/ What should I climb at the Roaches?

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puppythedog on 24 Apr 2013
I'm heading to the Roaches on Sunday with a friend who has not climbed on Grit before. They are also not massively confident at present and they are probably climbing at roughly HS on limestone (our more local medium).
I've been to the Roaches before and I have climbed a bit. I am sure that they can climb harder when seconding as long as the rope is above and not traversing. Anyone have any recommendations? I'm thinking of anything from VD up to maybe HVS (maybe harder don't know how I'll feel). What would you suggest as a progression so starting low and working up?
Coel Hellier - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Much of the Upper Tier is currently bird-banned, and that, unfortunately, includes a lot of the routes I'd recommend in that grade range (Technical Slab, Pedestal Route, Black and Tans etc).

On the Lower Tier, Via Dolorosa (HS/VS borderline), Valkyrie (VS/HVS borderline), Pincer (VS), and Pebbledash at HVS are all good and reasonable.

Beware of various HVSs (Mincer, Matinee, Teck Crack, Valkyrie Direct).
The Lemming - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to puppythedog)
>
> Valkyrie (VS/HVS borderline),

Got to be Valkyrie, especially if they are going to second. I'd put money on them talking about this route for years in hushed tones and sweaty palms.

:-)
In reply to Coel Hellier:
>
> On the Lower Tier, Via Dolorosa (HS/VS borderline), Valkyrie (VS/HVS borderline), Pincer (VS), and Pebbledash at HVS are all good and reasonable.
>


For a 2nd who has never climbed on Grit, does HS on limestone and is nervous, Valkyrie seems a particularly odd suggestion!


Chris
puppythedog on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Thanks for the suggestions so far. I've climbed Valkyrie. I'm not sure how he would cope with the feelings of exposure though I will offer it as a choice for them :-)
jdawg_85 - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Yong is a nice route, and raven rock gully is always entertaining. Something better change (next to Yong) is a nice, thin slab (runners in Yong, or top rope to avoid the E2 grade).
Tom Last - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to jdawg_85:

Yes Yong is good I agree. Often green though and quite short.
Baron Weasel - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Do a boulder circuit first to get your friend used to grit first - could do wonders for thier confidence and technique :-)

BW
alan.phobos on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Maud's Garden (long 3 star Severe 4a) might work as a nice introduction if you have a 60m rope or don't mind multi-pitching.
Double Knee Bar - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog: you could get on the skyline. Loads to muck about on around S on the alpha buttress. On lower tier, raven rock gully left hand at VS. the traditional raven rock gully is a must if you havent done it, real traditional thrutchy fun and the first recorded line at the roaches. Crack and corner on the upper tier is a must (and avoids the restrictions) but the top pitch is very exposed for S if they're quite nervous. Left and right hand route are great on blushing buttress(severe at least for both, regardless of what the guide says) and so is calcutta crack.
I might be around on sat so say hi.
Double Knee Bar - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to alan.phobos: why would you need a 60m rope for mauds garden? Its only about 20m.
Duncan Bourne - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog:
Depending on bird ban area.

Tealeaf Crack s (upper tier)
slab & Arete s (Skyline nice and atmospheric at an amenable grade)
Fledglings climb s (lower tier)
Fern Crack VD (upper tier good value at the grade)
Damascus crack HS (upper tier)
Sifta's Quid s (lower tier caving!)
Mantleshelf slab HS (Skyline)
Libra HVS 4c (upper tier, bold move to finish)
Wallaby Direct HVS 5a (upper tier, if they manage Valkyrie)
Something better change gives a nice HVS 5b with siderunners

Beware:
Poisonous Python HVS 5b (lower tier, a right sod!)
SimonCRMC - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to alan.phobos:

I'd second that as a suggestion as the holds on both pitches are all pretty positive and the "bold" start really isn't (IMO!) - no typical gritstone slopers and smearing as far as I can remember, and the belay ledge is huge. As someone else said, you certainly don't need a 60m rope. It's a lovely route to introduce someone to grit.
SimonCRMC - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to SimonCRMC:

Referring to Maud's Garden!
Ramblin dave - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to alan.phobos:
You can do Maud's in a single pitch on double 50s (or probably a single if you don't mind a bit of rope drag) and it isn't severe or 4a in a month of sundays, but it is a cracking little route.

The non bird banned bits of the upper tier seem to have an abundance of routes at severe to HS that are good thuggy gritstone crack fun with abundant protection - Left Route, Right Route, Calcutta Crack, allegedly Crack and Corner although I haven't done it myself. The grades in the definitive are a little on the harsh side, but if you approach them all assuming that they're HS 4c then you can only be pleasantly surprised.

Inverted Staircase is only diff but worth a punt as a warm up or at the end of the day for the classic caving second pitch.
The Ivanator - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Not sure if it is in the birdie ban area, but Jeffcoat's Buttress is good at HS 5a (bouldery start - there is a 4b alternative).
puppythedog on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Thank you all for your suggestions so far. I've got the Western Grit guide but I'm thinking of buying the definitive because I gravitate towards the Roaches a bit. The BMC says the Bird ban is from Damascus Crack to Easy Gully. I can't work out from the guide where Easy Gully is though.
Double Knee Bar - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Just left of crack and corner.
Double Knee Bar - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to alan.phobos)
> You can do Maud's in a single pitch on double 50s (or probably a single if you don't mind a bit of rope drag)

What's with all this confusion about route length and ropes on Maud's Garden? it's a 20 odd metre VDiff. you can do it with a 30m single. If you get rope drag you're not extending runners properly.
Ramblin dave - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar:
I said 50m on the assumption that that's what people will have, not that you won't get away with anything shorter.

Sure you could probably just extend the runners properly. I can't remember exactly what happened when I did it, I just meant that it's a reasonably wandering pitch and you might actually need to think about rope drag...
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Double Knee Bar - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: We've all suffered unnecessary rope drag at some point. I remember making a hash of the ropework on Valkyrie, i felt like i was pulling the crag up the finishing slab with me!
Offwidth - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to SimonCRMC:

Your memory is faulty... the start of Maud's is very typical rounded gritstone edges with protection that takes skill to place. Someone else said its S 4a... it's not it's a tough VD that's not very technical. It is also a lovely introduction to grit. For somone leading HS coastal limestone grit even VD's can feel hard on grit so its best to start here rather than further up the grades. Grading on grit is harder than most limestone areas with lots of lower grade routes (like Gower or Pembrooke).
Blue Straggler - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to Coel Hellier)
> [...]
>
>
> For a 2nd who has never climbed on Grit, does HS on limestone and is nervous, Valkyrie seems a particularly odd suggestion!
>

And though it would be OK to CLIMB on second, the poor second might get nervous belaying the OP up Technical Slab :-)
Jimbo C - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Sifta's Quid on the lower tier is a nice safe HS (the outside route - there is also an inside route)

For a bit of jamming practice, have a look at Yong HVD (lower tier, near the steps)
thomaspomfrett on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog: We did Valkyrie last weekend. Using doubles I just got my second to untie one rope, pulled it through and dropped it back down to him. Fixes any rope drag issues and gives much better protection for the drop down the flake.

+1 for Slab and Arete on skyline, really enjoyed it. There are also a few good easy (vdiffish) routes on hen cloud like the arete.
Bobling - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Yup, I remember this feeling very well too - and I thought the descent down the flake and the step across was the crux!
SimonCRMC - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

Hmmm, funny how memory plays tricks or maybe different people have different perceptions of a route. As my profile reveals, I don't have a lot of grades in hand and yet I found it pretty easy. But I'm not going to argue with someone who runs a database of gritstone routes and their grades!! I'd agree with your assessment of top end VDiff.
Ramblin dave - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to SimonCRMC)
>
> Your memory is faulty... the start of Maud's is very typical rounded gritstone edges with protection that takes skill to place.

I thought the gear was easy enough to place once you finally got to it. And yeah, distinctly rounded but easy angled.
Michael Hood - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to The Ivanator:
> (In reply to puppythedog) Not sure if it is in the birdie ban area, but Jeffcoat's Buttress is good at HS 5a (bouldery start - there is a 4b alternative).

Almost as far into the birdie ban area as it's possible to get.

Actually that's not quite true, the nest is on Humdinger just to the right of Saul's Crack.
Offwidth - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to SimonCRMC:

It is easy climbing for the grade but the holds are rounded (for boldish VD standard) on the slab moves and the gear not obvious (unless you led it when the shameful chipped out nut-placement was still any good... the moron that did this didn't think of the route ethics nor the fact that being formed from the soft rock underneath the surface it would never last). Your perceptions may well have been influenced by the silly S 4a grade and the moves being 'diff level' technicallity. I've climbed it countless times now (solo quite a few times in the last few years to inspect the chipped slot and gear for reasons that make too long a story for this thread). The brilliant and well protected top section can be accessed by climbing the fun gully just left and traversing in halfway up the slab on small ledges to join the route at good runners above the boldish moves.
SimonCRMC - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

Cheers for that. I reckon between us we've now generated enough beta to make it a breeze for all the beginners out there. Love to know the story behind your multiple inspection ascents but this is probably enough drift for one thread!
Offwidth - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to SimonCRMC:

Make sure you have a drink and are comfortable. There was more offline discussion as well.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=452372&v=1#x6325011

Double Knee Bar - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Oh noo!!! not THAT thread!
Lots of old names on there. Some wild opinions. It's a shame Fawksey is banned. I hope he's still around under a different handle.
SimonCRMC - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

LOL I remember that thread!
puppythedog on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to puppythedog: thank you all. My partner had to bail so ian heading out into the Wye. I shall re-read this tread before I next go to the roaches though.

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