/ Easier VS's in and around the Lake District

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Juliankitesurfer - on 30 Nov 2016
Hi,

I've been climbing for a year now and am just getting to grips with leading VS's.

I've led two so far - The Fang on Gouther and Rose Amongst Thorns on Upper Farleton, I've seconded quite a few including Jean Jeanie which scared the living daylights out of me.

Does anybody have any suggestions for easier VS's that could help me develop to the more strenuous/technical VS 4c's around the Lakes?

Cheers

J.
olddirtydoggy - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

Gimmer crack and slab, awesome multipitch.
danm - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

The mountain crags are unlikely to be in a climbable condition very often at this time of year. There are a few good options for you in the valley crags though. Wallabarrow in the Duddon is a haven for the VS climber, it has a friendly feel about it and plenty of MVS/VS classics. Bad weather often seems to pass over the crag without noticing it! Shepherds in Borrowdale also has a few routes which would be suitable. Don't rule out the usefulness of winter bouldering, you can build strength and technique which will help make moves on routes feel much easier when the weather improves.
Gordon Stainforth - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

Slip Knot on White Ghyll, very soft for VS (I'm a bit surprised it's given VS, quite frankly)
Gordian Knot quite a lot harder, but the main difficulty is short and well protected.
White Ghyll Wall's not too bad either.
MFB - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

On Gimmer Crag
North West arete
Asterisk
Samaritan corner
Andysomething - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:
Plus One for Slip Knot.

Going through my log
Some I've done recently on the low level crags that will probably go in winter if it's been dry

Woden's Cheek on Woden's Face at HS 4b is worthwhile and there;s plenty to do there for a shortish day

Ambling Ant and Route 2 on Steel Knots at MVS 4b - steady, worth the visit and can combine with another venue

Direct Route and Kleine Rinne both at VS 4b (UKC grades) on Castle Rock of Triermain
(both felt quite committing for the first few moves) - again lots of other super routes at Severe and Hard Severe

The Doghouse (MVS 4b) on Gouther is a fine route
Scabby Horse (VS 4c) also on Gouther is steady with a well protected crux (thread and wires) right at the top

Aberration (MVS 4c) on Quayfoot Buttress

Ardus on Shepherd's Crag at MVS 4b - brilliant
Derision Groove on Shepherds at the same grade also excellent

As you live in Ambleside Raven Crag offers a range of VS 4b/4c graded routes and also several Severe 4b HS 4a so there is a lot to go at there!

Of course in the summer there's just too many to mention up on the higher crags, loads of which are on my list still!
Post edited at 20:52
alan moore - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

Enterprize at Raven Crag Walthwaite is on the downgrade trail...
spenser - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

For a weekend when the weather's not playing ball in the lakes make your way up to Meikle Ross and take a stab at Mellow Yellow, you can place as much gear as you can carry up the route, it's also an excellent route, it's a little bit sustained but an excellent route and reasonably soft from what I remember.
Flasherman at Armathwaite is one of my favourite VSs I've done, mega jugs if you can deal with a little bit of steepness, don't think it was particularly hard work.
MFB - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to alan moore:

> Enterprize at Raven Crag Walthwaite is on the downgrade trail...

IIRC bold job
Gordon Stainforth - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Andysomething:

+ 1 for Ardus: a very soft but good VS.
BnB - on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> + 1 for Ardus: a very soft but good VS.

Wonderful route. Third pitch is the stunner but I found the second (which I led) to be like the best puzzle. Always a question as to the next move, but always an answer when you look around you, right next to some bomber gear!!
wercat on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

what about the corner on Brown Slabs?
Ann S on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

As someone else has mentioned get to Wallowbarrow where there are more VS's than you can shake a stick at, some of them quite soft touch-(Paradise and Parallel.)

If I can give you a tip to get the best out of UKC, when you identify possible climbs you might want to do, check the comments about that climb in the logbooks. Pay particular note to any entry by Rog Wilko whose comments about soft touch/ sandbag etc are well worth noting.
The Ivanator - on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

Raven Crag (Walthwaite) has a couple of friendly single pitch VSes as well as a very nice HS (Route 2) to warm up on:
Enterprize (VS 4b) - steady climbing in a great position, a little bold in mid section,
Walthwaite Crack (VS 4c) - a bit tougher, but well protected - look out for the spiky holly bush on exit!
The crag is low in the valley and should be OK for a sunny winter fix.
Andysomething - on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to wercat:
"what about the corner on Brown Slabs?"

I found the polished footholds around the crux quite nerve wracking - apart from this the whole route is very easy at the grade.
Even so I ended up moving onto the HS to the left which bypasses this section (Brown Slabs Scoop - double ropes needed)
Post edited at 14:00
Lankyman - on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

There are plenty of nice VS's at Jack Scout - short and not too steep (but then, we are talking about limestone!). Brant's Little Brother is excellent (if you bridge that is) and the Onedin Line traverse. Check the tide times. Back at Trowbarrow, Coral Sea is much less of an expedition than Jean Jeannie. Warton Upper has some good VS's too - they are quite tough but only short. Yellow Wall is fair at the grade. You won't have to wear three coats to survive at these venues, unlike most of the Lakes crags mentioned so far.
Juliankitesurfer - on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to Lankyman:

Great thanks everybody, looks like loads for me and my buddy to get to grips with.
derryclimbs - on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

Can I just say... perfectly timed forum post for a trip up there next year! Still planning on viable routes around that grade. Cheers
C Witter on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to Lankyman:
The Onedin Line is great, but I've found finishing annoying on all the Jack Scout routes I've done.

Warton, full stop, is great for starting out on VS. But, some of the routes have tricky moments - e.g. strenuous to start. Yellow Edge is maybe the softest but also maybe the best - I really loved it.

I'm kind of daydreaming about an Arnside/Silverdale VS Challenge, cycling between venues - e.g.:

Warton SQ: Great Flake
Warton Upper: Yellow Edge and Twin Cracks
Warton Plumb: Deadwood Crack
Warton Pinn: The Graunch
Warton Aviary Walls: Cutting Edge
Crag Foot: The Plimsoll Line
Trowbarrow: Coral Sea and Jean Jeanie
Jack Scout: The Onedin Line

(10 routes)

Or maybe just any 10 VS routes that take in Warton, Crag Foot, Trowbarrow and Jack Scout? (Woodwell is en route, I know, but I've only been once and didn't come away enthused... also, often damp)
Post edited at 14:49
Lord of Starkness - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

Many of the routes mentioned above were graded Severe or Hard Severe 'back in the day' - but that's grade creep and polish for you.

An easier bombprooof VS at Shepherds that often gets overlooked is CDM. it's situated round to the left of Fishers Folly. Fairly steep and Juggy with good resting points where you can get gear in.

Eve is a fabulous VS - if a little bold once you move out on to the slab.
Andysomething - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to Lord of Starkness:

Plus one for CDM -
takes all the gear you can carry! Whereas P2 of Eve doesn't..........
Skyfall - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

Agree with most of the above. Ignoring the season, a few to ease yourself into the grade might look as follows:

Revelation - HS, Raven Langdale (lovely climbing)
Woden's Cheek - HS Woden's Face (bold start but worth persevering)
Route 2 - HS Raven Wallathwaite (v good climbing)
Ardus - MVS Shepherds (3 start classic, interest all the way up)
Enterprize - VS Raven Wallathwaite (soft but a tad bold)
Scabby Horse - Gouther (one hard move near the top, much better than the name suggests)
Agitations/Digitation - VS Wallowbarrow (lovely routes, good pro)
Slip Knot/White Ghyll Wall - VS, White Ghyll (both soft'ish but v good)
Brown Slabs Crack VS - Shepherds (v cruxy, feels more like VS 5a but v well protected)
Kleine Rinne/Direct Route - Castle Rock (steep and slightly bold starts but excellent routes and not too stiff)
Delilah - VS High Crag (fading memory now, but best done with a bad hangover, or at least that's how we did it..)
Troutdale Pinnacle - VS Black Crag, Borrowdale (the easiest "hard" route up this bit of the crag, one tricky pitch)
Gimmer Crack - VS Gimmer (solid and never desperate, 3 star classic with history)

Do that lot and then jump on Eliminate A which should by then feel fairly straightforward although it's a bit of a journey at 6 pitches

Jim 1003 - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to Lord of Starkness:



> Eve is a fabulous VS - if a little bold once you move out on to the slab.

Not a good route for somebody starting, very polished and poor protection, there's been a few nasty accidents on this route, at least one fatal.
Lord of Starkness - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:
I remember a Borrowdale FRCC guidebook writer shouting less than encouraging comments in my direction - questioning whether I had made a Will - from the top of the crag the first time I led Eve. It certainly helped focus my mind on the run out slabby section of the second pitch (the small positive holds were 'all there' when you put them in the right sequence - and importantly stayed in balance). No chalk or sticky rubber back then - just EB's. I guess it's become a lot more polished in the past 40 years.
Post edited at 12:35
Rog Wilko on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

I hesitated to recommend these (owing to my innate modesty!?) but you might find these fairly straightforward:
Singing Kettle (VS 4b)
Earl Grey (VS 4c)
The former is a bit bold towards the top, while the crux of the latter is on the initial short slab.
Not a good crag for winter half of year as shady at that time.
Have fun - I envy you having the treasure trove of Lakeland VSs ahead of you

PS seen recommendations for Coral sea - it is very shiny and despite the protestations of locals who've done it so often they could do it with their eyes shut it is no way a soft touch for the grade though the gear is good and chance of injury if you fall is slight.
Simon Caldwell - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to The Ivanator:

> Walthwaite Crack (VS 4c) - a bit tougher, but well protected

It fell down 10 years ago?
MFB - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Still there I think, last climbed 30th Oct
Jamie B - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to spenser:

I thought Mellow Yellow was pretty solid and sustained at VS, whereas the other 3* VS, Mental Block on the Red Slab felt like a giveaway at the grade.
Jamie B - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to alan moore:

> Enterprize at Raven Crag Walthwaite is on the downgrade trail...

Agreed - very soft.
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MFB - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to Jamie B:

> Agreed - very soft.

But you could hurt yourself on it
Jamie B - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to MFB:

I don't even remember the gear being that bad - done it twice and thought it was very nice but not VS.
MFB - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to Jamie B:

Done it couple of times and thought gear bit ropey, maybe bad day
There are few comments that mention ' run out' but not overwhelming
Enterprize (VS 4b)

spenser - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to Jamie B:

That's funny, Mental block sounded like it was about to make my mate cry for his mummy in want of some gear! From my logbook comment I thought Mellow Yellow kept going and was sustained but didn't think it was anything more than middle of the grade.
stewart murray - on 03 Dec 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

Moss Ghyll Grooves just has one 4c move, the rest is about severe. It was traditionally HS but I think it gets MVS now.
North west Climb on Pillar has straightforward climbing with some tricky route finding, again gets MVS.
As said previously in this post CDM is straightforward, as is Slip Knot.
Simon Caldwell - on 05 Dec 2016
In reply to MFB:

> Still there I think, last climbed 30th Oct

It fell down in December 2006.
Presumably any ascents since then are either of a new route in the same area, or of mistaken identity.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=219587
The Ivanator - on 05 Dec 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

I mistakenly referenced Walthwaite Crack (VS 4c) up thread a bit, what I was meaning to refer to was Walthwaite Gully (VS 4c) which does climb a prominent crack in its second half and exits by a spiky holly tree (and also goes at the same grade). Guessing any post 2006 log entries for W Crack are likely to be ascents of W Gully.
Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Dec 2016
In reply to stewart murray:

> Moss Ghyll Grooves just has one 4c move, the rest is about severe. It was traditionally HS but I think it gets MVS now.

Correctly graded at either HS or MVS. A superb climb.

> North west Climb on Pillar has straightforward climbing with some tricky route finding, again gets MVS.

Harder than MGG I think. I remember finding Lamb's 'chimney' quite hard and serious - like a 40ft-long, easier-angled version of Brant Direct, but on gritty rock and with poor gear. A good, atmospheric, v exposed long mountain route though.


MFB - on 05 Dec 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

apologies

i've confused gully and crack

once got off route on pitch one britomatis, i have history

just checking the log for walthwaite crack and looks like we had a go at after the rockfall - think it was a 'not recommended'

john
GrahamD - on 05 Dec 2016
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

The most straightforward I can think of is Inominate Crack on Kern Knotts. OK its MVS and is therefore actually HS. Kern Knotts is fairly high up but gets a lot of morning sun.
Scott Quinn - on 05 Dec 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

As GrahamD said Kern Knott's crack is butch but good large gear might be helpful.
Then take the short walk over to the Napes for two excellent routes:
Tophet wall HS (one of the best routes EVER wild exposure)
Eagles nest ridge direct MVS (fairly bold but an absolute gem!)

Mix all three together & you've covered Powerful, Exposed & slightly bold climbing ok they aren't all VS but if you cruise all three - Go to war with NW arÍte & F Route link up on Gimmer, succeed on F Route & the VS world is your oyster.

MFB - on 05 Dec 2016
In reply to Scott Quinn:

I don't think he mentioned 'Kern Knotts crack'
Kern Knotts Crack (VS 4c)
which (IMO) is tougher and a lot more serious than F route (steep but very safe)
I think you would need a BD4 or equivalent - big gear
NW arÍte - lovely gentle VS


Scott Quinn - on 05 Dec 2016
In reply to MFB:
You're right - my bad, I meant innominate, don't listen to a word I say!

It was a while back now climbed F Route as a 2nd in 2014 having lead numerous above VS & I thought it was 'ARD!

NW ar£ & F Route was a very memorable and enjoyable day, should be on everyone's list!
Post edited at 15:52
Simon Caldwell - on 05 Dec 2016
In reply to MFB:

Yes, Kern Knotts I thought was very tough VS 4c, whereas Innominate was more like HS 4b.


MFB - on 05 Dec 2016
In reply to Scott Quinn:

<don't listen to a word I say!>


I refer you to my Walthwaite crack/gully confusion earlier - doh
Rog Wilko on 10:24 Tue
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

Just been browsing this thread again and would offer one or two words of warning:
Eve: the traverse pitch is both hard to protect and the optimum line to take isn't necessarily obvious at first. IIRC you will need some very small cams to make best use of the limited protection on offer.
Enterprize: as others have said, the gear is a bit limited and while an experienced and canny leader can make it reasonably safe, the less experienced leader may not.
Direct Route (Castle Rock): it is unfortunate that the initial wall is really bold and the climbing a bit pokey, otherwise a great choice! Kleinne Rinne similar but much less bold at the start.

On the positive side, there may be something to be said for these:
Ophidia (VS 4c) which IIRC is reasonably protected where it matters. Unless anyone else disagrees......
Revelation (VS 4c) this is the Sergeant Crag Slabs one. Probably needs a good dry spell., but it's better than it looks from below.
Zig Zag (VS 4b) I think this climb isn't affected by the threatened major rockfall on the North Crag. Unless anyone else disagrees....... However, UKC logbooks suggest it has been neglected recently so might be dirty/overgrown a bit. Be OK next May, I'd imagine. It was possibly Mrs Wilko's first VS lead 25 years ago and I can still remember how chuffed she was!
L ugg - on 21:57 Wed
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

How about F Route Gimmer......;)
Lenin on 22:22 Thu
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

Just bear in mind 4b may not have as hard a move or moves but is often bolder (less safe).
Of all the routes suggested, the one I recall as best protected was Innominate Crack and do not recall anything tricky about the climbing.
Another I recall as soft was Aberration at Quay Foot, but it is MVS so that would explain things.
One I think is tough for VS is Bramble Buttress on Raven Crag Langdale, so maybe one to leave for another day.

Rog Wilko on 09:11 Fri
In reply to Lenin:



> One I think is tough for VS is Bramble Buttress on Raven Crag Langdale, so maybe one to leave for another day.

Think you mean Bilberry.
Dave Cumberland - on 10:27 Fri
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Roger, there are some dangerously poised blocks just waiting to fall above the main gangway pitch of OB (I think Steve Reid put a pic of them on the FRCC website). These could go any time, and they would probably strafe ZZ. In the guide, find the "Castle Rock North Crag left side" photo-diagram, page 72, look for the blue "12" marking top (original) pitch of OB, and the blocks are just there at the blue 12 dot above the left side of the glacis, directly above the yew on OB.
We really need to trundle them, but it would take three people to ensure no one is wandering near the crag.
DC
Jamie B - on 11:03 Fri
In reply to ugg:

> How about F Route Gimmer......;)

Irresponsible. You know it's high in the grade, I know it's high in the grade, does he?
GrahamD - on 11:15 Fri
In reply to Jamie B:

In fact, its a perfect example of what the OP is aspiring to eventually: "to the more strenuous/technical VS 4c's around the Lakes"
Simon Caldwell - on 11:23 Fri
In reply to Jamie B:

Agreed, highly irresponsible, he might at least have signalled it by adding a winking smiley to the end of his suggestion..... ;)
MFB - on 12:11 Fri
In reply to Jamie B:

> Irresponsible. You know it's high in the grade, I know it's high in the grade, does he?

is he indulging in a bit of sandbagging on a technically difficult but essentially safe route


The Ivanator - on 12:28 Fri
In reply to MFB:

Aye, 'F' Route (VS 4c) is not like sending a novice VS leader up the bold and exposed arete of Eliminate 'C' (VS 4c) for example. Couldn't believe that didn't get HVS, hard 4c moves with increasingly serious consequences as you gain height in a fall scenario.
Glad I only seconded that pitch, belaying whilst my leader had a mini wobble after seeing the dubious sling over a spike at the foot of the arete had lifted was worrying enough, thankfully composure was regained and the pitch dispatched.
Rog Wilko on 13:28 Fri
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Thanks for that.
Lenin on 13:39 Fri
In reply to Rog Wilko:

> Think you mean Bilberry.

Yes, thats the one
JimR - on 13:46 Fri
In reply to Juliankitesurfer:

Troutdale Pinnacle Direct is an excellent outing, along with the Shroud and Obituary Grooves on Black Crag.
Jamie B - on 14:16 Fri
In reply to MFB:

> is he indulging in a bit of sandbagging on a technically difficult but essentially safe route

Nothing's safe when you're on your limit! I seem to recall gear has to be placed from a strenuous layback.
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cathsullivan on 15:24 Fri
In reply to JimR:

I agree that Troutdale Pinnacle Direct would fit the OP's bill, but disagree strenuously that Obituary Grooves fits the bill. It's just been upgraded to HVS and, while I'm sure opinions will vary about whether this is justified, it does show that at least some people think it would make a very bad 'easy VS'!

I would also reccommend the following to the OP:
Walthwaite Gully & Hardup Wall (Raven Crag Walthwaite)
Slip Knott & White Ghyll Wall (White Ghyll)
Paradise (Wallowbarrow)
CDM (Shepherd's)

And, as others have said, there are loads of MVSs that would help get you going towards VS. For example, Asterisk (Gimmer), Ardus (Shepherd's), Bryanston (Wallowbarrow).



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