/ Best Ever Route Description?
Any other equally brilliant ones??
I'll never cease to be amazed how much pleasure some people get from comparisons of pieces of rock to naughty parts of the body.
Still, it's a good thing, I suppose. The more pleasure there is in the world the better, after all.
My own favourite is Charlie's Overhang at Baldstones.
'Take the roof on flakes to a hideous final mantelshelf. The ground below is flat - and getting flatter.'
I like it when guidebooks waste precious space with the phrase "up these to the top".
This one's a description of a venue - rather than a route - but nevertheless...
"One of the Cornish Coast's more memorable natural features. By comparison, Bosigran's Great Zawn is a pleasant sunny spot, ideal for family picnics. Ogo is Cornish for cave and this is a vast example whose roof has long since disappeared. Overhanging sides festooned with bilious green slime and liberal quantities of guano do not encourage an atmosphere of light-hearted anticipation. Etc..."
Climbers' Club - West Cornwall
a route in dalkey quarry
THE PHANTOM RASPBERRY BLOWER E5 5c
The upper traverse line on the Ghost Slab is an excursion for those of stout heart. You can leave the gear behind for this one. Once embarked upon you might as well keep going as it is just as hard reversing, and as everyone knows, it is much more honourable to fall off going up, than it is to fall of whilst trying to reverse. Massive crater potential. Follow The Ghost to the right hand end of the fault. Before confidence disappears, launch out leftwards and manically crimp your way along the line to a junction with Haunted. The ensuing buzz is tremendous.
That's fabulous !
This one made me smile.. part of the Rockfax description of Smoked Salmon at Bamford:
'How you gain the top break is nothing considering what lies above...'
Here's one to scare you off:
Fruit of the Gloom MXS (California, Dinorwig slate quarries)
A comprelling but ultimately crazy proposition. From the belay ledge traverse left across a series of loose ledges to reach the base of the evil fissure. Shuffle up this until terra ferma is reached and with it an overwhelming sense of relief. After you've calmed down a bit, spare a thought for your poor second, who's true horrors are just about to begin.
Or, if that's not quite horrific enough:
Buffer in a Crack House XS (Australia East Braich, Dinorwic slate quarries)
An infamous Crook / Kay route that was once the only chimnay on slate; it now presents the ultimate evidence of the fact that geological time is NOW! The chimney has opened up and is currently more of a canyon. On first aquaintance the route will have appeared to have fallen down, but this is not the case, it can still be climbed!
The approach is quite harrowing in itself, but here goes: skirt round the outside of 'Where the Green Ants Dream', and traverse across rightwards, treading as lightly as possible.
P1 4b (40m) Ascend the apalling looking cracked pillar and continue into the obvious cleft. Belay at the back of the gully, with a kevlar umbrella (essential to protect the poor belayer).
p2 5b (40m) Bridge up the void to stacked blocks above (with a strong feeling of impending doom); undercut through the blocks with much trepidation to eventually make the final mantel onto steep scree. Surry up this faster than it scurries down (on to your belayer!) and belay on the toilet block above.
Is it in that old Devon guide (or was it Gower), where he whole route description is in Hebrew and no other clues?
"The most traditional of routes. To gain full satisfaction it is best to do the route at moonlight; the party should 'preferably' be large and of large men (preferably drunk)."
1989 Tremadog and Cwm Silyn (and earlier guides too).
Chocolate Blancmange Sandwich 50m Scottish IV E4 or Jackson 1
"This unique expedition takes the attractive mud slope at the extreme left end of the quarry. Climb the mud slope until progress is stopped by a suspect boulder. Climb onto this then transfer to the right of the gully. Follow a series of delectable mud bands and rock steps trending right until a final corner/flake can be gained to finish. A route which still stops many modern rock stars."
I wonder why?
Yeah I think it's the old CC Devon guide.
Moonlight is cheating, it should be pitch-black and sheeting with rain, only one headtorch being posessed by the entire party, never at the place where it is needed.
Paul Williams Cloggy guide. The description of Indian Face. Awesome!
I think a route at Gib Torr is described as having "more problems with heather than Paul McCartney ever had" in Peak District Bouldering.
"Conveniently situated near the graveyard of Morwenstowe Church,..."
> ...old CC Devon guide.
> ...., only one headtorch being posessed by the entire party, never at the place ...
For full value, the headtorch should have a flat battery.
> "Conveniently situated near the graveyard of Morwenstowe Church,..."
An Iain Peters classic, it was so refreshing to see a guidewriter with a really good sense of humour and for the CC to let him get away with it :-)
Fistful of Dollars, E5, Old Man of Hoy. You are advised to have a rack with lots of Friends 1-3 and Rocks 1 - 9, mostly large ones and a leader, a good one.
Lots of crackers in here....
MR: Sheet 6 574287 Walk a short distance to the coast and explore. Detailed access: No information. First ascent: We don’t even know if there is a stack to ascend!
And my favourite...
Stacks of Wirrvie
MR: Sheet 4 223734 The name implies more than one stack although the map shows just one possible item. We’ll assume two.
Detailed access: Descend cliffs and investigate.
Wirrvie Stack 1
First ascent: Unknown.
Wirrvie Stack 2
First ascent: Unknown.
Reach for a Peach Hetchell in the old Blue Yorks guide?
In the middle of a seemingly blank overhanging wall are two tiny nipples.
These are gained obscenely by underclinging an orifice with one finger.
Gaining the hole is in itself extremely awkward.
the Mourne mountains classic Severe: The Sheugh 73m S
Despite almost permanent dampness, the main central chimney on the crag gives an outing of great atmosphere which is just on the humorous side of character building and is best savoured in a large party with high spirits or preferably full of spirits.
Any route description that recommends being drunk has to be up there!
A fun experience on the Sheugh
That was going to be my suggestion. I'm very pleased they've kept the description in the new Yorkshire Grit guide.
"Desperate. A route for technical wizards and incorrigible perverts alike! Rockover for the obscene orifice. One finger undercut this and go for the two nipples miles above. Pinch these, think of England and execute the horrendous final moves. The crux is now even harder since the better nipple suffered an unfortunate mastectomy."
I remeber that! Used to laugh until ! cried reading his stuff!
"Climb the corner at the seaward end of the ledges, before making awkward moves over a rudely projecting appendage."
The climb is "Phallus" at Vessacks Point, Cornwall S Coast. It's just about impossible not to use the appendage!!!!
Yes but I think the last line is the funny one!
> (In reply to Hazelnuts) does anyone remember Steve Ashton's column
> I remember that! Used to laugh until I cried reading his stuff!
I hate to spam the forum but this came out on Amazon a couple of days ago (scared of direct linking):
Diddly Squat's Encyclopedia of Mountaineering
...which re-hashes some of those columns. It's only for Kindle but you can get the free app for PC etc. Also you can look inside before deciding not to bother. If anyone ever felt like buying me a pint for those columns (half a pint at this price - I like the imported stuff in bottles that make you look the shiznits in dimly lit bars), now's your chance.
How about this one (also from the slate quarries):
"New Rays from an Ancient Sun A4 20m
A serious proposition, which is probably best soloed (i.e. only one person will die if the suspect shield of rock in the top groove pops off!!!) Move up from the mouth of the 1st tunnel and continue straight up the hairline crack and the groove above, passing the aforementioned shield of doom. Abseil off and go and have a long hard think about what you're doing with your life!"
There is a tale (almost certainly apocryphal), of an Oxford college setting an exam for a new fellow. They gave him a passage in Assyrian, with the single instruction "Translate this passage".
Unfortunately, they had neglected to say into which language it should be translated, so he translated it into Serbo-Croat. To their eternal shame, they had to go outside their own college to check the translation - and then rejected him on his table-manners.
Very funny. I like the upper E comment :)
Tower of Babel is the one I think of in these threads. I suspect that the totally uninformative description, an alpine grade and the route name is all the information anyone venturing onto it actually needs. If you need to ask I presume you aren't ready for the route.
Was it Fingerrip at Avon in the old pre-Drummond guide that was described as "the crux is a mantelshelf onto a small flake that has since disappeared"
SOS at the Sea Walls in Avon used to have a dotted line painted up it. The decsription read 'Tear along the dotted line'. If you look very carefully, you can just see the last remaining vestiges of the line in places, but the description is long gone :o(
I think the description is quite helpful as it goes, but then maybe my rack is unusual in not regularly including 6-inch nails
My favourite is still 'The Actress' in the 1989 Stanage guide (the red one with Johnny Dawes on the cover): "Lies under the Bishop"
Instead of climbing this route, why not drive your car towards the cliff edge and keep going. You will probably live longer that way.
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