/ That Grit Honeypot thread- a solution

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zimpara - on 19 Sep 2016

Had a discussion in Chamonix about climbing the classic route of the crag- and spurred on by the Grit/lancs thread, I ask why do we climb the classic route of the crag? The discussion in chamonix featured the nose of El cap,

sitting in camp four
so what you climbing? The nose.
What about you? The nose
Hey guy, what you here to climb? The nose.
Yeah, I'm here to do the nose too...


But I've always done the same and climbed classics at new crags always- Ironically always had more fun on less popular routes/crags though. I mean true adventure and excitement.

So how do we get out of the classic tick mentality, and do we need to even? Are they classics because they're good,and everyone should climb them.

And why do I/we feel odd when you've climbed all over a crag and got a lot of memories, yet when asked if you've done the classic and you reply no, you feel like quite frankly, like shit.

Is there a ticklist of unclassic climbs that are as good or better than the classics?

A few examples, Frison-roche at Brevent
SE Arete at Index
Snoozing suzie at the Yat
Probably Flying buttress stanage pop
london wall at milstone
Crackstone rib - llanberis
Grooved arete Tryfan
Hope/ordinary route/tennis shoe, actually sod it. The whole of Idwal is pretty famous and classic-but why?
Queue up and climb them? Let me know.
Post edited at 19:01
spenser - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:

All of the routes on that list which I recognise get 3* in their respective areas I believe?
Two of the best days out I've had this summer were on Lakeland VSs in the mountains which I agreed to do with no knowledge of the number of stars or their classic status (Rake End Wall and Eagle Front specifically), I just looked in a guidebook and said they sounded like pleasant routes.
Idwal is most likely famous because you can climb it in the rain, it's a friendly crag for the length of the routes and it has Britain's first E1, at least that's why I'm aware of it.
SE Arete of the Index is polished to buggery!

I reckon that unclassic routes can often give the most memorable days out due to the company.
ashtond6 - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:

Comparing the nose to fbd?

Fbd because it's a huge roof for the grade?
The nose because it's the only one most people can climb and is majority free, unlike the others

Lurking fear is the only comparable one and it's barely on el cap, plus the hauling is awful for inexperienced parties
Jon Stewart - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:

On less popular crags the classic routes are the ones that get traffic. That means that they're cleaner and have less loose rock than the ones that never get done. On Gogarth, for example, if you're on a classic, then it'll be reasonably sane at the grade. If you go off the beaten track, then god help you. A no star line at my top grade on an adventurous sea cliff? Rather you than me. The classics: yep, let's get'em ticked.

The classics become classics because the climbing is good, usually consistent at the grade rather than ledges followed by a nails crux, followed by more ledges. Once a classic is established it becomes the cleanest rock at the crag, and that will usually make it much better than the surrounding choss and veg.

This doesn't apply so much at Stanage where pretty much everything is solid and clean, but up in the Lakes, or on most sea cliffs, the classics are far, far better than the no star routes, simply because they're cleaner. On many crags in the Lakes, even the 3* routes remain filthy, so anyone on a no star route is a glutton for punishment.
Goucho on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:
On Gogarth, for example, if you're on a classic, then it'll be reasonably sane at the grade. If you go off the beaten track, then god help you. A no star line at my top grade on an adventurous sea cliff? Rather you than me.

Still remember doing Green Slab in Mousetrap Zawn in the early 70's when HVS was my best, and IIRC it was given VS - but then again, Mousetrap was only given HVS 5a back then too.

To top the experience off perfectly, it started raining as I led the top pitch - one crappy runner and about a factor 10 shincter twitch
Post edited at 22:08
Jon Stewart - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Can it be taken as read that the person who disliked my post is a self-righteous wanker who thinks that every time they do some shit, damp, vegetated choss-fest, that it makes them better than everyone else?
davidbeynon - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:
I just had a fantastic day out on a diff which gets and deserves* zero stars. My climbing partner and I are pretty mystified at it being in the guidebook TBH. We had great fun but I'm not going to recommend it here.

On Saturday we repeated an acknowledged classic** VS that was very enjoyable but may well be less memorable in the long run.

*Maybe negative stars.
**Wrecker's slab. Do it.
Post edited at 22:41
davidbeynon - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:
I have a soft spot for shit, damp, vegetated choss fests if i'm honest. This gives me no delusions of superiority.

Nice clean rock is popular for very good reasons after all.
Post edited at 22:38
Dave 88 - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:

People moaning about others' honey potting always amazes me. I can only assume the people moaning haven't climbed the 'classics' at the crag in question, to enable them to have this lofty sense of self-righteousness?!

If someone has travelled to a new crag, it seems reasonable that they're not gonna waste time doing esoteric lines just in case one of them turns out to be brilliant. They'll do the tried and tested 3* routes.
jsmcfarland - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Must say I was surprised your first post got disliked so much. I couldn't agree more. When I go climbing at non-local crags I usually aim for the classics as they will be the cleanest, and then as I visit more I work my way through the lower/non starred routes. This whole thread is bizarre and quite pointless IMHO! ;)
snoop6060 - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:

Is there really ever a queue for London wall? I've climbed 50 routes at millstone and literally never seen anyone on it except the time I failed 3meters off the ground And probably coz it's bloody nails.
deacondeacon - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:

I really like your enthusiasm for climbing threads, and it's much more interesting than some of the other crap on the forum but you don't half come out with some bollocks.

There really isn't a honeypot problem on the grit. Some crags are more popular tha others mainly because some crags are better than others.
Stanage has over 1500 routes/Boulder problems so we're a long, long way from seeing it too busy.

Is probably just climb whatever you fancy climbing and let others do the same.
Simples!
ChrisBrooke - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:

I've not been to Almscliff, but when I do I'll unapologetically get straight on Great Western, Overhanging Groove, Western Front, Wall Of Horrors, and anything else I can see with three stars. Obviously I have no imagination or sense of adventure, but that should be a pretty good day out if you ask me. They're classics, they're good, everyone should climb them, and if I don't manage to get back there I'll know I've experienced the best of the crag.
Dave Cumberland - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:

Agree with you. "hors des sentiers battu" and Robert Frost's "Road not taken" always give the greatest pleasure metaphorically speaking.
Give me Lakes unstarred routes or less starred routes - fantastic, and of course a great social service to climb and clean them.
There are so many gems and they are superb.
Never done Dream of White Horses and never wanted to - there are much better routes in Wen Zawn.
We need to spread the load, and retain our climbing heritage by preventing good routes sliding into obscurity.
Go clean an unstarred route!
DC
paul mitchell - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Climbing choss may not make you a better person,but it does make you a better climber.
Work on your weaknesses.What is Fowler known for?
faffergotgunz - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:

Get wot u mean innit. Me climbin wall az all da popular routes evry1 climbs 2 death.

Dey dont realize dat deres a climbin frame out back wid swings n shit!
GrahamD - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

> Never done Dream of White Horses and never wanted to - there are much better routes in Wen Zawn.

How would you know ?

planetmarshall on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to snoop6060:

> Is there really ever a queue for London wall?

No, but there always seems to be plenty of chalk on it. At least part of the way up...

CurlyStevo - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:

Yeah that Applies to Swanage also. Climbs with no stars not in rockfax are a different story to the 2-3 star classics when is comes to looseness and shoogly rock.
davidbeynon - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

> How would you know ?

Other people like it so it must be crap!
snoop6060 - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

> Never done Dream of White Horses and never wanted to - there are much better routes in Wen Zawn.

How would you know that if you have never done it?
GrahamD - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Only been there the once but I suspect Ogmore might be similar, ditto Carn Gowla.
Misha - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:
3 star routes are generally good or excellent. They are also reference points - historically significant, plus people you know are likely to have done them. No star routes are generally poor or even outright rubbish. Why would I want to spend time climbing poor routes? I only get two days a week to climb. That's not to say that there aren't some no star routes which can be quite good - but as a general rule the guide book stars are more or less right.

Of course if I've done all the three and two star routes in my grade range at a particular crag, I would look at the one star and no star ones, but more likely I'd just go to a different crag.

As others have said, no star routes on serious sea cliffs can be a pretty bad idea, basically dangerous due to having more loose rock.
Simon Caldwell - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Misha:

"no star routes on serious sea cliffs can be a pretty bad idea, basically dangerous due to having more loose rock."

If "serious sea cliffs" means "popular sea cliffs known to have lots of loose rock" then you may have a point.
Otherwise it may just be that they've not been climbed often enough to come up with a consensus.
But a sea cliff could be described as "serious" on the basis that there's no easy escape route, yet have worthwhile but safe no-star routes. I did a few on Lundy last month.

Offwidth - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Any new top tips for no star Lundy... we tend to enjoy your recommendations.
Jon Stewart - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Misha:

> 3 star routes are generally good or excellent...

> Of course if I've done all the three and two star routes in my grade range at a particular crag, I would look at the one star and no star ones, but more likely I'd just go to a different crag.

Absolutely.

> As others have said, no star routes on serious sea cliffs can be a pretty bad idea, basically dangerous due to having more loose rock.

Also, on many sea cliffs outside South Pembroke the no star routes will be more or less impossible, being completely shrouded in green pubes.

Misha - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
I meant places like Gogarth, Swanage and Carn Gowla where the rock isn't the best even on the better travelled routes and a no star route which gets no traffic can be very loose.
Misha - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
If I go to Lundy again, I'll have several weeks' worth of two and three star routes on my list as only been once.
davidbeynon - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:

I think everyone has missed the obvious solution.

What keeps people away from honey pots in summer?

Wasps!
Simon Caldwell - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Misha:

> If I go to Lundy again, I'll have several weeks' worth of two and three star routes on my list as only been once.

Quite often a particular buttress will only have one or two classic routes on it, given the hassle of getting to some of them we'll usually do some other routes while we're there.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Simon Caldwell - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Offwidth:

From last month's trip:

Some of the routes on Dihedral Slab (in the update guide) are worth doing (especially when the tides prevent access to other places), though either the descriptions or the grades are wrong for some of them. I'm sure that at least a couple will get 1 or 2 stars in the next guide.

Westward Ho! is a great little climb, most of the others on St John's Stone look worth doing as well - the lack of stars just reflects the lack of visits. Though part of the fun is getting there and back before the tide cuts it off (we only had time for 2 routes, though a more direct approach would increase the window).
Rehabilitation Slab nearby is also excellent (though let down by a scary finish).

Occidental Groove (which climbs the line used for the ab to Eclipse) is another route.

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