/ Engineer's Crack
Justified? I think not. Thankfully itís rarely, if ever in condition.
Could you climb it without tools in those conditions?
> Could you climb it without tools in those conditions?
No, and I couldn't climb it without tools if it was pissing down with rain streaming down it.
Doesn't give me an excuse to use tools. I wait, like everyone else, until it's actually in condition.
Donald waited 10 years to catch it in that kind of condition, ie fully rimed. Why is that not justified?
I think he means unjustified in terms of tooling up a good summer pitch of lovely rhyolite. Which is perhaps a fair point though he also points out that since it's hardly ever white at least it won't see many ascents.
A nice enough troll, I will take the bait. Daddy duty tonight and my pupils exams is not until tomorrow so nowt else to do.
you are of course entitled to your opinion. Donald to his. At that grade and with such a fickle place I doubt it will ever be climbed by anyone not able to climb cleanly- so hardly scratched.
If you feel so strongly about it I invite you to go climb it this summer and report (with pictures; Donald had the courtesy of putting pictures of it in winter nick) about the possible damage. The nature of the buachaille holds does not worry me in terms of disappearing/ snapping holds much: as stated above we are all entitled to our opinions.
When was it that Agag's got a winter ascent again? Who did it? Hardly a new phenomenon then, is it? Or may be should we put the blame on pioneers for climbing evolutions...if only those Victorians could have stuck to being horrible to the poor our crags would be safe from us.
Before the whole entrenched debate about damages takes off, I will make my opinion clear: if you worry about damaging the crag/ nature, don't climb at all. On the other hand, we don't need to be vandals either- I don't see fully honed climbers with an intimate knowledge of the route as a vandal. I do admire your soloing ethic... you'll not damage rock with any metal of any sort. That much respect for the Auchenscary choss is admirable.
We may have to agree to disagree, just don't fret too much!
I don't get upset by scratches on summer mountain routes anymore. I think that scratches are only upsetting if you allow them to be. I choose to concentrate on the quality of the climbing, the view, the company, etc. If a few wee scratches were to trump all of that I'd reconsider my motivations.
> When was it that Agag's got a winter ascent again? >
That may as well be done in winter - it's pretty polished from all the summer ascents. Elsewhere on the Buachaille the rock is much nicer and rougher.
Good effort Donald and Mike, looks mega.
> I don't get upset by scratches on summer mountain routes anymore.
This suggests that it did concern you at one time or another, why the change of heart?
I mellowed. And perhaps realised that nature is being raped on a much bigger scale elsewhere.
I feel yet again that there is some perception of ownership, and that seems mostly if not entirely from rock climbers. That somehow as a game played theirs is the most just, right and no one else has the right to offend their rock.
All interaction with the natural environment leaves a trace, and all climbers leave a trace. Accept it, it is the only fact, that can't be debated (although I'm sure some will).
I like scratches on rock, I like chalk marks on rock, I like the pick holes in ice, for me it shows a history of climbers passing, and appreciating, the opportunity to climb on a crag whatever the conditions and weather. I'm not a rock climber, not a winter climber, not a trad climber or sport climber. I'm a Climber, I keep my impact minimal, I keep as safe a possible and I enjoy myself.
Looking forward to a critique on spelling grammar and punctuation.
Not doubting the impressive climbing involved here, just that I believe classic and much travelled summer lines such as this, bludgers, the needle etc should be left in favour of less traveled summer lines.
Thankfully the majority of winter climbers with thousands of pounds worth of technical apparel, sporting the mail order mountaineer look and climbing Grade IIIís donít have the ability to climb it thus rendering the damage minimalÖ
Looking forward to a critique on spelling[,] grammar and punctuation.
It would take some very special conditions and climbers to get Bludger's done in acceptable winter nick.
Some so called classics are fairly logical winter lines, other arent't. I believe that first ascentionists in winter go seek some specific features that would be great as a winter climb, they don't go: "this a summer classic, so I'll try it in winter". I don't know much about new routing.
Let's take an hypothetic view point: with better training, tools and information, VIII becomes the new V. The conendrum remains the same: is it about damage done to the route or is it about classic rock climbs that should remain rock climbs?
I think that climbing hard routes in winter is the evolution of climbing in general. I am a climber, not just a rock or winter climber. I see little problem with these athletes pushing the boundaries.
Yet, and to make matters incomprehensible, I could never condone the ascent of those grit lines a few years back: that was vindictive vandalism...unless there was a water ice line on it.
I am sure we will have to agree to disagree. I have no issues with Donald's ascent of ingeneer's crack. In fact I applaud it as a very special feat, not least because it doesn't solely depend on Donald's climbing ability but more on his weather cunning.
I think that's exactly what they do actually. They think "if this route is grade X in summer, so it should be roughly grade Y in winter". They know it goes bottom to top, has gear etc already and much more about what they are getting into than starting up completely undeveloped ground. It's an easy, convenient way to find new targets for winter new routes - far less hassle than going and actually finding new genuine winter ground.
> I believe classic and much travelled summer lines such as this, bludgers, the needle etc should be left
I agree. Raping clean dry classic rock routes with aid is the ultimate in futile and destructive egomania. You might as well do them in Summer in shorts and T shirt with ice tools and crampons. Many of these routes are easier with aid than without.
Not for things like tomahawk crack, the god dellusion, the new cool,: I really don't think they do. I have said that I have never put up a new route though.
I have never down aid climbing in my life. I would like to try to discover an aspect of climbing I am not knowledgeable in. I have never looked down on it. I don't think it to be superior/inferior to any other climbing types. I am convinced, however, that the day I try it will not be even remotely close to what winter climbing feels like. In winter, I feel the same way that summer multi-pitch trad... it is just colder, the flow slower and the kit heavier. I am ready to listen to your opinion. Explain why it is aid? You may convince me; after all, they say only idiots don't change opinions.
Quite a few folks beat the same old drums:
winter damages; yes it does but any climbing has an impact.
Winter is aid climbing; it diminishes what aid climbing is about then. But then if people will throw this in anyway, they must not put a lot of credit to aid in the first place.
I will likely continue to post on this thread as it has not yet descended to anarchy. I am not out to get anyone or to evangelised. I know I have the truth...
> Not for things like tomahawk crack, the god delusion, >
They're a different kettle of fish.
I hear what youíre saying and donít disagree with all of it, I just think that now all routes seem to be fair game for a winter ascent and I donít feel this is right. Where is the line drawn? I feel ethical attitudes are changing for the worst.
Looks to me by your profile you were god for a day back in Ď89.
I've done it in summer, don't see many people on it ,despite the fact its a good route, but hard for the grade.
Looked to be in as good winter nick as a route that steep will ever be.
Have you done it in summer, something tells me the answer will be no.
I never said it wasn't in condition, my issue is with the ethics. It's clearly in nick in the photo.
I thought it was HVS 5b at a push.
Ah! but you did ask if it was justified! and the justification came with it being in condition! and that was after a 10 year wait!
Donald and Mike are not exactly your usual " scratch and spark" suspects are they?.
I can sympathise with your view on ethics regarding Summer/Winter, but do you really think that this route is going to see many winter ascents? I think not.
I remember Donald and Andy Nelson being hammered on here for their first ascent of Satyre a couple of years ago! for one reason or another, but I don't think it was over conditions or justification! more like one of their boot laces became undone or some other heinous climbing crime! during the first ascent.
Can we not just celebrate the fact that folk are pushing the boundaries for others to explore, and aspire to, instead of key board commando antics! because if you were that serious, you would reveal your true identity, instead of hiding behind a username.
I guess there will always be debates regarding correct ethics in climbing, and each individual is entitled to their own opinion and justifiably so, but can we not look at the big picture, and stop getting so excited.
Ben Abbott ( real name)
I thought it pretty soft for the grade. Certainly a good bit easier than any other E1 I've done in the area.
> I remember Donald and Andy Nelson being hammered on here for their first ascent of Satyre a couple of years ago!
Ah but that was probably a good thing! Due to the route not being allowed at first they went back and climbed it all in one push. They rasied their game.
Yes! I remember! great result eh? Thanks for the reminder.
> I can sympathise with your view on ethics regarding Summer/Winter, but do you really think that this route is going to see many winter ascents? I think not.
Indeed the debate, without all the side tracking issues of damages, aid climbing... seems to be: is it right to climb summer climb in winter?
I have no issues if the route lends itself to some excellent winter climbing (in all its types). And some routes will be awesome in winter when others would be utter pants.
Yes indeed, we should in my opinion. As we should question people who do cross a certain line (here's THE bone of contention) e.g. climbing on 20m grit with a dusting of snow.
I am necessarily biased as I really enjoy winter climbing, I will admit to that.
A great answer Mr Ben Abbott
Hmmmm if that isnt accepatable winter condition then i dont know what is!
Cold climbing of rock climbs. He he.
Bet they would chip a hold with their hammer if it meant win or lose.
Wow! such devastating repartee! Do you kind sir, actually understand the basics of Winter Climbing?
This is not a weekend well trodden path! and those who attempt will probably have ditched hammers about four or five grades down the line.
However, thank you for your contribution, it is as (always) welcome!
Hmm. Seems to struck a chord.
Attack is the best form of what do they call it again?
> Hmm. Seems to struck a chord.
> Attack is the best form of what do they call it again?
Attack it when it's in condition.
Not really! I have nothing to defend, other than the complete understanding of what they achieved.
I am not attacking, and if you understood the concept of attack/defence you would understand that I am merely retorting to a throw-away comment you made, on a subject you clearly do not have a foggiest idea about!
Happy to discuss further ;-)
I like your thinking :-) it is after all a battle!
Looking at that I would assume a couple of tools shaped like aid climbing sky hooks would be better?
There is only one tool around here! and if the cap fits!
Winter climbing my a??
I thought they tools were for swinging. Hooking n pulling reminds me some what of the 70's.
Elsewhere on the site
This Winter Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are... Read more
This years ROCfest will be slightly different. We've decided to run a Climbing Festival, not just a competition! Over... Read more
The Epicentre Mega Winter Sale starts in store 9am Christmas Eve. We have a great selection of in store only deals from... Read more
With four photos in this week's top ten, and a UKC gallery of stunning images we thought it was time we had a chat with... Read more