/ Here Goes, give me the lot ! FBD
I'm hopefully gonna be making one of my all to infrequent visits to mecca (Stanage) next weekend and really really wanna go at this.
Now I think that I know how the moves go, but the only thing that freaks me slightly is that first gear in the lip (and next gear higher up).
The gear in that first break is I believe one or two smallish cams, and I think that the placement is a bit worn.
How good is that first placement, is it bomber, and what about gear in the second break or the horizontal break at the top.
Give me it all, every last detail, just wanna make sure that if I do it I'm gonna be as safe as I can.
there's probably better climbs to do as your first E1 lead, are you particularly good at overhangs? Have you lead much grit HVS on sight yet?
Why not save it until you can do it onsight (without beta).
BTW have you considered doing the Sloth?
Unfortunately if I'm totally honest I can never claim the onsight as I've watched alot of vids of it being done and looked at loads of pictures :-
Yes I've considered the sloth as well
>Why not save it until you can do it onsight (without beta).
Because that time may never come? Because it really isnít that much fun hanging off that break halfway across the roof trying to fit the wrong size of cam in? Hell, just because he doesnít want to, perhaps.
Maybe just answer the manís question? I would myself but itís been so long I canít remember Ė 1.5 friend comes to mind but I could easily be wrong.
Mind you my recollection is obviously useless since I donít remember all this first break/second break stuff Ė my recollection is a single break which you can reach strenuously from the back while placing the cam in a blindish kind of way, then you commit and only at this point get to see whether youíve actually placed the thing reasonably or not. I donít recall anything else before you get round the roof and stand up, and youíve done it then anyway.
Vaguely off-topic historical diversion Ė in Alpha Males Al Parker says that he first met Joe Brown when JB was abseiling down FBD in 1958 to remove a peg which had been placed. I remember that in the old Stanage guide the historical used to say that Paul Gray Ďboldly went for it on FBD but employed a peg runnerí. Presumably therefore there was a time when people were contending for the first ascent and some people were placing pegs, which JB didnít approve of. Anyone know more about this? Was the peg ever regularly present/accepted?
Oh, go on, you know you want too ;-)
Good luck and enjoy it.
The sloth is awesome and most people seem to actually do it.
I've definitely seen a lot more people hanging from the ropes under FBD then actually climb it. The most impressive ascent was some guy soloing it in trainers (with two female friends of his onlooking and looking suitably impressed!)
"Because that time may never come? Because it really isnít that much fun hanging off that break halfway across the roof trying to fit the wrong size of cam in? Hell, just because he doesnít want to, perhaps."
Well the OP is actually still improving quite rapidly in his leading so it's not unreasonable to assume that he would be able to lead it onsight some time in the next few years. I doubt all the beta in the world is going to make that much difference - IMO most people attempting this route don't get up it cleanly, perhaps because it was incorrectly graded HVS?
If you have confidence, you'll cruise it. Gettin nervous is most people's reason for failing.
Also on the move out to the lip I use my right hand at the top of the horn and reach over with my left, I just find it a more static move.
Enjoy it, it's a fantastic route.
a 1 and 1.5 friend are, well, your friend
Have you actually done this route? The guy wants to know what size cam goes in a Friend placement which is blind, committing (ish) and strenuous and, as you point out, frequently fallen on. I'd say this particular piece of beta was very useful indeed.
It's *gritstone* HVS. If people don't know what that means then they probably will fail, yes.
No idea. Gritstone HVS gives a good picture, though. Harder than Cinturato, in other words.
That's what scares the sh@t out of me ! I don't mind a challenge, and I don't mind a fall onto good gear (if I absolutely can't do something) but it's just the thought of not being able to get that first gear in :-0
"I'd say this particular piece of beta was very useful indeed."
This particular route seems to see more failures than successes, which does say something about the chances of success for the OP if he's not solid at grit HVS and already worried enough about his chances of success to need all the beta he can get.
The chances of failure are quite high and also the rewards of a win greatly diminished (by the need of beta and the likelhood of failure / resting). Also its not really good form to set out leading routes where failure is very likely, the gritstone edges are getting more and more trashed from people testing gear placements.
"It's *gritstone* HVS. If people don't know what that means then they probably will fail, yes."
Is it HVS? I thought it got upgraded in the latest definitive guide to E1 no?
Checking through the logbook/pictures is interesting in this regard!
Here's an interesting one.
Perhaps that's how it's done. Definitely not what I did - I struggled on to the shelf above the horn to the R and spent a scary period trying to stand up, which seemed like some hours but was probably only a minute or two. Maybe it is better to carry on straight up - certainly more for the hands, but a bit braver. Still, you didn't ask for that beta!
Anyway - your questions, beta. I can only remember a few useful things. Warm up properly, its very easy to get flash pump hanging around in that break. The cam I used in the break was size 1 WC friend - bomber IMO. The move standing up in the break I found really hard, walk up the gully / ramp to the side and you get a good view of what you're dealing with, being clear what you will do here is crucial. I didn't get that much more gear in the rest of the route, but it gets much easier.
As for HVS onsight list on grit, just the one (Goliath's Groove on my first trad day out about a month ago).
FBD is an interesting choice for your second grit HVS onsight! - shame I don't live in the UK anymore - might be fun to pull up a chair and watch :-)
Unfortunately you can have all the beta in the world on this one, and it can still slap you when you least expect.
I'd soloed it loads of times before, then one afternoon while soloing it for the umpteenth time, I fell off while moving round the lip - broken ankle was the only injury thankfully (apart from feeling like a real tosser in front of a party of 4 sat at the bottom)!
It isn't hard, and the holds are huge, but it can be awkward.
Did it straight away again with ease, stood up on the lip then placed more gear.
Re the gear, most people faff about placing it hanging around on the first break over the lip heaving themselves up on bent arms to look where they're shoving the gear (i.e. with their hands in the same break as the gear placement). Commit to one more move above this before placing the gear and you can hang straight-armed on a jug and enjoy a lot more pump-free time lacing the break with cams (from 1.5, 2 and 2.5 should fit from what I recall).
> IMO most people attempting this route don't get up it cleanly
I belayed Sean Myles on it on a Uni Fresher's meet that was iirc his first time on proper rock (i.e. not southern sandstone). He cruised it.
JCM was probably there too.
Yeah, that's always the worst bit, isn't it (assuming you don't actually have bones sticking out of your leg)? I fell off The Snivelling once, and while I was sitting in a heap thinking about things the leader who was laboriously making his way up Great Slab insisted on lowering off and offering me some tea from his thermos. Rather sweet, really (the tea also, but mainly the gesture). Still, I'd have preferred to slink quietly off and pretend no-one had noticed.
THAT Alan Little! How are you?
>JCM was probably there too.
Well, yes, I guess I was. My first day climbing of any kind. My main recollection of FBD that day is Mike Dawes telling me he'd done something called FBD and pointing up to it. I just assumed he was winding me up, since it was quite clear to me that no-one could possibly get up where he was saying heíd been. I looked in the guidebook and evidently there was some route called Flying Buttress Direct, but I still didnít believe it went where he said; obviously he was just taking the piss out the newbie. It was only some months later when I saw by chance a photo of someone on it that I realised it actually must be possible to get up that sort of thing.
Are you sure Sean led it that day and not later? Iíve always counted it a mild claim to fame that he and I did our first VS the same day Ė he did Mandarin in Dovedale and I did Dr Livingstone. That would have been about November.
> The chances of failure are quite high and also the rewards of a win greatly diminished (by the need of beta and the likelhood of failure / resting). Also its not really good form to set out leading routes where failure is very likely, the gritstone edges are getting more and more trashed from people testing gear placements.
> "It's *gritstone* HVS. If people don't know what that means then they probably will fail, yes."
> Is it HVS? I thought it got upgraded in the latest definitive guide to E1 no?
Yes, I would agree that it does seem to be a route that alot of people fail on (as I would hazard it's a real head job rather than it's pure difficulty). There are alot of other routes that most people fail on but sometimes you've just got to step up and be counted - I tend to find that when I do that I get a result - the biggest problem for me is my head and getting too psyched. But that said If I get to the bottom of it and I'm not having a brave day then I'll keep walking.
Yeah, shorts would be very poor beta. You'll be needing those knees, calves, etc.
In reply to Ciderslider:
Actually, I think people fail on it because you need more than just a gung-ho attitude. As people have said, it can be quite awkward as well if you don't hit on the right method. Only one way to find out....
I'd double check it's not shut off for the ringouzels that are nesting in Green crack a bit further along.
it didn't have signs around it and it had climbers on it just under two weeks ago.
I was there last night and signs were up but I don't know if they went as far as FB. Be best to check so your not dissapointed if it is.
the signs in the green crack area do not extend to flying butress.
Er, no, it was rather a long time ago. He may have seconded Mike up it. (He certainly didn't second *me* up it)
Very sensible, given it's a mind game (they say!). On my list too, if I ever feel brave enough!
Please let us know how you get on & good luck.
I think this might be everything you are after (sloth and wombat on there too i think if you fancy more upside down roofyness).
Give it a go if you're psyched for it!
I seem to remember expecting it to be easy then completely muffing every other move. The gear is somewhere between finger and hand sized cams from memory, nothing unusual and you can see/feel the placements ok. I don't remember being concerned about it ripping should my flailing fail. The breaks are surprisingly slick in places, it sees a lot of traffic.
> That's what scares the sh@t out of me ! I don't mind a challenge, and I don't mind a fall onto good gear (if I absolutely can't do something) but it's just the thought of not being able to get that first gear in :-0
To be sure, the gear at the lip isn't the first gear (in fact for many it's the LAST gear). The gear at the back of the cave is v important, a cam works better than a nut as it usually gets pulled sideways.
One thing most people miss is the lie down rest at the lip.
I hear real men do it naked.
You can hang straight armed from the first break on the lip and just pull up as you actually place the gear to see that it's placed well while still keeping your feet on.
I pretty much did that, putting in two cams in that first break where my hands were and not faffing too much. It's not that hard, just don't faff, get the gear in quick.
Here's a poor quality vid of me doing that quite a few years ago now - http://www.vimeo.com/68776498
+1 Very nicely done indeed !
> Checking through the logbook/pictures is interesting in this regard!
> Here's an interesting one.
> Perhaps that's how it's done.
Tis me in this pic. It's not really my style of climbing - I cocked it up despite never failing E1's at the time. I can tell you categorically the cams on the lip in the picture are a Camalot 0.75 (green) and a DMM 3cu (green). I lacked the muscle to pull over immediately and needed to shimmy left - it is essential to drop your weight low on straight arms and heelhooks (if you try wrapping your knee over the break it is 10 x harder). I was so disgusted with myself that after dogging to the top I lowered off, stripped it and did a flawless repeat lead. It is easy when you know how but easy to mess up when you don't.
This was my first E1 lead (I'm claiming it!), earlier this year. You're going to enjoy it!
It went pretty easily, but, I spent very little time naffing with the cam placement - popped it in and went for it, without getting pumped at all. Watched a guy bail on it straight after me, the difference being he faffed for ages with 'that cam'.
As another said, there is good gear you must place and extend with a sling before you attack the overhang.
I could be giving a curve ball here, and it depends on your head, but focus on the climbing rather than the protection and it will go much easier. It's basically a very easy boulder problem in an intimidating position.
Why not just pre-place the cams if you're worried? You've lost the onsight anyway, and as you say if you're pushing your grade you might as well be safe.
Good luck - it's a brave choice for your second grit HVS!
"Good luck - it's a brave choice for your second grit HVS!"
Is it not E1 in the latest definitive guide?
Having barely seconded it on a tight rope I'd say it was classic HVS/E1 borderline, right on the cusp, wouldn't be a disgrace at either.
Its E1 in all the guides now and I'd say its solid having watched hundreds of ascents and quite a few fails from experienced HVS and E1 climbers. My advice is work out a list of roof climbs to get you there from VS and when you go for it ensure gear is good then don't dither. Sad as it was I even practiced right foot heel hooks on a finger board in my house, pretending to place gear veeerrry slowly. On the sharp end I breezed the crux and before I knew it I'd found a lay down rest not so far above. An even more sad bit was a muppet pal of mine inadvertantly opened the back of my film camera so all the photos were lost.
I have thought about top roping it but don't really wanna do that.
I am hopeful that a mate of mine (who is a much, much better climber) is going to join us that weekend - then I can maybe talk him into leading it (so I can second it first - with no fear stress)
No offence but not only do you want the beta, but now your talking about pre placing the gear and effectively headpointing it. Why not just do a similar but slightly easier climb? Wouldn't leading that onsight and in good style be more rewarding?
Anyway not really any of my buisiness I guess.
> Its E1 in all the guides now and I'd say its solid having watched hundreds of ascents and quite a few fails from experienced HVS and E1 climbers. Sad as it was I even practiced right foot heel hooks on a finger board in my house, pretending to place gear veeerrry slowly. On the sharp end I breezed the crux and before I knew it I'd found a lay down rest not so far above.
Really E1 ??? I thought that after much debate the general consensus was solid top end HVS ?
Like the bit about the fingerboard/ heel hooks, made me smile :-)
I always think the way to tell the grade of a route is the latest definitive guide - in that its E1.
I've just got a bit of a thing about this one (don't know why).
The move back from the first break is a little awkward, so make the most of the rest under the overhang but don't hang around and get intimidated. The holds are all there, just remember that you come back left a bit before gunning for the upper break.
Sorry I gave some false info there. Rockfax downgraded it in EG (it was E1 in PGE) which as an aside, is a classic example of them ignoring their own votes (UKC and Rockfax) and the grade on UKC. It is E1 in VG.
Yes I'm certain it's E1 as an onsight but with gear beta it is a lot easier, especially if your heel hooking is good and you are confident on steep terrain. If your not more than 50:50 I'd say its best not to bother as grinding gear placements by hanging from them on classics isnt great practice.
My problem is that very often I'll not try stuff and convince myself I'm not good enough. However when I do man up and get on with it I very often find it's easier than I thought it was gonna be (always over psych - it's without doubt my biggest hurdle).
As for overhanging stuff - I love swinging off of big jugs (as long as the gears good).
Also if I'm having one of my brave days I know I'd be fine and very likely to get it (it's just being brave enough to get on the route)
> Sorry I gave some false info there. Rockfax downgraded it in EG (it was E1 in PGE) which as an aside, is a classic example of them ignoring their own votes (UKC and Rockfax) and the grade on UKC. It is E1 in VG.
Some fool will mention E0 soon.
I've worked with Fiend on BMC Froggatt and am very familiar with his E0 idea... I just don't think this route is one of them. It feels like an HVS when you know exactly how its done and what the key gears is and I think it's getting on for half way up the E1 graded list as a true onsight.
Someone above mentioned jugs... I'd say that would be a borderline description for holds on this route at the grade: they are more like big square-cut edges rounded slightly at the lips and tilted back slightly.
I'm increasingly starting to think that saving everything for the onsight is a pretty effective way to keep grades down. Spending time on harder routes is always educational, even if it means doing them in "bad" style...
Having only seconded FBD I would have guessed at solid E1 for the onsight lead too.
Sure, but equally if you get overambitious you end up dogging everything. You need a realistic expectation of getting up the route and gear placements (esp cam slots) on grit classics are beggining to show severe signs of wear in places. Hence, I think people should chose routes other than 3 star classics to push like this.
i'd second peakdj's point about placing cams in the first break. place the bomber gear at the top of the slab and extend it well. make the move off the horn to the break, get the heel hook out right and then place cams in the break off a straight arm with your leg taking a big chunk of your weight. it feels a tad bolder but you're not really much further from your gear and it is a much less strenuous position to place it from. and you can see what you need. you'll be hanging from your left hand so have the cams on your right. place the gear quickly and you should still be feeling fresh for the next few moves. just remember to go left before you try to go up. and one last thing - enjoy it.
Fair point. I suppose the optimum progression is a mixture of cruising, trying and failing.
Don't use hexes. My mate did and every single one lifted out as he pulled over the roof.
Luckily he got away with a broken ankle when he hit the slab
Very sound advice Alex.
> get the heel hook out right and then place cams in the break off a straight arm with your leg taking a big chunk of your weight. it feels a tad bolder but you're not really much further from your gear and it is a much less strenuous position to place it from.
Short arses may be surprised that there is any other way of doing this. As soon as my hand properly grabs the lip, I'm at full extension and my feet take the swing, no going back.
We were wondering just last night how you did a reach on an a peak aid climb. Shorter still and some 'interesting' moves are required on FBD.
You make it sound optional!
I became a dad yesterday, how's that?
> I became a dad yesterday, how's that?
>I became a dad yesterday, how's that?
Out, I should have thought?!
> We were wondering just last night how you did a reach on an a peak aid climb. Shorter still and some 'interesting' moves are required on FBD.
I think I know what you're saying...
I've never seen anyone else do it the way I do and I have to relearn it every time, must be about 6 times now. Works though.
I just can't bring myself to solo it, I have to walk my fingers into the break on the lip one by one, would terrify me solo.
Baby girl born Friday lunchtime 5 weeks premature but otherwise healthy, 3.8lbs, ape index positive :-)
As good as it gets?
FBD or the baby? :-$
In terms of significant moments in life, I'd now put child birth at the very top by some margin. Marriage in comparison (for me) was like a fart in wind tunnel. I cried more than the baby I think.
is it this weekend you are going to the peak?
Sorry to hear your news. My thoughts are with you. My mother in law suffered a stroke just after Christmas, but made an incredible recovery. Hope the same happens to yours.
I cant remember much useful info but I do remember resting like this:
and sorting out my protection. I've never seen anyone else do it like that, but it enabled my to have confidence in my gear before I committed.
I also got a full lay down rest in the upper break, even though it was quite a nice position I don't recommend it as it was very difficult to extract myself.
Yes FBD won't go away. I hope the lady makes a good recovery.
Really sad to hear that.
I'm sorry. My partner's mum died a year and a half ago - a rather messy decline, not good at all. At least it seems that your mother-in-law was spared such indignities. But still, not what anybody wants. Our worlds spin on their axes; suddenly everything changes.
The route will (nearly) always still be there. But different...
Hang in in there mate.
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