/ HVS Sandbag Grade ??

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Ciderslider - on 05 Sep 2013
Having got myself to a point where I would say that I'm pretty solid on the lead on most VS (inc some pretty stiff Swanage routes) I've started pushing my grade into HVS territory.
What I've found is that HVS (like all grades) is a real mixed bag. Take for example Ledgend Direct at Swanage (path) Eliminator at Stanage HVS 5b (a really friendly route with ample gear in all the right places), Goliath's Groove (a tough struggle but totally safe). Then compare that with the likes of Queersville (two really nasty crux sections and gear that's not exactly great, full potential for hurting yourself). Rugosity Crack (really technical and tough for an oaf like me).
Also stuff like Right Unconquerable (which is all there but really goey and requires full steam ahead captain).
Whilst I appreciate that it's going to get harder it just seems like a massive step up (in most cases).
I assume that the step to extreme is maybe not quite as bad ?
So have I just got to get on with it, and as the yanks would say "Suck it up"
I would be very interested in your views on the progression from solid VS through HVS to E1.
Cheers
Ciderslider

Blue Straggler - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

I think I feel your pain. My forays into HVS even seem to have knocked my confidence on a few VS routes now! Bah. Haven't onsighted HVS for nearly two years now. And I've headpointed an E2...
Oh well
scott quinn - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

I've always disliked HVS, e1 is much more pleasant!

HVS is usualy a thrutch like any classic VS crack.
Although to be fair you do find nice ones, but like you say its abit of a mixed bag.

Go do a soft touch well protected e1!
Mark Bull - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

When you are climbing at your limit, the differences in your ability on different types of route (steep, slabby, cracks, safe, bold,...) becomes very noticeable. Either stick to what you're good at or work on your weaknesses!
Greenbanks - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

Interesting. Wonder if anyone has done a 'Grade Creep Analysis' of the HVS routes? Are they more inclined (than others around it - VS & E1) to move to the grade above? Or whether there is more likelihood at that grade for there to be sharp differences in opinion as to grade?
jayjackson - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Mark Bull:
> (In reply to Ciderslider)
>
> When you are climbing at your limit, the differences in your ability on different types of route (steep, slabby, cracks, safe, bold,...) becomes very noticeable.

Well put.

In addition, if you have a wide range of experience at your current top grade (the OP says he climbs a lot of VS, and also tough VSs too), then the ease with which you climb this grade can make it quite hard to step out of this comfort zone and try higher grades. I plateaued for ages because of this - I would onsight solo the same tech grade as I'd onsight lead, but really struggled to push onto the next tech grade because it all seemed so much more difficult.
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

HVS is a wide grade so the easiest is slightly more than a standard grade difference easier than the hardest. At ones limit a grade difference feels wider still. You also seem happier on protected terrain compared to most from what you say (maybe needing more work on finger cracks). If you want real famous HVS sandbags try Teck Crack or better still Masochism in the Roaches guide. You are also grit centric: HVS is usually easier elsewhere.

Progression is best as a natural process: climb widely, enjoy and when you are going well and like the look of something harder go for it (and if you fail on a major classic don't dog... save it)
Rog Wilko on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth: I think that we probably all consider the grade we're not quite comfortable at is the widest grade there is.
jkarran - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

HVS is definitely a step up, a distinct grade rather than just being Hard-VS. Within it are a huge range of routes as you'd expect from those that are basically Hard-VS, maybe with a tougher crux move than your typical VS through to really quite sustained tough climbing that would get E1 or maybe even E2 on less easily/readily placed gear. Then there are the real stinkers, the routes that get HVS because they always have, routes in a style most people don't climb. And there are the trad-graded boulder problems, HVS 6a and 6b, rare but there's a few of them out there. I wouldn't worry if you get knocked back a few times, it happens at every grade.

I couldn't really comment on the grade step size from average VS to HVS to E1 except to say there's no nasty surprise, the biggest challenge is usually actually getting on the thing! The climbing when you get there never feels consistently difficult or easy, some routes feel hard, others easy, for me at least the grade doesn't seem to predict very well which it'll be it's more about me and my attitude on the day.

jk
GrahamD - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

To my mind the transition to HVS was the biggest step for us low grade climbers. By and large VS climbing tends to have adequate gear and you don't need a lot of technical proficiency in order to struggle up it. All of a sudden, moves at your limit have to be made with gear under your feet and there is a whole range of new destinations opened up. E1 to me is just HVS plus a bit.
jonnie3430 - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Ciderslider)
>
> If you want real famous HVS sandbags try Teck Crack or better still Masochism in the Roaches guide.

Or Matinee and the Mincer!!

I find HVS like VS, but with some moves on good holds that you have to commit to. E1 is the same but the holds are smaller.
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

I'd say Matinee and Mincer are Ok as tough top-end HVS markers in the context of other Roaches grades: they just need the right skill sets.
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Most experinced people I talk to say HVS is the widest grade, even those climbing a lot harder. The limit grade just feels wider.
jonnie3430 - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> they just need the right skill sets.

I'm interested in the skill set to get round the corner on the Mincer! Flailing? Inching? Pfft. I'll have it though.
victim of mathematics - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

Go climb somewhere other than Swanage and on grit, and you might find HVS a much friendlier proposition! I climb mostly on grit and find HVSs usually pretty uphill. I presumed that was how hard I ought to be climbing elsewhere, but then I tried some E1s in North Wales and found them a lot less arduous.

By the way, Queersville's pretty soft for HVS on grit. There's only one hard bit (where did you find a second?) and one short section where falling off would be a bad idea (that happens a lot on grit, what with the ground being so close all the time!). As others have said, there's plenty of proper HVS sandbags out there if you look for them!
victim of mathematics - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Rog Wilko)
>
> Most experinced people I talk to say HVS is the widest grade, even those climbing a lot harder. The limit grade just feels wider.

Are they predominantly grit climbers? I'd disagree with you in a general UK context, but on grit I think you're right.
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

So in a wider context whats the widest grade?
victim of mathematics - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

I don't think there is one. Perhaps Mod, by virtue of being less common is narrower, and I'm sure you could have some tedious arguments around HS/MVS, but in my experience no grade is markedly wider than the others.
Kirill - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

In my mind VDiff is the widest grade. Sometimes to the point that it doesn't really tell you how hard the route is.
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Rog Wilko)
>
> Most experinced people I talk to say HVS is the widest grade, even those climbing a lot harder. The limit grade just feels wider.

Really? I'd have thought most would say E5 was the widest grade - I suspect because historically it was the top grade for a while, with the result that all hard routes were graded E5. But HVS is definitely a wide grade, agreed. And I suspect the OP is in for a few shocks yet - most would consider Queersville a fairly reasonable grit HVS, for example.

I did the Mole on Dinas Mot's East Wing recently and was shocked by how hard that was - of course this is more to do with being old and crap than anything else, but still. A wide grade, as you say.

jcm
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

Indeed I can do tedious arguments. I'd agree on grit its wider than in most areas due to resistance to move some routes but its not so wide as to include sandbags like Masochism.

Mod isnt so wide its just that some Mods are not. There are a few Easy climbs to form the bottom end and classic diffs that are not so difficult.
GrahamD - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Kirill:

> In my mind VDiff is the widest grade. Sometimes to the point that it doesn't really tell you how hard the route is.

I'd agree - and I think a large part of that is the wanton upgrades from diff to v.diff and the almost total abandonment of mod as a grade.
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

Plenty of Mods left out there. Classic routes give a pretty clear gradation of diffculty that we can all agree on and many 'wanton' upgrades were made to align with those classics. Given there is also a HVD and in some places a MS, VD is an unlikely contender. JCM is right that E5 is wide (was probably as wide as HVS) but I think its creeping faster into E6 than HVS is into E1.
GrahamD - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

I guess I've never really counted HVdiff as a 'real' extra grade - I'm not sure when it started to be treated as such rather than meaning "high in the grade VD" ?

I'll have to take your word on mods/diffs - the impression I get in most areas is that they are very underrepresented grades because, I supect, noone actually wants to find a "diff" difficult.
CurlyStevo - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
Many areas don't use HVDiff. Looking at the safe routes table and assuming sport grades to be equal widths then E5 and E6 are the widest grades and after that VDiff for areas without HVDiff (and all those other even rarer grades such as HD, MS etc)

http://www.rockfax.com/publications/grades/
Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> [...]
>
> Really? I'd have thought most would say E5 was the widest grade - I suspect because historically it was the top grade for a while, with the result that all hard routes were graded E5. But HVS is definitely a wide grade, agreed. And I suspect the OP is in for a few shocks yet - most would consider Queersville a fairly reasonable grit HVS, for example.
>
> I did the Mole on Dinas Mot's East Wing recently and was shocked by how hard that was - of course this is more to do with being old and crap than anything else, but still. A wide grade, as you say.

All the grades (up to E3 - don't know about above that) always seemed about the same width to me. HVS didn't seem any wider than VS ... but possibly a bit wider than E1 ... :-)

Queersville seemed very much middle of the grade i.e neither 'hard for' nor 'easy for'.

Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

Part of mis-perception is based on outdated grade information. I've climbed very widely and go out of my way not to ignore Mods, Diffs and VDiffs. Their representation seems fine to me in all parts of the UK.

Diffs are no longer 'difficult' as grades stayed despite equipment and protection improvments and we are much more fair weather climbers these days. Go solo a mountain Diff on a damp day in nailed boots and tell me the label is so incorrect.
Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

Yes, HVDiff and MS are not separate grades, but subdivisions. The only exception is HVS, which is an entirely separate grade, so that one can have a mild HVS or a hard HVS - though no one ever says that, which is perhaps why the grade seems wide to some people.
In reply to Kirill:
>
>
> In my mind VDiff is the widest grade. Sometimes to the point that it doesn't really tell you how hard the route is.

I think for most folks the widest grade band is the one you are currently trying to break out of.


Chris
Kirill - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

In the FRCC's Lake District Rock one can find grades like HVS- or HVS+ and even at least one route graded HVS++! (sic)
Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to GrahamD)

>
> Diffs are no longer 'difficult' as grades stayed despite equipment and protection improvments and we are much more fair weather climbers these days. Go solo a mountain Diff on a damp day in nailed boots and tell me the label is so incorrect.

Yes Diffs can sometimes be Very Difficult in bad conditions ... Don't we just love our archaic grading system? The stuff of connoisseurship rather than pseudoscience.

Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Kirill:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> In the FRCC's Lake District Rock one can find grades like HVS- or HVS+ and even at least one route graded HVS++! (sic)

Yes, Ron James had that rather wonderful system too. Perhaps he was the first to use it?

victim of mathematics - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

> Mod isnt so wide its just that some Mods are not. There are a few Easy climbs to form the bottom end and classic diffs that are not so difficult.

I said Mod might be a markedly narrower grade, not a wide one. It's substantially less common than any other low-mid grades, so you'd expect a tighter distribution.

To illustrate my point about the number of Mods, of all the 2-3 star routes up to and including VS in the UK, 1.6% of them are Mods. You can make arguments about grade and stars not being independent, but that's much too small a number to be driven by any bias alone.
Jim Nevill - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:
I'm in much the same place as you, mostly cos I get out so rarely. I agree re Queersville, despite other's comments - possibly easier if you are above 5'8" (yes, yes, Johnny is only...., but he's Johnny). But I guess it's about making the right choices, in my case that means lots of pro! I only manage a handful of grit VS's a year, and consequently only one or two at HVS; mainly I just need the determination to get on them.
Suggestions: Great North Road (was VS way back when I led it) and Avalanche Wall (loads of gear, completely safe). Judging from other's comments I ought to get on a few Welsh HVS routes, they may be more amenable? I guess we both just need to get the miles in. Good luck. :)
nniff - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

Like I told my partner at the weekend - no-one ever said it was supposed to be easy. THe thing is, that if you persevere, it will become more familiar and you'll become more comfortable until you're 'steady at the grade' and can then move on again. At which point the whole cycle starts again. For what it's worth, I'm now thinking of the next step up (only thinking, mind - let's not be hasty) - it's only taken the best part of 30 years for me to consider this next jump. I do not expect it to be pretty.
GrahamD - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
>
> Part of mis-perception is based on outdated grade information. I've climbed very widely and go out of my way not to ignore Mods, Diffs and VDiffs. Their representation seems fine to me in all parts of the UK.

Hopefully I'm not a grade snob :-) I do my share of diffs and v.diffs but I'll admit to not being able to remember the last mod I saw. its probably unfair to compare grades in damp conditions, mind - I've had enough near epics on mountain diffs to know that well enough. Anyway, in my experience diffs usually are diffs but there are a hell of a lot of routes currently given Vdiff (or even HVdiff) which really are more in line with those mountain diffs. This tends to mean that Vdiff really spans a couple of grades.
Coel Hellier - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Yes, HVDiff and MS are not separate grades, but subdivisions.

Agreed. I remember arguing a while back that the "real" grades were Mod, Diff, VDiff, S, VS, HVS, E1, and that HD, HVD, MS, HS & MVS were all subdivisions. Many people, though, considered there to be a "real" grade between S and VS.
Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

As you've stated it, is exactly how I and most other climbers I know have always understood it.
neuromancer - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:
I think that the proclamation that first, when at your limit subtle weaknesses become more apparent is an excellent one. I would also agree that one does, to an extent, exaggerate ones own predicament.

However, HVS seems a more unique grade. It is, in my mind (having been beyond but not far beyond), the first grade where a proper challenge (and at this grade it is usually only one or two particular challenges) appears. I believe you could take any half-fit person off the street and they could, with a little instruction, lead a VS and not struggle (I am not recommending this approach but it remains). HVS as a grade introduces serious exposure and commitment (DOWH), committing and/or complex stopper moves, sustained difficulty or bold sections, and almost always steeper rock.

All of these are things that take a lot of time to adjust to.

To quote libby peter in her grade guides; "A good way to picture E1 is as elegant and
elongated HVS with slightly fewer runners
and just a few more moves. Last month we
acknowledged HVS as a notorious sandbag grade
whilst in contrast E1ís tend to be more honest
and up-front."
Hat Dude on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

> What I've found is that HVS (like all grades) is a real mixed bag.

HVS 4c is the grade that sets my alarm bells ringing (then I've always been chicken!)
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Al Evans on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> I did the Mole on Dinas Mot's East Wing recently and was shocked by how hard that was - of course this is more to do with being old and crap than anything else, but still. A wide grade, as you say.

I don't think so John, for me The Mole has always been under rated both in grade and in quality. I did a very early ascent and was shocked at how hard it was compared to some of the extremes across the road, another under rated route there is MPP, another very early ascent. Though it could all be different now, I'm talking about 40 years ago.
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

I suspect its quality might be quite low if you did it outside a dry spell, certainly according to modern tastes. Though the clue there is probably in the name. Thought it was really good, though. I'd like to do MPP, which looks outrageous at the grade.

jcm
deepsoup - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:
> I think that we probably all consider the grade we're not quite comfortable at is the widest grade there is.

I think you're on to something there. It is, after all, the grade that covers the enormous gulf between the hardest routes we can do and the easiest routes we can't. ;o)
Greenbanks - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

It may also be that individual rock-types,regions or even individual crags, have their own 'internal' grading system. Historical debates (and some current discussion) for example about differences between a Lakes extreme and a Welsh extreme...
johnjohn - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

perhaps this forum has changed?

...44 posts and counting on grade boundaries above HVS and no one's mentioned a certain mooted mythical grade, or a certain climb to provide an example of this grade. Or am I the only one not in on this?
Lukeva - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider: I found it a big step from VS - HVS, mush more so than between the E numbers and VD - VS. It is a broad grade some easy some super tough
nniff - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to johnjohn:

Must be critical mass or something - you post it, and Pop! You're just a few confused atoms tumbling around the galaxy.......
deepsoup - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to johnjohn:
Gosh, whatever do you mean? ;o)
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to johnjohn:

The width of HVS was part of why all that started (alngside some famously soft E1's). The likes of Masochism are not that grade though, they would be higher extremes that are sandbag graded at HVS, (Matinee and Mincer might fit).
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Maybe in the good old days. HS is a grade these days and HVD is arguably one (certainly so on grit as it gets its own slot on the graded lists).
Anyway back in the modern world looking at technical grades (away from the top end where they get too wide) if your typical S ia low 4a, your typical HS low 4b and your typical VS low 4c, with HVS you reach 5a/5b, by E1 hard 5b, by E2 you are at 5c. HVS is wider technically than surrounding grades.
Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

I'd simply say S: 3b - 4b; VS: 4b - 5a; HVS: 4c - 5b; E1: 5a - 5c; E2: 5b - 6a ... in each case the upper technical limit only applying if extremely well protected and shortlived.
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

You are missing that there are plenty of HVS 5c's. HVS 5b isn't always that well protected, not in a sense that a VS 5a is. Good Friday Climb wouldn't be the only one where you make a tough 5b move up from a position with gear at your feet.
victim of mathematics - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

I think we've had this argument before. To me, HVS 5b is a grade that is used disproportionately on grit. For it to apply the 5b section should be short and safe and this often isn't the case, which is one of the reasons why I agree with you about HVS being a wider grade on grit. HVS 5c is one of these nonsense grit grades like E1 6a that almost never happens anywhere else (except for perhaps on short grit-like sandstone outcrops).
GrahamD - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> I think we've had this argument before. To me, HVS 5b is a grade that is used disproportionately on grit. For it to apply the 5b section should be short and safe and this often isn't the case,

Its usually safe, but often scary which is different. Personally I think grit routes should tend to get low adjectival grades relative to technical because they are relatively short.
Rog Wilko on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to Rog Wilko)
> [...]
>
> I think you're on to something there. It is, after all, the grade that covers the enormous gulf between the hardest routes we can do and the easiest routes we can't. ;o)

Or to take it a little further it includes those routes which are a piece of duff and those which are next to impossible for ordinary mortals.
Lukeva - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Good Friday is scary but brilliant, surely E1 by modern standards? Although easy 5b. Would Orpheus Wall at Birchen be a good example of HVS 5C (I haven't done it but look forward to trying next time I'm there)
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

Some guidebooks opened at random: North Wales Rock: Grochan, HVS 5b beats 5a by 4 to 2; North Highland North Rhue 5a beats 5b 4 to 3; Yorkshire Lime Malham 5b beats 5a 12 to 11 with a 5c and a 6a. Bosigran 5a beats 5b 6 to 5. You must climb too much at pembrooke the natural home of the HVS 5a.
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Lukeva:

GF remains HVS (top-end). OW is really one of those pesky E1 borderline routes and has too many people falling off and trshing the cam placements as a result. A typical HVS 5c is a hard move off the ground or a hard very well protected crux between easier ground.
Simon Caldwell - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> To me, HVS 5b is a grade that is used disproportionately on grit. For it to apply the 5b section should be short and safe and this often isn't the case

I've never understood why Cydrax at Gardom's is HVS 5b, given that it's as good as unprotected and high enough to break an ankle at least if you fell off. But whenever I query it I'm told that I don't understand the grading system...
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> [...]
>
> Its usually safe, but often scary which is different. Personally I think grit routes should tend to get low adjectival grades relative to technical because they are relatively short.

But close enough to the ground to hit it; far enough away for it to hurt...
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Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Toreador:

Cydrax is weird in grading terms and shows why 5b doesnt always mean protectable. The unprotected crux is at ankle breaking height if your spotter (ie your second) isnt doing their job right. I think its a tough HVS, yet even with soft UKC voting only 20% of climbers think its E1. Jon Stewart might be able to give you a list of even scarier grit HVS 5c's, including some at Stanage (that I think all deserve E1).

johncoxmysteriously - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

Headed by So Many Classics So Little Time. Sadly I think itís been upgraded to E4 now, but in the old red guidebook I was using it was quite the frightener at HVS.

jcm
Lukeva - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Thanks... will be sure not to fall off, only HVS after all. He jokes! I have reach which usually helps on grit.
Martin Hore - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
>
> I'd simply say S: 3b - 4b; VS: 4b - 5a; HVS: 4c - 5b; E1: 5a - 5c; E2: 5b - 6a ... in each case the upper technical limit only applying if extremely well protected and shortlived.

Why is this "simply"?

I'd have thought the "simplest" interpretation is "one tech grade up = one adjectival grade up". So for averagely well protected routes we have: S 4a, HS 4b, VS 4c, HVS 5a, E1 5b, E2 5c. Variations from that (normally +1 or -1, very occasionally +2 or -2) describe routes that are less or more well protected and/or sustained). Why did you make it less "simple" at the low end?

This seems to me to work perfectly well from HS to E1 (my normal grade range). I acknowledge that it seems to break down above E2, for which there might be a number of reasons.
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Martin Hore:

Which is where I started above. In practice though S to VS the average is low in those tech grades whereas for HVS the average is very high for 5a indicating HVS is a bigger range.
Offwidth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Indeed! Magnetic North was almost as bad (now E3)
Michael Gordon - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

I don't think HVS has a bigger range than any other grade (things like Mincer are just undergraded). For most stuff it has a standard 3 tech grade system like VS or E1 (bold, average, hard).

I'd say standard VS is standard 4c but there are quite a few hard VS 5a routes.

I've come across very few HVS 5c north of the border - maybe they're more a Northumberland/Yorkshire/Peak thing?
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I don't get this about Mincer. It's a very ordinary grit HVS, the same standard as a hundred others.

jcm
Michael Gordon - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> HVS 5b isn't always that well protected, not in a sense that a VS 5a is. Good Friday Climb wouldn't be the only one where you make a tough 5b move up from a position with gear at your feet.

Perhaps as overall grades get harder, climbers might reasonably (through having more experience) be expected to be more capable of making hard safe moves above good gear?

(don't know that particular route, I assume from the grade that it's slightly bold but safe?)
Michael Gordon - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

It seemed to me more or less 5b from start to finish! Felt more like E2.
GrahamD - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I don't get this about Mincer. It's a very ordinary grit HVS, the same standard as a hundred others.

Just a bit less refined and a bit more thuggy than most.
The Ivanator - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider: I guess I'm at a similar point with my leading to you - think I've just about cracked VS, still picking my HVSes carefully, but have managed double figures of onsight leads at HVS this year for the first time, along with a couple of slabby E1s and an E2 headpoint.
My feeling about the HVS/E1 transition is that HVS commonly seems to be the hardest grade that still seeks to follow natural weaknesses, whereas E1 often seems to be the first grade that intentionally seeks difficulty/blanker sections. Of course there are many exceptions. But where this is true I think it leads to lots of strenuous cracks and corners at HVS and many more technical wall climbs at E1. Possibly the wall climbing style more commonly found in the E grades equates more closely with crimping on indoor walls, so the notion that E1 is often more straightforward than HVS has emerged. Conversely the strenuous bridging and jamming found on many HVSes feels hard to many climbers because it is alien to the indoor experience, forgotten arts...
1poundSOCKS - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to The Ivanator: I guess that makes sense of a few guidebook descriptions I've read of an HVS as being harder than the E1 next door, or vice versa.
Andy Nisbet - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

There was a period when by tradition well protected 5b's got HVS and poorly protected 5b's got E2. So there weren't many E1's. I haven't looked to see if that still applies. Another factor in Scotland is when Scottish VS was being eliminated, hard routes were given HVS as the top grade, and some probably still remain, with guidebook writers not wanting to change unless they are sure. All this leaves (or use to leave) some undergraded HVS's, hence the wide range. I've always assumed the grades were supposed to be equal difficulty width.
Skyfall - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

I would agree with the likes of Offwidth that you are being quite gritcentric in your examples.

I would agree that there is an element of HVS being a bit of a tough grade but I think this could be for a number of reasons. For a long time ie. pre E grades, anything "hard" was VS or HVS and so there were some real sandbags. However, that should have been ironed out by now to a very large extent (and is in my experience, other than in Scotland...). Also, my personal view is that VS is where you go to "real" climbing, proper moves in exposed positions. HVS takes that on a step and so it does feel like a big jump. Once you've got to HVS, E1 then seems to fall more easily. Having said that, I would agree that HVS does seem to have some awkward routes in.

However, go to N Wales and try things like Merlin Direct and Scratch Arete at Tremadog. They're quite soft but HVS and get you going. Then try Mescach and the Fang. Now you're into proper HVS and approaching E1 with the Fang. Having said that, none of them are sandbags and all of them eminently do'able.

Go to the Lakes and try Gazebo at Castle Rock, Troutdale Pinnacle Superdirect, Golden Slipper on Pavey. All very do'able HVS's which seem right at the grade.
Bulls Crack - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

Well; if you will climb on grit!
groovejunkie - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

I seem to remember a great article back in the day of High/On the Edge magazines written (I think) by Niall Grimes about the evils of HVS along the lines of what you've said. Does anyone (Niall?) have a copy of this, be good to read it again - especially as at the time I was a novice climber and it didn't mean as much to me as I'm sure it will now!
Mark Bannan - on 07 Sep 2013
> I've always disliked HVS, e1 is much more pleasant!

Although this is not the first time I have heard this sentiment, I find it very baffling! Although I have led a significantly more HVSs than E1s in my climbing career, I think the proportion of really good ones is quite similar in each grade.

Besides, how can one dislike a grade that includes such classics as Vulcan Wall, Centurion, Bludger's, Hammer, Storm, Inbred, Magic Crack, Spectre etc., etc. (assuming one has experienced some of these!)

M
victim of mathematics - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Mark Bannan:
> [...]
>
> Although this is not the first time I have heard this sentiment, I find it very baffling! Although I have led a significantly more HVSs than E1s in my climbing career, I think the proportion of really good ones is quite similar in each grade.

Me too. Unless one climbed exclusively on grit, I've no idea how you could come to this conclusion.
Mark Bannan - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to groovejunkie:

I read an article by Niall Grimes, where he says HVS is the first really great grade, along with E2 and E5. The article made a lot of sense to me, even though I didn't fully agree with it - obviously, favourite grades will be a personal matter to a great extent.
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victim of mathematics - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> Some guidebooks opened at random: North Wales Rock: Grochan, HVS 5b beats 5a by 4 to 2; North Highland North Rhue 5a beats 5b 4 to 3; Yorkshire Lime Malham 5b beats 5a 12 to 11 with a 5c and a 6a. Bosigran 5a beats 5b 6 to 5. You must climb too much at pembrooke the natural home of the HVS 5a.

So I was bored this afternoon and picked 4 guidebooks at random and recorded the technical grades of all the VSs, HVSs and E1s in each (actually I only did the Eastern side of Borrowdale because I got bored).

Mean tech grades:
Symonds Yat
VS - just below middle of 4c
HVS - bang on the middle of 5a
E1 - 3/5 of the way up 5b

The Cuillin
VS - 2/5 of the way up 4c
HVS - 3/10 of the way up 5a
E1 - 3/10 of the way up 5b

Borrowdale
VS - just below the middle of 4c
HVS - bang on the middle of 5a
E1 - 2/5 of the way up 5b

Stanage
VS - 8/5 of the way up 4c
HVS - 1/5 of the way up 5b (!)
E1 - right at the top of 5b

And as for the width of the HVS grade, the standard deviations are:
Symonds Yat 0.69 of a tech grade
The Cuillin 0.69 of a tech grade
Borrowdale 0.46 of a tech grade
Stanage 0.88 of a tech grade

So HVSs are technically harder and the grade is wider at Stanage than in the rest of the UK (according to my representative sample).

This is definitely the coolest thing I've ever posted on the internet.

The Ivanator - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics: You are certainly living up to your user name today ;-)
Postmanpat on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

Don't understand. You mean you worked out the average technical grade?
Bulls Crack - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> Don't understand. You mean you worked out the average technical grade?

Standard deviation from the mean I presumed?
Mark Warnett - on 07 Sep 2013
I know what you are getting at but its rarely like that IMO, E1s still overwhelmingly follow lines of natural weakness, they are just harder, bolder etc. Its normally E1 that sandsbags me not HVS (especially but not exclusively at Swanage where everything sandbags me!).
crossdressingrodney - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

That, Col, is a proper smack-down if ever I saw one.
Jon Stewart - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

I think there's something "special" about HVS on grit, ranging as it does from completely trivial to plainly impossible.

But (and sorry if this has already been said) with RU, Queersville etc, I'm sorry to say that if you think they're sandbags, there are rough waters ahead.

Doing a single easy 5b move with bad/no gear not too far up, as one is required to on many easy grit E1s, is a massive step down from tough HVSs. Getting to E1 on grit is piss. Getting solid at HVS is nigh on impossible.
Postmanpat on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Ciderslider)
>
> Doing a single easy 5b move with bad/no gear not too far up, as one is required to on many easy grit E1s, is a massive step down from tough HVSs. Getting to E1 on grit is piss. Getting solid at HVS is nigh on impossible.

A few years back I watched some acquaintances of mine, competent at E5, E4 and E2 respectively, dog their way up some nondescript hvs (at Rivelin I think). I take heart fom this every time I struggle on one. Next stop E5! :-)
victim of mathematics - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> Getting to E1 on grit is piss. Getting solid at HVS is nigh on impossible.

Well said.

Actually I was thinking about this earlier after that little outburst of tatistics. If you assume the range of technical grades defines the width of a grade, then the widest grade will be some high E grade. Obviously. It's just that at some point in the grade spectrum the definition of 'solid at a given grade' changes from 'should be able to climb any randomly selected route of that grade' to 'has climbed a reasonable number of routes at that grade', which are very different things.
1poundSOCKS - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Queersville is tough if you're lacking a bit of reach Jon. I didn't fancy a dyno from the ledge before the crux. I try not to make too many excuses, but don't always succeed obviously.
LakesWinter on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider: Well, don't try the Grogan at Burbage then, I just did and it kicked my arse big style!
Mick Ward - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> Queersville is tough if you're lacking a bit of reach Jon. I didn't fancy a dyno from the ledge before the crux.

Always soloed this. And, being a little 'un, was always careful. Agree, an iffy move.

Mick
Mick Ward - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

> Well, don't try the Grogan at Burbage then...

The Grogan's just a bully... gives in if you face up to him. Although soloing obviously relieves all that boring faff about placing gear.

Mick
Jon Stewart - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) Queersville is tough if you're lacking a bit of reach Jon.

True, it's no pushover at HVS (nor is RU) especially if you're short, but it's not up there with the real meaty HVSs like Suicide Wall, the Hen Cloud routes, Wimberry HVSs etc.

Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Agree with you about Cratcliffe, Hen Cloud and Wimberry. I think QV is middle of the grade and definitely less demanding than RU.
Dave Garnett - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to 1poundSOCKS)
> [...]
>
> True, it's no pushover at HVS (nor is RU) especially if you're short, but it's not up there with the real meaty HVSs like Suicide Wall, the Hen Cloud routes, Wimberry HVSs etc.

Maybe not, if you can reach the break from the big ledge, but I still think there's much more chance of hitting the ground off Queersville than Suicide Wall, Matinee et al.
Ciderslider - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Ciderslider)
>
> I think there's something "special" about HVS on grit, ranging as it does from completely trivial to plainly impossible.
>
> But (and sorry if this has already been said) with RU, Queersville etc, I'm sorry to say that if you think they're sandbags, there are rough waters ahead.

Jon,
I never said the two routes mentioned were sandbags - I was talking about the HVS grade in general.
As for Right unconquerable it's a great route with no major problems it's just strenuous and the top out is horrid. Queersville is just a route that requires respect and I think there's potential to hurt yourself on the lead.
Ciderslider - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> (In reply to Ciderslider)
>
> Well; if you will climb on grit!

Grit's lovely !

Ciderslider - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward: If Mick thinks there's an iffy move on Queersville then that's good enough for me ;-)
Coel Hellier - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Having just been up to Hen Cloud, and having tried the first pitch of Central Climb Direct, perhaps we need a new thread: "VS Sandbag Grade ??".
chris j on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> ...and the top out is horrid.

Not if you get it right! (having found the technique after struggling on it a few times...)

> Queersville is just a route that requires respect and I think there's potential to hurt yourself on the lead.

I've seen someone deck from reaching for the ledge, ripping out at least one runner on route. They were miraculously fine as they somehow landed between the rocks. After seeing that I approached it with a lot of respect, though I didn't think the gear was particularly sketchy so maybe they were having an off day. To be honest I think it is low to middle of the grade. (I'm not over tall and have short arms...)
Lukeva - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider: I thought Queersville had deck potential but easy climbing once the moves are figured out.

Did Kelly's Overhang yesterday (High Neb). That is a sandbag at HVS 5b, great moves though! Put up in the 20's, impressive stuff!
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]

> As for Right unconquerable it's a great route with no major problems it's just strenuous and the top out is horrid. Queersville is just a route that requires respect and I think there's potential to hurt yourself on the lead.

I think that's a fair analysis!

I'd try some E1s that you're pretty sure you won't fall off to keep your spirits up while enduring the endless grind of failure that is inevitable in climbing HVSs on grit. I've been climbing low E grades for years now and still come across HVSs that are actually impossible.

Kirkus' Corner is a good one - the hard move is well protected, the bold top bit is pretty unfalloffable. Morrison's Redoubt is a good intro too - it's scary to commit to the hard move low down (and it'll be an ankle-sprainy tumble if you do manage to cock it up somehow but that's very unlikely as you're doing a quick/short snatch to a very good break), and then it's a well-protected HVS romp.
Ciderslider - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Lukeva:
> (In reply to Ciderslider) I thought Queersville had deck potential but easy climbing once the moves are figured out.

Exactly - I think that once you get that sequence sorted for the reach up you're fine - think the key (as is so often the case) may well be getting your footwork sorted. Unfortunately first time round I got it wrong resulting in too much of a reach up.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Lukeva:
>
> Did Kelly's Overhang yesterday (High Neb). That is a sandbag at HVS 5b, great moves though!

I think it's funny how that was given the blatantly correct grade of E1 5c in one guidebook and everyone moaned - it's gone back to HVS 5b purely out of tradition. I think the reason is that if one has suffered, human nature makes us want to inflict that suffering on others.

Ciderslider - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Thanks Jon, I'll have a look at those next time I'm up.
gethin_allen on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:
It's entertaining how people on here are saying that grit hvs routes are tough, it's really just what you are good at. I moved to Swansea a while back and have struggled on hvs routes down there (and some vs for that matter) but then yesterday hung over and having not climbed anything on grit for ages rocked up at froggatt and knocked off 2 hvs with only a reasonable struggle.
victim of mathematics - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to gethin_allen:
> (In reply to Ciderslider)
> It's entertaining how people on here are saying that grit hvs routes are tough, it's really just what you are good at. I moved to Swansea a while back and have struggled on hvs routes down there (and some vs for that matter) but then yesterday hung over and having not climbed anything on grit for ages rocked up at froggatt and knocked off 2 hvs with only a reasonable struggle.

I don't think anybody is saying that grit HVSs are all tough. Just that the range from easy to tough HVS is wider on grit than elsewhere. There's plenty of friendly, amenable grit HVSs. It's just that for every one there's a proper bastard somewhere else.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to gethin_allen:
> (In reply to Ciderslider)
> It's entertaining how people on here are saying that grit hvs routes are tough

Every time I climb an E2 crack elsewhere in the country, my response is always the same: HVS in the Peak. Doesn't apply to other types of route though.
Coel Hellier - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> [Kelly's O] it's gone back to HVS 5b purely out of tradition.

Though that guide does say that the E1 counter diagonal is easier! Indeed, I'd bet that most people who regard KO as fair at HVS actually did the E1 direct finish (straight up from the block, rather than right and up).
Jimbo C - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to gethin_allen:

Right then, you'll have to have a go at Chequers Crack next time. That one is a real sandbag that probably should be top end E1.
Jimbo C - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I've not done Kelly's but have done the counter line through it (Mouthpiece?) Both are given HVS 5b in my guide, Mouthpiece felt like tough E1 to me, and is claimed to be easier than Kelly's - dear god.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jimbo C:
> (In reply to gethin_allen)
>
> Right then, you'll have to have a go at Chequers Crack next time. That one is a real sandbag that probably should be top end E1.

And if that goes alright, High Tensile Crack at Hen Cloud is a good'un. Starts overhanging on poor finger jams with no footholds. Absolutely humiliating.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
>
> Having just been up to Hen Cloud, and having tried the first pitch of Central Climb Direct, perhaps we need a new thread: "VS Sandbag Grade ??".

In On Peak Rock CCD is given HVS.

Talking of HVS sandbags at Hen Cloud, there are quite a few. The magnificent Bachelor's Left Hand I think's the hardest climb on grit I've done that's given HVS (I found it substantially harder than Suicide Wall). Well, maybe Peapod is harder? The most notorious sandbag at Hen Cloud is surely Hen Cloud Eliminate (I haven't done it), another Whillans route, I think.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

HCE is indeed a fair bit harder than BLH. Sandbag upon sandbag, long let it stay at HVS!

I've never done Peapod, but I have heard that Trident is harder which I have done and thought was a miserable, exhausting experience.
Simon Caldwell - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> In On Peak Rock CCD is given HVS.

Then again, so are Valkyrie (the Roaches one) and Great Harry.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Lukeva)
> [...]
>
> I think it's funny how that was given the blatantly correct grade of E1 5c in one guidebook and everyone moaned - it's gone back to HVS 5b purely out of tradition. I think the reason is that if one has suffered, human nature makes us want to inflict that suffering on others.

Very odd, isn't it? Because, of course, it's E1 5c. It's certainly a lot harder than e.g. Easter Rib.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> Then again, so are Valkyrie (the Roaches one) and Great Harry.

On that score, I think Valkyrie does deserve HVS, just (mostly because of polish). Certainly harder than e.g Knight's Move. Great Harry, though, seemed like tough VS to me (about same standard as Piggott's on Cloggy)

Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Trident is a famous sandbag. I haven't done it, but looked at it very closely for my Peak book as a possible picture. Even did a recce shoot with someone (will have to look up) ... in dull light, so pics weren't usable - but it looked really hard from a few feet away on a static line.
Coel Hellier - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I've never done Peapod, ...

What ??
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jezb1 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider: Mark, stop climbing those little grit boulder problems and pop up to Wales for some proper routes ;)

It's not much further and infinitesimally better...
johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> Very odd, isn't it? Because, of course, it's E1 5c. It's certainly a lot harder than e.g. Easter Rib.

Yeah, but then (a) it's a lot safer, and (b) Easter Rib is one of the easiest E1s on grit.

There's a trick to Kelly's. Pace Coel, most people who think it's E1 are doing it wrong, that's all.

jcm
Coel Hellier - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> There's a trick to Kelly's.

Hmm, is this a mythical trick akin to Offwidth's supposed 4c version of Verandah Buttress?
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> [...]
>
> What ??

It looks shit. I genuinely hate that kind of thing. It's a kind of boycott.
johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>
> [...]
>
> Hmm, is this a mythical trick akin to Offwidth's supposed 4c version of Verandah Buttress?

He's doing that wrong as well.

jcm
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to jezb1:
> (In reply to Ciderslider) Mark, stop climbing those little grit boulder problems and pop up to Wales for some proper routes ;)

Climb at Hen Cloud, then say that (once you have recovered from the inevitable beating down you will duly receive).
jezb1 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to jezb1)
> [...]
>
> Climb at Hen Cloud, then say that (once you have recovered from the inevitable beating down you will duly receive).

I'm just teasing Mark.

And I have climbed there, albeit along time ago.
Ciderslider - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to jezb1: Hey Jez, how ya doing mate. I see that you were up doing some stuff a couple of days b4 me at Stanage (Left and right Unconquerable) did you enjoy ???
jezb1 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider: Yeah it was good. I can't get that inspired by the grit stuff though, it's all over a bit too quick. Except Todys Wall at Frogatt, that lasted ages while I fannyed around committing to the little rock over / mantel thing!
jezb1 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to jezb1: although to be fair, on reflection I really enjoyed right unconquerable...
deacondeacon - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider: biggest sandbag hvs I've been on is the watchtower ( coincidentally just round the corner from the unconquerables). Proper horror, and bold to boot.

Nice to meet you a couple of weeks ago by the way.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to deacondeacon:

Maybe Unprintable should be downgraded to HVS, since no one can do it?
gethin_allen on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jimbo C:
> (In reply to gethin_allen)
>
> Right then, you'll have to have a go at Chequers Crack next time. That one is a real sandbag that probably should be top end E1.

Just because you fell off it :)
I knew it was though before you started having watched a few people falling off it a while back, and when the bloke belaying someone on chequers buttress said that you needed fingers of steel for that route and that he still hadn't managed it, o knew you were in for some entertainment.
teflonpete - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to deacondeacon)
>
> Maybe Unprintable should be downgraded to HVS, since no one can do it?

I've belayed someone that did it. No way was I seconding it with my dodgy knees though, absolute horror of a route. Definitely HVS ;0)
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>
> [...]
>
> Hmm, is this a mythical trick akin to Offwidth's supposed 4c version of Verandah Buttress?

A very good analogy :) I'd just love to know what this alleged trick on KO is, because i have the impression that the majority of climbers who attempt this route don't find it.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Coel Hellier)
> [...]
>
> It looks shit. I genuinely hate that kind of thing. It's a kind of boycott.

It's one of the very finest rock pitches of its type to be found anywhere.

Ciderslider - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to deacondeacon:
>
> Nice to meet you a couple of weeks ago by the way.


You too mate, always nice to put a face to a name.
victim of mathematics - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to jezb1:
> (In reply to Ciderslider) Mark, stop climbing those little grit boulder problems and pop up to Wales for some proper routes ;)
>
> It's not much further and infinitesimally better...

I can't help but feel that infinitesimally isn't the word you were aiming for there.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

But 'vastly' wouldn't be far off the truth.
Cake - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
"VS - 8/5 of the way up 4c"
Is that not 3/5 of the way into 5a?
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victim of mathematics - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Cake:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> "VS - 8/5 of the way up 4c"
> Is that not 3/5 of the way into 5a?

Nope. That only makes sense if you assume there's nothing but a weird void between grades. I assumed that each grade covers a range, with the average in the middle. So 8/5 of the way up is 1/10 of the way from the middle of 4c to the very bottom of 5a.

Or in layman's terms - slightly harder than average 4c.
victim of mathematics - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> But 'vastly' wouldn't be far off the truth.

Am I the only one who knows what infinitesimal actually means?
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> Am I the only one who knows what infinitesimal actually means?

Oh, please don't be silly. He was just using colloquial hyperbole to express something he felt very strongly. Obviously.

johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Gordon, you know infinitesimal means small, not large, right?

KO - step across lower and not directly on to the shelf on the right. Most people try the latter.

jcm
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> Am I the only one who knows what infinitesimal actually means?

No, but I decided, after some deliberation, not to mention it.
Jonny2vests - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

Here's my empirically derived cross grade analysis:

VS to HVS: big(gest) jump
HVS to E1: small jump
E1 to E2: big jump
E2 to E3: small jump
E3 to E4: big jump
E4 to E5: ERROR, sample size too small at line 6
victim of mathematics - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> No, but I decided, after some deliberation, not to mention it.

I suspect I have already proven on this thread that there are few levels of tedium I will not stoop to...
Jonny2vests - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Ciderslider)
>
> I think there's something "special" about HVS on grit, ranging as it does from completely trivial to plainly impossible.
>
> But (and sorry if this has already been said) with RU, Queersville etc, I'm sorry to say that if you think they're sandbags, there are rough waters ahead.

I had a tough time on Queersville as I remember, I was ok at E2 on Lime at the time but the committing reachyness really surprised me. It was everything I found hard about Grit.
Coel Hellier - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> KO - step across lower and not directly on to the shelf on the right. Most people try the latter.

So like this? http://www.magwag.plus.com/jim/photo-stanage99-34.jpg
Not like this: http://gallery.projectarc.co.uk/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=67&g2_serialNum...
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Ciderslider)
>
> Here's my empirically derived cross grade analysis:
>
> VS to HVS: big(gest) jump
> HVS to E1: small jump
> E1 to E2: big jump
> E2 to E3: small jump
> E3 to E4: big jump
> E4 to E5: ERROR, sample size too small at line 6

For me the biggest jump was E2 to E3, seemed like a real barrier at the time. But that was because I was climbing on grit and grit E3s are horrible.

In general, I don't think there's any jump between grades. I did my first HVS when I'd only done a few VSs, my first E1 when I'd only done a few HVS, etc. I'd just say that it got harder to go up grades higher up because, err, it's harder.

Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> I suspect I have already proven on this thread that there are few levels of tedium I will not stoop to...

On *this* thread?
johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Yikes - looking at that first guy no wonder some people think this is E1.

No, the second guy is doing fine. Most failures I've seen come from trying to step across directly on to the shelf he has at shin/knee level.

jcm
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Coel Hellier)

> No, the second guy is doing fine. Most failures I've seen come from trying to step across directly on to the shelf he has at shin/knee level.

But there's no footholds down there...are you sure this is easier than bridging upwards direct (probably Mouthpiece rather than KO, but clearly the easiest way to get up the crag from the flake thing)?

Coel Hellier - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

> VS to HVS: big(gest) jump
> HVS to E1: small jump
> E1 to E2: big jump
> E2 to E3: small jump
> E3 to E4: big jump

Well there I was thinking that E1 to E2 was one of the smaller jumps (and I'll claim some evidential support here -- when a while ago UKC did a poll of people's top leading grades, the drop in numbers from E1 to E2 was relatively small compared to other drops).

My theory is that any grade which used to be the top of the system formed a bottleneck which, for historical reasons, is still with us. Thus there are lots of rogue climbs at VS and HVS. E1 never was the top grade (when it was defined, E1, E2 and E3 were all defined together), so there are fewer rogue climbs at the top of E1.

For example, can anyone name E1 grit routes to compare with Teck Crack, Chequers Crack, Masochism, Pod Crack, and similar?
johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> For example, can anyone name E1 grit routes to compare with Teck Crack, Chequers Crack, Masochism, Pod Crack, and similar?

The Vice! Oh, wait.....

jcm
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>

> For example, can anyone name E1 grit routes to compare with Teck Crack, Chequers Crack, Masochism, Pod Crack, and similar?

Already mentioned Unprintable. I haven't done it btw, but it's bleeding obvious I would fail.
johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Yes, quite sure! There's a sort of smear-cum-angled foothold on the left side of the block you're going on to. Transferring on to there and then stepping up is lots easier than trying to step all the way up in one.

(oh, sorry, you mean bridging straight up? I don't know about that. Probably one of those Silly Arete/Pincushion things, where the easiest way up the crag is neither but some combination, possibly called Silly Billy?)

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Both The Unprintable and The Vice were HVS before being recently upgraded by pansies.

jcm
Coel Hellier - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Already mentioned Unprintable.

As jcm says, for Unprintable the guide says "Only HVS for grit gurus. © ROCKFAX", thus proving my point!
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Haha. Unprintable has HVS written all over it, I should have known.
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John2 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Litotes?
Jonny2vests - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>
> [...]
>

> My theory is that any grade which used to be the top of the system formed a bottleneck which, for historical reasons, is still with us. Thus there are lots of rogue climbs at VS and HVS. E1 never was the top grade (when it was defined, E1, E2 and E3 were all defined together), so there are fewer rogue climbs at the top of E1.

Interesting theory. I think it also has a lot to do with route character. At HVS, on average, you still get lots of features and holds, but it's like someone took a nice VS and ramped up the angle or turned the holds round or something. So you basically add a few awkward variables to straightforward VS moves and you get HVS, sometimes its about gear, but not too often. By the time you get to E1, loads of features have thinned out, but technique is now compulsory so its more of a pass or fail exam than a struggle to the death. And gear is now a much bigger factor for the adjectival.

> For example, can anyone name E1 grit routes to compare with Teck Crack, Chequers Crack, Masochism, Pod Crack, and similar?

They exist, but I agree they are fewer in number.

I also agree with Jon; grit HVS is a different beast to most other rock types. Swanage HVS is usually a total romp if you're fit.
MischaHY - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to jezb1:
> (In reply to Ciderslider) Yeah it was good. I can't get that inspired by the grit stuff though, it's all over a bit too quick. Except Todys Wall at Frogatt, that lasted ages while I fannyed around committing to the little rock over / mantel thing!

If you find HVS over too quick, might I humbly submit that you try something harder? IMO gritstone has some of the best climbing available anywhere.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to John2:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously) Litotes?

I feel there's a potential route name for a future sandbag lurking there, e.g 'Light Toe Teaser' ... or something.
johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

>Swanage HVS is usually a total romp if you're fit.

Or unless you're on Viper (shudder).

jcm
Lukeva - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)

>
> KO - step across lower and not directly on to the shelf on the right. Most people try the latter.
>
> jcm

yeah, I went straight up from the block, RH crimp side pull up to the break, superb. It felt 5c but safe. Surely there is grade overlap at every grade but in my few years I've found from easiest VS to toughest HVS a huge distance, perhaps because so many routes fit this category.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Coel Hellier)
> I think it also has a lot to do with route character.

Certainly does. Hen Cloud Eliminate is the perfect example where the style defines the grade and the difficulty has nothing to do with it. Routes with cracks of a decent enough width that you can try to stuff extremities in and lace with gear, and which aren't obscenely overhanging are HVS in character even if they're really really hard to climb.

Routes with small holds always get E-grades, even if they're piss because they're on a slab.

> At HVS, on average, you still get lots of features and holds, but it's like someone took a nice VS and ramped up the angle or turned the holds round or something.

Can quite often be that the massive holds are miles apart. Queersville is a bit like this.

deacondeacon - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to deacondeacon)
>
> Maybe Unprintable should be downgraded to HVS, since no one can do it?

Unprintable was upgraded and still no one can do it :-)
I love a good sandbag and HVS seems to have some real gems but I
Feel pretty cheated when they're dangerous. (like the watchtower).

HVS on grit is a fantastic grade though, especially the little 5C or 6A solos.


Lukeva - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to deacondeacon: I watched my friend lead it, not O/S though, cut loose on jams, very cool to watch, then another mate flounder on 2nd who had just led Tippler Direct, funny! Gangue Groove at Millstone, probably standard but I found it really tough!
jezb1 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to rasmanisar:
> (In reply to jezb1)
> [...]
>
> If you find HVS over too quick, might I humbly submit that you try something harder? IMO gritstone has some of the best climbing available anywhere.

You can suggest what you like!

However if you read my post it doesn't say grit hvs's are over too quick, rather grit in general. I've climbed some grit a little harder than hvs and my opinion is still the same.

It's not my cup of tea, but thankfully can appreciate that to some it is the greatest Climbing in the world.

Thankfully we're not all the same :)

Personally prefer longer multipitch routes.

I've climbed with Mark in the past so was just having a little banter, but UKC being what it is jumped on that in entirely the wrong way.

I'm out.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to jezb1:
> (In reply to rasmanisar)
> [...]
>
> UKC being what it is jumped on that in entirely the wrong way.
>
> I'm out.

Trouble with forums and stuff is that it's impossible to get the tone across (using ;) all the time is a bit annoying IMO). Any anti-grit comments will, like night follows day, be met with defensive/patronising retorts from gritlovers, most of which I would think are rather tongue-in-cheek. Mine certainly are.
Offwidth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

Good data. Is that the brand new Cuillin as I am a little surprised with that even given the compact rock up there. Anyhow it all still shows a wide HVS and my random picks shows 5b isn't so uncommon away from grit: which was where I thought you were getting carried away in the first place. I'm in the realm of Californian granite 5.9 at present which is grit HVS on steroids.
John2 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth: There does seem to be a regional variation in grading; for what it's worth, my suggestions for the routes Tactician and Too Much Pressure in Pembroke were both HVS 5b, to indicate that they are both harder work than the average Pembroke HVS. I have no idea why they were upgraded to E1.
victim of mathematics - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

Brand new Cuillin guide indeed. It's perhaps skewed by a slew of very bold routes on those new crags East of Sgurr nan Gillean (there's an HVS 4a in there somewhere!).

Just for you, here's the HVS 5a and 5b counts from each guide:

Symonds Yat:
HVS 5a 57
HVS 5b 26

The Cuillin:
HVS 5a 36
HVS 5b 6

Borrowdale:
HVS 5a 99
HVS 5b 9

Stanage:
HVS 5a 71
HVS 5b 93

Which suggests that HVS 5b is massively more common on grit than elsewhere.
victim of mathematics - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to John2:
> (In reply to Offwidth) There does seem to be a regional variation in grading; for what it's worth, my suggestions for the routes Tactician and Too Much Pressure in Pembroke were both HVS 5b, to indicate that they are both harder work than the average Pembroke HVS. I have no idea why they were upgraded to E1.

They were upgraded because the new guide has randomly upgraded about 50% of all routes just to make sure Pembroke's reputation as being a good place for soft touches is maintained.
Jimbo C - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>
> My theory is that any grade which used to be the top of the system formed a bottleneck which, for historical reasons, is still with us. Thus there are lots of rogue climbs at VS and HVS. E1 never was the top grade (when it was defined, E1, E2 and E3 were all defined together), so there are fewer rogue climbs at the top of E1.

Definitely know what you mean. For sure there are a good few HVS routes that are a grade harder than a good few E1 routes. Many people embrace this as part of the quirk of the grade HVS, but should we continue to do so? (I say yeah, btw)
Mick Ward - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Already mentioned Unprintable. I haven't done it btw, but it's bleeding obvious I would fail.

Remember it as OK. Did it with a guy who was infamous for sorting out awkward stuff. (My theory was that because he had shit technique anyway he wasn't outfaced by the 'technique deficit' that most of us find on awkward cracks.)

Anyway it was proposed (by him) as last route of a very long day. He pissed it. I followed - more slowly. A knowing grin spread across his face and I just knew what was coming next. "Fancy another?" he leered. "OK, then." He nodded at The Dangler. My lead. I pissed it. (There was a little more left in the tank than he'd reckoned.) His squeak of despair and plummeting body into space were to be savoured. Teach you to try and sandbag me, matey.

Boys' games.

Mick

Mick Ward - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> There's a trick to Kelly's. Pace Coel, most people who think it's E1 are doing it wrong, that's all.

John, is it right or wrong to end up sitting on the block, facing left, with a total no-hands rest? (Not quite sure what to do next, though.) The not vertically challenged mob I was with, cried, "Foul play, you evil dwarf!" They got their own back a day or two later on Long John's Slab, which was 5b for them and 6a for me, above an ankle breaker.

Amazing lead by Kelly. Phil Kelly did tons for research on this in 'Peak Rock'. Oops, you'll know this but others won't. A real grit dark horse.

Mick
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>
> [...]
>
> John, is it right or wrong to end up sitting on the block, facing left, with a total no-hands rest? (Not quite sure what to do next, though.) The not vertically challenged mob I was with, cried, "Foul play, you evil dwarf!" They got their own back a day or two later on Long John's Slab, which was 5b for them and 6a for me, above an ankle breaker.

Are you saying this is a way of doing the move, because all the crux problems are above and right of that? Though I do remember, years ago, Ken Wilson insisting that there's a direct route from the block which doesn't involve stepping right at all, and goes at HVS. Though that really sounds like a different route to me.
>
> Amazing lead by Kelly. Phil Kelly did tons for research on this in 'Peak Rock'. Oops, you'll know this but others won't. A real grit dark horse.

I think (hope) I gave Phil quite a lot of information I had gleaned several years ago from Geoff Pigott (son of Fred), who seconded Morley Wood on the first ascent. Plus I did a lot of analysis of the two extant photos of the first ascent, which led to my conclusion that there were no tricks about it, and that Morley had indeed led it and that Pigott seconded it a few minutes later (the shadows on the rock had hardly moved between the two photos).
>
> Mick

John2 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics: 50%? You're the mathematician, name the routes.
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victim of mathematics - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to John2:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics) 50%? You're the mathematician, name the routes.

i) I'm a lapsed mathematician.

ii) That was a partially tongue in cheek comment. It's not 50%. Maybe only 20%...
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> ...
> Which suggests that HVS 5b is massively more common on grit than elsewhere.

Seemed to me that there was a difference in Yorkshire grit and the Peak on this front - perhaps you could spend the rest of the evening doing a thorough analysis?

I reckon that VS 5a is a normal VS in Yorkshire and HVS 5a can be bold. In line, HVS 5b seems 'normal'. Incidentally applies to the limestone too: HVS 5b at Malham appeared to be protected, sustained climbing (also massively polished so scary) - this might be E2 in Pembroke.
BPT@work on 09 Sep 2013
>
> Amazing lead by Kelly. Phil Kelly did tons for research on this in 'Peak Rock'. Oops, you'll know this but others won't. A real grit dark horse.
>

Isn't Morley Wood - and his two ropes - usually credited with the FA?

John2 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics: And maybe well under 20%. Next time you're in Pembroke, have a go at Judith's Slab which the previous guide gave HS. I imagine you solo HS.
victim of mathematics - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to John2:

Sigh.

I think they're brilliant, beautiful guides. There just appears to have been a blanket policy of upgrading anything that was borderline. I'm happy to take the ticks (except for Lucky Strike, which I'm yet to meet somebody in the flesh who actually thinks is E2), it just makes the whole place feel rather friendly in the main.
Mick Ward - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Are you saying this is a way of doing the move, because all the crux problems are above and right of that?

Nope. Just saying it's about all I can remember. The sitting, no-hands seemed to take all the stress out of things and make them a bit trivial. Surely all one had to do was to shuffle into a standing position??

Mick
Mick Ward - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to BPT@work:

> Isn't Morley Wood - and his two ropes - usually credited with the FA?

So I do believe.

Mick

Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to BPT@work:
> [...]
>
> Isn't Morley Wood - and his two ropes - usually credited with the FA?

Yes. All the researches that I and other people have done on this suggest the name Kelly's Overhang had a long history for something that Kelly had first spotted and then tried without any success. It was also called Inaccessible Buttress for many years, which all helped to confuse the history. The evidence suggests that many climbers, through the grapevine, persisted in calling it Kelly's Overhang, just as people might refer today to Johnny's or Joe's problem. There are quite a few climbs, I think, that are named in this way after someone who first tried them but failed. Straight off the top of my head there's Helfenstein's Struggle.
Mick Ward - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> HVS 5b at Malham appeared to be protected, sustained climbing (also massively polished so scary) - this might be E2 in Pembroke.

Hmm... once got sent up a supposed HVS 5b at Malham for last route of the day. Turns out it's now E3 6a at Malham. (The gods smiled... well, once they'd finished laughing their socks off.) Yorkshire recommendations? You've got to love 'em!

Mick

Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to John2)

> I think they're brilliant, beautiful guides. There just appears to have been a blanket policy of upgrading anything that was borderline.

I came across a couple of sandbags in the Rockfax, and as you say it seems like the CC have gone in the other direction, always opting for the higher grade where there was debate.

The idea of Lucky Strike being E2 is absurd, and I think the same about Straight Gate too. Clean Hand is blatantly E2 though. Interesting that Herod went down to E1 (fine either way, it's on the cusp). Mythical Monster isn't E3, it's a short protected 5c crux. Etc etc. On the whole though I think Pembroke grades are softer than elsewhere, but it's a tough one because it's so fitness dependent and what will feel hard when you're unfit will feel like a path after a winter doing laps in the wall or whatever.
Jonny2vests - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> I came across a couple of sandbags in the Rockfax, and as you say it seems like the CC have gone in the other direction, always opting for the higher grade where there was debate.
>
> The idea of Lucky Strike being E2 is absurd,

Yes.

> and I think the same about Straight Gate too.

Hmmm. I hate the move coming out of the cave.

> Clean Hand is blatantly E2 though.

A few steep juggy F6a+ climbing wall moves onto a pleasant slabby thing?
Jon Stewart - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)

> Hmmm. I hate the move coming out of the cave.

I thought it was all 4c on huge holds except at the top where the holds are slightly smaller.

> A few steep juggy F6a+ climbing wall moves onto a pleasant slabby thing?

I found the move at the arete really hard and the polish extremely unpleasant. But then I don't really like anything at St Govs and I was warming down after a tedius, grinding failure on another route that I seem to find harder than most (I was looking for a romp, not a challenge) so many factors could have influenced my view on that one.
Offwidth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

In my defense I don't have any of those new guides. I do hope it's isn't only Peak , Yorkshire and the NE holding the line on grade creep.

in reply to Gordon Stainforth

my mate Pete did a straight up version on KO he was good at weird flexible stuff. I thought hard E1 5c that way (old skool HVS).
Offwidth - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth: I do have the new Stanage of course
victim of mathematics - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

I'm not sure you could describe the Borrowdale guide as 'new', or cite the fact that the variation is the result of 'grade creep', without any evidence of changes over time in the other areas.

I'd be interested to know if it is chance that the 4 guides I selected bore out my personal prejudices about HVS grading on grit. If I could be bothered I imagine I could probably test that rigorously, but I'll take a Bayesian approach instead.

If I was suitably bored/boring it would be interesting to extend the analysis, but I really don't have the time at the moment. Maybe one day...
John Stainforth - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:

Do you remember Crossbones(VS)!?
Jonny2vests - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> I thought it was all 4c on huge holds except at the top where the holds are slightly smaller.
>
Maybe I missed some gear coming out the cave, I just remember thinking 'don't fall off unless you want a train crash'. And I remember a nice pump near the top, consistent with the average E2 5b down there. So we might have to downgrade half the E2 5bs at St Govans as well, they're just as soft.
Jonny2vests - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>
> >Swanage HVS is usually a total romp if you're fit.
>
> Or unless you're on Viper (shudder).
>
> jcm

Not come across that one.
johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
> [...]
>
> Not come across that one.

Take my tip. Keep it that way.

jcm
GrahamD - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
>
And I remember a nice pump near the top, consistent with the average E2 5b down there. So we might have to downgrade half the E2 5bs at St Govans as well, they're just as soft.

Yes, they are and should be. Pembroke in general is ovegraded around HVS/E1/E2

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Mick Ward - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to John Stainforth:

> Do you remember Crossbones(VS)!?

Surely do! You always got good value in Yorkshire...

I remember a guidebook writer (no names, no pack drill) telling me he was going to upgrade Ceiling Crack at Widdop from VS to HVS. Now I've never done it, so I've no idea how hard it is. But he reckoned it was harder than Quietus (so, like Crossbones, we'll say at least E2 5c). "But they won't let me grade it harder than HVS," he wailed.

And the start of Wall of Horrors at 5c. That'd be Yorkshire 5c (i.e. V4/V5)then!

You always got good value in Yorkshire... Maybe we should suggest that Mark (Ciderslider) got stuck into Yorkie sandbags. Nope, on top of Swanage sandbags, that would just be too cruel.

Mick

1poundSOCKS - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward: For some reason I don't fully understand, really hard starts to routes don't always figure in the grade ('The Sole' at Crookrise is a good example).
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:
> (In reply to Mick Ward) For some reason I don't fully understand, really hard starts to routes don't always figure in the grade ('The Sole' at Crookrise is a good example).

Very simple. Because such starts are just like boulder problems, and your second can 'spot' you. In fact, that's how you should always do those things with very hard starts, and the second should only start belaying you conventionally once you've reached easier ground.


Ciderslider - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward: Hey Mick, that would be far too cruel I have heard all about Yorkshire, and it sounds far too 'ard for a soft southern B@stard like me (apparently it's so hard up there that even the sheep would beat you up if they get wind that you're from down south).
I think that there's a lifetime of sandbags at Swanage for me :-)
1poundSOCKS - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: But if it's a 5c move, it's still a 5c move with or without a spotter.
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Yes but, as we all know, most people climb many grades harder on boulders than they lead. In my case I'd typically boulder at V3/4 and lead around HVS. A ridiculous gap. Perhaps you haven't quite understood what the adjectival grade means. (Basically: how good you are at leading on sight.)
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

PS. Without the spotter, the move is many times harder, on lead.
1poundSOCKS - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: I never mentioned the adjective grade, I was responding to a post about the tech grade of Wall of Horrors.
Mick Ward - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> For some reason I don't fully understand, really hard starts to routes don't always figure in the grade

Totally agree. Imho the only way to grade properly is to apply a cohort analysis approach. So if lots of people who regularly onsight grade X fail to onsight route Y - for any reason whatsoever - including boulder problem starts - route Y is a higher grade than X.

Mick
Mick Ward - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> I never mentioned the adjective grade, I was responding to a post about the tech grade of Wall of Horrors.

Apologies, I also thought you meant the adjectival grade. (Well, like Gordon, I was brought up on 'em.)

Mick

1poundSOCKS - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward: The more I climb, the less I understand the grades, and these forums don't help much. :)
John Stainforth - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:

Crossbones was the first VS I led at Malham, and I got a bit of a shock because I thought it was about as hard as Vector (which it is!). When I worked on the Yorkshire Limestone guide in 1971, the YMC did not allow us to grade anything harder than HVS. (Pete Livesey was the first to ignore and break the Yorkshire limestone tradition - I allowed his XS grades into the guidebook, which really pissed the YMC off.) This is why I graded Ivy Groove, when we freed it of all aid, HVS, and it is E3 by today's standards.

The most ridiculous ungrading I saw in Yorkshire was the first pitch of Rebel, which was then given ordinary VS. I upgraded that to HVS because it was technically about 5a with no protection in 80 feet (American 5.9X).
Michael Gordon - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to 1poundSOCKS)
>
> [...]
>
> Totally agree. Imho the only way to grade properly is to apply a cohort analysis approach. So if lots of people who regularly onsight grade X fail to onsight route Y - for any reason whatsoever - including boulder problem starts - route Y is a higher grade than X.
>
> Mick

Agree. The whole point in a grade is to give an indication of whether you'll be able to get up the thing or not.
victim of mathematics - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to 1poundSOCKS)
>
> [...]
>
> Totally agree. Imho the only way to grade properly is to apply a cohort analysis approach. So if lots of people who regularly onsight grade X fail to onsight route Y - for any reason whatsoever - including boulder problem starts - route Y is a higher grade than X.
>
> Mick

Hmm, that principle can't really deal with 'trick' moves, where there's a easy, unobvious sequence and a harder, obvious one, although whether you should grade for these tricks is in itself a bit contentious.

Mick Ward - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to John Stainforth:

> When I worked on the Yorkshire Limestone guide in 1971, the YMC did not allow us to grade anything harder than HVS.

Same as the Ceiling Crack guidebook writer. Good on you for sticking with Pete's (richly deserved) grades. Not easy bucking the establishment - especially in Yorkshire.

In retrospect, it's amazing that we all tolerated Yorkshire HVS (e.g. Wombat, Carnage). Everybody knew they were 'proper Extremes' which would be considered tough in Wales and hard enough even in the Lakes. You certainly didn't want to fall off them.


> The most ridiculous ungrading I saw in Yorkshire was the first pitch of Rebel, which was then given ordinary VS. I upgraded that to HVS...

Did you ever get to Langcliffe where all the main wall routes still languish at VS/HVS nearly 50 years later? A rare fellow ascentionist of Tabula Rosa (VS!) suggested E3 5a. By far the most serious route I've ever climbed. Langcliffe makes Gogarth look like the Idwal Slabs!

Mick

Mick Ward - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> Hmm, that principle can't really deal with 'trick' moves...

Let's take an example: Verandah Buttress - traditionally given HVD - Severe on the UKC database but still HVD by popular consent on the same database.

Line up 100 people who onsight HVD most of the time but that's about their limit. How many will onsight VB? Almost certainly less than 10. Possibly none. If so, it's harder than HVD.

Ditto with Severe leaders. A massive failure rate? If so, it's harder than Severe.

VS leaders? And we're grading for the onsight, remember. No jumping off the first move and having another go.

I suspect you'd end up with a grade of VS 5b (with a still high failure rate: how many VS leaders can onsight 5b?) Sham Gully, at Dalkey, is a similar example. It had a similar initial grade of Mild Severe (I think) when I scraped my way up it in 1969. Now VS 5b (I think).

Mick

P.S. And I don't want to be another victim of maths and get into a Robert Durran 'endless nightmare' over this!
victim of mathematics - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:

I did think back to that debate with Mr Durran when I saw your original post! I'm quite happy not to reopen that particular can of very dull worms.

Anyway, I'm perhaps a bit biased when it comes to Verandah Buttress as I watched a friend (a competent VS leader) fail to get off the ground for ages, giving him appropriate abuse, before he passed me the lead. I did it first go in the only way that looked sensible, and it felt around 4c/easy 5a. As it would be very hard to hurt yourself falling off the start, I'm quite happy with HVDiff, but that may be because I can usually do 5b moves, which may well not be the case for somebody for whom HVDiff is their limit. What I have a problem with is where, and this is particularly prevalent on grit, a route has a single very hard move (i.e. HVS 5c or E1 6a), but that move is high enough off the ground for falling off it to be potentially quite unpleasant.

Grading for trick moves is awkward, and I've no idea what the 'right' way to do it is. Imagine there's a route that's E1 5a if you find the easiest sequence but E2 5b by a slightly more obvious sequence. What's the right grade? Some kind of average of the two grades weighted by the proportion of people who use each sequence onsight? There's a further complication that people climbing higher grades tend to be more experienced at reading routes (that's quite a big generalisation, I know), so unobvious sequences might get spotted less on HVDiffs than on E3s. But whether you ought to grade to account for this difference in experience I have no idea...
Coel Hellier - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:

> And we're grading for the onsight, remember. No jumping off the first move and having another go.

What's wrong with jumping off? That doesn't blow the onsight, at least not for a trad route (boulder problems perhaps, but then bouldering is weird).
John Stainforth - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:

No never climbed at Langcliffe, though we used to drive past it regularly of course. Even in the days when I used to climb some quite nasty limestone I thought climbing at Langcliffe looked beyond the pale and completely unattractive.
Mick Ward - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> What's wrong with jumping off? That doesn't blow the onsight, at least not for a trad route...

Technically not, you've not weighed the gear. But, doesn't it make a mockery of things? You're not going to be thinking, 'Indian Face is OK, I can jump off the first moves. I still haven't weighed the gear.'

With tricky first moves, maybe best to grade something like V0 into a V Diff? For instance, a few years ago I did the FA of two F7a+s on Portland, close to each other. One is nicely sustained at the bottom of the grade; the other (hard for the grade) is best described as a V5 into a F5. The F7a+ tries to accommodate both - but they're very different kettles of fish.

Mick
Mick Ward - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> ...Verandah Buttress as I watched a friend (a competent VS leader) fail to get off the ground for ages, giving him appropriate abuse, before he passed me the lead.

Would think this is pretty normal. He has my condolences. However you do it (and Offwidth seems to know every possible way!) the start's tricky.

As is grading... I always have a cohort analysis notion in my head; what % of people at grade X would get up this?

As a mere youth in Yorkshire, I knew three people who'd done Wombat and four who'd done Carnage (or was it the other way round?) All of the Wombat trio had failed on Carnage; all the Carnage quartet had failed on Wombat. Failing to understand what any of this meant, it seemed best to get up to Malham and, with trepidation, tie on.

Mick

Mick Ward - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to John Stainforth:

> ...I thought climbing at Langcliffe looked beyond the pale and completely unattractive.

I think that neatly describes it, John. The adjacent rubbish tip didn't exactly help things!

I loved Dawes' quote about Indian Face, "It's like a beautiful woman... who's a psychopath." Langcliffe (old school) is like an evil witch who's a psychopath. (Although the modern stuff may be better; it's surely safer.)

Mick

Coel Hellier - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:

> You're not going to be thinking, 'Indian Face is OK, I can jump off the first moves. I still haven't weighed the gear.'

Well you wouldn't have blown the onsight if you climbed up, placed gear, and retreated to the ground.

I think quite a few grit routes are graded for the fact that one can have several goes at the start, retreating or jumping off. Greengrocer Wall, Desperation, Pedlar's Slab, and Swings, for example.
Mick Ward - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I think quite a few grit routes are graded for the fact that one can have several goes at the start, retreating or jumping off. Greengrocer Wall, Desperation, Pedlar's Slab, and Swings, for example.

I don't doubt you but it's news to me. Don't know Swings but have soloed the others - no extra goes ever needed. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Mick
Bulls Crack - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to Coel Hellier)
>
> [...]

> With tricky first moves, maybe best to grade something like V0 into a V Diff? For instance, a few years ago I did the FA of two F7a+s on Portland, close to each other. One is nicely sustained at the bottom of the grade; the other (hard for the grade) is best described as a V5 into a F5. The F7a+ tries to accommodate both - but they're very different kettles of fish.
>
> Mick

Neatly illustrating the limitations of single parameter grading systems. However, trad grades can sort of cope
DubyaJamesDubya - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to Coel Hellier)
>
> [...]
>
> Technically not, you've not weighed the gear. But, doesn't it make a mockery of things? You're not going to be thinking, 'Indian Face is OK, I can jump off the first moves. I still haven't weighed the gear.'
>
>
> Mick

Yes it is ok to jump off. If this was not ok you 'blow the on-sight' by stepping off having tried the first hold or move (if thats what you are saying then I admit defeat but it does mean a vast number of on-sight leads 'don't count').
The onsight is for the not weighting the gear/requiring aid from the rope.
And yes you could say you'd onsighted Indian Face if you stepped off/jumped off from 5ft up for whatever reason.
Mick Ward - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> The onsight is for the not weighting the gear/requiring aid from the rope.

Pace my words above this, I know this.


> And yes you could say you'd onsighted Indian Face if you stepped off/jumped off from 5ft up for whatever reason.

And I know this as well. My point re IF was that if a 5ft jump off the bottom was crucial to the grading, you're pissing in the wind.


> Yes it is ok to jump off.

But, interestingly enough, not on onsighting bouldery problems. And, as we're talking about routes with boulder starts, it seems simpler re grading to adopt the same practice. (Why have a different convention?)

e.g. Desperation. How many E1 leaders (who can't lead E2) will step off the ground and end up on the top, no jumping back down, no weighing the gear? In my guess, very, very few.

If we then say, well, every time they go to Stanage, they can have a go at the bottom, will they one day get up? Probably. It's a V1/V2 start into an E1. I was brought up on old money - to me, it's E2 6a - similar in difficulty to Stone Dri, just the hard move is at bouldering height.

Have to disappear now. Work calls.

Mick



Offwidth - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:

The HVD isn't totally serious and you don't blow the grade on a boulder problem start if you have multiple attempts. You can also use combined tactics if you are honest about it. I think the real grade is S 4c and Victim may have spotted the sequence I had to be shown.
Offwidth - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward: as for desperation as bouldering has become more popular the specific strengths for such a route have become more common. It never quite felt E2 to me and I'm a punter.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to DubyaJamesDubya)
>
>
> But, interestingly enough, not on onsighting bouldery problems. And, as we're talking about routes with boulder starts, it seems simpler re grading to adopt the same practice. (Why have a different convention?)
>

So your halfway up a climb have step and down off the ledge 'till you find the holds: You've 'blown the onsight'?
Whenever a guidebook says 'boulder problem start' I take it for granted that it may require 20 minutes of figuring out before it is sorted.
Bouldering has a different convention (I'll take your word for that as it's not one I've encountered) because it is different in this arbitrary climbing world we inhabit.
James Oswald - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to gethin_allen)


"Every time I climb an E2 crack elsewhere in the country, my response is always the same: HVS in the Peak. Doesn't apply to other types of route though."

Yep, it's getting a little dull though. No way would Charenton crack by HVS on grit!!
Mick Ward - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:
(and Offwidth)

Guys, have it your own way.

Adios.

Mick
Jon Stewart - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to James Oswald:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
>
> "Every time I climb an E2 crack elsewhere in the country, my response is always the same: HVS in the Peak. Doesn't apply to other types of route though."
>
> Yep, it's getting a little dull though. No way would Charenton crack by HVS on grit!!

I did Chequers Crack the other day. Approximately 3x as hard.
Ian Bennnett - on 14 Sep 2013
Suck it up mofo!

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