/ Your 1st VS

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mcdougal - on 20 Apr 2012
Following on from the E1 and HVS threads; what was your 1st VS and how did you find it?
Skyfall - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Bracket & Slab Direct Start on Gimmer. I got sandbagged into leading it on maybe my 3rd weekend out climbing. My esteemed leader said it was just a more interesting way to start the route which I thought was Severe. I did find it slightly challenging given my inexperience of climbing, never mind leading...
David Hooper - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: just down the road - Salmon Leap at Scout Crag - remember it clearly 30 years on
Alun - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:
Scavenger at Three Cliffs, Gower. I bricked it the whole way up - the shakes, sweaty palms, doubting my gear etc. etc.

A decade or so later I traversed in at high-ish tide on a baking hot day and soloed it, in the shade, with the just the gently lapping sea for company. It's a special route.
victim of mathematics - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Apple Arete at Gardoms.

Not very hard, not very VS, but it felt good at the time!
999thAndy on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Josephine Superdirect at Ilkley.

I was out with a student climbing club, and one guy backed off the route. He asked me if I thought I could do it, so I lead it (having a +ve ape index was very useful). When I got to the top I had to ask another climber how to set up a belay as I'd never done it before <hangs head in shame>. However we all survived and I'm still climbing with the bloke who belayed me that day.
Chris the Tall - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:
Topsail, Birchens
Monk - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

I think it was a climb called Scotia at Lawrencefield. I climbed it by mistake thinking that it was a completely different climb (graded severe). It was less well protected than I had hoped, and more vegetated than it might have been. Then my second failed to follow it, it went dark and we had to leave a load of gear in the route as there wasn't a decent belay at the top (at least to my inexperienced eyes). We went back at dawn the next morning to retrieve it with some bizarre diagonal abseils. I think it was my 5th lead, and certainly quite an entertaining experience.
lowersharpnose - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

My first ever lead was a VS, Shadrach at Tremadoc, all my gear fell out on the second pitch.

Darwinism had a day off and I got away with it.
Graham Mck on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: Think it was Mississippi Buttress Direct at Stanage. Had been climbing about a year and found it OK. Thought there was nothing to this climbing lark :) Doubt I could climb it now :(
Bulls Crack - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Something at Causey Quarry - can't really remeber which. I never was comfortable at VS - it was a relief to get onto HVS and E numbers!
Jeromecooper - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:
My first VS lead was my first ever lead.

The Mall @ Millstone, I was sort of petrified as it was my first ever lead but loved it all the same.
Bob Hassall - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: Heather Wall at Stanage, belter!
JanBella - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: Brown crag crack in borrowdale on my first trad day out ever. i had little idea about the grades at that time haha
mcdougal - on 20 Apr 2012
Heather Wall is brilliant, isn't it? Solid VS too IMO.
Someone mentioned an epic on Shadrach, I had one there too - well, it was Grim Wall actually. I got lost.

Aqua at the Roaches was mine and my 1st JB route too. Was reading lots climbing books from the 50s and 60s at the time and thought that VS was really special...which it was!
Mark Bull - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Scabby Horse on Gouther Crag in the Lakes. Found it OK: the crux is quite short-lived.
Enty - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Jean Jeanie - Trowbarrow - ok.

E
The Ivanator - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: Bit on the Side on Gower http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=58530
it's a very soft one and felt straightforward. State of Independence at Shorn Cliff is another good first VS.
In reply to mcdougal:

Birch Tree Wall, Brimham, about 1968. Led it in pumps with no runners as I had been told it was VDiff!


Chris
SteveSBlake - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Pinnacle Face at Crag Lough @1971, I recall I was 'made up'

Steve
In reply to mcdougal: Camperdown Crawl at Birchen (HS in Rockfax) then Aplle Arete at Gardoms which was brilliant - just hard enough to be thrilling when I did it.
Hat Dude on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

1st VS lead was Central Climb on Hen Cloud in 1982. I thought it was Severe which I think is the grade given in Classic Rock; no wonder I found it hard!

As a foot note I can remember a party of 3 climbing the E1 to the right, the party included Fred Crook, who I didn't know but seemed to bump into on crags a lot around that time.
thomm - on 20 Apr 2012
Nea in Llanberis pass - a soft one, and I cunningly worked out the leads so I seconded the airy move off the ledge. Felt relieved after too many years in the lower grades. Now after five more years of occasional climbing I'm still climbing at VS - definitely a slow developer, but so much to enjoy at the grade...
gazfellows on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:
Inverted V Stanage, such a good day that day ....
Paul Hy - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: my first lead VS was Condor Slab on Roaches Skyline. it's a bit sparce on the protection front and i can remember every move, still!
mcdougal - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to Paul Hy:
"A bit sparse"? That's like saying that this week's weather has been a bit damp!
Good effort, Mr H!
Lord of Starkness - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:
First VS lead Quarry Wall -- Causey Quarry - 1970 -- in plimsolls
Once I'd led my first VS I reckoned that I was qualified to get a pair of proper rock boots - and acquired a pair of secondhand PAs

First Lakes VS lead -- Brown Slabs Crack -- 1975 -- My PAs had died by this stage and had progressed on to EB's!
saffy - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: mine was rotundra butress at the roaches, was my first lead on rock aswell.
Jimbo C - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Logbook says Barry Mannilow at Burbage North. I had to think a bit about how to pull around the nose and was pretty worried about the unprotected padding near the top.

My 2nd one was nice too - Gunpowder Crack at Bamford. That one defintely felt very severe.
Tom Last - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Sabre Cut - Dinas Cromlech.

I found it scary!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Skylon, Carreg Wastad, a fortnight after leading Milestone Buttress. Found quite easy. Then Trilon - much harder. Then Pharoah's Wall and Sabre Cut - much, much better.
Exile - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Bilberry Buttress, Raven Crag Langdale
sjminfife - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: My first VS lead. I soloed Rib and Slab and Caley.I keep expecting it to be downgraded to Hard Severe as I remember it as a boulder problem start and a nice balancy slab at the top.
Seconding my first VS experience was Z climb at Almscliff which I recall was quite strenous and not the best place to learn how to jam. sjm
goose299 - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:
Thrutch at Witches Quarry. Lovely little climb with a not to hard crux at the top
Harry Holmes - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: Heathy ar Rosyth Quarry. I think I found it quite hard but I can't really remember.
graeme jackson - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: Via Dolorosa at the roaches probably 79 or 80. It was early spring and there was ice on the top pitch. i was shitting myself having a real wobbly until doug came up with his axe and told me he'd kill me if I didn't get on with it. Took him seriously 9as one always did when doug spoke) and finished the route a gibbering wreck.
GrahamD - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

I definately remember this one - one of the times I have truly felt elated at reaching the top. Inominate Crack on Kern Knotts. OK its MVS but to me it felt like a big breakthrough
Tony the Blade on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Allan's Crack at Brimham http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=27999

A great climb that my mate was about to top rope, as he was setting it up I suggested that it would probably be easier and safer to just lead the bugger - me and my big mouth! A great climb, especially the lower 'crack' section.

Oh happy days
tim_leach - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Mississippi Buttress Direct. More awkward than it looked from the ground, but the great gear and the fact it was in a corner (easy resting) encouraged the necessary commitment. Loved it.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:
Gronk on avon gorge, a nice route.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to Jeromecooper:
> (In reply to mcdougal)
> My first VS lead was my first ever lead.
>
> The Mall @ Millstone, I was sort of petrified as it was my first ever lead but loved it all the same.

Haha no soft touch IMO
Trangia - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Munich Climb, Tryfan, East Face.

Was shaking like a leaf on the exposed traverse after the bold step round the corner onto it and before I reached Teufels Crack. The words in the old Ogwen guide book kept ringing in my mind "There have been too many fatalities on this climb" - not an encouraging send off on my first VS lead!
Al Randall on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to Trangia: I'm impressed. I did Munich Climb when I was regularly climbing Extreme and found it hard.

Similarly with the Mall at Millstone. I'm sure that was graded Extreme at one time, a soft touch but Extreme non the less.

Al
JDal - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: S Ridge Direct on Arran in 1964. Brilliant day out!
Goucho on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: Rusty Wall, Narrow Slab, Mississippi Buttress Direct, Central Trinity, Inverted V, Ellisis Eliminate, High Neb Buttress - all on the same day at Stanage - 1st Saturday in July, 1972.

My diary and guidebook notes state that Rusty Wall, Narrow Slab & Central Trinity were no problem, Mississippi Buttress Direct was brilliant, and that Ellisis Eliminate and High Neb Buttress were tough buggers!!!

In fact when I look back, it seems that Stanage was where I did my first routes at several grades...V Diff, VS, HVS, and Extreme - obviously spent too much time there as a young whipper snapper.

Paul Hy - on 21 Apr 2012
In reply to saffy: thats a very good lead as a first lead especially the last bit. good on yer.
Dave 88 - on 21 Apr 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:


In reply to Jeromecooper:
> (In reply to mcdougal)
> My first VS lead was my first ever lead.
>
> The Mall @ Millstone, I was sort of petrified as it was my first ever lead but loved it all the same.

Haha no soft touch IMO

Too right. First VS and first lead, I think I would've given up climbing!
wilkie14c - on 21 Apr 2012
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to mcdougal)
>
> Jean Jeanie - Trowbarrow - ok.
>
> E

Full on for a first VS that! I can't remember mine but I coached a guy who'd just got into climbing and built him up to lead as well. He'd gone through the lower grades okay and although not a particulary powerful climber he was pretty good on his feet so last summer I put him on Hargreaves Orignal and watching him lead that and the pleasure on his face afterwards was worth more than any VS I've ever climbed. A real special moment in my climbing career and a springboard for him to consolidate the grade. VS has got to be one of the best grades to be solid on, there are brilliant routes at most crags at VS and even if you have no desire to progress further you'll never run out of VS's
Lew13 - on 21 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

1st Trad lead, Causey Crack @ Causey Quarry.

Took about 40mins on it and it's only 12m
Jamie B - on 21 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Mine was accidental. As a keen but inexperienced severe leader I ended up at Widdop with the Uni club, and understandably made a beeline for Krypton, the three-starred severe on Mystery Buttress. All a good plan in theory, but I'd not actually checked the guide very thoroughly before charging off on the lead, and I was well ensconced before I realised that my route finished with a long un-protected traverse. Arse; my belay bunny was an even worse climber than me and of a nervous disposition; I didn't really want to be responsible for any bone-crunching pendulums.

What to do? There was at least a nice big ledge at the start of the traverse, so I figured I'd belay, bring Ed up and wait for inspiration. Watching him sketch about seconding was enough to persuade me that the traverse definately WASN'T a good idea. Obviously I was a guide at heart even then.

I suppose we could just have abseiled, but that would have smacked of defeat and surrender. A wide crack leered above my head; it looked bloody desperate, archetypal Yorkshire, but at least I'd keep the rope above my second. Just a shame I didn't have anything to protect it with. I felt scared and horribly sandbagged. Until that is a local leaned over the top and dropped a hex 11 down to me, telling me I was lost without one on yorkshire grit. The nature of the problem was definately much softened by that big boy locked into the crack at arms length above me.

The climbing was still desperate; only acheivable through hand-rasping jams, pedaling on smears and making lots of noise, but several million calories later I belly-flopped over the top and my second was safe. I learned how to do an assisted hoist shortly afterwards.

I was actually quite dissapointed when I found out that it was "just" VS; it had felt about 23 grades harder than anything I'd climbed before.
Fiona Reid - on 21 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

Warrior God at Aztec Tower in the NW of Scotland which I initially lead on a 2-day lead climbing course with an instructor on a rope next to me telling me my gear placements were okay etc. I went back 6 months later and scared myself stupid but got up it.

My first VS lead that I had no knowledge of was Red Flag at Limekilns. I totally laced it with gear (9 or 10 bits in 11m!!) but was nowhere near as scared as the climb has a number of good "faff' ledges!
Mark F - on 21 Apr 2012
In reply to JonC:
> (In reply to mcdougal)
>
> Bracket & Slab Direct Start on Gimmer. I got sandbagged into leading it on maybe my 3rd weekend out climbing. My esteemed leader said it was just a more interesting way to start the route which I thought was Severe. I did find it slightly challenging given my inexperience of climbing, never mind leading...

That was my first VS lead too. We were supposed to be climbing Gimmer Chimney but we didn't have a guidebook at the time. My mate insisted that was the correct start, and being the gullible chap I am I said 'ok' and got on with it. I thought it seemed quite hard for a vdiff.

The Ivanator - on 21 Apr 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: A good story, entertainingly told!
tombawimba - on 22 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:
Bouyed on by climbing my first HS and finding it easy (it was) I walked down the crag to find a VS....I attempted 'the russian' at Symonds Yat. (at least one person has died on this route.)
At about 30 feet with a piece of gear at 15 foot, I was half way through the crux sequence when I realised I couldn't do it. I couldn't go up and the move I had done I couldn't reverse.
In panic I climbed sideways and got a hold with my left hand and waggled a piece of gear in with my right, put a quickdraw and before I could get the rope through it my left hand gave up and I was left holding onto the untested runner. I got the rope in and was lowered to the ground.

Phew.
Pursued by a bear - on 22 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: Samarkand at Anglezark. I thought it was fine.

T.
JimboWizbo - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal: After a couple of outings doing diffs I accidentally led a HVS 5b (Llech at the campsite in Wales).
Then I accidentally led a VS 4b (Raven Rock Gully left hand, didn't see the way out to the right).
Funny, but quite a stupid mistake that could've turned ugly.
I suppose my first intentional VS lead was Damascus Crack (Left hand finish) at the Roaches. I found it because Mike told me it was scary and that I had to do it.
Scarab9 - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to mcdougal:

during one of those moments where sense and knowledge or basic physics seem to have gone on holiday, I went for Mohammad at Denham. It was pretty green, freezing cold, and felt 'ard. I think I'd been on a long break before hand so was weak and faffy and also still quite new. I got 3-4 pieces of gear in but they all fell out apart from the bottom one which was at about 4 metres of the deck. At 2/3rd height my mate shouted up "how comfortable are you?" as I was stood on what felt like a tiny smear on one foot, a tiny edge on the other, and barely a hold (all I'm sure quite large and good really). He ignored my response, possibly because it used too many rude words, and proceeded to tie me off and take pictures. A bit pointless tieing me off when my last piece of gear is 4 metres off the floor and about 10 metres back the way I'd come.

Got to the top though and felt bloody brilliant.

I then laughed a lot as my mate gibbered his way up despite being a solid HVS leader and low extreme seconder.

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