/ How to go about bottling routes?

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Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
Me, I favour just coming out, looking at them, sucking on my teeth and saying "...Another day maybe. Looks a bit savage for me right now". Always preferable to having to ab off from three-quarters height.

Yourself?
mkean - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
I pretend to be lost and walk away from the crag muttering loudly about poor topos.
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to mkean:

Oh yes. I've done that, too.

Or there's always: "...Bit greasy today, isn't it?"

--A line I have shamelessly used under blazing skies, months into a drought :-)
The Ex-Engineer - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: I'm generally more of a 'take a good 20' fall first' type of person, however I have never been known to bottle out of doing a gearshop traverse or, for that matter, a classic pub eliminate.
Niall - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I'm of the old school. Climb up to the first tricky bit above gear. Whimper a bit. Downclimb and get lowered.
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Niall:

"My fingers need a bit more rest-time."
mkean - on 21 May 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
Ah if I could have 10 for everytime I've sacked off climbing to do a retro-flash of the gear shops in Llanberis highstreet then my bank balance would look a lot better! I've never been bothered by the whole falling off thing as I'm too tight to leave gear behind and too lazy to ab the route and clean it, if I can't down climb it I normally can't be bothered :-)
Nick Ward - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

At last - a genuinely useful thread.

Now, wheres my notepad... ;)
davidbeynon - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Get someone to drop me a rope. That way I can be disgusted with myself when I find the move I wouldn't commit to is actually piss easy.
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Nick Ward:

<squints up at crag> "Hang on, is that a wasps' nest just above the crux?"

or:

"I think I read somewhere there's a birding restriction here." [Thinks: Thank God]
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:


One of Glaramara's:

"I'm not too bothered. I had a huuuuge bouldering session yesterday."
The Ex-Engineer - on 21 May 2012
In reply to mkean:
> Ah if I could have 10 for everytime I've sacked off climbing to do a retro-flash of the gear shops in Llanberis highstreet then my bank balance would look a lot better!

I doubt it. I think you would just have shinier gear ;-)
chris wyatt - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: I useually ask my partner if he/she would like to top rope it! (only works for single pitch mind)
davidbeynon - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

"uninspiring", "looks a bit boring really" and "is that the time?" all work.
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:

<consults wrong-way-up guide book> "Hang on, is this Wilton 1 or Wilton 4?"
The Ex-Engineer - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: There is then of course the old fall back when alternate leading on big multi-pitch routes.

"Rope drag is getting a bit much, I'm just going to rig a belay right here."
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

"Didn't you get my text asking you to bring the rope?"
chris wyatt - on 21 May 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer: That's cruel!
Simon Caldwell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
My usual method is to find a typo in the guidebook, I then have to come home so I can moan about it on UKC.
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Toreador:

"Hold your horses. We've got loads of time to climb. Let's finish this bottle of cider first."
Ramblin dave - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to mkean)
>
> Or there's always: "...Bit greasy today, isn't it?"

This. And just "looks bloody orrible, to be honest".
chris wyatt - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: Need to go and find somewhere for a crap! Have a look and see what you fancy and you can have the next lead!
Kemics - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I go for the classic 'I'll save it for the on-sight' ...

Or I'm not warmed up, I don't want to flash pump. I'm too knackered now from that sandbagged warm up. The window between can be slim indeed ;)
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to chris wyatt:


"Gaah, I was sure I'd packed my belay device. Never mind, on you go, I can hold you on a granny knot."
mkean - on 21 May 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
"Rope drag is getting a bit much, I'm just going to rig a belay right here."

I'm a fan of running two pitches together to make sure the other person gets the spicier pitches: "Sorry mate, I thought you said 70m not 17m! Oh looks like you are doing the chimney/off-width/cornflakey face/ polished horrorshow :-)
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to mkean:

"These days I don't think anything is worth leading unless it's three stars and at least E4. Still, if there's anything here you fancy..."
Robert Dickson on 21 May 2012 - rcd.jb.man.ac.uk
In reply to Tim Chappell: I prefer the old classic "I'm a greater ranges myself"
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Robert Dickson:

"Don't let me stop you, of course-- but me, I got a bit climbed out here when I was writing the guide for this venue."
Alyson - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: I like to put in the groundwork prior to even setting off to the venue by mentioning an impending cold/funny twinge in my shoulder/ruptured spleen etc in a breezily non-committal way, as if I am the sort of hard-as-nails rock goddess who doesn't let such trifling matters bother me.

This means that if I get to the crag and climb with any sort of success it seems even more of a triumph, but if I get there and want to wet my pants at the sight of the glowering polished/chossy/overhanging rock with vultures circling overhead, I can have a sudden and unexpected worsening of symptoms.
thermal_t - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: Just after christmas I was watching my friend on a route I really didn't fancy but had committed to having a crack at. A pigeon then proceeded to cr*p on her, right in the face as she looked up. "well i'm not going up there now, that pigeons still up there! Pub?" was the convenient excuse!
Tom Last - on 21 May 2012
In reply to mkean:

Do you remember our trip to The Roaches when I claimed I was gonna do Elegy? Ha ha ha!
Goucho on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: Feigning an injury has worked for me in the past.

Start off up the route, then at a suitably respectable point, suddenly let out a loud cry (has to be done mid move for credibility)and then shout down that you think you've just pulled a tendon/muscle/ligament, and lower off.

To maintain the charade you must complain about the discomfort for the rest of the day - dropping your pint in the pub later, because of the pain will undoubtedly seal the deal.

Of course, be magnanimous also, and offer to belay your partner on any routes they may want to do - you can even throw in a bit of stoicism and say you'll try your best to second the route, but may need a tight rope.

Another good ploy - especially useful if you've spent the previous night in the pub, bullshitting everyone on the big lead you're going to do - is to take your mobile up the route, with the alarm set for about 10 minutes after you start climbing. Then, when it goes off, pretend it's a call and answer it, and then start saying "Oh no you're kidding, oh that's terrible, look I'll call you back straight away".
Of course you then have to lower off, and make an imaginary phone call, the end result of which will leave you too worried and concerned to concentrate on climbing any more.
Ramblin dave - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
Another classic (adapted from Tom Patey's "The Art of Climbing Down Gracefully" - surely the bible on this topic) is spending the whole day getting some mileage in on a load of soloing - conveniently out of sight of anyone else. For an extra flourish, if anyone asks what you actually climbed, you don't know - you didn't really bother with the guidebook, you just picked the stuff you liked the look of and had a go at it.
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Right. So Glaramara's "I'm not too bothered about routes today, I had an epic day bouldering yesterday" would be a variant on that.

<thinks: I'll keep dangling it, he'll bite in the end>
Gordonbp - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Didn't Tom also come out with the classic (in the days of dangle and whack merchants) "I'm an aid man. All my kit is in a box somewhere on the railway...
Tim Chappell - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:

You, sir, are clearly a Chief in this particular zone :-0
Goucho on 21 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: On occasions, I've had to be, because over the years, I've climbed with some right hard bas***ds!!!!

At times, cowardice is the better part of valour :-)
Tim Chappell - on 22 May 2012


And then there's that classic bottling line from the winter scene: "That surely isn't in yet?"
The Ivanator - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: " If there was just one more good runner in those first few meters I'd be on it"
metal arms on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

<Looks up at 3* classic>

'That looks proper shit.'

<Turns to partner>

'Can't be arsed today. We've come to a crap crag. Clogwyn Du'r Arddu. Who's even heard of it? Anything you want to do?'
pebbles - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: " isnt that rain coming down the valley?" / "lights going fast, isnt it!"
Skyfall - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Ah, now this is a subject quite close to my heart. My climbing partner has told me that I should have given masterclasses in getting my excuses in early.

However, my proudest moment came when standing beneath some route at Shepherds which is not my favourite crag if I'm being honest and I was distinctly lacking in enthusiasm. It took a whole half hour of gearing up, then another of working out the best line and gear placements from the ground, before the heavens had the good grace to open and get me off the hook. This was such a performance that Sir Chris and one of his mates turned around to us from the base of a neighbouring route and applauded me on some 'grade A faffing' I think the was the phrase.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, my climbing partner doesn't have any such problems and I can generally rely upon him to either take point or verbally humiliate and cajole me into getting on something. So not all days are spent retroflashing the gear shops (nice - must remember that one) ;)
nniff - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

My specialist subject........

"I have an invisible friend, Reg, my Reasonable Excuse Generator. He is very accomplished at what he does. He is currently tending to choose a selection from:
- age;
- excessive or inadequate height or reach;
- weight;
- weather (predictions of imminent change, too hot, cold, windy, wet or humid);
- nature of the rock, climbing, protection and belays (too much, too little or the wrong sort);
- strength (invariably lack of);
- generic and specific ailments;
- apathy;
- vegetation, slime and nettles;
- dampness and seepage;
- loose rock;
- polish;
- rumours of adverse access agreements;
- daylight (too little remaining or insufficiently well established);
- too hard, too easy, done it before, not done it before for a good reason;
- forgotten or lost equipment;
- hunger, thirst or over-indulgence;
- flies, midges, ticks or other wildlife;
- pressing engagement elsewhere or threats issued by my lawful wedded opponent;
- insufficient blood in the alcohol flow,
and that's before we start on winter climbing for which he has a whole new lexicon."
IanMcC - on 22 May 2012
In reply to nniff:
...this crag's been a victim of global steepening..."
ksjs - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: Genius :) I think I'm a bit more elaborate than that, usually a bit of up and down first but I get there in the end.
Punter S Thompson - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I can't believe I'm the only one to use the classic "I'd love to climb today but can't because of my damn brittle knees"
poeticshambles - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: I'm going to have to write some of these down. We went to a newish crag in Murcia, I climbed one route that looked easy, but could only get half way, then tried the route next to it, and got about a quarter of the way up, then tried the one next to that. Ended up with three vertical rows of quickdraws of varying distances up the routes. Finished with my Spanish mate having to retrieve all our gear. A sad, sad day.
Steeve - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
"I just cant read this rock"
"im more of a trad man really"
"I couldnt see the line/next bolt"
"im totally out of sequence"
"these shoes have got no edge/are too soft/too stiff"
Duncan Bourne - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
The best way to bottle a route is with a very big glass jar and lots of vinegar
Ramblin dave - on 22 May 2012
In reply to The Ivanator:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell) " If there was just one more good runner in those first few meters I'd be on it"

That's a classic! Like I'd be totally loving the knee-trembling runouts if I was twenty metres up, but an unprotected start just isn't cricket.
Tim Chappell - on 22 May 2012
In reply to poeticshambles:

[In tones of weather-beaten experience, to partner:] You know, on reflection, I'm not sure you're psychologically or physically ready for this route. Sorry, my mistake.
Trina B - on 23 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: i like "well, we've done 2 routes today already, that's good enough" and "i'm just not feeling it".
recurring injuries or problem joints are good too... "sorry, my ankle's been a bit dodgy today, but i think i could second something..."
mkean - on 23 May 2012
In reply to Southern Man:
Do you remember our trip to The Roaches when I claimed I was gonna do Elegy? Ha ha ha!

Ah some quality excuses! I was recently reminded of our valiant efforts to avoid climbing Ramshaw Crack through the cunning medium of getting stuck on a route 3 grades easier :-)

Tim Chappell - on 23 May 2012
Or how about:

"Oh, I never repeat routes. On principle. And now I look at it, I realise I did this with Joe Brown in, er, May 1949."
Max factor - on 23 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Don't fancy the look of a route?

Turn to partner, and in tones of imparting a great gift: "Mate, it's a classic line, i'll let you get on it as you did all the [driving/ it's your birthday/ I got the plumb pitch on .....etc]".
Trangia - on 23 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I normally plan to lead a route in the evening in the pub, then bottle out the next morning when I read the guidebook.
Tim Chappell - on 23 May 2012
In reply to Trangia:


"I'd love to climb this evening but I have to ferry the kids to Brownies" is an old favourite of mine.

Usually, unfortunately, it's true.

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