/ Gritstone - a bit samey

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CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
OK I only lead to HVS, but I'm finding I prefer many other climbing destinations to grit now a days. At the grades I climb a lot of the climbing either tends to be smearing slabs, vertical jamming / thrutching cracks or horizontal break to break climbing on slopers.

It just doesn't have the variety of moves you get in N Wales, West Penwith, Dunkeld etc. It tends to feel a bit forced / thrutchy and lacks the elegance I can find elsewhere.

Swanage or Stanage? Right now I prefer the former. (and this is coming from someone that used to love grit)
The Pylon King on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Man cannot live on chocolate alone.
CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to The Pylon King:
True but I've only climbed there twice this year. Right now my favourite grit crag is millstone maybe just because its quite different.
GridNorth - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Yes. It's also a bit on the short side for my tastes. And I'm someone who learnt and was brought up on grit and climbed just about every route on Stanage, Froggat and Millstone etc. up to E4. IMO however Stanage must still be one of the best crags in the UK.
remus - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Grit is a mere false idol, and you know what they say about those! Welcome to the light.
pebbles - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to The Pylon King:

>
> Man cannot live on chocolate alone.
I could have a damn good try....

teflonpete - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to pebbles:
> (In reply to The Pylon King)
>
> [...]
> I could have a damn good try....

You're a woman. Different rules around women and chocolate. :0)
pebbles - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to teflonpete: You're thinking of the Cake Rule
teflonpete - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to pebbles:
> (In reply to teflonpete) You're thinking of the Cake Rule

Sorry, my mistake. :0)


To the OP, I have to confess I'm not as in love with grit as I used to be.
CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to teflonpete:
Apart from the reduced set of moves on grit at the lower to intermediate grades I also particularly like fairly steep climbing on holds at the moment, on grit steep ground on slopers and smears tends to push the grades (or atleast the climbing) in to grades I can't really climb, which I guess is another reason why I'm tending to prefer other rock types.
GrahamD - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I also particularly like fairly steep climbing on holds at the moment,

Something like the Sloth, then, or Hardings Super Direct out of Robin Hoods cave ?
CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
Yeah I think I'm probably ready for the sloth, I seconded it a wee while back and think I'd probably love it now! Same can be said of Hardings Super Direct.

I guess my comment was more meant about the general feel for a whole route than a few metres of climbing though
GrahamD - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I can empathise with lack of route length, but it always amazed me just how much variety and action grit packed into 10m or so of climbing.
CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
The length of climbing reference was more to do with the fact that on the routes you listed the steep bit on good holds was quite short lived rather than the climbs being short as such.

It defiantly can pack in a lot of action yes but for me anyway at my grade, variety not as much as many other rocks. Stand back from Stanage and look at it, most the climbing is either cracks (mostly horizontal or vertical jamming) or horizontal sloper holds on the bedding planes with fairly blank sections in between.

Also I'm not saying Gristone is all the same style of climbing or climbs of many different styles don't exist just in the main it does tend to be bit too samey.
Offwidth - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

You mean apart from the steep juggy routes, the technical face climbs, the corners, the aretes, the traverses, etc. Maybe its a grade thing and your ego is massaged by all the soft ticks elesewhere these days? ;-)
BnB - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
>
> You mean apart from the steep juggy routes, the technical face climbs, the corners, the aretes, the traverses, etc. Maybe its a grade thing and your ego is massaged by all the soft ticks elesewhere these days? ;-)

Ouch
CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Yeah you're right Swanage has such a reputation for being soft whilst eastern grit on the other hand.........
r0x0r.wolfo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Yeah heard that too
dave657 on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

If three pebble slab were in Swanage it'd get E2...
CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to dave657:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
>
> If three pebble slab were in Swanage it'd get E2...

that's only because limestone is lower friction ;)
CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
"You mean apart from the steep juggy routes, the technical face climbs, the corners, the aretes, the traverses, "

I guess I prefer having a wider variety of hold shapes than grit offers and enjoy the type of movement you get off small positive foot holds rather than smears, I guess ideally what I want is a mix of the two like granite (and to some extent rhyolite, Gneiss etc) offers. Its not as such the larger scale shape of the rock that I'm talking about (ie the aretes, cracks, corners etc) but the smaller scale shapes of the holds.


Offwidth - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Are you serious about that? Hold shapes on limestone more varied than on grit?? (my previous post was partly tongue in cheek - hence the smiley - and I'm aware of Swanage grades being perhaps harder than some grit areas like say Stanage).
CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
"Are you serious about that? Hold shapes on limestone more varied than on grit??"

I think you must have done some serious reading between the lines to argue that I actually said exactly that.

But anyway its not just the shape of the actual holds its the distribution of them and the moves that allows. I do prefer the climbing moves at Swanage to many of the moves on grit yes, especially natural grit.

And this is very much a right now this year thing, I reserve the right to change my mind at any time in the future ;)
CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
BTW have you climbed much at swanage and portland? What about the flowstone on portland? Stuff like Reptile Smile is just bonkers!
R2B on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Have you been to Lawrencefield or New Mills? The few times I have been to both I felt like the climbing differed some what from the other grit crags. Search out some more quarried grit. Seems like you prefer the style and holds it offers.
The Ivanator - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Is it just that these gritstone edges don't offer the same epic potential as seacliffs and mountain routes? ;-)
On a personal note I have a serious case of Limestone fatigue, it seems an age since I had a few days on Rhylolite, Granite, Hard Sandstone or Grit and I'm longing for something that isn't relentlessly steep and unnervingly crumbly. The fact all my day trippable crags are Limestone means when I click my UKC graphs I find over 70% of my climbing has taken place on the brittle stuff.
CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to The Ivanator:
;)

I think your right about the looseness of limestone, a major disadvantage of it. I think welsh rhyolite was the best rock I climbed on this year :)
CurlyStevo - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to RusseyB:
Never been to either, I'll add them to the list when I start running out of good stuff at millstone :)
James Jackson on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

No, grit is just shit.
SI - profile removed on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Grit's just training rock for me, still love it but over exposure has deadened that love somewhat. Would take a trip to any other climbing destination in the uk over grit, and in all honesty I'd love to see half of it bolted (although it's not something I'd argue about our ever expect to happen, just purely from a personal point of view).
LakesWinter on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Ooo, I'd go with grit feeling more elegant to climb than many other rock types, though it is not my favourite cragging area in the UK - mountains and sea cliffs any day.

For me the main enjoyment of natural grit is in the movements and standing around on not a lot.

Anyway, anything gets boring for me if I do it too much - right now I'm keen for grit but by the spring I'll be itching for mountain routes and sport climbing
jezb1 - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to The Ivanator)
> ;)
>
> I think your right about the looseness of limestone, a major disadvantage of it. I think welsh rhyolite was the best rock I climbed on this year :)

Probably my favourite rock too.

I enjoy most rock types but I do prefer multipitch stuff so I can never get overly excited by grit.
I need to do more on grit but struggle to get psyched by it.
pec on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: I've never been a massive fan of gritstone, always prefered the mountains but I've climbed on it a lot just because of where I've lived. Millstone has always been my favourite gritstone crag, probably because its not really like gritstone. I also like the Lancs quarries but they're probably not worth travelling too far for though.

When recently faced with having to choose one of the eastern edges to meet up with someone at, I struggled to summon up much enthusiasm for any of them, I suppose having done most of the good routes at my grade at all of them doesn't help.

If I had to choose some gritstone crags to get me excited right now it would be the more remote moorland crags of the Chew Valley, Kinder etc. The moves are the same but the environment is so different (and less busy/polished) than the eastern edges. They don't have the quantity of great routes as Stanage etc, but the best routes bear comparison with them and if there's enough routes to fill a day at your grade then its worth a visit.
Tom V - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to pec:
You have just stolen my thunder! Trawled through CS's list of achievements and was very impressed indeed but recognised a very real gap.
No OTM routes that I can see.
As you suggest, there might be a route at, say, High Neb that has the same type of moves as e.g.Pulpit Ridge but it will never feel the same for a welter of reasons.
BnB - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to Tom V:
> (In reply to pec)
> You have just stolen my thunder! Trawled through CS's list of achievements and was very impressed indeed but recognised a very real gap.
> No OTM routes that I can see.
> As you suggest, there might be a route at, say, High Neb that has the same type of moves as e.g.Pulpit Ridge but it will never feel the same for a welter of reasons.

It'll feel a damn sight drier for starters ;-)

In fact I'd quite like to have a go OTM, but my Yorkshire climbing partner refuses to venture west of Widdop. I've never found it easy to find a partner like I can for a day in the Peak.
snapperdan - on 30 Sep 2013
In reply to BnB: Join the Chew Valley Cragsmen on Facebook and you won't want for moorland climbing partners!
Offwidth - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to snapperdan:

I think something funny happens when many climbers interact with grit. They seem to reject the challenge of stuff away from the trade routes and certainly get excessively nervous about trying out-of-the-way venues. Chew, like most moorland grit, is pretty special, perhaps partly because of that. I get it that folk might prefer the mountains and longer routes or have fallen in love with a particular rock type or they prefer more specialst stuff or even that they like sport climbing but to diss grit for variety of holds and movement is plain weird. The irony on the mountain side is that some of the longest routes on grit (Dovestones main) now need a good clean-up due to lack of traffic and the encroaching evil of Rhodies. Im a trad climber looking for challenge in movement and I never tire of it, even if I enjoy climbing a lot elsewhere (just back from mountain granite in the US).
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
"They seem to reject the challenge of stuff away from the trade routes and certainly get excessively nervous about trying out-of-the-way venue"

haha well certainly not me. Its just if I was going to drive 4+ hours somewhere and then do a descent walk in I can think of much more adventurous places to go than a 20 meter gritstone edge!
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
You seem to think that climbing / moves wise grit is the creme de la creme, right now I don't. It doesn't mean I dislike grit, actually I do enjoy climbing on it, its just the type of moves you tend to get a lot of on grit at the grades I climb I'm currently finding are not as enjoyable as many other rock types I climb on.

I particularly like fairly steep sustained and varied climbing on positive but not always large holds, especially where the holds aren't always horizontal flat / sloper holds. At my grade I find grit doesn't offer as much of that as many other rocks. I find I very rarely pull moves such as Egyptians, flagging, rock overs on crimps, even moves between sustained bridging on small holds on a flattish wall is less common on grit than many other rocks. Whilst elsewhere there can be an abundance of these moves. Grit seems to me to all to often tend to the awkward rather than the elegant. I do get the general impression that as you go further up the grades on grit things improve.

Also as I asked before have you climbed much on Swanage and Portland?
SI - profile removed on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth: I get excessively nervous about smashing myself to pieces on the ground, gets much worse when you've climbed everything within your grade... twice. I don't think it'll be long before top roping/headpointing becomes the norm for me on grit.
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Offwidth - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

If you read what I said its pretty clear I think nothing of the sort. I was just gently suggesting that you are expressing a preference (which is fine) but justifying it on false terms. You clearly need to climb more on quarried grit or on naturally good holds on steep grit. Lancashire quarries, New Mills and Chew have been suggested already and there is loads more out there.

I've not climbed at Portland (little interest in sport) or Swanage (very much on a list) but I have climbed on Limestone on 4 continents including quite a few few full day routes. One thing I've learnt in all this is that much as I enjoy my days on limestone (I do) it tends to be the most samey (and loose) at my grades: I prefer my long routes to be sandstone, volcanics or granite.
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Quarried grit is pretty good, I've climbed on Wilton and Millstone. But the type of climbing at those venues away from the continuous cracks (both face and corner) at my grades isn't an enjoyable to me right now as many other venues, the holds tend to be too similar (flat and horizontal - I'm not saying they all are just this is the tendency)

Its funny you extrapolated my points regarding Swanage to all limestone when you haven't even climbed there and Portland has some amazing rock, I think you need to get down there.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=194737



Offwidth - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I don't live in a bubble my boy. Im fully aware of the charms of Swanage as I am of the charms of other great venues Ive not climbed at yet in the UK. As for the amazing rock at Portland it probably dosen't match up to the much more amazing limestone elsewhere in the world and sports climbing just isnt my thing: there is no way I will travel a good distance for it.
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
>
> I don't live in a bubble my boy.


I'm too old to be your boy, thank god.

"Im fully aware of the charms of Swanage as I am of the charms of other great venues Ive not climbed at yet in the UK. As for the amazing rock at Portland it probably dosen't match up to the much more amazing limestone elsewhere in the world and sports climbing just isnt my thing: there is no way I will travel a good distance for it."

But you're still able to comment about the holds there, good on you.


Offwidth - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Where did I comment on those holds again, as I seem to have overlooked it? At least I've learnt Swanage holds are vey special indeed, which adds to the sense of adventure and proper grading repuation that also attracts me to the place.
Shani - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> OK I only lead to HVS, but I'm finding I prefer many other climbing destinations to grit now a days. At the grades I climb a lot of the climbing either tends to be smearing slabs, vertical jamming / thrutching cracks or horizontal break to break climbing on slopers.
>
> It just doesn't have the variety of moves you get in N Wales, West Penwith, Dunkeld etc. It tends to feel a bit forced / thrutchy and lacks the elegance I can find elsewhere.
>
> Swanage or Stanage? Right now I prefer the former. (and this is coming from someone that used to love grit)

Try the following:

Right Eliminate
London Wall
Quietus
Wall End Slab Direct
Archangel
The Rasp
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo) Where did I comment on those holds again, as I seem to have overlooked it? At least I've learnt Swanage holds are vey special indeed, which adds to the sense of adventure and proper grading repuation that also attracts me to the place.

I'll remind you....... Here's what you posted.

"Are you serious about that? Hold shapes on limestone more varied than on grit?? (my previous post was partly tongue in cheek - hence the smiley - and I'm aware of Swanage grades being perhaps harder than some grit areas like say Stanage)."

Seeing as my only comments prior to this regarding limestone were about Swanage I think its fair to say you extrapolated that to all limestone without having ever been to Swanage (or Portland), don't you.
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Shani:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
> [...]
>
> Try the following:
>
> Right Eliminate
> London Wall
> Quietus
> Wall End Slab Direct
> Archangel
> The Rasp

I'm not sure these climbs do forefill the criteria I was after, but in any case my points were very specific to my grade range (<= HVS) and I did mention I suspected things may improve as you go up the grades.
Offwidth - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

How dumb am I: bless you and your curly logic!? You must be right of course as Johnny D once said about the most famous grit crag of all, Stanage, that it was just one big hold and how varied can a single hold be, however big?
Ramblin dave - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> It just doesn't have the variety of moves you get in N Wales, West Penwith, Dunkeld etc. It tends to feel a bit forced / thrutchy and lacks the elegance I can find elsewhere.

I'd grant you that a lot of gritstone climbing tends to fall within certain styles, but I'd say that if you find it forced and thrutchy and lacking elegance then it's probably because you're climbing it inelegantly!

I'm climbing a grade or so less hard than you, but I find that part of the fun of climbing on grit is the emphasis on delicacy and body position and balance and how to move to make the most out of slopy or directional holds. Whereas limestone routes at the same grades have more of a tendency (IME) to just involve reaching up above your head and heaving.


>
> Swanage or Stanage? Right now I prefer the former. (and this is coming from someone that used to love grit)

CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
perhaps - I guess in the grand scheme of things most of us on this thread are all pretty crap climbers ;) I still think however watching other people on the same climbs doesn't frequently seem to present the repertoire of moves I really enjoy. I look forward to meeting you sometime maybe you can teach me elegant gritstone climbing ;) (that was my poor attempt at humour)
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
"How dumb am I"
Well you said it, I wouldn't be so rude.

"bless you and your curly logic!?"
Of course if you could explain your limestone comment any other way I'd be more than happy to hear it.
Offwidth - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: Hey but you haven't climbed on every grit crag have you (shit... neither have I)?
MischaHY - on 01 Oct 2013
If you're finding it bit samey, might I humbly suggest that you try some harder routes? IMO gritstone becomes a whole different beast at around E2/E3, and only gets more exciting from thereon.

Also, if you want overhanging routes on good gear with a hard pump, then I suggest regular, obsessive visits to New Mills Torrs. If leading the likes of Mather Crack, The Arete, Electric Circus and Bionics Wall doesn't get you stoked for quarried grit, then I don't know what will.
Offwidth - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to shaun l:

"when you've climbed everything within your grade... twice".

Almost missed that! Due to being local and doing a lot of guidebook work in the Peak and Yorkshire most of my climbing has been on grit and although the vast majority is sub extreme I've still got a tick list that given UK weather and extra travel time to Lancs will take me ten years to finish (and I did a hundred solos on Stanage in a day earlier this year so I'm not inefficient or especially nervous). Hence, I'd like to say I'm seriously impressed you have managed to do this with a similar CV best and less than 10 years of climbing: hats off to a machine! ;-)
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to MischaHY:
Well my point was relative to my grade range. However I accept I probably could lead harder trad than I do having onsighted F6b+ this year at Portland and am aiming to up my game to more like solid E1 in the next year or two. But I can't see my self ever leading harder than E2 tbh.

Having looked at the routes on NMT there doesn't seem to be many steep non crack based routes on holds at <= E1 with lots of stars to get excited about.

Also its not the pump I want so much but the moves. Also some of the problem with grit for me is too many smears on steep ground pumps me out too fast for me to climb much harder than I already do.

Anyway......
irish paul - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: "But I can't see my self ever leading harder than E2 tbh"

Ha, I love these comments, mostly because I remember my missus saying a similar thing ( I believe it was I'll never climb E2). She's now climbed E4, 7b and is starting to look at pinching E5s I've had my eye on for a while...never say never!

Having spent a very pleasant weekend at the Roaches this weekend I'll agree that while I enjoy grit I do find it a little bit unsatisfying, mostly due to the length, or lack thereof!
Ramblin dave - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
Hmmm... perhaps this is an obvious point, but if your experience of limestone is partly doing sport in the mid sixes then it's kind of to be expected that you'll find a bigger ranges of moves on it, because you'll have been doing technically much harder stuff than on a gritstone HVS!
Ramblin dave - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> perhaps - I guess in the grand scheme of things most of us on this thread are all pretty crap climbers ;) I still think however watching other people on the same climbs doesn't frequently seem to present the repertoire of moves I really enjoy.

I can't quite figure out whether your complaint is that below HVS, gritstone climbs are objectively lacking in variety and quality of moves relative to other types of rock, or whether it's just that there are some particular things that you like doing (ie stuff that you can do on sustained steep ground) that you can do on other rock types at HVS or below but not on grit.

The latter is fair comment, the former I'd dispute.
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
My point was compared to quite a few other types of rocks not just limestone. But I've climbed comparatively few sport climbs over the years, probably only a few percent of the metres I've done trad climbing and I used to live around Bristol so have done my fair share of trad limestone.
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mockerkin on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

>> There is something about your post that makes me think like this. Perhaps you have used different geology and holds on crags to express your thoughts.
All subsequent posters have continued along the same line of thinking and have only mentioned different rock.
Perhaps what you are really doing is looking at the difference between short grit which is by definition climbing "gymnastics", as opposed to mountain multi route, which is more "mountaineering" and you are beginning to wonder what "climbing" is all about.
Excuse my psycho-analysis.
Offwidth - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Why not go and see: I'd say there is a couple of days worth of climbing at sub E1 that you would enjoy given your stated spec. Plus there are the bolted grit viaducts to go at. Plus it climbs well when most of the grit is in clag in autumn. There is also Pule Hill Shooters Nab, Den Lane, Running Hill Pits, Tintwistle Knarr and several other crags in that guide you would likey enjoy.
MischaHY - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Don't knock it 'till you've tried it... There are tons of routes at the torrs within your grade remit, and many of them revolve around climbing on small flakes/ledges, with interesting moves and unexpected rests. Electric circus, for example, has a traverse along small edges and flakes followed by a great no-hands rest (double kneebar), before committing to a few pockets and a tenuous traverse back along a rounded flake. The rest of the climbing there is similarly pleasing, and only gets more interesting as you step through the grades.

Give it a shot ;)
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to MischaHY:
"Don't knock it 'till you've tried it... "

Fair point, I'll give it a shot :)
SI - profile removed on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Haha! Sorry no I meant the classics... Always been a bit of a star junky but to be fair I've had some fun this year on one and even no star routes! Still not quite so inspiring. I think your the only grit machine in these parts dude.
Offwidth - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to shaun l: There are a few others of my ability with better tick lists and some of them post here. Not many mind and none that publicly record it all on a website.
Bulls Crack - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Hmm I was with you until you showed that pic of flowstone---no that IS an overrated rock type...imo of course!
Michael Gordon - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> I find I very rarely pull moves such as Egyptians, flagging, rock overs on crimps
>

Surely the above is rare at HVS wherever you are?!

Jon Stewart - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Grit is incredibly annoying.

But it's also amazing.

The struggles (graunchy HVS cracks, etc) are OK, they have their place, but it's the 'buzz routes' where grit excels for me. You may need to forget about the rope and risk breaking something, but if you choose to embrace the challenge for what it is, the reward - the buzz - is significant. Of course, grit buzz routes (which exist at every grade, but they do really get going at E1) are not everyone's cup of tea.

I too generally much prefer climbing steep rock with holds and gear, preferably on huge spectacular routes leaning out over the sea, or sneaking up an improbable looking face on an impressive mountain crag. But all the same, many of my most intense climbing experiences have been on grit. Rare events, but very sweet ones when they happen.

I'm not sure you're right that it's samey. The high friction means that more is possible with fewer and worse holds. The moves are more varied than most rock types because it doesn't rely on holds. Just an arrangement of differently angled surface will do. And given that it excels at two opposite ends of the scale (the safe, hard, steep crack and dangerous blank slab) and has lots of stuff in between, 'samey' isn't really a valid criticism as far as the climbing itself is concerned. The crags are all rather similar though, being outcrops on moorland.
rurp - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: The routes you are doing on grit are not hard enough for you. You onsight 6b+. Therefore you should be trying some E2's and E3's.
Don't let fear stop you from experiencing the ultimate edge of the envelope scared shitless grit experience. That's why you climb it. It doesn't matter how short it is if you are knackered exhilarated and have eyes like saucers at the top.
My best onsight 6c(one). My e 3 's on grit were better and I will remember every move till I am demented!
MischaHY - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to rurp: I couldn't agree more. The best gritstone routes leave you teetering on tiny smears and sloping holds with gear several feet below you, and then you have to do a hard move. IMO that's why grit is such a good training ground for top climbers as it teaches you to commit.
Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to MischaHY:
> (In reply to rurp) I couldn't agree more. The best gritstone routes leave you teetering on tiny smears and sloping holds with gear several feet below you, and then you have to do a hard move. IMO that's why grit is such a good training ground for top climbers as it teaches you to commit.

But if you think portland's amazing, that's probably not what you're seeking to get out of climbing. lots of people prefer bolted limestone to grit. They're philistines.
CurlyStevo - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
I must admit I don't in general prefer Portland to grit, but some of the shapes the flowstone makes can be pretty special, stuff like sling shots and reptile smile are very very good climbs on crazy rock IMO.

That said I'm simply not a bold climber The boldest I get is HVS 4c and that is very rare, realistically bold VS climbs are about as hard as I'm happy doing.

CurlyStevo - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to rurp:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo) The routes you are doing on grit are not hard enough for you. You onsight 6b+. Therefore you should be trying some E2's and E3's.
> Don't let fear stop you from experiencing the ultimate edge of the envelope scared shitless grit experience. That's why you climb it. It doesn't matter how short it is if you are knackered exhilarated and have eyes like saucers at the top.
> My best onsight 6c(one). My e 3 's on grit were better and I will remember every move till I am demented!

I think I'd fail on quite a high percentage of F6b onsights, F6a+ is fairly reliable.

Realistically UK 5a should be onsightable reliably for me but is still challenging from time to time, 5b fairly reliably (as long as not too pumpy or tricky) and 5c is getting towards quite dubious territory especially E2 5c, probably less than 50% chance of reliable onsight.

Therefore HVS 5b should typically go if I go for it, E1 5b probably but not always and E2 would need to suit my style.
Trangia - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I don't like Grit.

There, I've said it.....
CurlyStevo - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
"The high friction means that more is possible with fewer and worse holds. "

I totally agree with this in theory, but when your feet are on smears and your hand holds are typically on jams or slopers (on the bedding planes) that you can't get your fingers behind the sub set of moves and types of movement you can do can tend to be somewhat limited and tend to be a bit samey. This of course is just my opinion.

I think I really enjoy the types of moves you get on flattish steep walls (ie featured but not a sustained corner or crack) on other rocks, but on grit this tends to be a reachy sloper pump fest of quite similar moves.
Offwidth - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to Trangia: So what? Who said you should??
CurlyStevo - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
>
> I don't like Grit.
>
> There, I've said it.....

I do like grit I guess I've just come to the realisation that its not my favourite rockclimbing destination anymore, well not right now anyways.

Along with northumberland sandstone its the only rock I've fallen off leading on trad (multiple times) too.
Ciderslider - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I love (and loath) Grit ! Love because it's just so good, loath because it makes me realise what a shite climber I am (but that's gonna change, I shall do everything I can to get as good as I can on it)
seankenny - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Trangia)
> [...]
>
> I do like grit I guess I've just come to the realisation that its not my favourite rockclimbing destination anymore, well not right now anyways.


You mention climbing on the eastern edges a lot. Have you done much in Staffs or Yorkshire? A bit different and often much better.
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Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> I totally agree with this in theory, but when your feet are on smears and your hand holds are typically on jams or slopers (on the bedding planes) that you can't get your fingers behind the sub set of moves and types of movement you can do can tend to be somewhat limited and tend to be a bit samey. This of course is just my opinion.

I last climbed on grit a couple of days ago, on routes up to E1. I did some crack/wall climbs on sloping crimps, big flat square holds and smears, a climb up a positive flake into a series of rounded breaks, a climb which started through a juggy roof and then up some very rounded breaks, a technical seam using pebbles and sidepulls needing a lot of balance (highball boulder problem, the style grit is best at). And that was just a couple of hours after work.

> I think I really enjoy the types of moves you get on flattish steep walls (ie featured but not a sustained corner or crack) on other rocks, but on grit this tends to be a reachy sloper pump fest of quite similar moves.

Me too in some ways. I love brainless crimping more than anything else, Lower Sharpnose is one of my favourite crags because it's such great straight-on wall climbing on holds. Train indoors and then climb high grades on wonderful spectacular walls where you look around and find holds and make continual progress before the pump gets you, what's not to like? Same with much of Pembroke, great climbing.

Grit offers a very different kind of challenge: weird stopper moves, invisible holds, unjammable cracks, delicate unprotected rockovers, contorted palming down and balancing up, etc. Climbing grit is a distilled, intense challenge, where success often boils down to the ability to work out what the hell to do, and the balls to try it given the consequences. Or the willingness to throw yourself into a humiliating battle with some lowly graded crack, which is going to maul you unless you use well-honed technique and whole load of determination and PMA.

There are of course loads of boring grit routes that don't live up to what I've just said, and I agree grit is dull if you choose the dull routes. It's small and the settings are tame. The adventure and the thrill is in the experience of climbing the challenging routes, and you don't get that for free, you have to either be bold, or be prepared to get beaten up, or if you want to be good at it, both.

This is why it's so annoying, and yet so amazing. But boring and samey it is not.
Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
> [...]
>
>
> You mention climbing on the eastern edges a lot. Have you done much in Staffs or Yorkshire? A bit different and often much better.

Staffs yes, Yorkshire you must be kidding (great bouldering tho)
seankenny - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

The routes in Yorkshire are as good, just fewer of them surely?
CurlyStevo - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
I rather liked Brimham, Almscliff and Rhystone but there you go. Better than some of the popular eastern edges IMO.
Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> The routes in Yorkshire are as good, just fewer of them surely?

Lived up there for a year and was excited to see all this new grit I hadn't done before. I found the crags dysfunctional, usually each one has only one good route. The fact that in Yorkshire, Great Western - which is a contrived link-up of a couple of diminutive VS cracks and a 4m traverse along a jug rail - is considered the greatest thing since the invention of bread itself tells you all you need to know about Yorkshire grit.
Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> I rather liked Brimham,

Bit of a marmite crag, I hate it. Lots of tiny little routes, mainly green thrutchy cracks, none of which I can do.

> Almscliff

It's OK, it's just tiny.

> and Rhystone

Great micro-routes but as moorland grit goes, the routes don't compare to Kinder or Shining Clough or (if you like that kind of thing) Wimberry.
CurlyStevo - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
Come off it Brimham is littered with good VS climbs such as Birch Tree Wall, Central Crack, Right-Hand Crack, Rough Wall, Allan's Crack etc
Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Haven't done much at VS, of those only Rough Wall which was OK but forgettable. I've always found it hard to find anything I want to climb there - when a route looks good in the book you get there to find it's just an untidy pile of boulders covered in lichen and moss.
seankenny - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
>
> It's OK, it's just tiny.

So are Faberge eggs and Persian minitures. Mila Kunis is 5'3". Heart of Darkness is a novella, the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata is over in about five minutes and quantum physics has entertained the best minds of the past three generations.

The Shard, otoh, is pretty big.
Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny:

It's a good argument. I should have said, "it's got a few good routes but they're really battered and there's hardly anything there - also, the fact that it's been bigged-up to a laughable degree can only lead to sore disappointment".
seankenny - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

We can agree to disagree, but for the OP, are there any routes requiring gastons, Egytians or with steep bits?!
Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> We can agree to disagree, but for the OP, are there any routes requiring gastons, Egytians or with steep bits?!

I think the OP would get on well with the Black Wall routes, and might also like to try some of the excellent boulder problems like Morell's Wall (positive climbing with both egyptian and gaston moves maybe?) and Pebble Wall (uniquely technical), which grit is so well suited to.

I'm not really sure you can get to grips with grit without bouldering. The routes are often so bouldery that you don't have much chance on them unless you've practiced similar moves in relative safety. I have some sympathy with the view that taking a rope to a gritstone crag is missing the point*.


*I do take a rope to gritstone crags sometimes, but I more often boulder and solo, and have often have more fun that way. Also, I usually take a pad as well if I've got the rope and rack.
rurp - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to rurp)
> [...]
>
> I think I'd fail on quite a high percentage of F6b onsights, F6a+ is fairly reliable.
>
> Realistically UK 5a should be onsightable reliably for me but is still challenging from time to time, 5b fairly reliably (as long as not too pumpy or tricky) and 5c is getting towards quite dubious territory especially E2 5c, probably less than 50% chance of reliable onsight.
>
> Therefore HVS 5b should typically go if I go for it, E1 5b probably but not always and E2 would need to suit my style.

Ok cool, then have a crack at milsoms minion, Congo corner, croton oil, motorcade, Easter rib, long tall Sally, sunset slab, kirkus's corner and flying buttress direct, blizzard ridge and chequers buttress ......
Surely they would give variety and challenge at that grade?

rtinma - on 08 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
There is so much good grit to discover, especially bouldering. This year in Yorkshire alone I have explored Nab End, Spofforth, Simon's Seat, Bat Buttress Brimham, Rylstone, Holmfirth, Slipstones & Shipley Glen, with classic climbs in abundance and great variety.
Jimbo C - on 08 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I was at Birchen on Sunday and thinking that the routes there were a bit samey. Couple of pulls, rock onto a slab and amble up to the top. Not that there aren't some nice routes there but no where near the variety available at Stange/ Froggatt/ Curbar/ Burbage. Maybe it's just that Birchen doesn't have that many classic HVSs (not counting Orpheus Wall cos I can't do it, he he). Route of the day was Torpedo Tube, I would enjoy 100ft of that.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to rtinma: if you want to convince a grit sceptic to get into bouldering, slipstones is the answer. Or maybe Shipley Glen ;)
Offwidth - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to Jimbo C: Slabs, overhangs, overhang bypasses, aretes, traverses, chimneys, tunnels and some stonking varied bouldering... just how much have you climbed there?
Jimbo C - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

I've climbed there a fair bit. Was just thinking that it's a much better crag for chimneys and through routes than it is for sustained steepness. Many of the routes tend to be one move wonders, which whilst they are enjoyable moves, I found myself topping out thinking was that it? Was probably just having a grumpy day.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to Jimbo C: yeah birchen is crap. 3 good routes around the e1 mark. But decent bouldering and a nice place for high volume easy soloing.

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