/ What does "Classic" mean in alpine terms?

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MG - on 04 Nov 2013
Well?
LakesWinter on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:

In general UKC speak it means 'near the lift'

In the 1930s it meant 'north face'

In the 1950s it meant 'nice line, shit rock'
MG - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Very good!
Simon4 - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: Well those that have done it (not alas, me), tell me that this qualifies :

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=220233
smithg on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: Really good. Either for position and scenery, technical interest/fun to do, looking really impressive but not usually too hard by current standards. Something which sticks in the memory, and not just because you were shit scared/thought you were going to die/only just got up it.

Think similar to 3* routes in UK guidebooks (apart from those which only get it because they're E6+).
MG - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to smithg: Hmm. I think it's a bit more subtle than that. I think words like historic and characterful come into it. I don't think normal routes often qualify either. E.g Teufulsgrat = classic; normal Taschorn route is not.
smithg on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:

Oh...

"In reply to LakesWinter:
IMHO there's only one that can really take the title of a "classic" peak under 4000m and that has to be the Eiger. Whichever route you choose.

All the other are just excellent days out on great summits, but probably not Classic. "

...dunno what that's supposed to mean.
MG - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to smithg: That's what prompted this thread!
Solaris - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:
> I think words like historic and characterful come into it.

Agreed, especially when, decoded, those words mean "sporting" - which, as everyone knows, is code for "character building".


MG - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Solaris: "Routes on which many characters have been built"!?
Gordon Stainforth - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:

I think it means something more like 'quite old, but widely regarded as having exceptional qualities that will survive through history, irrespective of changes of fashion'. (Far too many words - sorry).
ice.solo - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:

In situ pitons youre allowed to clip because theyre so old and sketch they may as well be rock, and it wont blow your trad ethics.
Solaris - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

That's how I used to take it, but two routes I've done in the last few years have made me reconsider: the N Ridge of the Sirac, and the Corda Molla on Disgrazia.

Each is described as a "classic" routes in the current AC guidebook (the former, is in Rebuffat, too), each follows a good line to a remote and unfrequented peak. However, both have been badly affected by the disappearance of what used to be permanent snow, and have become loose and scary.

We spent 17 hours up and down on the Sirac. When we got back to the hut, tails slightly between our legs, the wonderfully kind and solicitous guardienne told us that the route doesn't get done much nowadays and a French party had got benighted the previous week.

To come back to the OP's question, in a curious way, although I wouldn't recommend anyone to do either route, I look back on them as "classic" days in the hills - definitely character building!
jon on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:
> > I was just saying that I think its the ONLY one that fits the title of this thread...however exciting the other routes are

> That's what prompted this thread!

Babika's post was so far off the mark that I think it must have been for effect (just as I was by saying that alpine peaks start at 4000m). Everyone to their own, obviously, but to me the Eiger (by anything other than one of its N face routes) is just about the opposite of what she's saying. How can it possibly be so much more 'classic' than the Meije, Salbitschijen, Bietschhorn, Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, Piz Badile, Monte Viso, and many dozens of others, to discount them from that status? The first thing that caught my eye on my very first visit to Grindelwald wasn't the Eiger at all. It was that fabulous profile of the Wetterhorn!


jcw on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: classy, has class!
rif on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to jon, and MG:
I'd say 'classic' refers to a route, not a peak. A peak may however be iconic, which is perhaps what Babika meant.
MG - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to rif:
A peak may however be iconic,

Those with Madonnas on!?




jon on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to rif:

Yes that makes more sense, Rob. But still, there's more than one iconic peak in the alps!
GridNorth - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: IMO it's simply a route or a peak that many people aspire to climb. It acquires classic status because a number of experienced climbers have confirmed the quality and character of the climbing. It can be a classic for different reasons. So for example Mont Blanc is classic mainly because it is the highest mountain in western Europe. The North Face of the Eiger because of it's history and the challenge it presents, the Walker Spur because of the quality of the climbing.
David Ponting on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to smithg: And at the lower grades, just like 3* routes, often means: Everyone and their dog has done it, it's really polished, and there'll be a queue on a nice day...

(remembering a time that someone soloing past us stood on a friends arm, while he was belaying!)
ads.ukclimbing.com
cannichoutdoors - on 06 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: Pre-WWII?

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