/ Crag moderation - Halldrine Cove
Was going to contact Alan James and ask to take over as moderator, but haven't got around to it yet. This might spur me into actually doing it!
Are you still located in Oxford. I am in Cornwall and happy to take over Halldrine.
Skip - I am still in Oxford, so I suppose it might make more sense for a local to moderate the crag. Let me get in touch with Alan first, though, as I want to offer him the topo as a RockFax download.
All the routes at Halldrine were first climbed by the RM Commando Cliff Assault Wing after WW2 when the crag was used for initial training. Generally speaking only those routes climbed by members of the Wing in their free time were given names and FA details.
Possibly use the names on your topo but FA details should be ascribed to the CCAW.
For what it's worth:
Limpet Cove VD: delete - I *think* this is the same route as Slow-Worm, but impossible to tell from the description.
Geologists Groove D: delete - I don't think this exists as an independant route.
Limpet Shoes: delete - same route as Black Slab
TLWRA: some debate over grade. I think if you follow the direct line and go over the flake, it's a reasonably-protected 4a move, therefore severe, and reckon that those who want to grade it VD are bypassing the flake... but I would say that, wouldn't I?
To Much Tourine: should be called Too Much Taurine
Striptease: delete - same route as Black Slab
Bullsperm: I've not climbed this route (only one on the crag!) and it'll need to be checked.
You're also missing Crabwise. Feel fee to rip descriptions from my topo to update the database!
Generally in agreement with you. Have contacted Alan
Its a nice place but a few of the new lines detract... some should be mentioned as variations.
Most grades are over by a notch and the stars are all over the shop.
I also didn't see the extreme (E1?) up the wall left of the main arete (Limpet slab?) in the details on UKC (not great on the upper wall... some shitty rock so I backed off on lead).
Talking of nice low grade venues in the area I'd be interested in details of the new named lines on John Wayne Memorial Crag as details are not on UKC... soloed the nice Diffs/VD's on the north facing left wall and the main VD diagonal cleft (that is S 4a at the top!) and the stuff around the gully on the right.
I agree that the grades are generally too high. I don't think i am allowed to downgrade, unless they match the latest guide book grades and even then not all guides are in agreement. I have led Limpet Slab, VD in my opinion (presuming we are talking the same route, to the left of Black slab?). I have removed some routes as they were effectively duplicates, e.g. Limpet Shoes = Black Slab.
I need to check out John Wayne Memorial Crag. I have only made one visit since i took over as moderator (last Thursday). I have some routes still to check.
Thanks for your feedback.
> Talking of nice low grade venues in the area I'd be interested in details of the new named lines on John Wayne Memorial Crag as details are not on UKC.
I have just uploaded a photo of the John Wayne Memorial Crag taken on the walk round to Aire Point,if the Mods let it through.
Southern Man is crag moderator for John Wayne Memorial Crag
I agree the crag is now full, though I don't know about overcrowded; Shrimpet and Inverted V-Groove certainly share some ground, though they've stood since 1955 and 1986 respectively. Slow-Worm and Dolphin Song are very near to each other but I think - just - manage to maintain different lines. Though the centre of the crag looks crowded, I think the presence of the two big overhangs mean that routes that turn them on different sides are sufficiently separated, even if they share starting positions.
Which routes do you feel are over-graded? I see that the UKC logbooks think Black Slab is HS, and there's a split on TLWRA between S and HVD (though, as I said above, I think this might be about whether you bypass the move straight over the flake or not). The oddly named Limpet Slab is just very loose and worrying.
Hi Skip and others.
Just to to save you a bit of time in changing names/grades/FA details etc of routes at Halldrine. You might as well wait until the new guide is out (probably next year). I know that the CC author for this crag - who is probably better acquainted with Bosigran area than most - has received all sorts of updates and claims for Halldrine and I'm certain he would have attributed the whats/wheres and whens correctly to the best of anyone's knowledge. It's a bloody nightmare when claims and counter claims of routes on here end up conflicting with what's in the current guide (not that I have any opinion on Halldrine's routes as I've only climbed there once, several years back), so it would probably be best to work from that once it's out. Just sayin' like :)
As for John Wayne Memorial Crag. Yep I'm moderator for that one. It's up to date to the best of my knowledge, or have I missed something?
Re. Halldrine routes.
The longstanding local policy at Halldrine has been to record defined routes and to leave the rest as a go-as-you-please playground.
Routes that are 'officially' recorded are Limpet Slab (M Hardy, R G Pettigrew, 28.7.56), Inverted V-Groove and Geological Groove (Commando Cliff Assault Wing, 1956).
Shrimpet and Barnaclet were climbed and named as defined lines by myself and Roger Mitchell in 1986. I climbed, with Roger and various partners in later years, what have been subsequently named as The Love Wagon Rides Again, Slow Worm, Dolphin Song, Osteopath Wall, Drop Out and a crag-wide spread of alternatives.
Ours were not the first footfalls on the Moon, by any means.
The Climbers' Club early 1990s guides recorded Shrimpet and Barnaclet to add some variety to the crag. I chose not to record our names to first ascent claims, due to the general assumption that for many years the CCAW, many local climbers, including the venerable Dennis Bateman, and visiting climbers had wandered at will all over this splendid little crag. The conventional wisdom in those days was that the entire South West telephone directory had blanketed the crag with lines and alternatives.
This in no way negates the good efforts of subsequent climbers who have every right to 'pioneer' what they honestly believe to be unclimbed or unrecorded lines. The fault lies with the equally honest tradition of leaving small crags that have a majority of climbable lines at the same low grades to be 're-discovered'.
The flaw in this last policy is now obvious. Times change, and it is fair to say that new generations of climbers, understandably, wish to record and claim lines that they believe have not been climbed/recorded.
The forthcoming Climbers' Club guides to West Cornwall will clarify the situation at Halldrine. Innocent retrospective claims may well be recorded but perhaps with some kind of rider - 'First claimed by...' or 'May have been climbed before...' I stress that an agreed policy on dealing with these kinds of situations has not yet been decided.
On the other hand we may just note; First Ascent - C. R. O. Magnon, Circa 41,000BC; retro-claimed by Uther Pendragon & Son, 6th century.
None of this detracts from the admirable efforts of those contributing to this thread and those who have done sterling work on recording and publicising routes at Halldrine in good faith and with enthusiasm.
PS Shrimpet is entirely independent of Inverted V-groove and is a neat little gambol - so there!
Nice one Des did you get my email about The Camel?
> PS Shrimpet is entirely independent of Inverted V-groove and is a neat little gambol - so there!
> Des Hannigan
Thanks for that. Agree that Shrimpet is a different route to Inverted V-groove.
To add a little more height to this particular molehill the Lawder dynasty (my grandfather, great uncle, mother and myself) first climbed at Halldrine in the early 50s. In fact Limpet Slab is etched in my memory because my mother's brand new camera was dropped by one of the party, bounced off my young shoulder and was promptly swallowed by the mermaid of Zennor.
I do remember the Admiral taking us on a tour of the crag and pointing out all the various lines, saying that they were the work of the CCAW. As an aside, I believe that he had been directed to the cove for the first time by no less than A W Andrews, who had apparently introduced such luminaries as Mallory and some of the more adventurous members of the Bloomsbury set to its delights back in the 1900s.
For about 10 years of our partnership, say 54-64, Halldrine was our regular first day destination, and we must have climbed up, down and across every obvious line up to V Diff/Severe. Ask any seal or basking shark!
I also have it on good authority that Ygrain, mother of King Arthur, after whom the neighbouring headland is named made the first (female) ascents - solo - before old Pendragon, so there. C R O Magnon does not count because he only top-roped the lines using braided mammoth hair ropes.
The 'E1' is not listed. I led it onsight to the last few hard moves and backed off; it had signs of previous traffic (what looked like fresh broken edges on the snappy top section and what might have been some chalk in the steeper than it looks tilted wall/groove HS start). Another unlisted line is to take (or cross at 1/3 height) Limpet and head left on slabby ledges to a boldish Diff slab (an obvious line but again not great).
Limpet Slab (the slab and arete) was a real delight with a clear unescapable line worth a star anywhere and grade wise I'd say it's a tough Diff (similar in difficulty to the top 'pitch' of Alison at Bosigran). Shrimpet (if that's the steep crack in the wall right of Inverted V Groove) I though was easily worth a star and the only route that really felt its grade.
Black Slab is very much an eliminate: the idea this is a great climb for the area comparable with the similar 2 star routes at Bosigram, Sennen etc is way beyond a stretch (the single 'bag of' vote wasnt mine: a good no-star would be my view .. maybe worth a star if it wasn't for the blinkers); which guidebook gave it 2 stars?? I also thought easy HS.... much easier than Terrier's Tooth start that is also a bolder line).
Maybe I'm old fashioned but I think if two no star lines share much the same climbing and roughly the same grade, the 'new' line should be a graded variant with no new name (eg: 'you can also finish right at VD'). I'd also add one route I thought was completely lacking in independance seems to have gone now.
I think you might be opening a can of worms on crags like Halldrine where pretty much everything easy will have been done in the 50s. We used 'traditional' in most of the new BMC peak guides for such routes and FRA (First Recorded Ascent) is a good alternative if the line is less obvious or on a newly listed or never obviously swarming place (unlike a training crag like Halldrine would have been on a busy day).
Cheers, I also took photos (as an aide memoir) but it's where the named routes go that interest me.
I'd long suspected that the 'new routes' that I'd collated for my mini guide had been done before, although this is the first time I've ever had that confirmed. Indeed, no-one at the CC suggested otherwise when I submitted TLWRA, Slow-Worm, Osteopath Wall, Crabwise and Black Slab in 2003. It's now obvious that they are, at best, merely the first time the lines have been described, but I'm reasonably confident they *are* the first time they've been described.
However, I do think that there is a desire for such lines to be named and described; hence the popularity of the various iterations of my mini guide (which has been circulated in various forms for more than a decade via Javu and the Climbers Club website, and Mark Glaister is working with it with a view to producing a RockFax miniguide) and the number of ascents recorded in the UKC logbooks. Given that the modern names and descriptions have been in circulation for so long, I suggest it might be simpler to maintain these names than to attempt to retro-engineer a crag description - whilst making it absolutely clear that they are in no way the first ascents, and giving proper credit to the CCAW and others who were likely true first ascensionists.
With that in mind, re stars: I agree that Limpet Slab merits a star, as do Shrimpet and Barnaclet. I never had the temerity to suggest two stars for anything on Halldrine; the only time I've ever seen two stars given was for a line called 'Limpet Shoes' submitted to the UKC logbooks, now identified as analagous to Black Slab. Skip - I see that when you merged these two routes in the logbook you carried the two stars to Black Slab; I don't think it's worth that. One, maybe, though the logbooks seem to disagree with me there. I'm quite pleased to see the logbooks suggesting two stars for TLWRA but again I think it's probably only worth one.
Offwidth - of the two unlisted routes you describe, I'm still not sure where the E1 goes. Have you seen it listed somewhere, or could you describe its line? The line left of Limpet Slab sounds similar to Osteopath Wall? As for grades, I'm happy with HS 4a for Black Slab and HVD for TLWRA; I thought the friable nature of Limpet Slab made it worth VD even if the moves are barely diff.
I haven't climbed Black Slab yet, but had a good look, probably not really worth 2 stars.
Have you any idea where Bullsperm is? It's not on the topo i have.
Agree that TLWRA is probably only a 1 star route.
If that guess is right, I think it is a bit too derivative to merit inclusion as its own route; it's just a harder finish to Forget Me Not.
I agree that we should keep the names: it drives me bonkers when climbers try to usurp established lower grade route names based on ascent precedent (on something that was probably an old route anyway when they climbed it). As an ex-editor myself these claims and subsequent email communications eat time for no good purpose...this is the 'can of worms' in my reply to Des... and why I'd suggest just putting 'traditional' on all such routes to bypass any such rubbish. Its also best to be clear that other stuff that is known but not described is mentioned, eg "the rocks to the right have been climbed and are left to rediscover". Haldrine is somewhere I see as a very useful venue for lower grade trad climbers and where current popularity insists that most routes need full treatment now; but please dont spoil it by numbering every micro-variant.
Limpet Slab simply isn't that friable I think its a Diff or HD that needs a mild warning on looking after the lovely rock features. The features over the bulge to the right on Barnaclet seem more of a concern if they ever got attacked by top-rope hordes. The crack line I liked right of Invverted V groove that was correct at VDish was Shrimplet and is fully independant IMHO.
I can't find Osteopath's Wall on UKC. I climbed the slab and steep short wall below and left of Limpet Slab to the big slabby ledge then tried the wall above a few metres left of the arete of Limpet then trying the scary quartz seam closer to the arete. On the CC topo if you drop a line midway between the finish sections of Osteopath's Wall and Limpet Slab that was roughly the original line I tried then another failed finish in between that and Limpet (just left of the Limpet arete). Im not trying to make a claim as I didnt finish it and Ive not seen it listed anywhere.
PS Im pretty sure the descent looks wrong in this.. I crossed into the shallow gully line just visble on the edge of the photo much easier than down thsoe rock steps.
I think everyone is in agreement that, regardless of actual first ascents, preserving the current set of names and descriptions is the best way to go, and I'm keeping that in mind as I update my guide for RockFax - whilst obviously trying to get lines and descriptions accurately graded and reasonably starred... I'm in two minds about whether to remove *all* first ascent details and just credit everything to the CCAW and others, or to keep 'first recorded ascent' details.
I'm also rather tempted to collapse a few route descriptions as being variants on one another. I'm certainly going to do that with Bullsperm, which looks to me nothing but a hard finish to Forget Me Not. I'd be happy for suggestions as to others which should be collapsed, or for other grading/starring anomalies; I'll use the UKC logbooks as a guide but several routes have only a very few respondants. Will probably come back to this thread with my suggested changes before going much further.
Offwidth - I had misunderstood you as suggesting that there was an established E1 that was missing from my guide. Phew! The line you describe does sound like it could be E1, though.
I'm unsure about the line of Shrimplet (as opposed to Shrimpet) - I understand it's listed in the CC supplement, which I don't have. Are these two different routes?
Osteopath Wall - is just missing from the UKC logbooks at the moment.
As for the descent - I seem to remember preferring the rocky steps to the gully, but I could have it wrong. If anyone's there in the near future could they take a look and let me know?
> I think everyone is in agreement that, regardless of actual first ascents, preserving the current set of names and descriptions is the best way to go,
I'm not in agreement with this. Let's face it, most if not all of your routes are variations on existing routes, so they should simply be described as such.
> I'm in two minds about whether to remove *all* first ascent details and just credit everything to the CCAW and others, or to keep 'first recorded ascent' details.
I'd get rid of the 'First recorded ascent' details if I were you
"most if not all of your routes are variations on existing routes"...Thats not true: quite a few of the lines were not described before and are completely independant and as a name is certainly needed for these it may as well be the one people have been logging over the last year or so.
The problem with the FRA route is someone earlier might want their name on this next, then someone else, then someone else.... In situations where we are 99% certain they were done before, this is plain silly.
On variations if they give in too much they risk multiple extra similar claims and guides full of low quality stuff. Writing something like "finishing left gives a nice VD alternative" is nearly always enough. If they want to go the whole hog I could always give the left-hand only grades ;-)
I'm afraid I don't understand the last paragraph of your previous post.
> I think everyone is in agreement that, regardless of actual first ascents, preserving the current set of names and descriptions is the best way to go.
> This is the approach i am taking.
> Osteopath Wall - is just missing from the UKC logbooks at the moment.
> I will add this to UKC
> As for the descent - I seem to remember preferring the rocky steps to the gully, but I could have it wrong. If anyone's there in the near future could they take a look and let me know?
So they should all be called 'Generic route x' should they?
Don't be such a dullard.
> So they should all be called 'Generic route x' should they?
"finishing left gives a nice VD alternative" as per Offwidth's suggestion
I'm with Andy on this one: Does a crag with so many routes, that for generations has long been accepted as an ideal beginners' venue where basically you can wander at will at V Diff, really require anything much more than a decent topo (with names if necessary and of course grades) and a few lines for access notes etc. and a brief historical intro?
There is a wider issue here which has a direct bearing on future definitive, as opposed to selective, guides: so many people are now recording micro routes in great detail that guidebooks are in danger of becoming top heavy with dozens of minor climbs that once would have just had their location pointed out with a note to the effect that they are best left for individual rediscovery.
In my own area, the Culm, Atlantic Coast and Baggy, I've got lengthy descriptions including FA names of 8m routes that many have climbed en passant but not considered worth recording.
Andy and Des have my sympathy in trying to sort it all out! Maybe the next West Cornwall (can we please have it renamed West Penwith?!) guide will provide those that follow with a blueprint.
> Maybe the next West Cornwall (can we please have it renamed West Penwith?!) guide
Not if it includes Lizard you can't! That would have to be West Penwith and Kerrier :)
> No, they should be called
> "finishing left gives a nice VD alternative" as per Offwidth's suggestion
Are you wilfully missing Offwidth's point about some of the 'new' routes being perfectly acceptable independent lines warranting a name, or are you just being wrong for the sake of it?
The Lizard will now get its own separate guide (in preparation).
> The Lizard will now get its own separate guide
I think there is a middle way with naming. Do we really need routes such as "I Never Said it Was Any Good" (Stanage btw) that almost overwhelm the experience of the route. Maybe we should be like horses in racing or twitter...limit the text to force people to be more imaginative. I'm also not sure all the independant lines at Halldrine deserve names (some are pretty shit).
There is a real problem on the horizon (as Iain points out) with the explosion of microroutes in the area. This needs addressing: do people want web guides for the minor venues or cut down treatment or 2 guidebooks (that won't sell at all well) covering an area that currently takes one. Haldrine I see as one place that does deserves good coverage as it is a gem for the lower grade leader but not in a way that implies its challenging Bosigran!
I agree that Halldrine deserves better coverage than it currently has - and the popularity of my topo and the ascents in the logbooks rather reflect this. I also agree we need to cut back on the number of routes; I've made a start on this already, and when I get a chance (away for the weekend) I'll make suggestions. Andy, I'm sorry if you find some of the route names there florid - but as I have said already, they've stood for a decade now and have been downloaded and had ascents logged against them hundreds of times, and it seems a bit perverse to rename them Slab Route #1, Crack Route #2, etc, and to have to redo the logbooks. They clearly had meaning to their 'first' ascensionists - the few I set certainly did - and, honestly, compared to some of John Readhead's names...
Not that I think Halldrine is *too* overcrowded; I currently have 16 routes for it, and will probably propose cutting that down to 12 or 13 with variations. For comparison the (rather smaller) Demo Route area of Sennen has 14 listed, so I don't think it's a million miles off.
I hope to have this finished long before the new edition of the CC guidebook comes out, so if they do decide they want to extend their coverage of Halldrine then neither Andy, Des, or anyone else will have to 'sort it all out'.
I'm off to the lakes for the weekend!
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