UKC

A Good Line

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
 Tom V 23 Feb 2021

Thinking about Gordon's decription of The Groove (E9 7b) I've been wondering about what constitutes a "good line" . It's a popular enough phrase and it's been in use for long enough  so

what are the criteria?

which route/s   best fits those criteria.?

 Steve Clegg 23 Feb 2021
 tjekel 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

To me, a good line is a relatively easy (compared to its direct environment), prominent and organic line through rather improbable territory.

... Badile North ridge is a good line, Big Micheluzzi (Ciavazzes)  or Fedele (Pordoi) or Comici (3 cime)  or Tissi (Torre Venezia) are. 

Post edited at 19:29
 Rick Graham 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Plumbline (E3 5c)

Post edited at 19:36
In reply to Tom V:

> what are the criteria?

Primarily a line of east resistance.

 Michael Gordon 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Like the Kangshung Face?

 Michael Gordon 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

A good line is exactly that. An impressive feature which makes you go wow! A crack up an otherwise blank wall, an arete, a major Alpine ridge.

A good route is entirely different and is reliant on many criteria, of which the line is just one of.

 Jon Read 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

One that says: "Climb me!"

 deacondeacon 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

I have a soft spot for Aretes. They are as pure as can be. Don't even need a crack to show you where to go. They also lend themselves to climbing with subtlety and you can quite often get up them without being a super strong  Iron fingered hero. 

 Al Randall 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

For me a line like Vector is superior to one like Weaver despite the quality of the climbing on both therefore IMO Vector is the better route. I've always preferred lines that require a degree of route finding skill in order to get up them.  It adds to the experience.

Al

 tehmarks 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

  • A route up an obvious and aesthetic feature.
  • 'Good' moves; climbing that feels fun for whatever reason.
  • Fine situations. 
 Andy Hardy 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

A difficult though we'll protected crux, preferably just above the ground with easier climbing in spectacular positions further up. It's a bonus if your mate struggles to second it 😅

Verandah Buttress (HVD 5b)

In reply to Andy Hardy:

> A difficult though we'll protected crux, preferably just above the ground with easier climbing in spectacular positions further up. It's a bonus if your mate struggles to second it 😅

First move or two of Greengrocer Wall (HVS 5c), couple of moves left, sorted 😁

 Alex@home 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

You can't necessarily define exactly what it is. But to me it's a route that you look at and instantly want to climb. The one that stands out most for me in that regard is Salango (E3 5c)

 mike123 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V: I’m sure everybody lots of people have lots of different criteria , but for me one would be “goes from the very bottom of the crag ( or hill or mountain  ) to the the very top , in pretty much a straight line . As such , for crag ing what could could be better than rain drop (E1 5b ) on black crag .( sorry I ve no idea how to put the link in )  From just right of the toe of black crag to pretty much the top .  Others that spring to mind are delight maker on Shepard’s and string of pearls on gilercombe . 

 Tom V 23 Feb 2021
In reply to deacondeacon:

Agreed. The Philistine (E1 5b) might not be the best route that I've ever led but I'm sure it's the best line.

 Hardonicus 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Improbable

Inescapable

Intoxicating

Post edited at 21:52
 Andypeak 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

I've always thought of as good line as one you see from a distance, often from the car and go "wow, I want to climb that!" Something like Peapod at Curbar or Inverted V at Stangage. 

 Tom V 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Hardonicus:

Can't agree with improbable. There were plenty of good lines climbed in the early days when they must have been deemed probable by the pioneers. If Cenotaph Corner is a good line then so is April Crack.

 Bilberry 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

One where the rock tells you where to go and gives you just enough holds to enable it.

 Stuart William 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

A good line for me is definitely all about the aesthetics. It's the route that I feel compelled to climb as soon as I see it, regardless of whether it turns out to be Diff or E2. A feature that you just see and immediately think "now that looks cool". 

As other's have said, a good route is not necessarily the same thing. While a good line is love at first sight, there are plenty of good routes that I'd easily walk past without a second glance if the guide hadn't told me it was worthwhile.

 profitofdoom 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

A great big inescapable groove, or corner 

 65 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

If it's in Scotland, anything that has "FA, R. Smith" in the guidebook description.

 Mark Bannan 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

These are a few that spring to mind that I've done:

Agag's 

Mousetrap (Creag an Dubh Loch)

Vulcan Wall

Trophy Crack

Centurion

Eagle Ridge

Route II, Diabaig

Squareface

Post edited at 01:32
 Mark Bannan 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Primarily a line of east resistance.

Sounds like you're talking about the Kurst Salient!

 Michael Gordon 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Mark Bannan:

Agags, Centurion and Eagle Ridge are the really big lines out of those I'd say. Mousetrap, Trophy Crack and Route II are just one line amongst many. With Squareface it's the rock feature itself which is so compelling, and the thought, 'wow, a v-diff goes up that?!'

 GrahamD 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

The line that made me want to climb it even before looking what it was in the guidebook, and even then despite being just about my hardest lead at the time, was The Strand.  I found the line so clean and compelling.

Another one I remember from early on is King Kong at Wintours (before rock fall removed the block at the start and when it was HVS). You can point the line out from half a mile away.

 MischaHY 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

"The line that's just calling out to you, beckoning to be climbed... That's the king line.' 

Sharma said it best! 

 Duncan Bourne 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

A good line is like a good book (to paraphrase Swedish Tony)

It keeps you interested

It lures you on

It may not always be obvious where it is going but when you make the moves you can see why

It epitimises the best the crag has to offer

 mrphilipoldham 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Pretty much anything at  Wimberry Rocks. You can see every single one from the valley bottom. The aretiest aretes, wallest walls and crackiest cracks.

 Pedro50 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

La Demande 

 AndySL 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Almost anything at Portishead Quarry. Especially Pickpocket (HVS 5a) or The Brink of Solarity (HVS 5a)

 alan moore 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Have always been a bit feeble to man-up to the big, obvious lines and prefer routes that sneak and sidle way up a crag.

Gob, Mur-y-Nwl and Malbogies stand out for peering around corners and finding a way through more difficult ground. Wobbly lines, all of them.

 snoop6060 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Dunno what the criteria is but these 2 are unreal lines and cetainly some of best climbing anywhere. 

L'ange en Décomposition (7a)

The Grand Wall (5.11a)

 Lankyman 24 Feb 2021
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> Pretty much anything at  Wimberry Rocks. You can see every single one from the valley bottom. The aretiest aretes, wallest walls and crackiest cracks.

And you can also tell you're in for the hidiest hiding

 PaulJepson 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Sometimes a good line is something you can see from a mile away and sometimes it's only really clear once you're on it. 

Malbogies (HVS 5a) at Avon is a good example of the latter, as I had no idea what I was looking for amongst the jumble of overhangs, breaks and grooves of main wall. However, as soon as you're on it, it all falls into place and becomes very obvious. For such a complex and 'messy' cliff, I'd be surprised if anyone ever got lost or went off route on it. You just flow through the top pitch and every position leads obviously into the next. If you took someone who'd never seen the guidebook and asked them to point out the line, they would struggle for sure. It's a total wanderer but anyone who's climbed it would tell you it's a fantastic line.   

 irish paul 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

A good line has always been the reason I trained for climbing - it's the line you see the when you turn up at a crag for the first time, regardless of if you've read the guidebook, that just calls to your soul and makes you hope like hell you're good enough to climb!

For me two places epitomize the feeling - Panorama on Kalymnos and Supercrack Buttress at Indian Creek.

 C Witter 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

- Follows strong feature
- A logical line (e.g. the easiest way through difficult ground; direct; weaving between strong features; not determined only by FA wanting to get in some new ground or by some quirk of history)
- Not easily escapable and not eliminate
- An obvious challenge
- Rock architecture and position
-  History

E.g.
Oxford and Cambridge Direct Route (S 4a)
Botterill's Slab (VS 4c)
Laugh Not (HVS 5b)
Golden Slipper (HVS 5a)
Whit's End Direct (E1 5b)
Jean Jeanie (VS 4c), Hollow Earth (HVS 5a), Aladdinsane (E1 5a), Cracked Actor (E2 5c)
The Last Temptation (E6 6c)
Anything at High Crag, Buttermere

Occasionally, though, there are routes that aren't obviously "good lines" but are nonetheless delightful to climb, e.g. Aaros (E1 5b)

Post edited at 15:42
 Cobra_Head 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Haven't read the whole thread, so may be repeating others. ( there are some great minds here )

A good line for me would be a easy to follow route, of fairly constant grade climbing, possibly in a good position, probably one which you could look at and think, "That looks good". I doesn't have to be hard or easy, just interesting and good climbing.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/the_napes-662/tophet_wall-8209

the middle bit of https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/dow_crag_cumbria-355/arete_chimney_and_crack_summer-3341

 Cobra_Head 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> A good line is like a good book (to paraphrase Swedish Tony)

Swiss Tony, unless he's moved because of Brexit.

 Cobra_Head 24 Feb 2021
In reply to MischaHY:

> "The line that's just calling out to you, beckoning to be climbed... That's the king line.' 

> Sharma said it best! 


I get "called" to climb some horrible shit sometimes, my mates think I tend to pick the most awkward, thutchy crap. We do have fun though, usually.

In reply to Tom V:

This is a good line

https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/digital_features/marmot_photography_awards_2020-13376#&gid=2&pid=1

Irritatingly, I should have been on the first ascent of that but chose to go to the Peak having been in Scotland a fair bit the previous weekends

 Tom V 24 Feb 2021
In reply to C Witter:

High Crag _ best in the Lakes? I wouldn't argue.

 Mark Bannan 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

>Mousetrap, Trophy Crack and Route II are just one line amongst many.

I agree about Trophy Crack. I need to do Integrity to compare. However, I think Mousetrap and Route II have great merit in allowing mere mortals such as myself to scale great cliffs by fine lines with great climbing.

>With Squareface it's the rock feature itself which is so compelling, and the thought, 'wow, a v-diff goes up that?!'

Yeah - I see your point. I plan to go back and do the Squareface crack pitch finish at Severe - this could arguably be the line of the crag.

 Michael Gordon 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Mark Bannan:

> I plan to go back and do the Squareface crack pitch finish at Severe - this could arguably be the line of the crag.

One of the best easy jamming pitches around. Maybe with pitch 2 of Angel's Edgeway for the best combo?

 C Witter 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Ha! I wouldn't go that far, but the lines tend to be very strong and everything is worth climbing

 C Witter 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Carless:

> This is a good line

> Irritatingly, I should have been on the first ascent of that but chose to go to the Peak having been in Scotland a fair bit the previous weekends

To be honest, you shouldn't have needed hindsight to see that was a serious error! Loving the book this is the front cover to. It could be repurposed for this thread with the title: "an illustrated guide to great lines."

 Mark Bannan 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> One of the best easy jamming pitches around. Maybe with pitch 2 of Angel's Edgeway for the best combo?

Brilliant! I've always loved jamming!

 Duncan Bourne 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Cobra_Head:

That's the fella

"A good line is like a beautiful woman..."

 mike123 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Duncan 

> "A good line is like a beautiful woman..."

lots of hard work and ultimately a complete waste of time ?

 profitofdoom 24 Feb 2021
In reply to C Witter:

> - Follows strong feature, > - A logical line (e.g. the easiest way through difficult ground; direct; weaving between strong features; not determined only by FA wanting to get in some new ground or by some quirk of history), > - Not easily escapable and not eliminate, > - An obvious challenge, > - Rock architecture and position, > -  History

A nice list

My vote is Mousetrap (E2 5a) in that case. It's such a great climb (one of the best and most memorable I've done) as well as a great line

 Cobra_Head 25 Feb 2021
In reply to Carless:

> This is a good line

> Irritatingly, I should have been on the first ascent of that but chose to go to the Peak having been in Scotland a fair bit the previous weekends


Which route are you talking about? there looks like there at least two good lines on the link.

In reply to Cobra_Head:

when I click the link using iPhone, it pops up a screen-filling image of Clo Mor Crack 

 GrahamD 25 Feb 2021
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> "A good line is like a beautiful woman..."

You are going to make an idiot of yourself?

 Tom V 25 Feb 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

Should have said " like a Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere"

 veteye 25 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

A number of replies on here have said that a good line is one which is obvious and easy to read; so how can a comparison be made with any woman?

 Lankyman 25 Feb 2021
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> That's the fella

> "A good line is like a beautiful woman..."

Come on - get your double entendres sorted and finish it off!

 Cobra_Head 25 Feb 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> when I click the link using iPhone, it pops up a screen-filling image of Clo Mor Crack 


mine opens up on the article, Clo Mor Crack is the first photo that comes up, but it's all part of the article.

Towards the end there is what looks like a cracking route on Craig Doris on the Llyn

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> A good line is exactly that. An impressive feature which makes you go wow! A crack up an otherwise blank wall, an arete, a major Alpine ridge.

Yes, a striking crack up a blank wall, especially.  This is why I like Culm and slate, and some gritstone - I love a crack that is either fingery, smooth and stylish, or a wider, brutal fight for survival but, in either case, there is no viable alternative. 


In reply to Martin Haworth:

Something obvious like CC but also routes that find the line of weakness at a grade eg Vector. ie Joe Brown routes!

 Duncan Bourne 25 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

I opened it up to the floor ;-)

In reply to Bulls Crack:

I don't tend to think of lines of weakness as a good line unless it's a continuous feature.

IMO good lines should be irrelevant to there being a climb there - it's to do with rock architecture.

Routes like Vector are good climbs, impressive because they manage to find a line through all that much harder stuff - but the actual line they take is all over the place.

I guess a lot of this discussion comes down to semantics.

In reply to Cobra_Head:

Clo Mor Crack is definitely the one I meant and a stunning photo from Hamish Frost

 Cobra_Head 25 Feb 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

>  but the actual line they take is all over the place.

Then I would say that's a good line, it's not about neatness or directness, at least not in my book.

My only issue with a wondering line would be is it an easy route to follow, getting lost and of route, doesn't make for good lines.

Post edited at 15:11
 Michael Gordon 25 Feb 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> I don't tend to think of lines of weakness as a good line unless it's a continuous feature.

> IMO good lines should be irrelevant to there being a climb there - it's to do with rock architecture.

> Routes like Vector are good climbs, impressive because they manage to find a line through all that much harder stuff - but the actual line they take is all over the place.> 

Yes, the quality of line comes down entirely to visual aesthetics. A dirty great chimney could be a monster of a line but a crap route.  

In reply to Cobra_Head:

> >  but the actual line they take is all over the place.

> Then I would say that's a good line, it's not about neatness or directness, at least not in my book.

> My only issue with a wondering line would be is it an easy route to follow, getting lost and of route, doesn't make for good lines.

This I think is where semantics comes into it - a good line can mean many things - I don't think we need to go down the trad/free-soloing "renaming" absurdities - I think we can agree that climbs can have a number of attributes which make them worthwhile and (depending on our preferred definitions) give them a good line.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

Beauty is in the eye...

There seem to be some who masochistically enjoy getting stuck into sopping wet chimneys that rent large cliffs from top to bottom in ruler straight lines - not my cup of tea. 

Edit: just realised I'm talking to the same person about the same subject across 2 threads - messy

Post edited at 15:53
 ATL 25 Feb 2021
 robate 25 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

The great line is the one which asks you to put your cards down and find out what you are made of..

In reply to Cobra_Head:

>

> Towards the end there is what looks like a cracking route on Craig Doris on the Llyn

The Scottish Llyn?! 😃

 Tom V 26 Feb 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Lleyn seems less problematical to type : writing Llyn without the ^ can be confusing.

And I see that the sheep breeders are sticking with Lleyn.

In reply to Tom V:

My comment wasn’t addressing how to write or type it...

 Tom V 27 Feb 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I didn't let that put me off.

 Cobra_Head 27 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

> I didn't let that put me off.


I think it was an extra "on" snuck in, who knows ?

 Baz P 27 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom V:

I think a good line is one that you feel you need to climb and turns out to be as good as it looks. One that sprang to mind is one that can only be seen from on the sea at Pembroke. It’s called The Rip and is on the corner of Lydstep bay. It’s a straight crack at HVS/E1. On looks it just beats White Heat. 

 GrahamD 16:36 Sun
In reply to Baz P:

I've a feeling the RIP can just be seen from one of the headlands.  I'm sure I did it on the basis that, once glimpsed, it's such an obvious line.

 Tom V 19:05 Sun
In reply to GrahamD:

Well now we are talking about proper routes. You may have heard me mention 

Cordelia (HVS 5a)

before, it's a bit of an obsession of mine to find someone else who has completed an ascent though I have heard of a couple of aborted missions  and Martin Boysen isn't answering my messages.

Anyway, I doubt that this route is visible from absolutely anywhere apart from a boat so it must earn points for remoteness: I can't vow for its line and that wasn't really a major consideration during my time on it.

Interesting to note that  of six routes either side of Cordelia, only one has had an ascent recorded on UKC logbooks. That's a substantial area of rock with very very few recorded UKC customers. 

Post edited at 19:17

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Loading Notifications...