/ Fairy Cave grades
Dam you Brian! You've just taken away my first E1!!
(I should probably go climb a real E1 really)
Still, deeply upset.
Odd Boots, I presume :)
FWIW Bad to the Bone should be HVS, really - no harder than Withy Crack and better protected - but for some reason which now escapes me I left it at E1. Absolute bottom end; get it in quick before the next guide comes out, and bask in that E1 glory!
> Odd Boots, I presume :)
> FWIW Bad to the Bone should be HVS, really - no harder than Withy Crack and better protected - but for some reason which now escapes me I left it at E1. Absolute bottom end; get it in quick before the next guide comes out, and bask in that E1 glory!
Isn't it 5b with gear below you? sure it was worth E1
Cheers Brian, I'll have to get in there quick! :)
That was my earlier impression, but when I did it recently (seconding Rick) it seemed only just 5b and never far from good gear. Perhaps I've become too familiar with the route, or perhaps Rick is unusually good at spotting gear placements!
Stuff tends to feel easier when repeating routes and especially while seconding :P
Oh, and that was my impression on first acquaintance with the route.
> Stuff tends to feel easier when repeating routes and especially while seconding :P
Really? I never knew that - thanks :)
To reply more seriously - for me I think the reverse is true; I often find a route harder on the blunt end, because my focus is poorer and the rope always seems in the way.
Also, it's quite common for me to flash a route comfortably on the onsight, then go back for a repeat lead and find it harder, despite having the beta. Again, probably a focus thing.
+1 Brian. I find the same to be true, as I'm less concerned with falling off I tend to be more sloppy and make a right mess of things!
Who's that then ;)
Well FWIW with hindsight my (slight) regrets are:
Not downgrading Bad to the Bone to HVS
Not downgrading Volume Eleven to E2 (whole new discussion)
Life in Limbo should be 25m, not 30m (I think)
Not mentioning Broomhead/Stanbury in the Historical.
... and for the record, I have nothing against short people ....
"Well FWIW with hindsight my (slight) regrets are:...."
... and mayble leaving Glacial Point at E4?
Just ordered the guide and looking fwd to getting it. Well done on getting it out.
75% of a grade between them.
I completely agree with your downgrading of the routes I've tried:
Moving Target E3 (E4)
Jive Talkin' E1 (E2).
I thought Last Tango in Oakhill was pretty easy for E2 also.
Interesting you have kept Glacial Point at E4 - it was my first of the grade so I cannot comment. I took it as an E3 especially after an abseil clean/ground-up ascent with one silly slip at the bottom. However, one of my best mates who has climbed a lot of E4s found it quite a challenge (one year after my ascent) so it did make me re-think a little.
Looking forward to seeing the new guidebook. Must get back to finish off Four Paw Drive and have a go at Cassini Division now they have more realistic grades.
PS - I am without climbing partners from 25th June until 5th July so would like to meet up with anyone for 50-mile-radius-Bristol trad adventures midweek (Thursday often best for me)!
> ... and mayble leaving Glacial Point at E4?
Well .. yes, maybe that too. Trouble is, not everyone uses the cam slot on the right at 6m, which is arguably cheating because it more properly belongs to Slight of Hand. If you don't use it then you have to make one or two 5c moves high enough above the microwires to risk a groundfall, which justifies E4 IMO. Admittedly the cam is mentioned in the new route description, and assuming it's placed I could believe E3. Not E2, though :)
New guidebook in the post today. Good work Brian!
Im scouring it for E1's as we speak!
I don't know about compared with the rest of the south west, but I reckon the grades are comparable with the peak of similar nature climbing.
Slabs always feel easy for the grade - until you fall off, when the lack of any protection tends to result in it getting a little entertaining. Hence a lot of people who *haven't* fallen off stating that "It's never E2, its got to be HVS" or similar.
e.g "Epic-dural" to my mind compares perfectly reasonably with "Four Pebble Slab", and I wouldn't complain if it went to E3. Four Steps to Heaven didn't feel E3 to me, but then I didn't fall off! I'd have gone a long way if I did! Glacial Point I think is reasonably solid E4 without the side runner.
Basically, despite the opinions of a lot of folk (including some who have never climbed there) I think that most of the grades at Fairy Cave were fair or fair abouts, and whilst a little tweaking is fine I think a wholesale downgrade is unwarrented.
A fine route!
I would say the grades in the new guide are pretty accurate now.
As I've been name-checked on this thread I thought I'd better contribute. I don't know if I'm "unusually good at spotting gear placements", though I can certainly be unusually ponderous in seeking them out, but in the case of Bad to the Bone I thought there was heaps of bombproof gear just where you wanted it - I don't think I even felt the need to procrastinate anywhere en route (those in the know will realise how unusual that is). Honest opinion was HVS 5a, and probably easier and better protected (where it counts) than Withy Crack. Still, always happy to bag a softie...
Anyway Brian, well done for starting a lively thread about FCQ - tell me, is there a book you can buy for this slab-climbing paradise?
> Honest opinion was HVS 5a, and probably easier and better protected
Plus 1 - I just didn't want to lose the E1 tick ;)
One of my mates is very happy that the severe he had an epic on last month has turned into a VS. Can't remember the name*, but it was spectacularly loose and he claims that he did the last 20m or so with no gear apart from a sling around a passing buddleia.
I wasn't tempted to follow him.
*something to do with ants.
Nice that the photos have the route number next to them, although I couldn't find a key for the 'rockfax style' colour coded topo numbers?
I would have gone after him, but I had another route to lead and his wasn't "inspiring" :)
I need to read my Patey for some better excuses.
Green: everything up to HS
Blue: VS & HVS
Red: E1 - E3
Black: E4 and upwards
Similar, but not identical to the Rockfax traffic lights.
> Green: everything up to HS
> Blue: VS & HVS
> Red: E1 - E3
> Black: E4 and upwards
> Similar, but not identical to the Rockfax traffic lights.
My (editoral) mistake, I'm afraid. We have been printing the key on the flaps in recent guides and incorporating it into the crag selector, only this pocket size book doesn't have either and I omitted to print it elsewhere. The above is correct, also with yellow for XS. In others of our recent guides there are also colours/codes for bouldering, DWS, aid, and sport grades. The full range can be seen in South West Climbs Vol 1.
> ... and maybe leaving Glacial Point at E4?
I recently did a couple more new routes on the Glacis (I know, terrible timing) which need the grades confirming, and which throw the grades of neighbouring routes into (further) question. Could really do with some second opinions from any mid-extreme bold slab leaders out there (or some estimates of the technical grades on top-rope).
Sleight of Hand (currently E2 5c): are we really forced into this grade due to the position of the crux relative to the gear? There is a microwire placement above the slot.
Rain Rain Rain (new route, just R of SofH, estimate E3 6a): Similar to, but technically harder than SofH and a little bolder (it also uses the big slot and then a microwire placement). If SofH is E2 5c then this must be E3 at least - but are the moves really 6a or just top end 5c?
Glacial Point (currently E4 5c): Should this be E3, since the use of the cam placement has become normal practice? Especially when compared to ....
Glacial Point Direct (new route, estimate E4 5c): At least as hard as GP (I think), and bolder; there are microwire placements, but they are exceedingly marginal. First reliable gear is at 8m.
Lastly, how does Ender's Game (unrepeated, provisionally E4 5c) fit into this picture. The moves are 5c, but does the boldness warrant E4?
... and many thanks to Roger for installing some plastic-sleeved wire strop lower-offs (at his own expense).
Hi Ivan. I can't vizualize the exact line you took on the upper slab, but my best guess is that you climbed a JP/GP link up, with some deviation from the upper line of GP to place side runners. Probably an amalgamation of other routes rather than a route in its own right, as it doesn't sound like there's any appreciable amount climbing independent of an existing route. I could well be wrong about this, though. Perhaps you could show me the line sometime over the summer?
No, a different microwire. RRR is squeezed in, but once you're committed it's independent of SofH.
I haven't done SofH for some years but I'm sure there didn't used to be a wire above the slot.
A lot of climbers who have learned to use their feet well find slabs "easy", since one big climbing preoccupation - that of managing forearm pump - is absent. Does this mean slab grades should be generally on the low side? It depends on how you see the heirarchy of parameters that go to make up the trad grade. The adjectival grade is an indication of the "overall difficulty" of a climb, but this phrase is rather ill-defined. To some, the main parameter would appear to be how hard the climbing feels, with other issues (such as spaced gear, unreliable rock)being secondary factors. Personally I tend to give a lot of primary consideration to the likely consequenses of a fall, and then relate this to the location of the hardest bits of climbing, how sustained the route is, reliability of the rock, etc.
Far too intimate with the slab! I need to get a life beyond FCQ :)
It's hard to offer an opinion of the grade without actually climbing the line, as it would depend on exactly how high up your side runner in Caveman was, and exactly which bit of the upper slab of Glacial Point you climbed. Somewhere between HVS 5b and E2 5c, perhaps (he suggests, non-commitally).
If I recall correctly (and we are talking about the same route) what I didn't like about slight of hand was the start. You might as well stay at home and break your ankles with a hammer, it would be easier and save a lot of trouble, not least the driving to the vicinity of Shepton Mallet:-).
I actually thought the crux was at the start (second move, IIRC?) rather than higher up, which I didn't have a problem with at all, either in terms of gear or technical difficulty.
The actual start is an easy move off the ground to reach, place gear in, and then stand in a big horizontal slot at about 3m. The crux comes next: a couple of insecure 5c moves to reach a good but hidden hold. After that it's all no more than VS.
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