/ NEWS: Dave MacLeod Repeats Indian Face

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UKC News - on 29 Jun 2010
[Cloggy East Buttress, 3 kb]Scottish climber Dave MacLeod has repeated The Indian Face (E9 6c) on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, North Wales.

MacLeod climbed the route in less than ideal conditions yesterday, just before a large patch of rain enveloped much of Snowdonia's mountains.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=56039

BALD EAGLE - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Amazing news. Superb effort from a top man and climber. Well done Dave!
RockSteady on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to BALD EAGLE:

HUGE NEWS! Very exciting. Can't wait to see what Dave has to say and to see the video footage!

Well done Dave; you consistently prove that you're right at the top of the game.
Mr. K - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News: Now that's some video footage I'm looking forward to seeing! Well done Dave!
Poco Loco - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Wow! Well done Dave.
highclimber - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News: At least we know this isn't a wind-up!
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

brilliant news...!

back up to orkney now i guess, hope the weather improves...!

cheers
gregor
Justin T - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Bon effort!
Tam Stone on 29 Jun 2010 - 82.132.139.148 whois?
In reply to UKC News: Top class!!
mountain.martin - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:
Great effort, imagine setting off up there wondering if the rain might start again.
Jonny2vests - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Is this really news? ;-)
MRJ - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:
I guess that answers Jamie's question.

Funny that he seemed not really keen on it before but did it now. I wonder if it kinda ate away at the back of his mind and he just had to get on it.
Dom Whillans on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:
well done that man.
Stefan Kruger on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Awesome effort, Dave - how does it rank with your other hard trad ascents?
SGD - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News: Tanfastic news!!!

Dave seems to like pulling off great ascents in less than ideal conditions. (sling shot, Walk of Life)

can't wait to see any video footage..... :)
Hardonicus - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to SGD: Birkett better get his ass down to Wales tout de suite!
McBirdy - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Good effort Dave! Big news!

Ben
Shani - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Stunning achievement. Well done Dave!
peewee2008 - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to SGD: and did he find two hands off rests on it?
Tom Last - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to peewee2008:
> (In reply to SGD) and did he find two hands off rests on it?

Yeah knee bar I 'eard.
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Fraser on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Excellent news - very well done that man. Bring on the footage!
hwackerhage - on 29 Jun 2010
That should tidy up the 'to do' list and answer a few questions!

Congratulations, excellent news!
niggle - on 29 Jun 2010
Can't wait to see his comments on why he decided to go back.
cyberpunk - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News: But this route was onsight soloed a couple of months back. This is hardly news. Only joking. Well done Dave.
sutty on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to niggle:

>Can't wait to see his comments on why he decided to go back.

Probably was the right moment in time for him. He would have said it was not for him but the urge to do it got too much. At least that is what I would be thinking.
ksjs - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to sutty: i understand Dave realised that he may have been on the wrong line during his first attempts hence decision to return
IainAM on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to ksjs:
> (In reply to sutty) i understand Dave realised that he may have been on the wrong line during his first attempts hence decision to return

Yeah, I read that too. It's just brilliant he got back on it.
sutty on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to ksjs:

That makes sense, thanks.
irish paul - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to ksjs:
> (In reply to sutty) i understand Dave realised that he may have been on the wrong line during his first attempts hence decision to return


I wonder what grade that wrongline goes at then....
Liam M - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News: Amazing.

I'm still not sure I can see the 'Indian Face' on that photo posted on the article though!
M. Edwards on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Ascent of the year. Good effort man.

Mark
mattrm - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Brilliant news. Glad to see it's been repeated. Well done Dave. Can't wait to see the footage!
ericinbristol - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Liam M:

Dawes says it is the whole east buttress, the ledges down from the pinnacle are the head dress and you only see the indian face when it has been snowing.
Tom Last - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Eric Herring:
> (In reply to Liam M)
>
> Dawes says it is the whole east buttress,

That right, you can't see it on the Rockfax picture, but it's visible in the pic on the OP of this newsflash.
James Jackson on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Wow. Bon effort!
Skyfall - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Am genuinely interested in his comments on the grade... and his motivation.

Superb effort.

Skyfall - on 29 Jun 2010
Gresham's account of it in the current Cloggy guide is truly inspirational and terrifying in equal measures. I look forward to hearing of Dave's experience on it.
Tom_Harding - on 29 Jun 2010
Biggest UK news for the last 10 years?
niggle - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Tom_Harding:

> Biggest UK news for the last 10 years?

Maybe - I'd plump for Gresham's repeat of Equilibrium or Dave's own ascent of Rhapsody as maybe more ground-breaking though.
Hardonicus - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Tom_Harding:
> Biggest UK news for the last 10 years?


Amazing how a repeat of a route climbed in 1988 (with no discernable improvement in style) can be contemplated as such.

Indian Face - Most futuristic route of its time?
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Serpico on 29 Jun 2010 - 92.16.23.171 whois?
In reply to Tom_Harding:
> Biggest UK news for the last 10 years?

It depends, if by UK news you mean UK CLIMBING news,

...and if by CLIMBING you mean Trad,

...and if by Trad you mean headpointed repeats of E9 and below,

then yes, it probably is.

JSA - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Hardonicus:
> (In reply to Tom_Harding)
> [...]
>
>
> Amazing how a repeat of a route climbed in 1988 (with no discernable improvement in style) can be contemplated as such.
>
> Indian Face - Most futuristic route of its time?

Ahem...1986.
Michael Gordon - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Tom_Harding:

It's huge news but it's still only a repeat. Dave's first ascent of Echo Wall for example was a much more important event.
Tom_Harding - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Hardonicus: I said biggest peice of news, not biggest climbing acheavment! ;-)

It will be intresting to see if any other wads give it a go now the spell is broken.
Jonny2vests - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to Tom_Harding)
> [...]
>
> It depends, if by UK news you mean UK CLIMBING news,
>
> ...and if by CLIMBING you mean Trad,
>
> ...and if by Trad you mean headpointed repeats of E9 and below,
>
> then yes, it probably is.

Beat me to it.
The New NickB - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Tom_Harding:
> (In reply to Hardonicus)
>
> It will be intresting to see if any other wads give it a go now the spell is broken.

You are aware that this is the fourth ascent, that said well done Dave.

Tom_Harding - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to The New NickB: Yes i am quite aware thank you, it hasent seen ascent in 20 years so it has built up such a reputation that many climbers who would be perfectly able to get up it dont becasue they are scared/intimidated/sensible etc etc. Now that it has been climbed recently people will gain intrest and see it as a possible project rather then the mythical beast.

Just my two cents
Lemony - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Tom_Harding: 14 years
George Ormerod - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Now this is news.

Nice one.
Tom_Harding - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Lemony: oh yea, it obviously not the scary nature of the route that has kept back second ascentionists away, they just havent had time to get up there and climb it. Give it another 14 years and it will be as poppular as TPL.

14, 20, who cares its a long time.
Crofty - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News: Well done Dave, look forward to seeing the footage.
Ackbar - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News: I do not think I will be watching the video of IF. The climb is a myth and I don't think I want that to change. Dawes description is enough for me.
Impromptu - on 29 Jun 2010
Another great moment written upon this crucible of world climbing...
I wonder when it will get a none British ascent ?
Great news, well done.
The New NickB - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Tom_Harding:
>
> 14, 20, who cares its a long time.

You will have the Police at your door with that sort of attitude.

The route had two ascents in 96, if that didn't kill it's reputation, the country's leading climber of hard dangerous routes climbing it isn't going trigger 50 ascents over the summer.

Michael Gordon - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Ackbar:

The myth has been constructed. The climb is just a line up a piece of rock.
Dangerous Dave - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News: It would be good if one of the people who have climed indian face would go and repeat julian lines e8 on the shelterstone slab icon of lust. That would give a good idea of how hard Icon really is!
Brendan - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Dangerous Dave: Has anyone repeated Icon of Lust? It looks well scary.
220bpm on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Another plumb line in the bag. Go Dave :-)

Best of luck on the SJH project!
johncoxmysteriously - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to M. Edwards:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> Ascent of the year.

Until he does his Hoy route, anyway.

>Good effort man.

Indeed.

jcm
In reply to UKC News: Anyone know when he's gonna try TPS?
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Gordon Stainforth - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

He could probably climb TPS with just one foot and no hands, just by hopping on one toe (as I suspect Johnny D could too).
John2 - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: I'm sorry, I'm not attempting to decry Dave's ascent, which was obviously a fantastic achievement, but there are even older routes in the UK which have received fewer ascents than the Indian Face. Terminal Twilight in Huntsman's Leap in Pembroke was first climbed by Pat Littlejohn in 1984, without the use of chalk, and it did not receive a second ascent in any style whatsoever, until 2005 despite the attentions of a number of well-known chalk-bearing suitors. The first true reascent was made last year by James MacHaffie.
AJM - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to John2:

From the guide, Every Step of the Way would seem to beat even that, '86-'09...

Going to be interested to see his views on quality, now he found the right line. Grade too, although this one has had more repeats than some others he has done.
Silum - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to John2:

lol, this is why I love UKC, theres always 'someone' to make a retarded comment. Putting Terminal Twilight on par with one the most gorgeous lines this country has to offer.

If its unrepeated/neglected your after (hard or easy) I'd say we'll be here a long day compiling the list... Bloody hell, Indian Face was just repeated, give it a rest!

...Awesome Dave, with every ascent your becoming Britains hardest climber, look forward to hearing whats next.
John2 - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Silum: 'Bloody hell, Indian Face was just repeated, give it a rest!'

Always a pleasure to debate with the informed. Indian Face was repeated in 1994 by Nick Dixon and Neil Gresham.

Obviously, you know more about this topic than I do - what should I give it a rest from?
John2 - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to AJM: I'm suggesting that the first true reascent of Terminal Twilight took place in 2008, after a 1984 first ascent. I'm also pointing out that the first ascent was made without the use of chalk. Pat Littlejohn is a sadly undersung figure in the history of British climbing, and I suspect that a number of his first ascents deserve higher grades.
Skyfall - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to John2:

agree Pat is an unsung hero in the UK climbing scene nowadays, but what evidence do you have of undergrading?
AJM - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to John2:

You mentioned 2005 as well, which confused me. Without knowing anything about the style, the length of time is pretty impressive whichever date you choose :)
Randy Baird on 29 Jun 2010 - 207.228.182.60 whois?
In reply to UKC News:

Superb!
Dangerous Dave - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to Brendan: Not been repeated yet and is guaranted to be harder than E8!
JKinsella - on 29 Jun 2010
In reply to John2: It may have been repeated in 1994, but its also been 'just repeated'.
johncoxmysteriously - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to JonC:

I think the list of people who've failed on Terminal Twilight is pretty good evidence it was undergraded! Still, agree in general that PL's grades are spot on in my experience.

jcm
simes303 - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> Is this really news? ;-)

Yes of course it is.

Anyone interested in good climbing writing should read Dawes' "Not necessarily about the Indian Face" which you can find here:
http://www.johnnydawes.com/Indian_Face.htm
and Gresham's section about Indian Face in his book called Preposterous Tales.

Mark Westerman - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to John2:
> Pat Littlejohn is a sadly undersung figure in the history of British climbing, and I suspect that a number of his first ascents deserve higher grades.

He isn't in my book.

Anyway well done Dave. Soon as I saw the headline it brought a smile to my face.

Stirling.

cheers
mark
220bpm on 30 Jun 2010
Jonny2vests - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to simes303:
> (In reply to jonny2vests)
> [...]
>
> Yes of course it is.
>
> Anyone interested in good climbing writing should read Dawes' "Not necessarily about the Indian Face" which you can find here:
> http://www.johnnydawes.com/Indian_Face.htm
> and Gresham's section about Indian Face in his book called Preposterous Tales.

You need to invest in an obvious joke radar before some small children steal your sweeties.
Jonny2vests - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to John2:
> (In reply to Silum) 'Bloody hell, Indian Face was just repeated, give it a rest!'
>
> Always a pleasure to debate with the informed. Indian Face was repeated in 1994 by Nick Dixon and Neil Gresham.

The term 'Repeat' isn't exclusively used for the second ascent John. And I'd hardly call Pat Littlejohn 'undersung'. He's one of the most celebrated individuals in British climbing.

In reply to 220bpm:


Very, very interesting. Yet again Dave comes over as both really rather smart and self aware and, I guess as a result, incredibly sensible. His groundedness almost underplays his achievements. I loved the Dawes quote about the Dragon coming to get you!

Claire is also clearly a very important part of the process as well - IIRC reading Gresham's superb account of his repeat, he reduced his belayer - Airlie Anderson to tears during his lead of IF. Quite a comparison to Claire's "it's just a bit of rock. Get it led!"

A great climb, a very interesting bit of writing about it too. Well done Dave (and team).

Serpico on 30 Jun 2010 - 92.16.31.194 whois?
In reply to 220bpm:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> Nice blog update: http://davemacleod.blogspot.com/2010/06/indian-face.html

So, soft E9 it is then. Does this mean we'll finally see an end to the UKC armchair graders proclaiming it MUST be E10 because people aren't queuing up to repeat it?
Indian Face has been embarrassingly over-hyped, however it is a massively important piece of UK climbing history and hopefully it will now be viewed in the proper perspective.
Tom_Harding - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to John2: Or the biggest roof climb in britiain, laughing arthur. Again waiting for a second ascent.
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ksjs - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to The New NickB: not sure that Caff's been on it?
Impromptu - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

A great effort, and nice(?)to see everybody hotly debating 4 historically gifted climbers, anybody who climbs cannot help but be inspired by these guys.

Completing this climb on this wall has always formed a further catalyst for the individuals that perform at such a staggering level of competence (a little more fuel for their flame), which in turn furthers development of the art of climbing as a whole; The achievement affects all who climb, be that a Diff climber or an E9+ climber, we all dream...and most likely we will all try a little harder next time we are out on the rock.

As for the Welsh Dragon chances are you wonít see it, but every time I have climbed on Cloggy itís always been breathing down my neck (LOL)

jkarran - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to Brendan:

> Has anyone repeated Icon of Lust? It looks well scary.

No idea but even getting to it is a mission in itself. Does look incredible though!
jk
Skyfall - on 30 Jun 2010
Dave's blog entry suggests he placed gear on the lead on his first attempt on it of the day. Is that an improvement on previous ascents? I can't recall if they had gear placed beforehand.
JM - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News: The hype around some British trad routes gets blown out of all proportion and they can therefore be used as a good media tool. I'm not saying that is the case here and Dave openly says on his blog his desire to keep trying dangerous trad routes had to driven by personal reasons rather than expectation. But, too put it in perspective, Dave has climbed Fr9a. This route is only 7b+, 9 grades below his top redpoint level. It is like someone with a top repoint level of 7b+ leading (on poor gear) or even soloing a 6a which would be a path, especially after pre-practice.
hwackerhage - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to jkarran:

Getting there is no problem: 2 h from the Coire Cas car park to the Shelterstone on a decent path.
Jonny2vests - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to JM:
> (In reply to UKC News) But, too put it in perspective, Dave has climbed Fr9a. This route is only 7b+, 9 grades below his top redpoint level. It is like someone with a top repoint level of 7b+ leading (on poor gear) or even soloing a 6a which would be a path, especially after pre-practice.

Didn't know he'd ticked 9a... But either way, its not like you can rely on powering through or stamina. Its a very insecure slab, so does breaking it down to sport grades make any sense?
royal - on 30 Jun 2010
I dont know if anyone else would agree but I think it goes a long way to putting Daves other harder routes into context. Its hard for the average joe like myself to really appreciate the level he's climbing at until it's put up against something with such an important and well known history as Indian Face?
jkarran - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to hwackerhage:

Getting a rope on Icon is a lot more work than the fairly short walk in ;)
jk
chris_j_s - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to jonny2vests:

Of course! Sport grades aren't just used to grade overhanging routes! The first half of Walk of Life is a steep slab and Dave thought that was worth 8a+.

Dave climbed Rich Simpson's route A Muerte in 2007 which I think is considered to be 9a.
Offwidth - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to JM:

"It is like someone with a top repoint level of 7b+ leading (on poor gear) or even soloing a 6a which would be a path, especially after pre-practice." Only if that 6a had snappy holds. If it were such a path Dave's acheivements would be much less and the number of ascents much more.
Jonny2vests - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to chris_j_s:
> (In reply to jonny2vests)
>
> Of course! Sport grades aren't just used to grade overhanging routes! The first half of Walk of Life is a steep slab and Dave thought that was worth 8a+.


Yeah, but they don't seem to make as much intuitive sense (to me). I suppose mainly because I haven't been on many sport graded slabs!
Richard Hall - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to Offwidth: So, 6a with snappy holds, still a path.
McBirdy - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to JM:
> "It is like someone with a top repoint level of 7b+ leading (on poor gear) or even soloing a 6a which would be a path, especially after pre-practice."

I can't agree with that! Something with tiny holds and rubbish 'feet' on (slightly) snappy rock is never going to be a path. Thinking like that could get you killed. It might be physically well below Dave's limit, but at this level nothing is certain.

Ben

Si dH - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to JM:
> (In reply to UKC News) The hype around some British trad routes gets blown out of all proportion and they can therefore be used as a good media tool. I'm not saying that is the case here and Dave openly says on his blog his desire to keep trying dangerous trad routes had to driven by personal reasons rather than expectation. But, too put it in perspective, Dave has climbed Fr9a. This route is only 7b+, 9 grades below his top redpoint level. It is like someone with a top repoint level of 7b+ leading (on poor gear) or even soloing a 6a which would be a path, especially after pre-practice.

While you're of course right that 7b+ is a lot easier than 9a, this to me illustrates the achievement very well, because I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who have redpointed 7b+ but would think long and hard before soloing most E1s (at least onsight) which usually are around 6a ish. Obviosuly this depends on an individual's mindset.

Good effort Dave. It's nice to hear the comparison against other well-known hard routes.
johncoxmysteriously - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to JM:

>This route is only 7b+, 9 grades below his top redpoint level. It is like someone with a top repoint level of 7b+ leading (on poor gear) or even soloing a 6a which would be a path, especially after pre-practice.

Half-witted as this observation is, it does suggest a useful comparison for us punters.

I've never redpointed 7b+, but then I've never redpointed anything; I'm fairly confident I can stand as 'someone whose top redpoint grade is 7b+'. So let's do a thought experiment.

Archangel's about F6a (if that, frankly, but I'm being generous here)according to these daft re-classification schemes, I imagine. Let's imagine a route whose crux consisted of soloing Archangel a hundred feet above boulders. Would I have regarded doing that after pre-practice as 'a path'?

Would I f**k, is the answer. Any other 7b+ red-pointers out there who think that would be a path? If there were such a route, I think it would be lucky to see, ooh, say four ascents in 25 years.

jcm

JM - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: I'm sure Indian Face is a more secure style of climbing than something like Archangel!
johncoxmysteriously - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to JM:

Are you?

jcm
AJM - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to Si dH:

Si,

Surely the comparison is between your 7b+ redpointed soloing an E1 after practice, which is obviously a different kettle of fish from onsight soloing it...

I think the main thing for me would be the slabby tenuous nature of it. As someone who could maybe redpoint 7b+ given some application, I can see me soloing after practice cemetary gates more readily than superdirect, and thats not just because one is harder than the other, they just happen to be examples people are likely to have done close to each other. You could swap gates for a whole host of Pembroke e1s and get the same result.

AJm
Offwidth - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to JM:

Those would be secure snappy holds as opposed to that friable shipwreck on an arete then ;-)
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Darren Jackson - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Indian Face in the rain... Sweet Jesus.
George Ormerod - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to JM:
> (In reply to UKC News) The hype around some British trad routes gets blown out of all proportion and they can therefore be used as a good media tool.

You're arguing that Indian Face is a relative path for the top boys, and a good media tool. If both these are true, why has it only had 4 ascents?

JM - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to George Ormerod: There are probably many reasons but certainly not to do with the physical or even mental capability of todays top climbers. When routes are over hyped this often puts people off even taking the first non-commital step which is to look at a route on a top rope. Also, these types of routes often take a lot of time and effort to do. You have to have a period of decent dry weather, it is a relatively long walk in, it is hard to set up a top rope and you have to have a belay partner who if willing to slog up there just to mainly belay you. Finally, there is no denying the route is dangerous so you have to really want to do the route.
Dave Kerr - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Few demons laid to rest there then!
Alex1 - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to AJM:

A gearless 50m F6a slab would probably be E3/4 and there's plenty of F7b+ climbers who wouldn't touch that. A 7b+ slab is still going to feel very very thin no matter how good you are - take a look at some of the videos of very good climbers falling of 'easy' font slabs to get an idea. Well done to Dave anyway.
Derek O - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

In climbing as in tennis, good to see a Scot leading the way!
AJM - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to necromancer85:

It's quite rare for E3/4 to be headpointed in any case of course. I wonder though whether someone redpointing 7b+ who was interested in headpointing wouldn't be headpointing harder than E3/4 personally. If you believe the situations are comparable that would tie in with dave saying it wasn't that hard and trying to put it's difficulty in perspective.

As a thought experiment to try and bring it into grades we are more used to people headpointing, how hard do you think the average person who headpoints something like say Life Assurance can redpoint? A few grades harder than the notional E3/4 slab you mention so maybe another few French grades up - the redpoint equivalence suddenly looks about 7c-8a, which I can't believe... Obviously a very different route to your long slab, but I'm struggling to think of many suitable long routes that are common headpoints, mos of the easier usual suspects are grit or similar in length to it...
Jonny2vests - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to Ben Darvill:
> (In reply to JM)
> [...]
>
> I can't agree with that! Something with tiny holds and rubbish 'feet' on (slightly) snappy rock is never going to be a path. Thinking like that could get you killed. It might be physically well below Dave's limit, but at this level nothing is certain.
>
> Ben

My point exactly Ben. Sardine is 7b+, but its quite hard to ping off it without warning.

jkarran - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to AJM:

> As a thought experiment to try and bring it into grades we are more used to people headpointing, how hard do you think the average person who headpoints something like say Life Assurance can redpoint? A few grades harder than the notional E3/4 slab you mention so maybe another few French grades up - the redpoint equivalence suddenly looks about 7c-8a, which I can't believe... Obviously a very different route to your long slab, but I'm struggling to think of many suitable long routes that are common headpoints, mos of the easier usual suspects are grit or similar in length to it...

Perhaps not the right thread to continue this discussion but I'm not quite following what you're saying.

How hard is Life Assurance, V3/F6c+ (guessing here but presumably in the ballpark)? I guess someone able to redpoint that with a fair bit of work (several TR tries) will be able to do something pretty similar on bolts, 7a/+ maybe but it's essentially a boulder problem so who knows.
jk
AJM - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to jkarran:

What I meant was:

People were arguing over whether a headpoiint of a very bold tenuous 7b+ was a "path" to a 9a climber. Daves explanation of how hard he found it compared to say echo wall makes it sound like he didn't find it a massively challenging headpoint
People suggested that a similar difference would be a 7b+ redpointer soloing a well protected E1 or soloing a gearless E3/4 after practice, since that would be equivalent to the same sort of grade difference.
Because people headpointing E3/4 is fairly rare I don't have a feel for whether I would expect that to be a path if you redpoint 7b+ or not. The thought experiment was therefore to look at a grade people do headpoint, bold E5 or whatever, and see whether upping the sport grade a few notches as well (to try and give the same sort of difference in difficulty) gave a pair that looked sensible.

Hopefully that makes more sense...
GrahamD - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to AJM:

To be fair, DM is not your average 9a climber (in fact - is he currently classed as a 9a climber ?). I doubt the average 9a climber would deal as competently with IF
AJM - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to GrahamD:

Not that dissimilar to say trotter or favresse in terms of hardest French grades led on trad and sport I don't think, maybe bolder trad though although I'm not sure.

I don't think it matters though. For the comparison that's been suggested you need to compare him with a headpointer operating at those lower grades, not the pool of other 9a climbers...
johncoxmysteriously - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to jkarran:

LA's nowhere near 6c+. Probably only about 6a+, I'd guess. <Insert rant about stupidity of applying French grades to dangerous/tenuous trad routes here.>

<Insert Jon Read's and shark's reply.>

<Nurse, please put the usual stuff in reply to that and let me know if anything unusual comes up. Thanks.>

jcm
Impromptu - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to most:

Why don't you all sit back, take some 'beta' blockers and read the reports or talk with the '4' guys who have climbed the route, the people with vision, tenacity, and ability, they are all very eloquent in their descriptions,...all the answers are there, there is nothing to discuss...QED

Alternatively; please form an orderly queue at the base of the wall and wait for a break in the clouds Éļ:)
jkarran - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> (In reply to jkarran)
> LA's nowhere near 6c+. Probably only about 6a+, I'd guess. <Insert rant about stupidity of applying French grades to dangerous/tenuous trad routes here.>
> jcm

While I also suspect as much I didn't want to start another parallel-running grade scuffle, certainly not without having touched the holds :)

All these comparisons are a little pointless anyway, it's all well and good being able to redpoint F7-8-9whatever on what's probably a multi-day project, quite likely PE/stamina climbing on good holds in ridiculous steep terrain but a thin 7b+ slab is still a thin 7b+ slab and as such, easily slipped off no matter how strong you are. IF might have developed an excessive reputation over the years but it's still an impressive and newsworthy piece of climbing.

People suggesting it's the most newsworthy uk ascent in a decade seriously need to get out more :)

jk
Coel Hellier - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to jkarran:

> People suggesting it's the most newsworthy uk ascent in a decade seriously need to get out more :)

Dave's comment "Echo Wall is about 8c (IF is 7b+) and has poorer protection than Indian Face ..." makes one wonder about the grade of EW; that's quite a lot of French notches up. Will EW get onsighted in the next 50 years?
climbingsimon - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to jkarran)
>
> [...]
>
> Dave's comment "Echo Wall is about 8c (IF is 7b+) and has poorer protection than Indian Face ..." makes one wonder about the grade of EW; that's quite a lot of French notches up. Will EW get onsighted in the next 50 years?

Well, more sadly perhaps, will it get repeated in the next 50 years? Given the difficulty and the amount of sheer effort DM put in to get it clean and worked, not to mention a week shovelling snow from above it so it didn't get wet it is hard to see anyone else having the same personal attachment to it as him. I think he did pretty much move to Fort William to get time on the mountain ...

tobyfk - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to jkarran)
>
> LA's nowhere near 6c+. Probably only about 6a+, I'd guess. <Insert rant about stupidity of applying French grades to dangerous/tenuous trad routes here.>
>
> <Insert Jon Read's and shark's reply.>
>
> <Nurse, please put the usual stuff in reply to that and let me know if anything unusual comes up. Thanks.>

ROTFLMAO etc. Do you think you might have been spending too long on web forums, John?
Mutl3y - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News: Well done Dave - to armchair punters like me this is a very significant ascent. Really pleased for you.
Jon Read - on 30 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
well, I suppose it's a victory of sorts to see you admit to "ranting".
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ksjs - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to chris_j_s: or 8c+
chris_j_s - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to ksjs:
Well Adam Ondra said it was easy 9a but harder than 8c+ and I think he probably has enough 9a experience to trust his opinion...
Impromptu - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to chris_j_s: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, bump :)
Jamie B - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to Impromptu:

> Why don't you all sit back, take some 'beta' blockers and read the reports or talk with the '4' guys who have climbed the route, the people with vision, tenacity, and ability, they are all very eloquent in their descriptions,...all the answers are there, there is nothing to discuss.

Er, because that would largely negate the purpose of there being a Rocktalk forum?

People like to talk about things, it's what elevates us from Urang-Utans. All over the country non-experts will be discussing how best to manage the economy, or how they could have done a better job than Capello. Could they have got better results? Probably not, but it doesnt debar them from having an opinion.

Jamie B - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to ksjs:

> (In reply to chris_j_s) or 8c+

It was really hard to work out what you were referring to; I had to scroll back miles. If you quote some of the context you are replying to it makes following your tangent much easier for 3rd parties.

Hope I'm being helpful and this doesnt come across as sniping.

GrahamD - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to jkarran)
>
> [...]
>
> Dave's comment "Echo Wall is about 8c (IF is 7b+) and has poorer protection than Indian Face ..."

Given that IF is supposedly groundfall from the crux, its hard to see how something is worse protected ? maybe Scottish ground is just 'harder' than 'Welsh' ?
GrahamD - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

> People like to talk about things, it's what elevates us from Urang-Utans...

Different from, certainly, but "elevated from" is debatable.
a lakeland climber on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> (In reply to ksjs)
>
> [...]
>
> It was really hard to work out what you were referring to; I had to scroll back miles. If you quote some of the context you are replying to it makes following your tangent much easier for 3rd parties.

You don't have to scroll, just click on the underlined "In reply to" link to jump back to the message being replied to. However it does help to quote if the original message is a long way back in the list or as now is hidden by the "already ready" folding.

ALC
Jamie B - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to a lakeland climber:

> You don't have to scroll, just click on the underlined "In reply to" link to jump back to the message being replied to.

Cheers for the illumination; remarkably after all these years I didnae know that!
ksjs - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to chris_j_s: well Dave Graham said (i think) 8c+ so nah nah nah nah!
a lakeland climber on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

no probs.

Getting back on track: well done to Dave. Maybe one or two of the Welsh crowd might now be interested in looking at it given that it's been cleaned up.

As for grade: I'm in no direct position to comment as to whether IF is E9 or not (I've done Spreadeagle which felt tenuous enough for me!) but it's not uncommon for routes to be reassessed following the first few repeats. That applies to sport as well as trad. It doesn't mean the grading system is wrong, just that the overall consensus hasn't been reached yet.

Can't wait to see the video!
ALC
chris_j_s - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to ksjs:
:-p
ghisino - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to necromancer85:
> (In reply to AJM)
> A 7b+ slab is still going to feel very very thin no matter how good you are

out of the context of this particular route, i'm not 100% sure.

at least here on the continent, the sport grade of some slab climbs has little to do with their "securensess".

you can find some steep slabs with small sharp features for hands and feet that end up being a matter of technique and finger strenght, and are awarded a relatively high grade (usually somewhere in the 7's) because the average 6-grade climber doesn't have that technique and those fingers...
...but if you are above the requirements and get them really wired, they can feel quite "secure" on the actual lead, and if you are really strong in your fingers you can even get away with some small wobble.

then you have straightforward smear climbs that just require you to trust your sticky rubber and step on it, so they are theoretically open to many, even beginners, and they get a 6-something.


(mind it's not a rule, usually slab 7's are more unsecure than slab 6's, just not as often as you might expect)
sutty on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to ksjs:

To find a phrase or name in a thread, use Control f, a box will open at bottom of the page and you can put in the words you are looking for. Works on any site.
Impromptu - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
A rather tenous link, football/climbing, urang-utans LOL.
My post was wayyyyyyy back when E9 was E8 was E10 was 8b+- V10 whatever links etc,My comments should have gone by now ( I hope)...
Kinlochleven? ask Mr McLeod, he's only a midges piss away...anyhow you are right it is a discussion forum, I just thought the constructive nature and pats on the back was been yet again eroded by senseless grading debate (yep senseless),a debate along the lines of the quality of our current Trad climbing (as a separate entity to Sports and Bouldering) just seems to make me happier thatís all. I am in the Clachaig for a week 12th>, will buy you a dram...I am easy to spot 5' tall, broad shoulders hairy and Orange...Karl (Tiree)
lithos on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to Darren Jackson:
> Indian Face in the rain... Sweet Jesus.

yeah but Dave did walk of Life in the rain (with an injured shoulder) and that was E12
so he should be getting used to it by now :-)
Skyfall - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to lithos:

yes but it's part of the skill, getting your excuses lined up, just in case....
shark - on 01 Jul 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to jkarran)
>
> LA's nowhere near 6c+. Probably only about 6a+, I'd guess. <Insert rant about stupidity of applying French grades to dangerous/tenuous trad routes here.>
>
> <Insert Jon Read's and shark's reply.>
>
> <Nurse, please put the usual stuff in reply to that and let me know if anything unusual comes up. Thanks.>
>
> jcm


It takes exceptional intelligence to consistently fail to grasp something so obvious.
Tom Last - on 02 Jul 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Photos on Dave's blog now.

http://www.davemacleod.blogspot.com/
niggle - on 02 Jul 2010
In reply to Southern Man:

Smashin

I'm intrigued by the way the route gets described as a groove - looks pretty damn flat to me!
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Sankey - on 02 Jul 2010
In reply to Southern Man: Looks amazing, if that is the good hold...
sutty on 02 Jul 2010
In reply to niggle:

I wonder why they call it a slab as well, been on walls that steep.
Tom Last - on 02 Jul 2010
In reply to sutty:

Right, good point, like Great Wall just to the left and 5 E-grades easier!

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