/ Major and minor crags
How would you define each?
(no, not happy and sad)
Number of routes?
Length of routes?
All quarries are miner crags aren't they? Or is that just casting the debate in the open? ;-)
By area, country, or worldwide?
If you can say "I'm really looking forward to our trip to [area] - I might finally get out to [crag]" without your mates giving you funny looks then it's a major crag.
I sometimes wonder if you could allocate stars to routes on a similar principle, ie based on the difference between a route that you might reasonably plan a weekend for, a route that you'd pick a crag for, and a route that you'd walk to another section of the crag for. As per the Michelin guide:
One star - Very good climbing in its category
Two stars - Excellent climbing, worth a detour
Three stars - Exceptional climbing, worthy of a special journey
How good the crag is definitely comes into it as well.
> I sometimes wonder if you could allocate stars to routes on a similar principle, ie based on the difference between a route that you might reasonably plan a weekend for, a route that you'd pick a crag for, and a route that you'd walk to another section of the crag for. As per the Michelin guide:
We have done a similar thing in the recent Rockfax books, on the maps the size of the locator star is a measure of how good the crag is,
Thats how i usually allocate stars
> Number of routes? / Length of routes? / Popularity?
How well known they are?
If you say "I'm going to [major crag] this weekend" to your (climber) friend from a different part of the country, expect a response like "Awesome, I'm planning to go there later this summer"
On the other hand, if you say "I'm going to [minor crag] this weekend", expect "Where's that?", unless they're a seasoned local.
Admittedly, this leaves a lot of intermediate ground.
Yep, thanks that makes sense.
That cant work. Horseshoe is very busy.
I think popularity primarily. I can think of crags that rarely see visitors but have a large number of routes (eg Huntsham), which feel minor as a consequence, despite their size.
Sorry, don't know where horseshoe is? But if it's very busy then is it not a major crag?
Horseshoe is a major very ugly man-made hole in the ground.
No, of course not. F*ck me, Fallen Block Slab is busier than Cloggy.
Maybe there is some sort of formula?
number of routes x mtrs x stars =
You mean Fallen slab at Blacknor? I'd class that (and all the beach boulders) as part of Blacknor.
But yes Cloggy and Scafell are good examples of crags that are not popular due to conditions but 'major' nonetheless. Probably more due to the quality of routes rather than length that makes them 'major'. Otherwise every grit crag is a minor crag.
Number of independent lines, 75%-ish of which are of a decent length, ie more than 15m. No shorties or link-ups.
Oh, for God's sake man. Of course grit has major crags.
Major crags can be identified by the elephant test. They're hard to define, but you know one when you see it.
Thank you... always pleasant to return to sanity.
Except in true JCM fashion he makes a good point in a baseless complaint: no one said grit doesn't have any major crags ;-)
also on great routes on what some regard as essential grit crags, like say Widdop, Cratcliffe, Black Rocks, Wimberry, Hen Cloud, the place is more than often desrted.
Out of interest, whats your opinions on these?:
Someone said major crags have to have more than 75% of their lines over 15 metres. That rules out most grit crags.
Well, none of those is major, for sure. All of them have some nice routes but they're not major crags.
It all depends of course how many 'major' crags you think there are.
As Offwidth stated, I never said grit didn't so I'm unsure where your comment came from.
Do yourself a favour, re-read my post and the very first line of the OP.
Well, you suggested a criterion which would rule out a lot, if not all, grit crags, including some indisputably major ones. I was pointing out that this criterion couldn't be very good for that reason.
I'm unsure if you're being deliberately tiresome or genuinely needed that explaining to you. Mind you, the same goes for Offwidth.
Some would argue the short routes should never have been listed on grit except as boulder problems. In any case, that wasnt what you said and a man who can be so picky about words should expect to be held to hihger standards.
Well, that's Font out of the picture then.
Would say these are Mid-size by National standards and major by Somerset standards :-)
I reckon all pretty minor. Brean is possibly the most major of the bunch. I've met people from London and Birmingham there (on the sport, of course), so it is known outside of the local scene. Bear in mind that from London it's a similar drive to get to Portland (definitely a major area) and from Birmingham Malham (also definitely major) is not much furher.
So basically everything in the Bristol/ Mendips area apart from Cheddar and Avon gorges would be classed as minor?
Like Cloggy, Fairy Cave has its own guidebook, surely that makes it internationally significant. ;-)
As someone else said, that's font gone and a lot of significant grit crags.
Length of routes doesn't seem to have a great deal of bearing.
Goblin comb is the closest to major. Its also quite a descent length and unquarried unlike much of the rock in Avon.
if you just have major and minor as classifications I think you may be right. North of the Seven in that area it would just be wintors and symmonds yat then I guess.
>wintors and symmonds yat then I guess.
Those aren't major crags. They don't have a single great route between them.
Depends on the context, I guess. Nationally, I would say that's a fair assessment. If I were, say, writing a "Bristol and Mendips limestone" guidebook, I might be inclined to list Avon and Cheddar as "nationally important" (or some such) and some of the others you mention as "other major local crags". Does that seem reasonable?
Font's not a "crag" though, is it? It's a collection of boulders.
Well it does to me. The OP asked "How would you define each?" I defined 'major' ones by the criteria I stated - that's my opinion and hoefuly answered the OP's question. The minor ones are the rest. I'd agree Font is major, but equally I'd not call it a 'crag' as such.
Not entirely sure what cox is moaning about, but no doubt it's just him doing his usual smug, argumentative shtick. It seems we're not allowed to disagree with him, ever. Tiresome indeed.
> Out of interest, whats your opinions on these?:
I've climbed at all but one of those; none of them is major.
Yes - I thinik Avon and Cheddar are the only Majors in that area.
Never mind though - the south east has none at all until you get to Swanage
So which gritstone crags would you consider to be "major crags"? Apart from Millstone and the Upper Tier at the Roaches, I'm not sure how many would actually fit your definition...
There are 22 3 star routes and nearly 40 2 star routes at wintour's leap.
Symmonds yat I take your point there are only 3 3 star routes there but there are over 20 2 star routes.
The question is relative;
When I lived in the Forest I used to think that the Wye Valley crags were minor. Now that I live midway between Auchinstarry and Rosyth quarries, I've had to revise that opinion...
As for all that junk south of Bristol: local crags for local people. Cheddar excepted, of course.
Yes, I know: I've done some of them. Great routes they aren't.
central rib route III and zelda are worth the stars IMO. I must admit I've not done as many routes as I'd like there but I find it hard to beleive all those 3 and 2 star classics are crap.
Do you think Avon Gorge is that much better? At my sort of grades I don't although I do rate suspension bridge buttress.
Kangaroo Wall is said to be rather amazing.
I've heard freedom is good - not got around to it yet though.
Minor crag or miner crag??
It's not really about the climbing but the legends and the aura. Avon has them. Wintours doesn't. Kangaroo Wall and the rest are nice enough outings, but really, what are they? Who put them up, even? They're just not great routes. Whereas Amanita Muscarina is a great route.
Climbers put up King Kong, Kangaroo Wall etc. Same as climbers put up Malbogies, Amanita Muscarina etc. Or were the Avon routes put up by mythical demigods?
Sure, sure. If a new Dinas Cromlech were discovered today, and a couple of our modern E9 leaders were to put up Right Wall2, that would be just the same route, right?
My mate and I would choose outcrops that you can see from the road, few more than 50' high, not really crags. That was to avoid crowds. Because we didn't know what to expect grade or protection wise, we soon learned to top rope them. We must have put up lots of new "routes", Didn't think that they were worth claiming. So if you come across an outcrop with channel peg in the top, that was probably us.
I think you are rather missing John's (very good) point.
To be fair. If we're talking internationally, the only major grit crag would be Stanage. Then we're talking seacliffs, Malham and Scotland.
No, I'm perfectly aware that we attach mythical status to some climbs and significant first ascents are legitimate grounds for Deitification.
Littleohn, Strapcans, crocker, Gibson - all active here. I also have a vague idea that Pete Boardman was involved on the FA of something on GO wall (but I may be going senile).
So plenty of history there.
>Gibson - all active here
I don't particularly care whether Wintours routes were put up by 'names'. On a national scale it is most certainly OT a minor crag. OK I'll concede that the rest of the Wye is not in major crag territory but not Wintours.
>On a national scale it is most certainly OT a minor crag
What does OT mean?
It's borderline, I suppose. Like I said before, it's a bit of a daft debate. It depends how many 'major' crags you think there should be. To me, it's pretty obvious that in the Bristol area Avon and Cheddar are first and the rest by comparison nowhere.
And here surely?
"OT" is "NOT" typed on a PC with a knackered keyboard.
Don't mock - that place has history. I started climbing there :-)
If its in the Bristol and Mendip area then please tell me more as i am working on the new definitive guidebook.
Sorry, it was the Lakes. However on thinking about it we could have been in the guide books today. They have bouldering, we were between that and proper crags. We didn't keep any records. It may be worth the UKC starting a new category. But what to call it? Halfway house? Boulder climbers, you can advance? All suggestions welcome.
It really was a good time though, no-one around except the ravens and buzzards. No teams before you. We did whatever we wanted, including falling off the rock, without being jeered by a silly person on the ground.
Armus was my climbing partner in those days.
Sort of what i am doing now with all the esoteric stuff i go to ;)
Good luck to you, it is really enjoyable. What does esoteric mean?
About my ex climbing partner armus. he was no good. He could only lead two grades, Severe and HVS whereas I could lead three grades, Moderate, Diff and V.Diff.
Oi, I was just giggling at some of the inane comments the PK has got out of you lot and then one of my photos appears. Next jcm will be slagging it off for not being far enough north or having proper routes.
I'd like to point out that after two visits to Tockington I feel I have some history with it. It's not yet in my major crag list but it is definitely minor. It's also S. Glos so may not be part of Mark's guide.
I remember the late great Dave Pearce trying to describe Brownstones Quarry to somebody who had never been
"It's as good as <pause> Cloggy"
And we all agreed!
It would lack the history but I have no doubt it would quickly become a 'major crag'!
The quarry next to Rob's Rocks was on telly on Monday night -a major criterion, surely?
I remember being distinctly underwhelmed by both the Central Rib Routes and by Zelda. I thought they were very poor for 3 star routes.
King Kong and the two Angel routes felt like they justified at least 2 stars to me, maybe three. Same for the two Wyndcliffe 3 star VSs.
Freedom is great BTW, although quite polished low down and shares the revolting top section with that other VS; felt more like HVS, 2 stars to me.
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