/ NEWS: VIDEO: Jordan Buys Onsighting Vertical Speed - E7 6c
Technical wall climbing is protected by two pegs and involves a big run out to the safety of a large horizontal break.
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67170
Excellent little video, i like at the end when it says "Directed by Adam Bailes" i'm hoping that means the video and not the climbing !!!
Good effort! I was looking at those wet seeps and thinking 'the humidity must be horrific'. Great to see high- end onsight climbing.
Yeh Jordan is knocking off some serious E7 and up onsights.
Great video, great climber, great crag.
A great effort nonetheless, greasy holds from the seepage must have made it a little exciting
How British of you!
But we all have a clue what you're inferring ;-)
Because it wouldn't be possible for someone to have done it in the days previous.
Jesus, some people on this forum. Even if someone had abbed down and chalk/cleaned the holds, what would make you want to spout about it on the internet? Without knowing any facts about the ascent. Just pure hearsay in your own little world. did this ascent make you feel a little inferior that you had to belittle it?
Its a reasonable question - just trying to understand the style of ascent shown and what is and isn't allowed in on sighting at this level.
Another thing that appears curious to a punter is the preplaced gear in the first corner, for instance ?
That wall is quite steep so it will retain chalk from previous ascents for a long time.
This is pretty irrelevant in this case I think. It could have been placed solo as a warm up or maybe by the film cameraman who appears to be up left somewhere. The climbing is very easy and you wouldn't consider this runner being in place as tainting an onsight ascent.
Why so aggressive? It was a perfectly reasonable question and in no way was he judgemental or derogatory.
> Why so aggressive? It was a perfectly reasonable question and in no way was he judgemental or derogatory.
It was the presumption, and the snide way he went about it. He should have just asked if someone had abbed it for him and chalked/cleaned it. Why do it in such a round about, 'no facts but ill say it anyway' kind of way?
> Great video, great climber, great crag.
I must admit, I've not seen that much chalk on an E7 before - is that normal down that neck of the woods or do some other lines cross through it and share holds?
Heptonstall is fantastic Fraser ( http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=546 )
Steeped in history, split by cracks, and set in the industrial and rural splendour of Calderdale: wild moors, steep-sided valleys, stone over and under dwellings and mills.
You can just imagine Don Whillans attempting Fork Lightening Crack, fag in his gob, no cams hanging from his hawser-laid rope knotted around his waist.
Fork Lightening Crack: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=198817
It really does have a special feel about the place and you can have a great night out in Hebden Bridge (the Lesbos of the UK) or at the New Delight up on the moors.
Kebs is worth a visit, and numerous other bouldering areas, as well as The Roost: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3138
All the best,
The world class Wicker Man Font 7a at Mythom Steep
I can feel a trip coming on!
Cheers for that - it has a good range of route grades too by the looks of it.
I gave that Forked Lightening Crack photo a 5 - it looks fantastic!
We have a problem in Hebden Bridge. Angry poets. They hang round street corners hurling stanzas at you and if you don't divvy up the necessary, they come round your house at night and hurl haikus through your window. (ref: Kevin Duffy)
Sylvia Plath is burried in St.Thomas' Churchyard, Heptonstall and her husband Ted Hughes had a house nearby, and was brought up in Mytholmroyd.
Here's a nice photo
Agreed on the effort, but "if" the peg is still ok then quite safe iirc. Was it you who took "The full height fall" and bagged the route early one morning before work?
This is my local crag so I know it quite well. Not wanting to detract in anyway from JBs fine performance, this route is rarely chalked and I've never seen it ticked - as in the video. For the record,
The first ascentionist told me that he traversed in lower than JB does - I can say having done both starts that the lower start is a bit more naughty
: ). The finish as originally done is also quite worrying! In the vid JB steps into Hard line for the final move and for the doubters out there, if this wasn't 'onsight' (whatever that means these days) I'm sure JB would have done the same finish as was done on the first ascent.
Following on from Mick Ryan's comments about Heptenstall and the surrounding area; Heptenstall is a dank and dingy place with a handful of crap routes. The surrounding area is dangerous unless you are local. I advise you all to stay away!
> Following on from Mick Ryan's comments about Heptenstall and the surrounding area; Heptenstall is a dank and dingy place with a handful of crap routes. The surrounding area is dangerous unless you are local. I advise you all to stay away!
> : )
That's just not true.
> The True Grip series is great, kudos to Adam Bailes and Boreal: beautifully shot and edited, and essential viewing.
> 'Climbing: It's part of my soul, it's what nourishes me.'
That's a pretty deep, sage-like quote you've picked up on there ;o)
As for Hepstonstall, it's another of those class looking crags which I've never been to. I need to go there! The E7's are made to look well easy....
I think many of us can appreciate and relate to what you said Andi.
Get over there.
Heptenstall village is dark, damp and dingy, the crag/quarry is fine.
"The surrounding area is dangerous unless you are local".
Do you mean the Albert pub , Marshalls bar and the Sports & Social club ?
I was joking : )
However, you are correct in that the bars you mention do offer some 'sport', but only if onsight without any tick marked holds :)))
Thanks Alan, Its hard to get an idea of the steepness from the video or (because the climbing looks controlled pretty much all the way) where the difficulties really kick in.
You should definitely visit it Andi. I have a probably slightly irrational prejudice against Yorkshire as a concept, but still thought Hepstonstall was effing brilliant, even for a VS punter such as myself. Actually I did an HVS there so maybe the grades are soft! :)
Not all the holds are chalked, there are a couple high up that are not chalked. Also often when I visit the crag the holds have chalk on them indicating that someone has been working the route.
Good effort to Jordan, looked pretty spicy to me and he totally laid one on and committed, something that should simply inspire instead of generating pedantic comments....
To be fair, it looked like it rained before, during and after he climbed it. It was soaking wet! (but as Mick mentioned earlier, it's quite overhanging, hence the lack of chalk being washed off.)
I wonder what you think it means then. You sound like you're trolling or 15, I'm going for the latter.
Ha, ha, genious thread! Thought I would clear up a few misconceptions, as somenone who was actually there on the day...
Jordan did indeed place his own gear on the bottom section as a bit of a warm-up (it is a really easy corner), then he down climbed it, then reclimbed it as seen in the vid.
When we arrived at the crag, it was wet and filthy, the route was covered in sandy muck and had no chalk on. Seeing as Adam was coming all the way up from Sheff to film, it would have been rude not to climb due to the conditions so I opted to ab down the line and brush it. I also then top-roped it so the chalk was mine. Jordan hid round the corner for all this, very studiously not watching! (In case you were wondering, Mike Hutton belayed me whilst I was top-roping.)
Jordan went for the onsight with chalk on the holds but no information about the sequence or available gear, other than what he read in the guidebook, the ambiguous topo and a loose description of the line from the first ascentionist. For the record, he used a slightly different sequence to me but the way he did the crux slap was pretty similar to what I had worked out, and seemed logical to me - from the angle in the vid it looks like his right hand is in the Hardline crack for the slap to the sloper but, in reality, that right hand hold is a slopey arete thing, still very insecure and spicy. If he did it 'wrong', well that's on-sighting for you.
On-sighting definitely has different shades of brilliance though... of course it would have been far more impressive for Jordan to disregard the sand and slime in evidence on the route when we first arrived and just have gone for it, but he would almost definitely have not succeeded. However, OS-ing with clean chalky holds is still OS, just of a lesser degree (I know some would consider reading the guide as blowing your onsight too but that is just plain ridiculous - you need to know where the route goes!). Equally, some people flash routes by abbing down, chalking all the holds, watching several videos for beta and getting move-by-move accounts from their friends, others can still only claim the flash when they have just one piece of knowledge about a particular move. Which is more impressive? Obviously the latter, but they are still both flashes. Shades of grey....
Anyhow, Jordan has properly on-sighted lots of mega routes so he's not taking it too hard being ripped to shreds on here! He just goes out and enjoys himself. Personally I found his ascent very impressive as I thought the climbing was really difficult. He inspires me, though I know I am totally biased!!
Glad you guys have been entertained anyway.
Thanks Naomi, great to have that reply to clear things up.
On site or not, don't care, good climbing
Nice vid. Shame about the thread.
I thoroughly enjoyed that film. The editing was smooth, the music was suspenseful, the climbing was interesting and the grade was way above me... good show Boreal and good effort Jordan.
Nice. Thanks for bringing some sanity back.
You barsteward! How dare you ruin a classic thread by fair-minded comment, reasoned argument and (most unforgivably) actual knowledge of the subject at hand.
You should be ashamed of yourself!
Perfect conditions for the onsight then Naomi ; o )
Brilliant. thanks, Naomi, for taking the time to reply.
Another excellent Video from Adam. Does anyone know if there is a 4th in the series?
If you top-roped it then you should update your "worked grades" grade on your profile. You're harder than E5 :-)
Again, excellent film and climbing.
In reply to UKC News:
I've said it before and I'll say it again, if people would just stop using the word on sight and instead say 'flash' then we wouldn't have all this. Back in the old days, we often knew moves, holds, and nut placements before an ascent. When we did a route ground up without falling we said we'd flashed it and we were happy. But on no, today people want to on-sight everything and want to make a big deal out of the fact that they did - mainly one thinks to keep sponsors happy and feed egos. As NB points out 'on sight' has many shades of grey and is for that very reason basically a non term IMO. Personally, and from a totally academic stance, I do not think JB on sighted this route in the true sense of what the word on sight originally meant, meaning no prior knowledge of the route apart from where it goes. For one, if he has done Hard Line to the right, which I'm sure he has, then he's felt some of the holds he used on VS, thus negating the on sight claim. Nevertheless, the fact that he climbed the route very smoothly and without much hesitation is very impressive and it's this I commend him on not the possibly erroneous claim of an on-sight ascent.
You've still gotta lead it!
So what is your definition of an onsight then Craig? Does the route have to be devoid of chalk to qualify? I just don't think it is fair to say Jordan is sensationalising an ascent by claiming OS in this case as it was never intended to be 'news', just a fun vid for boreal. And if he had watched somone or had prior knowledge of the moves or had inspected it in any way, then he would have rightly labelled it as a flash.
I respect your views and know you are a man of action, not just words. However, I reckon most people would agree it is a little harsh that they would have to wait until a route had been neglected enough to be chalk free and dirty before they could legitimately onsight it.
> If you top-roped it then you should update your "worked grades" grade on your profile. You're harder than E5 :-)
> Again, excellent film and climbing.
You are right, not updated it for years! I was enjoying the way it said "age: 24"... Well that's gone now, and I've updated my grades. Not sure it was worth it!
Would you give him the OS if some of the chalked holds were wrong and affected his decision making thereby actually making it harder for him ? We'll have to invent a new term for this i think so we can record it so we know exactly where we stand. What if the holds are all very obvious but have chalk on them anyway ?
I find your attitude and insinuations very disappointing and i hope Naomi can fight the urge to keep posting as i don't think Jordan has anything to defend himself over.
I, and i guess you, would have to cross off a large amount of our onsights if we stick to your 'rules'.
> Would you give him the OS if some of the chalked holds were wrong and affected his decision making thereby actually making it harder for him ? We'll have to invent a new term for this i think so we can record it
It's called a Beta Sandbag Flash and it was coined over 20 years ago by Paul Greenland in the gardens of The Old Hall Inn near Kilnsey.
A Beta Sandbag Flash is when you flash a route despite been given bad/wrong beta.
Maybe some of the critics on here need to clean the chalk holds off their armchair !
I always thought a flash was with pre-placed gear, and as i can clearly see Jordan placing gear on this route then surely it can not be a flash attempt can it. and as you said, he walked off around the corner whilst you did a lap up it on TR.
Jordan gets the OS from me, not that my opinion weighs much on here.
Well done Jordan, now how about letting me know when the Spider is getting the OS so i can shoot it ..........
A flash ascent is one where the climber hasn't been on the route but has knowledge of the moves or gear, has gear pre-clipped or pre-placed, or even quickdraws in place on a bolt route.
An Onsight is where the climber arrives at the crag, has no knowledge of the moves or gear of a climb, then starts at the bottom of the route, and climbs it to its finish, placing gear or clipping bolts as they go.
Definitions vary however, and there is the stimulus for debate.
In this particular case Naomi has described the style of ascent above and like she says, 'On-sighting definitely has different shades of brilliance though.' which I agree with.
In short, some onsight ascents are better (harder) than others. A route with no chalk on the holds would be harder to onsight than if it had chalked up holds.
The devil is always in the details when someone claims onsight.
There's a bit in this video: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67133
When Gabriel Moroni onsights an 8b.... someone says
'Placing the draws!'
Moroni replys 'Yes a real onsight'
There was even an article about it on OTE wasn't there Mick.......? Illustrated with a grainy photo of Dave Pegg in Centre Sport tights. I really should have been revising harder!
Onsight as far as i'm concerned but to be totally honest, don't care! I'm really not that bothered what style it was done in, Onsight, flash or somewhere in between. I thought it was an impressive piece of climbing, that's all I care about.
Jordan knows what style he climbed it in (presumably?), that's what matters, I know i'd call it onsight though!
Sorry Chris but you missed it! Jordan went to try and OS the spider a couple of weeks ago. Sadly he fell off and had to redpoint it. Shame you weren't there as it was a beautiful day, tres photogenic.
Lets say for arguments sake that somebody had turned up a day before and worked the route without knowing Jordan or any other person was going to attempt it, brushed the holds and left chalk behind. Now Jordan and Naomi turn up and climbs the route, does that class as a flash?
Is it going to transcend to the point where we have to actually devoid a route of chalk to please people ?
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm hoping that most of the questions being posed on this thread are in a bid to genuinely understand how the game operates at the levels you guys operate rather than to question Jordan's style of ascent. It is from me anyway.
That's an Onsight with chalked holds as oppose to an Onsight with no chalked holds......4 points on your scorecard rather than 6 points ; o )
Style of ascent can't be pigeon holed (although people try and also want that), you usually have to add a qualifier.
And yes the style you do something in is directly related to how difficult your experience of the route is. Therefore to some style is important.
You are hanging out with the wrong crowd Dan and you need to get yourself a new mentor.
Bearing in mind the amount of chalk plastered on most routes, it probably means that most of us will have to reconsider how many 'true' onsights we have made if we apply this criteria.
In fact I suppose taking it to it's extreme, a true onsight can only be logged if you were taken to the foot of the crag blindfold, didn't read the guidebook description, only the diagram of where it goes, and didn't have any contact with anyone else who has done the route.
Of course then it starts to get a bit silly doesn't it!
Please read what I wrote before in this thread carefully. Note, I said it was an impressive performance and I commend Jordon. As for chalk, there is no doubt that ticked holds and chalk make ascents easier, unless the wrong holds are chalked ; )
An on-sight as defined by the French, who kindly gave us the term, means ‘no prior knowledge except where the route goes’ i.e. the guidebook description. There is no definition as far as I am aware about how chalked the route is. I am not concerned about the chalk or tick marks just the use of the term on-sight.
Has Jordon done Hard Line? If so, then he has prior knowledge, it's as simple as that. Of course, one can bend the term on-sight to fit any meaning one wants, but then it becomes a useless term, or does it? If he hasn’t done Hard Line then great, even more power to him.
I think you are misconstruing, as are a few others on here, that I am attacking Jordon, this is not my intention. My intention is to highlight the fact that On-sight means no prior knowledge except where the route goes and people use this term a little too loosely in my mind.
Of course at the end of the day, what does it matter? Are you upset because I am questioning the validity of the use of the word on-sight or Jordon’s ascent? I think if you post videos on the Internet, for whatever reason, then you have to accept that people are going to comment on them. And I’m sorry that I don’t run with the ‘everything is amazing, let’s pat each other on the back and all feel happy about ourselves crew’ Sorry, I’d rather voice my thoughts when I feel strongly enough about an issue to be bothered, which at the moment I do.
I apologize if this has in anyway offended Jordon or you, that was not my intention.
I have seen people in France in the past removing as much chalk and tick marks from routes as possible so that their friends can experience the 'true' on-sight. Then again, these are French people we are talking about ; )
I frequently leave random chalk marks on holds that I don't end up using just to befuddle my second.
Does chalk inhibit the extra adhesion of the pof they replace it with?
I find it a little puzzling that you express that opinion.
Anyway, maybe you could make it clear in the next guidebook exactly where your route goes. Jordon is not the first to step into and finish up Hard Line - Gibb did the same. Also, the original finish out left seems more harrowing and difficult than the right finish plus the bit after the break is different - Jordon finishes up Hard Line in the video.
Also, the start as you told me was different to what Jordon did. Before you told me where the route started I started it as Jordon does in the video.
And before all of you jump on me for insinuating that I am criticizing Jordon's ascent I am not!
Not so long ago - mid 80's- chalk was frowned upon at font. As for pof on the crag they tended not to use it.
Hope this helps.
Hey Craig, I did notice you made some positive comments and thanks for that.
Here's the thing, Jordan has done pretty much every other route at Heppy, including Hardline. However, hardly any of the holds on hardline are used for Vertical Speed (bar the incredibly easy HVS territory above the final break) and you use them all from a completely different orientation. The important point is that the climbing is completely different.
In the YMC guide there is no line marked on the topo for Vertical Speed. The description reads as follows: "Start up the corner of Haboob to the tree and step boldly rightwards making hard moves to the peg." Which we did... It continues "Climb straight up the wall past a newer peg, and more hard moves, to gain an obvious boss and good holds. Now make the crux moves to gain the final crack of Hardline which is used as a finish." We were a little unsure about when you were allowed to span out to the HL crack so we rang Matt and he said you use it after the boss. That was all we knew and we interpreted it as best we could under the circumstances. We didn't ask for beta as that would have blown the OS!!!! Isn't it all so ridiculous.
I reckon Jordan should claim a new route and call it 'Vertical Muppet' E7 6c (same grade as it uses all the same holds and is up the same line but with a different sequence of hand moves obviously!). Just wait until you see my pathetic headpoint ascent (there is some footage of it somewhere...), you are going to have a fit I think! I use an even more unethical sequence. I guess I will have to claim a new line too, might call it 'Speeding towards (character) annihilation' and give it E6/7 6c. Will have to make sure these lines make it into the next guide.
Or we could just all relax, smile, and enjoy a nice cup of tea.
>I find your attitude and insinuations very disappointing and i hope Naomi >can fight the urge to keep posting as i don't think Jordan has anything to >defend himself over.
>I, and i guess you, would have to cross off a large amount of our onsights >if we stick to your 'rules'.
Biscuit, I'm sorry I disappoint you, but I think you need to study a little bit of History and what the term On-sight actually really means - these are not MY rules, these are what the term On-sight really was introduced for in the first place. And yes, maybe you do need to review some of your ascents.
OR you could keep the onsight and simply mention that the route was chalked, which therefore made it an easier onsight which at places like Craig Dorys can make a big difference but on Left wall it ain't really going to is it?
Funny though isn't it as sometimes an overly chalked route can be harder to read and take more time to suss out.
I think it's great that these oft-dirty routes are getting repeated. Jordan makes a habit of repeating lines in good styles that have recently been cleaned by others headpointing them. I think it's great; routes get repeated and hence a grade consensus emerges and Jordan gets to try things onsight/flash that have never been onsighted or flashed. My only complaint is that when he went to the moors he only went bouldering!
It's understandable that people might see prior-chalking of holds as somehow 'cheating', but he had no knowledge of the route- it was onsight. If he took the wrong line or used the wrong holds then that's a different issue, but responsibility for that seems to lie with a crap route description/ oddly defined route.
...that was a fine cup of tea. I agree I am taking an extreme stance here over what on-sighting is and isn't. But, truly, a lot of people on here do not know what on-sighting as a term really means. I'm sorry that Jordon had to be the focus of this, but the publicity is good ; ) For what it's worth, I think Jordon's ascent is very good and ethically as pure as it could be given he has done a route that shares holds. I could discuss in depth about the holds on Hard line VS uses (for instance the one you span right to off the big left hand side pull), but I don't think we need that so let's leave it at that.
Moving quickly along, just tell him to get on that 'last great problem at Heptenstall and sort it out!
And all the best to you if you get back on Vertical Muppet!
Does having chalk on the holds really give you any more help other than a bit more information on where exactly the route goes? It doesn't tell you how good the holds are, or which order to use them in, or whether or not that hopeful looking white patch just above you is actually a hold or just something someone else tried to use and gave up on.
As for the adjacent route bollox, would you refuse to claim an onsight of (say) Western Front if you'd done Great Western before, just because you'd done the relatively easy top section already?
This nit-picking is pretty pathetic really and detracts from a fine ascent of a rarely repeated route.
Lets remember that Jordan and Naomi are actually a pair of fun-loving climbers like the rest of us, just much much better. This thread is embarrassing. Of course he has onsighted routes without chalk, with chalk, with ticks, without ticks, harder E7s, E8s even... this is a high quality video of a casual hard onsight by a talented and inspiring climber. Get it together guys - lets chill out and go climbing.
As to the definition of the term 'onsight'... meaning is use. A definite majority of climbers say that onsighting a route is climbing it bottom to top with no prior knowledge save the inescapable (guidebook description, chalk, having seen it from a neighbouring route). Because thats what most of us mean when we use it, thats what it means. Being at the top doesn't change the meaning. And after all, honesty is the only thing that matters here. We know all about the ascent, and it was bloody impressive. Thanks guys for taking the time to make these videos, and dealing with all this nonsense so some of us can be inspired by your efforts to climb even harder!
Chalk certainly makes a difference. Maybe you've never climbed a taxing route on-sight that wasn't chalked? I think if you had you would know the answer to your question.
Anyway, why the obsession with chalk? As I keep banging on I'm on about on-sight and what that means.
And as for adjacent route it's not bollox, there is a key hold just after the crux of VS that is also used on Hard Line...go do the route and see.
It was a fab weekend! How are your hands? Jordan's are a bit mashed but you and Ross were 100 times worse off... Bet you can't wait to get back for another 'crack' at it ; )
Actually, thinking back on it, most of my hardest onsights haven't been chalked - maybe that's where I'm going wrong. Although I did a route at the weekend which was chalked up. When I got to the crux, the chalked holds turned out to be rubbish - I ended up using a different set of holds instead. So that wasn't a lot of help.
The main thrust of your argument seems to be that having chalked holds negates a true onsight - hence the 'obsession' with chalk. Or have I missed your point?
As far as I'm aware there has never been a widely agreed accurate definition of 'onsight', just as there haven't been for most of the other style descriptions. There doubtless have been many people with strong opinions who believe their strict definition is correct and should be adopted by everybody, but in reality there have always been and will always be grey areas, such as residual chalk, guidebook tips, shared moves/holds, magazine/website/guidebook photos, etc.
Add to that the fact that language evolves so meanings are rarely ever fixed in stone and we find that any term ends up meaning what most people currently use it to mean (regardless of what it was first intended to mean or what it once used to mean). I like the approach above which allows for not easily avoidable assistance such as guide descriptions, residual chalk/tickmarks, etc. but I really think the whole style description obsession is a bit pointless and may detract from enjoyment of climbing rather than add to it.
Yep you missed my point, on-sighting means no prior knowledge. Having climbed an adjacent route that shares key holds is IMO not on-sighting, but that's my opinion and you do not have to agree!
>"but I really think the whole style description obsession is a bit pointless and may >detract from enjoyment of climbing rather than add to it."
I couldn't agree more, but I'm sure in the past you have played the game WRT style? maybe not, I can't remember. The problem is, and this is my real gripe, the media is obsessed with style and grades because in their view it makes 'better' news.
Why couldn't this great video simply be titles 'Jordon climbs Vertical Speed'
Or 'Jordan climbs a dirty damp route at Heptenstall' : ) I quite like the latter title myself.
> Yep you missed my point, on-sighting means no prior knowledge. Having climbed an adjacent route that shares key holds is IMO not on-sighting, but that's my opinion and you do not have to agree!
I do agree with that to be honest. If you are popping in anger, knowing what the holds are like makes a big difference.
No, it needs about another hundred pages including an extended digression by the hobnail brigade about how in their day they didn't have any of this X Y and Z and they thought climbing was supposed to be about improving on the previous generation but that just seems to be the way things are going these days and have you seen the price of a tin of spam lately it's nothing short of robbery and that's before I get on to the gyp I've been getting from my piles...
Top climb and a nice video, by the way!
All very impressive but has Jordan repeated my 2009 testpiece Grindleys Senile Bull VS 4C/5a? Start up Grindleys Grunt - avoid crux by travesring up onto Senility, up this to crux avod by a step left above the crux of Bulls Crack and finish up this - easiest way up the butress!
>All very impressive but has Jordan repeated my 2009 testpiece Grindleys >Senile Bull VS 4C/5a? Start up Grindleys Grunt - avoid crux by travesring >up onto Senility, up this to crux avod by a step left above the crux of >Bulls Crack and finish up this - easiest way up the butress!
Isn't that the next Boreal video?
> Andy F
Wasn't a 'prestonpoint' having the first one (or maybe two) pieces of gear clipped?
I thought that was a princess clip ?
Or is it just Andy having a dig at Adam L ?
That was kind of my point when i said 'your' rules. I would go out on a limb here and say that the majority of climbers would not agree with you. Therefore as we have no set rules in climbing ( that being part of the fun of it ) only morals and ethics i guess we have to go with what most consider the term to mean. As Jacob said meaning is use.
However without old curmudgeonly guys in Ron Hills and with grey beards trying to hold back change i do think it could quickly go in the wrong way - in my opinion.
I am happy to disagree with you, and it's nice that this hasn't descended into a slag Jordan off discussion as we all agree he's an amazing climber.
As for my best on-sights i think my trad ones are safe, being in the rainy Lakes mostly so not much chalk left on them, however now i live in Spain and i am disheartened to learn i will never be able to on-sight a route again unless i can get someone else to jet wash it first ;0)
PS i am not saying you have a grey beard and wear Ron Hills - but it's obviously fine if you do !
Because the first post would inevitably be-
"Good effort Jordan. Was it on-sight?"
Not sure what you're getting at there. I've certainly considered some ascents to be onsight where others of a more pedantic nature may disagree. For example I've onsighted both Left Wall and True Grip but by your 'rules' this apparently would be impossible. I've reversed after starting routes that were wet or didn't feel 'right' and come back to complete the onsight at a later date. I'm sure I must also have committed many other heinous crimes against onsight purism but if a route felt like it was climbed onsight then I'm usually happy to describe it that way. That's the whole point, isn't it? A flash was onsight if you worked it out for yourself rather than being told. I don't think we really need a straightjacket definition as long as we have personal and media honesty.
Obviously while you're climbing ground-up with no prior info, you're still allowed to downclimb, to the ground if you like, and start again - as long as you never weight any gear or rope. Surely everyone agrees so far?
But what about on different occasions?
Cos, like, there's routes where I've led up to the crux, had a think and bottled it, not wanting to ruin my clean onsight, and then downclimbed carefully removing all my gear as I go, to come back another day. As long as I've not weighted anything, and not been given any info or studied anyone else on it, I'd think my onsight is still there for the taking, but a bitter mate disagrees.
What do you think?
...and one route, I've done this at least four times over three years... I know when I eventually do it, it may stretch the normally understood meaning of 'onsight' , but as long as I'm honest about the details .. ?
Oy, keep me out of this !
Of course you make a very good point and you've been around long enough to know what on-sight means as given to us in the 80's by the French. These are not my 'rules' they are what they are, a definition of what a term means to the letter: a metre is a metre not 99 centimetres! You can argue all you like about what they mean to you, but I am talking about what a definitive on-sight means. There are no shades of grey as far as I am concerned and that's my point! If you did Left Wall first then True Grip you had prior knowledge on the latter. I think I can speak from experience having been party to the period when the term on-sight first began to be used in the UK and having spent lots of time with the French climbers who introduced the term into the UK. Today the meaning may have 'devolved', but hey so what? As long as one is happy in ones own mind with how one climbed a route. However, if you introduce the media things change. I will state this again for the umtenth time, there is too much emphasis on grades and style in the media and this has pervaded the climbing community and is negative.
As far as I'm concerned, you're golden. Like Naomi said, shades of grey.
Can't wait to go back and on-sight Ffoeg's Folly, tough down climb that!
I think you're mistaken if you think there was ever a widely agreed, unambiguous definition of 'onsight', however much you would like to think that the French people you once knew were a definitive source of all the answers. Like I said earlier various people may think a comprehensive definition does or did exist but I'm pretty sure few of them would ever agree on precisely what the details would be! For example, in the '80s it wasn't even considered that stepping back to the ground could be an issue and now we have people, as above, thinking it's a deal-breaker. (For the benefit of others this actually came from competition climbing, when they introduced a no-return-to-the-floor rule to speed up the events! and had no relevance for climbing on the crags.) It's also not the case that just because a term came from similar use in a different country its usage would be identical once it started to be used in Britain. We have always had different norms and expectations, not least of which is that our onsights usually involve choosing and placing gear!
All of which is increasingly beside the point anyway. Better to acknowledge the important point which is that the term 'onsight' describes the principle of not having sought and received advantageous knowledge rather than the practice of conformance to a minutiae of detailed and often artificial rules and restrictions - that's not (for me anyway) what climbing is about.
> I think you're mistaken if you think there was ever a widely agreed, unambiguous definition of 'onsight'
That is exactly it John, there never has been an agreed definition and the terminology itself has always been confusing. 25 years after these terms were coined there is still debate as to what an onsight is and what a flash is.
The full terminology is:
Onsight Flash (abbreviated to 'Onsight')
Beta Flash (abbreviated to 'Flash')
Those abbreviation cause misunderstanding and they always have.
A flash of light has a starting point and an end point, that describes climbing from the start of a route to the end of the route in one continuous movement (no climbing back down to the floor for starters, although climbing down from a move to a rest is OK).
An Onsight Flash means you climb the route from its start to its end and have no prior knowledge of the moves on the route or its gear. You turn up at the crag and you climb the route from the bottom to the top in one continuous push, placing gear or quickdraws on the bolts, without returning to the ground or falling off.
A Beta Flash means that you climb the route from its start to its end but you do have knowledge of the moves or the gear: you've seen someone on the route (or a video), or someone has told you about the moves or that crucial bit of gear.
However as I said earlier, some Onsight Flashes are better than others as are some Beta Flashes and this is where the devil is in the details comes in.
For example, I believe you can claim an onsight flash of a sport route if the quickdraws are in place but if you are reporting this you must state that the quickdraws where in place.
For most of us, whether we claim an onsight flash or a beta flash, or the shades of gray inbetween and within, it's a personal claim.
However, if your ascent is cutting edge and it is reported by the climbing media you must really give the media, and the media must ask for, the details. If that occurred there would be no misunderstanding and no threads like this that are common and just go round in circles.
I just want to pick up on what Naomi said above.
It's on the news page so this is news, and this video is partly an advert for Boreal, as well as great viewing (these videos as I said above are really well done and I like many enjoy them).
I would claim the onsight
Jordan is a hero.
Cheer up Face, you'll have me filling up
As I slip of my crag police uniform to reveal my Ron Hills, nicely put mick!
Hey up Craig.
So if two routes share holds, maybe even just one crucial hold, it will never be possible to ever Onsight both routes in your lifetime?
It's disappointing to see that you've been taken in by the very recent 'once you've started you have to finish' mindset. I feel quite strongly that an essential part of the British trad-climbing ethic is that of judgement, and an important part of that judgement is deciding whether it's right to go ahead and commit to a route you've started or to use your better judgement and save it for a more appropriate day. Classing the ascent as no longer onsight as soon as someone uses their better judgement and chooses a better day to climb a route doesn't make a lot of sense to me, as they've neither failed on it nor learned anything about it from anyone else. There's also the potential for the ridiculous spectacle of people 'resting' on a ledge one foot off the ground rather than the much more traditional and reasonable action of coming down and continuing the attempt after another good look from the ground.
> It's disappointing to see that you've been taken in by the very recent 'once you've started you have to finish' mindset. I feel quite strongly that an essential part of the British trad-climbing ethic is that of judgement, and an important part of that judgement is deciding whether it's right to go ahead and commit to a route you've started or to use your better judgement and save it for a more appropriate day.
I do like that approach John, not for sport routes though surely?
Why not? What if a crucial hold is wet? What if you feel like you have another good onsight in you after a hard day and as soon as you pull on you realise you don't? I really don't see any advantage at all in restricting an onsight to the first time you pull on and then never again. Care to enlighten me as to how more onsight it is as opposed to, say, reversing to a terrace just above the ground and having a cup of tea?
Isn't there a term that describes an attempt after an onsight attempt.
So you fall on your onsight attempt, pull your ropes and try again.
premier essai, first try or test?
Yes there is - in France anyway - but that isn't what we're talking about.
We're talking about when your initial foray ends not in failure but in a decision to descend and restart the ascent later, for whatever reason.
OK. I would say that ends your onsight flash attempt, if flash means starting at the the bottom and finishing at the the anchors or the top of the cliff, in one push. If you descend and try another day, that is a ground up ascent?
Since when did a successful ascent need to be 'in one push'? And what's the difference between returning to a ledge just above the ground and returning to the ground? And who decides when it's a ledge or actually part of the ground?
Ground-up is when you still don't ab or top-rope the route after an onsight/flash failure. Onsight/flash is when you get up it without failure. Visiting the ground again as part of the attempt has nothing to do with it and certainly was never traditionally classed as failure.
> Since when did a successful ascent need to be 'in one push'?
Better if it is though, which gets us back to Naomi's " shades of brilliance", some onsights are better than others. If you set off from the ground and climb to the top it is a far better onsight flash than returning to the ground and starting again which we could term an onsight yo-yo.
You can sit down on the ground and have a cup of tea!
Sorry Craig, I was just being silly. Font's cool whatever your adhesion aid.
You seem determined to misconstrue by making up inappropriate terms. A yo-yo is, and always was, a subsequently successful ascent after having FAILED and LOWERED to the ground. An onsight ascent is one without failure. Your made-up term 'Onsight yo-yo' is an oxymoron.
I do agree that there are various 'shades of brilliance' but I really don't think that exercising good judgement as to when to commit yourself to a climb is in any way a darker shade. Darker shades are for things like finding helpful tick marks en route or for having done some of the climbing before as part of another route.
I'm waiting for the day I see a climber bivying just above the ground on a big ledge, waiting for wet holds to dry so as to be able to 'claim' an onsight! Then I will laugh heartily at how ridiculous an activity we've allowed climbing to become!
Mmm, a yo yo involves weighting gear Mick.
Jordans obviously not a very good climber, let's face it he was all over the place
,shaky with no control, he's a VS climber at best who just happened to punt his way up E7 6c!!
Without chalk he'd never of done it !
Come on people, this is a cracking bit off climbing by one of the best alrounders in the uk.
Why don't we drop the frankly ridiculous semantics and just be happy people are out there doing routes like this in this style.
Now back to zoolander
>Your made-up term 'Onsight yo-yo' is an oxymoron.
But it perfectly describes the onsight I witnessed at Kilnsey many years ago. Climber goes up clips 2nd bolt, he down climbs, rests. Then climbs up to the 3rd bolt, clip, then down climbs to the floor, rests, then back up....etc until he reached the anchors.
The above climber took all day to 'onsight' the route, there were no wet holds.
I described it as an onsight non-weighted yo-yo.
I've been doing that for years but still love it.
That's not a yo-yo though is it Mick? It's simply an onsight ascent done in a rather complicated way. To be honest I think many would have found it easier to have simply continued up rather than tire themselves out repeatedly downclimbing and climbing back up again.
You (and others) are right to say there are shades of brilliance in an onsight but that doesn't stop the less brilliant ones being onsights.
I'd agree with John that downclimbing to the start of the route doesn't negate the onsight. As he points out there's really no difference between that and returning to a ledge for a rest (which is often the point of the exercise).
To all those talking about the chalk on the holds, I'm sure the vast majority of us have led a climb which had chalk on it and still felt we should be 'allowed' to say we'd onsighted it. Why should it be different for top climbers?
If climbing a route which is chalked invalidates the onsight - 95% of my onsights are invalid.
...to all involved - a lovely little film & quite beautiful climbing...
I could say more about this thread, but I won't as it would spoil a smashing showcase of British trad climbing, again well done to all...
> but I won't as it would spoil a smashing showcase of British trad climbing,
Someone climbing an eliminate in a quarry with all the hard climbing protected by pegs..... Definitely a "showcase" for british trad.
> Someone climbing an eliminate in a quarry with all the hard climbing protected by pegs..... Definitely a "showcase" for british trad.
With a post like this I would hazard a guess you've never visited the quarry? let alone stood beneath the route. It's hardly an eliminate even though it shares a couple of holds. Also, how many peg protected routes do you know of where if a leader falls from the crux s/he they would end up almost level with the belayer? (this has actually happened btw).
>Hey up Craig.
>So if two routes share holds, maybe even just one crucial hold, it will >never be possible to ever Onsight both routes in your lifetime?
Nath then Craig,
It depends what your memory is like! I can truly say that I could claim onsights for the second time of routes I did 20 years ago because I remember exactly nothing about them. In fact, sometimes I do routes and buzz off the fact that i've done it for the first time and it was ace, only to discover in some old guidebook that I've done the route before : )
And sorry, but a route where the leader doesn't have to place any gear at all to protect the hard climbing (asides from quickdraws) is not really definitive trad is it?
Interesting comment. A friend of mine recently set off up Midsummer Nights Dream with a healthy rack of gear attached to his harness. When his second got up to the belay he handed him back 3 quickdraws. But then I guess Cloggy isn't really known for its trad routes...
For me there are two issues here:
1. A personal issue, am I happy with the way I climbed the route. Could I describe it as on sight?
2. A promotional/sensationalization issue. Joe Blogs onsights an E7 6C.
Some of you are discussing issue 1, I am more concerned with issue 2. Before I continue I want to state that this is not aimed at Jordon, it is aimed at how the media report ascents. What got my back up about this video was the fact that it uses a sensational title to describe its content where before the other two Boreal videos were simply a nice day out with two enthusiasts. IMO a title like A day at Heptenstall with Jordan Buys would have sat much better with me. Because of the provocative title I started asking myself, was this really an on sight ascent, is the route as climbed E7 6C? And the rest is history as you can read at length above.
This was my motivation for posting. I rest my case.
I remember "Onsight" soloing some sketchy VS and feeling very proud of myself only to find a note in the guidebook that I had seconded that route in the past. It didn't just feel like an onsight, it *was* and onsight. For the record, it wasn't chalked up ;)
> Someone climbing an eliminate in a quarry with all the hard climbing protected by pegs..... Definitely a "showcase" for british trad.
Well I happen to find it really inspiring that Jordan visits many of the humble quarries that are scattered around Lancashire and Yorkshire. Probably because it's where I do a significant portion of my climbing. Never fails to make me try harder next time I get out.
Mick – I can’t help thinking that you’re probably confusing people. Noone has talked about “Onsight Flashes” or “Beta Flashes” in donkeys years. By even remotely modern definitions, the first is an oxymoron and the second is just saying the same thing twice. As for “Onsight Yoyos”, the mind boggles – it’s another oxymoron. Craig – I agree that if the media is going to write headlines in terms of grades and style, then they need to be pretty clear about what they are talking about, and if they aren’t clear, they need to ask for more info. But John Arran’s also right - things were far from clear in the 80s with different groups of people using all sorts of definitions – IMO it wasn’t as straightforward back then as you suggest.
Right - the words we use to describe the style of ascent are overlapping segments of (not points on) a continuous spectrum. The most important thing out of all of this, is that these words are used to help clarify the details of an ascent. If someone has gone to the bother of describing their ascent in great detail, then if it is one of the few ascents in grey areas, then it is what it is – assigning a label gives no more information and arguing about it is a waste of time.
And to save saying it ten times, chalk / no chalk doesn’t make any difference in sport or trad as to whether an ascent is onsight. Clearly without chalk it is harder – but it’s just a better style onsight. And stacks of steep routes are permanently chalked so the distinction is completely irrelevant. In situ clips on sport routes don’t invalidate onsights either. Clearly it’s harder if clips aren’t there, but again it’s just a better style onsight (you will sometimes hear people refer to someone as climbing a route onsight putting the clips in). And again, lots of steep routes outside the UK have permadraws these days, so the distinction is often irrelevant.
Onsight – climb (and place gear in trad) on lead first try with no prior information other than where the line goes and the description in the guide.
Flash – climb (and place gear in trad) on lead first try with prior information. The slightly grey area is what constitutes prior information. Any info in the guide (whether about gear or whatever) is fair game and doesn’t blow the onsight. Generally speaking seeing a few still photos is considered o.k, but watching a video isn’t. And watching anyone actually on the route for however long certainly rules out the onsight.
Redpoint (Headpoint in trad) – climb (and place gear in trad) on lead after working it.
In trad climbing you also have:
Ground Up - climb and place gear on lead without top rope practice, after however many previous attempts to do this. This can be very good style or very poor style depending on circumstances. It’s just as easy to work an overhanging crack for ages ground up as top down. But not a dangerous slab or highball arête.
1. As John Arran has said, in sport climbing competitions, you blow the onsight if, having left it, you step back down to the ground (without weighting the rope). In lots of areas outside the UK, this has also become the standard outside for both onsighting and flashing. Ie: downclimbing back to the ground is not allowed. In the UK, a lot of people tend to ignore this, as downclimbing is part of the standard tactics for onsighting trad routes. I also agree with John that this is how it should be everywhere outside of competitions (where it would take too much time / be boring to watch). The issue to me is whether you can reach the top without weighting the rope. Climbing up and back down a few times without falling doesn’t prevent this. Others disagree.
2. Is it acceptable to have the rope pre clipped through the first few quickdraws in sport climbing? (for any style of ascent, although doing this for flashing / onsighting involves point 1…) This is tricky and depends on the route in question. Outside the UK it is increasingly not being accepted. In the UK, the traditional rule was that you had to have climbed up, clipped the draws, and then downclimb on the same day in order to leave them clipped. The trouble is that that led to people doing more and more ridiculous and extreme downclimbs (including jumping 20ft to the ground without weighting the rope), so they could leave the rope pre clipped half way up a route. It has become obvious that this has got out of hand, and elsewhere, UK climbers are sometimes just looked at as barking mad / cheating. On the other hand, the way certain things are bolted means that the first clip isn’t even clippable on lead (ie it’s just there for dogging / to keep the rope in line.) So there can’t be any definite rule, other than preclipping the rope into more than two draws is taking the mick…
3. Pre placed trad gear (obviously certain routes have fixed pegs, threads etc – this isn’t about that). Generally speaking this isn’t acceptable for any style of ascent. But on certain hard routes, a small amount of pre placed gear has become part of the standard way of climbing them, and on others it has happened from time to time. Whether or not this is o.k or not is up for debate, but it’s worth remembering that if not, then I think The Big Issue is still awaiting a first ascent, and Parthian Shot is still awaiting a ground up... (If you are strict about this for ground up ascents, then you often need to get someone else to strip the route between attempts which is a pain...)
4. Abseiling down / cleaning a line. Once you’ve abseiled down a line to clean it or look at it or whatever, then whatever you do subsequently, the best style you can climb the route is a headpoint. Or so everyone thought until last summer. Clearly James Pearson thinks otherwise – he did this a few times last summer and referred to the ascents as onsights… At the very least this was stretching the definition a very long way. It may well be that some of the ascents he did in this manner were better style overall than if he’d have flashed them with stacks of beta. But that just makes them good style headpoints. I guess others may differ on this, but to me if you allow abbing routes, you may as well give up on calling anything onsight. (This is no great criticism of James though – he was perfectly open about how he climbed the routes, and he’s obviously “properly” onsighted lots of other routes. Just a difference of opinion on definitions.)
5. Confusion around “onsight new routing”. Back in the 80s and considerably later in some areas, people were calling first ascents like Hardback Thesaurus “onsight new routing”. Clearly, this is now referred to by almost everyone as ground up new routing (Dawes took multiple falls before completing the route). But there are probably still a few people who will use the old terminology although I think it’s gradually dying out.
6. What happens when lines have bits in common and you’ve climbed the other line previously? For the most part it’s simple - you’re redpointing / headpointing. But different people are more or less strict about this, arguing that the section “has easy climbing” or whatever. If Ondra “onsights” a route which has even a tiny easy section in common with another route, he usually counts it as a redpoint and just points out that 99% of it was onsight. Whereas plenty of others would just call it an onsight. This is the one thing I’d disagree with John Arran about – to me the only clear way to define it is to not allow it at all. Anything else and you end up with people claiming to onsight Urgent Action after spending weeks working the top of The Thumb. Again, people don’t agree about this though.
So what of this ascent? Well the chalk is irrelevant. He climbed up the easy start, placed the initial gear and downclimbed. But this is standard practice in trad onsighting as said above. The only issue as to whether it was onsight or not is whether he had prior knowledge of the route from the line to the right. Without having done the routes it’s hard to say, but it sounds like they share holds but not moves (ie: you’re holding a LH hold with RH etc). Grey area. Most would probably call it onsight, some flash. If you were being really pedantic, you could argue that he’d “been on the route” so it’s a headpoint. But how he climbed it is completely clear from the description and video so the label really isn’t important. It is what it is. Perhaps the thing to note is that if you don’t want long threads arguing about this stuff, then maybe put the details in the news report. And in the long term, if they want to report ascents in terms of style, the various climbing media probably need to decide on their opinion about some of the above points, and then report things consistently.
The only other thing (again assuming Craig was correct above) is that Jordan perhaps didn’t follow the exact line of the first ascentionist. But then that’s the nature of onsighting. All you can do is try to improve the route description for future reference.
In Reply To Naomi: Good effort to both of you on the route. Let’s hope this discussion maybe prevents some future ones (wildly optimistic I know…)
Right, I’ll let Mick get back to discussing Onsight Beta Redpoint Headpoint Pinkpoint Greenpoint Hairpoint Nopoint Flashed Yoyos…
Wow, that's great. I have a friend on here...hi Nemo, thanks for your input.
And as Jose Gonzalez says...it all boils down to cycling trivialities...
I too like the term Different shades of brilliance, a fantasticly positive description, but in the end I guess on here it equates to different shades of reporting and I feel it's all too frequently just black and white most of the time on here!
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