/ New E10 on the N. Yorks moors. Really?

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andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
I see that a new E10 has been claimed on the N. Yorks moors by Franco. What is he basing grade on? A slew of repeats of E8,9 and 10's around the country? A confirmed history of hard sport and blocs? If the route gets repeated by a known was and the grade confirmed, I'll believe it. Until then...

Andy F
Calder - on 02 Aug 2013
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Calder: It's on the logbooks as E10 7a.

Andy F

The Pylon King on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to Calder) It's on the logbooks as E10 7a.
>
> Andy F

Then that's what it is until someone repeats it...

next.......
Jon Read - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
It might be ... it might not. Action speaks louder than armchair incredulity. Good for Franco for climbing it, and for throwing up the challenge.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=198943
Tom Last - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Think he's been trying this for a while hasn't he? Well done for doing it I say. Regardless it may get downgraded, then again maybe not, Franco's no slouch is he.
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Jon Read: The photo doesn't give much away. He could be stood on the ground or 50ft above a poor RP1. Where's the video?

Andy F
Calder - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Jon Read:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
> It might be ... it might not. Action speaks louder than armchair incredulity. Good for Franco for climbing it, and for throwing up the challenge.
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=198943

Indeed. There's some good pics on his blog page,too - and it certainly looks the part.
chris fox on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Didn't James Pearson put up something around E10 or E11 that got downgraded, so like the other posts above say, until it gets repeated then thats the grade.

Maybe give the guy some encouragement rather that knock him.
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to chris fox:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> Didn't James Pearson put up something around E10 or E11 that got downgraded, so like the other posts above say, until it gets repeated then thats the grade.
>

James had a history of hard ascents. Franco? If it stays the grade after a repeat by a well known wad, fine. Until then the grade is a guess and completely unconfirmed.

Andy F



johncoxmysteriously - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

>Until then the grade is a guess and completely unconfirmed.

Obviously. But what do you want him to do? That's his best guess. Time will tell.

Sounds like a good effort, anyway - congratulations to Franco.

jcm
shark - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to chris fox)
> [...]
>
> James had a history of hard ascents. Franco? If it stays the grade after a repeat by a well known wad, fine. Until then the grade is a guess and completely unconfirmed.
>
> Andy F


There are greater stakes at play with a high profile sponsored climber (who should know better) overgrading routes than an unsponsored, low profile climber like Cookson making his best guess.

Well done Franco Cookson on your project. Hope the grade turns out right.
Luke Owens - on 02 Aug 2013
Effort Franco! Looks great regardless of the grade.
Tyler - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

The gade is a guess but the efforts indisputable. It's obviously pretty hard and, looking at the photos, if Franco has thin fingers it may be impossible for others!
Coel Hellier - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Jon Read:

He's also a poet!

"And as you set out on the wall, it waves up and looks like it's about to break right upon you. Psy mon says you're about to die. A slippidy sloppidy smear, through overhanging fear. When the foul foot slips, then off your finger rips - for tis but a pinky, deep and wedged in a hole! When the pinkies remain, then all you gain is more death. Stood, no hanging on a bulge, not made for mortal man."
SCrossley on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
Whats your problem, he`s climbed it graded it, the challenge is there. Well done Franco.
Cheers sjc
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Tyler: E10. On sandstone. On one of the hottest, most humid days of the year. And I've perfected cold fusion.

Andy F
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to sjc:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
> Whats your problem, he`s climbed it graded it, the challenge is there. Well done Franco.
> Cheers sjc

It's pretty obvious. I don't believe the grade. But I'm happy to be proved wrong.

Andy F
Niall - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> If it stays the grade after a repeat by a well known wad, fine. Until then the grade is a guess and completely unconfirmed.
>
> Andy F

Yep, that's how it works in general?
mattrm - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

It's a solo, with several pinky mono holds. If you fall off at the mono, you're probably going to break your legs or worse. I think that giving it an E10 grade is quite sensible, then folk who try the repeat at least have an idea of the difficulty and danger.

Personally, I can't see it being repeated soon as it's quite specific. I doubt any of the normal suspects are going to want to trog over to do a fairly obscure route and at not very well known crag. Especially as it looks very horrible with the pinky monos.

However well done on Franco for doing it. I've been reading the blog and hoping that he'd stick it and I'm very glad to hear that he has. So congrats man! Also for bonus points this wasn't the outcome this time:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=61201

Also looking at Franco's logbook:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/showlog.html?id=106014&nstart=0&sort=g

I'd say he's done enough stuff at E7 to have an idea of how much harder the route is compared to E7. But I suspect you know that already.
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shark - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to Tyler) E10. On sandstone. On one of the hottest, most humid days of the year. And I've perfected cold fusion.
>
> Andy F



In that case 1000-1 odds that it comes in at the grade is more than fair?

I bet you £1 it does.

Andy Moles - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Why not congratulate him first on what is clearly an awesome effort, regardless of the grade?
Niall - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Andy Moles:

All this has reminded me, whatever happened with Chillam Balaam (sp?) Any confirmation or otherwise of the grade?
supos - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Congratulations on coming across as one of the most bitter, unsympathetic persons on UKC. And that's saying quite a bit.

Congratulations to Franco on doing a route that is obviously E something hard.
SCrossley on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
Maybe you don`t but you could have put it more nicely. Chuck a rope on it and come back and tell us what you think.
shark - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Niall:
> (In reply to Andy Moles)
>
> All this has reminded me, whatever happened with Chillam Balaam (sp?) Any confirmation or otherwise of the grade?


Ondra confirmed it at 9b

http://www.adamondra.com/adam-ondra-climbs-chilam-balam-9b
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to supos:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> Congratulations on coming across as one of the most bitter, unsympathetic persons on UKC. And that's saying quite a bit.

Thanks. Bruce Hooker is my mentor and idol

>
> Congratulations to Franco on doing a route that is obviously E something hard.

No, it's claimed as E10 by someone who hasn't climbed harder than E6 outside his own area. Or climbed a confirmed E9. Just stating facts.

Andy F

a13x - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Nice effort Franco! Good effort regardless of grade.

Alex
Hardonicus - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to mattrm: All the stuff at E7 are new routes on local crags, with the same group of first ascensionists. So I would say he has climbed confirmed E6 nationwide?

Anyway good effort on a hard new route, but his previous history of shite talking on here won't be helping him with this audacious claim!
Tyler - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Niall:

> All this has reminded me, whatever happened with Chillam Balaam (sp?) Any confirmation or otherwise of the grade?

Completely different, the issue with CB was not the difficulty (it only slipped one grade) but whether the first ascensionist had climbed it at all. I don't think Andy is saying Franco hasn't done the line just that it's probably not E10. E10 is certainly way beyond anything Franco has manged before .
Tyler - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Tyler:

By giving the route E10 Franco has chosen to make the gade front and centre of the talk about this route, people can't then complain when someone chooses to take the bait
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Tyler:

>By giving the route E10 Franco has chosen to make the gade front and centre of the talk about this route

I don’t see that any choice is involved, really. If he’s going to give it a grade at all, he has to go with his best guess. I suppose it’s true that there’s a choice involved in whether to give it a grade or not, but personally I always think not doing so is pretty wanky.

jcm
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to shark:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
> [...]
>
>
>
> In that case 1000-1 odds that it comes in at the grade is more than fair?
>
> I bet you £1 it does.

You changing your name to BetFred? ;)

Andy F

SI - profile removed on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: Well done Franco, good effort! I seconded Franco on one of his E5's a couple of years ago, I'd only seconded a few E3's before that and it felt as hard as any of those but with much less gear. So what if it's a grade or two high? Plenty of other climbers have overgraded routes and if he thinks that's the grade so be it, worst that'll happen is someone will climb it and tell him otherwise.
Simon Caldwell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> E10. On sandstone. On one of the hottest, most humid days of the year

Do you know Danby? It's north facing and takes a long time to dry out. There are plenty of crags where the super-hard routes are generally done in the summer.
Tyler - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I don’t see that any choice is involved, really. If he’s going to give it a grade at all, he has to go with his best guess. I suppose it’s true that there’s a choice involved in whether to give it a grade or not, but personally I always think not doing so is pretty wanky.


If E10 is his truthful opinion on the grade, then your right, he has no choice but given Franco's penchant for trolling I dare say Andy suspects he might be being a bit mischievous. Good effort none the less
goose299 - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
If if repeat accents drop the grade, fair play. That picture of the pinky mono looks brutal
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Tyler:
> (In reply to Niall)
>
> [...]
>
> Completely different, the issue with CB was not the difficulty (it only slipped one grade) but whether the first ascensionist had climbed it at all. I don't think Andy is saying Franco hasn't done the line just that it's probably not E10. E10 is certainly way beyond anything Franco has manged before .

My point exactly. If Franco has crushed Equilibrium, pissed up the Cratcliffe groove or walked all over McClouds routes, then I might believe him. But, unless I'm very mistaken, he hasn't. So I don't. He can climb a bit, but E10? With a better track record he might be believed.

Andy F
Coel Hellier - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to the thread:

Wasn't there a bet about him headpointing Dangermouse ...?
Steve Crowe - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Nice one Franco, awesome effort.
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a lakeland climber on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Franco is somewhat passionate (possibly over so) about the North York Moors and I think this is maybe one way he's trying to drum up interest in the area. Pete Whillance and Dave Armstrong did something similar when they graded Penal Servitude E5 6c - it was an attempt to prove that the Lakes wasn't a backwater for technical climbing.

I'm not sure how much climbing Franco does outside his patch but an individual or group acting in an isolated manner can slip out of line regarding grading. I'm thinking Mark Edwards and his 1980s routes that got high grades but the first repeats dropped them significantly.

I'm not sure how big the route is - maybe it should have a bouldering grade rather than a route grade. Possibly in a grey area regarding this.

ALC
puppythedog on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: £0.50 says this is a news story on here by Monday :-) users being the driving force for news on here.

Good effort Franco, if you think it's H10 then good for you ;-)
Simon Caldwell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> If Franco has crushed Equilibrium, pissed up the Cratcliffe groove or walked all over McClouds routes, then I might believe him.

Did you refuse to believe Macleod's grades until he started to repeat other people's routes rather than just putting up his own?
Ramon Marin - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Go and repeat it and tell us the grade then
puppythedog on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: everyone owes me fifty pence. It's now news.
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber: Good point.

Looking at Franco's logbook entries, he doesn't seem to have logged anything harder than E5 on 'mainstream' crags (Narcisus at Froggatt isn't E6 really - and yes I have done it), and his hardest recorded route in his beloved esoterica of the North York Moors is E8.

So this new route if it is E10, is quite a momentous leap in standard for him - even within the 'vacuum' of his bailiwick.

So there is the possibility that it's an 'emotional' grade.
ksjs - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: I'm with Andy on this (no offence and respect to Franco regardless) - very hard to give credence to someone's ability to grade without feeling that they have a broad base of experience in the relevant areas; the write up refers to a Font 8A start apparently based on Franco's musings, how much Font 8A bouldering has Franco done? Hopefully enough to give a meaningful view. Overall the climbing has to be of a reasonably high standard too, somewhere around the 8a/b mark, again how much sport has Franco done at these grades?

Anyway, top effort Franco, despite the debate I'm sure it's 'up there' in terms of difficulty!
Ramblin dave - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> Franco is somewhat passionate (possibly over so) about the North York Moors and I think this is maybe one way he's trying to drum up interest in the area. Pete Whillance and Dave Armstrong did something similar when they graded Penal Servitude E5 6c - it was an attempt to prove that the Lakes wasn't a backwater for technical climbing.

I have to admit that was my first thought - less of a grade, more of a come-and-have-a-go-if-you-think-you're-ard-enough to the rest of the country.

In any case, it looks awesome.
jkarran - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

However hard it is it looks grim, I don't imagine there's going to be a queue!

Good effort Franco.
jk
Coel Hellier - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

> £0.50 says this is a news story on here by Monday :-)

You win. http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=558675
andi turner - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: Is there a decent picture of this wall anywhere? A wide angle shot from above and a cropped shot of the wall do nothing to give any perspective. I want to know how high it is!
Coel Hellier - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andi turner:

> I want to know how high it is!

Are you wondering whether you'd be able to just reach the top from the bottom and claim an E10? ;-)
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
> [...]
>
> Did you refuse to believe Macleod's grades until he started to repeat other people's routes rather than just putting up his own?

No, because he had a history of climbing lots of hard stuff. Franco doesn't, outside his own backwater. What other 8A/+/B's has he done to compare the bloc to? Which other E9/10's outside his patch has he tried/succeeded on? AFAIK, none. Which is why I am so sceptical about his grading.

I may be completely wrong, Franco may be 100% right. Let him prove it, he's the one spouting the big numbers. If he goes and repeats other things outside N. Yorks, fab. I'll be the first to say well done, I was wrong. Until such time, I stand by my position.

Andy F
robin mueller - on 02 Aug 2013
Franco Cookson on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to ksjs:

Now then, I should probably clear a few things up. First of all, I gave it E10 on here as there's no option for H9, H10 or H11. It's good to have it on UKC to advertise the route for future repeats and so I chose a conservative estimate. The proper grading occurs however, when I send it into Steve Crowe, for his guide - the bible of North York Moors climbing. I'll see how it fits in with other new Moors routes we do nearer the time of publication. It's best not to just hassle Steve all the time with re-grades. Second of all, I didn't say 'it is font 8a'. I said the crux is incredibly similar to, although harder than, Steve McClure's boulder problem 'the finger', (which he gave font 8a, but is perhaps more like font 7c/+).

I should probably also point out that, unlike the news report states, this is not safe. The crux is above the height of the main picture on the UKC article. It's not a boulder problem in any way. We set up a rope at the bottom of the hill to stop me rolling down a mini gorge. Without this it would be suicidally dangerous. With it you would still very probably cripple yourself/die. I don't really think of myself as someone who shies away from danger, but this was probably the most dangerous thing I've ever done.

Why Farnell chose to focus on the grade at all is beyond me. I find these 'rules' about what you can and can't do before you grade a route thoroughly ridiculous. No wonder no one is climbing hard on sedimentary outcrops any more!

Ultimately, I've always climbed alone or with chums equally inexperienced on the Moors. It's brilliant, it's free, it's thoroughly inventive. We like to climb our own way. I don't see why I should have to put my neck on the line to adhere to some norm of climbing a load of ploddy and dangerous H8s just to please some people who are too blind to see what we as climbers are capable of doing. The moves are outrageous, it tears you up. Go have a top rope.
Simon Caldwell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> Let him prove it, he's the one spouting the big numbers

Surely you should prove it, since you're the one doubting him? Why should Franco put his life/limb on the line to satisfy someone else's idea of what routes he should climb?
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to ksjs)
>

> Why Farnell chose to focus on the grade at all is beyond me.

You give something E10 7a, what do you expect!




shark - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Have you got some video footage you'll be posting up?
Michael Ryan - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Font 8A X (tr practice) Franco?

X being injury or death assured should you fall

Hard climbing, bone crushing fall.

What was it Glen Denny said...

""It is my feeling that in no other area of the country, with the possible exception of the Northeast, do so many of the climbers climb quite so much for personal publicity.... Increasingly, in the past few years, there have been those whose primary motivation in climbing is an excessive, overt desire for notoriety"......

Nice one on the climb and the publicity.

andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson: Well, Cookson, my focus on the 'conservative' grade you've give is clear, as are my reasons for doubting it. What are you basing it on? Which routes/blocs does it compare to outside the Moors? What have YOU done, say in Northumberland, Yorkshire, The Peak, The Lakes, Scotland etc that compares?

As for climbing hard on sedimentary outcrops, you ever hear about the stuff called Limestone? I believe there may be on or two tough (but probably not by your standards) things for you to try in Yorks/Peak district. There is more to climbing than the Moors.

As I stated earlier, if you can prove a history of hard things outside your area, I'll believe you. I've seen and heard of enough deluded fools to think twice when the big numbers get spouted.

Andy F
martinph78 on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

"Regardless of the grade, the route looks like a short and intense experience, and has taken Franco two years of effort to climb, and that sort of motivation is impressive - well done Franco!"

Not my cup of tea (dunno what a mono is, and anything above E3 is just a number to me), but credit where credit is due. Well done.
phleppy on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andi turner: I'm not 100% on this but I think it's 12m high, I did a route to the right of it before and that is 10m and by the looks of it it's a bit more than that. 4th picture down on 23rd july entry on his blog, where the rope hangs down.

http://francocookson-climbing.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/danby-projects-and-new-clemmitts-font.html

Wether it's E10 or not it looks bold so good on him, don't see anyone repeating it soon. I thought he would have used a rope for gear near the top as it looks like there's a few breaks, suppose it's over by then though. It's a shame that danby crag is north facing and that the landowner has conditions to climb there, that will restrict everyday people going, especially if their not from the area.

P.S & it's got ticks.
xplorer on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

I think some one may be a little bit bitter
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: I think you're playing the game the way Franco wants you to Andy.

Loads of publicity for him and the North York Moors - hence the reason for the grade?

i can't think of anyone who went from E8 to E10 completely missing out E9, can you?

Of course, if it has been conservatively graded, it could well be E11 or even more?????
Michael Ryan - on 02 Aug 2013

Here's an X boulder problem/route, Bishop style.....

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=166342
Andy Moles - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> my focus on the 'conservative' grade you've give is clear

Because you're a trainspotter?
JimmyKay - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to topic:

Harder than the Walk of Life, Indian Face and If 6 was 9.

Not bad going considering Franco hasn't bouldered/sport climbed 8a/8A.

It's easy to understand the scepticism others are showing. However, if it is E10, (which I'm not doubting) then it's a f**king good effort.
EdTheDuck - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Firstly well done Franco – You can’t take away your enthusiasm for climbing regardless of the grade.

You will get a big focus on the grade with a number like that, it’s a massive declaration! I do agree with the OP in that I think it’s difficult to declare any grade without having an established track record of similar routes across a range of areas.

Time will tell and either way it sounds like your enjoying summer!
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to JimmyKay: at E10 7a, it's probably in the top 10 hardest routes in Britain isn't it?

Hell of an achievement isn't it?
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Andy Moles:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
> [...]
>
> Because you're a trainspotter?

More like Scully to Cooksons Mulder...

Andy F
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to JimmyKay:

>Not bad going considering Franco hasn't bouldered/sport climbed 8a/8A.

Well hang on, he's done something Steve Mac thinks is Font 8a (or at least that's what Franco says; no reason to doubt it).

>http://francocookson-climbing.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/finger-steve-mcclures-v11-7a.html

He reckons this is harder than that - well, there's no reason to doubt that, either. And it's clearly in a dangerous position. Whether that adds up to E10 I couldn't say; I guess we'll just have to wait for the future onsight, right?

jcm
Richard Hession on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Regardless of the grade it looks boss :)
andi turner - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: When I read about Julian Lines' recent E10 7a, well, it looked a bit different to this one...
victorclimber - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: why don't some of you Peak District superstars go and try it before you jump to criticise..he can certainly get you going on here .good for him
JimmyKay - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andi turner:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68145

A little less aesthetically pleasing?

Can't wait for his book to be released.
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andi turner:

Equilibrium doesn't look that different though, and much safer. What Font grade is that?!

jcm
JimmyKay - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to JimmyKay:

The little finger mono to little finger mono move looks insane.
webbo - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: The font 8a was graded V10 by Steve Mac and there is a fair chance despite him being smaller than Franco he didn't do it standing on 2 mats.
Al Evans on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to Jon Read)
>
> He's also a poet!
>
> "And as you set out on the wall, it waves up and looks like it's about to break right upon you. Psy mon says you're about to die. A slippidy sloppidy smear, through overhanging fear. When the foul foot slips, then off your finger rips - for tis but a pinky, deep and wedged in a hole! When the pinkies remain, then all you gain is more death. Stood, no hanging on a bulge, not made for mortal man."

Sounds like Ed Drummond rather than poetry.
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to victorclimber: I don't think any one is questioning that it is a hard and serious problem, or denigrating Franco's performance and achievement - it's the grade that people are questioning?
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Offwidth - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

I think your initial post makes some fair points and its more than likley it will be downgraded (if only because its Franco). However I think the lad has close to enough talent for a super bold E10 route heavily worked that fits his skill set. I'd like to know what you would give a F7c+ boulder problem crux (being conservative, if its similar to a soft F8a) with a 10m groundfall in prospect. I think 1000:1 odds is stealing but I'll put a pint down on 10:1 that it stays at E10, will you accept that?

Not congratulating him on the ascent irrespective of the grade is pretty mean. So, well done Franco, espescially as too few people are putting up new lines like this at their very limit these days.
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Al Evans: It is a bit 'Great Wall' when you come to think of it Al.

Does the next part have anything about 'elephants trumpeting past'?
Dave Warburton - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to webbo: Webbo returns...with his funny little stories. Franco has done it standing on two pads, with no pads and I seem to remember him trying it barefoot. The original grade of the finger was V11, but it has slowly come down and 7c or something is probably fair.

I can't do either but i know i was a darn sight closer to the finger than that horrific wall. Multiple narrow and shallow little finger monos with funnily enough, f*ck all for your feet. It's not over then either... as that's setting up for the crux.

I was at work so didn't see the event unfortunately - which is a first I think. Delighted he's done it - wonder what's next?
Coel Hellier - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

> As for climbing hard on sedimentary outcrops, you ever hear about the stuff called Limestone?

Didn't Dawes do some fairly cutting edge stuff on sedimentary outcrops while being significantly behind the cutting edge on limestone?
ksjs - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson: Not sure there are any rules?

Reading your reply it all sounds like shoddy reporting by UKC e.g. only reason it's E10 is a limitation of the UKC logbooks, hardly the basis for the headline grabbing 'New E10!' headline.

I don't see how you can't see that people will query someone's ability to grade at a level if they don't have a track record at or close to the level in question. That's surely just logic?

If I climb an 8b or Font 8A tomorrow I will have no real benchmark against which to assess it, I can't say if it's hard, easy or whatever for the grade as I haven't climbed at that level before.
andi turner - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to robin mueller: From that first picture, it seems the mono moves are at about 10 feet up. I presume the FA shots of him gurning up the monos was taken from the grassy ledge to the right, or was it from an abseil?

Harder than Transcendence and The Prow in Northumberland, phwoar!
In reply to andi turner:

You can see the height of the route here:
http://francocookson-climbing.blogspot.co.uk/p/classics-for-taking.html
david morse - on 02 Aug 2013
I imagine Franco is at home laughing at all this fuss. He is maybe the biggest wind up merchant you will ever meet, although he does have a huge enthusiasm for the moors. These big grades on unrepeated routes are nothing new; hes just pushed this one a bit higher.

Well done on this new route Franco. UKC will have to wait for a repeat to sort the grade out. Be careful out there!

victorclimber - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho: my point was why even go down this road until someone repeats it and then criticise.. perhaps he should have bolted it given it a hard grade but safe and no probs ..bet it would soon get a repeat then..
Mick Ward - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to Toreador)

> I may be completely wrong, Franco may be 100% right. Let him prove it, he's the one spouting the big numbers. If he goes and repeats other things outside N. Yorks, fab. I'll be the first to say well done, I was wrong.

Hmm... the problem is that such repeats wouldn't prove the grade of this route. They would obviously give more credence to you and other critics of the grade but they wouldn't prove it - one way or the other. If Franco doesn't want to put his neck on the block for 'credence' then why on earth should he?

The grade will surely only be confirmed (or denied) by repeats. I'm sure Franco would be delighted for it to be repeated.


> ...a history of climbing lots of hard stuff. Franco doesn't, outside his own backwater.

I remember the furore about Jonny (and Andy) Woodward in the mid/late 1970s. They were putting up loads of stuff in their own backwater and sometimes giving futuristic grades. Some of the futuristic grades didn't stick (e.g. Wings of Unreason) but some did (e.g. Piece of Mind). Later there was Beau Geste. And much more...

Franco is obviously a romantic about The Moors, bless him. (But maybe he really has seen 'infinity in a grain of sand'?) The Moors float his boat; they bring out the best in him. Generally (and I accept I may be talking out of my a*se here!) he seems like a guy capable of really dangerous E8 when he's psyched. And when he's super-psyched and pulls out the lead of a lifetime??

It's not up to him to prove anything; with the best will in the world, he simply can't. Proof (or disproof) can only come about through other peoples' actions. We can speculate forever but it's just speculation.

Whatever the grade, it does sound like the lead of a lifetime. Franco, revel in your time!

Mick


johncoxmysteriously - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Franco Cookson)

>
> What was it Glen Denny said...
>
> ""It is my feeling that in no other area of the country, with the possible exception of the Northeast, do so many of the climbers climb quite so much for personal publicity.... Increasingly, in the past few years, there have been those whose primary motivation in climbing is an excessive, overt desire for notoriety"......

To be fair, Glen Denny was referring to a climber who required his support crew to abseil off every so often to distribute press releases!

jcm
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
> [...]

> I remember the furore about Jonny (and Andy) Woodward in the mid/late 1970s. They were putting up loads of stuff in their own backwater and sometimes giving futuristic grades. Some of the futuristic grades didn't stick (e.g. Wings of Unreason) but some did (e.g. Piece of Mind). Later there was Beau Geste. And much more...
>
In the mid 70's Mick, anyone who wasn't part of the 'peak/stoney' scene claiming big grades was scoffed at, or set upon by the pack of baying wolves - remember the near coronary's that happened when Fowler freed Linden - "Mick who, and ee's from London, f*ck off, impossible!" - was the cry echoing down the Dale :-)







Al Randall on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to Mick Ward)
> [...]
>
> [...]
> In the mid 70's Mick, anyone who wasn't part of the 'peak/stoney' scene claiming big grades was scoffed at

It wasn't only big grades. Me and my mates put several routes up over the years or free climbed existing aid routes in the Peak. We wrote them up, sent them into magazines and clubs but never got credited with them because, I suspect, we were not part of the "in crowd"..
Mick Ward - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:

Absolutely - another guy who was scoffed at. I remember someone telling me how they'd watched Fowler take multiple fliers off Regent Street, I think it was. ("So how could??") They'd underestimated Fowler's massive psyche (since legendary!) And maybe he was having a bad day on Regent Street. Lord knows, we all have 'em.

To his everlasting credit, it was Birtles who gave the guy a chance, said, "Maybe we need to sit up and take notice..."

But not before Geraldine had led Elder Crack ("I couldn't bear to watch!"), much ale had been consumed in The Moon, a fight had broken out, etc, etc.

And what have we got now? Just ghostly echoes spinning through cyberspace. I bet Franco wishes he'd lived in livelier times!

Mick
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Al Randall: Ah yes, the 'stoney mafia' I remember it well :-)

You had to be on first name terms with the leading lights, and sleep on Windy Ledge for 14 consecutive weekends, and be able to top rope Wee Doris in under 5 minutes before you could
join :-)

Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to Goucho)
>
> Absolutely - another guy who was scoffed at. I remember someone telling me how they'd watched Fowler take multiple fliers off Regent Street, I think it was.

I think I know who started that story, and I'm not sure it was true, but I think he was rather chummy with a well known peak star who had failed in his own attempt on Linden - more than once :-)

dr evil - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: this seems like a strange issue to get worked up about. All first ascents are given a subjective grade as a best guess on the basis of one ascent. It takes multiple repeats to achieve a more objective consensus about what the grade might actually be.
Rick Graham on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho, Mick Ward, Al Randall, ALC etc

You old geezers have seen it all.

Everything goes in cycles, the routes get harder because training and gear get better.

Hope you enjoyed the route Franco and also winding everybody up as usual.

Rick

Easier to take a leaf out of the South Lakes team book and just grade everything E2 5c or E4 6a regardless. I once graded a route E2 5b because I could not remember doing one before.
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Rick Graham: Or deliberately under grade everything by at least 2 grades, as was common practice within the Glossop arm of the peak mafia :-)
Al Randall on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Rick Graham: Liking your work :-)

The grade of this route is off my radar, the method of climbing totally alien to me and Franco's motives, going on previous posts, questionable but it would be very churlish at this time to deny the achievement. well done Franco.
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In reply to andy farnell: Well done Franco, great effort. E-whatever, I suspect there's very few around who could repeat it.

Stay safe.
peteJ23 - on 02 Aug 2013
Can't believe this hasn't been said yet...

Franco Cookson Pha ... Whats he ever done on grit

Get in
In reply to Franco Cookson: Oi Franco! As the "UKC baby tricams" didn't fit in any of the monos but you did it anyway, you need to now promise to post them on to the next "UKC gobby yoof" with a ridiculous plan to try and wiggle them into some placement that clearly isn't really going to hold, so that they can do an E11.

Good effort old chap.
James Mann - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: If you need a spot or pad caddies then I don't think you'll be short of helpers. Shouldn't take too long to flash I shouldn't think. Am so pleased to see Franco stirring the pot again.
climbnplay on 02 Aug 2013
don't believe the grade? easy enough, go and repeat it yourself and see. otherwise stfu.
Jamie B - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to climbnplay:

Don't swear. It's not nice.
Bulls Crack - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andi turner:

Why the little finger out of curiosity - are they that small that you can't get an index in?
goldmember - on 02 Aug 2013
Regarding the grades, on franco's blog and his post on here. All the grades are preceded with an 'H' presumably this stands for hyperbole? happy to be corrected
Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Brilliant stuff. Those monos look absolutely appalling. Top effort!
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to mann9076: Pot stirring or talking shillbut?

In simple climbing terms:

Ondra tours the world, tries all the hardest routes, then grades his own, accurately. Everyone believes him because he has more than walked the walk. He is the walk.

Cookson does one E6 outside his patch, a few H7/8's in his own (of his own) and then grades something E10. Anyone with the intelligence of a BNP member can work out why he may be doubted.

Andy F
Oceanrower - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: This is probably obvious to most on here, but what is an 'H' grade?
Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

I don't know if you are one or not, but you come across as a complete pillock.
Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Oceanrower: H for headpoint
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> I don't know if you are one or not, but you come across as a complete pillock.

Why? Because I'm making a valid, reasoned argument against the grade given to a route? I'm questioning his ability to have an accurate assessment of the routes difficulty, based on the fact that he hasn't climbed anywhere near that level outside his own backyard.

I have publicly stated that if I'm wrong then I'll happily be proved wrong. If that makes me, in your eyes, a pillock, then I'm not sure if you know what the word means.

Andy F
Enty - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
> (In reply to andy farnell) This is probably obvious to most on here, but what is an 'H' grade?

H = toprope practice. I'd be more impressed if Franco had been down to Wales and onsighted The Bells, Wreath or even Lord. Has he done these?

E

Adam Lincoln - on 02 Aug 2013
Nice one franco... Good effort!
Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

The only valid, reasoned argument against the grade of a route comes from knowledge of the route itself.
The New NickB - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon)
> [...]
>
> Why? Because I'm making a valid, reasoned argument against the grade given to a route? I'm questioning his ability to have an accurate assessment of the routes difficulty, based on the fact that he hasn't climbed anywhere near that level outside his own backyard.

It would be better based on a repeat ascent, even on toprope. Your logic appears to be that it cannot be E10, or indeed anything close, simply because it is Franco.

> I have publicly stated that if I'm wrong then I'll happily be proved wrong. If that makes me, in your eyes, a pillock, then I'm not sure if you know what the word means.
>
I don't think he is suggesting that you are a pregnant fish.

andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to The New NickB: My point is simple. The person claiming the route hasn't got the required experience to give the grade. Who the person is, is irrelevant. Their lack of experience at that level, coupled with their lack of experience outside their own patch makes me very suspicious of the grade.

See my post about Ondra. No-one disbelieves him, with good reason. Franco...

Andy F
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> The only valid, reasoned argument against the grade of a route comes from knowledge of the route itself.

No, it doesn't. Read the whole thread.

Andy F
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paul__in_sheffield - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: Franco, congratulations. I'm guessing after 2 years of effort, the send must have been a brilliant experience. Well done.
Jamie B - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:

He's making a reasoned case, you're calling him a pillock. Regardless of the truths, I know which of these I find more mature.
Jamie B - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Regardless of the grade, well done. I hope the grade will encourage more traffic to your area.
Skyfall - on 02 Aug 2013
Andy F is of course correct in many ways. The hardest I've led is E2 and I wouldn't be able to know if a route was E5 say. I have no basis for comparison. I could tell if something were "at least" E3 but beyond that is guesswork. Anyone would be quite entitled to doubt a grade I put on a route beyond E3.

Having said that, this is a rather harsh way to go about making the point. I'm sure most people would know of Franco and that there might be other factors involved and would take the E10 with a pinch of salt. As a mere punter my opinion isn't worth a whole lot but even I can see that.

I say congratulate Franco on what is clearly a very hard FA and let's wait to see if
a suitably qualified outsider ever looks at the line with a view to repeat it. I'm absolutely sure Franco would be delighted if some wad decides to give it a go.

At least this thread and news makes for an interesting Friday!
janiejonesworld - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: it is truly astonishing and a very interesting lesson in group psychology that it is Andy F being given the grief here. Franco's chutzpah is to be valued above all common sense and reason so that everyone can feel cool about the whole thing? Really? All the available historical evidence suggests that it highly unlikely that Franco can climb at the grade claimed and the onus really is on him to prove otherwise. The idea that people challenging an utterly outrageous claim are in some way sour grapes or spoilsport and have to disprove it by hightailing to the back of beyond to climb it is risible. It's really depressing to hear people argue that sure this might be deliberate overgrading but that's actually a challenge to someone to prove it - what of honesty and integrity? An absolute bath of shite run by a shameless self publicist - who is an excellent climber way beyond my league and should know and behave better
Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

You're talking about 'proof'. The only proof of whether the grading is correct is for the route to see multiple repeats. Lack of track record doesn't disprove the grade.
The New NickB - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Having climbed the route, Franco is more qualified than anyone to grade that route at this time, I guess time and further ascents will tell.
Graham Booth - on 02 Aug 2013
What a depressing thread...maybe a private conversation would have been a more appropriate way of assuaging any doubts, rather then trial by Internet...sigh
Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Graham Booth:
> What a depressing thread

yeah

andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> You're talking about 'proof'. The only proof of whether the grading is correct is for the route to see multiple repeats. Lack of track record doesn't disprove the grade.

Yes it does. If I found a little crag near where I live, bolted a route, found it to be the hardest thing I'd tried, sieged it, did it and gave it 8c+, I'd be shot down in flames. It would be way beyond the level of anything I'd tried or been known to succeed on and therefore way beyond my ability to give it an accurate grade. Which is the crux of it...

Andy F

Jonny2vests - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Graham Booth:
> What a depressing thread...maybe a private conversation would have been a more appropriate way of assuaging any doubts, rather then trial by Internet...sigh

Bollox. Franco wouldn't have it any other way.
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> Having climbed the route, Franco is more qualified than anyone to grade that route at this time, I guess time and further ascents will tell.

So, according to Franco's logbook, his hardest climbs have been 5 x E7's (4 of them his own routes and grades??) and 1 x E8 (again his own route and grade) and all of them in the North York Moors.

Is it any wonder that some people are questioning how he can possibly give this new route a grade of E10?

Unless of course he is using a unique 'North York Moors' grading system - which would explain it all.

It looks a fine piece of climbing, and a bold first ascent which deserves congratulations, but why spoil it by touting it as E10, with no credentials to remotely validate such a claim.
Jonny2vests - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]

> It looks a fine piece of climbing, and a bold first ascent which deserves congratulations, but why spoil it by touting it as E10, with no credentials to remotely validate such a claim.

Maybe because its the ultimate UKC troll?
andy - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: What grade did the route in Wales that Stuart Cathcart gave (I think) English 6c to years ago end up at? I seem to remember that this was a massive step up and there was a degree of controversy at the time about whether it was or wasn't (and I seem to recall "wasn't" was the answer).
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Goucho)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Maybe because its the ultimate UKC troll?

You could be right there Johnny, in which case well done Franco, you whooped us all :-)
Sir Chasm - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho: So let someone prove him wrong, or just whine on the internet (like you're doing).
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to andy farnell) What grade did the route in Wales that Stuart Cathcart gave (I think) English 6c to years ago end up at? I seem to remember that this was a massive step up and there was a degree of controversy at the time about whether it was or wasn't (and I seem to recall "wasn't" was the answer).

Crash Landing I think, repeated a couple of weeks after by Livesey and Gomersall, and downgraded to 6a!
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Goucho) So let someone prove him wrong, or just whine on the internet (like you're doing).

There is in fact a difference between questioning a claimed grade, and whining.
Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

It might make it unlikely but it wouldn't disprove it. OK so the grade might not be accurate but with a suggestion of H9-H11, he hasn't claimed it to be so.

By the way, what do you hope to achieve from this public discussion? Climbing has a history of giving the benefit of the doubt to the first ascentionist unless proven otherwise through repeats or knowledge of the specific route in question. It's a matter of showing due respect to the FA as much as anything else.
Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:

OK so what grade should he have given it and why?
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Lusk - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
> [...]
>
> You could be right there Johnny, in which case well done Franco, you whooped (most of ) YOU all :-)

Cookson is just an attention seeking little ...

He's a f*cking good climber though!!! :-)

Go boy!
andy - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>

>
> Climbing has a history of giving the benefit of the doubt to the first ascentionist unless proven otherwise through repeats or knowledge of the specific route in question.

Does it? I seem to remember seeing the words "bollocks - E2 at a push" written in assorted new routes books in Frank Davies, Stoney Caff etc by people who had never been on the route. Perhaps this is the modern day equivalent of that little crucifix thing they used to put against routes in FRCC guides.

Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy:

Well yes, I guess the crucifix does suggest uncertainty due to lack of ascents. It would be pointless on something like this though - no-one is going to try it onsight.
Sir Chasm - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
> There is in fact a difference between questioning a claimed grade, and whining.

Then climb it and then whine about the grade. But at the moment which are you doing?
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to Goucho)
>
> OK so what grade should he have given it and why?

The problem is, that his only bench marks above E5 (5 grades lower than this route) apart from one E6 (a highball), are his own routes, few of which have had the grade verified.

If, he had climbed a number of routes in other areas with verified grades of E8 and E9, he would have an accurate set of criteria against which he could measure this route.

But as he hasn't, he can't, so he may as well give it E12.

It 'may' well be a couple of grades harder than his E8, but if that is in fact not E8, then I'm afraid the whole house of cards falls down.

He is clearly a talented and bold climber, but he would do his reputation far more good by getting out and measuring himself against established 'hard' routes, thereby giving his own new routes the credibility they may well turn out to deserve.

Unfortunately, until he does this, he will continue to generate this kind of reaction to his grade claims - irrespective of whether it is deserved or not.
melonmike - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Congratulations Franco, I am sure the euphoria at completion has justified 2 years of hard work. What is next on your list?

I am in no position to comment on the grade; my best guess off a few photos is sure to be wrong. As such, I will take your word on the grade, accurate or not. It is only a guide after all.

Andy...your disbelief is understandable but what outcome did you hope from this thread? Grading by UKC consensus? Surely nothing positive was ever going to come of it. What grade do you believe it to be and why? Were you in Franco's shoes, what grade would you have offered as your best guess based on personal experience?

H9, H10, H11 whatever it be, good lead Franco.
melonmike - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:

Maybe he doesn't care if people believe him or not. Maybe he is happy climbing new routes in an area he loves and offering a grade that he sees fit.

I don't see why he should have to prove himself for the sake of a few disbelieving individuals.
Rick Graham on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:

> The problem is......

I agree.

Just because one route is harder than another does not mean it earns the next E point. Each grade covers a spread of difficulty.
A lot of climbers cannot agree on the grade never mind the spread however.
One of the reasons for grade creep.

> Unfortunately, until he does this, he will continue to generate this kind of reaction to his grade claims - irrespective of whether it is deserved or not.

Thats probably why he has done it.
Goucho on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to melonmike:
> (In reply to Goucho)
>
> Maybe he doesn't care if people believe him or not. Maybe he is happy climbing new routes in an area he loves and offering a grade that he sees fit.
>
> I don't see why he should have to prove himself for the sake of a few disbelieving individuals.

So if one of your mates who has never climbed anything harder than E1, claims he's just climbed a new E3/4, you'd take it at face value would you?

andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to melonmike: I would have sought out people to try the route and got their opinion of the grade, then tried routes of a similar difficulty around the country before offering my grade. Its called benchmarking.

Andy F
The Pylon King on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to melonmike)
> [...]
>
> So if one of your mates who has never climbed anything harder than E1, claims he's just climbed a new E3/4, you'd take it at face value would you?

Yes, if it had been worked over a considerable time.
Sir Chasm - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to melonmike)
> [...]
>
> So if one of your mates who has never climbed anything harder than E1, claims he's just climbed a new E3/4, you'd take it at face value would you?

He led it, he gets to grade it, if you lead it you can contest the grade, but if you don't lead it (and haven't even seen the route) what are you adding?
Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:

You make fair points but those are the routes he's climbed so he just has to go with a best guess, however wrong it may turn out to be (either way).

To be honest I find it much more interesting and inspiring to see someone doing exciting new stuff (regardless of whether the grade turns out to be correct or not) than repeating things that tons of folk have done. He apparently feels the same?

I just think saying 'it can't be that bad' is a strange reaction to this sort of news. It's a bit like disbelieving the weather man but not looking out the window to see for yourself. Why not go out there and have a look?
Rick Graham on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> Its called benchmarking.
>

Thanks
I like it when I find a word that saves several lines of explanation.

My 2p. I bet the route settles down to E6. Must have been to the crag in the Seventies but cant remember much about it. Just an educated guess.

Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to melonmike) I would have sought out people to try the route and got their opinion of the grade, then tried routes of a similar difficulty around the country before offering my grade. Its called benchmarking.
>

To be fair, he said he'd continue to assess the grade over time until the next guidebook is produced.

melonmike - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

I might be wrong but to my mind: there aren't too many people who can potentially climb E10 at the drop of a hat, there are fewer still likely to travel to the North York Moors to sample one at Danby Crag, there are even fewer who fit that criteria that Franco is likely to be in contact with.

He climbed the route and as you would expect was asked to give an estimate of the grade. All proposed grades are subject to change. This is a far more sensible approach than leaving the grade blank or sandbagging people against your better judgement.

Franco has done as much as can be expected and I am sure would welcome a rush of people to sample his latest offering. In the meantime, accept the grade at face value and try not to lose sleep over it.

If I read the news that Andy Farrell puts up new E8 on obscure crag I don't think I could begin to tell you how little I would care about your proposed grade. I would wait for a more informed opinion from a repeat ascensionist. I certainly wouldn't feel the need to so forcibly vocalise my disbelief.
Dave 88 - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Fair play Franco, years of work, must be a great feeling to finally lead this.

Got a lot of time for the effort you put into publicising the Moors too. Looking forward to the first guide book in, 25 years?

For those wondering about the grade, surely if you lead E5 ish, chucking a top rope down it should be able to give a fair idea of where it lies. Why not give it a bash? I think we'd all be interested to hear either way.
Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to melonmike)
> [...]
>
> So if one of your mates who has never climbed anything harder than E1, claims he's just climbed a new E3/4, you'd take it at face value would you?

Not necessarily but I'd be excited to hear about the route that he'd clearly excelled himself on. My main thought certainly wouldn't be 'what a load of nonsense'!
The Pylon King on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to Goucho)

> To be honest I find it much more interesting and inspiring to see someone doing exciting new stuff (regardless of whether the grade turns out to be correct or not) than repeating things that tons of folk have done. He apparently feels the same?
>
+1
GuyVG - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

I don't know nowt bout no E13 but could someone please tell me when the new guide for the moors is out, sounds great. I heard there will also be an excellent bouldering guide coming out soon too.
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andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to melonmike: Not wanting to sound churlish, but in no way has Franco 'done as much as expected'. He has looked at a piece of string, without any idea how to measure it and said 'its 10cm long'. He has guessed completely. Finger in the air stuff. Blind man in a dark room, hopelessly groping for the exit.

Andy F
Lusk - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

It may be anything between E6 and E13 by the look of things, but...
is it 7a? :-)
Michael Gordon - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

So again, since you clearly believe the grade to be wrong, and given you in-depth knowledge of the route, which grade would you propose he should have given it?
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: Read what has already been written. He should try other routes given E9/10/11 and then offer a grade. Benchmark. Simple. As almost everyone else does. Step out of his bubble and try the routes/blocs of his peer group.

Andy F
Sir Chasm - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: Not that you sound churlish, but you haven't seen the piece of string and you're saying that somebody else's estimate (a person who has seen it) of its length is wrong.
melonmike - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

He has at least looked at the piece of string, he has even held it.

Yet you now say, pah, the longest piece of string Franco has previously measured was shorter than that. There is no way this piece of string could possibly be longer than the last arbitrary piece of string that Franco held, how dare he estimate this string to be longer. Then, to cap it all, you haven't kept your doubts to yourself, you have announced them to UKstring and demanded that a well known string measurer be sought out and visit Franco to guess how long his string is.

Ridiculous.
andy farnell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to melonmike: No, I've asked on what basis his string is measured and how accurate can the measurement be, given he has nothing to measure it against.

Andy F
Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

I don't know why you can't see that that is just not the best choice solution to the problem?

A first ascentionist can go out and repeat routes but still get the grade wrong. Other routes might suit them better/worse, conditions vary, or they might just be climbing better on different occasions. Routes also just frequently feel harder because they're first ascents. See James Pearson for the classic example.

Consensus through repeats is the only sure way for the right grade to be established. And that goes for any route!
Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to melonmike: I think Franco needs a tailor!

BAdhoc - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: seems like the time youve taken out of your obviously interesting and busy life to answer everyone whose commented could have been better spent driving over there and trying it yourself. Or you could sit there behind a screen and chat bullsh*t, I suppose thats the easier option for you :)


well done franco, but pinky finger pockets, are you insane?
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: But Franco hasn't gone out and repeated anyone else's E8/9/10 so how can he grade his route with nothing to judge it by? How can you not comprehend that point?

Andy F
Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon) But Franco hasn't gone out and repeated anyone else's E8/9/10 so how can he grade his route with nothing to judge it by?
>

OK so it's a complete stab in the dark. Why does that matter? It's not as though potential suiters are going to try and onsight it, find its desperate then fall off and die. They only have to chuck a rope down the thing!
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Beckyi: What bullsh*t have I chatted? Read what is written. None if it is bullsh*t, all of it valid and reasonable. Your response however was purile. At best.

Andy F
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: I'm off to bang my head against a brick wall. Something I should have done a while ago...

Andy F
Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Agreed (at last!)
chrishedgehog - on 03 Aug 2013
I have just calculated that this thread, with the inclusion of my comments, is now longer than Franco's route! Well done on a fierce-looking route by the way. c
Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

It's bullsh*t because you don't know anything about the route in question.
Jimbo C - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

I do see your point, Franco has not trotted the country repeating the hard test pieces. Having said that, If I practiced a bold E6 that suited my strengths and I was well psyched about the line, I'm sure I could get the headpoint after enough practice.

You do make your point in an arrogant way, so you must have expected a bit of backlash (makes for interesting reading tho)

Time and repeats will tell. For now, well done Franco.
Jonny2vests - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

The thing that surprises me most is the fan base Franco has managed to amass despite years (not so much these days to be fair) of spraying all kinds bollocks notably including sticking up for the Millstone drytoolers.

On that momentous achievement, he is to be congratulated. Even I quite like the guy these days and I've never met him. How the f*ck did he manage that?
Goucho on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to The Pylon King:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon)
> [...]
>
> [...]
> +1

Could you both name the tons of people climbing E8, E9 and E10 please!
ads.ukclimbing.com
kevin stephens - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
> [...]
>
> OK so it's a complete stab in the dark. Why does that matter? .....!

This seems to be the core argument for all those getting would up by Andy's quite reasonable point

The fact is that grading a route E10 is stating it to be on a par with the very hardest trad routes in the UK, (ie a full E grade harder than Indian Face) and therefore it matters a hell of a lot.

It's almost like a very talented sprinter being trained and developed in isolation from the rest of athletics logging a 100m time of 9.58 seconds with a home made stopwatch.

Maybe it would be better to leave it as: "The initial crux sequence is around Font 8A in bouldering terms, and the route finishes with an easier but more dangerous upper section."

No, Franco doesn't have to go and repeat the hardest (and most dangerous) routes that may not be so suited to his specialist abilities and stiletto fingers - unless he wants to assert that his route is on a par with them.

Of course it's an awesome route and achievement, but to assign a grade on the basis of "a stab in the dark" is meaningless.

Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:

Well plenty E8s have had loads of repeats (headpoint style)
Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to kevin stephens:

Lets say 10 seconds. The sprinter isn't claiming to be best in the world.

Essentially Farnell is arguing against the existence of a black sheep, purely based on the fact that the farmer has in the past only been known to keep white sheep. This despite the farmer (Franco) specially rounding up the sheep in question and putting it in his yard for all to see!
Climbster - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to goldmember:

Nice one Mr Cookson, fair effort, I'm sure the paps of the Evening Gazette are tracking you down even as I type.

Mr Farnell, have you been formally diagnosed as being on the ASD spectrum or are you just slightly anally retentive?

Mr Goldmember, no, the H is not for Hyperbole, but for Hubris; as in the hubris of the young.

E10/H10/7a? Who knows, but the grade, like Mr Cocksure himself, will find its own level; time cures all ills.

So, while all this is very amusing, I must bid you adieu, the rocks are calling and I have an E13 to flash up.
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: Kev is spot on with his analogy. How can someone appear from (relatively) nowhere and claim a route to be one of the hardest of it's type in the UK, but not have done anything else of anywhere near the difficulty and not expect seasoned observers to ask a few prudent questions?

Andy F
Goucho on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to kevin stephens)
>
> Lets say 10 seconds. The sprinter isn't claiming to be best in the world.
>
> Essentially Farnell is arguing against the existence of a black sheep, purely based on the fact that the farmer has in the past only been known to keep white sheep. This despite the farmer (Franco) specially rounding up the sheep in question and putting it in his yard for all to see!

You really aren't getting this are you.

Anyone can 'claim' any grade they want for a first accent. However, for that grade to have any 'credibility' (in the real world) they must have some 'credibility' at climbing somewhere near that standard previously, on routes which have been validated at those grades by other climbers.

Unfortunately, Franco cannot tick any of those boxes, therefore his grading of this route has more holes in it than a piece of Swiss cheese.

Whether it is the arrogance of youth (we've all been there), a rather large ego, delusion, or a completely distorted perspective due to operating in a vacuum, who can say.

But by grading this route E10, Franco is claiming that he's one of the top 10 climbers in the country.


Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:

The E10 may be a stab in the dark but I'd like to think the 7a isn't. He's done enough 6b, 6c, 7a to surely have some idea? Add in a certain and bad groundfall and the grade doesn't seem unreasonable.

But we're going round in circles. Basically I'm more interested in exciting new routes and you seem to be more interested in comparing one thing with another.
Rick Graham on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon) I'm off to bang my head against a brick wall. Something I should have done a while ago...
>
> Andy F

What do you expect?

This is UKC.

99% bollocks but worth looking at for the other 1%.
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: Discussing things with you is like a theist arguing with an atheist. 'How can you not just believe', 'simple, there isn't enough evidence', 'yes, but why don't you believe?' Etc...

Andy F
Franco Cookson on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:


Here though, you do have a picture of god.
puppythedog on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson: is your log book up to date Franco? I remember you were off abroad for a while? Did I see some training clips of you in a deep uber secret Wad's dungeon? What is your thinking behind giving it E10 7a?

again well done on the ascent and well done on the publicity.
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson: A picture does not validate a grade. Knowledge and experience, two things missing from your repertoire, validate the grade.

Andy F
melonmike - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=188593
http://www.lakesbloc.com/news/news-2006/240-a-moment-of-clarity.html

A Moment of Clarity- Thorn Crag- V12/V13- proposed Trad Grade of E10

What are your views on the traditional grade offered for this route, in comparison to Franco's estimation for his?
Andy Moles - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

It's not that your arguments are invalid, it's that you've chosen to make them at all.

You've zeroed in on the grade like nothing else matters. I think pinky mono moves and serious commitment are way more interesting.

Why not just wait and see?
Jamie B - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson and Andy Farnell:

I'm giving you both a huge amount of respect.

Franco for pulling off a ballsy lead on very sketchy-looking bit of climbing which obviously held huge meaning to him.

Andy for pursuing his line of inquiry without resorting to direct insult or profanity, despite having been on the end of this from third-parties. It's rare to see this level of calm objectivity on UKC!
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to melonmike:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=188593
> http://www.lakesbloc.com/news/news-2006/240-a-moment-of-clarity.html
>
> A Moment of Clarity- Thorn Crag- V12/V13- proposed Trad Grade of E10
>
> What are your views on the traditional grade offered for this route, in comparison to Franco's estimation for his?

The simple fact that in this case, Gaskins had a long history of climbing at the very highest level. There is none in Franco's case.

Andy F
Neil Foster - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
>
> ....but by grading this route E10, Franco is claiming that he's one of the top 10 climbers in the country.

Oh come off it. That is nonsense. He is claiming nothing of the sort.

I must say that the negativity displayed towards Franco in this thread is really depressing. I can only assume that he is the subject of such questioning because of his former online ‘youthful exuberance’, only a small part of which I have ever bothered to read…

But, if we look at the facts here, we have someone who is clearly a talented climber, has extremely strong fingers, and who has found a project which suits his strengths and his anatomy perfectly.

If you bother to look at his blog, you will see that this ascent wasn’t a sudden flash in the pan. Franco has been working this project for many months, making incremental gains and discussing the psychology of the lead (or solo) to come.

So now he has done it (and correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there is any doubt that he has done it) and he has had the audacity to

a) Name his new climb

b) Suggest the grade he considers best reflects the difficulty of the climb.

Forgive me if I’m missing something, but that is what first ascentionists do! Sometimes they get it wrong, and if the claimed grade ends up appearing over-inflated, particularly if it is suspected this was done to appease sponsors, then they may be subject to the ridicule of their peers. But in most cases, even The Walk of Life, I think people are sincere in the grade estimate they proffer.

The key thing is the timing of any subsequent grade rationalisation, and for that rationalisation to have any credibility, the route needs to be repeated.

What is so perplexing about this thread is how many people think they know better than Franco about a route he knows intimately, and they have never even stood beneath. I mean come on, you haven’t even seen the video yet!

It seems even odder to me that you are effectively telling Franco to go and repeat some hard routes first before grading his new line.

Why on earth should he? And what do you expect him to do in the meantime? Give his new route a lower grade which he doesn’t actually believe to be correct?

It is possible for people to achieve exceptional performances which are far above their normal level – Chilam Balam is an obvious example in the world of sport climbing. Here the FA (who I have always believed did climb that route) suggested a grade so far above the level of the time that he was ridiculed and pilloried across the climbing world. Yet when Ondra repeated the route many years later, lo and behold his grade estimate of the time was only one notch out.

As for the fact that Franco and his crew are operating in an obscure backwater, passionately exploring and developing their beloved (North York) “Moors”, I think that is great. As long as they have climbed the routes they claim – and I’m sure they do - and they don’t resort to improvement of the rock – which I’m sure they don’t – then what possible harm is there that their chosen playground exists outside the mainstream madding crowds?

Neil
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Andy Moles:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> It's not that your arguments are invalid, it's that you've chosen to make them at all.
>
> You've zeroed in on the grade like nothing else matters. I think pinky mono moves and serious commitment are way more interesting.
>

I agree, the route does look interesting, and possibly serious. That is not the debate. The debate is how Franco has given the route E10 7a, yet outside his own area he has only climbed E6 6b. An enormous gap. What is he basing the grade on?

Has Franco, in secret, been around the country and tried routes such as If 6 were 9, Trancendence, Living in Oxford, Equilibrium etc? If so, provide the evidence. That is what is needed if his proposed grade is to be believed.

Andy F
Nik Jennings - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Neil Foster:
I completely agree with all that you just wrote Neil.
Offwidth - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Mankind has invented many gods and only a few stood up long to serious scrutiny. When in doubt, at a level not normally operated at most climbing heroes opt for a grade on the tough side of things and as you said E9 to E11 why not E9?

My pint bet is based on the odd time these things do stand up to scrutiny like say Peaches at Birchen, despite the huge ruckus about it. If I lose I get to buy a pint for your undeniable hard work and courage.
ads.ukclimbing.com
The New NickB - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Neil Foster:

Excellent post Neil.
Rick Graham on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Nik Jennings:
> (In reply to Neil Foster)
> I completely agree with all that you just wrote Neil.

So do I, but I also see Andy's viewpoint.

One problem is that grades and numbers will become meaningless.

We might as well revert to easy hard and impossible.

We can only agree that Franco is in wind up mode again.

He should have given it a split grade, or even E6/7/8.
melonmike - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:


He does but not a history of climbing and grading traditional routes. In fact, Gaskins did not propose the grade of E10. Gaskins offerend what he knew, the bouldering grade, but due to the serious nature of the climb a traditional grade has been offered.

In contrast, Franco is sure of the technical grade but offered a range of H grades. Given Franco's very unique skill set I don't think there will be too much question over whether the technical grade will stand but the adjective grade may prove to be accurate or inaccurate. The grade is Franco's best suggestion, consensus may lower the grade over time but that takes repeats and not internet frustrations.

E10 for Moment of Clarity was suggested through a combination of difficulty and seriousness, similar to Franco's route.
Offwidth - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Nik Jennings:

Yeah but what would you two know about hard routes? UKC mob rules.
Coel Hellier - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

> An enormous gap.

Though it makes sense that, in someone's home area, they may work a route over many months, training specifically for it, whereas when they visit other areas they are more interested in the onsight -- and hence genuinely headpoint much harder in their home area.

> What is he basing the grade on?

There are two parts to a grade. First, the technical grade. This does seem in line with things Franco has done that have established technical grades, and since he's been specifically training for it -- unable to do the moves for months, before training and training for them and finally getting them -- then the technical grade is believable.

Then there is the E grade. Given that there is a fair amount of logic about how the system works (yes there is!), a climber can indeed, if they know the *technical* grade, make a judgment of "that move, 6 metres up, no gear, bad landing, is going to be E-whatever", even if E-whatever is above what they have ever climbed. They may not be spot on, but they'd have a fair idea. Presuming that Franco went for a totally mad solo, going for a boulder-problem at his limit, that he could only just do, but now soloing at a dangerous height (and judging from his Tintwhistle escapade he does have the mentality to do that), then it is believable that his estimate of the grade is fair.

But all of this really doesn't matter *of* *course* everyone is going to take the grade as provisional until some repeats confirm or change it. Of course the route deserves a dagger symbol (as any unrepeated route does). But, other than not giving the route a grade at all, I don't see what else is sensible other than making a best estimate. He could be way out, that's surely understood; it would hardly be the first route misgraded by a first ascentionist.


Goucho on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Neil Foster:
> (In reply to Goucho)
> [...]
>
> Oh come off it. That is nonsense. He is claiming nothing of the sort.
>
He's graded it E10 7a - how many people are climbing at that grade?
>
> But, if we look at the facts here, we have someone who is clearly a talented climber, has extremely strong fingers, and who has found a project which suits his strengths and his anatomy perfectly.

I have in previous posts said that he is a talented and bold climber, and that this is a fine and impressive accent.
>
> If you bother to look at his blog, you will see that this ascent wasn’t a sudden flash in the pan. Franco has been working this project for many months, making incremental gains and discussing the psychology of the lead (or solo) to come.

Well all hard routes are worked over long periods these days aren't they?
>
> So now he has done it (and correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there is any doubt that he has done it) and he has had the audacity to
>
> a) Name his new climb

Not really a relevant point is it.
>
> b) Suggest the grade he considers best reflects the difficulty of the climb.
>
Best reflects the difficulty of the climb based on his experience - and this is the crux - where is this experience of E8 plus climbing?
>
> The key thing is the timing of any subsequent grade rationalisation, and for that rationalisation to have any credibility, the route needs to be repeated.

Would you make this comment regarding the route needing a repeat to clarify the grade if Dave Mac had done it?
>
> What is so perplexing about this thread is how many people think they know better than Franco about a route he knows intimately, and they have never even stood beneath. I mean come on, you haven’t even seen the video yet!

No people are just making the comment that this route is about 4 grades harder than anything he has done before.
>
> It seems even odder to me that you are effectively telling Franco to go and repeat some hard routes first before grading his new line.

Yes, because without those benchmarks, how can you accurately grade a route - so if Franco finds a route hard, then that means it's E10?
>
> Why on earth should he? And what do you expect him to do in the meantime? Give his new route a lower grade which he doesn’t actually believe to be correct?

His ability to grade accurately has to be questioned because he has no benchmarks to measure against.
>
> It is possible for people to achieve exceptional performances which are far above their normal level – Chilam Balam is an obvious example in the world of sport climbing. Here the FA (who I have always believed did climb that route) suggested a grade so far above the level of the time that he was ridiculed and pilloried across the climbing world. Yet when Ondra repeated the route many years later, lo and behold his grade estimate of the time was only one notch out.

This could be the case here, in which case, I will be the first to acknowledge it but at the moment, you wouldn't bet mush cash on it.
>
> As for the fact that Franco and his crew are operating in an obscure backwater, passionately exploring and developing their beloved (North York) “Moors”, I think that is great. As long as they have climbed the routes they claim – and I’m sure they do - and they don’t resort to improvement of the rock – which I’m sure they don’t – then what possible harm is there that their chosen playground exists outside the mainstream madding crowds?

True, but it looks like their grading system might be operating outside the mainstream too.
>

Bulls Crack - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

So; these moors. Are they north of York?
Coel Hellier - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:

> His ability to grade accurately has to be questioned because he has no benchmarks to measure against.

Is anyone claiming that this grade is for-sure accurate? Even Franco is not claiming that, it is his hesitantly expressed *best* *guess*. It should be taken as such and thus taken as provisional.
Tyler - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Is anyone claiming that this grade is for-sure accurate? Even Franco is not claiming that, it is his hesitantly expressed *best* *guess*. It should be taken as such and thus taken as provisional.

Exactly Franco has given himself plenty of wriggle room to, when he gives the final grade to Steve for the guide, say I never *actually* said E10, etc etc. so he can enjoy the storm his grade would create on here whilst innocently proclaiming later on that he never *really* claimed to have climbed one of the hardest half dozen trad routes in the country.
Mark Warnett - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

I was also about to post speculating about the grade of Franco's route, but realised I have no idea what I was talking about, never having seen or tried it.

Good effort Franco - hope the grade sticks.
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Neil Foster: Neil,

Climbers like yourself, Steve Crowe, Nick Jennings etc have a vast experience of operating in the higher grades and your opinion is to be trusted and valued. That Steve says Franco has strong fingers and the ability is noted. His previous video evidence of going for it in dangerous positions is undoubted. What remains unanswered and therefore questioned is Franco's similar experience and knowledge of climbing hard routes around the country. That this route is difficult and unique is very possible. Franco MAY have gone way beyond his previous high point.

There is historical precedence. Ed Morgan went from 8a to 8b+ when he did the 3rd ascent of Mecca. That was on a well known crag infront of his peers. My question still remains, as in this case Franco has no yardstick against which to grade the route, as his lack of experience and knowledge of routes established and confirmed by the community is well documented.

Andy F
Mick Ward - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> So; these moors. Are they north of York?

Love it!

Mick

jon on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Mark Warnett:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> I was also about to post speculating about the grade of Franco's route, but realised I have no idea what I was talking about, never having seen or tried it.

That hasn't stopped anyone else!
James Jackson on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Looks E0 to me.
Simon Caldwell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> Unless of course he is using a unique 'North York Moors' grading system - which would explain it all.

I've no idea about the cutting edge grades, but up to VS, the Moors grades are on the tough side. You can often add a grade to get the Peak equivalent. On some crags you can add 2 grades - eg Ingleby Incline, though these are gradually being sorted out.
James Jackson on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador:

Hang on. So you're saying this is actually E12?
phleppy on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to GuyVG: I have no idea when the climbing guide is out but they'll be a lot for them to sort out before it goes to print I suspect, like all guides I guess.

The bouldering guide is pretty much there, all the venues are nearly done, september is more likely the time it is totally finished. Check betaguides.co.uk for pre orders soon.
paul__in_sheffield - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
>
> Here though, you do have a picture of god.

Franco, you totally rock!
Hope it does end up as an E10, although just the 7a bit would make me a happy chap if I sent it.
It's an E10 until a consensus of repeats confirms or regrades, regardless of the opinion of the armchair warriors.

PS a big thank you to Neil Foster for such a reasonable post. The thread is the closest to the great days of the Stoney new route book I've seen online, or as Offwidth alluded to, GG's ascent of Peaches, which turned out to be spot on. That's what the dagger is for in the text of the guidebook.
dale1968 - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to James Jackson: I have done 12 E1's does that mean I can have an opinion? Well here goes, It's more like E11 to me(soft,) yeah I am happy with that.
muppetfilter - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> Franco, you total C#ck!
(there you go, I fixed that for you)

Poor old franco is now reaping the whirlwind of being an internet Troll, Its a bit like the boy who cried wolf... but with esoteric grotty rock that no one bothers climbing on and not a wolf.
Rick Graham on 03 Aug 2013
>
> Poor old franco is now reaping the whirlwind of being an internet Troll,

He likes that.

" with esoteric grotty rock that no one bothers climbing on "

I don't think its that bad,

why doesn't everybody who has posted on this topic go there next weekend and find out?
Stone Muppet - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> But by grading this route E10, Franco is claiming that he's one of the top 10 climbers in the country.

Doesn't that claim get diluted a bit by the amount of working the route that goes on? Claiming to have climbed one of the hardest routes is not the same as claiming to be one of the best climbers.
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:
> (In reply to Franco Cookson)
> [...]
>
> Franco, you totally rock!
> Hope it does end up as an E10, although just the 7a bit would make me a happy chap if I sent it.
> It's an E10 until a consensus of repeats confirms or regrades, regardless of the opinion of the armchair warriors.

It's not E10 until it's confirmed. Upto that point the grade is, at best a guess. And I would class myself as a weekend warrior ;)
>
> PS a big thank you to Neil Foster for such a reasonable post. The thread is the closest to the great days of the Stoney new route book I've seen online.

That was a great read. Can't wait for Phil Kelly's book to come out.

Andy F

phleppy on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:

> why doesn't everybody who has posted on this topic go there next weekend and find out?

You'll need to be a BMC member(or associated with one) & you'll need to ring the landowner before visiting...apparently!

Enough to put me off & i'm only 20 minute drive away.
shark - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to melonmike:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> He has at least looked at the piece of string, he has even held it.
>
> Yet you now say, pah, the longest piece of string Franco has previously measured was shorter than that. There is no way this piece of string could possibly be longer than the last arbitrary piece of string that Franco held, how dare he estimate this string to be longer. Then, to cap it all, you haven't kept your doubts to yourself, you have announced them to UKstring and demanded that a well known string measurer be sought out and visit Franco to guess how long his string is.
>


Is this String Theory or a strand of Game Theory?

shark - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Neil Foster:

> It is possible for people to achieve exceptional performances which are far above their normal level – Chilam Balam is an obvious example in the world of sport climbing. Here the FA (who I have always believed did climb that route) suggested a grade so far above the level of the time that he was ridiculed and pilloried across the climbing world. Yet when Ondra repeated the route many years later, lo and behold his grade estimate of the time was only one notch out.
>


What leads you to believe this ? There were no witnesses of the redpoint. If he had done it his belayer would have supported his claim given the hoo-hah.

Agree with everything else you wrote BTW
shark - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to Neil Foster)
>
> Would you make this comment regarding the route needing a repeat to clarify the grade if Dave Mac had done it?
> [...]


*chortle*
paul__in_sheffield - on 03 Aug 2013

> That was a great read. Can't wait for Phil Kelly's book to come out.
>
> Andy F

Like the day Quentin Fisher put up "Kingfisher" and someone changed the name to "Queen Quent"
Bob Ashcroft - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: well done franco for causing such an entertaining forum to read! I have a feeling some people may take this climbing business a bit to seriously... (cough cough) andy farnell...
Glenn Sutcliffe - on 03 Aug 2013
JimmyKay - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:


I hope, at least, this route will begin to attract more climbers up to the moors. It seems a shame that all these new hard routes are being put up, yet nobody is going and getting on them.

Is the hope with release of the new guide, they'll see a bit more traffic/popularity?
Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon) Discussing things with you is like a theist arguing with an atheist. 'How can you not just believe', 'simple, there isn't enough evidence', 'yes, but why don't you believe?' Etc...
>

What we disagree on is how the 'evidence' (for the route's difficulty) is
obtained. You seem to think Franco going out and doing more stuff is the best way, while I think the route being repeated and a consensus emerging is the best way.
paul mitchell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: As for Mick Fowler's ability,I belayed him on an early ascent of Kingdom Come at Stoney.He romped up it,and then romped Kellog also.

Clearly a brilliant climber.
I saw a climber once whom Dawes rated highly,failing pathetically on Mortlock's Arete at Chee Tor.Everybody has off days.

As for grades,Boysen said that a route should be graded according to the number of people who are capable of leading/soloing it.

The issue of mats clouds things a little,but the frequency of repeats or failures will give some indication.

There are the usual critics on this site that never did a Font 7c or 8a in their lives,passing comment.Tedious.

The only people the grade matters to are the first ascensionist and people actually attempting it.Overgrading keeps people a bit safer,and undergrading also causes annoyance.Tough.Either you can do it,or you can't.

lukehunt - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Bob Ashcroft:
+1

Well done Franco. It's inspiring to see someone achieve success on such a wild dream.

Hardest route on the moors by a good margin, regardless of grade.
Liam Brown - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

The question is, does anyone have the experience of E10 solos with 7a pinky mono mantle cruxes to grade this?

Liam Brown - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to lukehunt:
> (In reply to Bob Ashcroft)
> +1
>
> Well done Franco. It's inspiring to see someone achieve success on such a wild dream.
>

+1 (for Bob and Luke)

andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
> [...]
>
> What we disagree on is how the 'evidence' (for the route's difficulty) is
> obtained. You seem to think Franco going out and doing more stuff is the best way, while I think the route being repeated and a consensus emerging is the best way.

Yet again you get it wrong. I think that Franco's grading is probably wildly inaccurate due to his dearth of experience in the grade range he is claiming. I think he should have tried more routes which are similar in difficulty to the grade he has claimed for his. That way his claims would have some validity. As it stands he has no grounding to give the route E10. Just because he says it's E10 doesn't make it so.

Andy F
Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Oh dear, yet again you fail to understand!

Just because he hasn't done existing E9/10s doesn't mean this route cannot be. He has suggested a grade, not claimed the route is definitively that grade.

Is the grade credible? We shall see with repeats.
Mick Ward - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to shark:
> (In reply to Neil Foster)

> What leads you to believe this ?

Err... decency? Respect for the word of a fellow climber??

'At least some top Spanish climbers are willing to give Fernández the benefit of the doubt. “I come from the old climbing world and have always been taught to respect the climber and his ascent,” says Josune Bereziartu.'

Seems like Ondra also respected the climber and his ascent. Isn't there a video of them together without any dodgy body language?

Yes, of course we'll occasionally get caught out by some shameless blagger. But I'd rather accept the word of a fellow climber than demand video proof - or any other proof. I want climbing to be self-regulating and so have the best chance of preserving its quirkiness, its sense of difference. At least this thread, however bonkers it gets, is by climbers (I use the term loosely!) and for climbers.

Mick

SCrossley on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
So 239 posts and a dry Saturday, has anyone (Andy Farnell) actually bothered to chuck a rope on it, or is it just easier to diss Franco.
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Rick Graham on 03 Aug 2013
Just looked at the blog photos links at 13.54 friday.

Has anybody suggested that those mono holes were not drilled for bolts at one time? The spacing and size look very suspicious on the photos.

and before anybody asks, I have never taken a drill,star drill or hammer to Danby in my youth,,, but I know a lot of old mates who might have.

Franco?
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: Are you capable of reading the whole thread? I am clearly not the only person that thinks that Franco does not have the experience to give the route E10. Your argument that 'just because he gave it the grade and he's the first ascentionist so it should stand until it's had a repeat' does not stack up. By your reckoning anyone could claim any grade for any first ascent, which is ludicrous.

A first ascentionist must give a grade which reasonably accurately reflects the difficulty, based on experience. Franco clearly does not fit this criteria, no matter how much effort he has put in. It smacks of teenage willy waving.

Andy F
Coel Hellier - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:

From (possibly faulty) memory of past posts by Franco, I think they are old bolt holes.
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to sjc: Read carefully. I have not 'dissed' Franco or tried to belittle his achievement, just questioned his ability to accurately give a route E10 when he has no experience of routes near that level of difficulty which have been climbed by other climbers. Which is a reasonable question to ask. As of yet no one has come up with a concrete answer.

Andy F
Coel Hellier - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

> Franco does not have the experience to give the route E10.

What do you mean by that? If you mean "Franco does not have the experience to give the route E10 *reliably*", then I think everyone else agrees with you. But then what should we do? Select some other grade at random?

Or do you mean that the climbing police should ban anyone claiming an E10 grade unless they have witness-signed videos of themselves on three E8s and at least one E9, and that you want the climbing police to smack Franco's wrists accordingly?

What are you saying here? If it is only that "this E10 grade is not reliable", then I'm guessing that every other poster on the thread agrees with you (even Franco!).

But to keep harping on about suggest that you're saying something more. What is it?
Rick Graham on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

So after 200+ posts and several thousand views we might as well be argueing over the grade of climbing up the T nut holes on a climbing wall?

FFS Well done Franco
mwr72 - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

I completely agree with everything you have said Andy.

To have no benchmark routes under his belt with which to grade a route E10, perhaps he should have gone with HXS instead.
Steve Crowe - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:


Franco may not have the experience to give his route E10 but he certainly has alot of experience in winding people up on UKC.

I think you are the only person who really thinks that Franco ever thought it was worth E10. However I firmly believe that anyone attempting to repeat the climb will find it to be Extremely Severe.

Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Are YOU capable of reading the whole thread? It seems you are in the minority with your views.

I'm just thankful you're not the guidebook editor for the area! What would you do, ask everyone who submits a route for their climbing CV and years of experience?
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> [...]
>
> What do you mean by that? If you mean "Franco does not have the experience to give the route E10 *reliably*", then I think everyone else agrees with you. But then what should we do? Select some other grade at random?
>
> Or do you mean that the climbing police should ban anyone claiming an E10 grade unless they have witness-signed videos of themselves on three E8s and at least one E9, and that you want the climbing police to smack Franco's wrists accordingly?
>
> What are you saying here? If it is only that "this E10 grade is not reliable", then I'm guessing that every other poster on the thread agrees with you (even Franco!).
>
> But to keep harping on about suggest that you're saying something more. What is it?

Coel,

I may have laboured the point (thanks Michael) but it still stands. I do not think Franco can give the grade, without first trying routes of similar difficulty. With some experience of these routes, his own offerings will gain in validity, as will he.

Andy F
Michael Gordon - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to mwr72:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> perhaps he should have gone with HXS instead

And what would that have achieved? It certainly would have been no more helpful to repeaters, quite the opposite in fact.
Coel Hellier - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

> I do not think Franco can give the grade ...

So what should he have done? Not given a grade? Yes, he could have, he could have given a technical or bouldering grade and mentioned the height and the landing and left it at that.

But, whenever somebody doesn't give a grade they usually get asked about it repeatedly until they do, or someone else quickly attaches a grade to it and the FA is asked to agree or dispute it.

Whatever, I think this is making quite a bit of a quite minor issue.
andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: Talking to you like talking to a religious zealot. Pointless. So from now on I'm not going to. I'll let you have the last word, turn out the light when you leave.

Andy F
shark - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Steve Crowe:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
>
> Franco may not have the experience to give his route E10 but he certainly has alot of experience in winding people up on UKC.
>
> I think you are the only person who really thinks that Franco ever thought it was worth E10. However I firmly believe that anyone attempting to repeat the climb will find it to be Extremely Severe.



So you are saying he deliberately overgraded it.

andy farnell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: Claiming one of the hardest trad routes in the country, with no valid benchmark is hardly a 'minor issue'.

Andy F
Rick Graham on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Has everybody missed the point?

Its only a line of drilled holes.
Jamie B - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> And what would that have achieved? HXS certainly would have been no more helpful to repeaters, quite the opposite in fact.

If he'd graded it HXS nobody would have noticed. At least the claimed E10 makes it possible that someone else will be intrigued enough to get on it.

kevin stephens - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> Has everybody missed the point?
>
> Its only a line of drilled holes.
Drilled holes on an obscure crag usually top roped: ideal try tooling venue

Bruce Hooker - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

> Thanks. Bruce Hooker is my mentor and idol

Since when have you ever read me slagging off someone's climbing? I remember clearly enough just a few years ago when a lot on ukc were knocking the young Franco for all sorts of things... you won't find anything by me of the same. Now he's blowing you off and you are appear bitter. I wonder why?
Mick Ward - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Steve Crowe:
> (In reply to andy farnell)

> However I firmly believe that anyone attempting to repeat the climb will find it to be Extremely Severe.

Ah, but would this be XS, ES or HXS? Or does it all come down to pinkie power (ouch!) and melon sized gonads?

'But you know it ain't easy
you know how hard it can be...'

Mick
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paul__in_sheffield - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to muppetfilter:
> (In reply to paul__in_sheffield)
>
> [...]
> (there you go, I fixed that for you)
>
> Poor old franco is now reaping the whirlwind of being an internet Troll, Its a bit like the boy who cried wolf... but with esoteric grotty rock that no one bothers climbing on and not a wolf.

now now, he was only a kid when he was doing that, and isn't much older now. Cut the lad some slack.
Martin Wing - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
You really have made yourself look like a right jealous fool with this thread mate.
Bruce Hooker - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

> If I found a little crag near where I live, bolted a route, found it to be the hardest thing I'd tried, sieged it, did it and gave it 8c+, I'd be shot down in flames..

For bolting it, yes, but Franco didn't bolt this one, did he?
kevin stephens - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Martin Wing:
Have you read the same (whole) thread that I have?
Andy Moles - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> Claiming one of the hardest trad routes in the country, with no valid benchmark is hardly a 'minor issue'.

Why not?

Michael Hood - on 04 Aug 2013
When Franco was first on UKC, I used to greatly enjoy reading the resulting threads, they were by far the most entertaining thing on UKC. This thread gives us a taste of what we've been missing - welcome back.

Franco - well done on the route, those pinky monos look horrific.

Andy - if you're saying that any grade up there that Franco gives is very unreliable because of the lack of benchmarking then I agree with you. As with all these things time will tell how accurate it is.

If you're saying that Franco shouldn't have given it a grade, then I disagree, he's graded it as best he can from his experience - what else is he expected to do?
Skyfall - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Hood:

You said it better than I managed.

Anyway +1
ashtond6 - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply:

wow what a thread hahaha, it's Saturday night get a life guys! good effort franco whether it's E6 or E12!!!!
Jonny2vests - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Hood:

I think that's a fair middle ground.
Jonny2vests - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to ashtond6:
> In reply:
>
> wow what a thread hahaha, it's Saturday night get a life guys! good effort franco whether it's E6 or E12!!!!

Yeah but, you replied as we.... Nevermind.
ice.solo - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

i really hope its E10
Morgan Woods - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon) Read what has already been written. He should try other routes given E9/10/11 and then offer a grade. Benchmark. Simple. As almost everyone else does. Step out of his bubble and try the routes/blocs of his peer group.
>
> Andy F

I must admit these were my first thoughts on reading the news item. If a big grade is suggested then I would want that validated by an appropriate track record on the part of the FA'ist.
Michael Gordon - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

OK, my final 2p to you.

I think we've both demonstrated that it's an unwinnable argument either way. No-one disagrees with you that Franco's grading may be inaccurate due to lack of experience. Your take on it is that he therefore shouldn't have offered the grade, to which all I can say is 'I disagree'. It's simply a matter of opinion.
Muel - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Always makes me giggle when these threads pop up... It's just a grade! Grades are subjective. How do you know he didn't just think "Hmmm, well it's way harder than that E7 I did last weekend... Probably more than 1 grade harder... F**k it, E10. Yeh that'll do until someone repeats it, now time for the pub."

I'd just live it if Dave McLoed popped down and graded it at E14, just to piss everyone off.
wheelsucker - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to janiejonesworld:
> (In reply to andy farnell) it is truly astonishing and a very interesting lesson in group psychology that it is Andy F being given the grief here. Franco's chutzpah is to be valued above all common sense and reason so that everyone can feel cool about the whole thing? Really? All the available historical evidence suggests that it highly unlikely that Franco can climb at the grade claimed and the onus really is on him to prove otherwise. The idea that people challenging an utterly outrageous claim are in some way sour grapes or spoilsport and have to disprove it by hightailing to the back of beyond to climb it is risible.
It's really depressing to hear people argue that sure this might be deliberate overgrading but that's actually a challenge to someone to prove it - what of honesty and integrity? An absolute bath of shite run by a shameless self publicist - who is an excellent climber way beyond my league and should know and behave better

It was worth reading this thread to find some sanity +1 to janiejonesworld

Frank the Husky - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to wheelsucker: I guess that even if you know Franco personally (which I imagine most people on this thread don't) then your post would still be out of order. I remember the grief James Pearson got when he overgraded that thing in the SW, but he has gone on to silence his critics by grinding everyone into the ground with a slew of hard repeats and FAs that made people say (very quietly) "Oh, he is really, really good and bold."

Franco is a cheeky monkey for sure, and perhaps Mr Farnell has an axe to grind with him over something, but the beauty of all this bile being spewed by people who really don't have a clue, is that I don't suppose for a moment Franco is reading this thread. He's said what he has to say (both in words and on the rock) and he is likely out climbing now, which is what all you sad cases ought to be doing.
Postmanpat on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to wheelsucker:
> (In reply to janiejonesworld)
> [...]
> It's really depressing to hear people argue that sure this might be deliberate overgrading but that's actually a challenge to someone to prove it - what of honesty and integrity?
>
Or alternative a brave call made to attract people to repeat it, thus establishing the actual grade, and increasing interest in the local climbing?
If he'd given it E8 nobody would bother.

I remember when Mick Fowler and Gary Gibson's early claims were sniffed at by the "in crowd". Whatever happened to them?
Andy Moles - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to wheelsucker:
> it is truly astonishing and a very interesting lesson in group psychology that it is Andy F being given the grief here.

Actually it's a fascinating and enjoyable tangle of male egos, but there's nothing astonishing about it if you've ever seen an internet forum before :)
Morgan Woods - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:
> (In reply to wheelsucker) all this bile being spewed by people who really don't have a clue

I think "bile" is overstating it. You are maybe exaggerating for effect or haven't read the thread properly.
Rick Graham on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:

The amazing aspect of this this thread, apart from its record ? 10000+ posts in two days, is that most posters have a valid view. In the heat of putting a few sentences together they maybe do not give a complete explanation of their opinion so that it gets taken the wrong way.

I think we have all got sucked in over climbing a few drilled holes up an obscure wall.

Well done Franco for the climb.

Very well done Franco for the wind up.
ads.ukclimbing.com
snoop6060 - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

This has to be finest trolling ukc has ever seen. Franco didn't even need to start the thread. 277 replies in 2 days. 10 / 10.
3 Names - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Surely by his own standards (H grades) Franco does not think the grade is E10
JLS on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to snoop6060:

"This has to be finest trolling ukc has ever seen."

Best thread in the entertainment category in a while.

Well done Franco for sticking with your climb for so long and getting it done - inspirational. I'll be chuffed for you if the grade thing pans out - and if not... <shrugs>.
Offwidth - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:

Drilled holes? So what, if it wasn't done to manufacture the climb. Many features on UK rock are man-made and the lad isn't claiming anything in the quality states. He found a project that suited him and worked hard to complete it. The grade claim may be cocky but it did come with provisos. I understand why the grade should be regarded as very provisional but the lack of congratulations on a very significant achievement from some here is pretty sad.

I'd remind you no one has accepted my modest 10:1 pint wager as yet, despite all the hoo-ha. I expect to lose the bet but not by much and the assessment should be pretty easy as, unlike some here, I don't think you need an E10 leader to tr this to give a rough assessment... you just need someone capable of working the bouldering grade or the equivalent sports grade.
wheelsucker - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:
> (In reply to wheelsucker) I guess that even if you know Franco personally (which I imagine most people on this thread don't) then your post would still be out of order. I remember the grief James Pearson got when he overgraded that thing in the SW, but he has gone on to silence his critics by grinding everyone into the ground with a slew of hard repeats and FAs that made people say (very quietly) "Oh, he is really, really good and bold."
>
> Franco is a cheeky monkey for sure, and perhaps Mr Farnell has an axe to grind with him over something, but the beauty of all this bile being spewed by people who really don't have a clue, is that I don't suppose for a moment Franco is reading this thread. He's said what he has to say (both in words and on the rock) and he is likely out climbing now, which is what all you sad cases ought to be doing.


I think you're being a tad naive old boy. As a blatent 'self publicist' Cranko Fooksun' will be loving this exposure.
I prefer reading about climbing to climbing itself but I still think I'm entitled to comment on this thread and if I agree with the OP then what's the problem? No one got hurt and young Frankencookson will get the attention he clearly craves!






silo - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: I Really hope your wrong! I bet the climbing is ard as he spent so much time on It. Go Franco!
phleppy on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: I wouldn't read too much into the grade after reading this:


http://www.climbmagazine.com/news/2013/08/cookson-climbs-moors-testpiece
Jacob k-d - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: surely such a thing is irrelevant. the grading system is there to allow people to approach climbs that are within there capabilities. Seeing as you, and 98% of the climbers aren't climbing at this grade then who cares (and it seems that sandbagging only really happens within the top couple of grades so there's no danger to the rest of us). if you're going to get so up tight about a climb you'll probably never even stand underneath then surely you have to re-evaluate and ask yourself why you actually care? its just a number for a piece of rock
earlsdonwhu - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to phleppy: "So I had to do it. Basically, I realised that I thought Moors new routing was worth dying for."

Really?
Coel Hellier - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to phleppy:

"If people just went for things, even when the odds of survival were slim, then people could climb some outrageous stuff."

"We wanted to climb a route that gave the Moors a myth."

Q: "You've given Psykovsky's Sequins a grade of E10 7a, those are big numbers, what was the reasoning behind that grade?"

"Mainly to wind people up and lay down the gauntlet! I honestly have no idea how hard it is. I've spent far too long on it to really know. All I know is that when I was climbing quite well for me I found the crux impossible. Since then I've been on it all the time, cycling there every day, and now I feel at home on the monos, but it's still terrifying. Even if I could accurately grade how hard it was for me, it's such a specific climb it would be useless for others. You need to be tall and be able to get your leg behind your head, whilst still weighing nothing. If your fingers don't fit in the holes, you can't do it."
GridNorth - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: So in essence and to summarise, you need to be an obsessive, narcissitic, tall, anorexic, deformed tosser with very little experience of the greater climbing world in order to climb it then?

Seriously it's still an impressive achievement.
Jamie B - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to GridNorth:

> Seriously it's still an impressive achievement.

Time will (hopefuly) tell how impressive. I wonder what the editor of the forthcoming guide will do about the grade?

Rick Graham on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to GridNorth)
>
> [...]
>
> Time will (hopefuly) tell how impressive. I wonder what the editor of the forthcoming guide will do about the grade?

Simple.

If a concensus grade has been made after repeats or attempts, use that.

or just a lot of daggers and question marks.
The Pylon King on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
> [...]
>
> Simple.
>
> If a concensus grade has been made after repeats or attempts, use that.
>
> or just a lot of daggers and question marks.

Just one dagger will suffice if there hasn't been a rockfall since the FA.
Timmd on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
> (In reply to andy farnell) So in essence and to summarise, you need to be an obsessive, narcissitic, tall, anorexic, deformed tosser with very little experience of the greater climbing world in order to climb it then?
>
> Seriously it's still an impressive achievement.

Seems a bit much to call him a tosser.

He's not the first climber to want to create waves in their 20s.
Jon Stewart - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> This has to be finest trolling ukc has ever seen. Franco didn't even need to start the thread. 277 replies in 2 days. 10 / 10.

I was just about to post exactly this, but couldn't believe the point hadn't already been made so scrolled up the thread to check.

I congratulate Franco not only on completing his project, which is doubtless very hard and not anything anyone else will ever want to climb, but also for the magnificent elegance of his UKC trolling.

Well done Franco, you are a hero!
GridNorth - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Timmd: Yes perhaps a little cruel but I have had run-ins with Franco in the past which led me to that conclusion and anyone who declares: "So I had to do it. Basically, I realised that I thought Moors new routing was worth dying for." is asking for it. I still think that what he has done is impressive though.
Rick Graham on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Timmd:

"tosser" is quite a mild insult for UKC.

I wonder what is the worst that the mods have had to deal with?
Rick Graham on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to GridNorth:

Franco is actually quite a nice lad when you meet him in person.

We all know what he is like on here.

I heard he had about 30 user names at one time, now you should find that impressive.
Tyler - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I congratulate Franco not only on completing his project, which is doubtless very hard and not anything anyone else will ever want to climb, but also for the magnificent elegance of his UKC trolling.

If that was his intention then he's done well (although I wonder if his acolytes that were taken in now feel foolish having leapt to his defence). The thing is, Franco would dearly love to be accepted by the wider climbing populous and in that regard he's shot himself in the foot. His climbing opus will now be remembered not as the hard climb it obviously is but 'that route that some bloke graded E10 for a wind up'. Instead of enhancing his reputation as a climber he's enhanced his reputation as someone not to be taken seriously.
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Tyler - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:

> I don't suppose for a moment Franco is reading this thread.

Stupidest thing I've ever read
Steve Crowe - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:


While we're all on here talking, Franco is out there doing it. I think it's time to move on:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=267637
The Pylon King on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:
> (In reply to GridNorth)

> I heard he had about 30 user names at one time, now you should find that impressive.

Brilliant! :) i hope that is true!
GridNorth - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Rick Graham: I'm sure he is a nice guy, it's his on line persona I dislike though so I'm only insulting that.
Postmanpat on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to The Pylon King:
> (In reply to Rick Graham)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Brilliant! :) i hope that is true!

I heard he's bruce hooker, popshot, gudrun, sam in leeds and andy farnell....

Bruce Hooker - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Tyler:

> If that was his intention then he's done well (although I wonder if his acolytes that were taken in now feel foolish having leapt to his defence).

I don't see why, someone will have to repeat it first before any of us can have an objective reason to doubt... and even then not everyone gives much of a damn about what grade a climb is given.

If he is reading this thread I would just like to say take it easy a bit, judging by these threads, your video and so on you seem to be pushing things a bit :-) It's only a hobby, not worth dying for... this from someone who lost one of his best friends in a climbing accident at about your age. There's a lot to life you'll miss if the next time you fall you land on your head!
Frank the Husky - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Tyler:
> (In reply to Frank the Husky)
>
> "I don't suppose for a moment Franco is teading this thread"
>
> Stupidest thing I've ever read

Dear Tyler, you obviously read nothing that is printed in any media (apart from UKC). Can I recommend starting with "My First Story Book" and then perhaps you can move on from there?

Franco is out climbing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuxegxYIYYQ

This was yesterday while you and others were getting worked up over things you don't understand. As an interesting aside, he's the only person in 14 years to try to repeat O'Gradey's Incuable Itch (E9) at Tintwistle, and he was decent enough to take the full ride from the top to the ground (about 70ft), snapping shitty pegs on the way down.
The Pylon King on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Since when was climbing a hobby?

Stamp collecting and Golf are hobbies.

And driving a car is probably more dangerous!
browndog33 - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: I think finding the true grade of this climb is a case of deduction really, I've now tried the on top rope and can definitly confirm it is harder that MVS.
Mark.
In reply to Frank the Husky:

He took the time to email me in response to my post above though, so I don't think he is quite as disconnected from this thread as you might have us believe. I think it's rather clear Franco that enjoys his 'notoriety' in our little circle! :)
Offwidth - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:

You must be mistaken as that's not an unknown E9 on his home territory so it can't be true, implying as it would that hes not so far from knowing what a E10 might feel like.

Being serious for a moment there may have been more modest quiet attempts in that time. Not everyone is so keen on publicity that they would fall off such a beast on purpose to generate publicity.
lishylad - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: climb it Farnell, prove Franco wrong and stop bitching like a little girl!!
Rich_cakeboy - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:
Fare play he's climbed some hard routes, can't comment on if the new one is E10 or not as I am not good enough a climber and I've not been there... Just wandered do you normally ab down to the base of the crag at Stoupe Brow? If not Franco's not doing himself any favours claiming a ground up ascent of the route on that video (Panda To The Masses) while leaving what looks like a top-rope setup in clear view right at the top.
Franco Cookson on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Rich_cakeboy: I quite clearly stated on my blog that we abed the line to clean it. What you can see is a strop to protect the edge. You can call it 'Ground up with Beta' if that makes you happier. Cleaning was essential unfortunately.
Timmd on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Tyler)
>
> [...]
>
> If he is reading this thread I would just like to say take it easy a bit, judging by these threads, your video and so on you seem to be pushing things a bit :-) It's only a hobby, not worth dying for... this from someone who lost one of his best friends in a climbing accident at about your age. There's a lot to life you'll miss if the next time you fall you land on your head!

<Like>
Malt_Loaf - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: As others have stated, it's a good effort regardless of the grade. I agree he can only give it his best estimate.

Let's see what happens when someone repeats it, until then, we shouldn't speculate. Especially given most of us couldn't even contemplate E10. or E9 for that matter.

ML.
Bruce Hooker - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to The Pylon King:

> And driving a car is probably more dangerous!

That depends how you climb and how you drive :-) I've lost far more pals climbing than in car accidents, but let's not take the thread of subject.

PS. I can't see how E10 can be safer than driving along the road!
Bruce Hooker - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to TobyA:

> I think it's rather clear Franco that enjoys his 'notoriety' in our little circle! :)

Given the slagging off and mockery he got from some before he really started getting the hang of things I can understand this :-)
Simon Ash - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: However, should he have come out and said the route is harder than Indian Face, To Hell and Back, If six was nine and divers others....?

We can all trace the grade hyperinflation back to one person....not knowing Franco from Adam I wonder what his motivation is - if it's just to wind people up then he really needs to get a life.
To be honest - the shame is it detracts from what looks like an excellent achievement by him.
Micky J - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: Top effort Franco fck the grade ....you are clearly much more of what climbing is all about than the kilnsey anal brigade .
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Rich_cakeboy - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:
Thanks for clearing that up! I didn't know you had a blog, was just filling time watching the video when the cricket stopped for bad light. I should have written the last post differently
Frank the Husky - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Rich_cakeboy: From Franco hisself on the Climb Mag website:

Q: You've given Psykovsky's Sequins a grade of E10 7a, those are big numbers, what was the reasoning behind that grade?
A: Mainly to wind people up and lay down the gauntlet!

...and how was the innocent young chap to know it would work so brilliantly on UKC's armchair pundits? Oh! wait...

http://www.climbmagazine.com/news/2013/08/cookson-climbs-moors-testpiece
Lusk - on 04 Aug 2013
I had to google Psykovsky, and it came up with this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIfbU1WsSUo

Hmmm :-)
PeakDJ on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:


Regardless of grade the route looks great - who really cares about the numbers? Great effort Franco for what looks like a unique and terrifying route.
paul__in_sheffield - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Steve Crowe:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
>
> While we're all on here talking, Franco is out there doing it. I think it's time to move on:
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=267637

+1, ground up!
birdie num num - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
I've toproped it. It's deffo E10
mark s - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: if its E10 it will stay that grade,If its E7/8/9 then it will be grade to suit.
its hardly something to worked up over
Mick Ward - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to lishylad:

> (In reply to andy farnell) climb it Farnell, prove Franco wrong and stop bitching like a little girl!!

Unbecoming. Irrespective of whether one agrees with his stance, Andy Farnell has behaved decently all the way through this somewhat vexed thread. Please follow his example.

Mick

The Pylon King on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to The Pylon King)

> PS. I can't see how E10 can be safer than driving along the road!

depends on the tech grade.
The Pylon King on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to mark s:
> (In reply to andy farnell) if its E10 it will stay that grade,If its E7/8/9 then it will be grade to suit.
> its hardly something to worked up over

It'll be great if the second ascensionist gives it E11 7b ;)
mark s - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to The Pylon King: that would ruffle a few feathers
Tom Chamberlain - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
Franco should generally be able to dictate his own grade.
Don Tomás el Caudillo
Bruce Hooker - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to The Pylon King:

> depends on the tech grade.

When there's no protection? You must be a really hairy driver!
ice.solo - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to birdie num num:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
> I've toproped it. It's deffo E10

i drytooled it and its only an M5.
Simon Caldwell - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to James Jackson:
> Hang on. So you're saying this is actually E12?

I've climbed a VS at Danby Crag that is now HVS. And a VDiff that has been corrected to VS.

So, yes, the new route must be at least E12. Possibly E13.
Skyfall - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Deviant:

> I always thought UKC was a friendly community, I think I've been mistaken.

Really? I think we've been reading a different forum....
mattrm - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Skyfall:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> [...]
>
> Really? I think we've been reading a different forum....

Compared to what some online discussion forums are like, UKC is actually very nice and cuddly. I'm always mildly amused when folk complain about how awful UKC is. They've obviously never got involved in a proper flamewar.
Skyfall - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to mattrm:

I didn't say it was "bad", just I don't think I would characterise it as at the cuddly end of things either.

How long have you been posting? It's more muted now than it was even 5 years ago for example.
Morgan Woods - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Steve Crowe:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
>
> While we're all on here talking, Franco is out there doing it. I think it's time to move on:
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=267637

Surely if it is "Ground up after cleaning" the grade must be GUAC6 6c not E6 6c.
stemill - on 05 Aug 2013
I think this just highlights how UK trad grading breaks down at this level. Partly inevitably as no one is actually onsighting these routes and also because of the seemingly wider gaps between the tech grades.

No-one seems to be arguing with the assessment of 7a? Maybe +/- should be adopted from 6b up?

It's far beyond my wildest aspirations to climb this hard. Well done Franco at least for keeping me entertained for the best part of a two hour train journey!
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Bulls Crack - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to stemill:
> I think this just highlights how UK trad grading breaks down at this level.

hard to say until the grades confirmed or otherwise.
malk - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply: that monkey den to catch him looks too soft for an E10;) could it be argued that the sloped landing further reduces the severity of a fall?
Michael Hood - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to malk: Your comment implies that you don't fully understand UK grades. An E10 could have a bouncy castle underneath it, it would just mean the other factors (technical difficulty, sustained, pro, rock quality, etc) provided the meat of the E10
Michael Hood - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Hood: Just looked at your profile & noticed the smiley so you probably do understand the UK grading system.
Michael Gordon - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to stemill:
> I think this just highlights how UK trad grading breaks down at this level. Partly inevitably... because of the seemingly wider gaps between the tech grades.
>

I know that some top climbers have said this but what leads you to think so yourself?

Personally I wouldn't consider myself qualified to comment.
stemill - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack: And who's to say it's confirmed until it's been repeated onsight by a decent number of people who are regularly onsighting e10 (the way mere mortal grades are agreed by consensus)! That's my point.
malk - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Hood: so grades have nothing to do with how serious it would be if you fell off? interesting..
deacondeacon - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to malk: https://thebmc.co.uk/a-brief-explanation-of-uk-traditional-climbing-grades

This explains it pretty well, you're not the first person to misunderstand British grades.
Fraser on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:

This thread has reminded me on several occasions of the debate that took place on here following James Pearson's first ascent of 'The Walk of Life'. Once he'd done it, he graded it E12 7a. His justification of that grading is given on his blog here:

http://jamespearsonclimbing.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/walk-of-life-e12-7a-48m-description.html

At that stage JP had climbed E10 7b (The Groove) and retrospectively felt it might even be E11. He'd also ticked 'Equilibrium' and 'The Promise', both routes of similar grades. TWOL clearly felt harder for him, ergo E12. Fair enough.


Fast forward a year or so and Dave Macleod climbs TWOL in poor-ish conditions whilst in 'rehabilitation mode', finds more gear, and felt it E9 6c. The justification for that grade is given in his blog here:

http://davemacleod.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/therapy.html


Another year on, and Dave Birkett bags the 3rd ascent, giving it '...benchmark E9 6c.' Report here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=53538

All three climbers are clearly very strong and able, but with opinions which are a fair bit apart. (Aside: I seem to remember JP subsequently stating that he didn't have a lot of hard, slab climbing experience, and perhaps DM's winter experience of standing on front points for ages didn't feel as alien to him as it did to JP.)

So where does that leave us? The FA, probably with slightly less experience on hard routes than either of the Dave's, grades it a good bit harder than it (at least for now) turns out to be.

Is there a moral to the story? Not a moral, but an opinion - mine. Great effort of Franco's for seeing the line, working it and finally doing the route. Is it E10? Well, at the moment it is, until someone with experience of climbing that grade comes along and repeats it and gives us their opinion! Do I think it'll end up being E10? Well, if TWOL saga is anything to go by, (and it's a better comparison than anything else IMO) probably not, which is a bit of a shame because as the photos show, it's a hell of a route!
malk - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to deacondeacon: indeed..
Adjectival grades
The adjectival grade is the first part of the grade, and attempts to give a sense of the overall difficulty of a climb. This will be influenced by many aspects, including seriousness, sustaindness, technical difficulty, exposure, strenuousness, rock quality, and any other less tangible aspects which lend difficulty to a pitch.
stemill - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: Simply the observation that at the lower end of the grading range each adjectoral grade has a natural tech grade and vice versa. This breaks down at the high Es which means people are adding more E points for 'danger' or 'sustainedness' or the tech grades are too wide. I'm very definitely not suggesting I'm qualified to comment based on my ability purely on the grounds of common sense.
Fraser on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Fraser:

FWIW, Charlie Woodburn also gave it E9 after getting the 4th ascent.
Michael Gordon - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to stemill:
> (In reply to Bulls Crack) And who's to say it's confirmed until it's been repeated onsight by a decent number of people who are regularly onsighting e10 (the way mere mortal grades are agreed by consensus)! That's my point.

No-one grades routes for the onsight at this level.
stemill - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: Which is half the point I'm making
MJ - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:

No-one grades routes for the onsight at this level.

They grade the route for the theoretical onsight and that's why some people replace the 'E' with an 'H'.
Michael Gordon - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to stemill:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon) Simply the observation that at the lower end of the grading range each adjectoral grade has a natural tech grade and vice versa. This breaks down at the high Es which means people are adding more E points for 'danger' or 'sustainedness' or the tech grades are too wide.

To be fair, this 'breaks down' even at 5c. But the overall grades feel natural and I don't think there is any more 'width' in the 5c grade than 4c,5a,5b etc.

I think the reason is partly that harder moves just demand more overall grades when one considers other factors (as you say, seriousness or sustainedness). Also the routes demand more fitness as easier routes are usually less steep in general - strenuousness is not usually an issue on 4c for example.

Michael Gordon - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon)
>
> They grade the route for the theoretical onsight

I'm not sure they do. They know that anyone considering the route will approach it the same way they did - from an abseil rope. They grade the route simply to show how it compares to other headpointed routes.
malk - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: P8 6c P for pinkie
Michael Gordon - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to malk:

pinky-pointing?
Lusk - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to malk:

Extreme Yorkshire P grades!


Are they still doing them?
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stemill - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: What you're saying then is the tech grade has a smaller input to the overall grade at these higher adjectoral grades. Which is fair enough I suppose, I'm in no position to comment on that. It does make the overall grade much harder to 'compute' without direct experience of other hard routes which I guess is Andy F's point. Thankfully it's much easier for us punters!
Toerag - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: Franco = modern day Fred Rouhling or John Gaskins. Both seem to have fingers that can do moves normal people can't. Both had time to work a line in an unfashionable area for ages. Akira is STILL unrepeated. Some of Gaskins lines are unrepeated. Looking forward to the second ascent!
peewee2008 - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Toerag: Please tell me your not trying to compare Gaskins and Franco???
Michael Gordon - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to stemill: That wasn't what I was saying - the tech grade will always be crucially important, aside perhaps from squeeze chimneys?!
andybenham - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: First off Franco, I don't know you but WELL DONE - awesome sounding lead and commitment, not just on the day but on projecting for long enough to get it done.

Secondly, cheers for setting off the most entertaining thread on UKC for a long while, I wonder which achievement you are most proud of?

And finally, cheers for accidentally turning me on to Psykovsky. Bangin tunes.
keith sanders - on 06 Aug 2013
Should the BMC have a number of top climbers on their payrole to go round checking all new routes? only a thought.
Bulls Crack - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to keith sanders:
> Should the BMC have a number of top climbers on their payrole to go round checking all new routes? only a thought.

Why would they want to do that?
Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to keith sanders:
> Should the BMC have a number of top climbers on their payrole to go round checking all new routes? only a thought.

Such an idea would be an obsession with grades gone mad - and it's mad enough already. Can't people remember the days when the Scots graded everything hard 'VS'? And even Joe Brown was reluctant to grade many of his routes as harder than VS.

James Jackson on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I'm sure a fair few crags in Yorkshire still have VS come E6s on them.
Sir Chasm - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Of course some people can remember, but it was stupid and made grades meaningless.
Coel Hellier - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

It does seem that some people are perhaps too concerned that there might be a big-E-number route out there that is over-graded.

Whatever next? Are people going to start making an issue of the grade of Three Pebble Slab??









E0, since you ask.
Jon Stewart - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) Of course some people can remember, but it was stupid and made grades meaningless.

I think grades are still fairly meaningless.

On this route, for example, what if Franco is one of only a handful of people with the skills to the climb this route, and the other people have absolutely no inclination to repeat it? It's not unlikely, given the style of the route. But Franco might not have the skills to climb other routes in these lofty grades. So which is harder, from the perspective of the armchairer to whom it's completely irrelevant anyway?


Sir Chasm - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Generally I don't think grades are meaningless and I wager that on most routes you've done the grade has given you a pretty good idea of what to expect. As to your question, which what is harder? Franco's route or some route you're imagining? I don't know.
Jon Stewart - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) Generally I don't think grades are meaningless and I wager that on most routes you've done the grade has given you a pretty good idea of what to expect.

I'd expect to cruise an E3 one day and fall off an E1 the next. Depends on the crag, the style, blah blah.

> As to your question, which what is harder? Franco's route or some route you're imagining? I don't know.

Of two routes that only a couple of different people with different skills are able to climb, how can someone sat in an armchair take a view on which is harder? It was a general, conceptual question about the futility of taking a view on a subjective judgement that you're not in a position to make. Apologies that that wasn't completely and blindingly obvious.

Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) Of course some people can remember, but it was stupid and made grades meaningless.

I don't think it was stupid so much as a refusal to give a meaningful grade - the idea being that the climber was left to make their own judgement/use their own nous. But, as Jon Stewart says, the other extreme is not so meaningful either - because how do you compare unlike with unlike? And on top of all that, how do you measure 'death potential'? All the very high E grade routes are always practised on a top rope anyway. Even technical grades are very difficult to get right ... as we all know. Primarily because the rock does not have a grade 'written' in to it. And different physiques, and different levels of friction on different days can all make a huge difference.

Sir Chasm - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Blah, blah, grades are meaningless, you rock up to crags and climb whatever takes your fancy without checking the grade in the guidebook. And, being completely and blindingly obvious, I sit in my armchair and make my subjective judgement based on the grade given by people who have climbed the route.
Sir Chasm - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: You're conflating the complexity of grading hard new routes with the idea that every route harder than severe is vs because that is as high as people were prepared to grade (which rendered the vs grade meaningless).
Rich_cakeboy - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
What about hard severe? I grade your post MS, could do better
GPN - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to peewee2008:
> (In reply to Toerag) Please tell me your not trying to compare Gaskins and Franco???
I think Toerag needs to lay off on the crack pipe a bit!
mkean - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:
So the important question nobody seems to be asking:

How big are your fingers?

Would you mind scanning your hand in so potential repeaters know whether or not to go for it ground up? A "Your hands need to be smaller than this to use the final hold" sort of thing.

:-)
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stemill - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: In that case I haven't got a clue what you're saying! If the tech grade doesn't have less of an input (note I'm not saying it's still not the biggest input) then how do you explain this

E11 7a
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=79571

And this

E5 7a
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=10025

Note this is the same adjectoral gap as Diff to E1!!



Offwidth - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to stemill:

Not sure about D 4c but you do get HVD 5b (Verandah Buttress) to E3 5b (P3/X) on good rock.
Skip - on 06 Aug 2013
Coel Hellier - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

> you do get HVD 5b (Verandah Buttress)

Aren't you the one who insists that it's really 4c? Anyhow, I'm not sure that pointing to joke grades makes a good argument! I think it's generally accepted that the technical grade is not narrow enough at the top end, which is why people resort to the French grade.
Offwidth - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Sure but its 5b by the easiest method that most people eventually climb it (ie not by crimping up the rib at 5c) and it is really hard to spot the sneaky 4c method.

As for Skip there are Diff 4bs out there as well but no E1 4bs I know of on good rock.
stemill - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth: There can't be many more HVD 5bs? (genuinely interested). E5 7a doesn't seem quite as unusual.
Chris H - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: How does one give a technical grade to a route that depends on genetic oddities such as getting ones foot over ones head and having narrow fingers? You are almost having to apply one of the principles of the adj grade to it - ie how many people are likely to be able to do it.
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> no E1 4bs I know of on good rock

Isn't there an E2 4c on one of the obscure Bleaklow crags that's on good rock, but unprotected and above a big gully or some such?
Enty - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Chris H:
> (In reply to andy farnell) How does one give a technical grade to a route that depends on genetic oddities such as getting ones foot over ones head and having narrow fingers?

Same as how you give a route a grade for someone who's 6'7" and someone who's 4'7". You just get on with it and don't moan ;-)


E
Pyreneenemec - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

All this polemic for nothing - just bolt the f***ing thing !
James Jackson on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Pyreneenemec:

The beauty being the holes are already there!
Lusk - on 06 Aug 2013
Can someone compile a list of these high tech/low descriptive grade routes please!
I might take up climbing again. :-)
Jonny2vests - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to stemill:
> (In reply to Offwidth) There can't be many more HVD 5bs? (genuinely interested). E5 7a doesn't seem quite as unusual.

Really? I'd say E5 7a was way weirder.
Bulls Crack - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to James Jackson:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> I'm sure a fair few crags in Yorkshire still have VS come E6s on them.

err no!
stemill - on 06 Aug 2013
Jonny2vests - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to stemill:

Spotter.
Michael Hood - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to stemill: Verandah Buttress stays as HVD 5b because it's always been traditionally a HVD - it's effectively an "in-joke". If it was a new route it would probably be more correct at HS 5b which isn't so extreme.

Regardless, it's still fairly obvious what you're getting on VB so keeping it at HVD 5b is ok.

Also, I have done this 2 different ways - one of which is easier than 5b - but I still don't believe I've found Offwidth's 4c way and he's not giving out beta.
stemill - on 06 Aug 2013
James Jackson on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Tongue: cheek.
Jonny2vests - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to stemill:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests) http://bit.ly/198bXek

So 2010.
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Nic_Sandy - on 07 Aug 2013
I hate this thread and most of franco cooksons comments about various stuff over the years. I dont think tireless self promoters get anything but a bad rep. Anybody who puts an E10 grade to something is going to be questioned but when it is done by someone who is not making a business of repeating lots of hard stuff (Mchaffie style) I think the questions are valid. Getting all riled up about it seems to me like a waste of time. Healthy debate is good an' all but I think im gonna go bouldering instead. Last thing, good effort with the pinkies.
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Hood: It was Chris Fitzhugh's method. I couldn't work it out either, despite knowing it was there, and had to be shown. I'd got about 4 different ways worked out by then around 5b. You're right it's an in-joke grade.
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests: Search this site for "E5 7a" and you will find it's not that rare. It can be a perfect highball grade for a grit boulderer.
Ramblin dave - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to nilcanpoop:
> I hate this thread and most of franco cooksons comments about various stuff over the years. I dont think tireless self promoters get anything but a bad rep. Anybody who puts an E10 grade to something is going to be questioned but when it is done by someone who is not making a business of repeating lots of hard stuff (Mchaffie style) I think the questions are valid.

But then when it's done by someone who isn't raking in large piles of sponsorship cash and who's going to achieve, at most, temporary internet fame and a bit of attention for a climbing area they believe is underappreciated then I find it hard to be that bothered.

Hopefully someone else will get up there and have a go on it. Then either they'll support the grade (which would be cool) or at worst harshly downgrade it, make Franco look a bit silly, and have an interesting day out on a great looking route at a crag they might not otherwise have been to.
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: Beware some harsh downgrades, again remember Peaches. Irrespective of any subsequent downgrade, Franco is no flash in the pan, he just pushed to his technical limit on bold routes ala Hard Grit.
Coel Hellier - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

> ... again remember Peaches.

Can you fill us in on the history of Peaches?
999thAndy on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
G Gibson claimed it at E4(5?) and a rumour went round he hadn't climbed it at all, subsequently found to be bobbins, and the original claim stood IIRC
johncoxmysteriously - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Michael Hood:
> (In reply to stemill)
>
> Also, I have done this 2 different ways - one of which is easier than 5b - but I still don't believe I've found Offwidth's 4c way and he's not giving out beta.

All of them are easier than 5b and most of them are easier than 4c. It's not so much the overall grade that's an in joke as the technical grade, which refers to the amazing number of floundering punters rather than any actual difficulty.

jcm
Steve Crowe - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Free guided tour of Danby Crag for the 20,000 view.
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to 999thAndy: One of the critics made the point that he couldn't have climbed it, and it was also only E1 5c... fab eh?.
Morgan P - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

> As I stated earlier, if you can prove a history of hard things outside your area, I'll believe you. I've seen and heard of enough deluded fools to think twice when the big numbers get spouted.
>
> Andy F

As to why you're so angry about this I have no idea. He put up what looks like an incredible, original route and put himself on the line to do so. I think you need to get some perspective and maybe remember that actually ALL grades are unconfirmed until repeated - so you shouting left, right and centre that 'he doesn't have any proof' is complete rubbish and trivial knowledge.

Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

"All of them are easier than 5b and most of them are easier than 4c." Yeah right, look forward to you convincing anyone else of that, why do you have to come out with such faux elitist bs??
Morgan P - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
You commented on his picture AND made a new thread about it?

How many E9's and 8b's have you done to give this E10? Just wondered...
andy farnell ? - 02/Aug/13

Find something better than dismissing others climbing achievements to relieve your own sour mood..
johncoxmysteriously - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

Well, because VB is piss, basically. It's hardly the same technical grade as Teck Crack (for example), now is it?

jcm
SteveC - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Is E1 4c the lowest E1 grade, then - California Arete in the slate quarries, maybe others as well?
SteveC
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Well if you are talking punters assessing technical grades in safety, as they will be trying to get off the ground on VB, I suspect if the very same folk tried top-roping the crux of Teck Crack cleanly in isolation (acknowledged top-end 5b definitive, that quite a few folk think is 5c) as many would suceed and so if VB is piss so is TC. Also in relative terms to the real elite you will never have climbed anything harder than piss.
johncoxmysteriously - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

I don't agree. In my experience even the most inept can usually be talked up VB. The same is not true of TC.

jcm
Iain Peters - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to SteveC: There are a few down here in the SW on the Culm, but they will probably go in the next guide as MXS 4c, which gives a clearer indication of the likely hazards ahead!
Fredt on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

As a complete outsider here, (i.e. one who is contemplating the nuances of moving up to E1), can I ask, what percentage of the climbing population are able to comment knowledgably about the difference between E9 and E10?
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Oh I see your idea now... all 5b moves are the same in terms of physical effort. My position was for punters who get on with it themselves, not those who get guided. Anyway, glad to see you've drifted a good distance from the original bs statement.
Iain Peters - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Iain Peters:

I remember finding a slab somewhere on the Lizard with Dave Hillebrandt. Friendly angle, covered in holds but the problem was they disintegrated when touched; ended up friction climbing between them with no gear. MXS with no tech grade.
Simon Caldwell - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador:
> Isn't there an E2 4c on one of the obscure Bleaklow crags that's on good rock, but unprotected and above a big gully or some such?

Found it
The Scariest E2 4c Middle Black Clough, Woodhead.
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/media/files/guidebooks/Middle%20Black%20Clough%20BMC%20Download.pdf
I'm not convinced you'd be much deader if you fell off this than if you fell of California Arete, and there's the theoretical chance of slowing yourself down by gabbing the heather on the way past...
Oceanrower - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Fredt:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> As a complete outsider here, (i.e. one who is contemplating the nuances of moving up to E1), can I ask, what percentage of the climbing population are able to comment knowledgably about the difference between E9 and E10?

i'll take a stab at considerably less than 1%
Bulls Crack - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to SteveC:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> Is E1 4c the lowest E1 grade, then - California Arete in the slate quarries, maybe others as well?
> SteveC

If using a a 5 grade spread - yes
Hardonicus - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to Toreador)
> [...]
>
> Found it
> The Scariest E2 4c Middle Black Clough, Woodhead.
> https://www.thebmc.co.uk/media/files/guidebooks/Middle%20Black%20Clough%20BMC%20Download.pdf
> I'm not convinced you'd be much deader if you fell off this than if you fell of California Arete, and there's the theoretical chance of slowing yourself down by gabbing the heather on the way past...

No, but it maybe multiple 4c moves in a row or something. COuld also be graded for the inevitable lichen/moss cover...

Franco Cookson on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to nilcanpoop)
> [...]
>
>
>
> Hopefully someone else will get up there and have a go on it. Then either they'll support the grade (which would be cool) or at worst harshly downgrade it, make Franco look a bit silly, and have an interesting day out on a great looking route at a crag they might not otherwise have been to.

Assuming they can do it...
Ramblin dave - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> Assuming they can do it...

The possibility that they rock up and can't get off the ground was included in the first option. ;-)
Jonny2vests - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> (In reply to SteveC)
> [...]
>
> If using a a 5 grade spread - yes

We had this out the other day, someone produced an E1 4b, maybe at Tintwistle?
Jonny2vests - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Michael Hood)
> [...]
>
> All of them are easier than 5b and most of them are easier than 4c. It's not so much the overall grade that's an in joke as the technical grade, which refers to the amazing number of floundering punters rather than any actual difficulty.
>
> jcm

That's JCM gold right there.
SteveC - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

Thanks! Sorry - not been on the forum for months and months.
SteveC
snoop6060 - on 07 Aug 2013
craigloon - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to stemill:
People, there is no such word as adjectoral.
Joe Kerr - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
If you are really doubting the grade why don't you get out of your armchair and repeat it? If its way off the mark as you seem to be suggesting then its within your grasp. If you try hard enough you could do the second ascent and then prove yourself right rather than just bleating on about it. It's a grade given to a route by someone who's tried damned hard and has a view. Your view is based on hypothesis not actions! He may be way off the mark but talk won't disprove the grade given.
Kemics - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Could we do a grass route fund raiser as further incentive? I'd donate a fiver happily towards a second ascent fund :) if every one chipped in we could get a nice kitty going. Some wad coud cover their petrol money and beer fund.
Steve Crowe - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

> Assuming they can do it...

They CAN do it.

Mutl3y - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Kemics: that's a brilliant idea. I would happily contribute a fiver for a proven wad to get it done and graded.
Kemics - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Mutl3y:

Yeah and I'm not picking sides or hoping for a specific outcome either,I'm just curious. This is like my version of eastenders :)

There's plenty of strong people out there
martinph78 on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Kemics: You can pay me to go and prove it's not HVS 5b if you like :)
alasdair19 on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Kemics: great idea i'm in for a £5. i wanted to take offwidths 10-1 bet earlier but now cant face re-reading the thread.

presumably its dry toolable franco.....
Wee Davie - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Steve Crowe:

So who repeated it then?
ads.ukclimbing.com
GuyVG - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Be good to see a repeat of this if you're going strong?

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=4968
jwdickinson25 - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Joe Kerr: Well said!
biped - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Good effort Franco. No matter what grade gets agreed on, assuming someone goes and does it, don't get discouraged by the criticism. Keep at it man.
Steve Crowe - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to GuyVG:

> Be good to see a repeat of this:
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=4968

Esmerelda
It's a great climb. Another classic free ascent of an old aid bolt hole line.

I did try that before Richard freed it. I could do all the moves but it was a desperate struggle and the consequences of failure are pretty dire!

I was relieved when Richard climbed Esmerelda and I moved my attention elsewhere.
GuyVG - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Steve Crowe:

Thanks for that

We only had a look round the crag on a wet day but that wall leaves quite the impression on you as you venture past Magic in the Air.

I wonder if Richard has looked at Franco's route..
Franco Cookson on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Steve Crowe: It looks seriously bold to ground up.
John Roberts (JR) - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Steve Crowe:

They HAVE done it.
GuyVG - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to John Roberts (JR):
> (In reply to Steve Crowe)
>
> They HAVE done it.

go on. . .

Sean_J - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to GuyVG: you'll just have to wait for the UKC news item :p
GuyVG - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Sean_J: ok i'll throw my hat in the ring, I reckon Gordon Flys has done it
Enty - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

This is going to be good!

E
Steve nevers on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: Birkett reckon E8 7a with a single piece of modded gear, then added "..but Franco soloed it.." So E9/E10 7a then?
w.pettet-smith - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Steve nevers: 'if i solo a vs it ain't an e2....'
'shut up andy'.
andyathome - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Kemics:
Send your £5 to Dave B
andyathome - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Mutl3y:
That's £10 for Dave B
andyathome - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to alasdair19:
Dave B has £15 for his fuel fund.....
andyathome - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to andyathome:
Only £15! I thought the fund had got much higher!

Anyway - get your cheques in the post folks.
Franco Cookson on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to andyathome: I'll make him a nice meat pie when he next comes to the Moors too.
kingholmesy - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

I'll make you a nice meat pasty if you come down to Cornwall some time. Jack's here next week. Good effort BTW.

Cheers,

Luke.
Franco Cookson on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to kingholmesy: I'll take you up on that sometime! Will have to be next year though.
ads.ukclimbing.com
kingholmesy - on 09 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Fair play. Enjoy Munich.
Wesley Orvis - on 09 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:

Well done Mr Birkett, shuts a lot of the Peak pricks up.
davidbeynon - on 09 Aug 2013
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

I didn't know that you could make 8=10 without cheating and doing a division by zero.
GuyVG - on 09 Aug 2013
In reply to Wesley Orvis:
> (In reply to andy farnell)
>
> Well done Mr Birkett, shuts a lot of the Peak pricks up.

I'm sorry you'll have to explain that one. . .
Jamie B - on 09 Aug 2013
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

> Well done Mr Birkett, shuts a lot of the Peak pricks up.

You do have a real knack for finding the offensive way to put your point across. It would have been incredibly easy to say the same thing with less obvious hate. Hate is not good.

Steve Crowe - on 09 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:


Details of all Franco's exploits at Danby up to last year are detailed here:

http://www.climbonline.co.uk/danby.htm
Offwidth - on 09 Aug 2013
In reply to Steve Crowe:

Cheers, but maybe worth its own thread rather than risk burial here.
The Pylon King on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Wesley Orvis)
>
> [...]
>
> You do have a real knack for finding the offensive way to put your point across. It would have been incredibly easy to say the same thing with less obvious hate. Hate is not good.

Not enough hate me thinks.
Nez - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell: there is a young bull and an old bull on top of a hill, the young bull walks up panting and says "I've just run down there and shagged me a cow and I think it's e10" the old bull walks down shags himself a field full of cows and walks back up and says "if you do it proper, like that it's e8".

malk - on 11 Aug 2013
benallan on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to andy farnell:
> I see that a new E10 has been claimed on the N. Yorks moors by Franco. What is he basing grade on? A slew of repeats of E8,9 and 10's around the country? A confirmed history of hard sport and blocs? If the route gets repeated by a known was and the grade confirmed, I'll believe it. Until then...
>
> Andy F


Why dont you climb it and tell us what grade it is.
john morrissey - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to benallan:

looks like its now E8 7a.
Franco Cookson on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to john morrissey:

H8 you mean.
Michael Ryan - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to john morrissey)
>
> H8 you mean.

Font 8A, R rather than R/X

Well done Frank.
john morrissey - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson: Aye H not E

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