/ Ben Bransby Parthian Shot

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alooker - on 19 Nov 2013
Just seen (via DMM Facebook) that Ben has climbed Parthian Shot, great effort and I wonder what grade he'll suggest
Dave 88 - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to alooker:

First time without the flake?
alooker - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88: yup!
Dave 88 - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to alooker:

Blinding effort. Would love it if he had the stones to downgrade it!
GrahamD - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:

Why should it be downgraded ?
alooker - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to alooker: It must be harder without the flake, I was wondering whether it'd stay at e9 or if he felt it was another e10 note grit
Dave 88 - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

Cheer up mate. It was a joke given that it's the first ascent since losing its gear placement.
Adam Lincoln - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:
> (In reply to alooker)
>
> Blinding effort. Would love it if he had the stones to downgrade it!

Why would he do that? It was benchmark e9 before. So losing a big hold that took some gear won't make it easier? What you on about?!

Dave 88 - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Adam Lincoln:

Urgh there's some boring people on here. Obviously it's not gonna be any easier that's why it would be tongue in cheek if he suggested a downgrade. It's really not that funny but since you lot have forced me to kick the arse out of it, there's my throwaway comment explained to death for you.
Jamie B - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to alooker:

That's got to be the highlight of the autumn so far - after the flake came off some were doubting whether it would ever be re-climbed.
Offwidth - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

It was pretty obviously on for someone with enough talent as it was bolder and harder but the moves had been done: always a matter of time, not possibility.
GrahamD - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

>
> That's got to be the highlight of the autumn so far - after the flake came off some were doubting whether it would ever be re-climbed.

Was there ? JD's original ascent was made on the assumption that the flake wouldn't hold so was effectively useless
Jamie B - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

> Was there ? JD's original ascent was made on the assumption that the flake wouldn't hold so was effectively useless

Far from useless, it held numerous falls before Stanhope managed to break it. Still don't know why succeeded where others had failed - cams?
GrahamD - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

Subsequently yes, but at the time of the original ascent it was thought to be useless
CurlyStevo - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:
> (In reply to alooker)
>
> First time without the flake?

only a small section of the flake came off and there is still gear that can be placed behind it AFAIK

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3828
Dave 88 - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Didn't know that. Anyone know if Ben placed any gear then?
Offwidth - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to GrahamD: It was thoughtto be suspect, not useless.
alooker - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88: gear can still be placed, just not where that part of the flake came off - and hanging around placing that gear would now be much harder I guess
Offwidth - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: harder to place now and a little less reliable than before and still suspect.
Timmd on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to GrahamD) It was thoughtto be suspect, not useless.

In a moment of stress on lead, useless and suspect could amount to much the same thing psychologically, though, in not wanting to risk a fall.

More of a sudden thought than a point of argument, feel free not to agree...
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Tom Last - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:
> (In reply to Adam Lincoln)
>
> Urgh there's some boring people on here. Obviously it's not gonna be any easier that's why it would be tongue in cheek if he suggested a downgrade. It's really not that funny but since you lot have forced me to kick the arse out of it, there's my throwaway comment explained to death for you.

Hehe, you should know by now Dave, it's laugh-a-minute round here :D
Franco Cookson on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Adam Lincoln:
> (In reply to Dave 88)
> [...]
>
> Why would he do that? It was benchmark e9 before.

Was it? I talked to someone who thought it was tough E7.

Dave 88 - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Tom Last:

Yeah I should've known! Climbing is a serious business.
Adam Lincoln - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to Adam Lincoln)
> [...]
>
> Was it? I talked to someone who thought it was tough E7.

Who was that then?
Adam Lincoln - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:
> (In reply to Adam Lincoln)
>
> Urgh there's some boring people on here. Obviously it's not gonna be any easier that's why it would be tongue in cheek if he suggested a downgrade. It's really not that funny but since you lot have forced me to kick the arse out of it, there's my throwaway comment explained to death for you.

No its just impossible to tell the difference between jokes and people spouting bollox.
james1978 - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to Adam Lincoln)
> [...]
>
> Was it? I talked to someone who thought it was tough E7.

Really? My mate did it ground up and thought that solid E7 was about right.
Tony the Blade on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:
> (In reply to alooker)
>
> Blinding effort. Would love it if he had the stones to downgrade it!

Looks tough for the grade, (V 7) But is it really that newsworthy?

Timmd on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Tony the Blade: The first repeat of an E9 after an important part of what makes it protectable breaking off isn't newsworthy?

It seems quite newsworthy to me, each to their own though.
Tony the Blade on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Tony the Blade) The first repeat of an E9 after an important part of what makes it protectable breaking off isn't newsworthy?
>
> It seems quite newsworthy to me, each to their own though.

Oh mate, please read the whole sentence, especially the bit in brackets, I was trying to be funny! Note to self, don't forget a smiley when attempting to have a laugh. :-)
Timmd on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Tony the Blade:

Your humour is obviously too dry for me. (;-))
Chris the Tall - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to GrahamD) It was thoughtto be suspect, not useless.

JD had little faith in it, Seb had a bit more when he started and a lot more when he finished. The effect of his ascent was to make it seem much less of a shipwreck, and people had more faith in it, until it did indeed break.

Now it's back to square one - how much faith would a sane person have in it, what awaits at the end of the long drop?

God knows what it does to the grade !!!
alooker - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: exactly
Tony the Blade on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Timmd:

Apologies, it was a reference to the 'other' Parthian Shot on Bidean Nam Bian.

Burbage PS is totally newsworthy and has been in the news since the FA, I wonder what John D thinks of Ben's achievement? I seem to remember that he poured scorn on Seb's climb due to pre-placing the gear and load testing it. Either way, it remains what it always was, a bold and strenuous route.
Offwidth - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

That's just about judgement: you counter the risk of suspect gear against your ability in deciding if you are good enough to go for it. Our top trad climbers in great contrast to some of the media hype are not insanely playing Russian Roulette (unless the gun has a lot more than 6 barrels)... they are very talented and have finely honed judgement. The 2 JDs felt they couldn't fall and needed to be good enough for that; Seb tested it and then accepted the risk of likely fall(s). It broke partly because someone used different gear, not just from the traffic. 'God knows' some grades are impressive but so are some climbers, Ben included.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
I can't remember now - what gear was used when it broke, please don't say a cam!
Jamie B - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I can't remember now - what gear was used when it broke, please don't say a cam!

North American climbers do tend to be a bit more cam-happy, so that would be believable. I've long wondered on this, but nobody has ever confirmed.

Jamie B - on 20 Nov 2013
I also got the impresson that the loss of the handhold would make placing marginal gear well all the harder on lead. Anyone know if Ben placed it on lead?
Morgan Woods - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to james1978:
> (In reply to Franco Cookson)
> [...]
>
> Really? My mate did it ground up and thought that solid E7 was about right.

I thought some aussies did it in trainers by headtorch a while back...can't be that hard eh?
GrahamD - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Now it's back to square one - how much faith would a sane person have in it, what awaits at the end of the long drop?
>
> God knows what it does to the grade !!!

Put it back to the original 'solid E9' I'd have thought ? as you say the psychological aspect of the route is back to square one.
mark20 - on 20 Nov 2013
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johncoxmysteriously - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to mark20:

Those photos are really good - show a different angle on the route from the usual one.

jcm
Michael Gordon - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> I can't remember now - what gear was used when it broke, please don't say a cam!

As I understand, it was indeed a cam while previous ascents had used wires.
johncoxmysteriously - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:

That's my understanding too. As I understand it, we're not allowed to flame WS because he's already broken his leg/knows Hazel Findlay/lots of other unspecified people used cams too/that sort of thing's not very cuddly/we don't climb E9 and therefore know nothing about it/calling him a stupid Yank is racist/he's Canadian anyway/some other reason.

Still could do with wider publicity in my view.

jcm
victim of mathematics - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

You forgot the whole 'can't talk about it because WS had to pretend he wasn't climbing to get his insurance to fly him home' or similar, aspect. Allegedly.
johncoxmysteriously - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

Oh yes, that was the one. Well, presumably that particular fraud has now been peacefully accomplished, no?

jcm
Andy Say - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
From Will Stanhope's blog just after the event:

'As many of you know, the main gear is a string of wires and one small cam in the flake, which is at a little over half height.'
shark - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Still could do with wider publicity in my view.



If he'd rendered it unclimbable maybe but not now.

If anything its added to the history.
Chris the Tall - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Not suggesting anyone is playing Russian roulette, but all climbers have different approaches to risk, regardless of level.

Theoretically, the grade ought to reflect the average approach to risk of climbers operating at that level. I think it's fair to say that Seb is probably at the extreme end of the range with regard to risk.

However that average will be affected by knowledge and experience, so as Seb gave people confidence in the gear, then maybe the grade dropped from E9 to E8 (or E10 to E9). When WS hit the deck, then that confidence will have vanished and the grade will have bounced back up.

It seems that Ben did indeed take the fall, but I would suggest that his confidence in it will still be less than anyone since Seb.

Given that the route is now technically harder as well, that's two reasons to be impressed by this ascent.

P.S. Note from the report that BB was also looking at Dynamics of Change - that should be interesting
johncoxmysteriously - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to shark:

Only luck he didn't. The issues surrounding this sort of thing require a bit of consideration and discussion.

And, I mean, seriously, if he did have a cam behind that, WTF did he think he was doing? Even I know better than that.

Or maybe I'm an overcautious armchair dinosaur. Did the ground-up sagas of 2008 employ this same cam, I wonder?

jcm
shark - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

An error of judgement yes but understandable.

Tim Emmett was belaying so maybe should blame him.

And Ray Jardine.
johncoxmysteriously - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to shark:

Is it understandable, really? It strikes me as crass. Everyone knows you don't put cams behind crucial dodgy flakes and then take thirty-foot falls on to them. And if everyone doesn't know, some publicity of this incident to show people why not would be desirable.

jcm
Adam Long - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to shark)
>
> Did the ground-up sagas of 2008 employ this same cam, I wonder?

No they didn't, from memory Ben placed most or all of the wires that were used, and at least the crucial one (possibly all of them) was left in for the duration of the attempts.

Whilst I have agree that placing a cam was a bad idea, it wasn't necessarily the problem. The flake was weak, and had had a fair bit of abuse. I think WS actually snapped a wire too, which was unlucky. Maybe Tim's video might be made public at some point and clear things up...
remus - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Would you be making the same arguments if Seb, or any of the many people who took big lobs on it, had ripped the flake off during one of their falls? Pretty crass to think that the flake could hold that number of falls. After all everyone knows dodgy flakes can snap off when you put gear behind them.
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to shark)
>
> Is it understandable, really? It strikes me as crass. Everyone knows you don't put cams behind crucial dodgy flakes and then take thirty-foot falls on to them. And if everyone doesn't know, some publicity of this incident to show people why not would be desirable.
>
> jcm

It's not that straightforward and I'll try and explain why (based on my 25 years' climbing experience, including having headpointed PS in 2008, just before Team America arrived in country).

A blue Alien used to fit in perfectly quite low down in the main part of the flake. Whether that would create more force than a larger wire placed high up I don't know. What I do know is that when Nic did it he fell onto the cam. To be fair he hadn't done a lot of trad at the time and was probably a bit overly confident about the gear. He was swopping leads that day with Neil and Neil was putting way more pieces in (including the cam). When I did it I put in 4 pieces all together - 3 microwires (1 lower down) and the blue alien. The blue alien was kind of there as a 'back up' in case the micro wires pulled through (less contact surface area on grainy gritstone), but I had the pieces arranged (placed on lead) so that the cam would be the last piece of the top 3 to take any load. Also, the route and flake are overhanging so you're a bit paranoid about the gear lifting or just outward forces from a big arcing fall ripping out the wires. The middle section of the flake always seemed pretty solid to me and I never thought it would break. I fell off once onto the best piece.

So... obviously anyone doing this route would want to minimise the forces on the flake. Personally, I thought my set up did that, yet I still had a cam in there. It's not a science. I don't know where WS had his gear, what ripped and what broke the flake.
johncoxmysteriously - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to remus:

No, of course not.

IMHO, itís justifiable to use passive gear in a dodgy placement where no other gear exists in order to create and/or repeat cutting edge routes.

It is not justifiable to use cams behind crucial flakes on routes which have been frequently repeated without them.

And also unwise, as events showed.

If you canít see the difference, please stay off the grit.

jcm
..as for Ben's ascent. Most people probably know how modest he is. The fact is he put the gear in on lead which you used to do off a big jug. It was easy to switch hands on and get a look into the flake. Nevermind it being a hard move now to the shelf. OK, so Ben is super brilliant strong etc etc. But he is not very tall ;-) That move to the shelf was massive before - even with a big flake to pull off. The high crux is also very reach dependent. So, it's very, very impressive that he's climbed the route in this state. It must be F8b and even scarier on the gear front. Great that such an iconic route is still out there to be climbed.. if you're good enough!
johncoxmysteriously - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe:

Tom Ė thatís interesting, thanks.

When you say the middle part of the flake, does that include whatís now broken? And when you say there Ďused to beí a good Alien placement, do you mean that there isnít now, or that you donít know whether there is now?

Re BB; agreed. I thought when I watched him cruising Kafoozalem as an 11-year-old or so that he might grow up to be quite good.

jcm
remus - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

All I can see is you passing retrospective judgement on something that was at the time entirely non-obvious.

In particular, you said

>And, I mean, seriously, if he did have a cam behind that, WTF did he think he was doing? Even I know better than that.

but it was not obvious that the cam was junk. As Tom pointed out it had already held a fall and had been placed, if not tested, on other ascents.
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe)
>
> Tom Ė thatís interesting, thanks.
>
> When you say the middle part of the flake, does that include whatís now broken? And when you say there Ďused to beí a good Alien placement, do you mean that there isnít now, or that you donít know whether there is now?

I've not abseiled down it since it's broken, so I don't know precisely but from looking at this photo (http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=172271) the blue Alien placement must have been towards the bottom of the broken bit. Below that doesn't look to be wide enough, but I'd have to look at it on a rope to be sure...
johncoxmysteriously - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to remus:

>but it was not obvious that the cam was junk.

The issue isn't whether it's junk. It's whether it's more likely to rip the flake off than passive gear.

But yes, youíre right, if all WS had in was what many ascents had already used (wisely or not) then thatís a different matter. Which sort of proves my point that discussion would have been a good thing at the time; I certainly got the impression that WS had unwisely used camming gear which other ascentionists didnít use, and I donít think I was at all alone in that.

jcm
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Skyfall - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I certainly got the impression that WS had unwisely used camming gear which other ascentionists didnít use, and I donít think I was at all alone in that.

I agree that was the general perception at the time. There had, however, been a flurry of ascents which probably weren't recorded in great detail.
johncoxmysteriously - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Funny, actually - watching the video of KJ which UKC has put up in their article, he has the same problem with the rope on the cross-through on the top slab as BB describes, and looks to solve it in a rather extempore way by not crossing through after all.

jcm
Kyle Warlow - on 23 Nov 2013

At 10.35 into Tim Emmetts presentation here, he includes footage of Will's fall and the flake breaking.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/40988152
Adam Moroz - on 24 Nov 2013
In reply to Kyle Warlow:

That link says 'page not found'.
Adam Lincoln - on 24 Nov 2013
In reply to Adam Moroz:

> That link says 'page not found'.

Its been removed.
Kyle Warlow - on 24 Nov 2013
In reply to Adam Moroz:

Seems that it was only to be available for 36 hours online. Never mind.
Kemics - on 24 Nov 2013
In reply to Kyle Warlow:




Damn that would be a very interesting bit of footage to watch. Especially with mr Emmett presenting it
Kyle Warlow - on 24 Nov 2013
In reply to Kemics:

It was a very brief clip. The fall was deliberate, to test the gear. It showed him fall and the flake breaking, but you couldn't see him deck as the camera was zoomed in on the flake/crux area. Heard it though. Sounded nasty.
Dave 88 - on 24 Nov 2013
In reply to Kyle Warlow:

Yeah looked like a horrible fall. Why the hell would be test it? I don't think he was that far from the crux, just go for it.
jon on 24 Nov 2013
In reply to Kyle Warlow:

Jeez, if you're going to take a deliberate test fall that has a high possibility of making the gear fail, why on earth not have a back-up top rope?
Michael Gordon - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Kyle Warlow:

That's really what happened? What's the point of testing something with no back up?!
Jonny2vests - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Kyle Warlow:

> It was a very brief clip. The fall was deliberate, to test the gear.

Not sure why you think that, but its not true. He was going for it and fell off.
Dave 88 - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

No he wasn't. Did you see the Tim Emmett video that got posted, it's all on there.
Jonny2vests - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:

Not seen it.

According to his blog, he'd had a rest on the gear, but his intention was to 'punch it to the top', not purposefully test the gear.

http://www.willstanhope.com/blog/page/3
John Gillott - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:

I watched it - it looked to me like he fell off trying to climb it rather than jumped to test the gear. Do we know what he or anyone present at the time has said about this?
Offwidth - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to John Gillott:

The first time I've heard he was trying to test the gear was on this thread and its a pretty dumb thing to do without a back-up.
Duncan Campbell - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

John, I met Will in Squamish just as he was recovering and getting back into the swing of climbing. I chatted with him a bit about PS and he said that he had chatted to Seb Grieve who had told him what gear to use and roughly where in the flake to put it, so I guess you could blame Seb.

I don't think Will looks back on this error of judgement in a blase manner either!!

Dunc
Dave 88 - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

I could've sworn Tim said on the video that Will jumped to test the gear. Also it looked like be jumped rather than fell. You've got me doubting my memory now though!

Can anyone else that watched the video remember?
Red Rover - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:

Wheres the video?
Dave 88 - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Red Rover:

There's a link up the thread but someone said it was only on for 36 hours or something. It was a live Tim Emmett lecture.
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Offwidth - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:

Not saying that didnt happen. I'm just saying that thats new to me. Lots of dodgy stuff happened around this incident.
TonyM - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:

Saw the Tim webcast with the footage to Will on PS. I think it was pretty clear that Will was going for the lead, even though Tim did said something ambiguous about "testing the gear" in his talk.

Will did test the gear, but not in a planned way. If it were planned you wouldn't do it at the high crux (the biggest fall you would realistically take) and you might expect a bit of chat to the belayer surely? I thought it was quite shuddering how little retardation the flake seemed to create as it blew.
alooker - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:

I saw the vid before it was taken down, Tim E def said that Will S was testing the gear. From the vid it looked like he jumped off on purpose (in control, at least) rather than he slipped and fell. He was pretty high on what I think is commonly described as the crux, moving up just before gaining the slab. Same place Seb G took the falls from in Hard Grit.

TBH I reckon he'd gone up to try the lead rather than test the gear on purpose necessarily, he was pretty committed so I think it was a controlled fall rather deciding before getting off the ground to test the gear. Of course that is just speculation on a low res video!

Top of the flake pinged right off though, I'm guessing it slowed Will down enough to avoid serious injury luckily but it really didn't look like a giggle.
puppythedog on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to alooker:

Is there any sign if Ben's thoughts on the difference between before and after? I've not seena ny further info on this and couldn't find ben's blogg (just being an idiot I'm sure).
Kyle Warlow - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:


Because Tim said so in his presentation (100% positive) and the fall definietly looked deliberate.
John Gillott - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Kyle Warlow:

I did watch it but wasn't paying too much attention to Tim's words. Maybe, as Johnny didn't say when he came off on tr, there's deliberate and there's *&%$* deliberate. I've deliberately jumped off once or twice when I knew full well that in a half a second or less I was going to peel off.
metal arms on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Kyle Warlow:

> Because Tim said so in his presentation (100% positive) and the fall definietly looked deliberate.

He said 'Will decided to test the gear' which I assumed meant 'Will fell off' but in a humorous style.

Dave 88 - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to alooker:

Ok I'm glad other people saw it and I'm not losing my marbles! The fall looked absolutely horrible, like he might have landed flat on his face.
alooker - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave 88:

yeah, I think metal arms has it right though in that he didn't deliberately test the gear and that it's just a turn of phrase
Jamie B - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to alooker:

> I think metal arms has it right though in that he didn't deliberately test the gear and that it's just a turn of phrase

I saw the video and that was my reading of it. It would seem absurd to "test" the gear in such a high consequence fashion.

Kyle Warlow - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to metal arms:

Possibly.
Anyway... he fell, it broke, the end.

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