/ Left Wall Dinas Cromlech 6a

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SCrossley on 12 Feb 2014
Someone I climb with is obsessing about Left Wall and but keeps making excuses not to get on it. They are highly experienced at Trad Climbing so I`m confident in their gear placing skills. I think they can do it, just lack the chutzpah and I believe it is a "safe" route so one to have a go at.
She climbs 6b outdoors and 6a easy so I was thinking of saying to her to think of it as 6a, is that a realistic thing to say.
I know trad and sport are different, just climbing is mainly Psychological and was just thinking this maybe a way to help a friend achieve a goal.
Si dH - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

It's probably not far out but probably more like 6a+.
If it helps her, you can absolutely lace it all the way up, and its possible to climb up and down the crux placing more and more gear, with a rest (basically hands-off) on the ledge before finally going for it. So as trad routes go, unless you struggle with exposure, its far from psychologically challenging.
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

On a line through the oft-quoted 6b+ for Right Wall, I'd have thought 5+ was plenty for LW.

These comparisons are pretty much bollocks in my book, but some people find them helpful, apparently. Personally Id say anyone who can only manage 6b on bolts rates to find LW a bit of a struggle, but you can always hide my response somehow when you show her this thread.

jcm
remus - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

I reckon 6a+ is about right. Feels a bit harder when you're placing gear because there's so much of it!
Jon Stewart - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

What people tend to forget about the difference between trad and sport is that it is massively physical as well as psychological.

Being able to climb 6b on bolts helps a bit to climb a big, intimidating E2 trad pitch. But being able to climb a big, intimidating E2 pitch is rather more helpful. What makes trad trad is being able to hang on placing gear; on LW you have to do this on some fairly hard climbing (or do a fair bit of downclimbing), or after the hard climbing when you're likely to be pumped (and it's little wire). This isn't a psychological skill, it's fitness: not getting pumped is the key to climbing the route.

Yes, the climbing is probably about 6a/+. But that doesn't really help her. If she's not confident at big E2 pitches, she will struggle. It's middle-upper half of the grade, very intimidating and a stamina route (although the difficult climbing is just a single tough move low down and then a shortish sustained section high up).

How she finds The Strand (which is much easier and barely E1 IMO, f5+) is way more relevant.
Bulls Crack - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Agree with bollox comparison but 5+ for a 5c technical crux after moderately pumpy climbing - admittedly with rest?

In Montanejos perhaps!
The Pylon King on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

F6a with a shortish F6b crux section.
SCrossley on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

The Strand, is that at Gogarth?
Dave Garnett - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to GLUF)
>

> How she finds The Strand (which is much easier and barely E1 IMO

Only if you abseil off after the first pitch!
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Indeed. My point was that Right Wall isn't 6b+ even in bollocks-land, not that Left Wall was 5+.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Eh? There is only one pitch.

jcm
Jon Stewart - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Dave Garnett:

>

> Only if you abseil off after the first pitch!

Haha. Have you been up there recently? The second pitch doesn't really exist anymore...it would be a rather eccentric gardening expedition at about E2 4c I guess!? Perhaps it always was, and that's where the grade came from?
Jon Stewart - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

> The Strand, is that at Gogarth?

It is, but it's on the Upper Tier, not a real sea cliff adventure route. Just a big 40-odd meter single pitch of massive holds up a flake crack, getting progressively steeper but never truly overhanging. Everyone I've climbed it with has found it to be a romp!
Robert Durran - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> How she finds The Strand (which is much easier and barely E1 IMO, f5+) is way more relevant.

Good God! You were doing really well until that. I can now see where you are coming from with your opinions of NW grades ;-)

To the OP: Far more relevant is her ability to climb borderline E2/E3 than 6b (it used to be given (definitive) bottom end E3, but was, IMO unjustifiably, downgraded.

Dave Garnett - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
> Haha. Have you been up there recently? The second pitch doesn't really exist anymore...it would be a rather eccentric gardening expedition at about E2 4c I guess!? Perhaps it always was, and that's where the grade came from?

4b in my guide but E2 wouldn't be far off.

Yes, it was a long time ago when I did it. So long ago that it was considered normal to start at the bottom and finish at the top.
Robert Durran - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> Everyone I've climbed it with has found it to be a romp!

Two people I know who, pushing their grade, did both the Strand and Left Wall at about the same time, both said they found the Strand harder.
Post edited at 12:42
Jon Stewart - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

Oh no! It's Robert's nutcase "Left Wall E3" doctrine, I'd forgotten about that.

Don't listen to him. Left Wall is nothing like E3. It is a big pitch of generally easy climbing with a single tricky move in the lower half and a soft 5c section at the top. All well protected. There is no way it could get any grade other than mid-solid E2. It is the very definition of E2. Do not listen.
Jon Stewart - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Two people I know who, pushing their grade, did both the Strand and Left Wall at abpout the same time, both said they found the Strand harder.

No. You're insane and you think that they said that, but it was all voices in your head.
Jon Stewart - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> 4b in my guide but E2 wouldn't be far off.

> Yes, it was a long time ago when I did it. So long ago that it was considered normal to start at the bottom and finish at the top.

After a route on Cloggy, did you have to run up to the top of Snowdon too?
remus - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

Probably because they were on crack at the time. No way is the strand harder than left wall. Literally impossible.
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I don't remember this second pitch at all. There was some sort of parkland walking before coiling the ropes. Is that what you mean?

jcm
Dave Garnett - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

We didn't run, but we moved together for the final 48 pitches!
Dave Garnett - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
>
> I don't remember this second pitch at all. There was some sort of parkland walking before coiling the ropes. Is that what you mean?


Yes, I agree, it was pretty trivial, although some people used to spend a long time on it. The Doomsville finish was considered more entertaining.

Anyway, mixed agricultural finishes not an issue on Left Wall unless things really have changed.
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> We didn't run, but we moved together for the final 48 pitches!

As you know, last time I climbed on Cloggy my partner insisted on precisely this procedure!

jcm
Olaf Prot - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

Left Wall would be benchmark 6a+ with bolts...

..problem is, there are no bolts!
Robert Durran - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to remus:

> Probably because they were on crack at the time. No way is the strand harder than left wall. Literally impossible.

No. It did surprise me. I don't think it is either - I was just illustrating how utterly deluded Jon's "barely E1" is. Strand mid E2. Left Wall absolutely top end if you insist on the guidebook downgrade.

Bob on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

Maybe top end E1 for Left Wall. It's very amenable for the E2 grade. Compare it with other Welsh E2s that are standard for their grade: Suicide Wall; Vector, and you'll see that there's no way it can be E3. It's easy compared to Falcon at Tremadog and that used to be E1 (though a hold or two fell off the crux, hence the upgrade)
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Bob:

> It's easy compared to Falcon at Tremadog and that used to be E1

I don't agree with that at all. It's a strange one, Left Wall. It seems to be borderline E2/E3, just as you'd expect from its guidebook grades, but some people evidently find it much easier. It's probably to do with whether people's strengths are relatively physical or technical; maybe LW favours the former considerably.

jcm
snoop6060 - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Left wall seems really soft for E2 (even going direct) compared to say Darius or Pincushion. It seems about the same as the corner.
Mark Collins - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

Working on the premise that you can never be too careful, don't forget that its a long single pitch (40metres) and therefore you won't be able to lower the leader to the ground if they have a mare near the top. Not on most ropes that I know about, anyway.
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Alun - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> Personally Id say anyone who can only manage 6b on bolts rates to find LW a bit of a struggle

Agreed.

And also agreed on the 'Right Wall being 6b+' bollox.

Although I do confess to occasionally debating the hypothetical french grade of certain trad routes.

The Pylon King on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

The Strand = E1/2 5b (F6a+)

Left Wall = Mid E2 5c (F6b)
In reply to The Pylon King:

> The Strand = E1/2 5b (F6a+)

> Left Wall = Mid E2 5c (F6b)

FWIW I think you are making the classic mistake of comparing how the trad routes feel vs sport routes, not how they WOULD feel if they were properly bolted.

Strand (F5+)
Left Wall (F6a)

Chris
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Well, why is that a mistake? Who cares what they WOULD feel like? They ain't gonna feel like that.

It does rather illustrate why this is bollocks, though. You need to define your terms.

jcm
petegunn on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

I remember being in the same boat, in the end we did a warm up route then went for it. Because i had hyped it up in my head and from reading stories, most fallen off route in the pass etc. thought that it might be a struggle but in the end it was straight forward with easy to read moves and lots of obvious gear placements. If she doesnt climb a lot on mountain routes/environment then probably spend a weekend doing a few easy ones before getting on it.
Tell your friend just to get on it and enjoy it, all the holds and gear are up there for you to enjoy.
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

Re most fallen off route in the Pass Id say that anyone who climbs much on Dinas Cromlech say anyone whos spent five summer days up there rates to have seen someone take a pretty decent flyer off Left Wall. Of course that doesnt prove much maybe it attracts people who arent up to it? Still, its worth remembering when people tell you its only E1 that a fair few folk who thought they could do it at E2 or E3 have taken the ride.

jcm
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Well, why is that a mistake? Who cares what they WOULD feel like? They ain't gonna feel like that.

> It does rather illustrate why this is bollocks, though. You need to define your terms.

Of course is bollocks, but it is double bollocks if the French grade doesn't isn't applied to how it would feel if it were properly bolted.

Chris
SCrossley on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

thats actually the tack I am trying to take, that she can do it physically. As it is relatively safe I see she has little to lose by getting on it.
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

>but it is double bollocks if the French grade doesn't isn't applied to how it would feel if it were properly bolted.

Well, I'm not sure I agree. But to be sure I don't pay too much attention to what people are trying to say when they produce these numbers. If they're trying to imagine what the route would feel like in some universe which doesn't exist, it's no wonder they come up with such crap numbers.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

>thats actually the tack I am trying to take, that she can do it physically.

Well quite. But as Jon Stewart pointed out, if it would be 6a with bolts in and she can do 6a, then she can't do it physically.

jcm
SCrossley on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

What are you on about?
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

Have you ever actually been climbing?

It's hard work putting gear in.

jcm
Dangerous Dave - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

Too be able to climb Left Wall you need to have a fair amount of trad experience. If you went sport climbing and got competent at 6b you would most likely fail at left wall. Trad and sport do not compare so it is generaly pointless trying to compare them.
The Pylon King on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

No mistake.
Bulls Crack - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Perhaps one could train for it by doing a well bolted 40 metre 6a+ and stopping by every bolt and fiddling with it on one arm for 5 minutes? ;-)
spidermonkey09 - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

I got on it last year when a bit tired and only just having broken into E2. I took the whipper! The climbing is reasonably straightforward for the most part but the crux is stiff. Probably 6a+ for me but its a completely bollocks comparison as many have said.

Its a really intimidating line and feels exposed when youre 10 foot off the deck. That was my main problem, I laced the bottom half with gear instead of running it out a tad.

Going back for it this summer!
SCrossley on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Have you ever actually been climbing?

> It's hard work putting gear in.

> jcm

This the trouble with UKC the endless loop
OP
She climbs 6b outdoors and 6a easy so I was thinking of saying to her to think of it as 6a, is that a realistic thing to say.
I know trad and sport are different, just climbing is mainly Psychological and was just thinking this maybe a way to help a friend achieve a goal.

And do I climb, yes a lot, between 2 and 5 times a week, not very well but I flaming enjoy it, how often do you climb?
SCrossley on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Actually thats a good idea, she is doing blocks of 25 minute reps on 6a and 6a+, but doing it slow like that could be a plan, on something steep.
In reply to Chris Craggs:
Chris, I'm sure you're well aware that French grades are now just "the grades" in many climbing areas for sport and trad routes (see 27crags.com for instance). I don't think anyone in Finland for instance who grades a trad route let's say 6a+ is thinking "well that's what it would feel like if it was bolted", they think if feels like 6a+ including the effort of placing the gear.

This should be supported by you guidebook scribblers because it ensures your craft is still needed! "A fine climb and a real experience; 6a but utterly terrifying with little gear to be found." etc.
Post edited at 15:59
Dangerous Dave - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:
> She climbs 6b outdoors and 6a easy so I was thinking of saying to her to think of it as 6a, is that a realistic thing to say.
> I know trad and sport are different, just climbing is mainly Psychological and was just thinking this maybe a way to help a friend achieve a goal.


Does she do much Trad? Is she solid on E1? If not the chances of her managing this are low. Does not matter she can climb 6b outside.
Matt Vigg - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

This is spot on, if I graded LW with a french grade I'd call it 6b/+ or so, not cause that's the grade it would feel like if it were bolted but cause that's the grade it feels like to actually climb it.

Whether or not the OP's friend can climb it depends on a lot of things, but being able to climb 6b probably isn't at the top of the list. That said if you don't at least get on things you can guarantee you'll never climb them.
In reply to Matt Vigg:

> This is spot on, if I graded LW with a french grade I'd call it 6b/+ or so, not cause that's the grade it would feel like if it were bolted but cause that's the grade it feels like to actually climb it.

But personally I don't see that adds any useful information?

Another example used before is that the Axe (E4 6a) feels like a F6c/6c+ to lead, but bolted it would be about F6a/6a+ - which does tell you something extra - i.e. it isn't very hard.


Chris
Jon Stewart - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

> This the trouble with UKC the endless loop

> I know trad and sport are different, just climbing is mainly Psychological

It's not the UKC endless loop, it's you failing to absorb the point that the difference is mainly physical, plus psychological, not mainly psychological.
spidermonkey09 - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

No excuse not to get on it now...
alexjz - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:
It sounds like she may be able to do the climb... would she enjoy it? that's the big question.
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> Another example used before is that the Axe (E4 6a) feels like a F6c/6c+ to lead, but bolted it would be about F6a/6a+ - which does tell you something extra - i.e. it isn't very hard.

It sounds bizarrely easy for English 6a? Are there other routes that UK 6a and would also only be 6a or 6a+ if bolted? I can't normally do UK 6a moves from my very limited attempts - 5c closes me down often enough!


Bulls Crack - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

does it feel 6a+ to second? Presuming you haven't top-roped it?!
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:

No.

jcm
bpmclimb - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> Another example used before is that the Axe (E4 6a) feels like a F6c/6c+ to lead, but bolted it would be about F6a/6a+ - which does tell you something extra - i.e. it isn't very hard.


That sounds like a very unusual case. Unless the route is not just at the bottom end of its trad grade, but simply overgraded. What's normally the minimum sport grade on which you could find a UK 6a move? I'd estimate 6b+ (or maybe 6b absolute minimum).
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to bpmclimb:

>What's normally the minimum sport grade on which you could find a UK 6a move? I'd estimate 6b+ (or maybe 6b absolute minimum).

I don't think that's right. Telli surely wouldn't be harder than 6a+, would it?

Sport grades for non-sport routes are basically bullshit. That's the problem.

jcm
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Matt Vigg - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

It probably doesn't add much useful info, just a bit, and probably not much more or less than saying it would be 6a if bolted. At the end of the day the best grading system to describe LW is the grading system that gives it E2 5c!
Goucho on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> On a line through the oft-quoted 6b+ for Right Wall, I'd have thought 5+ was plenty for LW.

I knew someone who could cruise 7a sport - didn't get further than 20' up Right Wall :-)

Goucho on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

Comparing sport routes to trad routes, is like comparing ski jumping to slalom skiing - they both use skis and take place on snow, but there the similarity ends.

And comparing indoor sport grades to trad grades, is like comparing sledging to surfing :-)
The Pylon King on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Telli would get F6b+
The Pylon King on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Chris, I'm sure you're well aware that French grades are now just "the grades" in many climbing areas for sport and trad routes (see 27crags.com for instance). I don't think anyone in Finland for instance who grades a trad route let's say 6a+ is thinking "well that's what it would feel like if it was bolted", they think if feels like 6a+ including the effort of placing the gear.

> This should be supported by you guidebook scribblers because it ensures your craft is still needed! "A fine climb and a real experience; 6a but utterly terrifying with little gear to be found." etc.

So why don't they use the British trad system? E3 5b will say the same.

Robert Durran - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:
> I don't think anyone in Finland for instance who grades a trad route let's say 6a+ is thinking "well that's what it would feel like if it was bolted", they think if feels like 6a+ including the effort of placing the gear.

Maybe, but in the UK we already have a proper grading system, and the application of a French grade to a trad route always means the physical difficulty of a route (ie if it were bollted or top roped). As such it can be useful in conjunction with the UK system.

As for the OP, just ask her if she is solid at E2; if so she has a good chance on Left wall. If not she may well end up "losing gravity fast" (one of several amusing snowboarding terms I've learnt watching the telly this week). Much simpler than provoking pointless speculation here by not actually telling us what grade she can climb.
Post edited at 22:05
In reply to The Pylon King:

> So why don't they use the British trad system?

Bloody minded foreigners eh? Not coming over here and not taking our grades. The b'stards.

> E3 5b will say the same.

Except for all the times it doesn't.

Robert Durran - on 12 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> It's a strange one, Left Wall. It seems to be borderline E2/E3, just as you'd expect from its guidebook grades, but some people evidently find it much easier.

It seems so, but I've belayed 3 pretty solid E2 leaders on it and they all fell off.
johncoxmysteriously - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

> "losing gravity fast"

I like it. It doesn't make any sense, obviously, but I still like it. The second good expression I've learned this week, the first being 'squirrels must excel at mathematics. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to jump accurately.', which is apparently a well-known trope to illustrate a particular type of fallacious reasoning, but I'd never heard before.

jcm
pasbury on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yep - I've belayed a very solid E2/3 leader on it and he took a whipper off the top crux. I seconded with no trouble at all (note he was the better climber).
When I tried to lead it some time later I backed off it. Point being it's quite daunting - it appears unrelentingly steep so I think you tend to put in more effort to lead it than is strictly neccesary.
Alun - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> It seems to be borderline E2/E3, just as you'd expect from its guidebook grades, but some people evidently find it much easier. It's probably to do with whether people's strengths are relatively physical or technical; maybe LW favours the former considerably

Agreed. The first 25m is HVS jug-pulling. When I did it I had spanish sport-climbing fitness in my arms, and so felt almost completely fresh when I reached the crux.

The thing is, as you quite rightly say, that for somebody accustomed to short technical routes, 25 metres of jug-pulling can actually be quite tiring, so you arrive at the crux already knackered - which naturally makes it feel more difficult than it is.
howifeel - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

6B left wall, 6C Cenotaph Corner, 6b Ivy Sephulcre, 6A Foil, 7B Ressurection based on difficulty and pro (or lack of it) and personal experience as lead.
johncoxmysteriously - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to howifeel:

> 6A Foil

A minority view, I fancy!

jcm
Mike Highbury - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to howifeel:

> 6B left wall, 6C Cenotaph Corner, 6b Ivy Sephulcre, 6A Foil, 7B Ressurection based on difficulty and pro (or lack of it) and personal experience as lead.

That is the craziest graded list that I've seen for a while.

I'm assuming that it's world the world viewed through an aid climber's eyes who has a tendency to drop his rack every once in a while.
Alun - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to howifeel:

> 6B left wall, 6C Cenotaph Corner, 6b Ivy Sephulcre, 6A Foil, 7B Ressurection based on difficulty and pro (or lack of it) and personal experience as lead.

Cripes. Well that's an interesting take on things. If resurrection were 7b it should get E5/6, because while it has good gear it's not stuffed with it. It's certainly easier climbing, and better protected, than Lord (which I confess to only have seconded). Still, each to their own.

(BTW, to avoid confusion: the use of the capital letter in the grade usually refers to Font bouldering grades (which are a different scale to sport grades, which are usually referred to in lower case))
johncoxmysteriously - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to Alun:

To be fair, if we're going with Font grades for a bouldering-style ascent, Resurrection's a bit of a highball. I'd have thought you'd want to be bouldering at least Font 7B.

jcm
remus - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Id want a little more in the bag if I was going to highball Foil...
johncoxmysteriously - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to remus:

Couple of pads, you'll be reet.

After all, "it is unfortunately possible to throw oneself into Sabre Cut for a rest when the going gets tough". Always wondered about that 'throw oneself'.

jcm
pasbury on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

You do it by pulling yourself up with your bootstraps.
Lusk - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Couple of pads, you'll be reet.

> jcm

Have you jumped off the Valkyrie ledge yet?! :-)
rurp - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

My training for left wall was to do 6 new overhanging 6b's onsight in a row at the climbing wall without a rest in between. I figured this would be about equivalent, the training and the route take 30-60 mins at that intensity with not much rest.

As a result. Tried left wall in a heat wave with no warm up. Took air from the final crack thinking I still had the crux to go on unfolding fingers. Did it second go. Doing 6 overhanging 6b's in a row on sight at the climbing wall was much easier.

Its a safe route. take lots of number 2 wires for the final crack. Its a safe fall no reason not to have a go for your mate.






wazzalad20 - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to rurp:

I really want to get on left wall this summer, lead CG in October and loved it. I was thinking that for indoor training it would be a good idea to lead routes that are a similar angle ie vertical or in a slight overhang. Therefore I would be building endurance on smaller holds which may be more route specific?
Obviously I will be getting out on loads of trad routes as soon as it warms up too:-)
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to wazzalad20:

LW is two adjectival grades harder than CG - it's as simple as that. I expected the first half of LW, the long intro, to be a bit like a slightly harder version of the the Gates. In reality, it bears almost no resemblance, it's just so much less friendly, more unrelenting, and so much more difficult to rest on. Most of CG is relentless 4C on surprisingly friendly, spiky rock, with good positive holds and jams, while the first half of LW is relentless 5A/B - mostly side holds, very strenuous and awkward, and not at all easy to rest on and that's just the (very intimidating) first half. Then a completely different ball game when it traverses right, and that's even before the heavyweight crux. I suppose if you're v strong and fit it would feel different. Definitely harder than Vector, though Vector is probably technically harder.
wazzalad20 - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I did the gates when I was unfit and I hadnt done a trad route for a coupe of months so it felt tougher than it should of. I was going to get on the corner but It looked hard and i hate corners, most people have told me that left wall feels easier than the corner and I love technical wall climbing, thin cracks and crimps is my style. I struggle when it comes to jams and oldschool thuggish climbing:-)

Cheers for the heads up though, I am going to make sure I am as fit as a fiddle and get a few E2s under my belt first!
spidermonkey09 - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Thats the best description of the first half of left wall I've read. Awkward, never desperate but hard to get anything back until you get to the wobbly jug. I'm psyched for it again now!
Bob on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Surprising isn't it - that's not my memories of LW at all. Steady 4c/5a up to the kink right, a hard move to get in to the rightward trending bit. Steady up this to the fork in the crack. Get gear in then a twenty foot section that doesn't really give up then jugs out to the arete and easy up this.

I find CG to be nearly as hard and I just don't feel comfortable on it.
Morgan Woods - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> I knew someone who could cruise 7a sport - didn't get further than 20' up Right Wall :-)

That sounds like me :( although to be fair i got a little bit off route just below the first ledge and then lobbed.
Alun - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Bob:

> Surprising isn't it - that's not my memories of LW at all. Steady 4c/5a up to the kink right, a hard move to get in to the rightward trending bit. Steady up this to the fork in the crack. Get gear in then a twenty foot section that doesn't really give up then jugs out to the arete and easy up this.

This is exactly my memory of it i.e. completely different to what Gordon described. Also I found Vector to be much more difficult than Left Wall.

As jcm said, it's clearly a route on which people have wildly differing experiences. Maybe that contributes to it being such a classic!
Offwidth - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Alun:
How can so many people making honest appraisals believe things that are incompatible? I think its down to many factors including ego, faulty memory (am I the only one to remember things I find hard much better than when I'm in full flow) missing easy sequencies due to fatique and panic, a denial of individual strength and weakness compared to the norm, and history as gear improves. I know grades are tricky to pin down and vary a bit region to region but some people have gotten very good at it by having wide experience and honestly watching and listening to others they know. In this, even though I've never led a hard E2, I do know Sentinal Crack at Chatsworth is solid E3 (given E2) and I'd be pretty confident LW is somewhere in the middle to tough end of of E2. It doesnt matter if one person finds it easy, if so many good E2 leaders without specific weaknesses and in good form fall off a route that is hardly attracting lemmings (like some soft touch grades do). Equally if it feels desperate it probably doesnt suit you or you messed it up. So those who think significantly different maybe they need to question themselves. Of course an in form mid exteme experienced leader with good 'sports fitness' gets an easy ride and a solid VS leader who has the potential to play on strengths to fluke a grit E3 will be thoroughly humiliated (say if I tried currently).
Post edited at 11:17
Bulls Crack - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Bob:

> Surprising isn't it - that's not my memories of LW at all. Steady 4c/5a up to the kink right, a hard move to get in to the rightward trending bit. Steady up this to the fork in the crack. Get gear in then a twenty foot section that doesn't really give up then jugs out to the arete and easy up this.

Exactly my memory too but remember being pleasantly surpised how enjoyable the tech crux was after the thuggishness below!

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Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Bob:

> Surprising isn't it - that's not my memories of LW at all. Steady 4c/5a up to the kink right, a hard move to get in to the rightward trending bit. Steady up this to the fork in the crack. Get gear in then a twenty foot section that doesn't really give up then jugs out to the arete and easy up this.

> I find CG to be nearly as hard and I just don't feel comfortable on it.

It is obviously a fitness thing. My attempt on LW was before I'd ever been to a big indoor wall, for example. A few years later I did a lot of climbing on that huge indoor wall at Birmingham (does it still exist?), and got much, much stronger and better at climbing steep and sustained pitches. If I'd gone back to LW then I think I would have cruised it. I really regret that now - about my only climbing regret, really (oh, and the Matterhorn).

I probably exaggerated a bit above with my comparison with CG. I had a very good experience on the Gates, and more or less walked up it. My attempt on LW was a fortnight later, and I was expecting the first half of LW to be similar. It seemed much harder but I guess in reality only about half a technical grade, because resting was much more difficult. e.g. top end 5a rather than 4c/bottom end 5a. I also found it a lot more intimidating and bottled out when I had trouble doing that first hard move going right on soggy arms. (Curiously, the ropes were just long enough to let me reach the ground from there, as if some subconscious part of the brain had been making a calculation :)
Bob on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

The first time I did LW was as a second - we did the direct finish which is now described as part of True Grip. I then went on to on-sight Resurrection (RH finish). The second time was on the lead as warm up for Right Wall. This was a long time ago before "sports fitness".

You could say on both occasions I had "trad oomph". I'd describe this as a mixture of general fitness and bottle, being prepared to just climb on without having to find a runner every move. On the second occasion above the late Ed Stone did LW just after me with just two runners! One before the move right and one at the foot of the left leaning crack. He was warming up for an attempt on what became Nightmayer so it was a long way inside his capabilities.

I wouldn't say I've a faulty memory (though I can suffer from that), I can remember details about routes for a long time, almost down to "You need a Rock #5 for ...". In general I've only ever gone up to the Cromlech when I've been fit and feeling confident as the routes do need that combination
Offwidth - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Bob:
Some climbers always had 'sports fitness' (at that grade ) from trad mileage, hence the italics. My point is that the onsight success rate of your average E2 leader (who has no lack in the fair skill set for the route) is the real test of the grade and from that LW can't be as easy as some here claim.
Post edited at 11:55
spidermonkey09 - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=37

'People who say Left Wall is a piece of piss are either Jerry Moffatt or lying.'
Offwidth - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to spidermonkey09:

I'd missed that brilliant article. Cheers.
Owen W-G - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

LW is about F6a+/6b to top rope.

A mate of mine belayed a continental fella on LW who apparently climbs F7c but is inexperienced at trad, and he got well pumped on it!

Your friend might find herself v scared and pumped on the last few moves leftwards while she wonders whether her nut placements are any good.
Owen W-G - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> the first half of LW is relentless 5A/B - mostly side holds, very strenuous and awkward, and not at all easy to rest on


Is that right? I remember the first half, after the initial tricky 5b move, to be sustained 4c and quite relaxing until the awkward move rightwards at half height.

GrahamD - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Left wall is solid benchmark E2. If it were bolted it would probably be 6a/6a+ IMO.
Matt Vigg - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to GrahamD:

I think the bottom of this thread should be linked to the top so if you scroll down it, it'll go on forever.
Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Owen W-G:

> Is that right? I remember the first half, after the initial tricky 5b move, to be sustained 4c and quite relaxing until the awkward move rightwards at half height.

As I say, just a fortnight after doing the Gates I found the first part of Left Wall harder and more strenuous. It seemed to be side holds all the way and very few good jams IIRC. It came as a bit of a shock, because I was expecting that bit to be easier.

The day after the LW debacle, I did Weaver. Mind you, I seconded the main pitch; but found it OK just:) (and brilliant).
silo - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Goucho:
R wall I thought was a solid 6c+ and may be a little bit harder with a chalk path to follow.
SCrossley on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

Just had look through the logbook, this is classic.

felt a bit scary at top...
mark mcgowan01 - Solo rpt - 1985
Mike Hammill - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Mark Collins:

The critical thing about Left Wall is finger size:
skinny = easy
fat = you would probably find Right Wall easier!
My wife romped it, but then she romped Redhead's Direct on White Slab!
Still raining here in Llanrwst....
Cheers all,

Mike
Mark Warnett - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to howifeel:

Foil 6a? you must be double yoking!
Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Mark Warnett:

> Foil 6a? you must be double yoking!

I wonder how many UKC regulars have actually done Foil? You could probably count them on the fingers of one hand. (slim fingers.)
Mark Warnett - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

Left Wall is pretty sustained tough E2 with two tough crux sections, either of which it would be easy to mis-read and muck up, especially when pumped.

I would want to be on-sighting F6c regularly before getting on it. Its safe but why risk blowing the on-sight of such a classic!

Sice its not goig to be in nick until at least august 2020 if she is obsessed she has time to train a bit for it?
Bulls Crack - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Mark Warnett:

> Foil 6a? you must be double yoking!

WTF? 6b+ if one insists on doing this sort of thing
Mark Warnett - on 14 Feb 2014
you could count the number of people who climbed Foil and thought it was 6a on one finger! its well protected but nails
John2 - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I've seconded it, and it's definitely English but not French 6a.
simonp - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Finger size isn't critical on Foil. Being tall helps at the top though. Guess it would be around 6c with bolts for what that's worth and certainly more than a full grade harder than LW!
Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to John2:

That's what I've always heard.
Bob on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I have - it's hard. Hard for 6a and hard for E3.
Goucho on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I wonder how many UKC regulars have actually done Foil? You could probably count them on the fingers of one hand. (slim fingers.)

Me - slim fingers and tall - and it is 6a!
Cardi - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

On the subject of left wall, has anyone seen any (reasonably priced) photo prints of it for sale anywhere? Think it would be a nice addition to the bare walls of my new house.
Neil - on 15 Feb 2014
I think half of the 'problem' with left wall is it's reputation and the fact that no-one wants to fall off it and blow the onsight. The climbing is challenging enough for an E2 leader and requires stamina and a steady approach that is the downfall of many.
When I was keen to lead it when I first started leading at that level I left it for these reasons. I knew the climbing wasn't desperate, but I didn't want to blow it by being over keen and under prepared. As it was it went well. In contrast to when I did cenotaph corner and had probably only done a few E1s and strangely, never led an HVS. It felt desperate! But that does not mean it is harder does it!

Goucho on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Neil:

> I think half of the 'problem' with left wall is it's reputation and the fact that no-one wants to fall off it and blow the onsight. The climbing is challenging enough for an E2 leader and requires stamina and a steady approach that is the downfall of many.

I don't think Left Wall has that much of a reputation as such - it's bang on solid E2, but having several other E2's under your belt is a good idea, if you want to get the best experience out of it.

It does require a confident approach, and with the crux being high up, if you dither, and try to lace it with gear lower down when you don't need too (there's always good gear when you need it), you'll end up getting pumped before you reach the crux, and that's when the demons of doubt will start to creep in.

I love it, and have probably done it over a dozen times - including solo - it's one of the best routes in the UK grade for grade.




Wilbur - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

It was my first e2 absolutely by the skin of my teeth. I only got it by being mega fit after a week of trad doing stuff like nexus and wind and they also gave me confidence and it is basically a real fitness and confidence route. You also need to place gear sparingly and move quick...

I thought the first crux 5c (going right) and the top crux 5b but definitely the psychological crux!

I was on it for about 3 hours!!!

If you want to give an approximate sport grade to manage expectations to your friend I would think she needs to be on sighting 6b+ on pumpy sport routes regularly to have any chance but she will also need some trad confidence and mileage. Good luck!
Wilbur - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

By the way, according to nwr first ed ss special is much easier than LW.... Hahahahahahahahaha
Neil - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Goucho:

That is exactly it, if you lack the right approach you are in danger of those demons taking hold as you say. Done well it's straightforward, anything less would make it feel a lot worse than it ought to be. I totally agree it's fairly characteristic of an e2 in this style, but it is built up (perhaps beyond it's actual difficulty) by those aspiring to it.
Robert Durran - on 16 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I wonder how many UKC regulars have actually done Foil?

Foil is a full grade harder than Left wall (borderline E3/4 IMO).
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Jamie B - on 16 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

The salient question that nobody has asked:

Can she/has she led E2?
SCrossley on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to Jamie B:

Yes
Swotson - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

You really are GLUF.
Swotson - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

IMHO you can't really compare sport to trad - its way different.
Swotson - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

What about Central Route in Wilton One? - Thats safe. What is stopping someone getting on that and not being GLUF
Swotson - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to Jamie B:

E2 slabs - slightly different to Left Wall E2, I would say.
Swotson - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

Basically, it is nobody's business but hers to choose when she is ready to climb LW. Maybe she has a plan on how to succeed at this? Maybe she has plans already to try other E2s of a similar nature? Maybe she isn't obsessing but working towards an achievable goal by appraising realistically what her strengths and areas of improvement are.
edinburgh_man on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to Alun:

"And also agreed on the 'Right Wall being 6b+' bollox. "

Yep, I agree. Right Wall is generally considered to be 6c according to everyone I know that has done it. Personally I'd want to be onsighting a lot harder that 6c before considering getting on RW though!
edinburgh_man on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:
The thing with Left Wall IMO is that there aren't any hard moves, but it does go on - it's circa 40m and there are some pokey moves near the top. You don't need to be strong to climb it, but you do need to be fit. I think if your fit and take your time to recover at the good holds before the crack moves left then you should be fine.

On the other hand, if your boulder strong, but not fit then I think you could struggle.

ps I also think its middle of the grade E2 5c.
Post edited at 01:33
Coel Hellier - on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to Wilbur:

> You also need to place gear sparingly and move quick... [...] I was on it for about 3 hours!!!

???

Wilbur - on 19 Feb 2014
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Ermm, yes well, do as I say etc!

I did adopt a strategy of everytime I thought I shld put gear in I just didn't and climbed same distance again before placing a runner. That's what I mean by that. As for moving quick ok so clearly I wasn't overall but i got a bit stuck at the first Crux and I spent ages at the top rest pre crux and climbed up and down a few times to get plenty of gear at the bottom of the crack before just going for it...
Sean Kelly - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to Alun:


> This is exactly my memory of it i.e. completely different to what Gordon described. Also I found Vector to be much more difficult than Left Wall.


But they are totally different kinds of climbing. Vector is very technical and not that stren, and has a few good rests.
I personally think that everyone has got the totally wrong approach to LW, just practise some very big lobs, the more the better. Then when you come to lead LW, you might have no stamina, no technique, no strength, but falling is a piece of piss, so long as you got some decent pro that is!

Bulls Crack - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Surely better then to practice placing gear...fall off and there goes the onsight!
Sean Kelly - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Perhaps more than the on-sight...!
Morgan Woods - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to Neil:

> I think half of the 'problem' with left wall is it's reputation and the fact that no-one wants to fall off it and blow the onsight. The climbing is challenging enough for an E2 leader and requires stamina and a steady approach that is the downfall of many.


I think a lot of Brit tradders tend to "save" classic safe routes for the onsight rather than give it a go and see what happens. If they took this approach they might find they become less worried about falling, and progress faster.

When I did LW my logbook suggests I was onsighting 6b/c on UK & Euro sport and working 7a's. 6b as a sport top rope grade seems about right.

Foil seemed more like one or two hard moves with a few gnarly fingerlocks thrown in. I would have thought 6c to top rope but then again everybody says that about RW...such an exercise is always going to be confusing.
Goucho on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to Morgan Woods:
I would have thought 6c to top rope but then again everybody says that about RW...such an exercise is always going to be confusing.

I think most people who think RW is 6b/c probably haven't done it :-)


Post edited at 22:54
Ian Parsons - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to Goucho:


> I think most people who think RW is 6b/c probably haven't done it :-)

Some years ago, possibly before I was aware of UKC (and certainly before awareness of conjecture as to the likely French grade of Right Wall), I did a couple of 6b+s at Montsant in the Costa Daurada. Both involved vertical, sequency pocket climbing, and both felt hard enough to equate with leading E4; I remember thinking that, physically/technically, they were as hard as or harder than RW. I mentioned this shortly afterwards to a colleague who had recently returned from one of the French holiday cragging destinations in favour at the time (I forget where); he thought for a moment and then opined that - wherever he had just been - Right Wall would have six (or maybe he said five) bolts, and a grade of 6b. (We'd obviously both already done Right Wall.)

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