/ NEW ARTICLE: VIDEO: Classic Almscliff Soloing

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UKC Articles - on 27 Jun 2012
Jack Geldard soloing The Big Greeny (E3 6a) at Almscliff, Yorkshire, 4 kbLast week we published an article on the beautiful Yorkshire gritstone crag of Almscliff. We sent our Chief Editor Jack Geldard out to research the piece (it's a tough job...) and following him around was Ian Burton from Image Impossible.

In the video Jack solos the classic Almscliff routes of Overhanging Groove (HVS), Demon Wall (HVS), Great Western (HVS), Western Front (E3), Wall of Horrors (E3) and Big Greeny (E3) in a showery afternoon.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4748

Quarryboy - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Scary stuff.
EZ on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Honestly the best video on UKC for a while. Besides that I can't solo E3 it all felt very 'out with yer mates' 'nothing special'. A pleasure to watch.
Dave Foster - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great video and climbing, nice one.
Sean Kelly - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Excellent vid. Really enjoyed this one. It's what most of us aspire to, perhaps not solo though!
jas wood - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Watched on vimeo a few days back, very impressive jack. Was there once watching a lad solo western front (martin wood i think his name was) and was amazed at the self control. Dont suppose it was the first time he climbed it mind !
NottsRich on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Amazing climbing and something I can aspire to one day, maybe! Is it normal to use that much chalk though?
Jon Stewart - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great video. Really encapsulates grit soloing, and the attitude that goes with it. Enjoying great routes you've done before, sorting out any problems as they arise, and above all, knowing what you're doing.

Inspiringly good climbing. Makes those routes look so easy! Maybe one day...
phleppy on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: I have to agree with others there that climbing footage is exactly what i think there is'nt enough of these days.
It has everything, a scary watch at a fantastic british venue with some great climbing & a little history thrown in for good measure, make a feature film if you ever get the chance, i could watch hours of it!
becauseitsthere - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

A great film guys and great climbing Jack. Well done.
Kyuzo on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Very enjoyable video - very compelling!
andi turner - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Very nice. I love the place. I can imagine the top of Big Greeny being horrible after showers. I would have been asking for a rope at that point!
Rampikino - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles, Jack Geldard et al:

WHAT A REFRESHING CHANGE

For me this video encapsulates what is good about climbing films. Yes, it is a little bit clunky in places, but it is incredibly watchable and, unlike so many others, tells a bit of a story.

I would sum up this piece of work as being honest and reverent. The tipping of the hat to famous climbers and routes (Dolphin, Austin, Syrett) gives the whole piece a thread and ultimately some relevance. I also enjoy the link between classic HVSs and E3s as a leap in history - but also a leap in personal achievement. Many climbers aspire to routes such as Great Western and often look at Wall of Horrors as being unattainable. This video calmly demonstrates that we should perhaps not be so closed to the progression.

None of the action is overdone. In fact it is probably understated which is to the credit of the editors who kept it simple and, most of all, engaging. There was no overplayed drama, no overplayed closeups of fingers clinging onto that tiny crimp and no artificial building of tension. This was all about history and all about a climber enjoying some classic grit on a fine crag.

Most of all I enjoyed the soundtrack. What soundtrack? Exactly.

Far too often we encounter some thrash rock accompanying dramatic ascents. The soundtrack to this piece was the bleating of sheep and the pleasant, calm and lyrical tones of Jack as he gave little bits of personal information to us, little chunks of historical context and an overall sense that the pleasure in climbing comes from the pleasure in climbing. This was proof that you do not need music at all to make a piece watchable - you simply need to engage with your audience instead of trying to fill in the gaps.

Yes, it's a little clumsy in places. There are a few dead spots in the audio and it jumps forward quickly from here to there. It feels like a bit of a five-finger-exercise in film making, but all of this is entirely forgivable in this understated but engaging and refreshing piece.

Top marks from me. More of the same guys please!
Toccata on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Agree with others: one of the best films in months (years?) on UKC. Engaging sums it up perfectly.
Jonathan Emett - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to Rampikino:

> Most of all I enjoyed the soundtrack. What soundtrack? Exactly.
+1

Great film, thanks for making it.
Dave Musgrove - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Excellent film of some of my all time favourites. Unfortunately you've blown the on-sight possibilities for a lot of young aspirants - particularly the cross hands move in the pocket of Big Greeny! If you haven't done this route yet don't watch it!!

But seriously this is an inspiring film of some of the very best routes on grit.

Dave
jacobjlloyd - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Western Front... bomber jams and easy enough if you have abnormally long arms, Jack - most of us cant reach the good bit and have to either pop into that good jam or use a very flared bit beneath instead! I was wondering how you would make the famously insecure crux feel alright as a solo, laughed out loud to myself when I watched you lank your way through it!
Adam_42 - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great video. Best on here in ages. Only made it to Almscliff twice, once when I was just starting out and was content with the routes on the low man wall and a second time when it rained. This has made me want to desparately get back and try some of those classic HVSs!
dancey1981 on 28 Jun 2012
Made it look like climbing at Scugdale!

Almscliff never fails to scare me and you made it look easy!

Great video but instead of so much lip flapping we could have some break beat or some techno instead, yeah? Like in real climbing videos!
ianburton - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to dancey1981: Haha, Ill put some thrash metal or techno in the next one!

Thanks for the feedback. It is indeed a little clunky in places, I didn't have a lot of time to edit it, as I have just returned from Africa, so have a lot of footage from that trip to go through. But all in all I am very pleased it is going down as well as it is.

I made a conscious decision to not include any music, I think it holds together well without it.

Cheers

Ian
Rampikino - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to ianburton:

Hi Ian,

I know I said "clunky" but it really, really is forgivable.

We are spoilt on UKC by getting access to a lot of vids. Yours was one that actually had a thread of a story to it! And please stick with the "no music" approach wherever possible - it's cleaner.

Great work.

M
jalien on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

will add my voice to the others - very enjoyable little film, with some lovely climbing in it. Particularly liked the fact that you could watch a flow of moves from fairly close up without lots of cuts and edits back and forth; really gave a sense of the actual climbing, rather than a series of disjointed "extreme moves on rock".

Also very sweaty-palm inducing! Don't know how you keep it together on some of those...
Jonny2vests - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to jacobjlloyd:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) Western Front... bomber jams and easy enough if you have abnormally long arms, Jack - most of us cant reach the good bit and have to either pop into that good jam or use a very flared bit beneath instead! I was wondering how you would make the famously insecure crux feel alright as a solo, laughed out loud to myself when I watched you lank your way through it!


My thoughts exactly, the rest of the route feels like a romp compared to that move. I need to see a short arse do it because currently, I have no solution :-)
jacobjlloyd - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to jonny2vests: it is possible to jam lower in the crack, just about, but it is really insecure. Maybe my hands fit it just right, because i barely i managed to use it. One not-that-short friend (5'11''...) couldn't make the reach either, but being really strong just lay-backed it!
johnwright - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to andi turner:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) Very nice. I love the place. I can imagine the top of Big Greeny being horrible after showers. I would have been asking for a rope at that point!

I held John Syrett's rope when was attempting to climb it, the top looked desperate from the bottom and wasn't surprised when he bailed out from the pocket near the top, I was sh**ting my self just watching.
mcdougal - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

To add my voice to the others, I really enjoyed watching this too

Beautiful climbing, Jack.
Lovely filming, Ian.
Sean Kelly - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Here! Here! to less of this intrusive rock music in climbing vids. Any music needs to have relevance. I remember a sequence a long time back, of slides of Sirplumb being climbed at Chee Dale accompanied by Dylan's " Knockin' on Heaven's door" and that worked superbly. But just to have music because it seems like a good idea... As the man said earlier, birds and bleeting sheep...
stevedude888 - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Best video ive seen in a while, top class!
Jonny2vests - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to jacobjlloyd:
> (In reply to jonny2vests) it is possible to jam lower in the crack, just about, but it is really insecure.

I know.

> Maybe my hands fit it just right, because i barely i managed to use it. One not-that-short friend (5'11''...) couldn't make the reach either, but being really strong just lay-backed it!

Wow. I tried that too, but laybacking overhanging rock didn't seem to work.
chubbs2 - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Echo all of the above....best on UKC for ages. More please...other venues, other classics....really inspiring especially with the weather like it is at the moment. I reckon the reason it's so popular is that it's routes that most people can aspire to rather than some hotshot on the latest 9a on some crag that most will never visit.

AS a previous poster said it's just like being out with your mates. Makes you wonder if there might be a market for climbing DVD's featuring 'normal' grade classics with 'normal' funny p*ss taking semi-rubbish climbers in the way that the Classic / Hard /Extreme rock books inspired people.

Alternatively I suppose I could just get on and do some climbing I suppose.
ads.ukclimbing.com
davidj on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly:

How about a bit of Debussy Sean?! http://www.vimeo.com/32018030
_MJC_ - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to ianburton: I think music very rarely adds anything climbing videos. If i want to hear music i can just mute the video and listen to my own choice of music.
WB on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: One of the best things about this video is it doesn't start with 2 minutes of panning and out of focus shots. Keep up the good work!
johncoxmysteriously - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Very nice, especially the music.

Off topic, I always find it curious when people say how good some video is because it's just like going out on the crag with your mates. If that's what you want, why not just take a video camera out with you?! I always think the point of watching climbing videos is exactly that's they're nothing like my own pitiful flailings.

jcm
cragtyke - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Great video but not as stylish as the clip of Allan Austin soloing Franklands Green Crack on the BBC Rock Athlete programme in a wooly hat and baggy jumper, the soundtrack for which includes a curlew's call, which always reminds me of Almscliffe now. Has anybody got a link to that clip? The same programme also featured Al Manson bouldering at Caley with a crash towel.
Mick Ward - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Very impressive climbing - especially in non-optimal conditions. Inspiring for us all.

Mick
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 30 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

really enjoyable video, will there be others in a similar style looking at classic routes on other major crags? would be a good series...

cheers
gregor
Morgan Woods - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

"So he fell face first into some boulders and broke his arm"

Oh how we laughed!






Superb vid by the way :p
Ramblin dave - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:
Agree with a lot of what's already been said - a really enjoyable video. While it's cool to watch videos of superhuman feats of overhanging crimpy heel-hooking 9a+ madness, it's also great to see someone just climbing really well (and really boldly) on the sort of moves that you can actually imagine doing yourself. More stuff in this vein would be amazing.

One minor suggestion - it'd maybe have been nice to see a few more long "establishing" shots giving more of an idea of where the lines actually go, for those of us who don't know Almscliffe.

Top stuff, anyway.
SGD - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Great video! Just to re-iterate some of the previous comments. It was great to have a climbing vid without some iritaing music detracting from the footage and some of the personnal touches like the pie eating and the little stories.

Jack - your a film star in the making!


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