/ Rockfax Peak Bouldering 2014

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Steve Crowe - on 12 May 2014
My 544 page copy of Peak Bouldering dropped through the letterbox today with quite a thud. 3394 problems over 66 different crags should be enough to last most people a life time! First impressions, a good mix of detail, and plenty action photos. Two(three)grading systems, Font and V grades(with english tech grades)...
Offwidth - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Steve Crowe:

Paul was showing it off a few days back. Couldn't look at The Woolpacks as it would wind me up otherwise it looks as lovely as the sample pages. I think the split for grades matches the audience as best as it could.
Jon Stewart - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

What's the issue with The Woolpacks? Wonderful rock formations and a spectacular place to visit, but appears to me to be entirely unclimbable: holdless rock, hideously sharp pebbles in fragile cement and moats surrounding the boulders. No ta.

I'm just a bit baffled* as to why we need another guide to the most overused climbing area in the world. The damage in popular areas is already excessive.


*I'm not really, I understand market forces
Coel Hellier - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What's the issue with The Woolpacks?

Offwidth doesn't want it trampled underfoot by the Rockfax hordes.
Ramblin dave - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What's the issue with The Woolpacks? Wonderful rock formations and a spectacular place to visit, but appears to me to be entirely unclimbable: holdless rock, hideously sharp pebbles in fragile cement and moats surrounding the boulders. No ta.

Well, that plus easily damaged rock plus the potential to annoy walkers and photographers by hanging around with brightly coloured mattresses shouting "stick it dude" and plastering chalk all over a popular and much photographed beauty spot would make it seem like an odd (and somewhat irresponsible) choice to spend eight or ten pages on...

> I'm just a bit baffled* as to why we need another guide to the most overused climbing area in the world. The damage in popular areas is already excessive.

I think the general Rockfax attention to usability will probably be a good thing as far as spreading the load goes, actually. The VG guide is lovely for looking at on the bog and okay once you've arrived at the crag, but IME it's pretty useless for picking an area to go to if you don't already know what's there. The definitives are kind of similar, largely because they aren't really designed as pure bouldering guides. Hopefully if anything the new Rockfax will make it easier for bumblies like me to pick a decent looking but less hammered area rather than heading to Burbage South again...
Jon Stewart - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Offwidth doesn't want it trampled underfoot by the Rockfax hordes.

I don't think there's much danger of that really. People will try, will fail, and will not return. A brief burst of optimistic efforts will quickly subside.
Jon Stewart - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I think the first rubbish landscape bouldering guide served a useful purpose of penning the boulderers in at the Plantation and Curbar boulders. This "spreading the load" business just means that previously quiet areas become busy and damaged while already trashed run-of-the-mill venues just get a bit less use (who cares, let them be sacrificial lambs).
Offwidth - on 14 May 2014

In reply to Jon Stewart

That first VG guide was enjoyed by all sorts of serious boulderers, some of whom only went to the honey pots when their mates were all meeting up there. I agree spreading the load doesn't work as well for boulderers as it does for trad, as too many punters have bad habits (like over-brushing or even wire brushing and over-chalking and not cleaning shoes properly) so this new guide could spread bad habits. Even so, some bouldering areas do need traffic to keep them clean.

For the record on The Woolpacks my concerns are on rock damage and chalk pissing off walkers and photographers and you dont need hordes to cause that. Given the quality of the rock its also a waste of good guidebook space when a few areas of genuine good problems on Kinder (where use would annoy no third parties) could have been featured. Its a folly to a few foolish guidebook workers who clearly dont know the moorland area very well or what willl happen when punters start trying things near their limits on that rock.
Post edited at 10:53
Jon Stewart - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

> That first VG guide was enjoyed by all sorts of serious boulderers, some of whom only went to the honey pots when their mates were all meeting up there.

No doubt. I just thought it was a "neither fish nor fowl" object in a dumb format with a rubbish selection of problems.

> For the record on The Woolpacks my concerns are on rock damage and chalk pissing off walkers and photographers and you dont need hordes to cause that. Given the quality of the rock its also a waste of good guidebook space when a few areas of genuine good problems on Kinder (where use would annoy no third parties) could have been featured. Its a folly to a few foolish guidebook workers who clearly dont know the moorland area very well or what willl happen when punters start trying things near their limits on that rock.

Fair point, I agree, especially about the chalk. I think big white spots plastered all over bits of rock is totally fine in an area that's well known as the preserve of the rock climber - other users are as interested in seeing the climbers as they are in the aesthetics of the rock and I don't hear people complaining that it's vandalism. But the Woolpacks is an amazing natural sculpture garden and big white splots all over it will indeed make it look shit. However, they will disappear very quickly up there given the exposed nature and the amount of wind and rain.
Stig - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

It won't make any difference to the woolpacks. I'm a peak obsessive, have climbed there virtually every week for a decade and I've never done a single route on Kinder (slight lie, I've done the downfall in the rain). Simply can't be arsed to walk up there and neither can the masses. Certainly not with a mat. Maybe one day do I'll do as Perrin extolled and wander up there with shoes and chalk to solo some things. But also we havent had the weather for it for years now.

Bizarre to put V grades in. They'll be extinct soon if they're not already.
Jon Stewart - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Stig:

> I'm a peak obsessive, have climbed there virtually every week for a decade and I've never done a single route on Kinder

Wow! That's pretty lazy. Some of the best grit routes up there, a day out. Way better than Chew. We shall have to go on a hot day this summer.
Stig - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You think it will be hot? But yeah, I am keen to go up there. Always wanted to do Arabia for some reason.
Jon Stewart - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Stig:

The South is fine most of the year, the North is pretty damp and needs a hot spell. There was a heat wave last year which you seem to have forgotten, it would have been bone dry up there. It's only the year before when it rained every day that at wouldn't have dried out.
rocksol - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Steve Crowe:

On first browse not alot of extra material over previous guides. Many areas in SSSI,s or on private land not incl. but also such gems as Loafstone not in.
On the positive, other than Woolpacks the better more remote moorland settings not included. Brilliant!
Kinder better than Chew,virtually the whole of Kinder doesn,t have as much quality as Wimberry and the boulder field alone.
Jon Stewart - on 14 May 2014
In reply to rocksol:

> Kinder better than Chew,virtually the whole of Kinder doesn,t have as much quality as Wimberry and the boulder field alone.

Routes not bouldering. Not a right big fan of lugging pads up big hills.
Offwidth - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Stig:

"It won't make any difference to the woolpacks." Good you can make that view without ever having been there. I've climbed there on the way back from a visit to the Pagoda sans mat (Rockfax's stated market) and despite trying to be careful it left scratches as the scritty surface is so poor. Some more major scratches turn up from time-to-time on obvious bouldering lines that tourists wouldn't be messing with, that look a mess for months. As for chalk it does wash away in normal conditions but I suspect the most likely time for Rockfax weilding punters will be a dry spell. My position is not about protecting a wild secret venue to save it for the locals, I would recommend all boulderers and climbers avoid the place as its poor as a bouldering venue, much loved by walkers and photographers (so potentially sensitive) and it's right next to a motorway of a path.
Offwidth - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Steve Crowe:

Started data entry onto Offwidth today and I think I picked the wrong boulder as I disagree with every grade on The Cobra :-( The easy stuff at the back has been downgraded to a stiffer grade than I would like and yet the Cobra traverse is still Uk 5c when it hasnt got a move harder than Uk 5a on it. Looking ahead things look a little better with our grade agreement but it very much looks like I'm going to think Rockfax have a long way to go before we have fully consistent grades for the popular easy stuff. A bit odd given the extensive checking.

The eye-catching moden layout has the disadvantage of doubling the space requirement so for instance Burb South valley boulders now take 13 pages when we previously had 6.

There seem to be a lot more highballs included, some rather worrying for the orange spot allocation (as an example the stuff next to the hostel at Shining Cliff should be red dots really as E2 leads/solos even with mats)

Logbook tickers are going to face unnecesary new names for problems already named elsewhere which is a bit annoying.
In reply to Offwidth:

I realise that you have a bit of a one-man campaign to wage against this guidebook for some reason and I'll ignore your sweeping judgements of the whole guide, and the amount of research done, based on a few problems you disagree with.

However this is a very annoying statement ...

> Logbook tickers are going to face unnecesary new names for problems already named elsewhere which is a bit annoying.

You would not believe how much effort I have put into trying to standardise Logbook names with this new book, and the BMC guides. There were discrepancies caused by the BMC guide ignoring names established in the 1998 Rockfax and the Vertebrate guides, and there were countless other random names caused by three guidebooks (2 Vertebrate and 1 Rockfax) not naming many of the problems. The BMC series took the sensible decision of naming everything and we have gone with that and agreed with most of the BMC names, unless they disagreed with older more established names used in the other books (this was rare TBH). I then have painstakingly been through the vast majority of the Logbook database updating the names, combining problems where there were duplicates, and adding notes referring to their listing in other books for people who have older guides. I put them in order and spent hours basically sorting out loads of the crags so that people specifically don't face unnecessary new names for problems named elsewhere. I have taken on moderating Stanage from Chris the Tall and, so far, I haven't had a single duff problem uploaded in the most extensive area in the book.

Alan

Offwidth - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
Progressed a bit further now ... about half way through your Burb South Valley problems...but need to stop now and head off to the pub quiz as I'm late. You are wrong about the label issue. Where possible on Offwidth we always adapted your pre existing names and so yes the BMC and to a lesser extent VG were guilty of annoying name changes as well. Yet some newly named problems in the latest version were named different in the BMC guide and had no earlier names in Rockfax or VG. Its not so many and I can think of sensible reasons for a few of them (eg That Little Arete Left) but it has happened again and some of these changes will add to the confusion for no good reason.

If you read what I said in all my comments I thought it was looking very good before I got it but thought that the inclusion of The Woolpacks was a big negative for me for reasons outlined above, that you already respectfully disagreed with. The new comments are just a few gripes from the start of a more extensive look but I happen to care about how low grade bouldering is treated and having had little to do with Burb Infinity I have just as many issues with that guide in this area but VG have improved loads in their new edition. As for an honest overview of this guide Ill wait until I've finished looking.

Im sure the guide will sell fabulously well. It looks lovely. I know the hard work involved.
Post edited at 21:52
popebenedictus - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Sounds like a remarkably sensible approach to me. As previous crag-moderator for Burbage South and its Quarries I know the pain of renamed problems and multiple guidebooks (there are at least 6 for this area).

I do remember suggesting on a forum a long time ago that the definitive bouldering bits of the BMC guides could be cobbled together and republished as a mega peak bouldering guidebook in its own right. I suspect that this new peak bouldering guide from Rockfax is likely to be the most popular Rockfax publication yet.
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In reply to Offwidth:

> Progressed a bit further now ... about half way through your Burb South Valley problems...but need to stop now and head off to the pub quiz as I'm late. You are wrong about the label issue. Where possible on Offwidth we always adapted your pre existing names and so yes the BMC and to a lesser extent VG were guilty of annoying name changes as well. Yet some newly named problems in the latest version were named different in the BMC guide and had no earlier names in Rockfax or VG. Its not so many and I can think of sensible reasons for a few of them (eg That Little Arete Left) but it has happened again and some of these changes will add to the confusion for no good reason.

I really don't know which problems you are talking about here. You may have found some isolated examples but I can assure you they will be just that, isolated.

We were very careful to do precisely the opposite of what you are suggesting. We started with the 1998 Rockfax names. We then went with BMC names for the majority of previously un-named or newer problems. The exception to this was where the BMC guides renamed problems from the 1998 Rockfax, or where the name used in Vertebrate and PeakBouldering.info was different and more established (generally this only happened on some harder problems). Finally we made up names (mostly descriptive) for the many newer problems that we added, or older ones that had been forgotten since the 1998 Rockfax.
I then went through and synchronised most of the UKC Logbook database entries, leaving a mention in the descriptions for previously un-named problems from the Vertebrate guides in many cases. I haven't yet completed this task but most of it is done.

Alan
Offwidth - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Well all the other guides were careful as well but made mistakes/oversights. The BMC were the worst at Burb South Valley but your new renames are not looking isolated to me from the detail Ive now finished and will publish on Offwidth when we next refresh it. Moff and I, in producing Offwidth, have also tried to sort out things so we know how hard it is. On that subject you also ignored our names for quite a few lower grade problems too but we are not precious and are changing them to yours. Our site isnt in a competition to show how right we are (there will be errors as well as differences of opinion) but grading in our range was so variable once we felt a uniform view would be useful and plenty of people have emailed us to thank us for the effort and especially for the kids problems we describe. The grade and name discrepency information was all there for your team or any other team to use as a sense check at least (eg The Cobra is nothing like UK 5c and its not the only one where a 2 grade discrepency looks most odd from your side).

In reply to Offwidth:

> (eg The Cobra is nothing like UK 5c and its not the only one where a 2 grade discrepency looks most odd from your side).

The Cobra
Peak District Bouldering Vol 1 1994 - 5bc
Peak Bouldering (RF 1998) - B4 (about 5c)
Peak District Bouldering (VG 2004) - Font 4+ (about 5b)
B,M and B (BMC 2005) - V2 5c
Peak District Bouldering (VG 2011) - Font 5 (upgraded to about 5b/c)
UKC Database - V2 5c ( http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=139760 ) with plenty of supporting votes.
Rockfax Bouldering try-out day October 2013 - tried by around 30 people with sheets requesting feedback and there were zero comments on this one. Iincidentally, it was this day that pointed to the downgrade for the easy problems at the other side of this block).

Which lead us to ....

Peak Bouldering (RF 2014 ) - V2 5c

I know this is a difficult concept for you to take on, but could it be that you are actually wrong on this one? Either that or you aren't finishing it with the mantel onto the block which is the 5c bit.

Alan
Offwidth - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
No we think the semi-mantel finish is UK 4c/4b the solid 5a bit was a few other earlier moves on the traverse. The problem is solid V1/F5+ but thats because its long and a bit sequency. If you just do the finish fresh its easy 4c at most using a pretty good foothold just left of the Cobra head. I've also got this confirmed by quite a few folk. So I could equally say "I know this is a difficult concept for you to take on, but could it be that you are actually wrong on this one?" but I'd rather some more people independantly check it and see. Your "plenty" voting 5c btw is 3 votes. To help with clarity we think the Cobra Mantel onto the head is V1/25c (if you can do the reach to the lip) the upper traverse of the cobra head is V1 5c and an artifical variant finish to The Cobra that ignores the 'bleeding obvious foothold' just left and uses a faint pocket instead for feet on a precarious move is V0 5b.

I don't mind the downgrades of the easier problems as long as its consistent... a lot of the new orange problem grades seem softer graded to me now yet the easist ones are stiffer. It's an issue we sometimes get with V2 boulderers helping us out: they can be hard on the easy stuff and soft on the V2s they struggle on.

Our version (to be updated soon) is here. We have mistakes as well. For instance its obvious Caley Slab doesnt use the arete we just copied that error from the BMC guide.


http://offwidth.uptosummit.com/burbages_boulders.html
Post edited at 12:45
Offwidth - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Forgot to add, the BMC send the traverse the other way so they certainly cant be confused where where the crux is.
In reply to Offwidth:

Can I assume that you measure different things with your V grade and the tech grade?

Alan
Offwidth - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

The V grade is how hard the problem is when you get it by the easiest sequence and the tech grade is the difficulty of the hardest move 'in isolation'. I thought that was pretty well understood. V1 5a, V2 5b, V3 5c etc are not uncommon for sustained problems.
In reply to Offwidth:

> The V grade is how hard the problem is when you get it by the easiest sequence and the tech grade is the difficulty of the hardest move 'in isolation'. I thought that was pretty well understood. V1 5a, V2 5b, V3 5c etc are not uncommon for sustained problems.

So how do you get grades like V0 5b then? That doesn't really make any sense, since a straight up V0 problem is about 4c. How can that suddenly be 5b?

For the majority of problems the V grade and the tech grade should be directly mappable since they are measuring the same thing - how hard the hardest bit which 99% of the time is how hard the problem is. The Font grade and the V grade are directly mappable as well. So it is only traverses and extended problems where it could come into play.

I can't actually figure out what grade you give the Cobra Traverse from your web site. There is a line where you say "under graded in VG guide, and overgraded in Rockfax" which is curious since the VG guide gives it 5+ which is about spot on V2.

Alan
Offwidth - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
The line in Offwidth is the "Old Cobra Traverse (B4**){F5+; F4+} possible V1 5a**". The undergrade was the original 4+ grade from the first VG guide and the text is a typo as that is not clear (already sorted on the update). It is confusing as the BMC line goes backwards (I've no idea why). Plus there are several problems we list (that no one else does) that can be done by mistake for one of the listed ones.

Standard V0 to me is an uncomplicated UK 5b single move problem or more typically for a good problem a sequence of 5a moves that would be F5 or F4+ depending on how hard the UK locale is grading (and typically F4 in Font that's not polished to death... if it is polished and a slab, UK 5b might be as low as F2+). A straight up V0 4c would for us need to be very sustained, likley from a sit start and/or be highball or highish above a terrible landing (we increase our Offwidth grades slightly to take into account high/bad landing problems where most guidebooks explicitly do not). The only place I see V0 4c (mis)used for straight up problems is indoors.
Post edited at 14:29
In reply to Offwidth:

> Standard V0 to me is an uncomplicated UK 5b single move problem or more typically for a good problem a sequence of 5a moves that would be F5 or F4+ depending on how hard the UK locale is grading (and typically F4 in Font that's not polished to death... if it is polished and a slab, UK 5b might be as low as F2+). A straight up V0 4c would for us need to be very sustained, likley from a sit start and/or be highball or highish above a terrible landing (we increase our Offwidth grades slightly to take into account high/bad landing problems where most guidebooks explicitly do not). The only place I see V0 4c (mis)used for straight up problems is indoors.

Ok, well you are definitely not going to like the majority of the lower grades (below V2 5c) in the new Peak Bouldering guidebook since we have no where near as complicated a grading system as the one you use. We never attempt to make the V grade look like an E grade and we go for simple conversions without trying to be over-complicate. Check the conversion table on page to see what I mean.

Your post also illustrates why we didn't use Font grades below 6A.

Alan
Offwidth - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
What the BMC do doesn't look like an E-grade in anything other than maybe as they are used for bomber protected routes. For Offwidth we only make a slight adjustment for risk (which feels pretty real for those attempting dangerous problems at anything close to their limit) and in relatively few cases.

V grades are bouldering grades and map 1:1 to Font grades; they were always about the full problem. So I have no issue that you have distorted the bottom end slightly to help lower grade boulderers (just the opposite in fact) such that a Rockfax easy V2 will often be a BMC hard V1 or a standard Yorkshire F5+. I will have an issue if you reverse engineer that V2 must be 5c and this starts to grate with the reality that for example The Cobra (in our opinion, that we got checked) hasn't even come close to having any UK 5c moves on it. We should all know what a UK trad grade is.

I suspect we can agree that lower font grades are worse than useless at times in Font; so having lots of 'levels' for easier problems where no one knows what difficulty they should be set at isn't especially helpful to guidebook teams. Having said that, the YMC and VG are doing a good job trying to use something a lot more consistent (hard work though when the baselines are so ill understood... I always translate back from UK tech and add a bit if sustained).
Post edited at 15:10
paul__in_sheffield - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> The Cobra

> Peak District Bouldering Vol 1 1994 - 5bc

> Peak Bouldering (RF 1998) - B4 (about 5c)

> Peak District Bouldering (VG 2004) - Font 4+ (about 5b)

> B,M and B (BMC 2005) - V2 5c

> Peak District Bouldering (VG 2011) - Font 5 (upgraded to about 5b/c)

> UKC Database - V2 5c ( http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=139760 ) with plenty of supporting votes.

> Rockfax Bouldering try-out day October 2013 - tried by around 30 people with sheets requesting feedback and there were zero comments on this one. Iincidentally, it was this day that pointed to the downgrade for the easy problems at the other side of this block).

Alan, I always use the Cobra for a back and forth warm up so am well into 3 figures for the number of times Ive done it. Just voted on the logbooks - definitive V2 5c whatever some obscure websites might claim ;-)
harold walmsley - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Offwidth:
The exit to Cobra gets much harder if you go further left. Maybe the 5c voters are doing this (tenuous move round on scabby slopers if I remember right) and the 4c voters are not (proper holds to pull round on just after the overhang disappears)?
Post edited at 20:28
Offwidth - on 16 May 2014
In reply to harold walmsley:

The description of the problem is pretty clear in Rockfax whilst BMC is a tad more ambiguous "start on slopes on the left" but I agree those moves are a lot harder and might explain some views. As I can escape work after lunch, I'm popping up today for a relook at this and a number of similar puzzles/discrepancies ( eg the two 5c problems on The Rabbit right wall we have as 5a as well).
Steve Crowe - on 16 May 2014
In reply to Steve Crowe:
I think in reality within the UK Font grades are generally used for the hardest blocs certainly 7a and above, V grades are usually the choice at around V2-V6 whereas the english tech grades are most often quoted for the easier bouldering 4a-5c. I also think that for the easiest climbs below 4a descriptive route grades are usually used.

The layout in the new Peak Bouldering by Rockfax does a good job at reflecting this however...

It is frustrating that every new bouldering guide feels the need to tweek the conversion table below V1. This can only add to the confusion for the easier climbs. That said I think that the grades used this 2014 guide could finally become the definative grades for many of the easier boulder problems.
Post edited at 10:35
Ramblin dave - on 16 May 2014
Offwidth - on 16 May 2014

In reply to Steve Crowe and Ramblin Dave

I wanted those contributions on the other thread really.
Post edited at 10:24
Offwidth - on 16 May 2014
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
Done The Cobra again today and convinced its still probably only sustained V1 5a even though it felt tougher than normal for me in the warm afternoon conditions. The BMC version might be V2 5c now if you start on the far left (where exactly to start isn't obvious) as the first moves have got trickier due to the slopers getting dirtier...obviously not getting a lot of traffic. Your grades on the easy problems on the back of Cobra Block are right: the pockets have gotten bigger or more positive since I was last there. The erosion of pockets in a few places is noticable since my last extensive visit a few years back. The worst low grade sandbags I spotted were The Careful Trotter, which felt like tricky 5b padding to me rather than the allocated 4c and Useless Arete next which was maybe also 5b for the hard start moves, maybe your 4b comes in from the left (still cant suss the Mystery V4 in BMC).

Finally to the lads climbing on The Cobra after I left, please dont chalk footholds. If you must use tick marks keep them small and brush them off afterwards please.
Post edited at 21:38
Steve Crowe - on 19 May 2014
In reply to Steve Crowe:

So apart from the inclusion of The Woolpacks, and the grades round the back of The Cobra?
Offwidth - on 19 May 2014
In reply to Steve Crowe:
Just the Woolpacks for me. Given how brilliant the previous guide was for punters and how much checking was said to have been done this time I was probably expecting an unrealistic higher standard in this guide, especially in the the most popular area in the book (The Cobra remains a technical issue on Uk tech as my bouldering grade is the same as the Rockfax grade with their new defined levels). All guidebooks have some grade issues and there are always lots of little things I would like tweaked, including in the ones I've worked on.

Going back to look at Burb South in recent years has always been sobering. The problems we love are being (or in some, cases have been) destroyed by a lack of care. Many sloping dishes we used to caress are now good lips eroding into the sandy matrix, a few aretes have literally been skinned, scratch marks must be from dirty shoes, climbers litter, too much chalk. I rechecked some stuff I'd done above the south quarry 15 years back (and didnt list on Offwidth as some people asked us not to) as Rockfax put two VBs in and the lovely V0- to V2 problems on the same row of blocks are just as pristine as I remember.
Post edited at 10:53
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paul__in_sheffield - on 19 May 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

> Finally to the lads climbing on The Cobra after I left, please dont chalk footholds. If you must use tick marks keep them small and brush them off afterwards please.

Hi Offwidth, it's par for the course to spend time brushing off tick marks and huge amounts of excess chalk on particularly Burbage and Stanage. People really aren't treating the place with respect.
Just to throw ideas about, doesn't the difficulty of fitting grades at the lower end, say v2 and below just really indicate that it's not really bouldering? Trad lead grades tail off at 4a, and I would have thought that easy bouldering tails off at 5c/6a. That seems to be reflected in the original usage of Sherman's V grades. What do you think?
Offwidth - on 20 May 2014
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:
I think you are maybe trying to wind me up. My oft stated view is bouldering is solo movement on interesting shorter problems and it should never have a lower grade limit while that grade is one people enjoy or feel challenged climbing at. We have listed lots of stuff down to equivalent to mod on our 'obscure' website which happens to be the only one in the UK I'm aware of with detail enough to be treating those interested in 'fun' boulders with any respect. In Font its normal for white kids and yellow circuits to be pretty busy sometimes even with the laughter of three generations of a family. In the Uk in comparison things are sadly much more elitist and male dominated and our bouldering often ignores the old fogies who have been soloing easy stuff on the small edges for yonks. Offwidth also gives tech grades for all trad routes, even down to mods, so everyone gets to play with the wonderful UK grading system and has a better indication of what is bold and what is hard and safe.

PS you still havent told us where the 5c move is on The Cobra. As someone who really struggles on 5c at times, even drumming up all the testosterone I could muster on my warmest ever send I still didn't get it last Friday.
Post edited at 13:45
Steve Crowe - on 22 May 2014
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

I would say that climbing below severe 4a is soloing/scrambling but not bouldering.

I have posted my review here
http://www.climbonline.co.uk/reviews.htm
Offwidth - on 24 May 2014
In reply to Steve Crowe:

Well aside from font there are a lot of people indoors at the bouldering walls I climb at who enjoy easier circuits and problems and they do not think they are scrambling. Indoor walls also tend to have a much larger proportion of women than we see on real rock. Why draw a line at a point where routes clearly require climbing moves with defined technique to ascend them the easiest way. Scrambling is easy climbing anyhow.
harold walmsley - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

You are obviously doing it L to R. We always did it R to L with the final slopey mantel on the extreme L being the crux. Unless the L to R version starts on top with a hideous reverse mantel (probably more than 5c and never seen it described like this) the R to L version would miss this move and hence be easier. I don't know which way it is described in the new book but if L to R I agree it would be less than 5c, if R to L the long version is easily 5c in my opinion.
Offwidth - on 25 May 2014
In reply to harold walmsley:
I think it is at least 5c as you descibe it (as indicated in my post above after going back and checking all the combinations last week). It's also currently dirty and gritty so hardly anyone does it that way anymore. The Rockfax method is right to left, finishing up the left side of the head. It also uses the sequency and strenuous moves on the lower break as you approach the head (I've watched quite a few cheat on the better break above). In their new softer V grades it is almost certainly Rockfax V2 but no single move is harder than UK tech 5a if you get the sequence right and the finish stepping up on the big foothold for the flake back edge of the head is Uk 4b/c. The BMC left to right version is currently either proper V2 5b/c (starting on slopes left of the Rockfax finish) or V3 5c/6a if starting further left at or near the descent, yet both of these versions would get easier again if it cleaned up. All IMHO of course.
Post edited at 12:59

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