/ Why call it a ground up when it's only an on site attempt?

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RobNZ - on 08 Jun 2012
The phrase "ground up" tends to have a different meaning in New Zealand.

It's when you walk to the base of a cliff that's never been climbed or inspected before and climb a line "ground up" expelling rocks, trees, lichen, insects and small furry animals in the process. If you fall or rest we call it a "ground up attempt" if you get to the top without falling you've bagged a "ground up first ascent".

The phrase "ground up" refers to the increased difficultly and risk (often mostly to the belayer) associated with climbing a line which has never been climbed, researched or cleaned. It is significantly difficult than a mere on site.

I did a quick search on ukc forums and couldn't find the answer.
Milesy - on 08 Jun 2012
You can still blow an on sight and do a route ground up. No top rope practice, pre placed gear etc.?
Blue Straggler - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:

You have answered your own question with the first line of the OP. It has a different meaning.
KiwiPrincess - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:

I agree.. in NZ I think it's used for first ascents only, not general onsights.

Attempting a route ground up, no idea if it's actually possible, if you'll get gear or how long the Run out etc Like Paul rogers and Murray Judge on Labrinth is real adventure!
KiwiPrincess - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to Milesy:
I think he wants to know Is there any difference between this term and the term onsight, as it dosn't seem so to us foreigners but we might be missing something.
CorR - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:
Ground up: Climbing a route till a fall. Then lowering down to the ground and pulling the rope down. Then starting again with the gear still in. What the op is describing is an "aid point used".
Getting up to the top without falling, on an unknown route is an onsight, regardless of the dirtyness of the climb.
RobNZ - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to CorR: Ground up as you have described, is what we call "siege tactics". It would be better if it ment you had to remove all the gear before the next attempt.

Thank you for the responses! Ground Ups in UK = NZ Siege Tactics. Actually no one really says they use siege tactics any more in NZ it's just called a fail I guess.
duzinga - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ: I think "siege tactics" had a similar meaning in UK. I remember older climbers using the phrase "I sieged it". But it would not look good on news reports:). It makes a lot more sense to use it the way you described it.
RobNZ - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to duzinga: Why it is news on UKC when someone fails to onsite something is beyond me, it's kinda tabloid news.
duzinga - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ: I guess it has the same weight as reporting a redpoint of a hard route, which is still respectable. I agree that it's silly to try so hard to distinguish it from a redpoint, and make it sound something superior. It is tabloid style reporting.
RobNZ - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to duzinga: Yup I agree hard red points are worth hearing about :-).
RobNZ - on 08 Jun 2012
NZ defines red pointing a bit different too. If you do a climb clean on pre-placed trad gear we call it a "Pink Point". A term I assume sadly came from some pre PC 1990s bearded hex swinger who intended it to carry a homosexual connotation.
Jonny2vests - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:
> (In reply to duzinga) Why it is news on UKC when someone fails to onsite something is beyond me, it's kinda tabloid news.

Which news item do you mean?
biscuit - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:
> NZ defines red pointing a bit different too. If you do a climb clean on pre-placed trad gear we call it a "Pink Point". A term I assume sadly came from some pre PC 1990s bearded hex swinger who intended it to carry a homosexual connotation.

I think that may say more about you than the bearded hex swinger.

I always assumed it was 'softer' than a red point. Pink being a softer shade of red.

biscuit - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:
> (In reply to duzinga) Why it is news on UKC when someone fails to onsite something is beyond me, it's kinda tabloid news.

Are you talking about Hazel Findlay's Impact Day attempt ?

If so i found it very newsworthy as it would be one of ( the ? ) hardest climbs done by a British woman if she had succeeded. Her reasons for failing are also very enlightening. For me it was newsworthy as it showed what levels people are trying and what they are laying on the line to do so.

Do you expect a news report on a sports match if your team lose ?
shark - on 08 Jun 2012
> (In reply to RobNZ) I think "siege tactics" had a similar meaning in UK. I remember older climbers using the phrase "I sieged it". But it would not look good on news reports:). It makes a lot more sense to use it the way you described it.

Siege tactics might also involve repeatedly dogging the moves and yo-yoing (ie going to ground and not pulling the ropes)and a variety of other shenanigans such as placing additional gear whilst sitting on gear, hanging belays to avoid hard moves... <sigh> them where the days

A ground-up ascent might only involve one fall and a return to the ground pulling the ropes then leading to the top. Far more pious and puritanical :-)

shark - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:
> NZ defines red pointing a bit different too. If you do a climb clean on pre-placed trad gear we call it a "Pink Point". A term I assume sadly came from some pre PC 1990s bearded hex swinger who intended it to carry a homosexual connotation.



Doubt it. Pink point was also used here in the late 80's / early 90's by sport climbers to refer to redpointing sport routes with the clips in

thommi - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to shark: Yep. :-) also the way I understand it is that the term ground up is used often to differentiate the style of ascent of harder routes that 'traditionally' would have been head points, thusly could be argued as an improvement in style. It also indicates that no abseil inspection/practice will have occurred (although it could hqve sneekily been done 'ground up') :-)
AJM - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:

Giving credit to the (uk-meaning) ground up attempt incentivises people to get out there and have a go at onsights - if you dont get it first go you can pull the rope, do it ground up, and that's still seen as a good style of ascent because you at least gave it a go in what's usually seen as a "better" style. If you effectively treat a ground-up and a headpoint as equivalent style then the incentive to try stuff right on your limit onsight is diminished - why not headpoint essentially if a ground up (which is a bigger undertaking) is seen as the same?

I had a friend who said once that it was the approach that was important (ie starting with a ground up approach) - the eventual result was almost secondary to approaching it in the "better" way and having a go at the onsight.
Ramblin dave - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to duzinga:
> (In reply to RobNZ) I guess it has the same weight as reporting a redpoint of a hard route, which is still respectable. I agree that it's silly to try so hard to distinguish it from a redpoint, and make it sound something superior.

It's quite different, I think - if someone does something ground-up then they've committed to the scary run out sections without knowing whether they can do the moves or not, and they've committed to the whole thing not knowing how good the gear is. At some point they're putting their life on the line with a whole lot more unknowns on the equation than there would be if they'd rehearsed the moves and checked the gear on abseil.

It's also quite a natural style, because it basically means that you could start at the bottom and get to the top in the absence of an easy way around the side, which kind of makes sense in a general mountaineering context.
althesin on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:
I think one of the reasons that a NZ ground up differs from a UK ground up is that we have less unclimbed rock than you, I don't think Brown/Whillans et al made it to NZ!
RobNZ - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to biscuit: lol
RobNZ - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to biscuit: Yes it was she was injured trying to do something really difficult and if you guys are interested in and want to hear about and name these attempts something different that's your business but I just like my terminology better
RobNZ - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to thommi: lol
Stone Idol - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ: Makes me very glad that I actually don't care. Represents a not well repressed urge to classify everything and then grade accordingly against some agreed (at the time and in the culture)set of criteria.
graeme jackson - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to shark:

> Doubt it. Pink point was also used here in the late 80's / early 90's by sport climbers to refer to redpointing sport routes with the clips in

A heck of a lot of us went round the crags with 'think pink' t.shirts on in the 80's. Nowt to do with sex at all.

RobNZ - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to althesin:
> (In reply to RobNZ)
> I think one of the reasons that a NZ ground up differs from a UK ground up is that we have less unclimbed rock than you, I don't think Brown/Whillans et al made it to NZ!

That's definately true (but you guys have the best variety of rock) we are lucky we have so much unclimbed rock both have positives
RobNZ - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to AJM: yeah it is a much better style has a "ground up" always ment hard trad red point attempt in the Uk?
shark - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to graeme jackson:
> (In reply to shark)
>
> [...]
>
> A heck of a lot of us went round the crags with 'think pink' t.shirts on in the 80's. Nowt to do with sex at all.


Eee by gum reet good for relaxing your mind and understanding nature.

Hippie.
shark - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to thommi:
> (In reply to shark) Yep. :-) also the way I understand it is that the term ground up is used often to differentiate the style of ascent of harder routes that 'traditionally' would have been head points, thusly could be argued as an improvement in style. It also indicates that no abseil inspection/practice will have occurred (although it could hqve sneekily been done 'ground up') :-)



Grade for grade some routes can be harder to ground-up than headpoint and other routes the other way round and it requires a bit of insight to know which is more impressive. Some routes lend themselves to a certain style of attempt/ascent.

The other view is that its not to do with relative difficulty but that ground-up is a more authentic/natural approach - a view held longer and more fiercely in the States and perhaps more natural there as the cliffs are generally bigger. For smaller cliffs too now with mat technology which is a compelling style - though how authentic/natural taking a stepladder, brushes on a stick and levelling out landings remains questionable!

Choices. Follow the religion you like or pick the bits of each religion you prefer. Most importantly stay fashionable or be good enough to set the trend.

Ramblin dave - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:
> (In reply to AJM) yeah it is a much better style has a "ground up" always ment hard trad red point attempt in the Uk?

'Redpoint', AIUI, includes looking at the route on abseil or on a toprope and is a totally different kettle of fish, because the climber sets off onto the hard unprotected bit knowing that they won't unexpectedly run into a stopper move and that they only have to get to that little crack and then there's a bomber nut in it.
Bulls Crack - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:

Thr phrase on-site here is usually confined to the construction industry H and S requirements
Goucho on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to graeme jackson: I've still got mine - and it still fits!!!!!
biscuit - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:
> (In reply to duzinga) Why it is news on UKC when someone fails to onsite something is beyond me, it's kinda tabloid news.

That's what i was getting at, not the terminology part.

It was news that someone was trying what i think will be the hardest trad route climbed in the UK by a woman.

James Pearson attempting Muy Caliente OS. He failed but was it interesting news ? I thought so and so did many others so i guess that's why UKC reported it.

UKC - the News Of The World of climbing ;0)
RobNZ - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to jonny2vests: There's been loads of recent news using the UKs new definition of "Ground Up". I thought this term meant "failed on site" which it kind of does, but it also means (I now understand) being lowered off and "Pink Pointing" the route from the ground. Honestly I think the UKs meaning of "Ground Up" is lame. The ethic overseas is just to onsite and if you fail, remove all the gear and climb from the bottom again placing gear, any other method used is just training for doing a proper ascent whilst placing gear on lead. I have to be careful though because although I disagree with how you use this term, trying to onsite difficult risky routes is a better ethic than head pointing (I think) and is news worthy.
RobNZ - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave: true it is a "purer" form of ascent than standard red pointing but climbing a trad route on pre placed gear hmmm.
willoates - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ: I think The NZ meaning of ground up is lame, how hard can the moves on a route be if your cleaning it on the way, it sounds like onsighting a dirty choss-fest to me.

And yeah, getting a mate to abseil and strip the route would be a 'more ethical' ascent, however, its a faff and not very fun.

Will
bouldery bits - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:

Is this still going?
willoates - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to bouldery bits: yup

x
RobNZ - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to willoates: the difficulty of the moves depends on the climb, there's no reason why someone couldn't do a NZ Ground Up ascent of an E9+ route. A lot of unclimbed rock is naturally clean and solid, so the difficulty in that case is finding the line whilst not knowing if the line is at all possible, it's more about adventure. A few people in NZ do ground up soloing on unclimbed rock, in some cases on routes which become multi pitch routes, but it is pritty risky.
ads.ukclimbing.com
willoates - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ: So its literary onsighting a new route under a different name, how often does it get done on anything hard? Could you say you ground upped a route in NZ if you just went climbing at a crag you didn't know without a guidebook? I don't really care what you call things in NZ as long as your mates know what it means.

Will
RobNZ - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to willoates: true it's easier to just get back on and climb.
RobNZ - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to willoates: Well then you come back to what the UK has and NZ doesn't. UK has an huge amount of accessible very varied developed rock and there exists a very strong trad ethic.

We don't climb as hard (grade wise) as you guys because we don't have a lot of accessible developed rock to practice on. We also don't write about hard Ground Ups in our news they just get done and put in the guide book, often with no mention that they were done ground up, it's more just a first ascentionst ethic for oneself, not a way to promote oneself.

The hardest I know of at a crag which is being developed is E6 (there may be harder ground ups other crags) but I think harder ones will go in, in future.

Yup I guess all my angst is that I like the NZ term, it's been around since the 70's and it's a great way to do the first ascent of a route. Also I like that the term isn't elitist anyone can "Ground Up" a route whether it's VS or E11.
RobNZ - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to willoates: "Could you say you ground upped a route in NZ if you just went climbing at a crag you didn't know without a guidebook" = no.
willoates - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ: why? you don't even know if the route has been done before
willoates - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to willoates: In the Uk, there are few new routes left to do, the remainder are mostly poor quality compared to their surroundings or very hard.

There isn't really any media attention over UK ground up ascents of E6, they happen relatively regularly, as do E6 onsights. The more newsworthy ones tend to be harder like James Pearson on Muy Caliente because they require commitment and doing it second go is still very impressive.

To be honest, I quite like hearing about and watching videos of people ground up climbing hard routes http://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=1104 still a good watch.

It just seems quite weird to save the name Ground up for what is literally an onsight of a new route.

Finally you can ground up anything from VS to E11 in the Uk too, infact it is even less eletist here because you can even ground up a Mod if you wanted... so there! :P

Will
RobNZ - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to willoates: I personally have no problem with someone climbing an FA I have done before it's been cleaned and put in the guide book and calling it a Ground Up if they had no knowledge of my FA. They wouldn't get the FA but if in their mind they were doing a Ground Up cool call it that you were under much the same mental pressure as the first ascentionst not knowing if it would go. Others might disagree on that one.

Look it's not a hughly used term in NZ, it's generally only crag developers which use it, not crag users, but it is a used term.
RobNZ - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to willoates: "It just seems quite weird to save the name Ground up for what is literally an onsight of a new route."

I think your new definition is weird but I say Tomato you say ...

"Finally you can ground up anything from VS to E11 in the Uk too".

Oh! I thought it was reserved only for hard trad on sights. I was given this impression because I never heard the term in the 9 years I was in the UK and I only recently read about it on UKC in reference to hard trad on sights.
In reply to RobNZ:
> The ethic overseas is...

There is a quite a lot of "overseas" from the UK that isn't New Zealand you know...
Bulls Crack - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:

Please, and I don't think I'm being overly pedantic, it's on-sight and not on-site.

USBRIT - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:Your ground up explalation is correct . We do nearly all our first ascents on the sandstone towers and up to 2000' slabs in Utah on sight and ground up. We do climb with a Bosch drill on our backs as very few natural gear on the slabs.One has to judge if after perhaps moving up on very small holds that one will come to a free stance (usable foothold) that one will be able to go through the various processes of placing a pro bolt.. not that easy usually with one hand..Plus at the same time often dealing with friable rock...no cleaning from above!!
RobNZ - on 19 Jun 2012
In reply to USBRIT: Yes the British have created a new definition for the term "Ground Up". We climb with drills on our backs as well in NZ if the rock cannot be protected traditionally. The rock in Britain is very well developed so I don't think there are many Ground Up First Ascents these days which is maybe is why they changed the definition of the term in the UK? I'm not sure if the old ethic was to do a first ascent in this fashion anyway?
john arran - on 19 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:

Is it really that difficult to see how the term 'ground up' can serve both purposes? It's either a ground up first ascent (maybe 'bolted ground up') or a ground up ascent ('climbed ground up').
The two effectively mean the same thing (no prior top-down access) but in a different context so it's hardly surprising the same term can be reused.
Andy Nisbet - on 19 Jun 2012
In reply to john arran:

I think ground-up for trad has met with some favour in UK, so that folk who use all sorts of dubious tactics except abseiling, can make their ascent sound good, whereas to me it's just the same - an ascent but not on-sight. Particularly useful for big cliffs where abseiling is difficult and frigging upwards is easier.
RobNZ - on 20 Jun 2012
In reply to john arran: In OZ, US and NZ the term is reserved for First Ascents only, but recently not in the UK for the reasons given previously on the thread. I was just making the point that Brits have changed the meaning in UK, which waters the meaning down a lot. I'm going to shut up now before someone hits me across the face with a large wet fish ;-).
john arran - on 20 Jun 2012
In reply to RobNZ:

Fair enough. Come to think of it I've done many 'ground up' first ascents in Britain but don't ever remember describing any of them as such, so it's almost certainly a new way of using the term. Actually I don't remember the term ever being used in the past to describe ascents in Britain, so we've no doubt appropriated it (or increased its use) while adapting it at the same time. Language, eh? It just won't stay still.

Have a fish ;-)

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