/ NEWS: VIDEO: Jon Partridge climbs Chimaera at High Rocks
Errm he didn't really do it. He just sort of top roped it.
So did it then? As in got to the top. Which he did.
Yes... but the point is surely to claim an ascent you have to do it without a toprope or its not clean. Its just like some kind of headpoint milaki.
No he got to the top. On a southern sandstone climb, which are always toproped.
So he did it in the accepted style for that area.
he's only 15 go easy on him !
> Errm he didn't really do it. He just sort of top roped it.
Stop it now. The report is clear. 4th ascent of this top rope problem.
Due to the soft nature of the rock lead climbing is not permitted, meaning all routes must be top roped or soloed.
Maybe one day someone will solo it.
But anywhere else it doesn't count and the only way it would count would be to solo it.
Off you go then?
But why remove the overall challenge? Sure its free for people to toprope as they wish but surely it can wait for a proper ascent when someone does it in better stile. If you claim that 4 people who top roped it all made ascents then why should anyone bother trying to solo it when that counts just as much.
> But anywhere else it doesn't count and the only way it would count would be to solo it.
Look, it counts OK. It's southern sandstone. Ethics and style do vary. Jon has climbed it clean. Yes a solo would be very impressive and would be the first solo.
> But why remove the overall challenge? Sure its free for people to toprope as they wish but surely it can wait for a proper ascent when someone does it in better stile. If you claim that 4 people who top roped it all made ascents then why should anyone bother trying to solo it when that counts just as much.
There is a hierarchy of styles. Soloing is more difficult than top roping so whoever did that would be making a more significant ascent.
Well done John. It is a significant ascent of climb that has seen very few repeats, none of which in any better style.
It's a famous old problem, it's had few ascents, it is of interest to climbers.
Grade isn't the only factor in deciding what is News.
Exactly my point. What the title should say is "A dude from the British bouldering team toproped a font 7c+"
I'm not saying 7c+ is easy by any means but I'm sure there are probably hundreds of people who have dabbled on some hard grit stone routes (E8's and 9's) But never actually summoned the balls to do them properly despite doing all the moves. But this that isn't considered a great deal.
> It's a famous old problem, it's had few ascents, it is of interest to climbers.
> Grade isn't the only factor in deciding what is News.
While the rest of you squabble, let me be the first to say well done to Jon! Brilliant effort, looks a bizarre sequence!
Come on over to the sandstone sometime and things will become clearer. It is a very odd ethic, but it makes sense for this little corner of the country. The rock really is insanely soft, and soloing is actually a very intimidating proposition as the holds always feel sandy (brushing would just make it worse as the sand grains are released from the rock).
As for the soloing - there is a lot more kudos in a solo ascent, and the routes that haven't yet been soloed are marked in the guidebook.
Also, wasn't the first ascent by Johnny Dawes?
> But never actually summoned the balls to do them properly despite doing all the moves. But this that isn't considered a great deal.
Nice use of a song by my old chum Laura Veirs :-) I'll send her the link, she'll like it.
> It's a famous old problem, it's had few ascents, it is of interest to climbers.
If it's old and famous but 'only' 7c+, how come it's had so few ascents? Not being an arse here, I'm genuinely interested.
Anyway, well done to Jon, it's easy to piss around about what's headline news and what isn't and lose sight of the fact that most of us are unlikely ever to climb at that standard on a top rope or otherwise...
I'll get my coat.....
The first ascent was by Dave Turner at or around the time of the publication of his 1989 CC Southern Sandstone Guide. It was something like 18 years before it was repeated by, I think, James Pearson and then by Tony Musselbrook. It's graded 7a.
7c+ in a less fashionable area with what looks like a pretty odd sequence?
Did he top out (not shown in the video)? The top was quite wet and was making it the most difficult part.
Think it was Johhny D's project at one time.
Would you have been happier if he'd soloed it above a pile of mats?
> I'm sure there are probably hundreds of people who have dabbled on some hard grit stone routes (E8's and 9's) But never actually summoned the balls to do them properly despite doing all the moves.
I should probably just shut up since Mick and others have said all that can usefully be said in response to this kind of immature and arrogant dogmatism. But I would like to point out that this route is located within a region where 10m+ ppl live, some of whom are climbers (hear hear) and where there's not much else to climb. Trust me, there are plenty of ppl who would love to do this, in the SE and beyond. Yet only 4 have managed, and it's really not about ball size. A closer look at the moves in the vid should have given you an idea why no one has done it "properly" (your word), but if you need further convincing then I invite you over for the biggest sandbagging you'll ever experience. On a 6a. On toprope. 0% friction, 100% ethical.
Everyone is local in the UK! We are one big happy climbing family.
Rare repeats of regional test pieces are of interest to people in that area, and others..
"If you claim that 4 people who top roped it all made ascents then why should anyone bother trying to solo it when that counts just as much. "
This comment kinds bugged me...
Do you climb to compare your ascents to others? I was under the impression that most people climb for the enjoyment? Maybe your different? Should I not bother to lead a route after someone has soloed it? Are you suggesting that it should in some way influence my decision to climb something I want to? Why should other peoples actions have any influence on what someone else climbs or how they climb it. I feel sorry for you if this is the away you approach things.
I get that feeling every 3 years or so. A quick visit and i'm unequivocally reminded of why i don't climb down there, which lasts me until my memory fades in about another 3 year period and i do my next customary 'refresher'...
Very good effort on the climb!
Great stuff, well done Johnny!
I believe this has a direct start that goes at F8a.
Good work Johnny. I've only walked under it and it looks hard as nails, taking into consideration that HR grades are hard enuff as it is.
No, but my point is if you value that as a proper ascent then there is no reason why anyone else would or should bother to go and try to solo it.
And if it makes you feel better then I I will tell you that I do toprope and second stuff as well. However I wouldn't regard it as the full experience of the route.
I doubt he cares if you think its a proper ascent or not as all he is doing is climbing rocks, in a way he wants to.
If somebody reports it as news (i feel rightly but its an editorial descition,) then you can read the news or not. Its still news. I dont care that
I don't really have an opinion that P&D Marsh have launced the first in a series of new models related to materials handling. (http://www.model-railways-live.co.uk/News/P_and_D_Marsh_Models/)
it is still news to somebody, and it has no effect on me one way or the other.
If you don't like the news you read you can read differnt news. Or write your own...
People value the first ground up ascents of headpointed routes (see those articles about a route getting a Fr + PG/R/X until it gets a ground-up, Gravediggers say).
People value the first flashes or onsights of previously headpointed routes (if the first flash of Gaia or first onsight of End of the Affair or whatever was not news then why do I think I know who did them, despite it not being in any way my local scene).
People value the first onsights of notable sport testpieces (as the reporting of last year's Ondra ticking at Malham showed, first onsights of some of those Malham testpieces did make the news).
I see very few people arguing that if you recognise the value of the head/redpoint there's no value in trying the onsight/flash, do you?
In the same way, first solos of notable southern sandstone routes are valued. The local ethic says that due to the nature of the rock the accepted style of ascent is a toprope or better a solo, in the same way that the local ethic says an acceptable style in which to ascend a sport route at Malham is a redpoint, or better a flash or better still an onsight.
And do you really think that the first solo of a Font 7c+ what looks like a reasonable distance off the ground with the kind of moves that could leave you taking a completely uncontrolled fall wouldn't be news - it sounds far more than an E8 solo to me - isn't Equilibrium a badly protected/unprotected boulder problem in the sky in that sort of region of difficulty)
> No, but my point is if you value that as a proper ascent then there is no reason why anyone else would or should bother to go and try to solo it.
Never forget that you're not climbing against other people. You're climbing for the sake of your own personal achievements. I think it's quite sad that some really enthusiastic young climbers get so worked up in the numbers game so soon.
But that aside, on this particular solo: as AJM has just said, if your fingers zip while you're in that horizontal position you will probably rotate further as you fall giving you a nice opportunity to break your neck upon impact. I'm not sure that I'd encourage people to put themselves in that position on solo, but for the record I would freak out in awe if they succeeded.
Great, thanks for posting this, I live miles away and have only been to High rocks once years ago, I remember this inspiring feature and its history of repelling some very talented climbers. All credit to Mr Partridge for unlocking that sequence.
If nothing else, this video shows very well the sheer quality of the climbing to be found on SE sandstone that is so much derided by ignoramuses.
Or perhaps simply, people who love climbing in all its various forms and appreciate that what they know best isn't neccessarily all there is to offer. Let's not get blinkered boys. all experience is good experience but more importantly, well done Mr Partridge............... deeply inspiring :)
Good effort Jon, its an awesome line.
btw, did you note the length of Mr P's legs..... that doesn't hurt on sandstone. Tony Musselbrook is also quite tall. Anyone know about Dave Turner?
I think James Pearson is quite tall looking at his pic in the SS guidebook climbing 'Change in the Weather' at High Rocks Annexe across the road. Just interested, cause if only 6ft + climbers can do Chimaera my dreams are shot down big time ;0)
cheers for the steer NJB. My comments were a bit tongue in cheek, especially being a relative newbie, but that's good to hear. I've walked many times past the route which looks amazing, but never entered HR given that it's pretty hardcore. I've soloed a couple of bits and pieces at The Continuation Wall and The Annexe and they have 3a Chimneys that seasoned guys struggle up (Starboard Chimney, what's all that about?). Puts Jon's effort in perspective.
Going to be honest this is about the least inspiring news Ive ever read.
Also climbing in the videos looked mediocre and not that interesting. If you want to climb then there are so many better places in the UK, why bother climbing on this crumbling rubbish?
> that is so much derided by ignoramuses.
"Never forget that you're not climbing against other people."
This is naive.
As long as he enjoyed himself and had a good laugh.
Good effort mate, looks nails.
One year I could
onsight E2 in the peak
Repeat E3 on slate
Work a 7a to completion at Craggy Island (hard graded indoor wall)
But and an effin big but (I hasten to add)
I failed on 6a's on Southern Sandstone (SS).
You cannot move your hand on a hold for 'balling' up grains under your fingers/hand and you fall off
You cannot move your foot placement for "balling" up grains under your feet and you fall off.
When the balling occurs you are pretty much on the equivalent of slicks on ice.
The sandstone stuff is full of friction based slopers too - remember the "balling" issue when you read that last bit.
Stop questioning the ethics of the top rope for the moment. Dispell belief and go and try it. I know of many people that use SS to make themselves climb harder on grit/other sandstone/font/slate/granite/limestone because these types of rock are so much more forgiving.
I also know and sometimes have watched rock jocks quite literally shit themselves when trying it for the first time and then leaving thoroughly spanked.
and no way is 'Honeycomb' or whatever you call that route 6b+- much harder
I'm sorry to inform you - I'm straight and married but glad you are comfortable.
I'm not questioning the grade - like for like it is correct. The softness of the rock makes you change your climbing style to complete routes. Precision is a good thing!
Noticed he's using chalk, that used to be a no no for SS, have things changed?
Nice video, but I'm a bit puzzled by the grades. I can't work out on what system CrossTown Traffic is being given 7b and Honeycomb 6b+. Not that it matters, obviously, but anyone like to enlighten me?
tis ok if used sparingly. I don't think many hands get to touch that route either.
No, ignoramuses. O.E.D. Anglicized plurals of latin words ending in -us are usually spelt -uses. Cp. campuses.
But as an aside Jon's ascent of Chimaera is slightly marred as he used a bouldering pad as well as the top rope - tut tut!
> But why remove the overall challenge? Sure its free for people to toprope
> as they wish but surely it can wait for a proper ascent when
> someone does it in better stile.
With respect, but you seem to be completely misunderstanding the styles versus ethics in various regions.
Taking your perspective as an absolute, you should question all climbs on bolted routes and expect people to (re)climb it using their own protection.
Why? Don't bolts remove the overall challenge?
Of course they do remove but only one aspect of the challenge. It is psychological aspect, leaving the physical strength requirement intact.
In Southern Sandstone, the physical strength is the major aspect of the climbs and top-rope does not knock off anything of the seriousness of climbs and is perfectly valid there.
By the way, if you are being die hard, you could extend your objections to crash pads (sometimes in tall stacks) in HP or solo or hi-ball attempts (e.g. http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=61066 and http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=61488)
Don't be silly!
> One year I could
> onsight E2 in the peak
> Repeat E3 on slate
> Work a 7a to completion at Craggy Island (hard graded indoor wall)
> But and an effin big but (I hasten to add)
> I failed on 6a's on Southern Sandstone (SS).
Same here, nearly to the very detail. I can do E2 in Peak, 7a/7b indoor, flash V6/V7 indoor, but it took me at least 6 attempts to climb "The Leaf" Font 6b+ (V4?) in the SoSa.
Think of gritstone style of climbing where the rock is like a sponge, but you still have to stick it very hard or even harder. Southern Sandstone is one of the most difficult rock to climb, IMHO.
> But as an aside Jon's ascent of Chimaera is slightly marred as he used a bouldering pad as well as the top rope - tut tut!
I'd say the pad was probably there to keep his shoes clean before he started climbing...
> I'd say the pad was probably there to keep his shoes clean before he started climbing...
Rock jocks of today have far too much money then! What is wrong with a nicked beer towel I ask ye!
> I'd say the pad was probably there to keep his shoes clean before he started climbing...
AFAIK, pads also play an important role in ground & floras protection. Otherwise, it could be well ploughed around the crags.
> btw, did you note the length of Mr P's legs..... that doesn't hurt on sandstone. Tony Musselbrook is also quite tall. Anyone know about Dave Turner?
> I think James Pearson is quite tall looking at his pic in the SS guidebook climbing 'Change in the Weather' at High Rocks Annexe across the road. Just interested, cause if only 6ft + climbers can do Chimaera my dreams are shot down big time ;0)
I'm 5ft 9 1/2" - if interested (?!) I got my left foot really high as the guy in the vid (helped by a small nubbin, now broken, about 8" above the main foot ledge) and rocked onto it, being shortish and bendy helped to get my other foot on the edge in the groove before standing up ... so perhaps easier for me!
Topping out, that another poster mentioned, took me something like 15 minutes as it was covered in sandstone slime ... I think it (and the whole crag) is generally drier now as a lot of trees have been removed.
Is it news? Probably not ... it's definitely not cutting edge ... nice to see a video though and thus of interest but not news as such.
Grade? Don't know the current Font grades are after my time ...
Thanks for the response Dave. I too am 5' 9''1/2 so hope springs and all that ;) I should be at the Annexe across the road tomorrow but of course will have to take a peak at Chimaera. rude not to really.
You are right about the trees being cut back. Shame the same couldn't be said about the continuation wall. If your top out was anything like the routes there then 15 minutes is an achievement in itself. Tis great to see a video of the ascent though. Mad moves. All the best.
Nice wee video. Great flexibility and very tough looking sequence of moves. Interesting to note about the ethics of southren sandstone, didn't know about that.
Not specific to the climb in the video, but with top roping obviously how tight the belayer has the rope can be a major advantage in a tenuous balancey move and can be the difference between success and failure for a climber at their personal limit.
For a successful ascent, is there an etiquette to govern this, e.g. has to be some obvious slack in system, or is it just done on trust?? Genuinely interested to hear....
Re: soloing - if you knew the area and had the guide, you would know what had and had not been soloed. This is the hardest route in the area, but there's a lot of others which haven't seen solo ascents. If you went and looked at the routes you'd start to see why, if you then tried them you'd understand even better, because routes and holds don't come much more tenuous than on SS. If you think top-roping isn't a valid ascent on SS, come and do some solos which haven't been done and if, afterwards, you can still walk, come back and we can all have the discussion again with some genuine understanding on both sides of the argument. Until then try to understand the different local ethics which at your own crag couldn't apply.
I was linked to this thread from a different one re Dundee-area routes (!?)
Damned good video, well done camera & editing bods!
well put Radical, true words. If you want to improve your head game or risk ruining it come and climb SS.
On a domestic note, I soloed at the High Rocks Annexe and Continuation Wall yesterday and would like to say 'don't put soft sandstone climbing clothes in with other items'. All my work shirts have sandy smears on them as though the sand has been puffed up and I brushed my trousers off before washing them and used top soap. That is harder to work out than how someone can get up Chimaera.
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