/ Limestone - 100 best limestone routes

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VPJB - on 08 Mar 2014
Looking at Chris Craggs book, 100 best limestone routes climbs in Britain, it was written in 1991.
If a new one was written, what routes would be on it?

A few I would choose:

Brazen Buttress, Pembroke
Scavenger, Gower


Alun - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to VPJB:

i'd certainly swap Scavenger for that HVS down in the depths of Mewslade that nobody ever does, cos when I went to do it the top half had fallen down! (I forget the name - maybe begins with I? - its next to an E3 called Power Trap, which is most definitely worth doing.)

The book is clearly an incredibly subjective list anyway.
Al Evans on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to VPJB:

I like it because it's got two of my routes in it :-)
andy farnell - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to VPJB:
There would have to be a lot more sports routes in there.

Andy F
Al Evans on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to andy farnell:

Nooooooooooo!!!!! It's a trad limestone book.
Pagan - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Al Evans:

No it isn't; Axle Attack, The Prow, Main Overhang, Mandela and Totally Free are all sport routes.
VPJB - on 09 Mar 2014
Would those routes be in the book now? Given that it was written over 20 years ago, there are now a lot more high grade trad limestone routes that would surely beat the sports routes in the current book.

In reply to VPJB:

> Would those routes be in the book now? Given that it was written over 20 years ago, there are now a lot more high grade trad limestone routes that would surely beat the sports routes in the current book.

I'm not sure, the aim was to have the majority of the routes in the HVS > E2 category so they were accessible to most climbers. Actually, 23 years later I think there may be less folks operating in that grade band than back then!


Chris
Ander on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Were we even using French grades for sport routes 23 years ago?!?!
VPJB - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Where do you find the info on what is the average grade that climbers do?

Did the limestone book sell many copies?
Michael Gordon - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to VPJB:

Just to be complete it would have to have something from Scotland in it. And since there is only one limestone crag here(?) I nominate Elgin's Crack.
Michael Gordon - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> Actually, 23 years later I think there may be less folks operating in that grade band than back then!
>

Proportionally, yes. Overall, no.
a lakeland climber on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

I think I'd swap out "A Touch of Class" at Craig Arthur for Digitron at the same crag. A far better route and one of the best three Limestone E2s in the country (Wombat and Darius being the others)
alan moore - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to VPJB:
On the Gower Isis and Osiris are as good as anything in Pembroke and certainly better than Scavenger.
Freedom at Wintours Leap could have made the list and Red rose speedway and Whit at Symonds Yat are both better than the Russian.
Quality Street at Swanage?
That big VDiff at Taffs Well; better than Nightmare anyway.
He'll Gates rather than GCB?
Lucky Strike was my hardest tick in the Book, though Origonal Route on High Tor might have been harder!
sebrider - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Al Evans:

> Nooooooooooo!!!!! It's a trad limestone book.

That's a pity! Without any sport it can not be the best 100 limestone routes then!

What are the top 100 Trad routes in this book?
HappyTrundler - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to VPJB:

That's a great book, I'm on about 38 now, I'll never do the harder routes toward the back...I could easily do another 25 though, it's just a question of geographical, weather and partner logistics...a bit like working your way through Hard Rock...only thing I would say Chris Craggs, is I wish you could have dressed Colin Bink's in some different outfits and talked him out of wearing those silly hats in those photos, the one of him on 'The Thorn'at Beeston is particularly comical!!....
Rog Wilko on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Actually, 23 years later I think there may be less folks operating in that grade band than back then!



I'm probably a bit dumb but I don't quite understand this. Do you mean that most people now exceed these grades? Surely you don't mean that fewer reach the HVS-E2 band now?
hipyhop - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to VPJB:
If you're looking for a few lower grade climbs to complement the list, Zelda at Wintours Leap is a nice HS 4b
Post edited at 13:41
Ally Smith on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to HappyTrundler:

For in the inveterate ticker in all of us
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=420

"67 users are subscribed to this ticklist, and none have completed the full list."

Who's gonna be the first to tick the lot?
Robert Durran - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to VPJB:

I would imagine that at least 95% of the routes would be in Pembroke. Unless you count bolted routes - but if Pembroke was bolted, they'd almost all be there anyway.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Robert Durran - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> Just to be complete it would have to have something from Scotland in it. And since there is only one limestone crag here(?) I nominate Elgin's Crack.

Much as I always enjoy my annual early season ascent of Elgin's crack, it wouldn't even make the top million routes in Pembroke. Given that Scotland would rightfully dominate almost any other conceivable top 100 in UK list, I think we can live without any representation in this one.
Post edited at 14:01
Al Evans on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

The ticklist doesn't work, as I've done well over 50 but it says I've only done 10?
Rog Wilko on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to VPJB:

Didn't Chrithmum fall down too?
In reply to Ally Smith:

> For in the inveterate ticker in all of us


> "67 users are subscribed to this ticklist, and none have completed the full list."

> Who's gonna be the first to tick the lot?

Well I've done all of them - but the last four were as aid climbs! :-)


Chris
Owen W-G - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Digitron
Silver Shadow
jon on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> Well I've done all of them - but the last four were as aid climbs! :-)

> Chris

Well done Chris! And the prize is a copy of Chris Craggs's book, 100 best limestone routes climbs in Britain.
alexjz - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to VPJB:

> Where do you find the info on what is the average grade that climbers do?

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/graphs.html

Apparently the average grade in 1991 was VS and in 2013, HS.

Interestingly if you look at sport, the average grade in 1991 was 6c and in 2013, 6a+.

(using 2013 rather than 2014 as it is a completed year so more accurate results)

andrewmcleod - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to alexjz:

> Interestingly if you look at sport, the average grade in 1991 was 6c and in 2013, 6a+.

Presumably the average grade of sport climbs, as well as sports climbers, has gone down as more easy stuff has been bolted.
In reply to jon:

> Well done Chris! And the prize is a copy of Chris Craggs's book, 100 best limestone routes climbs in Britain.

Cheers, but I already have a copy, how about 100 Best Gritstone Climbs instead?


Chris
The Ivanator - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to alexjz:
Apparently the average grade in 1991 was VS and in 2013, HS.

Interestingly if you look at sport, the average grade in 1991 was 6c and in 2013, 6a+.


There are a multitude of reasons for this. UKC Logbooks did not exist in 1991, so all recorded ascents are added retrospectivly. This would suggest they are by fairly dedicated climbers who are generally still active now. Amongst this user group memorable climbs that seem worth adding after the event are likely to be those in the higher end of each individuals usual grade range - ask me in 20 years about my climbs from 2010-2014 and I know the E grade routes will still be in the memory bank, some non descript V Diffs have already faded from my mind and I only know I climbed them due to conscientious Logbook compilation.
Obviously the dataset from 1991 is tiny compared to 2013.
In terms of Sport there were limited options in the easier grades 20+ years ago, which again will have effected the averages that get churned out by the omnipotent UKC database.
With the wider availability of good training facilities and a greater number of participants than 20 years ago I am convinced there are more people operating in the Trad E grades/Sport 7s than ever before.
My best guess is that the average Trad grade climbed has remained pretty constant once the bias factors have been ironed out. Sport average may have dropped due to availability of easier routes and more casual climbers focussing on this discipline.
Post edited at 16:10
John2 - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Crithmum can still be climbed, but it's now both harder and looser.
alexjz - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to The Ivanator:

Fair points
Bob on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to The Ivanator:

I think there's also the fact that most climbers won't simply climb at the limit of their ability all the time. There's warm up routes plus you might want an "easy day".

Back in the 1980s I kept a diary of what I did along with the average grade. Being young I only noted down routes in the E-grades as: A - unless you have your own points system then it's easier mathematically to average 3 E1s and 2 E3s than it is 2 VSs and 3 E1s. B - I was pushy and didn't want to ruin my averages.

So despite my hardest climbing standard being at E4 and E5 for much of the decade, my average grade rarely got above E2 as I'd tick off the classic E1s and E2s around the country. It was quite a rare day to do more than a couple of E5s - this was the Lakes and the 1980s remember, they were no pushover.

So if you have someone climbing E2 on a good day but logging all their routes then their "average" grade might be VS or maybe HVS.
Robert Durran - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Bob:

> I only noted down routes in the E-grades as: Unless you have your own points system then it's easier mathematically to average 3 E1s and 2 E3s than it is 2 VSs and 3 E1s.

I've always assumed it was standard practice to award oneself 0 point for an HVS, -1 for VS, -2 for S etc. This has two advantages: A) It discourages slacking off and doing easy routes because it trashes both your E-points total and average. B) If your standards do slip, it makes adding up points easy because a Severe precisely cancels out an E2 and so on.
Michael Gordon - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

Any difference if you solo them?
Robert Durran - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Any difference if you solo them?

No. Soloing is an experience which transcends E-point totalling.
Bulls Crack - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to VPJB:

> Looking at Chris Craggs book, 100 best limestone routes climbs in Britain, it was written in 1991.

> If a new one was written, what routes would be on it?

> A few I would choose:

> Brazen Buttress, Pembroke

> Scavenger, Gower

And 98 others?
Bulls Crack - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Missed a sentence Those 2 and 98 others mostly drawn from the same book - bar a few new hard things

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