/ NEW ARTICLE: The Five Best HVS Routes in the UK?
Read this article and find out! Do you agree? Have you done them all? And is the texture of Merlin Direct really better than Grit?
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=6328
Wait until Pylon King sees this - brace yourself for an alternative list of moss and choss 8 feet high in deepest Gloucestershire or somesuch.
Riders on the Storm a strange inclusion. No line whatsoever. Heart of Darkness, for eg, is far more impressive.
I'd replace Merlin Direct with Scratch Arete.
Great Western, Almscliff
Some good routes, but surely no-one could be serious about them being the best in the UK. Hilariously, only route in Scotland and that's on the Etive slabs! (And, incidentally, the only one I havn't done).
I haven't done the Hammer and Merlin Direct was a more recent tick but the other 3 were all early HVS's for me. We linked Intern to join Kipling Grove which at the time got HVS but is now E1. I was pumped out of my mind lower down but tuned in by the top pitch which just felt amazing. A long slow big day with rain between the pitches and fighter jets underneath us when the sun came out.
Riders on the Storm on the 30th December for a new year trip in glorious sun but freezing sea! I thought I was going to fall in from the top of the pitch at one point. Pumped, off route, cut finger, lots of blood, can't hold on, go for it, phew!! Great climbing!!
Interesting photo of Riders on the Storm... am I the only one to see the ghostly figure soloing?
Popularist tosh designed to get us posting. Nothing against Jack but please get someone prolific who can feel what HVS is if you want to do such articles. Otherwise make it much clearer its a fun looking a long way down personnal faves approach. Jack would have been better off with his top 5 HVS solos.
It doesn't matter really. Any list like this is only to generate fun discussion. Hence the '?'. There's no such thing as the 'Five Best HVS in the UK', any more than there are 'five best shades of blue in the colour spectrum' :)
Bald Eagle is lovely, but I thought a bit too escapable to be truly classic?
A personal favourite is Salamander in Strathconon, five very varied pitches on excellent rock.
The traverse pitches of Bullroar are pretty amazing.
I still haven't done Centurion, but a few friends have been mildly disappointed with it - a victim of its own uber-classic status maybe?
Bollocks: 455 nm, 462nm, 464nm 481nm and 488nm are obviously the best blue spectral hues.
As for the article, once it gets going its really thoughtful and interesting so why play stupid headline tricks and pretend its something its not.
No mention of Dream of White Horses yet? I'd have thought that would be in there for sure.
I loved Merlin Direct but not sure it's top 5, though I would have it in over Scratch Arete.
You mean you?
I'd have to put Diagonal at the top of any best HVS list.
Curious isn't it? Diagonal was a bit of a disappointment for me. I guess it's down to a mixture of how you feel on the day; anticipation; expectation and a whole host of other factors.
I think I've done all the routes on the Nose of Dinas Mot up to E3/4 so I quite like the crag and have enjoyed all of the routes. But Diagnoal didn't really stand out in any way.
I agree that the other routes are also great. For me, perhaps, it was that I climbed it early on in my career, I really liked the long run-out up to the overlap, and also I feel a special affinity to the route having talked about it with the first ascencionist.
Wheres that to? Looked but cant see it
Great Western at Almscliff outstrips Sloth anytime.
err, no it doesn't. GW isn't even the best HVS at Almscliff, that honour goes to Overhanging Grooves.
About level with the leader, some 10 metres or so to his right, in the upper part of a prominent groove. I suppose about halfway between leader and second. The ghost is leaning leftwards and reaching into the crack in the back of the groove.
Still not seeing it. anyone else got it?
Yes. Looks like a slim, naked, climber
About halfway between the leader and the belayer is a slim rightward facing groove. Where the ropes cross this groove is about halfway between the water and the ghost figure.
Ha! Got it now. On big C.
Interestingly Also seems Someone just above number 3 on same route on the rockfax topo :-)
Amazing rock, boring route.
I agree that for texture it should by rights be something on NW gneiss, but the routes that stand out aren't HVS.
Great Western comes top only of the category "most laughably overrated hype-fest". It's a 3m traverse between two other routes, how is that good?
There's also a big shadowy troll, sitting down belaying the climber.
I'd have gone with Riders too. Heart of Darkness isn't climbing, you just shuffle along until it peters out (or go up an E1). Fantastic position though.
Like I said earlier, curious. I found Bald Eagle continuously interesting, I was leading E1/E2 at the time, if you were a HVS leader then it would look very intimidating from below especially as you can't see most of the gear placements until you are right by them.
The E1 to the right is also very good and only slightly harder on the main slab part of the route (getting off the deck is the crux).
Oh I shouldnt get sucked into these sort of things - but Suicide Wall at Cratcliffe ought to be pretty high up in a list of best HVS's - better than Sloth - poss best Peak HVS
Nice lunchtime reading, thanks.
I think Suicide Wall and Batchelor's Left Hand vie for the position of best grit HVS. Batchelor's has better climbing, and is an outrageous sandbag (giving it the real character of a classic grit HVS), but it doesn't take the easiest line up the face which is a shame. Both are probably better than Sloth in that they have so much climbing on them, but the thrill of crossing that roof is really something else for HVS. I'm undecided!
BLH is too hard, I think the list should only include climbs that an HVS leader can enjoy, to some extent. :)
I haven't done that many HVS, but the best I've done is Climbers Club Direct, at The Dewerstone.
all great classic historical climbs but for me none were as satisfying as rubberneck which is my favourite grit hvs.
apart from massochism maybe - which really ought to go in the texture section :-)
Pigs on the Wing would make it into my list. Possibly my favourite HVS?
Kipling Groove is the only one I completely agree about.
I'm afraid that I think the best HVS on Grit has to be Suicide Wall at Cratcliffe (however my mate sitting next to me agrees about the Sloth).
Is Hammer a really better route than Bludger's Revelation or the likes of Dragon?
Not sure about Rider's in the Storm being the best HVS in Pembroke, let alone the best sea cliff HVS. DOWH is a bit predictable but I wouldn't have argued against Heart of Darkness or Moonraker.
Finally, as everyone knows the best rock in the UK is actually on Plexus Buttress, unfortunately I've just checked and Plexus has been upgraded to E1. Therefore I humble submit Trespasser Groove on the grounds that Esk Buttress is that rarest of beasts, a South facing mountain crag with immaculate rock.
You could say Sloth is the same at the start and the finish...................
Another vote for Great Western, far better moves than Sloth and harder
Dream gotta be in there, just for the position, big traverse and the implications of the second falling off.
The most forgettable route on grit. Only notable feature is its ludicrously overblown reputation.
Rubbish! How could you take either over Demon Wall? Heart in your mouth on slopey breaks, wishing you took the guidebook up on the offer to check where that final hold is... Grit perfection.
Half a route of 3* climbing, so 1.5*
The list isn't really about 'best routes' though, its about 'best routes with a particular characteristic'. The Sloth is there for steepness which is pretty hard to argue with.
Its a nice slant on the x best routes at xxx grade, I guess.
I'm finding myself nodding as I read your post. Throwing these out there:
Burn Up, Fairhead
Trespasser Groove or Red Edge? Can't decide which, Red Edge is cleaner, TG is the better line.
The Centaur, East Buttress
Arcturus/Golden Slipper link-up
If GW is so forgettable, how come you like to talk about it so much? Seems like the memory is very intact. :)
Blood Feud, we liked that too.
My most vivid memories are of profound disappointments.
You know when everybody else likes something and you don't, and you don't understand why, so you have to exaggerate how bad it is?
I slightly struggle to go with Burn Up as compared with the E1s and E2s on the crag it doesn't stand out for me.
I'm not entirely convinced by this as a line of argument. A crag can only have good routes at a single grade?
For what it's worth, I would put both Burn Up and Hell's Kitchen in my top 10 HVSs in the UK.
I agree. Good climbing but over-rated - variation on one route and it's best finish is up another
Certainly not me as my national HVS tick list coverage is way too poor even though it includes quite a few famous lines. Ive got a better coverage of classics in California than the UK. I'd rather the article stuck to its guns as its really good...doesn't need tabloid tricks.
I think you're outnumbered here.
Whoo. What a fabulous day out. I did it as a spotty teenager almost thirty years ago, on a cloudless day and with the bilberries all ripe at the top. It still ranks as one of my favourite memories, climbing or otherwise.
ps Both VS and E1 are intrinsically better grades than HVS, which is really just a stop-gap....
Why I go on about GW being so crap is linked closely to why Yorkshire folk pretend it's so good.
The funny thing is it isn't even the best HVS on the crag (The Pause is better). Definitely worth doing though!
I think for an HVS leader it would be very hard to beat. Definitely one of the greats
I disagree. The only route I thought was better was Hurricane, E2. But I can only go on what we climbed over a weeks trip. Hell's Kitchen was really good too, but Burn Up wins for me because of the pumpy lay back to top it out.
Another left field entry: Ximenes followed by Gaul on Pillar. Ride bike in from Ennerdale, chuck it in the bushes, slog uphill and engage with some of the best HVS climbing anywhere.
Sgurr an Fhidhleir.. one of the most striking hills in the UK. Stunning location, long, exposed route with the odd bit of good climbing and crux at the top.
> Is Hammer really a better route than Bludger's Revelation or the likes of Dragon?
Sounds like an admission of guilt to me. :)
Pause is E1?
Keep Sloth & Kipling, I would agree with ADofWH & Centurion, and add Moonraker.
It gets that now, yes. Not sure why - a lot of 5a (not bold) and a wee bit of well protected 5b. Both felt a similar standard to me.
Based in Sheffield....shocker!!
I might be imagining it but I'm sure we managed to contrive Pinocchio and Exposure explosion into one climb when we did it - involved a bit of diagonal down climbing, I think. Too many brain cells under the bridge to remember fully !
Riders on the storm I thought miles better than hod! Much more atmos and better/more difficult climbing and a better situation... The only thing hod has going for it is the line in fact...
Really? I think I'd have it in my top five. It's an amazing climb.
I thought GW was shit, but as was pointed out earlier there are lots of factors involved such as your state of mind, the weather, who you're with etc. I've reclimbed routes I thought were good the first time and they've been disappointing, and vice versa. Maybe not 5 but the best 105 HVS would be a better list.
I see him! Well spotted.
Yeah you can - that's that settled then: Pinocchio and then straight into Exposure Explosion. The only problem I can see is that you can't tick Exposure Explosion unless it's done in a BIG sea ... and some sort of epic ensues ... If there is no epic then there is no tick.
Lake District: Agreed
Arthur Dolphin: Agreed
Kipling: Wrong! Trespasser is longer more sustained, more varied, more remote etc etc....
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