/ Extol

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Nigel Bond - on 15 Sep 2016
Hi
I have been advertising for a partner for Extol and it's been a hard task finding someone. You will be pleased to know that today we made an ascent of this route in fine style.
Please read my notes on this climb because previous blogs have been most off putting and in my opinion quite inaccurate.
In several discussion with climbers this year people have been put off doing this route.
Today we cleaned it so go and do it clean it some more.
Enjoy this gem
Cheers
Nigel
Misha - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to Nigel Bond:
Have to disagree there. The route isn't that good when you consider the first pitch is very vegetated and would make a better winter route (and it is actually a winter line as well) and the first half of the second pitch is dirty. You then have the top half of the second pitch, which is where the decent climbing is. We thought solid E3 5c - hard moves and some questionable gear on some questionable rock. Did you lead that pitch? The only reason to do this route is that it's in Hard Rock. There's much better stuff around.
Post edited at 23:35
GridNorth - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Misha:

I always tell those who say CB was not a good climber to go and do Extol. I did it many, many years ago and there was no vegetation to speak of but last time I was up at Dove crag, 4 or 5 years ago, the whole cliff looked bloody awful and unclimbed.

Al
Misha - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to GridNorth:
The F&F wall right of Extol gets traffic on the hard routes there and was in good nick a year ago.
Rick Graham on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Misha:
> Have to disagree there. The route isn't that good when you consider the first pitch is very vegetated and would make a better winter route (and it is actually a winter line as well) and the first half of the second pitch is dirty. You then have the top half of the second pitch, which is where the decent climbing is. We thought solid E3 5c - hard moves and some questionable gear on some questionable rock.

Ah, diddums.

Or to para phrase Pete Whillance's comment ( in the Priests Cave logbook ) regarding a young South Lakes team failure and subsequent complaining about the rock and runners on Aurora. Chickenshit.

Extol always was the benchmark E2 5b, and a good one at that. If you want clean lines and rock go to Yosemite.

Edit, well done, Nigel. It might be vegetated but its worth it for the experience and climbing the last 25 metres.
Post edited at 17:02
Gordon Stainforth - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to GridNorth:

> I always tell those who say CB was not a good climber to go and do Extol.

I thought Extol was led by Whillans (seconded by Mortlock?)


Rick Graham on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

CB did a very early ascent.

> I thought Extol was led by Whillans (seconded by Mortlock?)

Correct, but a bit of simuclimbing was involved

Martin Bennett - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Nigel Bond:

It's E2 5b but most intimidating. Can't be harder unless something has changed because I could do it and E2 is as good as I ever got. I led it in the early 80s on a dank day with 4 layers of clothes on. My pal followed in the drizzle. I understand it has more veg these days which will add to the general off-putting nature. Not all great climbing (especially the first pitch - but can you count it if you approached via Hangover?) but a great climbing experience. I though both Hiraeth and Dovedale Groove were harder, but not so atmospheric. Well done Nigel in your efforts to re-popularise the route and the crag as a whole.
Martin Bennett - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to GridNorth:

> I always tell those who say CB was not a good climber to go and do Extol.

Anyone who says CB is not a good climber is an ignoramus and should check his facts.

Misha - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:
I know Lakes grades are hard but I'm not one for overgrading routes and neither I nor my partner on the day thought it was E2. Something might have fallen off it since the last time you did it? Or may be I'm just crap ;-) Wouldn't credit it with 25m of decent climbing either. More like 15.
Misha - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Martin Bennett:
Early 80s - a lot could have changed since then! We're well used to climbing intimidating routes at E3 and above but still thought it wasn't E2. May be we were having a bad day.

Who is CB?
Rick Graham on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Misha:
I agree with Martin, its a great climbing experience.
I last did it in 2003, must be time for a rematch
Post edited at 19:01
Sean Kelly - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Misha:

Hi Misha
I think that Extol is all about position and character, the route keeps on coming at you and never relents. I'm not sure what the pro is like with modern gear, but in the early 70's it was quite thin and hence a big lead in it's day. I must admit that most people in the early days did the first pitch of Hangover, and the big pitch of Extol (easier on today's 60mtr ropes). I can remember a small hex threaded on 4mm line as my first bit of gear before starting up the initial grove on the main pitch, and nothing else until a tape on a spike about 60 feet up. I recall looking at the log book in the cave afterwards, and Mike Mortimer had climbed it just before me. The guidebook description in the old Eastern Crags guide (green cover) was enough to put anyone off attempting the route but a friend had recently repeated the climb and said it was OK. As I has recently done the Corner and Cloggy Corner (circa '73/4) I felt it was up there in terms of quality. It appears that today it's just not a very fashionable route, what with the approach walk and poor friction on the rock when wet.
ps. I'm very impressed with your recent alpine season, just glimpsed in the latest CC newsletter!
Mick Ward - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:

> Extol always was the benchmark E2 5b, and a good one at that. If you want clean lines and rock go to Yosemite.

Well that's put us all in our place!

(Back in the day, somehow managed to end up not in the team for Mordor. Thank fu*k! My mate Deak and the late Gordon Tinning did battle with the beast. Good on 'em.)

Mick
Martin Bennett - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Misha:
> Who is CB?

I guess that's a joke but just in case - I loathe the habit of initialising the Hell out of things to the point of confusion as well but even I got that one. Surely, a climber asking "who's CB?" is like a New Testament disciple asking "Who's JC?"
EDIT: but as pointed out above CB is not particularly associated with Extol.
Post edited at 20:13
Goucho on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:

> Extol always was the benchmark E2 5b, and a good one at that. If you want clean lines and rock go to Yosemite.

Or Wales

With a bit more traffic - about 17 ascents a day for the next 3 years - it might be worthy of 1 star.

Agree with E2 5b though, and going via the first pitch of Hangover is the lesser of the other evil.



Rick Graham on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> With a bit more traffic - about 17 ascents a day for the next 3 years - it might be worthy of 1 star.

I have done it at least six times, so more than my fair share

Always three star regardless of condition, for character, position, history and atmosphere.

BTW I do like dry clean sound rock but its Extol FFS. Have some respect.
Goucho on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:

> I have done it at least six times, so more than my fair share

Just the one for me. I replicated further ascents by sitting in a bath of hogweed while pouring loose gravel and sheep shit over my head

> Always three star regardless of condition, for character, position, history and atmosphere.

It's the ultimate rose tinted specs route.

> BTW I do like dry clean sound rock but its Extol FFS. Have some respect.

My respect for Lakes climbing is absolute - but I have to draw the line with Extol

Misha - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Martin Bennett:
Ah ok, Bonington? Not a person I particularly associate with rock climbing (unless it's televised ;-) ) so didn't get that straight away.
Misha - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Hadn't read the newsletter yet so didn't realise I'd found everlasting fame at last ;-) Amazing how far Facebook posts can get. Great couple of weeks, did more in a fortnight than in five weeks last year.

Still, wouldn't rate Extol as highly as either of the Welsh Corners but it's a matter of personal taste... and I did get to do Cloggy Corner when it was bone dry (not true to classic style, one might say?)
Misha - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:
Excellent!

All this talk of P1 of Hangover. That's even more vegetated from what I saw, from memory. Would make a good winter route.
Mick Ward - on 17 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> Just the one for me. I replicated further ascents by sitting in a bath of hogweed while pouring loose gravel and sheep shit over my head

I do hope it was Lakes sheep shit, not some inferior brand.

Mick
GridNorth - on 17 Sep 2016
In reply to Misha:

Hangover was also very clean when Keith Sanders and I did it, but that must have been in the mid 70's.

Al
Martin Bennett - on 17 Sep 2016
In reply to Misha:



> Who is CB?

I suppose it depends on your persuasion. Suppose you were a cyclist (Heaven forbid) CB might be Claud Butler. If an aspirant cardiac surgeon: Christian Barnard; if a seeker after great Lakeland climbing experiences: Central Buttress; a New Orleans jazz fan: Chris Barber; The best ever rock n roller: Chuck Berry; 60s Brit group leader; Cliff Bennett; one of the Magnificent 7: Charles Bronson; 19th Century novelist: Charlotte Bronte.

Any one got any more famous CBs?
keith sanders - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to GridNorth:

Early 70s Al photos to prove 73, then in 78 with Neil C, After all these comments Misha maybe I should go back and do it a 3rd time if I can get someone to take me up it and clean it at the same time, eh Rick int int.
JimR - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Martin Bennett:

Claire Balding.. But I wouldn't extol her virtues
GridNorth - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Nigel Bond:

My mistake. I had it in my head that Chris Bonnington put up Extol. Wonder where I got that from?

Al
Ian Parsons - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Martin Bennett:
> Any one got any more famous CBs?

Rugby player/commentator - Cliff Borgan?
Cliff Bichelmore?

(Ok; I've got a cold.)

And, of course, Cesare Baestri!
Post edited at 12:06
Gordon Stainforth - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Martin Bennett:

Charles Babbage
Christheclimber - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Nigel Bond:

Nice one and good job with the cleaning.

I always thought it was a good route and standard E2; I'm surprised by some of the comments regarding the quality of the route.
Jon Stewart - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

An early ascent of Extol? There's more to Cherie Blair than I thought!
Sean Kelly - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Martin Bennett:
Chris Brasher! Apparently he ran up it!
Post edited at 21:13
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Martin Bennett - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> Chris Brasher! Apparently he ran up it!

With his old mate Codger Bannister in under 4 minutes?

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