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100 Best Routes on Grit

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 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 05 Jan 2022

About 30 years ago I wrote '100 Best Routes on Grit' - but it never got published. During a recent big clear-out I found an old disc with the manuscript on it.

I have created a Ticklist with the original 100 routes on it - I think it has stood the test of time quite well,

https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=5577

Chris

(Currently only 99 climbs on it - I can't seem to add Route 1 at Wimberry)

 GrahamD 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

100 best routes on grit ?  That's click bait right there !

 Fredt 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

You forgot Heaven Crack.

 Andy Hardy 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Did I miss Beau Geste? Surely the first of the "modern" hard grit routes?

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Andy Hardy:

I stopped at E5 but I am sure nowadays it would include a small number of harder routes,

Chris

In reply to Chris Craggs:

Great list. It'll make a good new year's resolution to try and make my way through it 🙂

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> (Currently only 99 climbs on it - I can't seem to add Route 1 at Wimberry)

Route I added now - the fact that it was I (capital i) rather than a 1 threw me for a while,

Chris

 Offwidth 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

A very good list but it's a bit too Sheffield centric and the numbers in the upper grade ranges looks bizzare (if a few routes at mid extreme grades are not to be seen as an afterthought you appear to be saying those grades don''t have so many absolutely classics!?)  Also missing arguably the best VS on grit (Great Crack at Dukes). I'd dump E3 to E5 and improve the geographic range of routes below that.

 Andy Hardy 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Could've had Strapadictomy, if only for the iconic photo...

 PaulJepson 05 Jan 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

I'm sure if click bait was the desired outcome then Chris would have highlighted the fact he's put 3 pebble slab in the E1 section...

In reply to PaulJepson:

Although there are lots of now E1s in the HVS section I note!

In reply to Chris Craggs:

Rather pleased Cameo gets in the E1 group, a favourite of mine, steep but steady face climbing and fairly lappable on a shunt 

 olddirtydoggy 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Great list even though Wharncliffes Himmelswillen as 4c VS is missing but I get why many of those routes are in there. Some there I need to get on my list of to do's, thanks.

 Shani 05 Jan 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> Although there are lots of now E1s in the HVS section I note!

That's because he skipped E0!

In reply to Chris Craggs:

Great list. Luckily my new year resolution is to start climbing trad again 😂

So, I’ve ticked 56 of those, but the bulk of my non-ticks are at places I’ve never been to over the last 40+ years so a bit unlikely now that I’ll suddenly get the urge to go to Wilton or Hoghton (wherever that is😀). It could do with more in the e3 to E5 range but that’s a minor criticism.

 PaulJepson 05 Jan 2022
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

Wilton has some great climbs at VS-HVS. A similar quality to Lawrencefield I'd say. 

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 05 Jan 2022
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> Great list. Luckily my new year resolution is to start climbing trad again 😂

> So, I’ve ticked 56 of those, but the bulk of my non-ticks are at places I’ve never been to over the last 40+ years so a bit unlikely now that I’ll suddenly get the urge to go to Wilton or Hoghton (wherever that is😀). It could do with more in the e3 to E5 range but that’s a minor criticism.

I slanted the list towards VS-E2, where most folks operate.

Mandarin (Hoghton) may be the best E2 on Grit - you should go do it

Chris

In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I slanted the list towards VS-E2, where most folks operate.

> Mandarin (Hoghton) may be the best E2 on Grit - you should go do it

> Chris

Thanks Chris, I’ll go do it based on that recommendation. I gave up on trad quite awhile ago but promised myself that post 60 years old I would pick up on it again. FYI for me you could populate the E1 and above part of the list with Johnny Allen routes and I would be happy 😀

In reply to Chris Craggs:

What's the deal with Hoghton at the minute? Is it strictly banned?

 profitofdoom 05 Jan 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> Although there are lots of now E1s in the HVS section I note!

Grades going up over the years is amusing. At the current rate, 20 years from now I'll be an E9 7a leader when I recheck routes I've done ha-ha-ha (whereas my actual upper level in reality is E3 5b)

In reply to deacondeacon:

Limited access for a few weeks each year.  It was always a crag with potential to get overgrown, so limited access is not helping.  I think in recent years, people have been cleaning things prior to climbing them.  Mandarin however, is fantastic and there are plenty of others worth the effort as well (Boadicea, Rhododendron Buttress, All Roads Lead to Rome etc.)

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 05 Jan 2022
In reply to deacondeacon:

> What's the deal with Hoghton at the minute? Is it strictly banned?

I believe (and may be wrong) that although currently banned, it is open most summers for a few weeks, local aficionados give the place a quick scrub - it is deffo only a high summer venue. The big three, Mandarin, Rhododendron Buttress and Boadicea makes for a belting day out,

Chris

In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I slanted the list towards VS-E2, where most folks operate.

I'm sure Alan or someone at UKC Towers could pull some data out of the logbooks, but I think its interesting how rarely I see on all the main grit crags folk doing routes harder than HVS. Of course plenty of people climb harder than that, but from what I see, I at least "feel" the top of the bell curve is probably sub-VS. If you lead E5 and go out with lots of E5 climbing mates you might well see things differently, but that at least is my impression from seeing what other people, who I don't know, are doing being a reasonably regular visitor to Stanage, Burbage, Millstone, Froggatt, Curbar, Baslow, Birchen and so on.

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 05 Jan 2022
In reply to TobyA:

To be honest I suspect that the ‘average’ Trad grade has dropped markedly since I wrote that 30 years ago,

Chris

In reply to Chris Craggs:

Yes, although I guess that is in part a result of widening participation - more people climbing nationally, but therefore more who might only get to climb outside a few times a year? In 2020 it definitely seemed lots of people who had only climbed indoors previously were "pushed" outside by walls closing due to the pandemic - although perhaps logically that seemed to mean Harpur and Horseshoe being paticularly busy rather than Stanage and Froggatt.

 pec 05 Jan 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> . .  I think its interesting how rarely I see on all the main grit crags folk doing routes harder than HVS. Of course plenty of people climb harder than that, but from what I see, I at least "feel" the top of the bell curve is probably sub-VS.  . . .

I think it was Al Evans who used to reckon the centre of gravity of UK trad was VS back in the day when he was in his prime (70's?) and that it was still VS 30 or 40 years later. That despite way better gear, sticky shoes and climbing walls.

I'd say the thing about rarely seeing people climbing above HVS doesn't just apply to the main grit crags, it seems to be the case accross the board at trad crags. I've long reckoned that if I go somewhere and climb an E1, then 9 times out of 10 I've climbed the hardest route at the crag that day.

It makes you wonder where all the good climbers go. In 35 years I can literally count on the fingers of one hand how many times I've seen someone climb an E5 or above.

 Graeme Hammond 05 Jan 2022
In reply to pec:

Think this topic has been discussed recently.  My take is that if you go to stanage popular on a warm July weekend you aren't going to see many people climbing E5 (Usually a lack of friction and there actually not that many good safe E5 to choose between would put off most E5 climbers). However go down to Pembroke and it isn't that uncommon to see the Huntsham's leap busy with people operating at that grade where conditions are more favorable at that time and from my understanding aren't as dangerous for the grade.

Therefore I expect many people's perception of the grades other people climb is likely affected by the grade they and thier friends operate at. So taking the above example, if you and your partner's only climb sub HVS you wouldn't likely visit Huntstsman's as there wouldn't be any climbs you could do, therefore you don't see people operating at a higher level. Instead you are more likely to go Stanage Popular where you see other people doing the same thing as there are loads of routes in the right grade range to do but won't see many climbers doing E5s for the reasons outlined in the first paragraph.

However wouldn't be surprised that the shear number of casual climbers is probably keeping the average down grade down or lower than it perhaps was once.

 Shani 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

> Think this topic has been discussed recently.  My take is that if you go to stanage popular on a warm July weekend you aren't going to see many people climbing E5 (Usually a lack of friction and there actually not that many good safe E5 to choose between would put off most E5 climbers)...

I'd agree and add that if you want to see a grit E8 or harder climbed, then you need to go to a crag on a work day in Winter. Ironically, you're unlikely to see many routes of VS or below climbed in this same window!

 Graeme Hammond 05 Jan 2022
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

> Great list even though Wharncliffes Himmelswillen as 4c VS is missing but I get why many of those routes are in there. Some there I need to get on my list of to do's, thanks.

If there was one route that should be included that wouldn't have been my pick. For VS Flash Wall (VS 5a), Womanless Wall (VS 4c)Lean Man's Climb (VS 5a)Sand Buttress (VS 4c)Altar Crack (VS 4c)Wedgewood Crack (VS 4c) I'd say were better contenders. 

In reply to deacondeacon:

> What's the deal with Hoghton at the minute? Is it strictly banned?

Don't believe the bullshit. There's this weird cult that wants you to believe you should worship the place as some hallowed holy ground, full of routes carved from the clouds of heaven by gritstone angels, and that mandarin is the best route in the world ever and can't be outdone.

It's bollocks. The place is always closed and when you eventually make the stars align so you can get there while it's not raining, the whole crag is behind 3 inches of green slime, which you can't see because of the ivy and brambles. 

Fair play, it's a great long-running in joke and I'm impressed so many people have kept up the ruse for so long, but it is 100% bullshit. Mandarin might as well be on the goddamn moon.

 Graeme Hammond 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

Don't really agree, think it's a pretty good list. I need to finish the last few (7) but having done many of the classic grit routes in Yorkshire & Lancashire over the years I don't think there is any were near as many high quality routes at each grade as there are on the edges in the Peak, perhaps because the edges and out crops in Yorkshire are less extensive and more broken and Lancashire having mainly a lots of quarries. Slight shame not to see one of the E3s at Wilton such as Max (E3 5c) or Super crack (can't seem to link) make the list but I think both areas are pretty well represented by thier stand out routes.

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Wilton wall, surely

 pec 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

I get what you're saying but I don't go to popular eastern grit edges all the time, not much at all really. I get around a lot of areas and a lot of rock types and have done for decades so inevitably end up at quite a lot of crags with hard routes for the talented to climb but still hardly ever see anyone on them.

Clearly these people do exist but they must either spend a lot of time at a very small number of crags or spend most of their time sport climbing and bouldering with only the odd foray onto trad perhaps?

 Graeme Hammond 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Mandarin (E2 5c) doesn't really get dirty and should you get on it it is worth the hype humble opinion. Being closed all the time is admittedly a pain but that doesn't stop the route being good. Shame access isn't better as other routes would probably stay alot cleaner with regularly traffic, hopefully one day I'll get to clean up and climb Boadicea (E2 5c).

However ditch at least one of the other E2s on the list in favour of Blasphemy (E2 5c).

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

> Mandarin (E2 5c) doesn't really get dirty

It f'kin does. I've tried. Completely fell for it. I was had. Fool me...... Um.... You can't get fooled twice.

> However ditch at least one of the other E2s on the list in favour of Blasphemy (E2 5c).

Again with the green mingfests. I'm starting to think you have a type!

The Arête (E2 5c) is the best E2 if you don't have a slime fetish.

 Graeme Hammond 05 Jan 2022
In reply to pec:

> Clearly these people do exist but they must either spend a lot of time at a very small number of crags or spend most of their time sport climbing and bouldering with only the odd foray onto trad perhaps?

Think this probably has alot of truth, i bet many people do more bouldering and sport alongside thier trad, when pre mats and bolted venues these options were less viable alternatives. 

 Graeme Hammond 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> It f'kin does. I've tried. Completely fell for it. I was had. Fool me...... Um.... You can't get fooled twice.

I must have got lucky both times I've done it, however the rest of the quarry looked dire particularly on the 2nd visit with the exception of Rhododendron Buttress (E2 5c) which amazing and clean enough.

> Again with the green mingfests. I'm starting to think you have a type!

More than likely, I don't mind the odd bit of dirt think it's a given on moorland grit

> The Arête (E2 5c) is the best E2 if you don't have a slime fetish.

Excellent, however is it the best?

 Graeme Hammond 05 Jan 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Wilton wall, surely

A excellent call, and climbable alot more often than supercrack too. 

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

> I must have got lucky both times I've done it

We took the gear for a walk. Nothing was in, despite a long warm spell and leaving plenty of time in the open season for traffic.

> Excellent, however is it the best?

A couple of times over the years I've sat down with a brew and had a think about what would be my top list. I think The Arête (E2 5c) is my #1 most enjoyable pitch. Not just best E2, best pitch in my accessible memory.

Five finger exercise, fern hill, and electric circus are probably the other nominees in the grit E2 category though.

 redjerry 06 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Nectar instead of Profit? you're joking surely.
(Not that profits actually E4)

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 06 Jan 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

> Mandarin (E2 5c) doesn't really get dirty and should you get on it it is worth the hype humble opinion. Being closed all the time is admittedly a pain but that doesn't stop the route being good. Shame access isn't better as other routes would probably stay alot cleaner with regularly traffic, hopefully one day I'll get to clean up and climb Boadicea (E2 5c).

My take on Mandarin - from the 'book'

MANDARIN.

More years ago than I can (or care to) remember the granddaddy of modern climbing magazines, Rocksport, featured an article entitled 'Lancashire Hotpot'. It made interesting reading but we were generally far too wrapped up working through an apparently endless collection of classic climbs on this side of the Pennines to be bothered trying to battle through the weekend traffic in Manchester in search of what we considered esoterica. The article covered a selection of limestone and gritstone venues in the red rose county and was illustrated with a scattering of
black and white photographs. These were fairly unremarkable except for a full-page shot of a tiny figure bridged across the edge of a hanging groove and surrounded by a sea of overhangs; a climb called Mandarin. The route looked so impressive that I wondered if the caption was wrong and the climb was actually from Gogarth or some other even more exotic location.

In 1983 a new Lancashire guide appeared in the shops and so we finally decided that we had to investigate this mystical land. On the first visit it had to be Hoghton and to our surprise we found that the Sunday morning trip through  Manchester was fast and trouble-free. We parked up, wandered across the railway line and through the cutting into the quarry. At first sight the place was mighty impressive, with great open corners, smooth walls and superb crack lines; like a silent tree-shrouded version of Millstone Quarry.

We warmed up with a couple of the easier climbs and then gathered at the foot on the most impressive line in the place, it looked even more imposing than the dimly remembered photograph. After a little 'umming and arring' I set off up the corner with a distinct feeling of being a lamb on the way to meet an unknown but probably unpleasant end.

Easy rock led to a roof where a couple of solid peg runners protected a swing right onto a band of soft yellow rock. A sprint up a long dusty flake left me bridged at the point where things obviously turned tougher. The protection was good but a short rib took several attempts to sort out. I was quite sure that the upward (and outward) beyond the rib was the real problem, in short I was gripped. After giving myself a bit of a talking to I eventually made the moves and got established under the biggest overhang where I slotted in a couple of runners and tried to regain my composure.

A narrow undercut wall ran out right and there was a good crack under the overhang, but getting started was problematic. The climb has always been graded 5b, and maybe it is for short climbers but I was definitely struggling to bunch my lanky frame under the roof and eventually I finger-traversed a small edge before pulling powerfully to gain the undercuts and scuttle rapidly around the arete into a recessed corner. Above were more overhangs, the rope
drag was becoming a problem, and I was getting ever more harassed. I had the feeling that I had earned my tick but the Mandarin was not through with me yet, talk about Chinese torture! Uncomfortably wide bridging got me past the overhang but the rock still leaned out above me. A swing-out left into a position of harrowing exposure and a couple of stiff pulls on good but slightly loose holds and I wrapped my arms thankfully around the capping tree; blessed release.

I tied onto the tree and sat back in a comfortable grassy seat. It was some time before I took the ropes in and a lot longer before I realised that I was sitting on an ant's nest. The route had left me exhausted and yet elated, I was grateful there weren't too many climbs like Mandarin on gritstone, just one is enough.

Chris

 C Witter 06 Jan 2022
In reply to wilkie14c:

What is the value in lapping a route on a shunt where the challenge in its boldness and the climbing itself is straightforward and full of rests? You'd be better on Chimney Buttress where there's a bit of steepness and you can get a bit pumped.

 DerwentDiluted 06 Jan 2022
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

> Great list even though Wharncliffes Himmelswillen as 4c VS is missing 

Its Sandstone though innit. 

 olddirtydoggy 06 Jan 2022
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

Strictly speaking maybe but an Agden Roacher it isn't.

 DerwentDiluted 06 Jan 2022
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

> Strictly speaking maybe but an Agden Roacher it isn't.

Thats very true. Born and brought up in Grenoside I've a lot of affection for Wharncliffe. It will always be in my top 5 crags.

 Tom Valentine 06 Jan 2022
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Nothing wrong with Agden (speaking a a former Wharncliffe "local")

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

I think this is the case. Back in the day bouldering was training for climbing and sport did not exist, so if you wanted to progress through the grades there was a different kind of physicality and mindset required. Not everyone could combine this and so a relative few could climb E5 and above on sight. With the onset of sport anyone could work routes in safety until they could lead them and this broadened the appeal and base for people to operate at high grades. I always remember years ago going to Malham with John Sheard when routes still had trad. grades. John had been Pete Liveseys main climbing partner and although technically superior to Pete, he didn’t have the same “head”. John looked at all the climbers festooned across the wall sat on bolts and declared. “I can lead E6 now”

In reply to DerwentDiluted:

> Its Sandstone though innit.

But that's true of all grit I thought? My first ever attempts at climbing were on Worcestershire sandstone, I suspect it is really just mud hardened a bit by the weight of the mud/sandstone above it. The similarities between that and say Torridonian sandstone at somewhere like Reiff seem way bigger than the differences between Reiff and, for example, Stanage!

Post edited at 10:49
 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Fredt:

> You forgot Heaven Crack.

A great route but so short - I would suggest the seven VDiffs in the list are better?

Chris

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

> If there was one route that should be included that wouldn't have been my pick. For VS Flash Wall (VS 5a), Womanless Wall (VS 4c)Lean Man's Climb (VS 5a)Sand Buttress (VS 4c)Altar Crack (VS 4c)Wedgewood Crack (VS 4c) I'd say were better contenders. 

A great set, I think you might be right about Sand Buttress as an obvious omission,

Chris

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> The Arête (E2 5c) is the best E2 if you don't have a slime fetish.

The Arete is a great call - but what are you going to take out?

Chris

 PaulJepson 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

So many good VSs! I think Great Harry (VS 4c) deserves to be on there. 

 duchessofmalfi 07 Jan 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Really?

 Moacs 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Nothing at Stannington Chris?

In reply to Chris Craggs:

Good list - and interesting reading people thoughts. Also interesting that no one has completed them all at moment. Doubt if I will now (never led a grit E5) - but there are still a few in the list to do. 

Do you need to do a clean lead (or solo) for it to count on the tick list?

 PaulJepson 07 Jan 2022
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

Yes. I've climbed roughly half of the VS routes on the list and of those I would say I thought GH was better than Inverted V, Via Dolorosa, High Neb Buttress, Quien Sabe? and possibly The File. It's 25m long, with three distinctly different sections, in a beautiful setting. Punchy laybacking, jamming and bridging up the first section. Awkward udging in the middle. Airy finish with a slopey top. What's not to love?

In reply to Chris Craggs:

> The Arete is a great call - but what are you going to take out?

> Chris

Mandarin

 jon 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

I find it amazing that 109 people have subscribed to the ticklist but none have completed it. Even I've done 33 of them - and I don't even like grit!

 PaulJepson 07 Jan 2022
In reply to jon:

Why would you subscribe to a ticklist you've completed?

In reply to Chris Craggs:

As someone who really enjoyed "Limestone 100" I often wondered why there wasn't a Grit follow-up (or indeed Granite etc). Any plans to dust off the manuscript and find a publisher? If not, how about releasing it as a pdf for people to enjoy the fruits of your labour (maybe encouraging a modest donation to MR or CAC or similar). Seems a shame to let it go to waste

Cheers, Dom 

 jon 07 Jan 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

> Why would you subscribe to a ticklist you've completed?

How would you know you'd done all the routes if you didn't subscribe to it? And, if you do subscribe to a list, you work your way through it and finally complete all the routes, do you unsubscribe?

 PaulJepson 07 Jan 2022
In reply to jon:

If I subscribed to a list and saw that I had completed 100% of it, I would probably immediately unsubscribe from it. The purpose of a ticklist for me is to encourage me to do the routes. If I've already done them then what is the point in subscribing? I would derive no pleasure from having retrospectively completed an arbitrary list. 

 wbo2 07 Jan 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:Re. GH.  But it does have Great North Road, which is a bigger, better version just across the road.  I'd rather see Bond Street than either 

OR

Back in the day this got a route grade  (E2 5b?) and is of exceptional quality

https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/stanage_plantation-101/crescent_arete-10072

In reply to jon:

> I find it amazing that 109 people have subscribed to the ticklist but none have completed it. Even I've done 33 of them - and I don't even like grit!

The fact that I've apparently only done 14 shows me how much ancient history I've failed to document.  If I don't have an accurate date, I don't add routes to my log - which gives me plenty of still-plausible routes to target again!

 Graeme Hammond 07 Jan 2022
In reply to wbo2:

> Back in the day this got a route grade  (E2 5b?) and is of exceptional quality

thought that was HVS? and Not to be Taken Away (f6C) was E2 in old money

Post edited at 12:17
 Graeme Hammond 07 Jan 2022
In reply to jon:

> I find it amazing that 109 people have subscribed to the ticklist but none have completed it. Even I've done 33 of them - and I don't even like grit!

I think its not surprising given you need to be climbing to a high standard. However you also need to be interested in climbing a good selection of lower grade routes across a wide geographical area some with a reasonable length walk in for some single pitch routes some of which are only in condition in the warmer summer months when there are mountain crags and seas cliff alternatives to be going at. Think there are few climbers who would do this. I'll probably never complete it like due to the difficulty of the last few routes. I've only done so many as i have lived in the area for a reasonable period of time an am willing to do do day trips away from the eastern edges to Yorkshire and Lancashire frequently which I know most don't. 

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 07 Jan 2022
In reply to steveb2006:

> Good list - and interesting reading people thoughts. Also interesting that no one has completed them all at moment. Doubt if I will now (never led a grit E5) - but there are still a few in the list to do. 

> Do you need to do a clean lead (or solo) for it to count on the tick list?

I have done 99 of them, but apparently, the fact that I followed Wellington Crack and London Wall means they don't count!

Chris

In reply to Dave Garnett:

I've done 45 of them. BTW, I'm amazed that neither Fern Hill nor Five Finger Exercise is on the list.

 jon 07 Jan 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

I'd think you're not necessarily representative - and given the gritcentric nature of UKC, I'm sure there are quite a few who'd love to be the first to complete the list!

In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I have done 99 of them, but apparently, the fact that I followed Wellington Crack and London Wall means they don't count!

67 for me plus 5 seconded / dogged incl London Wall (seconded and dogged!!) . Must still try and do a clean ascent of the excellent True Grit though (2 dogged ascents).

Steve

 mrphilipoldham 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

54 plus 2 seconds in 5 years. I'd like to think that at the age of 35 if I put some effort in to getting stronger and better I could finish it. If. 

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I've done 45 of them. BTW, I'm amazed that neither Fern Hill nor Five Finger Exercise is on the list.

Yes, I think I'm at about that many, but hampered to my lack of dark Peak exposure!

 john arran 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I have done 99 of them, but apparently, the fact that I followed Wellington Crack and London Wall means they don't count!

Well you'll just have to go back and lead them then 😀.

 john arran 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

I counted about 65 done, but I don't keep records and I've a poor memory for names unless the routes were challenging at the time, so I may well have done more, particularly on rare forays to Lancashire or t'other side o' t'Peak, where I may well have soloed many of the easier ones. Certainly everything above E3.

 1poundSOCKS 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> but what are you going to take out?

The only route I've done that I was surprised to see on your list was Big Crack. I voted it 2 stars. I know it's a different grade, but Desperation Crack at Brimham is so much better. The offwidth bit is harder too.

Post edited at 14:50
 wbo2 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:  You're correct I'm amazed NYBTA is 6C as it's the one of only a very few I've done 

 Anotherclimber 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I have done 99 of them, but apparently, the fact that I followed Wellington Crack and London Wall means they don't count!

> Chris

Why don't they count?

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Anotherclimber:

> Why don't they count?

The Ticklist shows I have done 97 of the routes on the list, the two I followed don't appear to count,

Chris

 PaulJepson 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Anotherclimber:

With ticklists I think they only count towards completion if you have a green tick next to it. So if you dog (orange cross), dnf (red cross), or second/top-rope cleanly (blue tick), then it doesn't count towards completing it. Clean lead or Alt-lead gets you a green tick. 

Not sure if there is a settings option when you make a list so a blue tick still counts.

 Tom Valentine 08 Jan 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

So alt lead where you quite plainly don't have the crux pitch gets you a green tick but seconding a single pitch route doesn't? Can't see much sense in that.

 PaulJepson 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Tom Valentine:

Yes correct. If a multi-pitch is particularly unbalanced then you can get a 'tick' for leading the ungraded approach. The system doesn't discriminate. It'd be quite a messy extra layer to somehow split pitches up in the logbook. 

 Tom Valentine 08 Jan 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Do you mean the actual approach as opposed to easier early pitches?

 Cake 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Tom Valentine:

The ungraded pitch that gets you to the action, not the walk-in.

 Cake 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Tom Valentine:

If you are very bothered, you could submit that you only seconded routes if you consider your lead unworthy of a full tick.

 Tom Valentine 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Cake:

I don't climb any more and my history is what it is, but I can't see the sense in someone getting a tick for seconding the top pitch of Dinas Mot's Direct Route but not getting one for seconding Cenotaph Corner, on the grounds that the Mot climber led one of the lower pitches.

 PaulJepson 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Tom Valentine:

You have to look at it both ways though. You would feel short-changed if you didn't get a tick when you'd led the crux pitch of a route, just because you seconded the easier odd pitches.

It's the best way the system can be I think. You shouldn't get the full tick for seconding the entire route and the logbook won't discriminate between which pitches you led and their grade so you have to give a tick for alt-leads.

If you didn't get a tick for alt leads and led all the odd pitches on one occasion and then came back and did the evens, you still wouldn't get a tick. You'd have to block lead the entire route.

 Graeme Hammond 08 Jan 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

I and i have seen other people do the following on occasions: Log something just as a second even if I led the trial easy exit pitch/grass walk on a route as it seems more accurate reflection of my effort and doesn't count towards a ticklist

At the other end of the spectrum I've seen people not putting a style with a note saying they are doing so so it counts towards a ticklist which is just cheating themselves. 

Post edited at 20:28
 Baz P 08 Jan 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Do I get any ticks for aiding some of the routes on the lead, before they went free?

In reply to pec:

> I think it was Al Evans who used to reckon the centre of gravity of UK trad was VS back in the day when he was in his prime (70's?) and that it was still VS 30 or 40 years later. That despite way better gear, sticky shoes and climbing walls.

It could simply be that more people are starting climbing every year so that the pyramid gets ever broader at the bottom and the centre of gravity stays constant despite rising standards at the top; standards could actually be rising, but the average is always held back by newbies.

In reply to Robert Durran:

When John and I started climbing seriously in N Wales in 1968, the 'centre of gravity' was definitely VS, even then. I remember we didn't feel we were doing 'proper' climbing/quite the 'real thing' until we were doing VS, which according to my log book was exactly a fortnight after doing Milestone Buttress (M) - first VSs being Skylon and Trilon in the Pass. There were about 3 or 4 other two-man (well boy) teams of our age, exactly like us, getting into climbing. We would bump into them on different stances on different days. One such was Al Rouse and his climbing partner, climbing at exactly our standard, but Rouse was obviously v talented and would soon be climbing far better than we were.

 pec 09 Jan 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It could simply be that more people are starting climbing every year so that the pyramid gets ever broader at the bottom and the centre of gravity stays constant despite rising standards at the top; standards could actually be rising, but the average is always held back by newbies.


Yes, to a large extent that does explain it, but it still seems like the numbers climbing regularly above E1/2 fall off a cliff (not literally!). Particularly in percentage terms but even in absolute terms.

I know there are certain crags where you're more likely to see good climbers but given the length of time I've been climbing, the number of days I get out and the variety of areas and crags I visit I find it remarkable how rarely I've seen people climbing in the mid and upper E grades, especially as good climbers will tend to climb more often.

I think the sport/bouldering distraction thing must explain it to some extent but I also think the fact that you can spend a lifetime climbing as a VS punter in the UK on routes of great quality acts as a disencentive for people to get better.

My observation from climbing in the USA is that I've seen people climbing hard stuff far more often despite me having spent much less time climbing there. US climbing areas don't seem to be so richly endowed with high quality 5.7s and 5.8s, so if you want to climb a lot over there you have to start pushing yourself. This is a bit like sport climbing in the UK where average standards are much higher than trad because low grade sport in the UK is basically crap so if you want to sport climb you have to get good!

In reply to pec:

Possible explanation for what you're (not) seeing is that people just stop going to certain crags as they improve. There comes a point when you just don't want to go to stanage again. Either because you've done everything there on the way to getting good, or you can't be arsed with the crowds and don't have to put up with them any more because you can have a decent day somewhere with a higher ticket price. So you'll go off on an adventure to do an amazing route at an esoteric crag because you'll know that it's worth walking up to Tintwistle to do The Arête (E2 5c) because you know you'll be fine on it. In summer, have a look at the recent top accents page and see where they all are. It'll be gravestones, scimitar ridge, off piste slate, the leap, and stuff you've never heard of.

That's my story anyway. Once I got happy in the low extremes I grew to hate the peak district honeypots and got more into esoterica. Or maybe everyone just goes to Pembroke now. No shortage of wads there.

 pec 09 Jan 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I know what you're saying but I don't go to the same old places all the time. I go to a wide variety of places and have done for decades, probably been to three or four hundred different crags in England and Wales. Surely if there were thousands of people climbing mid to upper E grades I'd see some of them now and again?

 PaulJepson 09 Jan 2022
In reply to pec:

Maybe they don't want to be seen? I tend to not push myself when there's people about but I appreciate that others probably don't care. I tend to like a wobble and a swear so hate when there are people watching. 

In reply to pec:

That's kind of what I'm getting at. Moving up the grades opens up tons more crags. The harder climbers are spread way more thinly.

 Hardonicus 10 Jan 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Bertie's Bugbear (S 4a) should be swapped with The Left Monolith (HS 4b) for a much superior climb (with a unique top) at a similar grade in Chew Valley.

I would also suggest Ricochet Wall (E1 5b) would be an excellent addition if you want a classic E0 in there, and bring in Colne Valley.

I'm surprised to see Tintwhistle Knarr not featuring - I think the list would be stronger with a wider spread of crags.

Post edited at 09:54
 Graeme Hammond 10 Jan 2022
In reply to Hardonicus:

> Bertie's Bugbear (S 4a) should be swapped with The Left Monolith (HS 4b) for a much superior climb (with a unique top) at a similar grade in Chew Valley.

Didn't think either of these were particularly great although Bertie's was pretty dirty when i did it otherwise it would have been much better. 

> I'm surprised to see Tintwhistle Knarr not featuring - I think the list would be stronger with a wider spread of crags.

Apart from the Arete there is there anything else which is good enough to feature on the list. Probably better to include something from  Ramshaw Rocks first? Traveller in Time (E4 6a) or Ramshaw Crack (E4 6a) perhaps? Personally I think its better kept as a "best of" with routes included on merit than including stuffed based around getting the most diverse geographical list grit crags, which it already is pretty good at with most major crags featured.

Post edited at 12:33

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