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Kipling Groove, Gimmer Crag
© Gordon Stainforth, May 1990
Climbers: Richard Hammond
Camera used: Wista 45DX, 150mm Schneider Apo Symmar lens
5*VOTING: number of votes 118
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Another of my 5 x 4 shots from Eyes to the Hills
Gordon Stainforth - 13/Feb/07
Stunning exposure and feeling of depth and perspective. As always, excellent contrast of light and shadow.
FJC - 13/Feb/07
I don't think I have ever seen a better photo of this route. Superb.
tonyw - 14/Feb/07
Wonderful, masterful photo. Best I have ever seen of Kipling - it makes it look ruddy 'ard.
eroica64 - 15/Feb/07
OK, so you know why Birkett called it Kipling Groove, but do you know why Kipling was called Rudyard? :)
Gordon Stainforth - 15/Feb/07
Was he born at Rudyard?
Sean Kelly - 15/Feb/07
Didn't Arhtur Dolphin name the route?
Ian Bentham - 17/Feb/07
In answer to Sean: Nearly, but not quite. His parents had 'met in courtship' at Rudyard Lake - now Rudyard Reservoir - in Staffordshire (not far from the Roaches), and had liked the place so much they named their son after it. Imagine being named after a reservoir!
Gordon Stainforth - 17/Feb/07
PS. He was born in India.
Gordon Stainforth - 17/Feb/07
In answer to Ian: No, it was definitely Jim Birkett, who was well-known for giving his routes witty names e.g. Godiva Groove: 'Somewhat exposed in the upper half', and Harlot Face: 'Looks very attractive from a distance but not so good close up.'
Gordon Stainforth - 17/Feb/07
Congratulations! This photo was chosen as Photo of the Week, based on votes by registered users over the past 7 days.
Charles Arthur - UKC - 18/Feb/07
Why does it not fit my monitor?? Is it cos 5 x 4?
Padraig - 18/Feb/07
is the climber Richard Hammond of Top Gear and near death fame?
Benwa - 18/Feb/07
The first ascent was in 1948 by A R Dolpin and J B Lockwood
brokenankle - 18/Feb/07
Padraig: No, I'm afraid that's because I made the picture deliberately big - to capture something of the feel of the huge original transparenc. Needs a minimum of a 17" monitor to avoid scrolling. Sorry!
Gordon Stainforth - 18/Feb/07
Benwa: No, I don't think so! Remember this was taken 17 years ago.
Gordon Stainforth - 18/Feb/07
Brokenankle: That is a very embarrassing mistake I made there, regarding one of the landmark first ascents in British rockclimbing history.
Gordon Stainforth - 18/Feb/07
Its still a good picture I gave it five
brokenankle - 19/Feb/07
Good to see the Hamster recovering well...
Greg Kirkpatrick - 23/Feb/07
Superb picture. There are two parties of climbers. Are there 2 routes, which is which.
Lenin - 23/Feb/07
The groove on the left is the classic VS, Gimmer Crack; the route on the right, on the front of the buttress, is Kipling. The leader is on the crux moves shortly after quitting the groove itself. The crux sequence ends on a superb little exposed ledge which you can just see some distance to the right of his head. It is then pure joy on perfect rock to the top.
Gordon Stainforth - 23/Feb/07
In response to the stuff about who named the route: a quotation from Arthur Dolphin: "The name Kipling Groove (or wall or what have you)was long preserved for some route which could justly be described as ruddy ard." (source: Cumbrian Rock by Trevor Jones)
Dolphin is described in that book and in the Langdale guide as the first ascensionist.
And to cap it all:"It was first climbed in 1948 by Arthur Dolphin who, apart from being one of the best climbers of his day, was a notable wit. he called it 'Kipling Groove' because 'it's ruddy 'ard, mate!" (Source: Eyes to the Hills, page 191 by Gordon Stainforth!)
Fox - 24/Feb/07
There is such a thing as a faulty memory, you know (aka senile dementia)! Thanks for the exact Dolphin quote.
Gordon Stainforth - 24/Feb/07
Awsome Shot. Reminds how good that route was and brings back great memories of leading the overlap on the last day of school when i was 14.
It's definatley a Dolphin climb and named so because it was Ruddy 'ard. Dolphin also put up Communist Convery on Raven Thirmere, because it goes from left to right.
TRip - 25/Feb/07
Not totally sure but I think Dolfin top roped it before he led it . Rare in those days ,seems standard for FA's these days
USBRIT - 12/Aug/11
According to Alan Hankinson ('A Century on the Crags') he 'top-roped down it more than once, inspected it thoroughly' i.e. he did not top rope it in our modern sense. It is also notable that he used only slings (nylon line) for protection. He did not use a peg below the crux. That was put in by Joe Brown on the third ascent.
Gordon Stainforth - 13/Aug/11
Info from Dolphin's mate Pete Greenwood was that Arther top roped up it twice before he led it..
USBRIT - 13/Aug/11
OK, I agree that Pete G's testimony must overule Hankinson's.
Gordon Stainforth - 15/Aug/11
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This picture is copyright. If you want to reproduce or otherwise re-use it, please email the photographer direct via their user profile. Photo added February 13 2007.