/ Greatest climbing regrets

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patrick_b - on 01 Sep 2012
What are your climbing regrets? Routes you wish you'd done at the time but for whatever reason didn't..

At the end of a week of amazing weather on Skye we spent a day linking routes on Sron na Ciche: Cioch West, Arrow Route and then.. my brother was getting tired and didn't fancy Integrity, so we climbed Wallwork's Route instead.

6 years later, I still regret that decision.
pork pie girl - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

every time i try to break into a new grade ...i wonder what i'm doing with my life and i feel that heavy and weak feel like i have a 10lb bag of potatoes stuffed down my knickers. i regret taking up the sport!

not the type of answer you're looking for really?


Dave Garnett - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b

Spotting the line of Out of the Blue at Lower Sharpnose, bouldering out the start but deciding we didn't have time for new routing...

I've missed a few opportunities but this is the one I still kick myself for.
Howardw1968 - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:
Not starting until I was 40.
Gordon Stainforth - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

That I wimped out on Left Wall (in 1983) just below the crux. It got to me psychologically, and I decided it wasn't my day. At the point I stopped the ropes were just long enough for me to be lowered back to deck (I guess I knew that subconsciously).
unclesamsauntibess - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: Not exploring Little Orme in the 70's - there was potential in bucketfuls..............
Pursued by a bear - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: Not getting past the arete on the second pitch of Tantalus at Tremadog. Three times I've clipped the peg, three times I've had my hand on the arete, three times I've backed off. Still don't know what it's like round the other side.

T.
In reply to patrick_b:

Not doing West Face Route (Bosigran) when we were up to it.

Ditto Freeblast and the Stovelegs on El Cap - didn't have any interest in the Full Monty but it would have been good to sample the Big Stone!


Chris
Fraser on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Not starting when I was younger.
OwenM - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: Not going to Alaska when I was young and fit enough to still do the really good routes.
Goucho on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: Not going on expeditions to the Himalayas when the opportunity arose - 3 times!!!!!
French Erick - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:
Discovering too early that I was soft as sh***, I'm sure I could have hooked up with some folks to go do big alpine stuff and may be even the greater ranges.
John_Hat - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Not doing Snake Dyke when I was in Yosemite.

Not telling my climbing partner to SHUT UP when I was faffing on Great North Road when I was trying to break into HVS. He was whining and complaining about the amount of time I was taking so eventually I bailed and said "You do it", and hence lost the onsight.
Rob Exile Ward on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: Baling off the South Face of the Fou 35 years ago.

Mind you if we hadn't, I'd probably still be there.
Stuart the postie - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Not finishing the last 6m of a FWA on The Cobbler, had to be back at 4pm to pick up boys from childminder (or else!!!!!!!)!

Not being able to join Andy and Ian, FWA The Tingler, Creag Tharsuin, stayed at home with family to let my wife study for exams (why that day, of all days!!!!).

Possibly, Albatross instead of Stormy Petrel.

Stuart
Franco Cookson on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: every time this summer I've chickened out of something because i didn't have it quite wired enough. ahhhh, so many routes :(
pamph - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: Not getting round to attempting Shrike on Cloggy. Ever since I saw some photos of it in Rocksport in the 60s I think, I have wanted to do it. Too old and crocked now I suspect (unless I aid it like the photo in Hard Rock!)
Gordon Stainforth - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to pamph:

I think this may be one of the pictures you're referring to, published in Rocksport in c. November 1970:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=49814
John_Hat - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to Stuart the postie:

OK, I'll ask the stupid question.

FWA?
Stuart the postie - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

First Winter Ascent
Dave 88 - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Not doing Crinoid when I was at Telegraph Hole. Can't see me being back down that way for ages.

Letting Kemics lead Great North Road.

Buying Mad Rock shoes.
pamph - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Thanks Gordon, that's the one! I may yet do it, but having passed sixty now it may be out of reach.
GerryA on 02 Sep 2012 - cpc3-shef10-0-0-cust244.barn.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to patrick_b: Not getting on the North Face of the Eiger despite perfect conditions and bucket steps all the way up! Did the North Face of the Monch instead but no cigar! It bugs me to death every year!!! Hindsight is a real pain in the arse;)
John_Hat - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to Stuart the postie:

Ta!
johncook - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: Allowing life to get in the way in 1982 and effectively giving up climbing. Back at it now for 9 years, and still trying to get back to the point/grade at which I gave up. It is hard at 63 to push fitness but I am going to do it. Currently back up to HVS with the odd selected E1, only two more grades to go, then I can really start getting into things.
Working through the old routes is great fun. It's amazing how many tricks of the route you remember even after 30+ years.
Nostagia ain't what it used to be, but I am working on it!
Don't regret anything, but just add it to the list of things to either do, or overshadow.
HappyTrundler - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

In 1978, as a teenager, I did a few new routes at Carn Gowla. We were so unbelievably dozey though, in terms of exploring and making the most of it. Rowland Edwards had just moved to Cornwall and was busy applying himself. We used to just loll about in the sunshine at the top of the cliffs, occasionally wondering what was round the corner or 'over there'...now, when I look at the routes on Triple Buttress and Indian Buttress...Alex of Gowla, Four for Texas, Indian Country etc, all routes we could have done, I can't believe we were so casual and lethargic, we weren't even working and had all the time in the world...sadly I can't say that any longer...
BenTiffin - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: I was there, the Devil's Appendix was there but I went home without looking at it properly.
Al Evans on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to BenTiffin: Not beating Terry King to the F/F/A of Regent Street, I might not have done it, but I should have had a go, plus it was the first of the great Millstone peg routes to go free.
Iain Peters - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to HappyTrundler:
> (In reply to patrick_b)
>
> In 1978, as a teenager, I did a few new routes at Carn Gowla.

Which ones as a matter of interest, and were you climbing with the late Rowland Perriment?

abseil on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Not doing Centurion, or Troach - could've - didn't.
HappyTrundler - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to Iain Peters:

Yes, I knew Rolo, great bloke, I went to his funeral, he was strong as an ox...Midnight Rambler, Bridge of Sighs etc...
alasdair19 on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to HappyTrundler: running out of money after a year in vancouver (had a one year ticket) with a summer of new routes in the coast range possible.

Was apparenty first reserve for an awesome 6 week ski tour once as well.
Iain Peters - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to HappyTrundler:

Couldn't agree more. He and I had a couple of great trips down to the Cordillera Darwin and the unexplored Isla Santa Ines off the Magellan Straits in the early 80s. I'll never forget his joy on our return to civilization at discovering the delights of Chilean pasties - empanadas!

In fact my biggest regrets are the good friends and climbing partners who are no longer here. Any other failures pale into insignificance.
john arran - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Non, rien de rien.
Cthulhu on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Biggest regret is letting my ex-wife's harping and moaning poison my love of climbing to the extent that I stopped enjoying it, and continued mainly out of habit. From there to letting life get in the way was a very small step. Now I'm so out of the habit of making time for climbing that every few months I look back in surprise at how much time has passed since I last climbed...
Sherlock - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:
Archangel,Stanage.
I could have done it...honest...just wanted a slightly cooler day. I was doing shed loads of grit soloing at the time and feeling good about everything but,well I didn't and now I live far,far away and it'll always be too warm.
Sherlock.
HappyTrundler - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to Iain Peters:

Whenever he came up to doss at our flat in Bristol, he always brought a big sack of spuds...he never drank much because he was often saving like mad for his next trip...so when he did it never took much to get him boozed up, and he always got very playful and boisterous, he was great fun...he moved to Abingdon, then down to Salisbury, and I regret not seeing more of him, he was always game for anything that got him off the ground...
USBRIT - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: Not realizing in the early days that top roping routes into submission would have made life and the climbing much easier and would eventually be an accepted as ethical.
David Rose - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: My greatest regret is not having been able to make the first ascent of Mt Everest. It isn't that hard, technically, but unfortunately had already been done by the time I first started mountaineering in the mid 1980s. If I had been able to do it, it would have made me rich and famous, I feel sure.
gd303uk - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: Not making use of the good days and moaning about the rainy days,
The time wasted is my greatest regret, make hay while the sun shines, has never been more pertinent, with this summer.
There is still enough time for me to complete my must do routes, just. :)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Duncan Bourne - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

No particular regrets myself. I'll wait till I'm to old for that.
But a friend of mine really wanted to do "Comes the Dervish". At the time he was leading E4/5 so it was easily within his grade but, as he found it hard to get away, he didn't get up to Wales often. Anyway his work changed and we all went up to Llanberis for a weekend. He walked up to "Comes the Dervish" on the sunny Friday evening we arrived to have a look and said "We'll do that tomorrow". Then next day it rained, in fact it rained the whole weekend. Two weeks later he fell off the lip of "Flying Buttress Direct" trying to reverse it after his runners had all lifted out and cut short his climbing career. He always regretted that he hadn't done it at the time.
Skip - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Not getting on Wreckers Slab about 7 or 8 years ago. Not my fault, we were climbing in a three, i was to start third, the leader pulled the ropes up and refused to let me climb (fell out the night before over politics). I never climbed with him again. Haunted me ever since, still plenty of time to do it though.
Al Evans on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to USBRIT:
> (In reply to patrick_b) Not realizing in the early days that top roping routes into submission would have made life and the climbing much easier and would eventually be an accepted as ethical.

I'm glad you didn't or you would not still be one of my great heroes today :-)
Al Randall on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to BenTiffin) Not beating Terry King to the F/F/A of Regent Street, I might not have done it, but I should have had a go, plus it was the first of the great Millstone peg routes to go free.

Don't regret that Al, you still wouldn't have got it. We did it 10 minutes after Terry and only missed the first free ascent because we decided that it warranted a cooked breakfast.

My biggest regret is taking a walk past Mother Carey's Kitchen while on a family holiday in Tenby and thinking it was a big heap of choss waiting to fall down on anyone stupid enough to climb it.

Al
climbingpixie - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

If I was him I'd be more regretful that I fell off FBD!!
Duncan Bourne - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to climbingpixie:
He probably regrets that too, for various reasons
Enty - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to USBRIT:
> (In reply to patrick_b) Not realizing in the early days that top roping routes into submission would have made life and the climbing much easier and would eventually be an accepted as ethical.

Dude - there's way more people impressed with the way you climb your new routes than the current headpointing ethic - true story!!!

E

Enty - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to USBRIT:
> (In reply to patrick_b) Not realizing in the early days that top roping routes into submission would have made life and the climbing much easier and would eventually be an accepted as ethical.

And to turn the topic of this thread on it's head - Hardest I have ever climbed is E5 - only a handful mind!
I'm 100% sure if I'd used the top rope first ethic I would have a few E6's and maybe the odd E7 in my logbook.
I don't regret this for a minute!

E

John P - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to Enty:

Me neither Enty, but it's just the thought that back then, the playing field wasn't as straight as we thought it was.
Simon Caldwell - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:
Regrets?
Too few to mention.
jon on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to Toreador:

Non, je ne regrette rien.
Goucho on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to Enty: Add me to that list too (I'm well aware my three E6 onsights were all soft touches for the grade) but I've never had the inclination to 'work' routes, let alone top rope them, which could explain why I'm finding the sport climbing ethos difficult to get to grips with.

Mind you, I have to own up to throwing a top rope down Gaia once - just to see if I could?????
Dan Arkle - on 02 Sep 2012
Jumping off the crux of Ulysses (onto pads) because I was too scared to commit on the onsight attempt.
jon on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> Mind you, I have to own up to throwing a top rope down Gaia once - just to see if I could?????

And could you?
Blue Straggler - on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Trungel Crack.
pasbury on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Not leading Left Wall. I seconded it when going well and found it really easy. Then tried to lead it a few years later in damp conditions and bottling.
Not doing the Nose. I'd done Half Dome regular route, I had the time and a great partner but just walked away from the chance.
Not learning to drive until I was 29. So for most of my best years of form I was often restricted to local and easily accessible crags and soon did all the routes didn't scare the crap out of me.
Not cheating ;-) I only ever onsighted stuff - even on the rare occasions I sport climbed. Sometimes I'd toprope things out of curiosity. But never rehearsed anything or pre-inspected - it wasn't really the done thing for folk operating at my grade. If I'd applied a few cheats I might have got up things like Demolition at Sennen or Flashdance. Ho hum.
999thAndy on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Another for L. Wall. Me and Roger Bell had just done ivy sepulchre, cemetry gates and the corner but when we abbed down off the corner another team was just starting L. wall. It was early evening and we had people to see in the pub and cloggy to go to on the morrow and ... I haven't been there since :(
Timmd on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

Only having dodgy elbows since my teens from too much climbing, at 32 i've realised it's about the company and nice places, once you take away the grade.

Climbing wise i've just arrived sooner at where poeple end up in thier older age is my thinking, plenty of other challenges in my life.
pebbles - on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to Toreador: Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
Simon4 - on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: Not trying the North face of the Aiguille Blanche when young and stupid and staying at the Trident bivouac.

It was certainly accessible, which it has not been since due to an enormous crevasse at the base of the Col Moore, because a soloist staying in the hut could be seen quite high on it, while we were having an epic time getting lost on the Brenva face.

Mind you, I knew far less then than I do now about getting off the AB and I'm still not confident of getting down in one piece, so perhaps it was just as well we did not get onto the mountain with no clear idea of how to get off.
ill_bill - on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: The thing that I regret most is turning down the chance to climb Vector with Pete Thexton. I still shake my head at the thought. He hung around for his mate who who was willing to do it and then ran out of light and had an interesting abseil off in the dark. I have felt guilty about it ever since.

Goucho on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to jon: Yes, but on a rope tight enough to play the opening riff to Smoke on the Water :-)
mark s - on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to patrick_b: wished id done gaia when i was capable,theres no chance now.

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