/ E1 5a

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Tom V 09 Jun 2019

I was just reminiscing about a particular partnership I'd had and recalled only one occasion when his normal cool seemed to be wavering and that was on a two pitch route with this grade. Realistically it should have the same clout as HVS 4c or E2 5b, shouldn't it? I've been trawling through my notebooks, though, and haven't done many in this category.

Anyone got memorable examples ( or routes that should be regraded as this)?.

(I thought the route in question now lay at the bottom of the Bristol Channel but it's still shown in the UKC logbook...)

peppermill 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Isn't there one on a slab somewhere in the peak? I don't think it's a popular one. Something pebble slab?

;p

Tom V 09 Jun 2019
In reply to peppermill:

yes, now you mention it.....

Gwilymstarks 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Satan's Slip is a good one at the grade. Slab padding with very little gear. Focussed my mind a bit.

Satan's Slip (E1 5a)

1
Pursued by a bear 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Central Buttress (E1 5a). It was given HVS 4c when I led it. Memorable; which is a word that can hide a lot.

T.

Andy Farnell 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Cameo (E1 5a) is a proper Lancs classic at E1 5a

Andy F

peppermill 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

I haven't one this done yet but Raspberry Ripple (E1 5a)

Post edited at 21:23
Steve Clark 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Cameo (E1 5a)

1997. A mate fell from the top groove of this and hit me belaying. He's not lead a trad route since.

(There is enough gear to make this safe if you place it) 

Jon Stewart 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Strangely, one of the best single pitches in the Lakes is (mis)graded E1 5a, Razor Crack (E1 5b). It's definitely E1 in terms of overall difficulty, extremely well protected and is sustained on good holds and jams - but not so sustained and steep and juggy that it would justify E1 5a as it's not overhanging. lt's E1 5b.

As for real, bold E1 5as, I generally quite like the grade - but can't think of any particularly memorable ones. I see them as a quick route that won't involve a lot of hanging around placing gear so choose them for an easy life.

profitofdoom 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

> Central Buttress (E1 5a). It was given HVS 4c when I led it. Memorable; which is a word that can hide a lot.

It was VS in the 1970s, but is no doubt more polished now than it was then

1
ripper 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Aplomb (E1 5a) boggled my mind a fair bit at the time

JimHolmes69 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Andy Farnell:

Ha'penny Arete (E1 5a) Another Lancashire classic at this grade with the crux where you don’t want it. Makes Cameo looks reasonably safe, which it isn’t. But good climbing.

Jim

cragtyke 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Anywhere near Brownspear Point by any chance?

Martin Haworth 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Rock Idol (E1 5a) and Gormenghast (E1 5b) are good routes at the grade for contrasting reasons.

Tom V 09 Jun 2019
In reply to cragtyke:

No mate, over the water. I'd forgotten about Brownspear.

Ah yes, Mainsail. Excellent route

Post edited at 21:50
supersteve 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Big Fly Direct (E1 5a)

Needs commitment but the holds and gear are good. Or:

Debauchery (E1 5b)

Supposedly 5b but the best E1 in the country so who cares.  

Cog 09 Jun 2019
In reply to peppermill:

> I haven't one this done yet but Raspberry Ripple (E1 5a)

I don't really understand this one. I'm a wimp but think I could solo it without much stress.

tmawer 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Pitch one of Flat Iron Wall.... Character forming or lethal! 

Pursued by a bear 09 Jun 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

Very true. It wasn't akin to sandpaper back in 1988 either.

T.

BTphonehome 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Two that spring to mind are:

Flat Iron Wall (E2 5b) an equally traumatic main pitch to belay my mate on and then to follow after he belayed in the wrong place and politely told me not to fall off!

Woolly Jumper (E1 5b) Seem to remember some bold climbing on both pitches which fit the brief.

In reply to Tom V:

Two words; ‘California’ and ‘Arete’.

jcm

3
cragtyke 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Motorcade at Froggatt, Mather Crack at New Mills ( in 1990 Kinder guide) both E1 5a, not really two of a kind.

pec 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Steve Clark:

> 1997. A mate fell from the top groove of this and hit me belaying. He's not lead a trad route since.

> (There is enough gear to make this safe if you place it) 


If you've got enough small wires and micros it's fine and it's not a strenuous route to hang around on placing them.

pec 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Two memorable E1 5a's for me are The Boulder on Cloggy and Spider Wall on Gogarth.

The Boulder was my first E1 lead, I reasoned (correctly) that it was basically an HVS 5a with not much gear as it was originally graded HVS in the days when people expected big runouts. I'd recently been finding HVS's very easy so thought it should be fine, the climbing was fine but with only 2 runners in c.150' it was still rather less protected than I had expected.

Spider Wall, also originally HVS, is quite different in that it has plenty of gear, unusual for E1 5a but it has very sustained 5a climbing and in a wonderfully isolated and potentially very serious position.

Being out on the seaward face of the Wen Zawn promontory nobody can see you, not even your second, nobody knows you're there and there's nothing but sea until Ireland. As you move further and further out onto the face with some tricky routefinding (you could easily end up on harder ground as it's the easiest route on this part of the face) the sense of isolation and commitment just builds and builds.

Just give pitch 2 a miss, its nothing special and the rock very poor, finish up up Britomartis, easy though with no meaningful gear for most of it.

Gordon Stainforth 10 Jun 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

> It was VS in the 1970s, but is no doubt more polished now than it was then

I remember Central Buttress being horrendously polished in 1969, and seeming absurdly undergraded then at VS. The few old rusty pegs for protection (I don't think you could get on anything else) at least 20 feet apart (maybe 30?) did not inspire confidence ... Shortly before this, i.e. about a week, I'd done Giant's Cave Buttress, Hard Severe, my first route at Avon, which had seemed quite friendly and straightforward. I now see it's regarded as a sandbag, which seems very odd, unless a lot has fallen off. My logbook reminds me that straight after GCB I did Dawn Walk, which I found fine in spite of very minimal protection, and then we finished up a thing called Boilerplate Direct (H Sev) which I recorded as 'v. hard and serious'. I can still remember being very scared on that. Of course it's possible I was off route, but I don't think so.

Minneconjou Sioux 10 Jun 2019
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Two words; ‘California’ and ‘Arete’.

> jcm


Pretty sure that's E1 4c which I have soloed 3 times.

Duncan Bourne 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Sirplum in Cheedale is an awesome route. A slight cheat as the only the first pitch is 5a (second being 5b) but what exposure!

Sirplum (E1 5b)

(interesting to see the above gives the 1st pitch 4c it's 5a in my old Peak guide book - horses for courses)

Post edited at 07:35
ianstevens 10 Jun 2019
In reply to peppermill:

> Isn't there one on a slab somewhere in the peak? I don't think it's a popular one. Something pebble slab?

> ;p

I think you misspelt HVS ;) 

alan moore 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

This is my favourite grade: you only have to be able to. Limb HVS but still get an E point!

personal favourites over the years are;

Rock Dancer at Kenidjack

Wild Rover at Rhoscolyn

Corbeau and Tiger feet at Corbys

Flakey Wall at Cummingston

Central wall at Seredipidy Crag

The Pause and Raspberry Ripple at Etive

Satans Slip

The Verger at Blackchurch

Secreatries Direct at Polldubh

...a few safe ones in there but most great ways to scare yourself silly...

ChrisClark1 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Maltravers (E1 5a) has a wonderfully bold first pitch with some sustained 5a bridging on the first pitch.

Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator10 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

I remember The Wall (E1) being quite harrowing, a bit dirty, unobvious climbing and little in the way of gear,

Chris

gooberman-hill 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Andy Farnell:

My first E1

Steve

Cusco 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Oesophagus. Chudleigh. "An HVS requiring E2 levels of fitness."

Loot. Chudleigh. Polished chimney hell. 

Ah. Chudleigh. The crag of dreams... 

Sean Kelly 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Well this is an absolute classic at that grade. I  watched Johnny Dawes kick  out his only runner on Red and Yellow and Pink and Green, Orange and Purple and Blue (E1 5a)

planetmarshall 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

My first HVS, since been upgraded - 

Secretaries' Super Direct (E1 5a)

Mick Ward 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Cusco:

> Oesophagus. Chudleigh. "An HVS requiring E2 levels of fitness."

Yup.

> Loot. Chudleigh. Polished chimney hell. 

Yup

> Ah. Chudleigh. The crag of dreams... 

Hmm...

Mick

1
profitofdoom 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I remember Central Buttress being horrendously polished in 1969, and seeming absurdly undergraded then at VS. The few old rusty pegs for protection (I don't think you could get on anything else) at least 20 feet apart (maybe 30?) did not inspire confidence...

I must have first done it in about 1969, then several times in the early 1970s. I remember it being quite polished only on a couple of holds in a couple of areas (such is memory), and as I said I presume it's worse/ a lot worse now. Good point about the protection - not very good - in those days (in the typical Avon style/ mindset) we just clipped into the existing pegs, assuming they'd hold a fall..... and that's right, there was no other protection whatsoever, though we carried nuts.... anyway I thought it seemed VS in 1969

Martin Hore 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Gwilymstarks:

> Satan's Slip is a good one at the grade. Slab padding with very little gear. Focussed my mind a bit.

IMO Satan's Slip should be E2 5a or E1 4c. There is virtually no gear that would hold a long fall and plenty of "interesting" moves far above the gear. Has anyone ever taken a leader fall on it?

Martin

Gordon Stainforth 10 Jun 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

The truth was, it was one of the first times I'd ever climbed on limestone and it seemed very alien to me. There was just so much less friction than rock types I was used to, and I found it quite hard to 'read' the rock.

Phil79 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Fruitflancase at the Dewerstone springs to mind. A great romp on jams up the headwall, with gear just about anywhere. But it can feel desperate if you cant jam!

Fruitflancase (E1 5a)

Post edited at 12:33
planetmarshall 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Really enjoyed Burn Up (E1 5a) at  Fair Head. Possibly HVS, but don't recall it being any easier than Cemetery Gates (E1 5b).

profitofdoom 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> The truth was, it was one of the first times I'd ever climbed on limestone and it seemed very alien to me. There was just so much less friction than rock types I was used to, and I found it quite hard to 'read' the rock.

That's the thing - I was climbing at Avon all the time, and was very used to the rock and and the style/ type of climbing

AlanLittle 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Gwilymstarks:

I recall being able to pretty much lace Satan's Slip with RP's. Certainly wasn't anywhere near as runout as I had been led to expect.

Cameo (E1 5a) at Wilton is a (local) classic.

Post edited at 22:22
ripper 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Phil79:

> Fruitflancase at the Dewerstone springs to mind. A great romp on jams up the headwall, with gear just about anywhere. But it can feel desperate if you cant jam!

Yes it did!

DubyaJamesDubya 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Rock Idol (Mother Scarey's) is a very noteworthy E1 5a

Paul Sagar 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Renaissance (E1 5b)

Deserves the grade. Climbing isn’t too hard, but you definitely don’t have an abundance of gear to choose from and you wouldn’t want to fall off the start. 

Edit: gets 5a in the CC!!!

Post edited at 15:27
Michael Gordon 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

E1 5a and HVS 4c have similar 'clout', while in my experience E2 5b is frequently friendlier relative to the overall grade. When things get stupidly bold it tends to become E3 5b, but not always! 

pec 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> E1 5a and HVS 4c have similar 'clout', while in my experience E2 5b is frequently friendlier relative to the overall grade. When things get stupidly bold it tends to become E3 5b, but not always! 


I'd definitely agree with that, HVS 4c and E1 5a are almost always bold whereas 5b is a normal tech grade for E2. E2 5b is more like VS 4b which is common VS grade and rarely serious, its VS 4a that's a dodgy grade to beware of.

pasbury 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I think a similar thread about E3 5b routes would throw up some real nasties.

AlanLittle 12 Jun 2019
In reply to pasbury:

Wipe Out (E3 5b) Is one of my crowning trad achievements, I loved it.

Unfortunately though, my other "E3" lead, Goose Creature, is a sport route if you ignore the easy runouts before & after the hard bit. So in my own mind I have yet to climb a real E3.

Post edited at 06:36
GrahamD 12 Jun 2019
In reply to pec:

All the safe but solid E1 5as seem to be in the process of upgrade. I can think of The Smile at sharpnose and something down at lands end which i think are still that grade. Routes that seem to have been upgraded include Liquid Courage at Staden Mars at Swanage and Kraken at St Govans

Mick Ward 12 Jun 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> I think a similar thread about E3 5b routes would throw up some real nasties.

A mate suggested E3 5a for Tabula Rosa. Started life at VS and has now reached the dizzy heights of HVS 5a. Yorkshire gradings, eh?

In the immortal words of Andy Say, 'A truly character deforming experience...'  Would totally agree. 

As Franco Cookson once wisely pointed out, one problem with terminally loose routes is that, instead of hanging off wobbly jugs/flakes, you try to furiously crimp the sides. So, in reality, things can be technical grades harder. Either way, such routes are memorable (well, if you survive).

Mick

In reply to Mick Ward:

You do?? In my experience of loose routes, both crimping and doing anything ‘furiously’ are unwise.

jcm

Mike Highbury 12 Jun 2019
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> You do?? In my experience of loose routes, both crimping and doing anything ‘furiously’ are unwise.

Noting comments above, might Cemetery Slot be downgraded to E1 to encourage the masses to do it?

Richard J 12 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

I'm very proud of an E1 5a I did on Craig Dorys - "Error of Judgement".  As the Lleyn guidebook comments: "it certainly was, an appallingly loose line".  Given the strength of the competition in the Lleyn on that front, I thought this was a strong endorsement.

Michael Gordon 12 Jun 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> I think a similar thread about E3 5b routes would throw up some real nasties.

A more useful thread might be regarding the E3 5b lines that aren't quite so necky.

Post edited at 12:52
ripper 12 Jun 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Terrapin (E3 5b) at Baggy Point remains my pinnacle of trad - for now. I was so in the zone I honestly was not aware of how necky it felt. I'd convinced myself I might take a long one down the slab but was unlikely to hit the deck and therefore it wasn't too dangerous. Some friends nearby said they had to walk away as they couldn't bear to watch, if that means anything.

Exile 12 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Usurper (E1 5a) is brilliant at the grade.

pasbury 12 Jun 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> A more useful thread might be regarding the E3 5b lines that aren't quite so necky.

Are there any? 

Mike Highbury 12 Jun 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Are there any? 

Possibly, but it misses the elegance of the original question.

Tom V 13 Jun 2019
In reply to pasbury:

an opportune moment to divert the discussion about boldness and E points away from the other thread where  I'm afraid I'm guilty of seeming to detract from the magnificence of Steve M 's achievement. That was never my intention so since I opened up this particular line of discussion it would be more fitting to carry on the debate here, If it's been "done to death" as someone implied it still hasn't resolved issues in some minds, either mine or those who disagree with me,

I reckon that a grade like E1 5a usually implies more boldness than is the norm for a route with 5a moves. (It might be extremely strenuous or sustained or it might be very loose but in most cases it's lack of protection that gives it this grade), If a way is found of reducing the risk (placing a bolt or hanging a rope and krab from above) then  the route is no longer E1 5a but maybe  HVS 5a or even VS 5a.  It's what E1 5a is all about and why they are spicier routes than E1 5b tends to be. By extension this applies to grades like HVS 4c and even more so to E3     5b  .

(It has been explained to me that this would be cheating and I had a shrewd suspicion it might be but during that short time span that I am cheating, the grade has been effectively lowered. If I cheat by pulling on a piece of gear I lower the technical grade: if I cheat by arranging illicit protection on a route graded for its lack of the same, I lower the adjectival grade.)

Post edited at 08:41
2
John2 13 Jun 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Are there any? 


Ocean Boulevard?

Mike Highbury 13 Jun 2019
In reply to John2:

> Ocean Boulevard?

Ignoring my comment above, 

But there's scarcely (even) a 5a move on it.

Post edited at 09:25
Fiona Reid 13 Jun 2019
In reply to alan moore:

> Corbeau and Tiger feet at Corbys

Urm, Tiger Feet at Corbys may be a bit harder now as part of the side pull that helped you on the traverse is now sitting on my desk after it rather unhelpfully came off in my hand when I tried to lead it last month!  

NottsRich 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Second Coming (E1 4b)

Was a bit concerned once I was a rope length up with no gear other than a small bush at 20m. Won't make that mistake again!

Post edited at 13:39
In reply to NottsRich:

Blimey, 10 ascents in the logbook.

jcm

Tom V 13 Jun 2019
In reply to NottsRich:

Never heard of that place. Logbook makes E1 5a sound like a cissy grade

Michael Hood 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Just to keep the E1 4b company, there's also an E1 4c, E1 5a, E2 4c, E3 5b (must be solid!) and a HVS 4a on the same slab.

I believe lack of pro and rock quality are to blame.

Unfortunately(?) I never did any of these as the quarry was developed after I left Leicester. I don't appear to be rushing back

Tom V 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Michael Hood:

E2 4c must take some beating in the adj/tech stakes.

Michael Gordon 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

There's apparently an E3 4c on the Arbroath-Montrose coast (Red Head Escape Route). It's referred to as "suicide territory".

Tom V 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Sounds like fun

NottsRich 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> Never heard of that place. Logbook makes E1 5a sound like a cissy grade


To be fair it wasn't that hard, just unnecessarily dangerous due to completele lack of gear (I was looking for it!). I think E1 4a would actually be a fairer grade for it. It's a great looking slab, and the quarry is an interesting place to explore.

cdpej 14 Jun 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

has it ever been VS?? HVS 4c in the Drummond guide.  I remember seconding it in school daps (gym shoes in about 1973).  I went out and bought my first EBs afterwards. 

Cheese Monkey 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

For me E1 5a can be summed up with two routes

Rock Idol (E1 5a)

Central Buttress (E1 5a)

Gordon Stainforth 14 Jun 2019
In reply to cdpej:

Yes, Central Buttress at Avon was given 'Very Severe' in the guidebook before Drummond's (as we discussed above). Unfortunately I've mislaid that early guide, but my logbook at the time (1969) confirms that it was VS. Each pitch had one or two old, bent, rusty protection pegs, at the very most (there was no other protection). Equally incredibly, Malpractice, which we did next, was also given VS.

Rob Parsons 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

> For me E1 5a can be summed up with two routes

> Rock Idol

When I climbed that many years ago it was HVS. And the gear on it seemed fine. When - and why - did it get upgraded I wonder?

Post edited at 23:50

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