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Does Eliminate holds mean eliminate gear?

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On eliminate routes such as feel good hit of the summer at brimham or forgotten wall at almscliff are you supposed to place gear only on the ‘allowed’ bit of the rock or can you lace up the eliminated holds/cracks/breaks as long as you don’t use them for your hands or feet?

don’t have any desire to do either of these routes but would appreciate an answer

Forgotten Wall (E5 6c)Feel Good Hit of the Summer (E5 6b)

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In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

I don't know those routes and I don't climb at anywhere near that level but my limited understanding of eliminates is that placing gear outside of the eliminate line, regardless of it being easily within arm's reach, classes as - at best - "side runners" and affects the experience and probably the grade. 

Eliminates are by their nature rather contrived and abstract. 

An "extreme" example of what I am on about, is this one
https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/stanage_north-99/spring_sunshine-41983

The comments speak volumes - I've done it and like many, part of the difficulty was in limiting oneself to the eliminate line. The only gear I could find that was definitely on the eliminate line was a BD Camalot 000 and a prototype Kouba wired tricam, both what I call "pirate gear" (Camalot 000 technically not rated for lead climbing, and my prototype tricam is not UIAA rated )

It's a mildly technical climb but even without side runners, you always have the option of just grabbing the "arete" of the Diff to the right. It's within arm's reach and to be honest you could just deftly step completely into the Diff, which is probably why Spring Sunshine is VS. In true isolation considering the lack of pro, it would probably get HVS. 

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 C Witter 09:33 Fri
In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

I don't climb at these grades and have only climbed once at Brimham, so can't claim any special insight, but I think the answer is, "it depends". I don't know these two routes, but there's a good E2 slab at Black Crag Wrynose (Glass Slipper (E2 5b), which has cracks up the left and the right which you are supposed to eliminate as holds and gear for the E2 tick. The guidebook says something along the lines of "HVS with a side runner in the lh crack". Since there's no gear beyond skyhooks, though, I imagine many people would feel justified in using a side-runner as at least it is more adventurous that top-roping the route - they just couldn't claim E2 (not that anyone particularly cares to ask what grade they're claiming...). Having said that, I'm personally waiting to feel confident enough to just solo it, before trying for a lead. That seems to be the approach most people take to the route.

I'm sure some routes are more ambiguous though. My credo is, if in doubt, don't break your legs. I seem to remember a Dave Birkett interview where he was asked about some stick he got for "using side runners" repeating someone else's E9. His attitude was, "if you can climb to it, you can place it" - and if that's good enough for Dave Birkett, it's good enough for me.

Post edited at 09:38
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 webbo 09:34 Fri
In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

On those routes the eliminate bit is not using the vertical cracks on either side. You climb the wall placing gear in the horizontal breaks. If you step a foot either way you can reach in to the cracks, that’s why they are eliminates. You are eliminating the cracks.

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In reply to C Witter:

Yours is a better answer than mine. Yes, it depends- it is route-specific. So for the OP, you need to be asking about those specific routes rather than more "generally". 

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 MischaHY 09:44 Fri
In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

Alright here's the thing. Eliminate climbing and eliminate gear can be fun if it makes you try hard and whip far but safe. What's not fun is decking and breaking your ankles when you could have had a bomber runner just because you wanted E5 rather than E4 or similar. 

An example of a fun gear eliminate is Spock's Missing (E5 6b) which is normally done with a side runner in Chequers Chequers Crack (HVS 5c) but can be done with just cam runners in the mid-height break to make for a longer but fairly safe runout at E5/6. You do have to go a bit left and up the crack to place the bomber side-runner on the original variant so you can't just reach across and place it from the runout - thinking about it, maybe this isn't even eliminate and just the purer line! 

My advice would be to enjoy safe challenges at whatever grade they come and if you really want something harder, get on a bigger grade that isn't eliminate  

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 Al Randall 09:49 Fri
In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

There's a route at the Roaches, Chalk Storm I think it's called, it used to get 3 grades depending on where you place the gear.

You should do whatever you want to do but in the case above it would be wrong to go around thinking or claiming that you had climbed an E4 when you had in fact placed gear as per the E2 version. 

The ultimate placing of gear off route of course would be to top rope it. Again by all means give yourself a tick for climbing the route but, like above, you haven't really experienced the intended grade experience.

Al

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 Tyler 09:52 Fri
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Yours is a better answer than mine. Yes, it depends- it is route-specific. So for the OP, you need to be asking about those specific routes rather than more "generally". 

You mean over and above saying which specific routes he was asking about and putting in a link to them?

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In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

I agree that it can occasinally depend (e.g. if guidebook specifically says something like "with side runner in crack") but 9 times out of 10 eliminate means eliminating the side gear too. I've done Forgotten Wall. It definitely feels E5 if you stick to the line and place gear only in the horizontal breaks. If you were to put side runners in the obvious vertical crack to right it would feel far far safer and definitely not E5. 

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 deepsoup 10:06 Fri
In reply to Al Randall:

> There's a route at the Roaches, Chalk Storm I think it's called, it used to get 3 grades depending on where you place the gear.

CMC Slab at Froggatt is a similar example.  HVS 5b with side-runners in Heather Wall, but you get E2 if you're daft enough not to place any.

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 Hardonicus 10:07 Fri
In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

There's 'eliminate' and there's 'artificial', the latter lacks the satiating richness that good trad brings and is better applied to bouldering .

Post edited at 10:09
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 Al Randall 10:13 Fri
In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

Just read my comments again.  They are a bit "preachy" and not really pertinent to your post.  Sorry, it was unintentional and it didn't really strike me until I read it a second time.

Al

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 Al Randall 10:22 Fri
In reply to Hardonicus:

I think that is very true.  I put a quite eliminate line up in the SW. Solus in Portishead Quarry.  I wasn't going to bother recording it until Barry Durston said if I didn't he would so I leapt into action. It's quite gratifying to see that it gets a few ascents and has even managed to get a star. There are comments that suggest that it is less "eliminate" than it looks at first glance and is surprisingly independent.  I'm not so sure about that but at least the nearby cracks are not really within reach without making an obvious off line effort to reach them. I'l let others decide whether it's eliminate or artificial. Perhaps somewhere in between, very eliminate.

Al

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In reply to Al Randall:

> The ultimate placing of gear off route of course would be to top rope it.

Surely that's preplacing and preclipping gear *on* route, rather than off route? Otherwise you'd take a swing! ;-)

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 Hardonicus 10:31 Fri
In reply to Al Randall:

As a rule, I think if you are scratching your head in the pub afterwards, wondering if you've 'done it properly' and generally feeling unsatisfied then it is more toward artificial.

A good eliminate can be worthwhile and enjoyable, an artificial route is maybe a testament to the ego of the first ascensionist more than anything.

I haven't done Solus - but the star is a good sign! ;-)

Post edited at 10:32
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 Al Randall 10:37 Fri
In reply to Alkis:

I draw your attention to the

Al

Post edited at 11:02
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In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

Possibly going a bit off topic.... Thinking about this I think it shows something about trad climbing is both brilliant and pretty odd.  in many ways trad is contrived to make it more dangerous than it needs to be, however, this is deliberate as it gives the experience that the ascentionist is looking for.  you could easily place the side runners and make a route safer - but this has a massive change in the experience you have of the route. Someone mentioned Glass slipper at black crag above I soloed this on a quite beautifully sunny morning and has an absolutely amazing day that I still remember. There would be absolutely nothing wrong with leading with a side runner at HVS but it would give a very different experience.  I was thinking about this this summer whilst climbing on Cllwyd limestone, after doing some sport to warm up, clipping the first 2 bolts with my clipstick, I moved on to some trad with a high insitu thread as the first bit of gear above a bad landing.  I could have easily clipsticked this but, well, I didn't want to as it would have robbed me of the experience I wanted out of the day even now it seems pretty ridiculous.  As it stands on that occasion I nearly decked before making the thread after a foothold crumbled, but I didn't, my ankles remained intact and I had a great time.  Had it been different I would no doubt regretted my decision - but hay ho that's climbing! 

So I think  - are side runners in on eliminates for the guidebook given grade? No, but there's nowt wrong with placing them - it just depends on the experience you want out of the climb.

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In reply to Tyler:

> You mean over and above saying which specific routes he was asking about and putting in a link to them?

No, Tyler, because the OP starts with "such as" and also later includes this: "don’t have any desire to do either of these routes "

Post edited at 10:56
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 HeMa 11:20 Fri
In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

In general, eliminates are idiotic. But If they exist, then the meaning is that the defined features are off limits, for hands, feet or gear. 
 

naturally you can make and even more idiotic eliminate, by stating that certain feature is off limits for right hand, for hands but not feet, and perhaps for gear. But these kinds of rules make already and idiotic thing teen fold more idiotic.

I can sort of live with a logical eliminate (e.g. Nice slab, but a nearby crack spoils the fun making the climbing way too easy). But saying that the crack is fair game for gear (or hands/feet but not gear) just to me describes What an idiot the FA was. 

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In reply to Al Randall:

Well, duh, we're both obviously and intentionally being silly, I thought I should see how far we can take it, don't cop out now! ;-)

Post edited at 11:56
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 Al Randall 12:06 Fri
In reply to Alkis:

Double duh, I missed your

Al

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In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

The easy answer is it's decided on a case by case basis and often mentioned in the description. 

Generally though, if gear can be placed by reaching left/right without going off route, then it makes sense to use it rather than making the challenge more contrived than it needs to be. If on the other hand the gear is side runners involving climbing up and back down adjacent routes, then arguably this is more contrived than doing it without the gear and there could be a case for trying to eliminate the side runners.   

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In reply to Michael Gordon:

I can think of plenty of 3 star routes though where this doesn't apply, you could easily place gear in nearby cracks but its 'not allowed'. Routes like Commander Energy (E2 5c) or Welcome to Hard Times (E3 5c) spring to mind 

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 Will Hunt 13:19 Fri
In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

Eliminates are bobbins and should not be sought out. They should be treated with disdain. If somebody tells you not to place a side-runner (as on Whisky Wall at Almscliff, you're expected to use handholds that are all of 6 inches from the bomber size 3 friend and not place it - ridiculous) then you should laugh at them, place the runner, and accept that the climb is easier than billed.

Forgotten Wall at Almscliff is barely worth putting into a guide. It is a nonsense. You can climb the wall without using the cracks, starting on the left and finishing on the right, at E2 6a if you put gear in the cracks and use some crimps that are just left of the right-hand crack. There's a photo in the old hardback guide of Dave Mus Jnr doing some daft hard sequence pulling out left back into the middle of the wall, but the only way you could possibly know to do that is to see that particular photo from the FA - it's not even logical as an eliminate.

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In reply to Will Hunt:

> Eliminates are bobbins and should not be sought out. They should be treated with disdain. If somebody tells you not to place a side-runner (as on Whisky Wall at Almscliff, you're expected to use handholds that are all of 6 inches from the bomber size 3 friend and not place it - ridiculous) > 

Ah, but if something can be placed from the route then it's not a side runner!

More generally, the joy of a good eliminate is in the moves, not in the logic.

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 bpmclimb 15:46 Fri
In reply to Will Hunt:

> Eliminates are bobbins and should not be sought out. They should be treated with disdain. 

I think there are some very good eliminates around, well-worth seeking out. 

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 Tyler 17:38 Fri
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> No, Tyler, because the OP starts with "such as" and also later includes this: "don’t have any desire to do either of these routes "

Whether the OP wants to do the route or not. He asked a question with reference to some specific routes. After telling us you were unqualified to answer the specifics of his question you then told us you had "limited understanding of eliminates" with which to answer the general part of the question but then did so anyway. As yours was the first response it seemed odd for you to then to tell the OP "to be asking about those specific routes rather than more "generally". " when a) he did and b) you were the one to start the ball rolling with vague generalities.

Anyway, nothing to get shirty about it was just a throw away comment from me. Have a good weekend.

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In reply to Will Hunt:

> Eliminates are bobbins and should not be sought out. They should be treated with disdain. If somebody tells you not to place a side-runner (as on Whisky Wall at Almscliff, you're expected to use handholds that are all of 6 inches from the bomber size 3 friend and not place it - ridiculous) then you should laugh at them, place the runner, and accept that the climb is easier than billed.

I don't know what you mean by a "bobbin" - never heard the term in a climbing context - but apparently it is something to treat with disdain.

What then about the superb Black Wall Eliminate at Almscliff? Is that a bobbin that should not be sought out... and treated with disdain. Not in my view.

There are plenty  of old "eliminates" that have nothing to do with eliminating gear. West Buttress Eliminate on Cloggy is another that springs to mind.

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In reply to Will Hunt:

Disagree that all eliminates are worthy of disdain. There are some good ones around. As for Forgotten Wall I for one actually really enjoyed it and therefore it was well worth putting in a guide book if it gave someone pleasure.  Each to their own eh? 

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 cheese@4p 18:56 Fri
In reply to Ciaranunderscoretolan:

For the benefit of the young and impressionable, decking it from height does not necessarily result in broken ankles. Many other outcomes are available!

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In reply to Tyler:

> Anyway, nothing to get shirty about 

That's pretty rich coming from someone who's been nothing but snarky toward me, when I've not been "shirty" at all. It's no wonder I barely venture into the Rocktalk forum. My 9:41am post should not have had the word "those" in it, and I apologise for this, as it's clearly what had confused you into thinking that I was referring back to the routes mentioned in the OP. I meant "when asking about what's allowed on an eliminate, you need to be addressing WHICHEVER specific eliminate it is". 

 

Post edited at 21:45
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In reply to John Stainforth:

> I don't know what you mean by a "bobbin" - never heard the term in a climbing context

"Bobbins" (always pluralised) is popular vernacular for "rubbish" or "crap"; I first heard it used on BBC Radio 1 by Mark Radcliffe circa 1995. It is not climbing-specific nor do I see anything in Will's post that implies that it could be. 

Post edited at 21:40
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In reply to Blue Straggler:

Oh, so he using it in a general sense, i.e., anything that eliminates anything else is a bobbin. Thanks for putting me right!

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In reply to John Stainforth:

> Oh, so he using it in a general sense, i.e., anything that eliminates anything else is a bobbin. Thanks for putting me right!

You’ve got me very confused now! I’ll post you the link of “bobbins” used in context! 

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In reply to C Witter:

> there's a good E2 slab at Black Crag Wrynose (Glass Slipper (E2 5b), which has cracks up the left and the right which you are supposed to eliminate as holds and gear for the E2 tick. The guidebook says something along the lines of "HVS with a side runner in the lh crack". Since there's no gear beyond skyhooks, though, I imagine many people would feel justified in using a side-runner as at least it is more adventurous that top-roping the route - they just couldn't claim E2 (not that anyone particularly cares to ask what grade they're claiming...). Having said that, I'm personally waiting to feel confident enough to just solo it, before trying for a lead. That seems to be the approach most people take to the route.

When I did Glass Slipper I found what felt like a decent skyhook in a pocket. I then made the mistake of putting my foot in the same pocket. Cue sound of skyhook tinkling down rope and intake of breath from belayer, who was experiencing trad for the first time. I then found a tiny superlight which seemed ok until the wind gusted. Cue sound of tiny superlight tinkling down rope....

Post edited at 08:22
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In reply to John Stainforth:

> There are plenty  of old "eliminates" that have nothing to do with eliminating gear. West Buttress Eliminate on Cloggy is another that springs to mind.

There was a discussion on here about WBE some time ago. Someone suggested that it might have been better named West Buttress Direct and I can't help feeling that they were right. I'm guessing that West Buttress Eliminate appealed to Crew's sense of irony. And I suppose it is a collection of pitches. But, certainly in this case, the whole is more than the sum of its parts!

Mick

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 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator UKC Supporter UKC Supporter 09:24 Sat
In reply to John Stainforth:

> There are plenty  of old "eliminates" that have nothing to do with eliminating gear. West Buttress Eliminate on Cloggy is another that springs to mind.

Surly the outstanding ones are Brown's Eliminate on Froggatt, plus Left and Right Eliminate on Curbar - presumable named after they eliminated 99% of climbers cos they weren't up to the climbs,

Chris

Post edited at 09:25
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 deepsoup 10:30 Sat
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> "Bobbins" (always pluralised) is popular vernacular for "rubbish" or "crap"

It's Mancunian rhyming slang.  "Bobbins of cotton" = rotten.

Post edited at 10:32
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In reply to deepsoup:

Aha right! Makes sense. Mills. Jumpers for goalposts . Ta

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In reply to John Stainforth:

Bobbins mentioned right toward the end. 8 minutes but the whole thing is radio gold. Katie Puckrick in 1993 or 1994. RuPaul before he was really famous. King's Cross "the Harlem of London". Leigh Bowery and Poly Styrene alive and well..


www.blue-straggler.net/Mark_Radcliffe/KatiePuckrick_Bowery_RuPaul.mp3

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 C Witter 11:07 Sat
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Ha! I'm sure that made you focus! Sounds thoroughly memorable. It's a delightful route and I'd love to lead it because I know I can climb it 10 times out of 10 without falling; it's just the mental block stopping me. Knowing that, a solo would be ideal - for that wonderful sense of letting go of your fear and trusting to your climbing. But, a more experienced friend promises me there are two bomber sky hooks, so I may go with that for the psychological benefits. The old rp placements are completely blown, now.

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 mcdougal 11:55 Sat
In reply to deepsoup:

I thought bobbins were what you had left when you ran out of cotton, ie mill town speak for "not good".

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 Will Hunt 11:48 Mon

Good grief. I can barely bring myself to reply.

Yes. Bobbins is a synonym for rubbish. Easy to find out through a simple google search.

Black Wall Eliminate and West Buttress Eliminate? These are not the eliminates that are being discussed in the context of the OP. As is very very obvious. What the OP is talking about is trad routes (not boulder problem eliminates, as is obvious because he's talking about gear) with very specific rules about what holds and gear can be used to artificially increase the difficulty. My point is that Ciaran is a good trad climber who, I hear, is psyched beyond belief - as such it would be a complete waste of his skills and energy to seek out no-star contrivances when he could go and do, I don't know, some amazing rock climbs. E5 in Yorkshire? Why not go after Genesis, Dragonslayer, Swift and Sure, Quark, The Kipper Arete, High Noon, Flame Arete, Doubting Thomas, Rebel, Deliverance, Wild West Hero, Limehill etc etc etc (OK, maybe not those limestone ones as an onsight effort before you've got a bit more mileage under your belt, Ciaran!).

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