/ Inverted V (Stanage) is over-rated
At no point on the climb did I ever feel as if I was actually enjoying the climb. It was polished, sweaty and glass-like. Neither myself nor my climbing partner have ever seen grit that shiny. Now, I know it was a sunny day yesterday, so the grit was not in its best condition, but COME ON! It put the polish on Flying Buttress to shame.
To rub salt into the wound, there was an utterly stupid in-situ thread around one of the chockstones in the large crack at the top. WHY?!
I am suggesting that pretty much any other climb at Stanage would be more worthy of the Top 50 status than Inverted V. I mean, even Gunter at High Neb which has no stars to its name was at least three times more enjoyable.
Chris Craggs, what were you thinking with this?!
Surely I can't be alone in this thinking?
It's polished as people cannot be more imaginative than to flock to stanage popular like zombies every bank holiday Monday...
Fair enough with that comment, but maybe I eluded the actual point. Even if it were somehow magically un-polished I believe that it still would be a distinctly average climb.
And for example, The Little Flake Crack, which is just round the corner from Inverted V, was an infinitely more exciting climb and that was despite the fact that the starting traverse was polished..
You should probs have a rage on the internet about it.
Sorry you felt this way, I personally find IV a pleasure, its safe for those pushing into VS and requires commitment in the first section with an airy second part and requires good ropework to avoid jams. Shame about the thread, was it in the side of the cap stone? normally a chock there you sling on the lead. It is best enjoyed as a leader and requires a bit of style or you'll just add to the polish. don't forget this route was first done in the 20s
Oh, stop moaning.
If you'd been climbing more than five minutes you'd know that any climb of strong character will have lots of people who love it and a few who hate it. If you don't like this kind of route, use your eyes when you're standing underneath it and choose a different route. It's not Chris Craggs' job to tell you what to climb.
It got polished because people have been climbing it and enjoying it since the 1920's. It must have something to offer.
With you on the thread, though. Trust you took the trouble to remove it so it wouldn't spoil the pleasure for others?
Bollocks! Fantastic line. Superb positions. History...
Go back and solo it. Then solo Right Hand Buttress Direct (or Buttonhook, or whatever it's called). Then sit in the heather and reflect upon quality.
> Bollocks! Fantastic line. Superb positions. History...
> Go back and solo it.
Know what you mean, but perhaps not on a steaming hot day.
I've been climbing for at least 10 minutes :P Does that mean that my opinion is any less valid? (that's a rhetorical question by the way) I've climbed enough climbs at enough crags around the UK to know what I like. It looked quite inviting from the floor!!
I don't know about you, but when I climb, I have a 'leader chooses' policy. If they fancy going up a climb then we do it!
While it's not CC's job to tell me what to climb, I would argue that that is exactly what he has tried to do with the Top 50 list. Out of all 2930 climbs in Eastern Grit, I'd expect the Top 50 to be pretty damn special, wouldn't you?
As for the in-situ thread, I took the ethical choice to not remove it. I've only been climbing for 10 minutes you see. I don't have enough experience to determine whether it would be useful.
I don't conjure the lists (Top 50/500) out of thin air, they are largely based on the votes of other climbers:
UKC - http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=10321
Rockfax - http://www.rockfax.com/databases/r.php?i=823
PS I have done it dozens of times and think it is worth three stars. Gunter is crap! ;-)
Shame you didn't get to lead it. It might have seemed different on the sharp end. A top 50 is always going to be a personal choice. I happened to like the climb, probably not one of THE best routes I have ever done but interesting and pleasent.
Apologies for the phone typed prose. ;)
I liked it on lead. The previous week someone had chastised me for not swearing once on Obscenity at Burbage North. I more than compensated for this on IV as my helmeted head clattered along the ceiling bit :-)
I did the lead, but I didn't think much to it either.
Admittedly, it's definitely a striking line from the ground, you might even say 'inviting', if you like that sort of thing. Personally, I didn't think the climbing was very 'good', but it's all very subjective isn't it?
The conditions weren't exactly great; a sweaty day on polish resulted in glassy rock that would put the poffed holds at Font to shame. Plus the chockstones invite rope jam, plus the top out was into a midge infested pool...
Not sure what the in-situ thread was all about, can't have been comfortable to place and seemed completely superfluous, but I didn't have a knife to hand...
Anyway, each to their own! I'll be leaving that one to re-weather itself so that future generations can enjoy it. How long does de-polish take?
i thought it was crap too, great line, great line, great history, but just felt crap
>How long does de-polish take?
To qoute some expert advice once given on this forum, it takes 'what we geologists refer to as "a f*ck of a long time"'.
You're not alone in thinking IV is overrated, I'm not a fan either. Just my opinion, but I don't think it's in the same league as Hargreaves Original and Mississippi Buttress Direct (the other Stanage Pop VS's in that top 50 list).
No wonder it's so damned polished, you vandal.
> PS I have done it dozens of times and think it is worth three stars.
Agree with you, its class.
Yes, pity it's got a bit polished, but no one seems to have mentioned the left-hand finish. That makes it still worthy of at least 2 stars.
I know exactly what you mean about Inverted V.
It's in Bill Birkett's Classic Rock Climbs of Great Britain and there's a great picture of Catherine Destivelle on it. I had always wanted to do it and was massively disappointed by the route when the chance came some 15 or more years ago - green, polished, rubbish moves. Never again. I couldn't understand why it was in Bill's book when all the others I have climbed from it (apart from The Pinnacle Face on Aonach Dubh) were great and classic climbs.
I think the climb is unbalanced (HVD above the jamming crux), overgraded (should be tough HS with modern gear) and only just 3 stars (helped very much by the compelling line and the history). Hot days on Stanage do not flatter such polished routes, so go back and solo it on a crisp autumn day and it will guarentee to reveal its pleasures. Also as Gordon said the left exit detracts from the line but makes the climbing more even. Gunter is nice enough but hardly compares (unless you really hate polish). It wouldnt be in my top 200 best climbs of the eastern edges but UKC voters (how the list was formed) can be a bit lemming-like.
> ... UKC voters (how the list was formed) can be a bit lemming-like.
In fairness that's just an anchoring effect. It's a psychological bias we're all susceptible to, UKC voter or not. You'd have to do a vote where no one could see anyone else's votes to get a true top 50. Now there's an interesting experiment for someone...
Does anyone here really think Inverted V is a top 50 route on the Eastern Edges?
p.s can someone remove the tat that's appeared on route (that's if someone hasn't already)
Climbing any gritstone on a warm summers day is going to be less than optimum experience. In 'sensible' gritstone conditions, the polish on inverted V doesn't really affect the climbing.
As for the route itself, its a worthy enough bottom end VS 4b / top end HS 4b which some will love and others will be ambivalent about
I don't often get to Stanage, I led it this year and was completely underwhelmed. I didn't really think that much of it, but each to their own.
I'm in the benign dictator school of grading. Democracy is overated IMO :-)
If people find Inverted V underwhelming, why don't they just go round to the left and do the wonderful Ellis's Eliminate (VS, 4c)? Perhaps they do.
Inverted V goes 'under' a roof Ellis Ellimnate 'overwhelms' one... I like it ;-) I find Ellis Elliminate more fun (especially as when I first led it when my partner, a Mr Ellis, backed off) but its just as unbalanced in difficulty so I'd say similar in quality.
Or just to the right and do Hargreaves ? its not like Stanage is short of quality VSs to everyone's tastes
So Ellis' Eliminate eliminated Ellis? :-)
Hargreaves is a dead cert top 50 route. Amazing to think this was VS before cams.
> Hargreaves is a dead cert top 50 route. Amazing to think this was VS before cams.
I'd go for High Neb buttress over Hargreaves because the start of Harvgreaves is awkward and not in keeping with the slab above.
Maybe try further right from the Whillan's pendulum start??
Either of those words in isolation is worring. Together...!
I think you have a very good case for a full refund. I suggest contact trading standards or your local Citizens advice centre
If they haven't done it, folk who enjoy Ellis's Eliminate could do a lot worse than to go and get on Saul's Arete. (The 'indirect' approach to the easier top half of Archangel.) Similar in many ways, but bigger somehow. :o)
I found it both better and harder than I'd expected. Probably because it's one of those routes that routinely gets slagged off on UKC as being overgraded and crap.
I've lead it 3 times and am still not convinced i like it as much as several 2 star VS on stanage but these things are always subjective to taste and as pointed out above conditions. When you climb it in your climbing career may also affect your enjoyment, as if it is your first VS it is propbably more likely to feel special. Being on the sharp end also helps
I've done 90.4% of the top 500 and 88.2% of the top 50 on eastern grit so have a wide experience and sereral of the routes wouldn't make my personal top 50, (The Mall, Flying Buttress, Long Tall Sally, The Brush Off) Remember these lists and even the star rating if decided by voting can be massivly squed by popular route at popular crags close to the grade boundery siply geting more votes due to being climbed more often e.g Long Tall Sally, routes such as Eye of Faith (wich is also better than Moyer's Buttress which makes the list on the same crag) or Dark Continent which only gets 2 stars, Embankment 4... etc I persnonally fiound much beter. Many people will not have climbed weidly enough in the area to truly give an accurate vote on grading or quality.
Having said that it is a pretty good list in general
> You're not alone in thinking IV is overrated, I'm not a fan either. Just my opinion, but I don't think it's in the same league as Hargreaves Original and Mississippi Buttress Direct (the other Stanage Pop VS's in that top 50 list).
Perhaps your right, Goliaths Groove is much better I think
> Oh, stop moaning.
> If you'd been climbing more than five minutes you'd know that any climb of strong character will have lots of people who love it and a few who hate it. If you don't like this kind of route, use your eyes when you're standing underneath it and choose a different route. It's not Chris Craggs' job to tell you what to climb.
> It got polished because people have been climbing it and enjoying it since the 1920's. It must have something to offer.
> With you on the thread, though. Trust you took the trouble to remove it so it wouldn't spoil the pleasure for others?
> and 88.2% of the top 50 on eastern grit
So you've done 44.1 routes then? :-)
> I've been climbing for at least 10 minutes :P Does that mean that my opinion is any less valid? (that's a rhetorical question by the way) I've climbed enough climbs at enough crags around the UK to know what I like. It looked quite inviting from the floor!!
> I don't know about you, but when I climb, I have a 'leader chooses' policy. If they fancy going up a climb then we do it!
> While it's not CC's job to tell me what to climb, I would argue that that is exactly what he has tried to do with the Top 50 list. Out of all 2930 climbs in Eastern Grit, I'd expect the Top 50 to be pretty damn special, wouldn't you?
> As for the in-situ thread, I took the ethical choice to not remove it. I've only been climbing for 10 minutes you see. I don't have enough experience to determine whether it would be useful.
... at least you've got one thing correct; you're right in you assertion, it's not the CC's job to tell you what to climb, particularly in the Peak District...!!!
I am glad that IV seems to polarise people's opinions and that I wasn't alone in my feelings.
Ultimately, I suppose it was inevitable that opinion is split about a climb because that is human nature. Perhaps a more interesting topic would be are there any climbs out there that absolutely everyone enjoys climbing? Does such a climb exist?
> So you've done 44.1 routes then? :-)
no i've done 45 of 51 routes in the top 50 (yes there are 51 routes)
(45÷51)x 100 = 88.23529411764706 or to 1 decimal place = 88.2% :)
Ellis elliminate is a great route, both leader and second get the fear on it. The Destiville picture refered to is on the left hand finish of IV that Gordon refers to. I've not done this finish but always had it in my mind to after seeing it in Birketts book. IV with left hand finish next time at Stanage for me then :-)
I led it a long time ago as my first (ish) VS, with just a couple of hexes and a couple of slings for gear. Scared myself silly and loved every minute of it.
It's not in my list of 3 star grit routes either. If only it was as good as it looks.
Ellis's Eliminate round the corner is far better IMHO.
> I'd go for High Neb buttress over Hargreaves because the start of Harvgreaves is awkward and not in keeping with the slab above.
A criticism you certainly couldn't level at High Neb. Oh no...
I had aspired to this climb for a while and was chuffed when I did it. The line is irresistable, never mind polish and superfluous gear, get on the sharp end and have some fun!
Hmm... if I remember correctly, it used to be graded Severe (possibly Hard Severe). I've always soloed it and it's always merited respect. One of my favourite routes.
Yes, 'Hard Severe' in the late 60s, when I started climbing. I never did it then, mind you, because it was obvious even then that it was dangerously undergraded, as it had NO protection. A real death route .. and I believe several people had already lost their lives trying it.
Gordon, I didn't know that people had died on it. I remember going to Stanage in 1975 with a Uni group. There was one guy in particular who was fiercely ambitious - and not in a very nice way. Clearly he had me in his sights as his next 'victim' - which didn't happen.
That day he kept trying the Whillans start, flying off and getting ever more angry and frazzled. So I did it to burn him off. (Caveat: I was still young and startlingly immature then. The following year, after burning off Stevie Haston, he was so gutted and I felt so awful, I've (almost)never done it since.)
Anyway I thought I'd just saunter up 'this Severe' (Hargreaves) to finish. After about 10 minutes of increasingly cautious climbing, I pensively pulled over the top. Hmm... The hecklers below just couldn't understand why I'd taken so long.
Over the years, I saw so many people, in extremis, shove in big rattly hexes that would never have held and then, emboldened by their supposed pro, go for it. At least, with big cams, those days should be over.
A climb of character indeed!
Hope it wasn't a meaningful lead for your partner; I got peed off with a partner that always whinged about my choice of leads despite never picking up the rack herself!
Polish on I.V?
Get yourself on Crack and Corner if you want to know what polish is.
I'm not sure we were using any guidebooks! We just came down from Yorkshire with very little sense...
Your point about many early climbers, supreme at balance and steadiness, is a good one. To climb Inverted V or Hargreaves or Franklands Green Crack or a host of other VS routes without the option of slamming cams (or anything else) in, you really had to have your act together. The first guidebook VS I ever led involved a totally committing layaway with no protection at all, above a 50' or so groundfall. (Yes, very little sense!)
So often VSs are the great lines of the crag. These days, they're accessible to many. Usually the gear's good; they can be enjoyed in relative safety. So I find it a little sad that some people aren't more grateful.
I would agree with the above post, it's about style. I have done IV many times, easily, when climbing well. I've also thrutched up flailing when my confidence is down. I always thought that on IV you have to think outside the crack.
I bet either of those other top-50 Stanage VS's (Hargreaves Original and Mississippi Buttress Direct) would polarise opinion a good deal less than Inverted V. Anyone want to argue that they're overrated? ;o)
I think MBD has suffered a bit under heavy traffic.
Bill Birkett in his 1986 "Classic Climbs of Great Britain" says of Inverted V "I chose Inverted V and Right Hand Buttress because they were amongst my first leads on grit and both represent good solid value at their respective grades".
in the picture topo Inverted V moves out left along the break.
Catherine Destivelle mearly says "the grit it is so beautiful"
> I think MBD has suffered a bit under heavy traffic.
Is that a yes?
A slight one it wouldnt be in my top 50 for EG but not far behind. Hargreaves is holding up better but cam pacements in the breaks are starting to wear through the surface on this and a lot of popular grit classics.
Hey! that was my thread. Me and the Num Num kids often toprope Inverted V you know.
As for shiny rock at stanage unless we deny access for a decade and allow the lichen to return and weather the rock, its never going to improve, so the other option is to get better at climbing on softer rocks.
As for Flying buttress, theres no polish that effects the route. Its all jugs/jams and huge foot holds. It could be north facing limestone and still be just as climbable.
> As for Flying buttress, theres no polish that effects the route. Its all jugs/jams and huge foot holds. It could be north facing limestone and still be just as climbable.
When I was did FB 8 weeks ago the crucial move onto the main slab offered the most polished foothold I think I've ever encountered on grit (except maybe Josephine Superdirect at Ilkley, whihc is glass at the bottom)
Very true, when I started you aspired to lead VS, I recall VS leaders were referred to as "tigers" or am I mistaken.
Yes, the term 'tiger' was used by old school climbers like Showell Styles, and by the magazines e.g Climber and Rambler and Mountain Craft. I think it died out in about 1965-67. 'Hard man' then following for a while.
Are yes, Al, I forgot that. I've got that book (in this very room!)
There's also 'Coniston Tigers' by Harry Griffin. Good book.
I was lucky enough to do this route & Goliaths Groove in the 1970s when they were both VS and still gritty! For me both were highlights of my early gritstone climbing - we never thought that the magic rock would polish. Perhaps if the planners get their way and we are banished from Mecca the rock will return to its rough form through years of acid rain.
Yet the polish hasn't changed since the late 80's. What has changed is damage to cam placements. Goliath's groove isn't especially polished even now.
A film from the late 40's showing the damage done then by nailed boots (see Flying Buttress slab ~4.15):
Leave out the 'Inverted V' from your staemnt and you're onto something! ;-)
Can't remember being particularly blown away by it on either occasion I've lead it - I've done both finishes.
But I never thought it was rubbish, either - although I last did it about 15 years ago.
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