/ Dream tick for 2014
Mine is The sloth at The roaches - it just looks epic - so if it ever stops raining and the roaches ever drys I'm on it - and if I get that then it's off to stanage for FBD.
Watched echo wall recently and watched the awesome Dave drag on of those giant camalots halfway up the route.
Tournette Spur is on my hitlist this year, as well as the Frendo.
Infact, most alpine climbs on my wishlist.
Steck Salathe is a fabulous aim, but the offwidth bits, while highly entertaining, really aren't that hard. There are harder sections on the slab and the lower groove. Brilliant route though and the descent enriches the experience, especially in the dark!
Mmm... at present, I'm going to say London Wall. I've other, harder ones in mind - but that is the most realistic at present.
+1 for Integrity.
Sounds like a plan, eh, Nath? Cioch Slab and surroundings is just such an incredible place.
Mountaineering: Tournette spur (on the list again, partner jumped ship last year).
Sports: Motorhead (Eldorado)
Trad: Südriss (Falkenstein, Saxony) and Wings of Unreason
Rock Idol in Mother Carey, Pembroke
The Sloth would also be high on the list. As would Exposure Explosion. I would also like to break into the 7s for sport climbing.
Ordinary Route, Idwal Slabs. I'm after a quiet life...
Are you Planning to get that purple zero g nut as crag swag?
Somewhat embarrassingly, I seem to be the only person on here who hasn't the faintest idea what a purple zero g looks like (well, apart from being purple??) I probably wouldn't know it even if I fell over it!
Just wanna stem forever up those soaring dihedrals.
'I had this dream see... I was falling upwards in a shaft of light.'
Left Wall and Vector this year, would also like to redpoint a sustained f6c.
FBD is adjectivally harder than The Sloth but a much better bet risk wise for most progressing leaders to climb first. The exception would be those who enjoy running things out for efficiency despite obvious gear. I found hard targets unhelpful... they got me into a habit of pushing too hard, psyching myself out and dogging or backing off, so these days I climb what I fancy on the day when I feel like pushing things.
Off to Venezuela very soon for the first time in a few years so hopefully we'll tick something big, new and exciting.
Actually the big, new and exciting parts come as standard there - the only real uncertainty is whether we'll get up anything!
Agree re FBD and The Sloth. Would think FBD psychologically easier but, once ascended, a good psychological boost for The Sloth.
Now, Cwm Idwal... slabs?? Hmm... can't see anything remotely suitable (apart perhaps from the ghost of Darwin).
< Gets out battered Silva compass, circa 1962. Absently places next to magnet (for retrieving keys, you understand). >
Now, where am I?
I think you're both mental. The Sloth is easy, with easy to place gear, and FBD is a full grade harder with 1 really hard move close to gear, then gear that's easy to place badly in a very strenuous position, and then more hard climbing above said gear which my be rubbish if you haven't placed it well.
I find Sloth fine at HVS and FBD quite hard E1. FBD is much harder physically (reaching the break is tough) and much more dangerous. I don't know if there is anything psychologically to choose between them as they both go through big intimidating roofs.
Big ticklist and goals for this year, for me anyway, but would like to get Break on through at Lower Sharpnose and I have a few other E3 amd E4s in sight on the Culm
Back home, the same as it ever was:
My 2014 ticklist includes:
- Break On Through (events have conspired against me climbing this for several years now)
- Dream Liberator (although I'm not sure I'm up to this, I find the Cornish granite hard work)
And crag wise:
- Seana Mheallan
- Loch Tollaidh Crags
- Beinn Eighe (never going to happen)
- Shelter Stone
- Maybe some Ben Nevis/Glen Coe action if the weather happens
Maybe its you Jon (not mental btw, just different, as people like different things) as you seem to like bolder stuff. FBD is still HVS in Rockfax (they overruled the votes) but most people's views seem to me to average at the lower end of E1. Whereas Sloth seems to me to be upper end HVS in average view terms. When things go wrong, one sees lots of danglers the other sees more desperate straits. If you're of a nervous disposition the two possibilities resulting from problems are clearly distiguishable and for most will outway the extra physical difficulty of FBD. Plus I'm only talking as advice to improving lower end HVS leaders looking to do something hard. For E2 leaders with ego issues you are much less likely to get spanked on The Sloth
left wall and vector! And id like to get some E3s done too if anyone has any good suggestions!:-)
I have a hit list a mile long.
Anything on Devils Tower, Wyoming (What an amazing looking piece of rock).
Supremacy Crack, Eldo Canyon.
Friends have a list of rope gun routes in the US for me when I get there, plus my own mile long hit list. It depends on the day and the look of the route. I like to climb obvious nice looking lines.
Ah but where's the fun in a certain outcome (good luck) :)
Dominatrix, Kilnsey. I'm getting less fit and less strong with passing time and changing interests but we'll see, it's a brilliant line and I briefly got pretty close a couple of years back.
We both know that the votes are meaningless. If either was graded E3, then the votes would say soft e3/e2, if they were graded VS the votes would say hard vs/hvs.
Attempting to be objective about it, I would have thought that a much higher proportion of suitors fail on FBD because it is a full grade harder but has the same 'catchment' because it's been incorrectly graded. Most of those end up dangling with a small proportion hitting the slab. I would think that the Sloth sees far fewer failures because it is so much easier, and when it does see one, the climber is incompetent (hence failing on a route that's graded perfectly reasonably - they're pushing it out) so more likely to end up in bother, i.e. they've somehow managed not to protect it properly.
One thing I think makes a big difference to the danger of the routes is that the Sloth can easily be reversed from gear to rest under the roof. FBD on the other hand is 100% committing (for anyone weak enough to struggle, like me).
I maintain that this is not just like my opinion, man, but there is a significant difference in difficulty and danger between the routes.
Cuillin Ridge Solo in 24 hours
Dream of White Horses
One big, intimidating roof being much higher off the ground than the other?
I suspect that this is much more doable as a flash than an on-sight. (I know the argument cuts both ways.) I on-sighted it (there was no chalk on it, so no clues at all) and thought I was doing it 'wrong'. Afterwards the person with me told me that I'd pretty much done it the standard way. A flash would have eradicated much doubt!
Either way, good luck.
The Lotus Flower Tower. Heading out there in July. Can't wait!!
Big towers in northern Ethiopia - the first time I'm going on a trip focused on pure rock, not alpine stuff, so it could be interesting - I'm expecting a spanking
Silly Arete if you're at Tremadog...
Great Wall, Cloggy. Waiting for a dry spell after exams and then just getting down there!
I think, and have always thought that FBD was an easier lead than The Sloth, I think for its grade that The Sloth is one of the most emotionally difficult routes for it's grade in the Peak. I remember when me and Keith Myhill first tried it we had done about 6 extremes on the Roaches that day and it was only graded VS at the time by the N Staffs boys, neither of us could commit to the roof. It took me another 10 years to go back and lead it!
Ordinary Route eh? Me too, so that I can
"play at life’s brinkmanship ...live like a searchlight of survival searing through the total darkness of failure".
Me neither, although I suspect it may be a euphemism for something unspeakably foul. Probably best not to investigate further ...
For some reason, I still haven't got on Gillian or Golva at Sennen - I hope to rectify that this year. More ambitiously, I'd love to tackle Strange Little Girl at Wintour's onsight, although I'd need to be going well.
Comes the dervish for me :)
Yet modern gear makes a big difference. Sloth is a lot safer now you dont need to slot the correct sized hex but placements require care and using too much can exhaust the climber and get in the way. That polished slot on FBD still spits out cams at times.
Your old leads would be a notch or two harder in modern terms but variable dependant on how modern pro changes things.
In reply to Jon Stewart
I'm fully aware of views of your type but that relates to your particular skill set. Others think differently and I'm basing advice on what Ive seen and read overall, not how you or I find it. It applies clearly to improving leaders pushing up the HVS graded list who prefer to protect things well.
I'd consider the year a great success if I managed:
Raindogs at Malham
The ashes at kilnsey
Unfortunately they're completely different in style so if I get myself in the right shape for raindogs I'll be screwed for the ashes. Double the challenge.
I fell off that. I can't jam. And I hate gritstone.
My top route would be Left Wall. A few years ago I would have been in a position to have given it a shot, but need to get back in to climbing properly (too much time away doing other things). Still will get it done before I conk out though!
Motorhead is really trad. There are typically 0-3 bolts per pitch, and some runout pitches. I did it last year. This photo http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=228706 might make it look bolted, but note the lack of bolts below Rob.
It is awesome though!
Right Wall, Trilogy and Sugar Cane Country in the UK.
Petit Dru North Face and Frendo Spur as well.
The plan is to go with someone better and trick them into doing it first, so fingers crossed!
I'd say the opposite is true; you can place any large hex on Sloth but you need the right size of cam.
Thanks, I know. Would not think of getting onto that route without a considerable trad rack.
Once asked some Hebden Bridge mates this down the wall once in Huddersfield I think it was. Got an expected range of answers: the Alps, Scotland, Pembroke etc but one lad kept quiet for a bit and then said:
'I'd really like to get up to Widdop this year"
It was certainly achievable!
Yeh,yeh Mick you say that, but I'll bet that there's still tonnes of E numbers in the old dog yet ;-)
Also you've been there, done that and most definitely got the t-shirt. Whereas I've not even been anywhere near.
finally bagged the Weisshorn last year so it's got to be a bash at the Tournette spur if i can get a trip to the alps this year
closer to home, Tower Ridge in Winter and Integrity in summer
I'd be having an amazing year if I got White Wizard on Scafell. More attainable would be any of the great classic E2's in the Lakes, Central Pillar, Ichabod etc
I must admit having looked at both (with a view to doing them soon). I'm gonna have a crack a Sloth first (as it looks to be a much safer easier proposition ). As long as you get a piece of gear in after the block you are only gonna fall into space. Also looks like you could retreat the first few moves from the block if you decided you didn't like it. Also looks to be on massive jugs all the way out.
FBD on the other hand makes my palms sweat just thinking about committing on the first moves out from the block. Also it looks as if once you commit there's no way back. Also you've got to get that cam in the break (placing it under extreme pressure) otherwise you could be screwed !!!!
I think that I would prefer to second FBD before leading it, whereas Sloth I'm willing to give it a punt on lead - we will see :-)
>I suspect that this is much more doable as a flash than an on-sight.
Do you think? It seemed pretty obvious what you had to do to me.
You have them sussed perfectly. I would try to do FBD onsight, a bit later if need be - it's not serious enough to warrant practicing first and it's a real thrill the first time. I performed the Dangle Of Shame after running out of puff to do the long reach higher up, but I've done it a few times since then (and still struggled a bit).
Just check it doesn't start to snow while you are under the roof. The first time I tried it (last gear in the block), I cranked round the lip to find the holds covered in snow. Made it back to the block by the skin of my teeth.
I also tried in my daft youth to solo FBD onsight. I got scared and pumped but just managed to reverse from above the lip by swinging about until my toe just caught on the slab.....
FBD is undoubtedly the harder route by a full grade.
Further up is better surely Mick ? Less chance of hitting the ground ? Also if it's done in one pitch loads of gear between belayer and leader ?
Yeah me too. I've wanted to do it for years, and I've now done Saxon and Roaring Silence so it's an obvious target. When I was up there this year it was near the start of the hot spell and Nazgul was still pretty rank (although it had had one or maybe two ascents). White Wizard was still grotty, and I'm definitely not up for being the first on it in a season. Think it's supposed to be quite bold - moves pushing 6a above a bendy peg, I believe, sounds like the upper limit of the grade.
It would be a real dream tick. In fact, this is getting me motivated to get training...
Journey To Ixtlan
If it's still there after all the storms.
Cheers Jon, I've blown the onsight on both unfortunately - saw someone have a massive epic on sloth - it was one of those that you couldn't help but watch (especially when he got right out to the lip, dropped his cam, half wedged himself into the crack in the lip then started yelling for help !!!!!!) His last piece of gear was a sling around the block and he was massively run out and looking at a meeting with the pedestal !!!! Thankfully he sorted himself out and did it just as a rope was thrown down :-)
Also I've asked for advice on FBD and seen people on it (again you can't help but watch - good or bad).
When I say 'onsight' I just mean 'first go'. Below elite level, I don't think beta makes much difference, I've certainly never felt that my experience was diminished by it (whereas it definitely is when you've climbed the route before on a rope).
Sounds like all those exclamation marks are justified by the incompetence of the attempt, as I was saying above.
Journey to Ixtlan is a brilliant route, feels properly adventurous. Might be worth checking where the belay stakes are at the top (or if they even exist) before setting off on it - when we did it my partner spent ages trying to construct a usable belay (then the rope jammed anyway when he was taking it in, and I couldn't hear a thing over the waves and just had to gather the remaining rope in and just start climbing). Good fun!
Yeh I suppose you're right Jon - I would still be very happy with a clean lead on either (enough to make me stop the days climbing and attempt to drink my own bodyweight in beer at the nearest pub - as will my first clean E1 - not sure I can look Left Unconquerable clean in the eye).
In the guys defence he looked to be going great guns (maybe left the roof placement a bit late) then was just a bit unlucky when he fumbled and dropped the cam - I think after that he lost it for a short while - but did really well to get it together and Finnish the route
As far as i know, stakes have been replaced at Carn Gowla
Rationally, totally better. Psychologically most people find stuff higher up scarier.
No, if that's how you feel about Sloth, go for it. Sling round the cheeseblock, cam in the break. Then upwards on jugs and/or jams.
Worst case scenario, a lob into space. Best case scenario... joy beyond compare! (And a Whillans route in the bag.)
"... not 'ard if you use your loaf."
Evidently I lack that certain je ne sais quoi.
Sounds like a lad with his head screwed on right.
And oh aye, that bugger of a corner on Window Buttress, properly this time mind !
Did Namenlos last yeas as my first E1, i felt the crack harder than the flake above.
Yeah, but in big boots ;-)
I'm familiar with The Ashes, having fallen from the last hard move (the red point crux!) about 6 times last year....
The move to the big boss by the last clip? Just lay one on and you'll be fine.
Couldn't find final belAy stake on said route but did find some turf. Bomber. Don't let it put you off - a wonderful climbing experience.
It's the sequence from the boss to the jug that I fall off. Closest I got was making the distance but hitting the rock above the jug. That was annoying.
I don't seem to be able to recover at the eyes, just chalk up and go before I get more pumped. This way it's essentially a power endurance route from the top of the groove!
It may look easy to protect but it's not anything like as easy in practice and falling into space relies on good gear being far enough out. The slot on FBD is on the lip of the roof, then you get the hard moves, if the cam holds (it does in the vast majority of cases), you only hit the slab if you come off after the crux sequence or with incompetent belaying and if you do it's not a long way and the gear at the top of the slab stops any disaster. The problem on the Sloth is to place what can be fiddly reliable gear you are burning energy (the crack widens inside, hence the slotted hex) and the roof is much longer with most panic usually occurring just before and as climbers pull into the vertical. Again, my advice is based on those liking safe routes as they push up the HVS grade, not extreme climbers happy pushing things out on steep terrain on good holds. As you well know Namelos is HVS really and would be cheating. What I would advise for a safe first E1 is something like Pocket Symphony unless you are shit with threads. We also wrote the smile list for this very task, this includes Whillans Blind Variant, and All the Presidents Men. P.89 in Froggatt.
Apologies, I was muddling my messages with warnings. FBD is comparatively much safer with modern gear but still requires care as the slot can spit out a cam. As for Sloth what people mean by a big hex maybe has changed these days... I don't see many people climbing mid grade with an 11 for example; I've also forgotten what the smallest hex is that fits and feels secure. I've seen many scary ascents of Sloth and many people safely sparked on FBD.
It is easy to protect. You just whack in a big cam or hex in an obvious and very visible slot.
Categorically wrong. The crux of FBD is reaching the break that takes the gear. Once you've managed to place the gear, it's then hard to see how good it is.
But it's easy to reverse!! If you get tired placing the gear, go back and have a rest for goodness sake.
When I first climbed both routes I was an E1 leader. I cruised the Sloth and failed on FBD.
No it's not, especially if you are not extremely tall.
Would you rather reverse from the gear on the Sloth or FBD?
Sloth. By a mile. I thought FBD was considered pretty irreversible; hence my relief at finding it is just possible for the tall when I bottled soloing it!
No, I was talking about FBD!
>when I bottled soloing it!
North face of the Droites (colton brooks or the Ginat)
Supercouloir on Mony Blanc Du Tacul (if I'm climbing well this winter)
The Jackel at Wintours
Western Gully in the Black Ladders (if welah winter picks up any time soon!)
Vallee Blanche ;)
I'm a bit put off by the reach in FBD, not necessarily retreating, but making the reach to the break in the first place.
BTW, I think Jon was talking about The Sloth when he said it was easy to reverse.
My thoughts about FBD are that it could be quite a dangerous route for the HVS leader. I attempted a lead last year, got to the lip and got my heel on without any problems - put a cam in and wasn't happy with it, so spent energy fiddling with it. Went to clip it and found that I'd inadvertently got the rope behind my leg whilst throwing my heel onto the lip. Suddenly realised that I no longer had the strength to hang on whilst pulling the rope through, or in any case didn't want to risk anything other than a both feet first fall onto the slab. Went to downclimb and couldn't (I'm 6' 1") and so was dangling from the lip without the cam clipped and no strength left to clip it. I got my belayer to take in tight (cam under the roof) and managed to swing in a bit and aim the fall so that the rope would come tight on me as I landed. The fall was ok but it hurt my feet and knees so it's not a fall I'd like to take onto any other part of my body.
Anyhow, my point being that it's easy to get caught out. It's a very committing lead that requires strength and confidence in a potentially dangerous situation. Yes, all climbs require this to some extent but FBD demands more of it than most HVSs. Right now I think it's E1.
Oh, and back to the OP:
For 2014 I plan to train hard and get on some of the classic Peak E1 to E3s that I've been looking at for ages and sh*tting myself. I've realised that I need to stop saving routes until I'm stronger and just get stronger, otherwise these routes will never get done. A quick list of examples,
Five Finger Exercise, Cratcliffe
Sentinel Crack, Chatsworth,
Stormbringer, Gardoms (and Moyer's Buttress too)
Quietus, High Neb
and, of course - Flying Buttress Direct.
I totally missed the cam placement. I was aware that there was meant to be one somewhere but by the time I got round to thinking about it, I was well above the roof...
Not a specific route, but I do want to have a good go at the Staffs 'nose' this year
I know about the protection on Sloth and it doesn't seem to stop the scary wobbling above. Not everyone finds reversing moves that easy. I still maintain you need to climb with and watch some more developing HVS leaders rather than rely on your own experience.
FBD crux is not the reach unless you are short and even then its only the technical crux being a safe move with gear at knees; for me (5'10" positive ape index) the move is about 5a and reversible. Above you are trying to place and check gear in the slot then try and work out what to do next before strength fades ...much more like a real crux to me.
Are you going RH to the small layaway, feet into a right facing egyptian and then up with your left to good holds? I don't remember that move being super hard, compared to whats below. Can you get anything back on the boss before that move right? I put a long (4 ft)sling on the last clip so there wasn't much rope to pull up. I did have a shorter draw to re-clip, but thought 'sod it, it won't make any difference to the fall' and didn't use it. Made the finish more airy and even more exciting.
The eyes are a very good rest, but you have to work it.
Hmmm, I'd wager those decking out on FBD are more often the former than latter category!
Of course. I'm just saying FBD does spank the odd (proper) E2 leader, unlike Sloth. FBD is not a good first E1 and I gave my tips for good ones above (its HVS in Rockfax so a tainted as well as a tricky tick). My advice for the choice of either FBD or Sloth for those like Ciderslider, pushing up HVS, who prefer less risk, is FBD despite it being IMHO harder.
The Vice, onsight and with some degree of style (if that's even remotely possible on such a route!).
I know a few folk with quite a few mid extreme onsights before they got The Vice. Nice vid.
The Vice, ONSIGHT! and with some degree of style (if that's even remotely possible on such a route!).
Agree completely with all of this
Aren't you the one that thinks The File is mid-grade VS?
FBD is pumpier, more sustaied, harder to read, and has a harder crux. It is also easy to get the gear wrong.
The Sloth is a walk in the park up to the crux of about 6 steep well protected moves on massive holds.
The Sloth is also better - get amongst cider!
Not to the average VS climber who can jam whom we should be setting grades for. Hence its a tough VS in all the modern graded lists. "The File is benchmark 4b all the way if you ask me" was a typical SidH throwaway and as I pointed out at the time I've soloed a lot of VS 4b jamming routes but the thought of soling The File remains a target for when I'm supremely fit and confident in some possible future. How about you John, I guess a man of your jamming experience must have soloed it easily as every jam is solid, non ?;-)
Not soloed it for about 30 years. I must admit that all the jams perfectly fit my hands. Lead it again last year and my hands still fit perfectly. Most people stop to put too much gear in, and the indoor/sport climbers all want to use the holds on the walls for some reason, both methods make it much harder, so in some ways I must agree that for old school it is not hard, but for new era is can be a problem. How you grade stuff to alloow for all the variations I leave to your expertise and stay with my subjective grading.
Ah yes mate I fully intend to :-)
Ha, Steck Salathe is notorious in the Valley for being a huge sand bag even by Yosemite standards. Which is saying something!
The answer to this is a Left Wall and I fear that for me it will always be Left wall........
Yep, and the fact that they look at the conversion table and believe 5.10a is the equivalent of HVS/E1....
....then they jump on Sacherer Crack and find out that it's not!
I've Been a Bad Bad Boy - it would be about 24 years after first trying it.
Arch Enemies - same as above.
Statement of Youth - only 22 years for this one.
Another one for Integrity on Skye, closer to home Red Lead at Auchinstarry and in England, Eliminate A. I would also love to do anything on Scafell Crag.
Haha, spot on, I remember that feeling! I don't think I have ever lost so much sweat on a single pitch.
> Isn't it?
I'd say so. At least it feels like FBD is more than a grade harder than the File.
The guy in that video is a little more than a vs leader. He very nearly freed eternal flame so the vice provided little trouble to him.
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