/ Hardest chimney in the UK?

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Toerag - on 06 Sep 2013
What's the hardest chimney climb in the UK where the grade is given for the chimney and not other climbing before or after it?
Dan Arkle - on 06 Sep 2013
Strapoimbo is the hardest I've done http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=2625
jonnie3430 - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Quarryman?
Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

We mustn't forget modestly graded Monolith Crack. If you're any bigger than very slim it won't just be hard, it will be impossible.
victim of mathematics - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Dan Arkle:

Have you done Tower Chimney? That certainly looks worse than Strapiombo!
stratandrew on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:
I think that depends on the conditions....many chimneys are on traditional mountain routes, quite a few of which can be climbed on a wet day in big boots, they can be very hard indeed! Gwynnes Chimney on Pavey Ark was interesting in a full on waterfall. I've done Corner Chimney on Direct Route on the milestone which is no pushover in the dry even in rock shoes, in big boots in the dry its really quite difficult...

In the wet......check out this video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWlWAuY3Qkc

Andy
Trangia - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

I'd put Boa-Constrictor (5a) at High Rocks in this category. Not a particularly high grade, but, to me at least, a real struggle. Not recommended with bare knees and elbows! :)
Trevers - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to stratandrew:
> (In reply to Toerag)
> In the wet......check out this video!
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWlWAuY3Qkc
>
> Andy

I remember that joyful little chimney- in even damp, those too scoops are so polished they provide absolutely no friction. I had to use the bellyflop technique to get into the chimney
humptydumpty - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Toerag)
>
> We mustn't forget modestly graded Monolith Crack. If you're any bigger than very slim it won't just be hard, it will be impossible.

Looks like a lot of fun! For big people, can it be climbed as an off-width? The comments (http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=29194) seem to suggest big people just go round the side of it.
Al Evans on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag: Isn't the Chimney Crack on The Longhope Route given 6a/ Described by Drummond as 'the vile crack'.
Andy Moles - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Hung, Drawn and Quartered? Three pitches of overhanging chimney at E3 6a.
thedatastream on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Great Gully on Craig Yr Ysfa surely! ;)
nniff - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Gin Palace in Vivian Quarry has to be a contender
abseil on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Haven't done Brwynog Chimney on Cloggy but isn't it hard? And isn't Chimney Route on Cloggy East Buttress falling down? (Haven't done that either)
MJ - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Some of those chimneys that Fred Dibnah used to scamper up seemed pretty hard.
jkarran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Cant think of an example but something wide like Peapod that flares out and down would be a contender. Ideally with less friction and gear. There must be something awful like that on the on the Slate or on the Cairngorm granite.

jk
Nick Russell on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Walsh's groove is 5b. Not the hardest, even out of suggestions above, but worthy of a mention!
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=2207
metal arms on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to jkarran:
> (In reply to Toerag)
>
> Cant think of an example but something wide like Peapod that flares out and down would be a contender. Ideally with less friction and gear. There must be something awful like that on the on the Slate or on the Cairngorm granite.
>
> jk

I think you just described Strapiombo at Pant Ifan.
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> Quarryman?

must be the winner surely
Al Evans on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Nick Russell: There used to be a route in Kentmere on Rainsborrow Crag, called The Groan, which was originally publicised as 'like three Right Eliminates one on top of the other', on making what was probably the second free ascent we found it very over rated, both on quality and difficulty. The crux crack was fairly short and only about 5c, and it certainly wasn't like 3 RE's. Severe case of hyperbole by I think, Joe, the first ascencionist who used a peg.
Calder - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

I'm going to say Wombat Chimney at Wilton. Even though I know it won't be the hardest, it does somehow have what feels like a proper 5b chimneying move.

Going up a few grades, I'm sure I once saw a pic of Mammoth or Mammoth Direct at Gogarth (in North Wales Rock?), where I think the climber was essentially in a splits position to bridge across a wide chimney. It looked outrageous, but maybe it's actually an easier bit, or not normally done like this? I have no knowledge at all about the route, and I don't own that guide, so maybe I just dreamt it (very possible!).
nniff - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

The Quarryman is E8 7a and Gin Palace is 7c. Take your pick!
1poundSOCKS - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to nniff: I had the dubious honour of trying Gin Palace on top-rope. I'll get back to you when I've had a go at The Quarryman (although I suspect the experience will be remarkably similar).
Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to humptydumpty:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> Looks like a lot of fun! For big people, can it be climbed as an off-width? The comments (http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=29194) seem to suggest big people just go round the side of it.

Yes, it can be climbed up the outside (De Selincourt's variation) - harder, but not so 'interesting'. I remember that that's what my brother did seconding, because he was so put off by the grunting that came out of the depths of the chimney.
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Please define chimney (in the climbing context). In particula the distinction with offwidths and flared corners.

I am not being facetious. These things require very different techniques
johncoxmysteriously - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yeah, agreed. The Quarryman ain't no chimney, and I'm not at all sure Gin Palace is either, specially since the crux is a finger crack.

Basically any chimney you can actually chimney is about HVS tops.

Of features that could reasonably be called a chimney but aren't climbed that way, Mammoth Direct is a good call.

jcm
GrahamD - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

I don't know what it is but I'd put money on it being by George Smith at Gogarth.
muppetfilter - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to MJ:

> Some of those chimneys that Fred Dibnah used to scamper up seemed pretty hard.

Here is actual proof that he cheated by chipping holds.... see 1:30

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F04dGK1_wYA

1poundSOCKS - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: I think you've defined it quite well, when it's best to chimney, i.e. back against one side, feet against the other, maybe a bit of heel/toe. The bulk of Gin Palace is like this, although admittedly the crux isn't.
Al Evans on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Thing is when does a (very) off width crack become a chimney e.g Right Eliminate. I remember a very young lad (might have been a ten year old Bill Gregory) actually get inside RE on what is probably the youngest lead of that route.
ads.ukclimbing.com
AJM - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

But then looking at the video of Pete Whittaker on it (I think? In Welsh connections) you climb a chunk of the bottom of the quarryman groove like that. And Tom Randall in his blog about doing it titled the blog something like "the hardest back and foot chimney in the world".
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> The Quarryman ain't no chimney

But it is climbed using chimney technique is it not?
I seem to remember Steve McClure saying it was just like a Diff chimney only harder!
1poundSOCKS - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toreador: Harder than Diff chimney, I sincerely doubt that! :) (and I also doubt he's climbed many).
johncoxmysteriously - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toreador:

True. It's a bit of a daft question. To me a chimney has to be something that looks like a chimney (cut away, obviously). If it means something you climb by similar techniques to those used on a true chimney, then that opens the field up, clearly.

jcm
1poundSOCKS - on 06 Sep 2013
studgek - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag: Minotaur on Cir Mhor. A full body experience.
Toerag - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag: to me the Quarryman is a groove/narrow corner, a Chimney needs to be more parallel-sided. As stated above, Gin palace doesn't count 'cos the crux isn't the chimney.
Offwidths like Ray's roof don't count, you can fit your whole body into a chimney.
Aside from the good suggestions above, what would constitute a super hard chimney? Slick rock? A shallow chimney in a horizontal roof where you're fighting not to fall out sideways? Something wide like Devil's tower in Wyoming which you bridge, or something constrictive?
Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Agreed. I think a chimney is a narrowish slot that you get inside, typically with fairly parallel walls. Though 'chimneying' techniques can sometimes be used in very shallow depressions, grooves etc. that are not chimneys.
In reply to Toerag: Surely this is the only true chimney climb: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=825
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toreador:
Found the quote
"Upward progress is the same as on a diff chimney, but somewhat harder!"

http://www.bigstone.co.uk/climbing-team/steve-mcclure/2011/06/02/The_Quarry_Man/

FWIW Jack Geldard thinks it's a chimney
http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=62420
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toreador:

If Quarryman's disqualified for not being a real chimney, how about this one at E1 5b
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=10701
johncoxmysteriously - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toreador:

Now that's definitely a chimney. How come the picture of me on Dave F's gallery isn't linked to the database entry, I wonder?

jcm
Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

I found the first two pitches of West Flank Route on Cir Mhor, both very flared, open chimneys, absolutely desperate (top end HVS), but it could be because I have rather short legs. It would be great to see Johnny Dawes on that. I'm sure he'd just kind of waltz up them.
johncoxmysteriously - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toreador:

>
FWIW Jack Geldard thinks it's a chimney
http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=62420

AND a groove, I notice. Not sure about that!

jcm
keith-ratcliffe on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Slightly off the topic but chimneys don't often get a mention so here goes. One of the best descriptions of a chimney climb I know is of Helfensteins Struggle ( Great name already) on Stanage. The descriptions records that " Helfenstein struggled in vain". It used to catch out gobby climbing club members who thought they were hard by leading HVS (Another recent topic) - it is graded 'Difficult'
johncoxmysteriously - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

'History records that Helfenstein struggled in vain.'....

I don't know why; it's pretty trivial. No doubt harder in a tweed jacket and carrying an alpenstock, but still.

jcm
1poundSOCKS - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag: So do we need more categories now:

Hardest chimney
Hardest cleft
Hardest shallow groove

Have I missed anything?
Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) Slightly off the topic but chimneys don't often get a mention so here goes. One of the best descriptions of a chimney climb I know is of Helfensteins Struggle ( Great name already) on Stanage. The descriptions records that " Helfenstein struggled in vain". It used to catch out gobby climbing club members who thought they were hard by leading HVS (Another recent topic) - it is graded 'Difficult'

Have to confess i never did H's Struggle. It just looked like a very unappealing squeeze through a hole behind a chockstone.
GrahamD - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

From something on George Smith from the DMM site:

These super routes travelled through some radical upside down terrain, often following alarming offwidth features and hanging chimney lines. Climbs such as The Heinous Flytrap E7 6b and Barfly E7 6b really broke the mould and altered perceptions about what could be climbed in a ground up style......

Anyone know how much chimney these routes actually have ?
Rick Graham on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

For the Lakes entry.

How about Fallen Angel? E4 back and footing.
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> I don't know why; it's pretty trivial.

I seem to remember reading that Herr Helfenstein was of the larger persuasion
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Walk Like an Egyptian at Reiff is desperate, but I am sure there is worse.
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Sep 2013
johncoxmysteriously - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

I saw Barfly from a safe distance the other day. It didn't really look like what you'd call a chimney to me.

Heinous Flytrap is such a great name. I didn't even get it until the other day I said it out loud while tracing lines from the guidebook on to the cliff.

Actually, for routes which are both chimney-like features and climbed by chimneying methods, I suspect you'd have to go a long way to beat Bones Chimney. A collapsing sand cornice always adds to the chimneying experience.

jcm
Bulls Crack - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

The Deep, Cullernose Point (E3),was desperate (seconding), as far as I can recall
Ricardo - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack: tilney's shovel at tilberthwaite is a struggle at 5c very tiring!
kevin stephens - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag: T Rex first pitch before the sun gets on it.
If flared chimneys are allowed how a out Orifice Fish?
crossdressingrodney - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

What was that Chimney Dan McM was trying to put up on those big basalt sea-cliffs on sky? I can't even remember if he got to the top now.
Orgsm on 07 Sep 2013
Tony the Blade on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Toerag:

I would have to say the Quarryman must be up there?
Dave Musgrove - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
>
> For the Lakes entry.
>
> How about Fallen Angel? E4 back and footing.

I wouldn't have described it as backing and footing, Rick. For me it was more a case of left shoulder and one-footing; - and many other improvised techniques not found today on your average climbing wall! I ached for a week after leading that one. Probably my best ever lead in the Lake District. Brilliant route.
Rick Graham on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Musgrove:

OK then, Burning Bridges on Scafell.

According to rumour, Pete Botterill back and footed up it, probably with ease. Might remember to ask him about it next time he's at the wall.
Ann S on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to stratandrew:
> (In reply to Toerag)
> I've done Corner Chimney on Direct Route on the milestone which is no pushover in the dry even in rock shoes, in big boots in the dry its really quite difficult...
>
> In the wet......check out this video!
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWlWAuY3Qkc
>
> Andy

That's a cracking bit of film. When I led MD years ago I had to use combined tactics to get started in that ruddy chimney. Great once your're installed though.
victim of mathematics - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to crossdressingrodney:

This one?

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=391196061915&l=01c10315f3

He never did get to the top. He didn't have a big cam and couldn't decide if the top section was going to be VS or E8. I wonder if anybody's done it since...
skyejonah - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to MJ:seen santa do a few,ballsy climber in those conditions
Rick Graham on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:
> (In reply to Toerag) So do we need more categories now:
>
> Hardest chimney
> Hardest cleft
> Hardest shallow groove
>
Anybody remember Grumble and Grunt at Park Nab (NY Moors)?

Body width (just) through a 12 ft roof. So definitely a chimney.

Now sadly collapsed.


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