assuming the same as the yanks) and an extra one on the block behind I thought I might smack my head on. I was intending to put a lid on but thought it would annoy me so swapped the helmet for a pad on the boulder.

Comparing The Promise to routes of similar grades I've done and in the style I did it in I felt it definitely justified E8 (and probably right at the top of the grade) in terms of E for overall effort (which is in reality all you can do on headpoint). If EOTA is benchmark E8 (and its been that for c.22 years and no-one's really argued) then The Promise felt harder in terms of E for effort. Comparing the two directly (and for the record I've done both in very similar style) they are at opposite ends of E8. And as its a direct comparison then the same applies within reason to the theoretical onsight as there's nothing hidden in either route. Both are sequency, easyish once you know how, gear is not tricky to place, possible injury etc

Doing it with so many pads/ladder covering hole etc then maybe it would feel easier but I'd feel a bit bold and dare I say it inflammatory giving it E7. But, I didn't GU and Pete has way more experience in the lofty grades than me.

Had the gear been kicked out on one of the GU ascents/Jack's attempts would we be having the same discussion? E9?

Comparing it to superstition yeah its not E8, but given that (AFAIK) no-one but Miles can even do the damn thing top rope or no top rope would anyone be arguing with superstition getting E9 or possibly harder? Same goes for superbloc. All it does say is that its desperate to grade all these bouldery, potentially dangerous, super highball routes.

Anyway, it looks like I've just walked my way into a grade debate I didn't much want to get into. I do think The Promise has got some awesome moves on it and I really enjoyed climbing it. So thanks to James for putting it up. I'm just hoping nobody spanners themselves in this craze we've got going on.

Take care out there and for God's sake enjoy it.

Mike Stretford - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to seagull: You used the latter part of my post to try to bellitle the post.... while ignoring the main point, bit shoddy IMO.

These guys can't have the publicity without the controversy!


McBirdy - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to GrahamD/Jack:
Sorry GrahamD, you're absolutely right. What I should have said was:

***January 2007***
"In January this year (2007) James Pearson (age 21) of Matlock, Derbyshire established perhaps the hardest route on gritstone with The Promise E10 7a at Burbage North."

***December 2008***
"The Promise saw three ground-up ascents this weekend at the hands of Pete Robins and Ben Bransby. The grade has now settled at E7 7a. (Jack Geldard - "Short routes are traditionally tough from a technical point of view. I have also done routes of this standard that have been graded 6c, but there is a bit of overlap in that area.")"

***February 2008***
The Groove was first climbed by James Pearson in February of this year at a proposed grade of E10 7b. Recently James has re-assessed his grade for this route: "In hindsight, I think The Groove is actually E11"

***November 2008***
Extremely hard routes, such as those put up by Miles Gibson, feature moves just as hard as The Groove. These climbs can be just as safe as E1's, but because of their physical difficulty, receive an E-grade upwards of E8. I think The Groove falls into this category, of safe and hard. Kevin has suggested that the crux moves of The Groove would merit a bouldering grade of Font 7C+ (V10). To compare difficulty, Jordan Buys' new route at Earl Crag features Font 7C+ climbing in a very serious position and has been graded E9 7a, after Jordan initially suggested E8 7a.

***September 2008***
"In an audacious and serious piece of climbing James Pearson has succeeded on one of the UK's most incredible lines and at an equally stunning grade of E12 7a. The route, dubbed The Walk of Life, is located on the dramatic steep slab of Dyer's Lookout on the North Devon coast and is without peers in terms of commitment, difficulty and danger."

***December 2009?***
"The Walk of Life saw three ground-up ascents this weekend at the hands of some *seriously* good climbers. Adding to an already impressive list of ground-up ascents of E7 or higher, these top-end climbers proved once and for all who are *really* pushing the boundaries of UK trad climbing. The grade has now settled at E9 7a. The North Face, Wild Country and Five Ten currently have sponsorship vacancies for elite climbers. In other news, I'm sorry to report that there is no longer a vacancy at Sheffield Burger King"

And Jack - I agree entirely with you, that these are great lines etc etc. But to be honest, hearing that JD thinks The Walk of Life is nails means a great deal more to me than the guidebook grade on record, given all that I have mentioned above. Other than my tongue-in-cheek Dec 09 entry, everything posted above is cut and pasted from UK News articles. All I've done it put it there, in black and white.

Yes, thumbs up to JP for opening up these amazing lines etc etc, and a huge thumbs up to all of the recent uber hard ground-up/onsight ascentionists. Just a big thumbs down to all of the overgrading. Why is it unreasonable of me to be sceptical. No doubt he's the 'real deal' - Equilibrium has held its own at E10 and he made mincemeat of that. Ditto various nails boulder problems... But if his own hard(est in the world/on grit/on the next DVD) routes are dropping like flies, forgive me for reserving my awe/hero worshipping of TWOL until someone repeats it...

Ben
In reply to JR: Hi JR,

It certainly sounds like you had an E8 experience! However as you saw - I didn't (thankfully!).

So I guess that explains our different opinions. I've given my reasons for the grade of E7 7a, and also that's what Pete thought too.

And yes Miles Gibson is a beast. And what about Dan Varian on Superbloc - wow - now that is impressive.

(oh - and the slider slot was a bit marked (scratchy) before we started - and the slider placement was baggy too - but I don't think a #2 would fit, but who knows, I didn't try it.)

Dead impressed with those things, never used one before.

Nice one,

Jack
bendurance - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:

> Yes, thumbs up to JP for opening up these amazing lines etc etc, and a huge thumbs up to all of the recent uber hard ground-up/onsight ascentionists. Just a big thumbs down to all of the overgrading.

Couldnt agree more. Listen to Johnny Dawes' description of IF on the recent video and then think 3 grades harder. Fair play if the grade stands but I think E12 is a step too far. I would place money on it being downgraded in future to Ell, probably E10. Still an amazing effort but not the light years ahead of everything else that the E12 tag implies.

ads.ukclimbing.com
John2 - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to bendurance: 'I would place money on it being downgraded in future to Ell, probably E10'

Well I hope that your HVS hardest lead gets downgraded.

bendurance - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to John2:

Luckily Ive done several, both old and new, in vogue and out. They were onsights though so does that make them E2?

I was hoping that Im wrong about all of this and the gap from one E grade to the next really is as small as we are led to believe. Once I get to E1 the rest should be a piece of cake. May still need to climb more than twice a month though.
Adam Lincoln - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:

You bitter, venomous, nasty piece of work.
John2 - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to bendurance: 'Luckily Ive done several'

You amaze me. Were any of them in Pembroke? I'm helping with the next edition of the Pembroke guide.
McBirdy - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Adam Lincoln:
You are entitled to that opinion of me, in exactly the same way that I am entitled to my opinion of The Walk of Life. That's the wonderful thing about freedom of speech.

The most controversial thing Ive done is paste a series of UKC news pieces, and then extrapolate to the next in the series. I would argue that, in so doing, I am being neither bitter, venomous nor nasty (well, perhaps a bit nasty). Like I say though, I respectfully acknowledge your opinion.

Time will tell whether my scepticism is justified. As things stand at the moment the equation that I, and many others out there see is:

Poor track record of over-grading + implausible grade of E12 7a + no ascent of benchmark E11(s) + few hard sport redpoints = probably overgraded.

Ben
Silum - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:
> (In reply to GrahamD/Jack)
> Sorry GrahamD, you're absolutely right. What I should have said was:
>
> ***January 2007***
> "In January this year (2007) James Pearson (age 21) of Matlock, Derbyshire established perhaps the hardest route on gritstone with The Promise E10 7a at Burbage North."
>
> ***December 2008***
> "The Promise saw three ground-up ascents this weekend at the hands of Pete Robins and Ben Bransby. The grade has now settled at E7 7a. (Jack Geldard - "Short routes are traditionally tough from a technical point of view. I have also done routes of this standard that have been graded 6c, but there is a bit of overlap in that area.")"
>
> ***February 2008***
> The Groove was first climbed by James Pearson in February of this year at a proposed grade of E10 7b. Recently James has re-assessed his grade for this route: "In hindsight, I think The Groove is actually E11"
>
> ***November 2008***
> Extremely hard routes, such as those put up by Miles Gibson, feature moves just as hard as The Groove. These climbs can be just as safe as E1's, but because of their physical difficulty, receive an E-grade upwards of E8. I think The Groove falls into this category, of safe and hard. Kevin has suggested that the crux moves of The Groove would merit a bouldering grade of Font 7C+ (V10). To compare difficulty, Jordan Buys' new route at Earl Crag features Font 7C+ climbing in a very serious position and has been graded E9 7a, after Jordan initially suggested E8 7a.
>
> ***September 2008***
> "In an audacious and serious piece of climbing James Pearson has succeeded on one of the UK's most incredible lines and at an equally stunning grade of E12 7a. The route, dubbed The Walk of Life, is located on the dramatic steep slab of Dyer's Lookout on the North Devon coast and is without peers in terms of commitment, difficulty and danger."
>
> ***December 2009?***
> "The Walk of Life saw three ground-up ascents this weekend at the hands of some *seriously* good climbers. Adding to an already impressive list of ground-up ascents of E7 or higher, these top-end climbers proved once and for all who are *really* pushing the boundaries of UK trad climbing. The grade has now settled at E9 7a. The North Face, Wild Country and Five Ten currently have sponsorship vacancies for elite climbers. In other news, I'm sorry to report that there is no longer a vacancy at Sheffield Burger King"
>
> And Jack - I agree entirely with you, that these are great lines etc etc. But to be honest, hearing that JD thinks The Walk of Life is nails means a great deal more to me than the guidebook grade on record, given all that I have mentioned above. Other than my tongue-in-cheek Dec 09 entry, everything posted above is cut and pasted from UK News articles. All I've done it put it there, in black and white.
>
> Yes, thumbs up to JP for opening up these amazing lines etc etc, and a huge thumbs up to all of the recent uber hard ground-up/onsight ascentionists. Just a big thumbs down to all of the overgrading. Why is it unreasonable of me to be sceptical. No doubt he's the 'real deal' - Equilibrium has held its own at E10 and he made mincemeat of that. Ditto various nails boulder problems... But if his own hard(est in the world/on grit/on the next DVD) routes are dropping like flies, forgive me for reserving my awe/hero worshipping of TWOL until someone repeats it...
>
> Ben

go get a life

Dr Strabismus on 08 Dec 2008 - host-84-13-143-133.opaltelecom.net.143.13.84.in-addr.arpa
In reply to Silum:

A wise spot of editing!

Yours

A Crappy HVS Leader who's done a few harder routes.

:o)
McBirdy - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to someone who's post has since been deleted, but who wrote:

Various things, followed by "does it really matter to you that much?"

Yes it does, actually. It's at the cutting edge of our sport. Think Marion Jones/Ben Johnson or the 'hand of god', and whether that 'matters' to people who follow those sports. To claim E11 is to put yourself in the upper echelons of our sport. When months later E11 descends to E8 and E10 to E7, it's not unreasonable for people to start wondering what E12 will descend to.

I seem to be creating 'controversy' by stating on UKC what everyone is muttering privately about down at the wall. Why? If you build a pedestal for yourself to stand on then you shouldn't be surprised when it starts to wobble. Particularly if you were a little hasty in laying the foundations....
John2 - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill: You really impress me. You complain that a climber who led a route that he graded E12 had probably overgraded the route, then you upgrade your own hardest lead on your profile from HVS to E3.

When James gets the time I expect he'll upgrade his hardest route too.
John Dunne - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill: Lets get one thing clear until The Walk of Life gets repeated it's pointless assuming a grade.

Secondly i really hate the back biting and dam right jealousey that surrounds these forums.
In any other walk of life this would be called BULLYING and yes Mick and Jack that includes you.

Sad

Just for the record i think he onsighted an E8 a few days ago.
McBirdy - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to John2:

Hmmm. You're right. It is indeed suspicious that a mid-grade punter such as myself would a) have an opinion or b) have climbed numerous E1s, E2s and E3s before bothering/remembering to change his UKC profile.

These forums really ought to be restricted to the elite, or at least to those prepared to praise them.
John2 - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill: Whack it up to E12, we'll believe you. What the f*ck, make it E13.
andyinglis - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to J Dunne: Which E8 got onsited, that's interesting!
McBirdy - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to J Dunne:

I'm sorry John. Full respect where respect is due. But if it is out of order to question the grades of these routes, then where does that leave us?

Calling reasonable scepticism bullying is a step too far. This not someone quietly climbing in the shadows - if you court the media and reap the dividends of the headlines then...

We're in this situation because (unlike McLeod, Birkett, McClure, Dawes, but like yourself it has to be said), grades were claimed (and cheques cashed) which subsequently turned out to be wishful thinking.

If you don't want the criticism of the grade then don't grade it - give it a name, describe it, make a DVD...
abarro81 - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to andyinglis:
eota
In reply to J Dunne:

I think you must have misread some of the reports then John since everything that Jack has written has shown utmost respect for James's achievements, and I don't think Mick has written much on this issue.

Just because there are negative comments on this Forum doesn't mean that the people who run the forum are responsible for them, or even agree with them.

Alan
John Dunne - on 08 Dec 2008
Do you really hand on heart believe that Alan ?????????????????
In reply to J Dunne:
> Do you really hand on heart believe that Alan ?????????????????

Please clarify what you mean by this? I have my hand on my heart ready for your reply.

Alan
John Dunne - on 08 Dec 2008
Alan i dont have to explaiin myself.

Would you like to be slagged of and abused,because lets face it James has been.

Regardless of the grade of the Promise etc he is still one of the top few climbers in the UK and deserves a little more dignity and respect.

This web site inflicts a lot of misery on people,i know i have had years of it.

Lets get a positive spin on the site and look to the next big routes.
DannyC on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to J Dunne:

Sounds like lots of people are having a ball on The Promise. Brilliant.

"i really hate the back biting and dam right jealousy that surrounds these forums"

Agreed. If a complete outsider logged on and drew their view of climbing as an activity from what's put on here sometimes, they would walk away puzzled/depressed/quickly.

Sometimes I think I should stop bothering with these forums. It's not like it's a susprising read these days (though the videos/articles/news have improved hugely recently. Well done.)

But I reckon it's just that the people who don't post much, like me, can't be arsed getting dragged into the nonsense that leads to it being like this. I just hope it doesn't leak into the friendly, funny and thriving real world of climbing you see every single day you go out to crags in the UK, or even when you head indoors. I can't see any sign of it and I don't think it will. Touch wood.

Danny
Richard Bradley - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to JR: Far to reasonable! :-)
In reply to J Dunne: I'm afraid John I disagree with you - with your statement that I personally have been bullying James Pearson.

I'm happy to discuss it further with you and/or James in private. I already have with James on a brief level, and with Dave Simmonite on a more in-depth level.

I think I'll repeat what I posted earlier on the thread, and also I ask you to re-read my news items and the run down of The Promise with a positive head on - a lot is lost in typed communication.

"And most importantly - The Promise had some awesome moves on it. What a weekend - gorgeous. And made possible for me by the vision of James Pearson - a man who has flashed boulder problems I probably couldn't pull off the floor on."

I think you've got me all wrong John, I'm super positive and psyched.

But I'll also continue to report significant down gradings (and up gradings) of routes, and significant ascents. It's interesting, important and news worthy.

Jack
John Dunne - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: I guess we will have to differ on this one.

Good to see your working late keep it up.
In reply to J Dunne:
> Regardless of the grade of the Promise etc he is still one of the top few climbers in the UK.....

I agree with you there.

> Lets get a positive spin on the site and look to the next big routes.

... and there!

Alan


In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

> And yes Miles Gibson is a beast.

I once met Miles on a quiet midweek day when we were both bouldering at Wimberry years ago, and I climbed with him for a couple of hours. He is perhaps the most stylish climber I've ever seen - really marvelous. He is a bit of a fantasist though, because he kept showing me great problems and saying "go on! You're nearly there!" when I was SO absolutely nowhere near "there"; in fact I wasn't even finding the train station that could take me to "there". :-) He seemed like really great chap, and very supportive and fun to climb with even for a utter punter like myself.
Skyfall - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to TobyA:

ROFLMAO

This thread was becoming so depressing and shouldn't! This sudden interest in pushing the boundaries of hard trad in the UK is just superb. What we all needed.

Shame it took the bloody Americans to get everyone going! ;)

shark - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:


Am I missing something (possible I dont follow the cutting edge stuff that closely) but isnt last week's onsight of End of the Affair by Pearson (reported by his gf on UKB) the very first E8 onsight by a Brit which up until 5 minutes ago was the event that a mass of posters were wetting their pants in anticipation about on various threads ?
Silum - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Dr Strabismus:
well you knew what i meant, I think its absolutely rediculous that lame ass climbers (such as myself) should even have the right to talk about these climbs and their grade.

The E grade broken? How rediculous, it works perfectly fine for 98% of us, theirs confusion at the highest levels and their always is. Top end climbers are always over grading routes by accident. The things being said about JP are uncalled for and should not be allowed on this forum in my opinion.

Free speach is one thing mr Darvill, respect is another. You clearly have none despite being nowhere near the talent of JP. Like I said, get a life.
In reply to Simon Lee: Hi Simon, I have emailed James to confirm this - we are on it, looking for details.

Sounds awesome. Yes, this is up there with the best - perhaps even is the 'best' if that is quantifiable!

Jack
James Oswald - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Simon Lee:
"The very first E8 onsight by a Brit which up until 5 minutes ago was the event that a mass of posters were wetting their pants in anticipation about on various threads ?"

Birkett onsighted My Piano.
shark - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: perhaps even is the 'best' if that is quantifiable!

At any other time onsighting EOTA would be a showstopping headline - its an obvious prize and challenge.

As for the 'best' - my impression of those who think that is a meaningful question is that in the UK it was all round ability and accomplishment. Well he has certainly demonstrated an ability to turn his hand to things. Cutting edge bouldering flashes abroad, a last great problem on grit, a gnarly big sea cliff headpoint and now on the face of it the hardest onsight. 9a Sport next?
Rich M - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Simon Lee:

Hi Simon, hows tricks?

Maybe James and co dont want to send any information to UKC anymore?

Rich
Skyfall - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

And a "settled down at E7" was a bit unfair really. Didn't the Americans think E8?

The problem with The Promise is that it is so relatively short. I think it does come back to what Jorgeson (?) said, it's all about each individual's experience. And when you're the 1st one to do a route, it's inevitably harder than when someone repeats in the knowledge that it has some gear etc etc.

Maybe James, for all his experience on hard routes, is still relatively inexperienced in some ways. From what I've seen of him, I don't think he's playing a game (and I don't think anyone is seriously accusing him of this).

At my own rather pathetic level, I put up a new route in the Lakes quite a few years back and graded it VS. And I knew of the perils of oevr-grading. But that was about my top lead grade then and my experience felt equally serious as the VS's I'd done. Of course, in hindsight, it wasn't VS. I even wonder if it was HS. But it felt like it to me, going where no one had gone before, dusty loose rock, rather rubbish pro etc. So I have a lot of sympathy.

Not that sympathy should stand in the way of trying to fairly grade something. But your sudden downgrading of an E10 to E7 is maybe a bit rich when there are quite a few comments about E8 at least.
Rich M - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to JonC:

Hi Jon

I have just started another thread asking the same question.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=332360&new=4901718#x4901718

Rich
Skyfall - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Rich M:

I saw and have commented. Maybe best to copy your comments to this one?

Anyway, I do think this is pretty unfair and Jack maybe has, in his enthusiasm to report, gone a little too far with this one.

Apologies to Jack as well for that comment, I am well aware I am hardly qualified to hold your ropes. It just seems a little, um, unfair and unjustified right now.
Rich M - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to JonC:

Hi Jon

I have started another thread as I dont want such an important issue to get lost in this large thread.

Rich
In reply to Rich M: Hi guys, Yes, I reported E7. That was because we thought that at the time of climbing (or in my case attempting) the route. I apologise for any offence caused.

It may well be E8 7a.

I will amend.

Thanks,

Jack
Kid Spatula - on 08 Dec 2008
Oh for gods sake this forum has now reached a new low.

We have had, in the space of one week:

People doubting Steve McClure, probably the best sport climber in the country.

People doubting James Pearson, probably one of the best trad climbers in the country.

After the slagging John Dunne has recieved off of this website you would think people had learnt.

But noooo armchair enthusiasts on this forum simply love to have a pop at anyone who can climb things they can't even dream of.

Look, it's simple. You can't climb them. I can't climb them. Therefore you don't comment, you simply don't know. It's insulting to the sport and it's insulting to the climbers.
Andy Moles - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Has anyone actually 'slagged off' James Pearson? No one is in any doubt that he's one of the best climbers around, but it's hardly surprising that when his routes are downgraded by 2-3 grades a few eyebrows are raised about his judgement in that respect.

Anyway I enjoyed the video, keep them coming!
Skyfall - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Jack, and fwiw, I don't think anyone is blaming you for anything more than being overly zealous here. And clearly E10 is looking more than a touch suspect.

Anyway, christ how we laughed at your face at the top of Gravediggers ;) Nice and well done by the way - if somewhat patronisingly from someone who's only led a handful of E2's, 100% on-sight mind ;)
Andy Moles - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to Kid Spatula:
> Therefore you don't comment, you simply don't know.

So we're supposed to absorb the media like sponges and remain totally impartial? Where's the fun in that??
thomasadixon - on 08 Dec 2008
In reply to AMo:

A couple of people (that's he's got to go work in a burger bar now cause he's crap seems insulting to me...), not many though.
McBirdy - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Kid Spatula:
It's utter nonsense to suggest that anyone who can't climb a grade can't comment on it. You run the risk of turning the elite into the dictatorial bourgeoisie and the punters into oppressed proletariat.

Top climbers (lets call them pigs, to be really controversial) earn their keep through us - through leeching off a tiny proportion of our hard earned cash. No punters, no elite. Simple. They sell their stories to us (the other animals) through magazines/DVDs and they endorse our climbing shoes, but they then have a responsibility to play by the rules.

Some do, some don't seem to - not always. Or perhaps they're 'trying' to play by the rules, but just not great a grading things? Either way, those that win high praise for making a 'cutting edge' redpoint of what turns out to be an E7/8 deserve to be at least a little bit embarrassed.

I don't think there's anybody on this thread, and I most certainly include myself in this, that don't think that JP is one of the UK's very best climbers. Bouldering, headpointing, now onsighting - fair play, and hurray for these successes. But a big boooooo for taking the headlines with E11 and E10 which were E8 and E7/8. I stand by my earlier comments about reasonable scepticism about 'E12', and look forward to being proven wrong... but I apologise for the 'burger king' joke, which with hindsight was perhaps a bit harsh.

Ben
aln - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to J Dunne:
> This web site inflicts a lot of misery on people,i know i have had years of it.
>
This web site has a lot of shit talked on it, also a lot of fair reporting, some excellent articles, great photos (and crap ones), and quite a bit of playing devils advocate. Are you saying you've had this website inflicting years of misery on you?
One thing I've wondered about The Promise being downgraded from E10 to E7 is that james Pearsons blog says that the 3rd route he led was E7. Surely by the time you'd led The Promise 4/5 years later you'd know the difference between 4 grades.
johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Simon Lee:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
>
>
> Am I missing something (possible I dont follow the cutting edge stuff that closely) but isnt last week's onsight of End of the Affair by Pearson (reported by his gf on UKB) the very first E8 onsight by a Brit which up until 5 minutes ago was the event that a mass of posters were wetting their pants in anticipation about on various threads ?


Surely not - didn't Dave Birkett onsight - er, some route on Dove Crag a while ago? Probably beginning with F. I thought that was E8?

jcm
Randy Baird on 09 Dec 2008 - 207.228.182.60 whois?
In reply to J Dunne:

>Alan i dont have to explaiin myself.
Would you like to be slagged of and abused,because lets face it James has been.
Regardless of the grade of the Promise etc he is still one of the top few climbers in the UK and deserves a little more dignity and respect.
This web site inflicts a lot of misery on people,i know i have had years of it.
Lets get a positive spin on the site and look to the next big routes.

A handful of people have slagged him off.
Ironically, behind the screaming about grades the repeaters have been very complimentary about James' lines, no?
What's more important- a few arsey comments by random strangers on a website, or appreciation of the quality of his routes by his peers who have actually climbed them?
I disagree that this site inflicts misery on people. They choose to look at it. If it causes them psychological trauma they should turn it off.
As for the editorial policy, I applaud the degree of free speech they tolerate despite the pressures of becoming more commercial. The content is top notch these days.
People have massive respect for James and yourself too.
I feel you are being a little paranoid.



chris j on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Fear of Failure, in 2004 or 2005 I think. He did a route at Nesscliffe as well that i think was in the news reports as E8 onsight as well.
Jon Read - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
Ignoring most of the piffle above, what's all this about a 'ladder'?
Sam Mayfield - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Randy Baird:

No, you dont have to read the threads! They can still affect you though!

Kendal a few weekends ago I was chatting in the bar and when the person realised who I was he said " oh, I read all about you getting a slagging off on UKC!"

Its a sad thing to think that this place spreads out into the real one and alot of people that only lurk on here can read about you and form an opinion from what other people type.

Its not as simple as "turn it off".

Sam
andi turner - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Jon Read:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
> Ignoring most of the piffle above, what's all this about a 'ladder'?

It's a portable patio and most certainly NEVER used for checking holds like an inverse top rope.

In reply to james oswald:

> Birkett onsighted My Piano.

But that doesn't count James, because it's at Nescliff, which is a) in Shropshire (and can you really prove to me that Shropshire exists?) and b) a long way from Sheffield with no easy motorway connection and c)orange and people who are only interested in brown rock find orange aesthetically challenging.

In reply to Jon Read:

> Ignoring most of the piffle above, what's all this about a 'ladder'?

I notice that as well and thought it odd? Used as a base to put mats on to cover some hole perhaps?
Dave C on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to TobyA & Jon Read: The word "patio" keeps getting bandied about.
In reply to Jon Read:

The small step ladder (sort of ceiling painting height) was lain across a gap between two boulders and the pads were placed on top of it. These pads were in the bounce zone away from the ridge-back boulder below the route. As I said yesterday, I very much got the impression the padding was there while they gained trust in the runner, and became irrelevant when the runner proved to be solid. There were extra pads at the crag which weren't even used.

Alan
Michael Ryan - on 09 Dec 2008

Quite a thread.

I thought we were dealing with climbing and grades here.

Seems it is all about emotion..... and where emotion is involved all sense and reason go straight out the window.
PeakDJ on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Top effort to all those who climbed the route - most of all James Pearson. Would the others have climbed it if he hadn't done so first? What grade it gets is of no concern to me - from the vids it looks like a great little route with awesome moves. Nice one James, Pete, Ben, John and Jack.
Col Allott - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
Ridge-back boulders?
...and JP did this without any mats and was convinced the pro wouldn't hold. what a hero.
JSA - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Kid Spatula:
> Oh for gods sake this forum has now reached a new low.
>
> We have had, in the space of one week:
>
> People doubting Steve McClure, probably the best sport climber in the country.
>
> People doubting James Pearson, probably one of the best trad climbers in the country.
>
> After the slagging John Dunne has recieved off of this website you would think people had learnt.
>
> But noooo armchair enthusiasts on this forum simply love to have a pop at anyone who can climb things they can't even dream of.
>
> Look, it's simple. You can't climb them. I can't climb them. Therefore you don't comment, you simply don't know. It's insulting to the sport and it's insulting to the climbers.

I honestlt don't see why people don't see these ascents as inspirational, i've always looked upon hard ascents in such a way.They have always inspired me to climb harder, especially Mr Dunne's routes from years back, i still aspire to climb his grit routes(among others).

So i think a massive 'big up the boys' for these inspirational lines!
shark - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Emotion? Can you be more specific - there are a few:

Acceptance Affection Alertness Ambivalence Anger Angst Annoyance Anticipation Anxiety Apathy Awe Boredom Calmness Compassion Confusion Contempt Contentment Curiosity Depression Desire Disappointment Disgust Doubt Ecstasy Embarrassment Empathy Emptiness Enthusiasm Envy Epiphany Euphoria Fanaticism Fear Frustration Gratification Gratitude Grief Guilt Happiness Hatred Homesickness Honesty Hope Hostility Humiliation Hysteria Inspiration Interest Jealousy Kindness Limerence Loneliness Love Lust Melancholia Nostalgia Panic Patience Pity Pride Rage Regret Remorse Repentance Resentment Righteous indignation Sadness Saudade Schadenfreude Sehnsucht Self-pity Shame Shyness Suffering Surprise Suspicion Sympathy Wonder Worry

Not all of them are the opposite of sense and reason. In fact a few of them are required to even go climbing in the first place.
Michael Ryan - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to the inspiral carpet:
> (In reply to Kid Spatula)
> [...]
>
> I honestlt don't see why people don't see these ascents as inspirational

They do.

Best not to concentrate on a few forum posts. Some will of course as they are emotionally attached to certain ascents and people.

The vast majority enjoy reading about these hard ascents and find them inspirational.

That is part of what our news page is all about.

Check it by month: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/

Some amazing things have happened this year - starting with the Torrre Traverse

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/older.html?month=01&year=2008

Down grades and controversy about rock routes in the UK is nothing new and has been going on for decades. It pre-dates the internet. These days however it is more open what with video and instant reports, and of course, anyone can join in - some don't like this egalitarian aspect as it means they have lost control, they can no longer control their message.

It ain't going to go away. Live with it.

Mick

ads.ukclimbing.com
Monk - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to bendurance:
> (In reply to galpinos)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> I agree with you in part and Im not slagging anyone - they are all far skilled and brave than I will ever be. Whilst I understand that it may have felt bloody hard at the time, It is apparent now that it was significantly overgraded, and its good that things ahve been rectified. But what does this say about similiar big number routes put up recently - possibly that they are overgraded too. And I still dont see how you could look at it objectively and grade it higher than IF or even Margins of the Mind, or some of the harder routes at Gogarth.
>
> [...]
>
> Regardless of whether or not its in vogue our grading system should be able to cope with different types of routes and indicate comparative difficulty. Perhaps IF is just massively undergraded but there are many other E8s and E9s that, when you really think about the 'overall' level of difficulty, appear far harder than many of the current so-called cutting edge routes on Gritstone.

You seem to be massively missing the point of UK grades - they take into account the danger as well as the difficulty. IF is seriously dangerous and easy to fail on yet the climbing is 'only' 7b+ (i.e only E6 standard with bomber protection). Short gritstone routes cannot compare to Gogarth or Cloggy etc. They are always going to be harder technically but less likely to kill you (but they will hurt you). Therefore routes with very hard technical moves on will get high grades. JP thought The Promise was the hardest climbing he had done on a route in the peak and graded it accordingly. Other people agree it is hard, but not the hardest so have downgraded it. This is how hte system works. It's not broken.
Michael Ryan - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Simon Lee:

Yes all them Simon, and of course our wonky and wonderful E-grade system.
Simon Caldwell - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to the thread:

Blimey.

What's the betting that for his next new route JP copies Dave Macleod and declines to offer a grade? Though of course he'd then get slagged off for that too.
john horscroft on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Right, I've read the whole thread now and I still know f**k all. Can we get back to having bolt debates - I understood those........

j
Chris the Tall - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Toreador:
> What's the betting that for his next new route JP copies Dave Macleod and declines to offer a grade?

Which is what Steve McClure did for Elder Arete.
And curiously enough I don't think it has had a second ascent - has anyone even tried it ?

The problem is that big E numbers still create far more attention than big V numbers or big F numbers
Richard Bradley - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Chris the Tall: I'm sure it has by that tall sport climber chappy.
Mike Stretford - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Toreador)
> [...]
>
>
>
> The problem is that big E numbers still create far more attention than big V numbers or big F numbers

Agree... then they are used to promote the latest DVD, t-shirt and cereal, which is why I'm suprised people get so precious when questions are asked.

Lemony - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Chris the Tall: Steve Dunning did it.
Richard Bradley - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Lemony: That be him! :-)
McBirdy - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to everyone:

Mick hit the nail on the head when he highlighted the emotional side of this debate. I'd go a step further and say that loyalty comes into the defensive comments we've seen. "He's my mate/climbs at my wall/is from Sheffield/is English etc etc therefore I'm right behind him."

No-one is doubting that the routes are good, and that the lines are hard... E7/8 is still hard - harder than I'll ever climb. Someone who puts up a string of new E8's is an exceptionally good climber in my book. The issue here is over exactly HOW hard these FAs are, and how the grading of these affects the grading of TWOL. The grades of The Promise (given E10, dropping quickly to E7/8) and The Groove (given E11, dropping quickly to E8) were used as a justification for E12:

JP said:
"As I have said before, The Walk Of Life is harder than anything I have done or tried before. It is easy to compare it to my own repeats and first ascents including Equilibrium, The Promise, and The Groove (which in hindsight and compared to other routes, I feel is worth E11)."... " The Walk Of Life is the culmination of 4 years of effort and comes at what I feel is my current highpoint in terms of strength, fitness, technique, mental control etc. This route has honestly pushed me further than any other rock climb I have been on before...."

No-one is doubting the honesty and integrety of these comments. However, built on a platform of overgrading (with the exception of Equilibrium), it is perfectly legitimate to be sceptical of TWOL. I don't know - I've never even seen the piece of rock. All I'm saying is that it's not unreasonable for people to express their doubts.

It's all very well saying "Please do not take the following section to be any sort of a personal attack on a certain gnarly Scotsman. etc etc" BUT - to shout from the rooftops "TWOL is without peers in terms of commitment, difficulty and danger." is to stick two metaphorical fingers up to Rhapsody and Echo Wall. Dogging your way up something and then going bouldering does not qualify you to do that.

Ben
Kid Spatula - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

The full line of the The Groove hasn't been repeated. Therefore no downgrade as of yet.

The line climbed on the second ascent avoided the second crux.
galpinos - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:

How is The Groove quickly dropping to E8? It's not been repeated fully (as a line - just the groove feature then a traverese off into Fern Hill) so there's not consensus/opinion yet is there? KJ said what he climbed was worth E8, but couldn't get near the top move.

(I'm not saying that means it's E11, just when people get emotive/on their high horse we need the facts straight, grades are muddy enough as it is)
tony on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:
> It's all very well saying "Please do not take the following section to be any sort of a personal attack on a certain gnarly Scotsman. etc etc" BUT - to shout from the rooftops "TWOL is without peers in terms of commitment, difficulty and danger." is to stick two metaphorical fingers up to Rhapsody and Echo Wall. Dogging your way up something and then going bouldering does not qualify you to do that.
>
As far as I've been able to tell, James Pearson didn't make those comments about Rhapsody or Echo Wall. The "without peers in terms of commitment, difficulty and danger." came from Dave Simmonite, and he got a fair amount of stick for it, and did subsequently retract it.

It's one thing querying James's grading. Misquoting him in order to cast doubt on what he says about The Walk of Life is mischief-making of a rather unpleasant kind.
McBirdy - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to tony:
He gave it E12 - which by definition is stating that it's harder/more serious than Rhapsody. I agree though, that it was David and not James that made the statement in question, so it's not fair to imply that JP thinks TWOL is harder than Echo Wall - apologies if that was the impression I created.

I'm sorry if it seems as if I 'have it in for' JP - that's actually not the case at all. Up until TWOL I was full of respect for the guy - clearly an amazing climber.

I just feel that grading something E12 7a under any circumstances is asking for a lot of faith from us as 'believers'. When the supporting cast then starts to fall away it's not at all unreasonable to express those doubts, and where else but UKC?

I really resent the attitude that us punters have 'no right' to question these grades. To many people it seems to be dull/petty/bitter/jealousy - we should just focus on the climbing etc etc. Actually, I TOTALLY agree that we should just focus on the climbing - which is where I think DM got it absolutely right with the grading of Echo Wall. He decided that he wasn't really in a position to give it a grade, stating only that it was the hardest thing he'd climbed on trad.

If JP had done the same we'd all be talking about the amazing futuristic line, the improbably difficult climbing, the skill and balls of the guy. Sadly, 'E12', hype, publicity, plus the nonsense that David wrote just leaves an unpleasant taste.
Morgan Woods - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:

if that's whay you wanted to say then why not just say it instead of dressing it up with some made up sarky news "quote"?
GrahamD - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:

Well James will have a reasonable idea of what Rhapsody feels like so its fair for him to comment on that. If Rhapsody is considered E11, I don't see that it unreasonable to assume TWOL is E12 until any evidence by way of repeat ascents is offered.
McBirdy - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to GrahamD:
No, I'm sorry, I disagree. Dogging up one E11 on top-rope, without ever linking it clean let alone tying in to the sharp end does not, in my book, give the necessary foundation to give something E12.

That alone would leave us with doubts - but the falling grades of these other routes give grounds for scepticism.

When Chilam Balam was claimed, everyone was united in their scepticism. Did it matter? Of course it did. This is the same.

Ben
220bpm on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:
> But a big boooooo for taking the headlines with E11 and E10 which were E8 and E7/8. I stand by my earlier comments about reasonable scepticism about 'E12', and look forward to being proven wrong... but I apologise for the 'burger king' joke, which with hindsight was perhaps a bit harsh.
>
> Ben

You might want to take into account the fact that the WOL is no 8m high gritstone edge.
Walk of Life and Echo Wall are so far out on their own atm, nobody has much of an adea where they will eventually settle grade-wise. I'd place a large bet they are easily the biggest E-numbers in the country though.

Not like I know the bloke or anything, but imo JP is beyond reproach for his climbing ability and enthusiasm. So a one of his harder routes comes down a notch or two on the grade belt, that changes nothing and is no slight on his character at all.

Let wait and see until someone actually repeats the full Groove line, the WOL might take a tad longer!
Fraser on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to 220bpm:
> (In reply to Ben Darvill)
>
> So a one of his harder routes

If he gave it E10, then it's the second hardest (equal) he's actually lead, no?

> comes down a notch or two on the grade belt,

Isn't it 2 or 3 notches, going by the latest discussion?


This is all waaaay beyond me in terms of ability, and I'm honestly not trying to take anything away from anyone's achievements, but it's not inconceivable that being able to do a route and being able to grade it early on are two different things. Grades will always "bed in" over time and that's all that's happening just now. There, that's my tuppence worth.
martin heywood - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:
> (In reply to GrahamD)

>
> When Chilam Balam was claimed, everyone was united in their scepticism. Did it matter? Of course it did. This is the same.

It mattered to who?
Not sure it mattered to the possible/probable first ascensionist.
The grade has more or less been confirmed.
I do not see how this is the same.

fxceltic on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: "Climbing the route thinking that the ball-nut had no chance of holding a fall would feel much more scary than climbing it like we did - with 92% faith in the runner."

did JP not test the gear? I honestly dont know, but I would have thought if you are headpointing a route then you may as well test the gear as you guys did on a ground up ascent?
If he did then he would surely know that it would "probably" hold, just like you did, and therefore perhaps you could call into question his E10 grade.

and before anyone accuses me of slagging off JP, im not, I think hes an incredible climber, Im just curious about the above.
Andy Moles - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to 220bpm:

Isn't Walk of Life quite similar in style to Indian Face, in that they're bold, sustained slabs with marginal gear, possibly dodgy rock, death potential etc? It seems mind-boggling, given the notoriety of Indian Face and how few ascents it's had, that a route of similar style could be a whole THREE GRADES harder.

*generic 'but then what would I know?' disclaimer*
fxceltic on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to AMo: its certainly got to be worth one or two more grades for the increased technical difficulty i would have thought.
galpinos - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to AMo:
> (In reply to 220bpm)
>
> Isn't Walk of Life quite similar in style to Indian Face, in that they're bold, sustained slabs with marginal gear, possibly dodgy rock, death potential etc? It seems mind-boggling, given the notoriety of Indian Face and how few ascents it's had, that a route of similar style could be a whole THREE GRADES harder.
>

Well, Indian Face is 7b+ and WOL is 8b (I think). That's a whole lot harder!
tobyfk - on 09 Dec 2008
Slightly off-topic but can anyone confirm precisely how tall The Promise is? I can't help noticing that there are no photos that show both the top and bottom of the route.
Andy Moles - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to galpinos:

This is true, I'd just been thinking of the British grades 6c and 7a, which kind of belie the deficit!
McBirdy - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to galpinos:

If 8b with marginal gear is E12, then what is 8c solo?
galpinos - on 09 Dec 2008
galpinos - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:
> (In reply to galpinos)
>
> If 8b with marginal gear is E12, then what is 8c solo?

I've no idea, I'm no student of grading science. I was just pointing out to AMo that, if the respective french grades are correct, then WOL is indeed a lot harder climbing than IF.
LKPG on 09 Dec 2008 - c-dc6ae755.08-397-6c6b701.cust.bredbandsbolaget.se
In reply to galpinos:

But didn't Pearson take a fall high up in WOL and survived without any injuries? What i've read about IF is that falling high upp on it is out of the question. It still being three grades easier seems a bit odd to me, but then again i'm nowhere near those grades.
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to LKPG:
> (In reply to galpinos)
>
> But didn't Pearson take a fall high up in WOL and survived without any injuries? What i've read about IF is that falling high upp on it is out of the question. It still being three grades easier seems a bit odd to me, but then again i'm nowhere near those grades.

There is nice soft grass at the bottom and if when you come off you run down the slab then bounce you should be ok - see Johnny Dawes video for further IF survival betas.
galpinos - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to LKPG:

I've no idea of the survival statistics/beta for either route. I seem to remeber reading that JP had to solo pretty high up to get the first bit of gear above a bad landing and the hardest climbing was in the unprotected part.

There are lots of factors to consider and it's nigh on impossible to bring them all together without some experience of the routes imho.
lowersharpnose - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:

If 8b with marginal gear is E12, then what is 8c solo?

8c solo is 8c.

A solo of a poorly protected E8 would be exactly that - a solo of an E8.

That's probably not what you mean though.

lsn
Yonah on 09 Dec 2008 - ppc15.marlab.ac.uk
In reply to Ben Darvill:

Dear Ben

I don't think anyone is trying to stop you from questioning grades. But everyone is already painfully aware of the point you keep repeating, as if it were revelation. People would just prefer you to be a bit more sensitive, and to have a slightly more subtle understanding of the situation.

We all know that grading things is neither easy nor exact. If a climber turns out to have been over-grading routes the resultant impact on his/her reputation is all the punishment he/she requires. There is no need for you to go charging in, brandishing your sword of truth, particularly when the truth is not known to you.

Instead just take a breath and be thankful that you will never have to grade a route that anyone will ever be interested in.
gallam1 - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to JR:

"I didn't have the ladder/pads in the hole, just 2 pads covering the block you start off (assuming the same as the yanks) and an extra one on the block behind I thought I might smack my head on. I was intending to put a lid on but thought it would annoy me so swapped the helmet for a pad on the boulder."

The funny thing about all of this is that, whilst admirably honest, I don't think ANY of the reported repeats of this route are actual repeats of James Pearson's ascent. The mats are obviously a psychological crutch on this route, and JR still thinks its E8.

James Pearson has plainly taken the sport forward in the last few years, just as the big man from Bradford did before him. It is silly to suggest that he could mistake an E7 for an E10.

PeakDJ on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Yonah:

There speaks the voice of reason! Well said.
McBirdy - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Yonah:

Dear Yonah,

I'm not entirely sure what your patronising and condescending email adds to this debate, but I thank you for it anyway. Everyone is entitled to a voice on here - and no-one is forcing anybody to listen.

Respectfully yours,

Ben
petejh on 09 Dec 2008 - host86-175-32-1.wlms-broadband.com
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

It looks to me like James Pearson has just been unfortunate enough to have put up some brilliant routes just prior to the onset of a perfect re-grading shitstorm. Probably made worse that just before said shitstorm he let his great achievements be ramped up by the hyperbole of the climbing media. Speaks volumes to me about the dangerous relationship between climbing/publicity that JP just onsighted E8 but has shied away from publicising it.

Oh and props to Ben Darvill:

The Beautifull and the Damned is highball Fb8b and estimated E9

Evilution in The Buttermilks - highball 8a+ and estimated E8.

Superbloc - highball Fb8a or E8 7a

Flight of the Bumblebee at Buttermilks - highball Fb7c or estimated E8

Toyboy - highball Fb7c+ or E7 7a

Renegade Master - highball Fb7c or E7/8

The Promise - highball Fb 7b+ or E10 7a

Given you used an arbitrary three font grades per E grade... seems reasonable.. or even four, that would make The Promise E7, 8 tops.

Good to see a bit of irreverent logic from Ben Darvill at least. If the mags, DVD producers, North Face etc hadn't laid on the hyperbole in the first place than we wouldn't be having this bitch fest now.

It begs the question: would as many people buy committed if they knew they it contained 'a highball Fb7b+' instead of 'Last Great Problem E10' or Committed 2 if TWOL was graded E10 instead of E12??

I'ld bet it would change things.


bendurance - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Monk:

Short gritstone routes cannot compare to Gogarth or Cloggy etc.

I completely agree.

Therefore routes with very hard technical moves on will get high grades.

I understand the grading system thanks. My point being that it appears sometimes that the technical element is given too much weighting in comparision with the 'commitment' element (danger and psychological factors), similiar to how many people forget just how much harder onsighting is than headpointing.

It's not broken.

I agree and havnt said otherwise, I just think it is misused quite often and there needs to be more consensus on the above. How can you compare the overall difficulty of routes that get repeated in an afternoon, ground up, with routes like IF. IMHO a different ball game notwithstanding the difference in technical grade.

But thats just a personal opinion, everyone is entitled to one and it doesnt mean were slagging anyone off.

vass on 09 Dec 2008 - 80.169.189.68 whois?
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Just amused myself for 20 minutes by reading this thread. I am intrigued by the concept that average climbers are not 'qualified' to given an opinion on these issues.

Many people seem to forget that climbing is a sport. I'm sure there is a deeply spiritual side to climbing, particularly if you're French, but it's still a sport. People who enjoy participating in a sport (at any level) both admire and criticise those at the peak of that sport. It is what links participating to spectating.

I play rugby badly. I heap praise on Danny Cipriani when his confidence and ability results in a matchwinning debut for England. I criticise him when he gives away cheap tries.

I play cricket badly. I heap praise on Kevin Pietersen when his confidence and ability allows him to play the shots that result in a century to win the ashes. I criticise him when he gives away his wicket cheaply.

I climb badly. I heap praise on James Pearson when his confidence and ability allows him to climb an obviously stunning line. I criticise him when his climbs are downgraded following subsequent ascents.

I will never climb E10. I will never bat for England. I will never play Fly Half for England. But I will continue to do and follow all these sports and engage in the debate that surrounds them. It is not a matter of right or wrong, it's simply what makes them enjoyable. As they say, opinions are like assholes -everyone has one and they all stink.

One thing I do know is that if I was James/Danny/Kevin I wouldn't really care what people sitting at computers thought (especially me)...
LKPG on 09 Dec 2008 - c-dc6ae755.08-397-6c6b701.cust.bredbandsbolaget.se
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

So The Promise is 'bout fb 7b+ and has a height of an average highball boulderproblem. How on earth could JP have thought it's e10? It seems to me that it wouldn't be e10 even without the runner because of it's fairly modest height and (relativly) low bouldergrade.
Andy Moles - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to vass:

Climbing isn't a sport in the way rugby and cricket are, though the media is propelling it towards being more like one. For a start those games are necessarily competitive, whereas climbing is not (though of course in many ways it is...), in that you can challenge yourself on your own terms and not an opponent's.

Also professional sportsmen are treated like demigods, whereas top climbers tend to be (in my experience) down to earth people you can chat to at the crag, in the pub or whatever. I think it would be a shame for climbing to end up with the same status as a mere sport.
Getyourrocksoff on 09 Dec 2008 - 217.118.117.219 whois?
In reply to Ben Darvill:

Grading cannot be an exact science and presumably many factors will contribute to how hard a route or problem is - physical differences between climbers, differing approaches to technique, differing strength ratios, mental state. One day you may be feeling bold and with it mentally, other days, for inexplicable reasons, the mental state may be more fragile leading to an "impression" that a climb is perhaps more difficult than it is.

I'll never have the ability to hit these heights and put grades on climbs but i'm not sure that extremely able and strong climbers (in the absence of manifest deception) could ever really be criticised for getting a grade wrong, especially in the upper and unchartered levels and these guys have my total respect.

It seems to be the obsession and insistence of the climbing press and public that these guys feel the need to give new climbs grades and feel constantly under pressure to have to justify their position.
orge - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:
Whilst everyone is entitled to their voice/opinion, I'm left wondering what your real motive is. Would you be so quick to rubbish James's ascents/grades if he was Scottish? If not, then I suggest you take your agenda elsewhere because it has nothing to do with the climbers, the routes or even climbing in general; and its particularly out of place on this news thread.

On topic:
Congrats to Ben and Pete! I hope that the weather window continues into the rest of this week. Looking forward to hearing about more ascents.

J
mark s - on 09 Dec 2008
reading some of these replies and comments on this topic and a few others has left me shakin my head.what a bunch of fooking moaning tw*ts climbers can be.First some of the comments about james,who me and andi have known since he started climbing and i have worked with for a while.i found them offensive,you couldnt meet a nicer lad.
i'm bored sick of all this g-up talk and font grades for routes,cant use mats.how many people are actually out there doing these hard routes?not many.you'd think most climbers were by the talk.

well done to ben pete and jon.
Adam Lincoln - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to mark s:

Mark, climbing is full of Ben Darvil's, who have nothing better to do than bitch and moan about people on the internet. He has made his point over and over like a stuck record. He can dress it up how he likes, but at the end of the day, it still comes across as bitchy and moaning.

Ben and others, get out more and enjoy climbing, all that anger inside you is not good.
Michael Ryan - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Adam Lincoln:

Less of the negativity Adam - it's becoming a bad habit of yours.

All are entitled to their opinion, even you - but please refrain from moaning and bitching about other posters. It's not pretty.

Cheers and happy climbing,

Mick
Michael Ryan - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Adam Lincoln:

Oh and, a general life note to you and others.

If someone disagrees with you it doesn't mean they are being negative.

Similarly if someone is criticised it doesn't make them a bad person.


mark s - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: but criticising is easy behind a computer screen.bit like road rage,as soon as you come face to face they shut up.also a lot of people talking about top end e grades wouldnt know one from a poke in the eye.
Richard Bradley - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Adam Lincoln)
>

>
> Similarly if someone is criticised it doesn't make them a bad person.

That would make you really bad eh? :-)
Richard Bradley - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Franco Cookson: But shirley a thread is a method of dissemination?
Franco Cookson OLD - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Richard Bradley:
> (In reply to Franco Cookson) But shirley a thread is a method of dissemination?

Iy, tis.
In reply to Franco Cookson:

> Iy, tis.

Icelandic? Faeroe?
Michael Ryan - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to mark s:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)

> but criticising is easy behind a computer screen

Yes it is.

> bit like road rage,as soon as you come face to face they shut up

Not necessarily no.


> also a lot of people talking about top end e grades wouldnt know one from a poke in the eye.

The people talking about the top end grades are generally the people who have climbed top end grades.

As regards The Promise - the people in the know are James Pearson, Kevin Jorgeson, Alex Honnold, Pete Robins, Ben Bransby, John Roberts and Jack Geldard......Oh and Miles Gibson!!!

Some of these folks have been reported on, had video displayed, been quoted at the UKClimbing.com News page and in articles.....all concerning their ascents of The Promise

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/

One of them who had practiced the route on a top rope before the lead said E10 with a Font grade of 8A. That would be the first ascensionist.

Three others who had also practiced the route on a top rope before the lead said E8.

Of the two of them who hadn't practiced the route on a top rope, but did this climb without rehaersal from the ground up, one said E7, one said E8. By the way, these are two of the most experienced grit climbers in the UK.

Different styles have been used and over different time periods - one ascent took an hour.

Five people who have done this route said Font 7b+ not Font 8a as offered by the first ascensionist.

All this will lead to people asking questions. There are a lot of anomalies there regarding grades - both difficulty and fall potential, gear quality, styles of ascents, mats or no mats, top rope rehearsal via onsight ground up, erosion even, ladders and back to the grade.

There are sub arguments and discussions ..... The headpoint Sheffield crew versus the Ground Up North Wales crew.......The headpoint Sheffield crew versus The ground-up Sheffield. People who know James versus people who don't know James. The UKB massive versus the UKC massive (both the same massive actually but don't tell anyone) Grades for publicity versus I've no freakin clue how to grade...... add more, there are tons of them.

So let people ask questions...... even if they are happy at Diff (I am) or as many readers are at UKC doing the cutting edge trad, sport, bouldering and alpine..... and then all of us inbetween.

And look.... I'll say it again... Down grading, Over grading, sandbagging, and grade arguments are nothing new. They aren't personal. It is how we are.

Enjoy it..... if that's your thing.


Simon - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> The UKB massive versus the UKC massive (both the same massive actually but don't tell anyone)


ho ho!

;0)
Franco Cookson OLD - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

away mick, non of us have climbed E7- except gerald maybe, so why should we bother discussing it?
Fraser on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Gerald who?
Michael Ryan - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> away mick, non of us have climbed E7- except gerald maybe, so why should we bother discussing it?

........because we and you can.

McBirdy - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Adam Lincoln:

Firstly, in response to: "some of the comments about james,who me and andi have known since he started climbing..." - well... enough said. Hardly an objective opinion is it?

Adam, like you I put my name in full on UKC - I'm not some faceless cowardly moron hiding behind a computer. I'd be having these same discussions face to face with whoever wanted to talk to me about it. The fact that you happen to disagree with me isn't in itself a good reason to dismiss my opinion as invalid. As someone who isn't on the mailing list of either the JP or DM fan club, I probably have a more balanced opinion than some of the groupies posting on this thread.

In response to 'ogre', whoever that is, I find your suggestion that my views on JPs over-grading binge are down to racism or sectarianism offensive. I would be saying the same about DM, SM, DB or anyone else for that matter all else being equal.

Ben
Adam Lincoln - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:
> (In reply to Adam Lincoln)
> Adam, like you I put my name in full on UKC

Fair play for using your real name.
ads.ukclimbing.com
andi turner - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

It's also worth remembering that James isn't the only sponsored climber in the country. There's a good deal of publicity involved in down grading a route, it's certainly more newsworthy than simply repeating it, it's all a different angle on the same theme.

The Nth ascent of a route can be resurected by: ground-upping, pad-pointing, down grading, or simply proposing a french grade to a route; all of which have made internet headlines over the past six months or so.

Here's to sixth ascents, font grades, french grades for trad routes and trad grades for soloed sport routes, ball nuts, step ladders, 'looks like a highball to me', so many pads that we don't need them all and the realisation that I'll probably never actually on-sight a route. This is how I'll remember 2008.
Smelly Fox - on 09 Dec 2008
In reply to andi turner:

> Here's to sixth ascents, font grades, french grades for trad routes and trad grades for soloed sport routes, ball nuts, step ladders, 'looks like a highball to me', so many pads that we don't need them all and the realisation that I'll probably never actually on-sight a route. This is how I'll remember 2008.

Quality!

Hope your well Andi.
orge - on 10 Dec 2008
In reply to Ben Darvill:
2 clicks from my profile and you'll have my real name and town where I live; I have nothing to hide. As for your offence, I just can't reconcile your opinions on James and DM as merely coincidence. However, I'm not willing to debate this further on a thread which is actually intended to congratulate the achievement's of three other climbers. Message me if you feel strongly about it.

J
In reply to orge:

> 2 clicks from my profile and you'll have my real name

I'm not so interested in your name I'm just jealous because "My week also consists of a mashup of snowboarding, salsa, badminton, gym, fine-art and politics" sounds like such good fun! :-)
orge - on 10 Dec 2008
In reply to TobyA:
I must update my profile...

J
Bulls Crack - on 10 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

The Promise, whilst clearly very hard, has to be the least photogenic hard route around - it could be E3 from the photo's.
Jus - on 10 Dec 2008
In reply to Bulls Crack:

well apparently not very hard. font7b+ is not hard, hell I can climb that hard.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.