In reply to Mark Reeves: We did Llithrig a couple weeks ago. I lead the 5c pitch, clipped the in situ tat but did the move free. I didn't think it was too bad for 5c really and kind of feels like you're on a tr because the rope is clipped above you.. My bf, kept the rope clipped to protect himself when doing the traverse too, then untied and pulled the rope through when he got to the belay.
I followed the Llithrig traverse and did the tension move as it looked like fun (which it was!) I've done White Slab one and a half times. The first time we dismally failed to lasso the spike, gave up and bailed. The next time I seconded the traverse without using the rope for aid. (My partner actually got the spike on his second attempt. I couldn't believe it!)
In reply to Mark Reeves: If aid is allowed use it!
In both cases, free would make them one move wonders (well, two or three moves...). The classic way is much more fun and gives a much more consistent grade.
Apart from that, I don't think I could ever have done them free....
I abbed off Whie Slab in the wet after my partner spent a considerable length of time failing to get the lasso.
I can confirm that one can reach the ground in a single ab from that stance, but abbing off the edge of each successive band of slabs in dense cloud, unable to see if the ropes below you end in space or not, is spooky.
We abbed off with 50m ropes the other week and that was more than enough. To be honest, a single 25m ab would probably get you down to the ledge from which Longland's starts and it's an easy scramble down from there.
In reply to Mark Reeves: When I did White Slab my mate who led the pitch lassoed the spike (which really isnít very big) for protection only - I think swinging across would be a bit scary and the climbing isnít too bad - you can also get some sneaky cams by your feet about half way along the traverse so even if you canít lasso the spike itís still safe.
In reply to Mark Reeves:
Did White Slab (free) last weekend. Had a quick look and couldn't see the spike? There's an obvious good flat hold/jug just left of the crack, but there's no way a rope/sling would stick to it. The spike has either broken off in recent years or is it actually up on the arete somewhere? But again I didn't spot anything.
We are talking mid 1980s when I did it. All I remember is standing on the arete wondering where the spike was and thinking I can stick a Friend in the crack over there, at which point it was obvious I could reach the holds rather than fanny about flicking a loop of rope over a spike I couldn't see.
Imperial measurements are like the empire - history.
For White Slab, 'lasso' isn't quite the right word. The best way is to chuck a big bundle of rope into the groove and hope that some of it snags over the spike as it slides down the groove. Worked fine for me. Then some years later I climbed it free, which didn't seem that much of a big deal. But the rope trick adds character.
In reply to Mark Reeves: I did both free on the same day last year. As others have said, the traverse on Lithrig is fairly straightforward and feels like being on toprope. I would have felt a bit silly tensioning across.
The spike on White Slab is quite small - only slightly larger than a Cumberland sausage. As Jon says, the best method of lassoing it is to lob a few armfuls of rope into the groove above and hope they catch on it as they trickle down. I found it protected the move across quite nicely. Again, I couldn't see the point in aiding it. The move across isn't considerably harder than the cruxes on some of the other pitches.
I did White Slab last month and neither me nor my partner could recognise the spike to lassoo. We climbed it free as did about 5 other pairs the same day. Had we lassoed it I think it would of detracted from the route. Personal opinion.
In reply to Mark Reeves: It's more of a "nubbin" than a spike on White Slab. I've done the route several times both ways and prefer the lassooing method as it is part of climbing history and makes the route more consistent at the grade. The trick is to throw several loose coils and let them slide down over the spike. It's never taken me more than two attempts, he added smugly
In reply to Mark Reeves: Did White Slab free a few years ago having done it with rope manoeuvres a long time before. In my opinion it would only get E1 5b in the Lakes and I mentioned it to the North Wales selected guidebook team at the time but they kept it at E2 5c.
In reply to Mark Reeves:
Done each of them both ways and Troach with and without the initial lasso although the Troach lasso is non-standard now as the climbing is actually in keeping with the rest of the route.
In reply to Mark Reeves: I had an interesting ascent of White Slab so my experience is hardly representative...
We started up it at about 6.30pm in August which in hindsight was pretty idiotic but we then psyched ourselves out when I climbed Redhead's Direct (E4 6a) in error and we didn't realise it. After that, we decided the lasso method was the better option but it took us ages to manage it. I then needed to run it out rather more than was really sensible and we climbed the rest of the route in under 20 minutes and just avoided getting benighted.
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
I think I might have done exactly the same thing this weekend! Is Redhead's Direct on the second pitch up the slab? I went straight up at the end instead of going round the arÍte to the corner belay and it felt exactly like E4 6a. Some guys behind us said there was an E4 variant but I don't have the definitive Cloggy guide; would be interested to know if that is what I climbed. Needless to say whatever it was it was my first lead pitch on Cloggy and it blew my mind and freaked me out for the next 2 hours. We didn't find the spike on the next pitch; it must be pretty small?The move was fine though as if you are tall enough you can stand in a little break and even take your hands off. (This somewhat confused the guy belaying me as he didn't see the break foothold on the lead and so thought I was magically stuck to the slab!)
Yesterday we did Llithrig (mainly because I was still too freaked out to climb more E4s!) but didn't bother with the tension traverse as the move was pretty short lived.
Yes, you may have done Redhead's Direct on p.3, the first proper slab pitch. There's also Banner's variation on the same pitch. I've done the latter and AIR it goes diagonally left above the spike (not the lasso spike, but the one on p.3) and gets progressively thinner as you get closer to the break and it's also very runout at the top. About 5c perhaps? Redhead's goes straight up to the lasso spike, thus missing out the traverse pitch. However, if you did the traverse pitch, then more than likely you did Banner's variation, which is indeed harder than the 'normal' way.
Apparently both variations often get done in error, which is how I ended up doing Banner's. The pair in front did it (in error) and I simply followed - just like sheep.
In reply to Dave Williams: thanks for that. I didn't run it into the traverse pitch so it sounds like Banner's variation. It felt pretty bold to me and maybe that made the moves feel more like 6a than 5c. I didn't think the traverse moves were as hard, but then I wasn't leading by that point. I have to admit that I just followed the chalk and didn't really have enough of a look at the guide before setting off so it was my own fault for getting into the runout! I presume the Namesake is Hugh Banner in which case the route was done a very long time ago with far worse shoes than mine; massive respect to all those Cloggy pioneers. Hard as nails.
In reply to richsmithinbristol: Did it in 1973 with the Banner Variation. It is (was)a bit runout but good climbing. Then omitted the lasso we were feeling well pleased. I reckoned it was a solid 5c, no more.