/ Goliath's Groove grade

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paul mitchell - on 21 May 2013
Did Goliath's Groove yet again to check the grade.It was slightly wet,but thought it doesn't yet merit E1.HVS+ I'd say.A few more years of mass failed leads and top roping and it may be worth E1.Two kids under ten top roped it by using Ulysses for most of the first bit.Their parents told them in French to 'do the frog' .How apt....
Jonny2vests - on 22 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:
> Did Goliath's Groove yet again to check the grade.It was slightly wet,but thought it doesn't yet merit E1.HVS+ I'd say.A few more years of mass failed leads and top roping and it may be worth E1.

Hey Paul, I take it you chose the beautiful bridge / layback / jam method over the grotty thrutch method? If so, I concur with your assessment :-)
Jonny2vests - on 22 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:

Well that seems to have shut them up. HVS+ it is then. Next.
Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:

Sorry Paul but that's bunkum. Its VS crack climbing to the ledge once you pass the initial cleft. You said before that you thought the top was the crux but that was judged from solo ascents: safe HVS climbs always feel way more scary to solo than bold ones. I'd wager several pints you won't get more than a 1/4 of climbers here saying that layback finish is tough HVS. Go climb Downes Crack or Altar Crack again and convince me its a grade harder.
Chris the Tall - on 22 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:
> Did Goliath's Groove yet again to check the grade.

1) Routes are graded for an on-sight - how many times have you done it ?

2) Routes should be graded to give an indication of difficulty to the average climber - you aren't an average climber

3) The skillset of the average climber has changed over the last 30 years.

I'm not going to say that the modern climber can't jam - particularly since I'm an old climber who can't jam - but when you learn/develop/train on climbing walls you are more likely to improve your other skills.

Now compare GG with two other popuar E1s at the plantation - Millsom's Minion and Left Unconquerable. You might find that GG is easier, 30 years ago the average climber might have found it easier, but I reckon that GG sees more failures these days
Jonny2vests - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to paul mitchell)
>
> I'd wager several pints you won't get more than a 1/4 of climbers here saying that layback finish is tough HVS.

But I thought we'd established their opinion was just froth? I think you should try it the other way.
victim of mathematics - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Now compare GG with two other popuar E1s at the plantation - Millsom's Minion and Left Unconquerable. You might find that GG is easier, 30 years ago the average climber might have found it easier, but I reckon that GG sees more failures these days

You have a bit of a point. Should grading change as the skill set of the average climber changes or not? As somebody with particularly retro skills (i.e. I'm fat and weak, but can jam and like a good tussle) I disagree, but there's a debate to be had. But, number of failures should never be used as a measure of difficulty, it's too confounded by other factors. Otherwise Orpheus Wall and Chequers Crack would be the two hardest routes in the Peak. Actually, CC might just be that...
Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

We established the froth results in overgrades on average by about 1/4 to 1/2 a grade compared to the average view of the guidebook activists 9who try to allow for skill shifts). I'm saying with the bet that even with the froth Paul's view is extraordinary (ie that he thinks the top bit is HVS/E1 borderline).

I agree with Chris's points with the proviso that climbers must have average expected skills for success at a grade. Dishonest people who lead E1 but cant climb VS offwidth and dont allow for their lack of skills will distort the votes of HVS offwidth routes. As I said earlier the start feels VS to me but since so many people struggle with offwidth technique these day I'm happy for it to be lower grade HVS and the second half is tough for VS as well.
Robert Durran - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> The skillset of the average climber has changed over the last 30 years.

Yes, and given that the grade is an inverse measure of the proportion of the (presumably current) climbing population that could onsight a route, changing skillsets will mean that grades change and Goliath Groove's therefore upwards because crack climbing skills have declined relative to face climbing skills. Interestingly, if we chose to include Americans in the "climbing population" the grade would probably have remained pretty static at about V Diff (Well, Severe maybe, or maybe 5.6)
Chris the Tall - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

> people who lead E1 but cant climb VS offwidth

In the programming world that is known as an invalid circular reference

Go back to the basic principle - If the average climber is significantly more likely to suceed on route A than route B then route A should be given a lower grade - and work up from there
victim of mathematics - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
>
> [...]
>
> In the programming world that is known as an invalid circular reference
>
> Go back to the basic principle - If the average climber is significantly more likely to suceed on route A than route B then route A should be given a lower grade - and work up from there

I don't think that's how grades are meant to work. I might be significantly more likely to succeed on an E3 5b than an HVS 6b, but that doesn't mean the grades are wrong.
GridNorth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell: Perhaps we should go back to Joe Browns old philosophy.. If it's harder than V.diff, severe etc. then it must be VS and anyone who can climb VS should be able to work it out for themselves. :-)
Jonny2vests - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>
> We established the froth results in overgrades on average by about 1/4 to 1/2 a grade compared to the average view of the guidebook activists 9who try to allow for skill shifts).

I think Paul qualifies in that respect.

Maybe it needs two grades. One for squirming (soft HVS apparently) and one for climbing it (HVS+). Sorted.

Robert Durran - on 22 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> I don't think that's how grades are meant to work. I might be significantly more likely to succeed on an E3 5b than an HVS 6b, but that doesn't mean the grades are wrong.

It works perfectly well like that if you include "refusing to attempt" as a failure, which is of course entirely sensible.

Of course you, personally, might be more likely to succeed on the E3 if you are brave but weak/technically poor.

Coel Hellier - on 22 May 2013
In reply to the thread:

So if one took the first half of GG and put on top of it the second half of TPS, what grade would it get?

;-)
Robert Durran - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> [...]
>
> I think Paul qualifies in that respect.
>
> Maybe it needs two grades. One for squirming (soft HVS apparently) and one for climbing it (HVS+). Sorted.

So you think that if everyone tried it both ways, more would succeed by squirming than by climbing? The true grade,of course, assumes everyone hypothetically tries it by the method by which they are most likely to succeed.

Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

We are in the climbing world Chris your computer refernce is not only irrelevant it's also illogical. If you can't crimp or you can't jam or you can't smear or you can't chimney those routes will feel harder than the given grade as well. You have to look at type standards and yes they do move relative to each other slowly with time but basic skill levels are clear from classic routes. My arguments rely on average climbers: ie experinced honest climbers who may have strengths and weaknesses but grade allowing for that. Its also best those climbers lead close enough to the grade to have a reasonable feel. If you can't offwidth at anything close to your lead grade you're not average enough and your opionion will be worthless. Most 'average' experienced climbers I know think GG is lower half HVS (and I agree).
Gordon Stainforth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to the thread)
>
> So if one took the first half of GG and put on top of it the second half of TPS, what grade would it get?
>
> ;-)

Clearly E0

abseil on 22 May 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
>...the first half of GG and put on top of it the second half of TPS, what grade would it get?

HVS. It would be a great lob off the top move should one decide to fall off [hypothetical].
Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

HVS (where TPS is E0 the proper way staying right)
Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

You're missing the point, I'm pretty sure Paul is grading it HVS+ for the top bit. I'd said on the other thread that my view is that it's solid E1 if you bridge the bottom (the highly blinkered view and ironically open style of 'climbing it')
Gordon Stainforth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>
> You're missing the point, I'm pretty sure Paul is grading it HVS+ for the top bit. I'd said on the other thread that my view is that it's solid E1 if you bridge the bottom (the highly blinkered view and ironically open style of 'climbing it')

I don't think so. I'm sure Paul is talking about the start (the rest being v bog standard VS) Jonny2vests suggestion seems an excellent one, not least because it sounds about right.

Robert Durran - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
Most 'average' experienced climbers I know think GG is lower half HVS.

So, in say 25 years time when today's experienced climbers are all dead or past it and today's wall-bred youngsters are the day's experienced climbers, will you be happy to accept GG as top half HVS or above? Actually, of course they will all sensibly bridge it in futuristic super-sticky boots and find it piss.

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
>
>
> I don't think so. I'm sure Paul is talking about the start (the rest being v bog standard VS) Jonny2vests suggestion seems an excellent one, not least because it sounds about right.

Why would you offer a 2nd grade based on a different harder way of doing the route? If you layback The File it might be E1 and if you face climb it maybe E2 - but it remains a VS jamming crack!

Chris
Jonny2vests - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>
> You're missing the point, I'm pretty sure Paul is grading it HVS+ for the top bit. I'd said on the other thread that my view is that it's solid E1 if you bridge the bottom (the highly blinkered view and ironically open style of 'climbing it')

The reason I've never offwidth'd the bottom is because it's honestly never occurred to me. It seems to ignore the best bit.
Jonny2vests - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Don't tell me you're a squirmer too Chris?
In reply to Jonny2vests:

I don't know what the fuss is all about, it isn't an offwidth or a squirmer, just a slightly awkward jamming crack in the back of a groove for a few moves until the 1st finger jam is reached. How do the weird types that bridge it place the gear btw?


Chris
Jonny2vests - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>
> I don't know what the fuss is all about, it isn't an offwidth or a squirmer, just a slightly awkward jamming crack in the back of a groove for a few moves until the 1st finger jam is reached. How do the weird types that bridge it place the gear btw?
>
I do a mixture of jamming, bridging and layback. What i don't do is shuffle, its just not as much fun.

Why would placing gear from a bridge be hard?
johncoxmysteriously - on 22 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:

I have it on good authority that this route is actually easiest if bridged facing outwards.

I'm sure it's bollocks, but still, that's what Adam Lincoln says.

jcm
Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

You then have to turn round at the top. Easier for the talented maybe.
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In reply to Jonny2vests:
>
>
> Why would placing gear from a bridge be hard?

When you lean in to place, it unweights your feet and off they go. I have seen two nasty tumbles from that precise scenario,

Chris
Chris the Tall - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
I reckon in the years you and I have been climbing we've seen 3 big changes which help people climb harder - cams, sticky rubber, and climbing walls. However these 3 factors do not have the same effect on all routes, so a route which was (rightly given) a higher grade than others in 1983 might now get a lower grade.

Unfortunately, since there is no way to measure how hard a route is, it is often the routes that are unaffected by innovations that get upgraded, rather than those which have become easier that get downgraded. That is ok as long as people remember that grades are relative to each other.

However if GG is lower HVS, then surely Millsom's Minion must be VS.

As regards honesty, I assume you remind anyone who claims certain routes are a grade harder for the short, must accept this means that the same number of routes are a grade easier.

Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

"I don't think so. I'm sure Paul is talking about the start"

Quote from the other thread "The final layback on G Groove is pretty hairy as a solo on a warm day,so I have now stopped soloing it,unless I exit up the right arete"

There is no way the corner jamming crack is HVS in its own right if you cheat the start with combined tactics. There is also no way that 4m of a protectable 5a undercut crack start is E0, if this was the case the tech grade would need to be 5b at least.
Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Cams and modern climbing shoes both make GG easier the way I do it. Even some indoor walls do (thanks Tom for that tilting cleft at Loughborough).

Again your argument on grade pressure are overly simplistic: it's awkward protectable routes that often get the most pressure on upgrades. Its classic popular low-in-the-grade cracks that get most overgraded on UKC. Plenty of overlooked bold routes still exist out there I just did a VD slab the other day at Eastby that might be VS 4a.

MM is HVS IMHO.

Yes experienced shorter climbers I climb with (especially Moff) grade for assumed better reach than they have, but they would prefer warnings where alternatives to reach are really a lot harder/scarier.
Gordon Stainforth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)

>
> There is no way the corner jamming crack is HVS in its own right if you cheat the start with combined tactics.

I take it you're joking, in which case I've rather missed your point here.

>There is also no way that 4m of a protectable 5a undercut crack start is E0

Even more baffling is this ref to an 'undercut' crack. The graunchy crack is VS+ (arguably HVS for a move or two) ... the delicate, wide bridging method much harder. Can't see what the argument is about, really.

Gordon Stainforth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

PS. Is 'your method' on GG combined tactics, then? - or are you using the term 'combined tactics' in a non-conventional sense? Surely we don't allow c t anywhere?
Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I gave my method in the other thread... left knee bars and counter pressure with some smears on the right wall. No thrutching. Only a few moves before standard jams arrive. For tall people with bigger hands its even easier (eg Chris). Combined tactics was often used in the old days to defeat hard starts, and if you did that, I think the crack to the ledge would be fairly graded VS. The point being its not the crack above the start cleft that's hard enough to ever justfy an HVS+ grade.

I only use combined tactics on big routes when I can't see an alternative and I'm in a hurry, certainly not on a crag climb with a short cleft start that feels VS to me
Jonny2vests - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
>
> PS. Is 'your method' on GG combined tactics, then? - or are you using the term 'combined tactics' in a non-conventional sense? Surely we don't allow c t anywhere?


Routes that routinely use combined tactics. There's a thread waiting to happen.
Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

We already did cheat block starts recently so why not!
Robert Durran - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> ... the delicate, wide bridging method much harder.

But if, in fact, most people find it easier to bridge than squirm and bridging is grade X, then the route is grade X

Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Its E1 bridging which many prefer to easy HVS cleft climbing with no squirming required. The guidebook grade is for the easiest technique with fun warnings as applicable.
Jonny2vests - on 22 May 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to paul mitchell)
>
> I have it on good authority that this route is actually easiest if bridged facing outwards.
>

Which film is that in?

I watched a famous hard man try that once (for a laugh I think), it didn't go that smoothly. I'd agree with CC's comments re placing gear from a bridge in that respect.

CurlyStevo - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
"Only a few moves before standard jams arrive."

Yeah but its only a couple of moves on standard jams before it all goes flaring and not at all standard jams for VS climbing, personally I found the bottom just plain awkward but about as hard to fall out as climb, however the section that takes you from the end of the standard jams to getting the finger jams higher up (where it changes angle) is harder than VS IMO.
victim of mathematics - on 22 May 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> "Only a few moves before standard jams arrive."
>
> Yeah but its only a couple of moves on standard jams before it all goes flaring and not at all standard jams for VS climbing, personally I found the bottom just plain awkward but about as hard to fall out as climb, however the section that takes you from the end of the standard jams to getting the finger jams higher up (where it changes angle) is harder than VS IMO.

Nah. As soon as you reach the first good jam, it's no harder than VS.
CurlyStevo - on 22 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
you can quite clearly see the bit I'm talking about here a foot or two above the cam.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=219876

and I found it harder than VS and I'm jamming is actually one of my better skills (even in flaring cracks)
victim of mathematics - on 22 May 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I know the bit you mean, I just don't agree with you :o
Steve Clegg - on 22 May 2013
In reply to everyone:
Good back in the day photo of how to do Goliathís Groove in the front of Al Parkerís "Alpha Males".
Waste of time placing the low cam. MTFU until the crack narrows or donít bother!
Steve
Gordon Stainforth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> "Only a few moves before standard jams arrive."
>
> Yeah but its only a couple of moves on standard jams before it all goes flaring and not at all standard jams for VS climbing, personally I found the bottom just plain awkward but about as hard to fall out as climb, however the section that takes you from the end of the standard jams to getting the finger jams higher up (where it changes angle) is harder than VS IMO.

Agreed with all that. i'll have to say: what is all the fuss about? It's just a typical, difficult-to-grade, very awkward start. Who says you can find some kind of meaningful, scientific grade for it? Next people will be arguing about the starts of routes at Birchens. It's all just so trivial.
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
>
> Agreed with all that. i'll have to say: what is all the fuss about? It's just a typical, difficult-to-grade, very awkward start. Who says you can find some kind of meaningful, scientific grade for it? Next people will be arguing about the starts of routes at Birchens. It's all just so trivial.

But, but, but it is sooooooo important that every route is graded absolutely correctly!


Chris
:-)
Jonny2vests - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
> [...]
>
> Who says you can find some kind of meaningful, scientific grade for it?

Steve says if you examine its Eigenvectors in Riemannian grade space, it makes perfect sense.
victorclimber - on 22 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell: always subjective grading ,but think Franklands Green Crack VS 4C .And then look at Goliaths Groove, methinks VS 5A ..
victim of mathematics - on 22 May 2013
In reply to victorclimber:

For the love of god don't mention Frankland's. It's deffo HVS...
Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:

"But, but, but it is sooooooo important that every route is graded absolutely correctly!"

So do Rockfax want good grades or not. I thought that was supposed to be your ethos: trust the votes n' all that ?;-)
Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to victorclimber:

I think Franklands is top end VS a good honest climb very typical of the crag; there are harder severes at Alscliffe (or were until the recent YMC guide came out). I think GG should be graded a bit harder (even though I find it similar).

In reply to Gordon Stainforth

I guess you forgot those helpful detailed views you gave on the grades of Birchens starts then ?;-)
Offwidth - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

Steve says you measure the efforts of proper climbers onsight (those who try and keep a good range to their skills as opposed to pansies who think they lead E whatever and cant deal with a cleft that is pretty trivial for grit HVS... god forbid what they would make of some of the Ramshaw HVS beasts).

Steve also gave up Eigenvectors before he started climbing: cold turkey, no patches or owt. They would be no use anyhow as they are nasty tricksy things that never point to any agreement. On a similar subject I strongly suspect a few climbers I've met utilise QM tunneling to gain friction on moves I think look otherwise impossible: thats impressive, not these font 7 climbing technicians fear of GG.
Jonny2vests - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>
> Steve says you measure the efforts of proper climbers onsight (those who try and keep a good range to their skills as opposed to pansies who think they lead E whatever and cant deal with a cleft that is pretty trivial for grit HVS... god forbid what they would make of some of the Ramshaw HVS beasts).

All the Ramshaw cracks are soft if you use all points off dynos to crossover matched thumb sprags (facing out).
Robert Durran - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Its E1 bridging which many prefer to easy HVS cleft climbing with no squirming required. The guidebook grade is for the easiest technique.

No,the Guidebook grade tells you how many people could onsight it (by the preferred technique they choose) compared with other routes. Your statement only has some sort of meaning if you contend that more could onsight it by squirming/cleft climbing than by bridging, and that is definitely open to debate. It is a tricky route to grade becuse there are two very different ways of doing it and some people find one and some people the other easier.
victim of mathematics - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

You're in danger of conflating technical ease with less effort. Thrutching is undoubtedly technically easier, but more effort for many. You get the grade for the technical difficulty, not the effort required, don't you?
Robert Durran - on 23 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> You're in danger of conflating technical ease with less effort. Thrutching is undoubtedly technically easier.

Not necessarily. If you are failing to make progress by thrutching, then presumably it is because of inadequate thrutching technique. If more people find it easier to make progress by bridging, then it is presumably technically easier.

> You get the grade for the technical difficulty, not the effort required, don't you?

No, you get the grade for many things combined including technical difficulty and effort.
Gordon Stainforth - on 23 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> You're in danger of conflating technical ease with less effort. Thrutching is undoubtedly technically easier, but more effort for many. You get the grade for the technical difficulty, not the effort required, don't you?

Sure. That truly wonderful chimney-crack called Monolith Crack on the Gribin Facet requires huge amounts of effort but only rewards you with a (very traditional/Ogwen ... be warned!) grade of "Very Difficult".
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a lakeland climber on 23 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:

VS 5a

ALC
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> Monolith Crack on the Gribin Facet requires huge amounts of effort but only rewards you with a (very traditional/Ogwen ... be warned!) grade of "Very Difficult".

I'm sure it Severe in the Williams guide - what I used when I did it a long time ago - and its Sev in the UKC database.
GrahamD - on 23 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:

Goliaths Groove is correctly graded HVS for an ascent by its easiest method which is the totally inelegant thrutch-in-Ron Hills method.

A lot of Gritstone HVSs are inelegant struggles (who said HVS was easy ?)for us mere mortals but they're still HVS.
victim of mathematics - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> Not necessarily. If you are failing to make progress by thrutching, then presumably it is because of inadequate thrutching technique. If more people find it easier to make progress by bridging, then it is presumably technically easier.
>
> [...]
>
> No, you get the grade for many things combined including technical difficulty and effort.

I see you edited your original reply, which made a lot less sense.

Anyway, if all these crackophobes don't even try thrutching because it doesn't occur to them then how do we/they know whether they wouldn't have found that technically easier? The fact that thrutchers suggest easy HVS, whilst bridgers tough HVS for the grade seems to bear this out.

I don't think physical effort is a component in the grade. It might be in the sense of pumpy routes, but things like The Great Zawn at Ramshaw, which is correctly graded at tough HVS 5a in my opinion, require a ludicrous amount of try to make any progress whatsoever. Or Strapiombo at Tremadog, for a less gritty example.
Robert Durran - on 23 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Anyway, if all these crackophobes don't even try thrutching because it doesn't occur to them then how do we/they know whether they wouldn't have found that technically easier?

I tried thrutching, got nowhere, gave up and bridged it no problem - much easier.

> I don't think physical effort is a component in the grade. It might be in the sense of pumpy routes.

Or powerful fingery moves. Or thrutchy, grunty moves. Anything requiring trying hard. Of course, less effort will be needed in all cases if technique is good.
Ciderslider - on 23 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell: Being a relative newbie who only last year started getting reasonably solid leading VS and managing the odd HVS I jumped on this a couple of weeks ago (at the end of my full first day of trad in 2013).
Having done alot of the 'classic VS's' at Stanage' I can only say that this was definitely harder than any VS I've done at there (admitted I've not done a lot, but I've done a range of different ones there).
I'm sure that there are alot of different ways of doing the route but it seemed logical to me to get straight into the crack (with my left side and use my right foot on the right wall).
I'm reasonably strong but I have to say it was bloody hard work.
If I hadn't been leading I might have considered lay backing. There's no way that I would have tried to bridge it (certainly on the lead) as it's a bit polished - also would have been worried about trying to get gear in and slipping off.
I am hopefully up again in a couple of weeks and intend to have a crack at Right Unconquerable (which I think might be a little less strenuous).
victim of mathematics - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Of course, less effort will be needed in all cases if technique is good.

I'm fairly sure that no amount of good technique will make The Great Zawn anything other than a herculean task.

I see what you're saying and it's tricky because there's clearly a correlation between having to try hard and technical difficulty. But it's they're demonstrably not the same thing, at least historically speaking, otherwise all these low-grade thrutchfests would have E-grades (which would be fine by me, since then I could claim loads more E-points).
CurlyStevo - on 23 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to victorclimber)
>
> For the love of god don't mention Frankland's. It's deffo HVS...

odd - i thought it fair at the grade vs climbing and not too hard in the grade at that.
Ciderslider - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> I tried thrutching, got nowhere, gave up and bridged it no problem - much easier.
>
> [...]
>
> Or powerful fingery moves. Or thrutchy, grunty moves. Anything requiring trying hard. Of course, less effort will be needed in all cases if technique is good.

Can you develop good thruching technique ????? (Although I suppose Having watched Wideboyz the answer is yes)

Robert Durran - on 23 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> The fact that thrutchers suggest easy HVS, whilst bridgers tough HVS for the grade seems to bear this out.

Just because an accomplished thrutcher might find it easier than an accomplished bridger does not mean the thrutcher should get to grade it. The true grade is an inverse measure of the proportion of the climbing population who can onsight the route and, if thrutching skills are rarer than bridging skills, the true grade will be skewed towards the proposed "bridging grade". Prevalent skillsets matter. As I said earlier, if it were in America where crack climbing skills are generally higher, it would get a lower grade.


Robert Durran - on 23 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> I see what you're saying and it's tricky because there's clearly a correlation between having to try hard and technical difficulty. But it's they're demonstrably not the same thing, at least historically speaking, otherwise all these low-grade thrutchfests would have E-grades (which would be fine by me, since then I could claim loads more E-points).

If enough people can't do them, they should get E grades!

AlanLittle - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
>
> Prevalent skillsets matter.

Not sure how much I agree with that. If am know I feel comfortable at Grade X on Climbing Style A, but find Grade X-1 desperate on Climbing Style B, it does not mean that routes of Climbing Style B are wrongly graded. It means I personally happen to be weak at Climbing Style B. If that bothers me then I can focus on doing more Climbing Style B for a while and hopefully become less weak at it. Or I can just accept it.
Robert Durran - on 23 May 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> If I know I feel comfortable at Grade X on Climbing Style A, but find Grade X-1 desperate on Climbing Style B, it does not mean that routes of Climbing Style B are wrongly graded.

No, of course not. Your personal skillset is almost irrelevant to the grade. What matters is the typical, average skillset of the climbing population. If thrutching skills have generally become lost over the decades (because there are more enjoyable things to be doing!) then grades of thrutching routes should go up.
johncoxmysteriously - on 23 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> [...]
>
> I'm fairly sure that no amount of good technique will make The Great Zawn anything other than a herculean task.

Ach, nonsense. It's basically a one-mover at the top of a traditional Diff chimney.

In reply to someone about laybacking GG; you know of course that the second (or one of them) on the first ascent laybacked the whole thing, and Harding & Co were so impressed that they called this the feat of a Goliath, hence the name. I think the laybacker might even have been a non-climber; IIRC his name wasn't preserved for posterity, though I might be wrong about that.

jcm
HeMa on 23 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Unless I'm greatly mistaken the E-grade comes from the idea that a well rounded climber has a change of getting and onsight of that route.

So it has nothing to do with the average climber. If they can't jam, then a jammin' route will feel hard for them. But still the grade is correct (provided you know how to jam).
Gordon Stainforth - on 23 May 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

It was a friend of Peter Harding called David Sampson, so the name of the route was a sort of pun on his name.
AlanLittle - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to AlanLittle)
> [...]
>
> No, of course not. Your personal skillset is almost irrelevant to the grade. What matters is the typical, average skillset of the climbing population. If thrutching skills have generally become lost over the decades then grades of thrutching routes should go up.

I still don't agree. If people want to learn to thrutch, they can. If they don't want to, they don't have to, but that doesn't change the routes.

Robert Durran - on 23 May 2013
In reply to HeMa:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Unless I'm greatly mistaken the E-grade comes from the idea that a well rounded climber has a change of getting and onsight of that route.

Pretty much so.

> So it has nothing to do with the average climber.

Yes it does.

> If they can't jam, then a jammin' route will feel hard for them. But still the grade is correct (provided you know how to jam).

Yes, the grade has got almost nothing to do with whether an individual can jam or not. It has got to do with the average climber's jamming skills.

The GG situation is, of course, complicated by there being two totally different ways of climbing it.

Robert Durran - on 23 May 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> I still don't agree. If people want to learn to thrutch, they can. If they don't want to, they don't have to, but that doesn't change the routes.

It doesn't change the route. Just the grade (if enough people don't learn to thrutch).

Brits go to America. Face routes generally seem easier for the grade than crack climbs because the typical American skillset for which the routes are graded is more skewed towards cracks than the typical Britsh skillset.

HeMa on 23 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to HeMa)
>
> Yes, the grade has got almost nothing to do with whether an individual can jam or not. It has got to do with the average climber's jamming skills.

It does, as you average climber might be able to jam or not.

But definitely a well rounded climber (by which you grade these climbs), know how to jam.

Average climber =/ well rounded climber.
Robert Durran - on 23 May 2013
In reply to HeMa:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> It does, as your average climber might be able to jam or not.

An "average climber" might not actually exist; it is a hypothetical climber with average skills. They will be able to jam, but not really well.

> Average climber =/ well rounded climber.

If they existed, I suppose they could be said to be so - neuther good nor bad at any type of climbing. Just average.

Bulls Crack - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> [...]
>
> No,the Guidebook grade tells you how many people could onsight it (by the preferred technique they choose) compared with other routes.

really? How they work that out?

I think it just tells you how hard it is..and none of this 'average' climber nonsense either!
CurlyStevo - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
I personally think grit should be graded in context of an average gritstone climbers skills, there would be no sense in grading grit for someone who has only climbed limestone or doesn't regularly climb on grit (even!)
Robert Durran - on 23 May 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> I personally think grit should be graded in context of an average gritstone climbers skills.

I suspect it already is. That is why I always find grit grades desperate; it tends to use specific skills I'm not very good at because I hardly ever climb on grit.
Robert Durran - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Really? How they work that out?

By sensible implicit estimation.
>
> I think it just tells you how hard it is..and none of this 'average' climber nonsense either!

And how do you define hard if not by whether people (on average)can do it or not?

CurlyStevo - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
I'm pretty sure it is, but I was just attempting to further contextualise your average climber.
Ciderslider - on 23 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell: I would imagine that the only way for any of us 'soft southern b@stards' to be any good on gods own rock (grit) is to climb on southern sandstone all the time.
Gordon Stainforth - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

When John and I first went to Stanage ... I mean the very first day ... back in 69 I think, we camped at North Lees Farm. Got the tent up and then walked straight up to Stanage in the evening ... and our very first route was GG. We couldn't do it. Thrashed around without success ... very despondent at supper. Next morning, up at crack of dawn to have another go. John just went straight up it on first attempt, and I followed without too much bother. We then retreated for a celebratory breakfast (a lovely morning IIRC). We were of course southern sandstoners, with v little experience of grit, though we'd been once to Froggatt and twice to Curbar just before that. People forget, though, just how good SE Sandstone is with it's rather few cracks, particularly those at High Rocks. Some of those are right up there with the great crack climbs of Britain, imo.
Gordon Stainforth - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

Well, dear old faulty memory. I've just looked it up in my logbook. We had actually been to the popular end of Stanage at least four times before that, from l968 onwards (Sunday trips from Hertfordshire). GG, exactly as I described, was actually July 1970, and the first time we'd camped at Stanage. The entry reads: 'Weather clears up. J, G. After "struggling in vain" in drizzle yesterday.' No other comment. The evening before reads: 'Camp below N. Lees. Unfortunately rain & drizzle on Sat. aft. Wall End Crack, Dir. Start (Sev) G, J. Solo. Easy jamming.' There's no mention of our failure on Goliath's Groove!
deacondeacon - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: there's a ton of routes better than goliaths groove on sandstone, although I think goliaths is seriously overrated.
Bulls Crack - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

But many (most?)people who can climb harder than a certain grade can perfectly accurately grade the lower grade - which rather counters the argument? There grade vote isn't exclusively made up of people climbing or failing at their onsight limit.
Gordon Stainforth - on 23 May 2013
In reply to deacondeacon:

I'm rather inclined to agree with you. I definitely remember it as faintly disappointing after that frustratingly awkward/problematic start. Something like Congo Corner is c.100 times better in terms of quality of climbing.
Jon Stewart - on 23 May 2013
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) there's a ton of routes better than goliaths groove on sandstone

yeah, at Baildon Bank!

[TBH as much as loathe Goliath's Groove, the truth is that there is only one route at Baildon Bank which is worth putting your boots on for, if by quirk of fate, you find yourself at the crag in the first place].
Gordon Stainforth - on 23 May 2013
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) there's a ton of routes better than goliaths groove on sandstone, although I think goliaths is seriously overrated.

Re. S E Sandstone, I'm assuming you're being serious, because, really, the technical quality of many of those routes is just so much higher. GG is just so basic, really. Nothing remotely memorable about the moves. A bit like climbing cracks on Chamonix granite. Whereas there are technical gems in the S E. Just at High Rocks alone I think of things like Steps Crack, Krankenkopf Crack, Henry IXth, Jaws, Marquita, Lucita, Effie, Coronation Crack, Mulligan's Wall/Bludgeon, Odin's Wall, Knife, Simian Face, Monkey Nut, Simian Mistake, even the rather small 'Brenva'. Absolutely brilliant climbs, technically.

Gordon Stainforth - on 23 May 2013
In reply to deacondeacon:

Oh, and I missed out my bete noir, the absolutely outrageous ""4b"" Boa-Constrictor Chimney !!
Gordon Stainforth - on 23 May 2013
In reply to deacondeacon:

... PS... Way, way harder than Goliath's Groove, btw ... :)
deacondeacon - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: yep totally serious, southern sandstone really does offer some fantastic technical climb. I still think that if you can climb English 6a down there you can climb it anywhere. Not going to pretend its a climbing shangri-la but its much better than people give it credit for.
As for goliaths groove, I'm sure it only gets 3 stars as it looks like it should be a great climb, in reality it's just a fairly unpleasant udge.
deacondeacon - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Jon, I've never climbed on hard sandstone but might wait until I get the chance to go to Northumberland rather than baildon :)
JamesP - on 23 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell: Bridge most of the way up to the ledge and then the top is a doddle. Lovely climb because when you do it right it is easy and when you don't it's a bloody awful struggle. God knows what the grade is; I find it easier than some VS I've done but harder than a few things that are given E1. Doesn't really matter at the end of the day as long as you enjoy it.
deacondeacon - on 23 May 2013
In reply to deacondeacon: actually scrap that, the ukc description on the logbook is brilliant. I need to see what all the fuss is about :)
Jon Stewart - on 23 May 2013
In reply to deacondeacon: You really don't. I will defend dogshit and broken glass-strewn joys of The Glen until the cows come home, but I cannot defend the indefensible.
Robert Durran - on 23 May 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> But many (most?)people who can climb harder than a certain grade can perfectly accurately grade the lower grade - which rather counters the argument? The grade vote isn't exclusively made up of people climbing or failing at their onsight limit.

Yes and yes. So?

Sam Beaton on 24 May 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>
> [TBH as much as loathe Goliath's Groove, the truth is that there is only one route at Baildon Bank which is worth putting your boots on for, if by quirk of fate, you find yourself at the crag in the first place].

go on then, I'll bite. which route are you talking about? Scar, Hades, Whillan's Arete and Epitaph are all superb aren't they?
Offwidth - on 24 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

"That is why I always find grit grades desperate" When linked with your obsession on problematic US grades and how UK grades are so much better things get more muddy by the day. UK grades rule but only when they suit you eh?
Robert Durran - on 24 May 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> "That is why I always find grit grades desperate" When linked with your obsession on problematic US grades and how UK grades are so much better things get more muddy by the day.

These are two completely separate issues.

If Grit grades are in principle determined by the proportion of the regular gritstone climbing poulation who could onsight a route, then they will feel stiff to someone not used to the specific skills useful on gritstone routes. I don't really have a problem with that but it might be preferable for at least all British routes to be in principle determined by the proportion of the whole British climbing population who could onsight a route.

My issue with American grades is that no one seems to know what, even in principle, they are measuring (technicality, sustainedness, strenuousness etc)

> UK grades rule but only when they suit you eh?

No, it quite amuses me to get spanked on my occasional visits to gritstone. I just have to lower my grade expectation. Same if I go somewhere slabby in fact.




Jon Stewart - on 24 May 2013
In reply to Sam Beaton:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> [...]
>
> go on then, I'll bite. which route are you talking about? Scar, Hades, Whillan's Arete and Epitaph are all superb aren't they?

Scar is worth doing (would be a little 1* route at a normal crag), Hades is completely crap, Whillan's Arete looks admittedly to be an amusing little novelty and I haven't done Epitaph, but doesn't it share the gully of piled choss with Hades?
CurlyStevo - on 24 May 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

"I don't really have a problem with that but it might be preferable for at least all British routes to be in principle determined by the proportion of the whole British climbing population who could onsight a route."

I don't think that really makes sense, I imagine a significant proportion of climbers in the UK only / mainly climb inside. Should grades account for that?

What's more different rocks mean developing skills differently. Just because an average climbers skills are under developed in certain area's doesn't mean a climbing areas grades should reflect that. If they did the grades would seem unbalanced once the skills are developed appropriately.

Anyway grit is some of the most accessible rock for the vast majority of the UK population so I imagine the grades are pretty in line with the average outdoor climbers expectations. (I actually often find grit VS easier than on quite a lot of other rock types, grit HVS can be an exception but I do think HVS 5b on grit would quite often get E1 in many other areas and some of them should be regraded)
Pagan - on 24 May 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You were wrong about Caley, you were wrong about Shipley, in years to come you'll realise you were oh so painfully wrong about Baildon too.

Surroundings aside - what's wrong with Hades? Leaning across out of the groove, grabbing that flake and swinging up it is as thrilling as any sequence at the grade on grit. Scar's an eye-catching line with good, varied climbing; not three stars but if you put it at Lawrencefield it would be a two star route with plenty of traffic. I really need to go back soon and try Swingover - looks like fun.

Have you been to Hetchell yet?
Robert Durran - on 24 May 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> I don't think that really makes sense, I imagine a significant proportion of climbers in the UK only / mainly climb inside. Should grades account for that?

No, though average skillsets are probably changing towards steep face climbing and away from cracks etc as a result of indoor climbing and this might eveentually be reflected in grades.

> What's more different rocks mean developing skills differently. Just because an average climbers skills are under developed in certain area's doesn't mean a climbing areas grades should reflect that. If they did the grades would seem unbalanced once the skills are developed appropriately.

As I said, I don't really have a problem with it. I certainly have no problem with American grades reflecting Americans' general greater proficiency with Cracks. It is fairly arbitrary where to draw the boundaries, but proibably best to be not too narrow nor too wide.
Sam Beaton on 24 May 2013
In reply to Pagan:

The Baildon routes I mentioned are all as good as Goliath's Groove (to try and get slightly back on topic!). And I agree with Gordon, GG isn't even the best HVS at Stanage.
Jon Stewart - on 24 May 2013
In reply to Pagan:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> You were wrong about Caley,

Not especially. The climbing is absolutely brilliant as I discovered on my first visit, and while the Crag area is more pleasant than I had originally given credit for, Roadside remains a dump. In fact, last time I was there, someone had taken a massive dump right under Rocking Stone Roof!

> you were wrong about Shipley,

I have indeed done something of a massive u-turn regarding The Glen. I still feel guilty about the things I said.

> in years to come you'll realise you were oh so painfully wrong about Baildon too.

> Surroundings aside - what's wrong with Hades?

The choss.

> Have you been to Hetchell yet?

Not yet. My exploration of Yorkshire crags isn't going terribly well; Simons Seat (been, it was drizzly up there) and Brown Beck are top priorities, but I'm moving back to Sheffield later in the summer. The climbing up here was just too disappointing*.

*not really, other circs.

Ciderslider - on 27 May 2013
In reply to Sam Beaton:
> (In reply to Pagan)
>
> . And I agree with Gordon, GG isn't even the best HVS at Stanage.


So what do you recon is then??

Simon Caldwell - on 28 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:
Good grief, I've been away for 10 days and there's already another GG thread.

I thought we'd resolved this last time? I'm a crap climber who doesn't lead HVS and I managed to get up it. So it's VS.

P.S. Frankland's is the easiest of the Almscliff VSs. the only one I've led onsight. Parson's Chimney is harder.
paul mitchell - on 28 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell: With regard to Southern sandstone,Carbide Finger spat me off.Cracks there tend to be overgraded.Overhangs have tough grades on S sandstone.

As for combined tactics,the start of the project just right of Ulysses would go to a bunk up.Mr Dawes top roped the moves a while back,apart from the start.I did quite a few too;but not the last two.Great moves on pebbles and crimps...

Mitch
Rob Davies - on 31 May 2013
In reply to paul mitchell: Grade depends on what you're wearing. VS in woolly britches, E1 in shorts, varies with protection for your knees. Ascending order of difficulty

Woolly britches
Thick jeans
Helly Hansen pants
Thick tracksuit bottoms
Ron Hill tracksters
Thin trousers
Lycra tights
Shorts

Of course in the 70s everyone wore one of the first 3 items, so it was VS. Changes to perception of the climb's grade reflect changes in climbing fashions. Old guidebooks used to have grades like VS (nails), but calling it E1 (shorts) would, I feel be unnecessarily complicated - why not just call it Vedauwoo 5.6?


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