/ How many routes in a year?

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Iain Thow - on 19 Nov 2012
What's the largest number of routes anyone has done in a calendar year? As an ageing bumbly I'm quite happy with my 1000 for this year but given that those were in only 45 days/evenings climbing, and 550 in a day is possible I'm sure plenty of people have topped that. 100 days climbing at 50 a day would surely be feasible?
Pero - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow: There's something not right about the numbers here. 550 routes in a day? 5000 routes in a year?

I reckon 10 routes at Stanage in a day is pretty good going. Or, maybe, 20 at Windgather. And 50 days climbing a year is pretty good going unless you're retired.

I can't imagine many people do more than 1000. Not to mention multi-pitch routes affecting the count.
JimboWizbo - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow: I have to travel for a few hours to do any climbing.
This year has been my busiest yet and I've managed 168 climbs (according to my log book).

Many of those are boulder problems, so only counting routes (anything with a rope or a Solo) it's more like 100 for the year.
puppythedog on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow: I hoping tohave done a hundred when this year ends, including boulder problems and I'm feeling alright about the year particularly as the weather got the best of me.
remus - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Pero: The question is not 'how many routes does the average punter do in a year', it is 'what is the largest number of routes anyone has done in a year'.

Given that 50 routes in a day is very achievable on grit and someone with plenty of time on their hands can get out for 100s of days a year 5000 routes in a year isnt that far off the mark. I think the main problem would be more one of boredom, doing a lot of volume all the time would get tedious quite quickly.
deacondeacon - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow: I did my 1000th route of 2012 yesterday. If I included seconding routes and repeats I reckon I'd be well over 2000.
I think if your climbing on short outcrops like gritstone or southern sandstone it's pretty easy but being in the lakes or north wales would be much more difficult.
You also need to enjoy easy soloing to get these sort of numbers.
I'm quite happy to climb 50 routes that are VS or easier in a day, whereas others would see this as a wasted day when you could have led 4 E2's.
Iain Thow - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Pero:
5000 is a rough guess based on the assumption that Pete Whittaker & his mate didn't do much for a day or two after their 550 so nobody is going to do that number very often, but a few days in a year with 100 is perfectly feasible - I did 100 on Scugdale with 100 on Stanage a few days apart and I don't claim to be anything special.
GrahamD - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow:

I'm not sure whether number of routes is a fair metric. That rates a 6m boulder problem of a a route at Burbage North or a sun rock bolt clip up with a 5 minute stroll in along with a multipitch epics on Carn Dearg.

Metres of climbing might be more interesting and make it less grit centric - not that I have a clue what I'd score in either metric.
beardy mike - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to GrahamD: I was about to say the same thing. This summer I did nearly 2000m of climbing in 4 rock routes. Hardly the same as doing Stanage 4 times...
thomaspomfrett on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow: I've managed 78 so far, which considering I live in London I'm pretty happy with. Still hope I can make it to 100 before the year is out.
Iain Thow - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:
1000 different routes is good going, nice one. I reckon my total includes about 700 different ones. Didn't count boulder problems but given that my local crag is Windgather some of the routes are only 8m or so. At the other extreme it includes Tower Ridge & the Great Ridge on Garbh Bheinn.
jonnie3430 - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to Iain Thow)

> I'm quite happy to climb 50 routes that are VS or easier in a day,

Would you not enjoy one 750m VS more instead of all the faff at the top and bottom of a 15m route?
deacondeacon - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: Most of my routes are solos so faff isn't exactly an issue. I moved to Sheffield and so the Peak District is on my doorstep, I've only just started to get bored of grit and so next year I'll be traveling further afield more often.
I love climbing, i live next to loads of climbing and so I go climbing. It's as simple as that.
mattrm - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow:

Well this is depressing. 17 routes this year. Including trad, sport and alpine. 79 routes last year. Would really like to make 100 routes next year.
puppythedog on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow: Scratch that, I did 132 including bouldering problems.
jonnie3430 - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:

> I love climbing, i live next to loads of climbing and so I go climbing. It's as simple as that.

In that case the number of routes are irrelevant and days of climbing have more weight.
deacondeacon - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: I'm not sure what you mean, have more weight than what?
I'm not trying to justify why I've climbed that many routes, just stating a fact.
Iain Thow - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon: Bored of grit? Still not managed that in nearly 40 years of it. Love the stuff. As for long routes versus lots of short ones mixing it up surely works best. I'm in the same boat as you living next to grit & can squeeze a few routes into odd bits of spare time (great, isn't it!). Personally I love the flow of grit soloing and wouldn't swap it for a smaller number of longer routes even if the opportunity was there.
Skip - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow:

These figures are baffling to me. 38 days climbing this year and i am on 92 climbs, 79 routes. Mostly Cornish sea cliff, so many long multi-pitch, will often only get 2 routes in a day. Metres climbed would make more sense to me.
Jonny2vests - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Iain Thow)
>
> I'm not sure whether number of routes is a fair metric.

Totally! My route ticking has plummeted since moving away from the Peak, but I'd be willing to bet my number of meters has gone up.
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EeeByGum - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow: I tried to do 1000 routes in a year but failed at about 460. Weather, time and lack of easier soloable routes were my main enemies. That said, highlights were several 30 routes before lunch time, all the routes at Windgather one evening and 50 solos at Birchin.

That said, it has all gone to pot. I can only do 1.5 chin ups these days. The joys of small children! :-(
victim of mathematics - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Skip:
> (In reply to Iain Thow)
>
> These figures are baffling to me. 38 days climbing this year and i am on 92 climbs, 79 routes. Mostly Cornish sea cliff, so many long multi-pitch, will often only get 2 routes in a day. Metres climbed would make more sense to me.

Why not weight them by the quality of climbing? Starmetres for the win!
Skip - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow:

Thinking more about this. 100 routes in a day, for example, say 10 hours at the crag (impressive in itself), 10 routes per hour, one route every 6 minutes!

Makes no sense to me. Never mind 500 routes in a day!!!!
john arran - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Skip:

> Makes no sense to me. Never mind 500 routes in a day!!!!

Made no sense to me either. That was a large part of the attraction!
http://www.shaneohly.com/articles/2003/06/20/500_Routes_in_a_Day/
deacondeacon - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Skip: I was at Birchen last week and soloed at least 70 routes (about 40 of them onsight) and I was there about 4 hours and I wasn't rushing, I stopped for half an hour to chat to some mates I bumped into.
It's a completey different experience to going climbing in Cornwall. The routes are short, between 6-10 metres, they are all low grades and they're all next to each other. It's also easy to scramble back to the base of the crag.
Iain Thow - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Skip: I think Pete Whittaker & Tom Randall took about 18 hours for their 550, so about 2 minutes a route! Ouch. I reckon on 3 to 4 minutes a route for grit when going well. The most I ever did was 180 in a day (in about 11 hours) when I was a lot younger. Obviously you need to have lots of short crags close to get these sort of numbers, so it is a bit grit-centric, although Northumberland, the Eden Valley/Kendal or Wester Ross would be ok.
deacondeacon - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to john arran: John that is mental! I could imagine 200 or possibly 300 but 500 is incredible. My mental capacity rapidly goes downhill after about 80. were you jogging between routes constantly or was it mostly walking?
Offwidth - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow:

Frankly you're a star. Averaging 23 route a session is impressive for a bumbly in a good year, if these were mainly leads. I'd never get close and have a few 50 plus days and a 100 plus day but these were solo and atypical in a damp year.
James Oswald - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to victim of mathematics:
No, difficulty adjusted starmetres....
john arran - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:
> were you jogging between routes constantly or was it mostly walking?

Most of the time we would climb down an adjacent route then straight up the following one - sometimes barely hitting the ground in the process. The only real travel between routes was when we moved buttresses or to/from crags - then we would either jog or walk depending on how knackered we felt. Driving time was eating time.
Stone Idol - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow: At Stanage one fine day Al J and I did 35 roped routes and only the intervention of a shower and the pub stopped us from doing more - 50 a day could easily be on at an outcrop. That said, I do prefer a mountain crag or a big sea cliff.
Jonny2vests - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Stone Idol:
> (In reply to Iain Thow) At Stanage one fine day Al J and I did 35 roped routes and only the intervention of a shower and the pub stopped us from doing more - 50 a day could easily be on at an outcrop. That said, I do prefer a mountain crag or a big sea cliff.

50 roped routes a day easily? Hmmm, I have to confess to a being a little bit skeptical.
stevieb - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
I did 31 climbs in 8 hours at Stanage End, most of these were roped. We thought we were being pretty quick but still couldn't get below 4 climbs an hour, so 50 would've been doable, if not easy
Jonny2vests - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to stevieb:

And were the roped ones led & seconded? Y'see, if you're that quick / confident, beats me why you would bother with a rope.
stevieb - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to stevieb)
>
> And were the roped ones led & seconded? Y'see, if you're that quick / confident, beats me why you would bother with a rope.

I have a very low soloing threshold, so I was far happier leading with 1 or 2 bits of gear in 10m, or even just knowing gear was an option.
Also, I was climbing with a far better climber that day, so he led some routes which I would've been really slow on.
The target was 50, and I think we would've just about made it some time after 9pm, but we were happy to leave when it starting raining.
Andy Say - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow:
You've got me thinking....

My first route was in 1966. I've had the normal life traumas (study / marriage / kids / injuries ) in the intervening period producing some 'lean periods' and some 'wow periods'. Allowing for all of the routes that I've 'lost' I reckon I've done about an average of 140/150 a year since '66. That's not counting doing any route more than once. Busiest year I would guess I did about 500 routes of varying kinds; at home and abroad.

But I also spent a lot of time soloing on grit when I were a lad.....
Stone Idol - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Stone Idol)
> [...]
>
> 50 roped routes a day easily? Hmmm, I have to confess to a being a little bit skeptical.

Hardly easily Jonny m'boy. But up and down like yo-yo's? Doable I quoth.
John_Hat - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow:

Done 700/year a couple of times, over 100 in a day a number of times, in fact was pushing 200/day once. This year however has been an injury-related disaster. Torn muscle in back, knacked wrist and a quite impressively knacked shoulder. In fact I'm in a sling after a recent shouder operation as I type this.

144 this year. Bit of an epic fail.

However I agree with you, multi-thousands should be possible.
Jonny2vests - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Stone Idol:
> (In reply to jonny2vests)
> [...]
>
> Hardly easily Jonny m'boy. But up and down like yo-yo's? Doable I quoth.

Fair enough. I was quoting you though when I said 'easily'.
Pero - on 21 Nov 2012
I've done 800 routes in my entire climbing career! I've led 400 of them. About half have been on Peak grit. I've never been one for soloing or bouldering, though.

I can't get my head round 100-200 routes in a day. To solo 10-20 routes an hour for 10 hours must require massive powers of concentration.
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Jonny2vests - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Pero:

I think it's like reading a book. You're absorbed, but the climbing is faff free, and mostly automatic. The opposite of stressful really, as long as you're not pushing it.
adam carless - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
>
> I think it's like reading a book. You're absorbed, but the climbing is faff free, and mostly automatic. The opposite of stressful really, as long as you're not pushing it.

Wot he said ^^^

The most routes I've done in a day is 75, soloing at Scugdale. It didn't feel mentally tiring at all, just having fun with mates tick tocking up and down the crag. Although admittedly my fingers ached by the end of it (and for the next few days).

If you aren't pushing your grade/fear level all the time and are doing stuff you feel comfortable with, it all just flows along nicely.
Jonny2vests - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to adam carless:

Yeah, and its a great way of getting round to all those routes you might not otherwise do. Hi Adam, hope you're well. Jon L.
tom vellacott - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to remus:
I think the main problem would be more one of boredom, doing a lot of volume all the time would get tedious quite quickly.

would it, i've not encountered that problem having an unsympathetic missus and living 3 hours from climbing :(. i long for a time when i get bored of doing lots of routes!
John_Hat - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Pero)
>
> I think it's like reading a book. You're absorbed, but the climbing is faff free, and mostly automatic. The opposite of stressful really, as long as you're not pushing it.

Agreed. One of the reasons I love soloing volume is because of this... it's just a beautiful, restful, peaceful experience..

Saying that, in response to Pero, I did make a concerted effort to push my run rate up last year from the previous 10-20 routes/hour, and did 150+ routes in four hours (1), so although you are concentrating, its not necessarily for a 10 hour stretch.

(1) Yes, this is perfectly possible, as long as the routes are short. It helps if you know them quite well.
Gordon Stainforth - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Pero:

You say 'multi-pitch routes' affecting the count, when really they have much greater value. Many climbers would not really call many short gritstone climbs 'routes'. They're just little pitches. To count a route at Windgather as equal to e.g. a 7-pitch route on Arran is just cheating/ playing with numbers really.

tprebs - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow:

106 routes this year. A combination of 1 and a half hour walk ins/ multipitching and 50m single pitches makes for only 100 routes. That and not having a car and living in Belfast!
Jonny2vests - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to jonny2vests)
> [...]
>

> Saying that, in response to Pero, I did make a concerted effort to push my run rate up last year from the previous 10-20 routes/hour, and did 150+ routes in four hours (1), so although you are concentrating, its not necessarily for a 10 hour stretch.
>

Wow, not sure I could do 150 in 4 hours. I guess if I didn't need the guide.... Going back for the bloody thing wastes a lot of time too. You must have a good memory.
John_Hat - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Wow, not sure I could do 150 in 4 hours. I guess if I didn't need the guide.... Going back for the bloody thing wastes a lot of time too. You must have a good memory.

It's easier than it sounds. I've soloed most of the routes at Birchen many times, and I've soloed a lot of Stanage many times, All 150 routes was was repeating something I'd already done a number of times already, just rather than driving home after the 80-ish routes at Birchen I drove to Stange instead.

In any case, my best is nothing compared to some on here. 500+ in a day has been done four times to my knowledge.
Iain Thow - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to adam carless: Flow is dead right. That's definitely the attraction for me, and I get more of it from soloing lots of short routes than from multi pitch ones. Long scrambles score pretty highly too. I didn't do anything different this year, just a bit more of it and kept a tally.
By the way Gordon, how do you "cheat" at a game with no rules, no referee and no winner?
bigdan050 - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: where can i find a 750m VS?? sounds mega!
Gordon Stainforth - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow:

Of course I don't mean you're cheating at a game, I mean you're cheating/fooling yourself (by treating a 25-foot 'route' at Windgather as being of equal achievement as a 500-foot route in Scotland or North Wales)
In reply to Iain Thow: 48 this year, including 23 boulder problems (((
Iain Thow - on 23 Nov 2012
I don't claim them as "equivalent achievements", in much the same way as soloing a V diff isn't an equivalent achievement to soloing an E2. I just prefer doing a lot of short solos to a small number of longer routes. By and large it gives you a more sustained dose of climbing and, as I said before, I love the flow of a good grit soloing session. No cheating or fooling myself going on therefore - just doing lots of what I like doing. Also means that I can fit some climbing into small portions of free time, much harder to do with longer routes, as several posters have pointed out.
Congrats on the Banff award, by the way, & love the photo books.
Gordon Stainforth - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow:

Well thanks for all your comments. There's nothing there I disagree with. My underlying point is that, surely, we have to be rather ruthlessly honest with ourselves in 'evaluating' or 'counting up' what we've done. We all know, in our hearts, just how well or badly we may have done, on a particular day or in a particular year.
Iain Thow - on 23 Nov 2012
Absolutely, and of course what constitutes a good year for any individual climber is relative to their ability. At my lowly level I'm pretty happy with this year's efforts. I'm not back to pre-Lyme Disease but getting a lot done at lower grades. The numerical target just came about through a drunken pub conversation last Christmas, but it's been fun. And Ed, if you're reading this, I reckon you owe me the pint!
John_Hat - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Iain Thow)
>
> Well thanks for all your comments. There's nothing there I disagree with. My underlying point is that, surely, we have to be rather ruthlessly honest with ourselves in 'evaluating' or 'counting up' what we've done. We all know, in our hearts, just how well or badly we may have done, on a particular day or in a particular year.

Quite so, however forgive me but you do appear to be implying, however obliquely, that those who count a 20ft bit of rock in the peak district as a route are if not deluding themselves certainly misguided, and should not be using the word "route" in that context.

Soloing 100 30ft routes in a day and leading one 3000ft route are both climbing, and both routes, but its obviously a different experience. Having done both, I'd say the former is more mentally knackering, not least because if you slip you're dead, but the latter more physically knackering, not least because you're carting all the metalwork up with you. Different strokes, different folks...

On the other hand, the person who climbs mountains may look down on the person who has led a 3,000ft rock route and say "call that a route, lad? that's not a route, THAT (points at distant snow-topped peak) is a route...."
Paul Hy - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Thow: i started climbing last May and as off yesterday completed my 316th route this year(which was lead of Queersville with Deacon who's prob' done 2000 routes) ok as someone has said you have to live on the doorstep, retired or not working to be able to clock up the numbers mentioned. I managed 15 roped routes at Stanage in an easy going long 1 day and it was a busy weekend and had to queue a bit! I could see 50 roped ropes as doable, but can't imagine 500 solo's in a day.
idiotproof (Buxton MC) - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Paul Hy:

If it wasn't for 26 at windgather a fortnight ago I would be struggling to make more than fifty this year I would have thought... I was away for 3.5 months this summer with only with only 2 days of climbing involved though
Gordon Stainforth - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

No I didn't mean to imply that at all. A climb is a climb. And to that extent they are all equal, however long they are. You can other get up it or you can't. I have got more satisfaction out of succeeding on a 30 foot climb on SE Sandstone than on many much longer routes. But, in terms of evaluating a day's climbing, a very long multi-pitch route has to count as a greater achievement. A seven-pitch route in Scotland for example is the equivalent of seven (long) single pitch routes.
adam carless - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
>
> Yeah, and its a great way of getting round to all those routes you might not otherwise do. Hi Adam, hope you're well. Jon L.

That's definitely another plus of soloing lots of easy (for you) routes. You get to visit much more of whatever crag you're at.

I'm good Jonny, still enjoying Sheffield. You still having fun playing with Canadians? :-)
Offwidth - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

Where are all these 3000 foot rock routes then and what was yours?
Lukem6 - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to victim of mathematics: 172 STARS. yippie
Lukem6 - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Also location, a 3 peak route in the Peak, generally speaking, tends to be easier to access than lets say, Scafell crag.

A single route up Scafell route or lots at burbage. I guess it only matters to yourself and that only matters depending on why you climb.

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