/ NEWS: New Winter Route In Llanberis Pass - XI,10
Harrison has renamed his winter version Are you havin' it about the wooly mammoths? and offered a winter grade of XI,10...
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=59615
UPDATE: Now with photos.
Ey up, here we go again.
In reply to UKC News:
Is this some kind of wind up?
This is going to be fun!!! Especially as the TV is crap and I've got the cold!
Yup, first rule of ukc
"the harder you climb, the more valid your opinion"
It's hard to see from the photo how this route is in any better winter condition than Millstone was in Callumgate.
Can we see a wider shot?
Check the caption again, dude... That picture isn't the route
Maybe there is a conspiracy on UKC to get the volume up for the adverts?
True, I was marginally confused at first...
@UKC can you pinch one of DMMs pics for the article?
Well pointed out, should've read that more carefully. I'm very tired...that's my excuse.
It seems like a mistake that would be easy to make.
quality effort. can only ever dream of leading XI!!!!!
The DMM site says 'Dry tooling up the first part of the leaning wall Pete was surprised to discover three pegs before breaking out right out to the hanging ice-dagger'.
I bet he was. Shock! Horror! Steep piece of rock 10 minutes from the road in the Pass has an established route on it.
Something of a shame therefore that he didn't think to look at the guide first. I don't care how hard the route supposedly is - the icicle is not the main event here - scratching a way up a rock route is what this is about.
It's time for DMM to consider how they set out their stall I think - is this what they stand for? On their doorstep? I hope not.
DMM story: http://www.dmmclimbing.com/news.asp?nid=353&ngroup=2
Petes report on welsh winter wiki: http://welshwinterclimbs.wetpaint.com/page/North+Side+of+the+Pass
his partners account: http://www.simonfrost.blogspot.com/
and some relevant words from pete:
"NB. In light of the recent misguided activities at Millstone it's worth pointing out that this route is an obvious winter line (the 15m ice pillar hanging down the cliff gives it away) on a damp and unpopular cliff, but it would be totally unacceptable in my mind to climb this wall without the large hanging ice dagger in place. Any attempts to climb this route in anything other than the exceptional conditions which we encountered would be a negative step in my view Ė this definitely is not the cliff for practising dry-tooling. Practise if you must on the many dedicated M routes in the area and be there when conditions come in. (PH)
Great effort Pete, the line look absolutely stunning, that ice pillar looks fun. I'd love to repeat it, hopefully stays up long enough.
does this really deserve a mention on ukc top news? a 'winter route' thats been dry-tooled that is only 18m in height. does anyone really give a hoot about a route so short, that will probably never come in to real winter condition?
ukc used to be a good site for gathering good information, now it would seem it's a site full of crap.
Dubious harrison, dubious.
No - it's ok to dry-tool an existing route up to a hanging dagger...........apparently
"Start a few metres left of an old ring peg at 5m (which is not used). Climb straight up to a slanting break and follow this rightwards to the base of a vertical crack, climb the crack with difficulty to another horizontal break. Move right to gain the hanging ice, pull over onto a sloping ledge and continue up the ice pillar above. Belays are a long way back and are difficult to arrange.
Pete Harrison & Simon Frost, 26th December 2010. (Ground-up, no rests and no prior knowledge of the route or the wall. Iíve no doubt whatsoever that it warrants grade X 10 at least, I think it merits XI because of the sustained nature of the climbing but only further repeats will tell.) (photo in summer on p.160 of the new Llanberis guide)" From http://welshwinterclimbs.wetpaint.com/page/North+Side+of+the+Pass
"Pete worked the route ground up with a few rests, before pulling the ropes and going for the clean ascent with some style. Clearly the training had paid off! from Simon Frosts blog". Some confusion here surely?
would make sense to me, fits the continental profile much more than a scottish style winter route, though there isn't any precedent for it in the UK that i'm aware. Would be curious as to what M grade it would receive? an M8/9 wouldn't receive the same attention that a XI 10 does. It can still have an M grade if climbed on trad gear and not bolts.
Perhaps one of the UKC bod's who abused Callum could explain how this is different.
Well I blame the necessity of a climber needing to make news. UKC Im sure would have discussed how it portrayed this news as it involves one of its partners - that proud British company that hasa lot of its gear made abroad.
personally i think this is just as bad as the millstone incident as the climber didnt even bother to check the guide first and then when he realised it was a previous route he carried on regardless so to me its just as bad and i think ukc has made a mistake reporting this as ok but allowing the whole calum topic to be shot down
Id say the majority of DMM it is made in Llanberis and whatever they can't make to a high enough standard is out-sourced, fairy nuff I suppose, I think their soft goods are manufactured within Europe so still better for airmiles than China?
Just out of interest what do you think alot is? and what do you think DMM don't make in Llanberis?
Its a bloke drytooling to a small ice dagger and then climbing it. I think am new Grade V on the Orion face would be of greater news.
Whether you agree that the route is ethical or not the following still holds true:
-The route is significant as the first proposed X, XI in Wales, a massive grade anywhere.
-It is quite a unique route in Britain being dry tooling up to a free hanging icicle.
It's height is more than compensated for by it's difficulty and it's not pretending to be a big mountain route.
Pete has absolutely zero to do with DMM. Ray (Wood) who wrote the piece is doing one of his many jobs; to write significant news up from Welsh climbing scene (and of course DMM sponsored climbers as well) The DMM news would have been linked as this is where UKC would have heard about it as DMM were the first to report it.
A new grade V on the Orion face would indeed be more news worthy as it would require a new bit of the face to be discovered....not really going to happen that one is it?
Why don't you take that big chip off your shoulder, life will be so much more enjoyable?
How can a bloody great overhanging free-hanging fang of ice, strong enough to take a climber's weight, not be 'real' winter conditions? How do you think Mega Route X or the Shroud were first climbed? Didn't you record the FWA of a single pitch VD if the other year? How many more metres does a route have to be to be a valid?
Agree Toby, agree.
And as for it being insignificant compared to a new V on the Orion face, I do despair - it's a piece of climbing up there with the highest standards of difficulty achieved in the UK, it's potentially an ethical minefield, potentially a very new approach compared to most UK routes, very continental in nature, and a very cool looking piece of climbing to boot with that enormous icicle - how on earth that can be less significant than something of entirely average difficulty that would have to be a variation filler in at best I honestly don't know.
Listen to chummer, he almost definately knows what he is talking about better than you or I.
P.S You didn't rely answer my questions but hey ho..is that too much to ask from a lot of UKC now? See what i did there? ;)
Wrong again. I actually substantiated my argument with 2 two important factual points. Only after I'd done this did I deride you as a person in order to point out that you seem to have a chip on your shoulder which I hoped if I pointed it out to you you may take it off and as a consequence not be so bloody cynical.
I just look at the website and see how they sell themselves on the back of their proud history of making things in Wales but dont mention that they have things made in the Czech Rep.
I have DMM Xeno axes. I liek them. I buy DMM gear becasue I think its good. I dont buy it because I have a leek dangling between my legs.
Im not interested in in someone contriving a route by drytooling a block of stone with an icicle on it and giving it a grade to make news. I put forward my opinion on why I thought it had happened.
It appears to me to be similar to Scott Muir bolting a winter route in Scotland so that he can climb it and claim something tahts never been done before to simply satisfy a need to amke news fora sponsor.
> does this really deserve a mention on ukc top news? a 'winter route' thats been dry-tooled that is only 18m in height. does anyone really give a hoot about a route so short, that will probably never come in to real winter condition?
Would you also then agree that Dave's ascent of Anubis last year is also not newsworthy? I can't imagine its much longer and it looked to have much less ice than the Mammoth thing.
I for one think the route looks amazing! Good effort on the FA! I would be pooping myself pulling onto that fang!
The icicle could easily be reached via a ladder thus avoiding the dry tooling aspect of the route.
Also I think it's a bit optimistic to describe this as an 18 metre route. I was scratching around on the pinnacles of Glyder Fawr last week but have no intention of claiming that I've done a 3000' route.
I'm not quite sure of the facts but the route is said to be 20 mtrs high and the ice fang 15 mtrs, hence it would seem you have to climb 5 mtrs of an existing route to get to some ice. The pictures make it look more like half and half than 3 to 1, but still, if you want to be less hyperbolic you could say so climb some way up an established summer route to start some very hard ice climbing. Dry tooling normally means routes that are totally free of ice - which this clearly isn't.
Whether this crag is good for winter climbing or not is a fair enough discussion - it's a mountain area but this isn't a mountain crag, but - hey - it had a bloody big icicle down it.
For someone with no leek between your legs you sure are angry about their not making everythig in wales, and herein lies the problem! You nee a p*ss so bad because you have no leek between your legs your taking it out on DMM!
If this is contrived then every form of clmbing is contrived surely? he did it ground-up and ok scratched the bottom of a one star route at best to reach an incredible ice feture that may never form again, he didn't dry-tool Left Wall now did he?
You may also want to re-read chummer's posts carefully Pete isn't DMM sponsored so he's not just doing something for his sponsors. Anyway when is the last time you did something that your Boss wanted you to do? Not exactly the same but similar eample IF Pete was sponsored.
Just think and try and back up anything that could be percieved as BS by those who know better than you i.e chummer. He is probably a million times more involved in the North Wales climbing scene than you, so listen up!
To be honest it isnt even worth the amount of effort Im putting into it.
I didn't realise who I was arguing with either...maybe as No.1 poster on UKC you are almost as involved in the UK climbing scene as chummer...
>My opinion is that its not newsworthy. Its one of the most contrived >pieces of non event Ive ever heard.
Really!?!? I'd say it is fairly important and hardly contrived...
Over and out.
Its all subjective.
Youve not done much different accept that youve dotted your postings with little underhand insults.
Im sorry if it upsets you that I dont find using ice tools on large boulders as earth shattering as you do.
If the ice was free hanging, could support the weight of a climber and came halfway or more down the Parthian shot, you might have a case regardless of the grade. But don't worry Beasty, I've seen the top of Parthian Shot and its not going to happen. Not this side of the next ice age anyway, and the next ice age will probably grind the Parthian prow away.
I really don't understand how you can think that. Sure, I can totally understand why people are arguing over whether the crag is acceptable or not for winter climbing, but as a pure piece of climbing I think it has to stand as one of the more impressive bits of climbing in the UK this year.
> A new grade V on the Orion face would indeed be more news worthy as it would require a new bit of the face to be discovered....not really going to happen that one is it?
I believe Simon Richardson climbed a new route on the Orion Face last year at about VI 5. I think it linked up the best pitches of a few routes, but covered some new ground too.
Nice one Tom, you win nerd of the year for that one :-)
I can't even begin to imagine how difficult XI 10 is, an amazing effort and I hope the FA enjoyed it. Something of such difficulty, no matter how short, is newsworthy in my book: a winter micro route, perhaps?
Let's be frank about the ethics: this bears no relation to "Milestonegate" because that was a 3 star route, on easily damaged gritstone, without a great big icicle forming a major part of the route. Anyone who can't see that in my view has jumped to conclusions after reading the dreaded words "dry tooling."
That said, personally I wouldn't have climbed it (if I could get off the ground , that is!) because my ethic is that the rock has to be hoared up and white to mixed climb it. On the other hand, the cutting edge has always pushed the edge of what is and what isn't on. Routes of this nature are so few and far between in the UK anyway, that to me this isn't really the opening of a can of worms, more an interesting grey area where people will probably always disagree. So I wouldn't lose much sleep over it.
It bears direct comparison because it involves climbing on a route that is not properly in condition. The number of stars that have subjectively been awarded has no bearing on the matter.
-Potentially the hardest winter/mixed route in north wales.
-Follows the line of an insignificant(vaguely debatable) E4 on mountain rock (as opposed to a well established vs classic already suffering from abuse just from summer on softer, rarer rock).
-Tackles a 'true' winter feature.
-A true climbers climber, with the development and sustainability of climbing always in mind (evident from his relentless efforts with bolting and recording routes on the orme).
-Not sponsored or affiliated with DMM.
-Maybe he did hope this ascent would make the news, but i am sure it would only be to raise the profile of welsh winter (not himself).
Hope this clears everything up, it certainly seems black and white to me.
Also in response to an earlier post about harder climbers opinions being more valid, well to a great extent this is true.
If a person manages to make it to the cutting edge you can almost be certain they are committed and devoted to climbing; understanding clearly climbing ethics, history and unwritten rules spending many, many 'rest' hours reading and thinking about climbing. Although, of course some people may be very understanding of all things ethical but never have been interested in pushing themselves. And aat the other end of the spectrum are the boulderers ;)
> -Potentially the hardest winter/mixed route in north wales.
> -Tackles a 'true' winter feature.
> The Climber;
> -A true climbers climber, with the development and sustainability of climbing always in mind (evident from his relentless efforts with bolting and recording routes on the orme).
> -Maybe he did hope this ascent would make the news, but i am sure it would only be to raise the profile of welsh winter (not himself).
> Hope this clears everything up, it certainly seems black and white to me.
> Also in response to an earlier post about harder climbers opinions being more valid, well to a great extent this is true.
Perhaps he needs to read a bit more:
"I didn't even know it was an existing summer line until I saw the pegs and looked it up in the guidebook afterwards."
Although, of course some people may be very understanding of all things ethical but never have been interested in pushing themselves. And aat the other end of the spectrum are the boulderers ;)
Cautley Spout is news. This "winter route" is contrived news to sell a brand.
> does anyone really give a hoot about a route so short, that will
1) I give a hoot, so do a fair few other people by the sounds of it.
2) never come into real winter condition? that massive dagger of ice suggests its in pretty good condition to me.
This is the BMC Statement that was issued by Dave Turnbull after Millstonegate....
"I've discussed this with Neil Foster (Chair of the BMC Peak Area) this morning and can confirm the BMC's overall position as follows:
Generally speaking dry tooling on Peak District gritstone is a bad idea and is not supported by the BMC. Dry tooling is all very well on crags that arenít established rock climbing venues but its a different matter if people start experimenting on summer rock climbs or at popular crags. Dry tooling inevitably damages the rock (crampon scratches and axe marks) more than conventional rock climbing and is bound to result in controversy. The argument that many routes at Millstone are only climbable today because of historic pegging (and that this is a justification for dry tooling) is not really relevant; pegging was the accepted style of the day and the fact is that it helped create many now classic rock climbs (London Wall, White Wall to name a few) some of which might not have been climbable if they hadn't been pegged first. To damage these routes through dry tooling is not acceptable.
Ice climbing and mixed climbing on established rock climbs is a slightly different matter but this can also be controversial because people have different ideas about what constitutes winter conditions. Climbing on pure thick ice may not lead to rock damage whereas climbing on thinner ice or mixed ice/rock will lead to scratching and axe pock marks. On harder mountain rock (say granite) this might be bareable but gritstone is different; once the hard surface layer on grit is broken the underlying rock tends to be soft and subject to rapid erosion and scarring. Green Death is a tricky one - in the right conditions and with extreme care it might just about be possible to climb it as a pure ice route. More likely it'd end up being scratched and pock marked because even in best condition the ice streak is still relatively narrow".
My own view is that routes like Anubis and Wooly Mammoths push the definition of "what constitutes winter conditions" but are still fair game for those who are good enough. They're both bloody good efforts too.
Pete, Looks like a great route, well done, lets hope things freeze down again soon.
Steve and Woody.
seeing as it is likely to have very few attempted ascents (being hard and in wales (not often in condition - am not suggesting no-one climbs hard in wales ;-) )) i'm pretty relaxed about this.
how much damage will this actually do to the summer route if a few people try it with axes? how many people actually get on this route in summer?
so, in a nutshell, very few people are going to be very slightly irritated by a few scratches in order that one person can claim an awesome and inspiring looking (18m) line.
seems a fair deal to me and a long way from scratching your way up a 3* classic that get 100s of ascents a year on a more fragile rock.
It seems to me that, on this thread at least, those supporting this route are active climebrs with a significant understanding of routes, history, ethics etc. Whereas the majority in the anti camp are those who probably lack the experience to see the difference between this route and dry tooling millstone, or maybe its just people looking to stir up on an internet forum?
Is some of the confusion also caused by people not realising that the significant part of the route is a pure ice fall, it seems some people are assuming this is a dry tooling route?
Even if Pete Harrison had crossed an ethical line I think I'd allow him this indescretion considering he has given more to Welsh climbing than the rest of us on here put together.
There seems to be a great inconsistency in UKC condemnation based on how good you are!
Imagine if you had been working this route in the summer, and returned to see minor damage from this ascent. An example of which is dawes's fury over readheads damage to indian face on the indian face documentary, a bad example i know, but still a mountain crag damaged.
That said, massive respect for the accomplishment im not here to judge, i just dont think people should look at a peice of rock in the pass and start dry tooling without even checking the f**king guidebook first, surley you cant argue with that...
This is what I mean about people spouting off from a position of ignorance, what you are now talking about as 'dry tooling' has always gone on to a greater or lesser extent from things like (possibly) Eagle Ridge, through Snicker Snack and Anibus. Climbing ethics and styles are not always black or white but a continuum. Dry tooling at millstone is at one end of that spectrum and a pure ice route at the other but to say that because this is not at the pure ice climbing end of the spectrum it must be at the other is wrong.
Not just how good you are but a whole gamut of criteria, more related to the route than the first ascensionist. It was ever thus, how else do you explain where and how Raindogs finishes, or how the bolts on the Cad survived so long, or that pegs are still placed on new routes in Pembroke, etc, etc? Climbing has muddled along quite happily (odd skirmish aside) with these discrepancies for years but now the internet has given equal voice to the ignorant as well as the knowledgeable each grey area becomes a storm of righteous indignation.
The BMC statement that I cut and pasted in my post above does a good job of explaining why Wooly Mammoths is (arguably) acceptable.
My point about Millstonegate was always that (without a good understanding of the UK winter climbing scene) it is quite hard to see why Anubis and Woolly Mammoths are okay, and Embankment Route 2 with axes on a snowy day isn't okay. So all the vitriol aimed at the lads climbing at Millstone seemed overly harsh. Although others will disagree with this, and I'm not sure starting the Millstone gate discussion again is such a good idea!
> How can a bloody great overhanging free-hanging fang of ice, strong enough to take a climber's weight, not be 'real' winter conditions?
The guy dry tooled half a one star rock route.
If the top half of that VS at Millstones had an icicle hanging down it would it have been ok to dry tool the bottom half?
I am not insulting people but posts are being made from postions of ignorance. As with any political discussion all opinions are valid but if someone says that this route is the same as dry tooling at milstone they are either being deliberately inflammatory or are ignorant of the prevailing ethics.
As I said above, there are all sorts of routes that have sections of 'pure rock', even Tower Ridge when I did it (in undeniably winter conditions) had a sectioon of pure rock that doesn't mean it shouldn't be climbed, you have to judge a route in its overall merits and thats what people are failing to do. I'm not saying this route is necessarily ethically sound just that to say it is no different to dry tooling at Milstone is ignorant.
To those of you who can't see the difference between this and the Millstone episode please consider the balance here is:
Creation of a new super-technical future classic ice challenge on a previously unclimbed proper ice feature VS possible damage to the first third of an esoteric E4 none of us had ever heard of before this article on relatively hard rock.
The balance at Millstone was:
Two muppets weekend of fun smugly scratching about on a toprope on a summer climb with no ice on it VS evident damage to a super-classic popular 3-star crack line on soft grit.
I can see a difference, can you?
> To those of you who can't see the difference between this and the Millstone episode please consider the balance here is:
People can obviously tell the difference so I don't think this straw man helps much. If the Millstones incident is on one end of the scale and a pure ice route is on another we are talking about where this lies. For me it is closer to the Millstone incident. This may lead to accusation of ignorance, as I admit I don't winter climb, but I'd counter this with the perspective some detachment gives.
The problem seems to be that what is acceptable is a grey area and many people using these forums require hard rules - e.g. is this on-sight ? can I use a mat ? etc etc
> I can see a difference, can you?
Yes - you've classified the Millstone 'culprits' as idiots whilst making no similar judgment here.
I actually called them muppets. But to me it's clear the Millstone thing was at the black end of a grey scale, this route is much nearer the white, albeit in the grey. No ascent is ever pure, every time we touch rock we damage it, all we have is an arbitrary line in the sand of how much damage we're prepared to accept in pursuit of a few futile moments of pleasure. It looks to me like Pete Harrison led a worthy line and probably had a deep and fulfilling experience through it. I don't think you can say the same for Callum scratching his way up Embankment on a top-rope.
I'm certainly struggling to see how this merits grade XI. It's 10 minutes from the road and half a rope length long in total, and of that, the top half of that looks like grade VI ice, leaving the bottom half of the route (less than 10 metres?) to contain the hard climbing, which according to the DMM write-up is hard and sustained but mostly well-protected.
Does that really sound like a route which is TWO grades harder than The God Delusion, Super Rat or Mort (all of which are only one tech grade easier, but which are massively more serious and committing undertakings)? Even the only other single pitch grade XI, The Hurting, is twice the length, has ground-fall potential and contains tech 11 climbing.
> I actually called them muppets. But to me it's clear the Millstone thing was at the black end of a grey scale, this route is much nearer the white, albeit in the grey. No ascent is ever pure, every time we touch rock we damage it, all we have is an arbitrary line in the sand of how much damage we're prepared to accept in pursuit of a few futile moments of pleasure. It looks to me like Pete Harrison led a worthy line and probably had a deep and fulfilling experience through it. I don't think you can say the same for Callum scratching his way up Embankment on a top-rope.
I'm in no position whatsoever (and nor are you I imagine) to make a judgment on what it meant to those concerned!
> It looks to me like Pete Harrison led a worthy line and probably had a deep and fulfilling experience through it. I don't think you can say the same for Callum scratching his way up Embankment on a top-rope.
Callum might have had the most life changing, eye opening, zen, licking the beard of god profound experience. I dont think you can make the measurement of the experience relevant.
What about if I get deep fulfilling experiences from engraving a giant 12 meter high penis on the side of every grit crag. Or if i'm too lowly to have valid experiences what about if Jonny Dawes gets to write 'jon waz ere' in bolt holes along stanage. Quality of experience is way too subjective and elitist yard stick to use.
Excuse me, you are insulting people who have a different view to you by calling them and their opinions ignorant. I admit that I am not familiar with the route in question, but I am wholly familiar with ethics and the way they have evolved since the late 70s and, on that basis, feel able to comment legitimately.
One of the problems with this route is that it has made the news because it has a big grade attached to it. Unfortunately, this grade would appear to be derived from the dry tooling aspect of the route, not the ice.
Were it on a mountain rather than a roadside crag, you could maybe have a different debate, but an icicle that doesn't touch down does not turn a recorded rock route into a legitimate winter route, especially in the Llanberis Pass, and especially when the crux is dry tooling up rock to get to the ice.
Perhaps a useful definition of a 'mountain crag' where mixed climbing is legitimate would be one that is normally snow and ice bound in winter.
No, as I said above "As with any political discussion all opinions are valid", if someone in full possesion of the facts etc decides this route breaches ethical codes (lets face it ethics are pretty personal) then I respect that opinion, I merely pointed out that there are a few people above kicking off without any real understanding of the issues, as evidenced by them making direct comparisons between this route and dry tooling on grit.
On the one hand, the routes at millstone are extremely popular summer routes which have had thousands of ascents and will continue to do so due to their undeniable quality. As 'winter' routes their quality is very much in question.
Compare that to pete's new route. As a summer route it's probably ok though hardly classic material and is of pretty niche interest (anyone heard of it before now? anyone know of any repeat ascents?) As a winter route it looks like a quality line pushing the boundaries of difficulty in Wales.
Would it have been OK if the rock was hoard up then? Loads of us who have done mixed climbing in the UK (you I guess as well?) know that in all honesty hoar frost does nothing to protect the rock from scratching underneath. Or we have done routes where the vertical or overhanging sections of rock aren't hoared but there is no question that they are in winter conditions - I can think of for example doing this: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=26803 and this: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=1198 in such conditions. In both cases we climbed in falling heavy snow, the routes were swamped in snow and ice and waves of spindrift were coming down the crags, but there wasn't hoar on vertical or overhanging sections. Therefore I have to say by your definition I was 'dry tooling' the steep sections of these routes - not sure, but they probably get some summer stars as well.
Mixed climbing is exactly that - mixed. Sometimes you use turf, sometime ice, sometimes rock. This route is mixed. It seems very little different in style from Greg Boswell's two cool looking new routes at Udlaidh this year, the Grin and Crooked Smile, or indeed Bullock's new Welsh routes Fallen Angel and Old Nick.
To me it seems that the only real question is should there be an 'altitude' or 'historical' limit on what cliffs are suitable for mixed climbing? Should we somehow say that the Devils Kitchen is OK but this crag is not? You could try to make such an argument but it seems a bit silly or at least random.
Comparing this to Millstone seems silly. Firstly, what Callum was trying was to dry tool and rock line, he wasn't trying to get to icicle. It wasn't mixed. And then grit seems particularly susceptible to scratching damage. What is hard to grasp about saying "lets just not mixed climb on gritstone"? If a route is pure ice like Kinder Downfall, it's all good, but no mixed climbing. In the same way that if there is some ice forming down one of the gullies at Harrisons it would be very foolish for a London climber to say 'lets do a winter ascent!' considering how soft the rock is. But if it happens on Dartmoor granite, people are less likely to be worried because the rock is different.
I've spend the last decade trying to work out the meteorological and hydrological background to ice formation on my local crags - crags I see each week. Cold weather and crags does not create ice except in tiny minority of places. Ice forms in very particular places and in certain conditions. Hence all the "what if an icicle forms down Stanage?" arguments are pointless. Climbable icicles don't form down Stanage. The drainage above, the rock structure, etc. etc. mean that it doesn't happen. One craglet at the base of the Llanberis Pass isn't a precedent for anything except possibly other slightly damp craglets at the base of the Llanberis pass.
Gosh - what a long reply! I better do some real work now. :-)
Fair enough. Have you done the original summer route under discussion? Is it any good? Interesting that it seems to have a fair amount of pre-placed gear in it - these UK ethics are a murky area eh? :-)
Now that does sound like a good discussion! ;-) I think it will run into exactly the same issues as how you use the E grades to describe some multipitch sea cliff adventure at Gogarth or Mingulay, and a highball grit problem doable over stacked mats! Do Scottish grades work for single pitch routes...? They weren't really designed to.
I think that is a very fair, but very difficult discussion; purely because so many classic Welsh and Lakes winter routes are on cliffs that haven't been snow and ice bound for large parts of the winter in last 15-20 years. The last couple of years have been good, but thinking back over my climbing lifetime, they are the minority.
From this thread I have learnt that ethics is a grey area is the reply to give when you are questioned about something you have done that may be unethical. Any route is fair game with ice axes and crampons irrespespective of its grade, history or its location. It does not have to be in condition and it doesn't matter if its summer or winter. All that matters is that you are capable.
I'm gonna have a look at Witches for some plum targets for dry tooling.
Good thing they have this running now in HELLsinki...
Oh, and yes i was fun.
Without getting involved in any ethics arguement. I don't really understand the grading here. The hanging icicle looks WI5+, scottish VI. The lower section is well protected, sporting 3 pegs. No matter how technically hard the lower section is (I wont argue with 10). I cannot see how the overall can be XI. From my armchair, the most dangerous ground will be on the lower sections of the ice (6/7?) as these will be the most run out, perahps VIII, 10?
I doubt I'll be repeating the route to confirm the grade but I suspect some headline grabbing at work here.
Route is probably better given an M grade, M9? doesn't grab the attention quite so much does it?
i wouldnt say winter climbers are selfish. the vast majority of us bumble around trying to repeat other peoples/classic routes. Therefore our scratches only really affect accepted winter routes.
Someone surely has to be pushing the limits of whats climbable dont they? Or are we just gonna sit back and accept that dave macleod has climbed XII and therefore we should accept that no one is going to do anything more than that and ban winter climbing on even slightly overhanging rock that does not get coated in neve?
these guys need to be able to push past the vertical plane in order to achieve advancement in difficulty. why do we want to stop that?
> these guys need to be able to push past the vertical plane in order to achieve advancement in difficulty. why do we want to stop that?
but at what cost?where is the line drawn?who decides where the line is?
> It's a bit of dry tooling with a grade 6 icicle at the top ;-)
> Once you get to the top...
> Climber's climbers don't bolt.
Pete has been (largely) replacing bolts so for the most part it has been a like-for-like, bar the stunning 'diamond project'. Sport climbing has for a long time now been a large facet of modern climbing, without it standards would no where near reach what they have. To be honest your statement is plainly under-educated, and this is not the place to discuss it.
> True only to the poor fools who are obsessed with grades.
> Perhaps he needs to read a bit more:
> "I didn't even know it was an existing summer line until I saw the pegs and looked it up in the guidebook afterwards."
In this case i agree slighty, he should have checked first, however, judging by the text he had found himself gazing at a stunning line whilst in the pass and just gone for it which is brilliant.
Pete being a major north wales activist and not being aware this was a summer route just goes to show its previous insignificance.
I know ignorance is no defence, but i think even if he had known in all honesty he would have still one it.
Saying any route is fair game is exactly what this thread has been saying is not the case.
To people who have said it all just to promote DMM, you are wrong.
DMM is simply the place it was first reported, hence the link.
And to the people who question the routes scale and proximity to the road regarding its validity as news, thats a load of rubbish, What about james pearsons keen youth (8B) at raven tor as an example, about 5m long and 10 seconds off the road, not news?
I'm not sure if that was a reply to me or to the thread in general, but it very much isn't what I was arguing.
> Pete being a major north wales activist and not being aware this was a summer route just goes to show its previous insignificance.
so if i had been climbing for years in the peak district and for some reason i came upon stanage for the first time and had never heard of it before it would be ok to bolt it and claim it must be insignificant because ive never heard of it?its great to what length people seem to be prepared to go to for justifying what they climb.
You seem both easily upset and not able to distinguish between the message and the messenger. And of the UKC staff, I don't think any of them would claim to be particularly regular winter climbers - maybe Jack, but I don't think he is even in the UK currently. So what are the double standards? They reported that Pete felt he had to justify this ascent against the 'dry tooling' accusation, they reported its starts up a summer route, they report what grade the FAist is suggesting?
Given your second sentence it is obvious that you've learned nothing from this thread, either that or you're just happy to revel in your ignorance.
I you could defend the position of being a major peak activist who had never heard of Stanage. I would defend your bolting of said crag.
Over to you.
Thank you for reinforcing what I was saying about ill informed comment from ill informed commentators.....
> I you could defend the position of being a major peak activist who had never heard of Stanage. I would defend your bolting of said crag.
> Over to you.
so your saying that the major players have more right than other climbers are you?thats how it seems.
let me give you a scenario-someone had been climbing on limestone for a few years and had ticked their was through most of raven tor/cheedale/wcj and done all the boulder problems,then one day after 10 years of climbing they go for a walk and find crag x and dry tool it in the winter because it has ice on it.the crag isnt in guidebooks but is well known to lots of climbers and doesnt always show chalk well so would you condemn the climber for drytooling it because he didnt know or would you think he was a bit naive not to ask questions before he just jumped in and did what he wanted?im sure a so called wales activist would have plenty of local friends to phone up and ask about a certain piece of rock or atleast a few guidebooks he could check unless the first ascent at all costs mist came down and he thought i will get it done and worry about what people think later on which would seem to be what happened
Well, everyone who's seen the photo of the f**king huge icicle that forms the substance of the route.
> Now that does sound like a good discussion! ;-) I think it will run into exactly the same issues as how you use the E grades to describe some multipitch sea cliff adventure at Gogarth or Mingulay, and a highball grit problem doable over stacked mats! Do Scottish grades work for single pitch routes...? They weren't really designed to.
I don't know - there aren't that many hard single pitch winter routes (The Cathedral, The Tempest and The Hurting come to mind) to compare it to, but the grades of these seem to make sense. It might be worth reading/re-reading Dave Macleod's blog about his first ascent of Yo Bro - a 35m first pitch crux with pumpy M8+ climbing where you would hit the ground if you came off the hardest moves, which he graded VIII,9. Seems to be a bit at odds with this new XI,10 where the climbing is a bit harder, but from the sounds of things, safer and shorter-lived.
I am simply pointing out the stupidity of your statement.
> so if i had been climbing for years in the peak district and for some reason i came upon stanage for the first time and had never heard of it before it would be ok to bolt it and claim it must be insignificant because ive never heard of it?
Beast, i get the impression you are reactionally playing the part of devil's advocate because we all know this would not happen.
The fact you cannot distinguish between the two incidents shows a lack of understanding for british climbing ethics and preservation.
To me it seems like argueing that pigeons and peacocks are the same?
So he should have climbed a 15 metre dagger of ice in sticky boots and using chalk should he? Generally I tend to think of climbing huge great chunks of ice as winter climbing, but if you can find something similar to climb in the UK in July, then I'm willing to concede the point to you.
> So he should have climbed a 15 metre dagger of ice in sticky boots (...)
Exactly Toby. Climb the lower wall in summer style, but with a couple of axes on your harness. Then campus up the ice using the axes, letting yer feet drag up natural behind you. E4 6b V. Easy.
BANG BANG BANG <the noise of heads banging against brick walls>
We're not talking about Water Cum Jolly or Ravens though are we? The route under discussion is in Snowdonia. If you want to talk hypothetical limestone mixed climbing about something that hasn't happened and, from the number of climbers who have been out and about looking for ice during the recent freeze, seems very unlikely to happen, why not start a 'let's pretend' thread?
Blame the author and editors for that.
(And try using the Shift-key when you want to capitalise characters, its not that hard).
although I'm surprised there hasn't been much comeback (yet) after the slating of the good folk of UKC and its punter users by the UKB elite, where operating at F8a/E6/V9/1X is "complete crap" !
fwiw I don't think this ascent is the same as Milstonegate, and is fine in the context of the apparent acceptance of winter ascents of summer classics. Perhaps PH overplays the "I'm just doing it for fun" bit.
Why on earth does there need to be consistency within the UK climbing scene (a UK which for some reason doesn't include Scotland?)? The Pass has more in common with Glen Coe than it does Stanage or Swanage.
And realistically it should be clear to all but the very dense that taking axes to hard igneous mountain rock is a very different kettle of fish to taking tools to a form of soft sandstone. The fact that so many people are struggling to grasp this is perhaps the most concerning thing about it. I find it really difficult to summon up the faintest semblance of a crap as to whether the rock was snow covered or not, since it makes no difference whatsoever to any damage caused (probably less without snow since you can be more neat).
> although I'm surprised there hasn't been much comeback (yet) after the slating of the good folk of UKC and its punter users by the UKB elite, where operating at F8a/E6/V9/1X is "complete crap" !
There is no reason whatsoever that the route you climbed should not have been. We are 15? years behind the rest of the world here, octopussy etc climbed rock to reach icicles back in the mid 90's.
I would like to hear your explanation of the XI grade though, as I posted earlier, from my armchair I can't make it fit. Do scottish grades fit the route or would an M grade sit more comfortably on it?
Chapeau anyway, let's hope the cold weather returns. Getting cooler here as I type
I checked out this report within a few posts of the first people replying to it, saw they had got the wrong end of the stick and clicked away from it.
If I was you I would delete this whole thread and re-post the report with the proper pics attached.
I'm not surprised the FA is upset.
> indeed - an excellent rant :-)
A rant can still be well reasoned and thought out...
* Jack's write-up is (purposefully?) provocative and full of innuendo.
* Many of the posts on this thread are way off the mark and at a base level fail to even acknowledge that there is a difference between igneous and sedimentary rock.
It is some proper gutter-quality journalism isn't it. I don't expect much from the average UKC article, but this fell well below it.
I actually think there is nothing wrong with his ascent except perhaps its probably the wrong grade and the wrong grading system and its more layered than mixed.
I do however think the FA is a hypocrite. The "rules" seem to have been made up as he went along what is ok to climb and what isnt.
Your little jibe about common sense just highlights your immaturity and lack of experience.
As far as understand it the whole point is that dry tooling (or indeed almost any aspect of climbing) is that it is ok in some situations and not in others so this comment makes no sense whatsoever.
Surely the less well informed (such as myself) should be encouraged to find out where acceptable boundaries lie. That is assuming of course that they are equipped with the basic mental capacity to understand higher levels of subtlety than 'all dry tooling is the devils work' or 'all student climbers are fools' or many of the other vitriol we hear every day on this site...
I personally think that the article was a bit inflammatory and as to the suitability of the route, I claim ignorance...
That opinion turns out to be completely wrong though doesn't it? I'm sure you can understand why Harrison would be pissed off by people suggesting that he is inflating the grade in order to please sponsors that he doesn't actually have. I don't have any problem of debating the rights and wrongs of the route, but on that issue your comments seem quite unfair to Pete.
Although UKB does have a very strong meme that UKC is only used by tossers/losers/wankers/punters/people-not-as-good-as-me. One of UKB's owners was trying to encourage me to get stuck in over there and I can see that there is loads of great knowledge amongst the UKB regulars, but its not as wide in terms of styles and geographical spread as you can find on UKC, but I'm always rather put off that I would just be seen as another UKC punter who isn't good enough to have an opinion - and that's from someone who has been using climbers forums since UKarsey back in the dark ages!
I mentioned DMM because UKC linked them.
In terms of the slating, I was referring specifically to Jack's article and some individual posters on this thread. With regard to Pete's more general critisisms of the commercialism of UKC, well I don't really agree with those, or not entirely at least.
I have never really taken much interest in UKB, but more because of the breadth of UKC rather than any elitism on UKB.
> Although UKB does have a very strong meme that UKC is only used by tossers/losers/wankers/punters/people-not-as-good-as-me. One of UKB's owners was trying to encourage me to get stuck in over there and I can see that there is loads of great knowledge amongst the UKB regulars, but its not as wide in terms of styles and geographical spread as you can find on UKC, but I'm always rather put off that I would just be seen as another UKC punter who isn't good enough to have an opinion - and that's from someone who has been using climbers forums since UKarsey back in the dark ages!
Thats bullshit, I post on both sites and am manifestly shite at climbing (check my logbook).
On UKB what grade you climb is irrelevant, you get respect/"wad points" for posting thought-out/reasoned/useful/helpful posts and "punter points" for being a dick.
I live with Alex. He can't cook for shit, so in that sense I suppose he is inexperienced! ;-)
It was a rather obvious implication though to what you said; mentioning the need to make news, comparing it to Muir etc.
I was talking about life
I wasnt, i was talking about climbing and being able to apply a degree of measure in your judgement as to what is acceptable and what isn't.
Basically you're trying to pull the age card which blatantly is useless in this context. Reading your comments from start to finish there are several inconsistancies, back tracks and out-right errors. I understand that you may be bored and/or want to be involved but please, if you're unsure ask questions instead of spouting turd.
I have to admit, i have bitten and a better person would have ignored you.
Apologies for dragging the thread off topic.
I could have asked for clarification rather than drawn conclusions.
I can accept that it isn't actually true - but any time people posting on UKC get mentioned on UKB it's invariably connected to insults, so it's quite hard not take that impression away. Exactly this has happened on the UKB thread paralleling this one.
Of course it would be silly to say that these kind of post mean all UKB posters are elitist, but then on the basis of some people posting junk here, many seem ready to condemn all UKC users. I don't get why people can't see they are all just forums with no editing over what people say, stupid or not.
And BTW, the other Toby got given a wad point for something I had written here, due to a mix up over which Toby is which! ;-)
You may have ethics, perhaps you could explain them, but the problem seems to be that you don't understand the ethics of this issue.
No, there is a world of difference in the editorial/moderation of UKC and UKB. In the former individual posts are deleted if they are critical of the hosts or do not present the image that the hosts wish to have portrayed to potential sponsors (at a base level check the use of expletives between the two sites). The later very, very rarely has posts deleted and its basically a free for all with fellow users telling people when they're being dicks as opposed to the management.
There are a number of documented occasions where moderators here have sought to influence the management of UKB. Thankfully, and right-fully they've been told where to go each and every time as its not their site. The threads are there if you can be bothered finding them.
The nature of forums with usernames. Amazing you bothered to look into it so deeply.
Anyway, this is a digression, but it says something that petejh felt he had to post his response elsewhere where it wasn't going to be moderated and link to it rather than hear.
There is some difference, but not nearly a much as you make out.
I didn't 'look into deeply', Toby is a mate, he passed on a nice email someone had sent him. I also know about the 'issues' between the two sites, but that isn't really what this thread is about. If you didn't read Beasty's post above, my role here is to promote the dry-tooling of any crag in UK in support of the elitist, winter-climbing overlords.
You're right, this thread is about poor journalism.
> There is some difference, but not nearly a much as you make out.
There is exactly as much difference as he makes out.
For the record I dont believe there is anything wrong with the route you did but I wouldnt mind some clarification on why there is a difference between your route and any other established rock route using ice climbing gear.
First of all I have not read the whole thread as it is too long at this time of night.I have read all of the comments that come into view without opening the top part of the thread.Nevertheless, it would seem that this web site/forum in some quarters at least,is being dealt with or assessed as a professional body,which it is not.The people who write articles for the site, I believe have a good amount of experience of climbing,but they are unelected and make judgements for themselves.They cannot set down the rules of the ethics of climbing.That is for a grander debate with some maturity, and especially without the unreasonable comments that seem to be flying around here.
I personally believe that a very clear marker will have to be placed in the sand(stone) as to what is allowed in what conditions.For otherwise all dry tooling is dry tooling and will harm the rock to a greater degree than rubber soles and fingers,albeit over a longer period with harder rock.Is it not already a real dilemma as to what will become of rock permanently damaged by polish, caused by myriads of us doing regular rock climbing on popular routes?Using metal on the rock will need fewer numbers of contacts with the rock to result in damage.
From all the stuff on here (not just yours') Pete H must have had a pretty grim day yesterday. Your last post will have reaffirmed a common humanity. Thank you.
Irrespective of the merits or otherwise of his route (and I'm not competent to proffer an opinion), his post on t'other channel spoke volumes about his honesty and sincerity. He obviously cares very deeply indeed about climbing.
Thanks again, Fawksey.
Unreasoned and unaccepting is not really an accusation that can be leveled in a debate such as this as everyone will have a different opinion on 'ethics' to suggest that people are unreasoned and won't accept others viewpoints suggests that you are guilty of these 'crimes' yourself rather than the other way round.
If you can explain where the reasoning for your argument came from and where you accepted other people's viewpoints might be valid I will be more than happy to print out my post and eat it in front of witnesses... :-D (note large smiley and a big dose of tongue in cheek here)
It's hard to believe that this isn't a joke!
and why is this?
oh and your grammar is poor: 'climbers' climbers' is what youre after; the first 'climbers' is plural and has an apostrophe after the 's' indicating plural possessive
We've gone though the looking glass now right enough.
This route could not have been more in condition if a polar-bear in a balaclava was holding the ropes.
In and fair game.
Probably the best thing said on this thread. Shows the considerable difference between this and the Millstone incident, in a clear and concise way.
Also that it is a mountain crag in an area with a strong winter tradition.
It's hard to condone dry tooling a summer line. A bit different perhaps if the line was vegetated or not an existing route.
> Also that it is a mountain crag in an area with a strong winter tradition.
thats a rather arbitary way to distinguish between whats acceptable to climb and what isnt.
> thats a rather arbitary way to distinguish between whats acceptable to climb and what isnt.
It is one of a number of factors, the ethics of the issue are defined but a consideration of all of these factors. Type of rock, mountain crag, how established the summer climbing is, the amount of ice on the route, the local tradition ie is it a winter climbing area. I don't really understand what people are struggling with on this.
Any way its new years eve and im off to have some fun!
"generally" but not always.
He managed to get up the route?
You really are fighting hard against rationalism.
> It is one of a number of factors, the ethics of the issue are defined but a consideration of all of these factors. Type of rock, mountain crag, how established the summer climbing is, the amount of ice on the route, the local tradition ie is it a winter climbing area. I don't really understand what people are struggling with on this.
It's not that simple though, as Pete said ""It would be totally unacceptable in my mind to climb this wall without the hanging ice dagger in place."
Now we all know that if a route like Indian Face had a hanging ice dagger it would unacceptable to dry tool the bottom half, for obvious reasons. But what about a 2 star route in the pass ect..... hence the greyness. I do actually think the climber made the right call in climbing the route, he's got the discretion required, but I'm not sure publisising it is right. Dry tooling seems to have gained a momentum that's going to be hard to contain.
Happy New Year!
1. You're, not youre.
2. You missed the full stop at the end of the sentence.
3. You missed the capital letter at the start.
4. There should be a comma after 'oh'.
5. Wrong choice of word. You should have used the word 'punctuation', not 'grammar'.
I dont think Pete's route was initially questioned enough though. If the defence is robust and based on logic who could complain. Its just a shame that some of his supporters showed their immaturity in reverting to insults to defend it.
Its a very important climb. Ice climbing, mixed climbing, dry tooling, winter conditions, road side crag, mountain environment, rock route, grade system, grade? All coming together in one route in the pass. It deserved to be tested and not just accepted. There are a lot of new lines of whats acceptable being drawn now for crags and mountains all over the UK.
Read his thoughts on "publicising" his ascent in his UKB post linked above.
I don't really see anything that controversial about Pete's route though, other than the timing being close to the Millstone incident. It's a route more in the Canadian or European mixed style than what most Brits would think of as Scottish mixed but looks very similar to the route Dave Mac blogged about doing on Beinn Udlaidh(sp?) just after he did Anubis (see the link higher up the thread). Like I said above, it's a route leading to a fat hanging icicle, in a mountain area where winter climbing is usual, on hard igneous rock. I really struggle to see what there is to question?
> Cautley Spout is news. This "winter route" is contrived news to sell a brand.
Except that one of the premier dry tooling rock types in the UK is probably chalk!
If dry tooling up to a 10m icicle is what gets the headlines these days then I'm switched off. Winter equivelent of a 'highball' thus a good wee effort but not a major route in any sense.
One way or another we are now past the 'thin edge of the wedge' debate. It's getting thicker every month!
> Except that one of the premier dry tooling rock types in the UK is probably chalk!
And if you'd bothered to quote me in full rather than take the first half out of context, the dry tooling on chalk would more than likely fall under areas where people don't go summer rock climbing (owing to the rock being soft and basically disposable).
A general comment, Why is it that discussions on winter climbing always tend to the acrimonious?
There are several differences between this route and the Millstone pantomime.
1. The rock type.
2. The crag. As I understand it it is much less accessible than Millstone. Not only because it's further from the road but because it's also many miles from large centres of population.
3. The grade. While some may question whether the route really is XI (perhaps an M grade would be more appropriate) it is obvously of a high standard. You will never see queues of beginners lining up at it's base to scratch and chip their way up it on a top rope. Callum's antics at Millstone encouraged just such behaviour.
4. The route will come into condition very rarely. In fact probably for something like a week once every twenty years. The fist ascensionist made it very clear that the route wasn't in until the icicle had fully formed and he'd been waiting three years. I wouldn't be surprised if it hadn't been in condition since 1987.
The above means that the route will see very little traffic and when it does the rock will not be damaged to anything like the same extent that a similar route on gritstone would.
Finally, I can understand why the first ascensionist is so upset by the comments made on his motivation to do this route. Any active and ambitious winter climber who realised that such a line existed in their backyard would give their eye teeth to get the first ascent in. It's a great looking line, he did it in good style and didn't make a big deal about reporting it. No one should criticise his motives or his ethics.
> A general comment, Why is it that discussions on winter climbing always tend to the acrimonious?
> There are several differences between this route and the Millstone pantomime.
> 1. The rock type.
> 2. The crag. As I understand it it is much less accessible than Millstone. Not only because it's further from the road
I think it's actually nearer to ther road than Millstone
What a piece of wild speculation! Have you ever been to the route in winter? Have you had your eye on it?
You fancy your chances hitting the ground from 20 mtrs up then?
Why? No bolts were used. Comparing the two seems like you're grinding an axe (and it isn't a nomic in preparation for a repeat ascent). In fact what this route looks most like is Macleod, Turner and Boswell's new generation of Udlaidh routes, including the bolt free version of cross roads.
> What a piece of wild speculation! Have you ever been to the route in winter? Have you had your eye on it?
Not really considering we have just experienced the hardest freeze in over 20 years and according to Pete it did not form in last years very cold winter.
Well said fellas, looks absolutely gobsmacking to me. Nice work Pete.
What an interesting ethical debate about something that doesn't actually exist anymore and only one person has experienced.
Good to read the different opinions, reflections, side taking, tribal differences, applause, criticism and debate about this ascent.
Nice one Pete - I'm sure you enjoyed this climb.
Great name too: nice one Micky J as always and great that it was picked up, I can almost hear him say it.
Here I am merely inrigued with how ethics and style are progressing in the modern era and how it will evolve with the yoof of today's interpretation. Time will tell.
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