Have you ever psyched yourself up for a battle that never materialised only to find yourself at the finish with seemingly little effort? It's a very peculiar feeling and I've only ever had it once or twice but I was wondering if anyone else had any experiences like this? Where something should have been hard but it didn't turn out to be.
Frequently; usually when I pluck up the courage to get on an E1 route - for the most part they aren't as physically hard or as certain-death my mind has made them out to be.
The converse is true of HVS routes; assume I can do them without too much fuss and discover I can't (even with a lot of fuss).
Recently, two times, when I did The Vice and Tower Crack at Stanage, with Tower Crack on the third attempt.
Cheating gloves were the main factor, I think.
But other times, it was probably because I had saved the onsight for too long
Absolutely. There is a new route at the new crag Griffig on Kalymnos that was 7a on the pdf.
Now we all knew that it wasn’t 7a in reality, but despite knowing it was a bit easier than that I figured I’d still have a bit of a fight on my hands.
Next thing I knew I was clipping the chains at the top. It was an absolutely lovely route. Turns out it’s 6c-ish, and my first onsight at that grade. Delighted.
Route that's given 7a in the guide, is soft, lovely climbing and onsightable. Can you share the exact coordinates, pdf guide, route name and closest bar for victory pint? Asking for a friend obviously...
Not climbing, but relationships. I fell for a girl at 16 and it took over a year for me to pick up the courage to ask her out. I'd never had the courage to ask anyone out prior to that even though I'd been equally obsessed. It was a massive thing to ask her. She turned me down. After the initial crushing disappointment I was amazingly fine - it was as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. So although it wasn't easy at the time, in retrospect I was worrying over nothing.
He who dares Rodney, he who dares!
If you're genuinely interested it's Pestalozzi here https://climbkalymnos.com/griffig-a-new-inland-crag-with-lots-of-shade-in-t...
Pestalozzi was the name of a swiss philanthropist, so the equippers made a bit of a joke by making the grade a bit of a gift too. This and many of the others at the crag will be different when the next guide comes out, those on the PDF were guesses as the equippers didn't have time to climb and grade them all correctly before they left.
Very onightable at 6c, all the moves and holds are pretty obvious, but I was genuinely surprised I managed it all the same!
First E1 circa 2009, Long Tall Sally (E1 5b).
I'd seen much more experienced climbers than me fall off and knew there were probably easier E1s out there for my first attempt at the grade, but thought it looked like an interesting line
Felt good on a quiet midweek spring day at Burbage (I was a student) with a mate I totally trusted if I did come off, pulled on and cruised it, topping out feeling a bit shell shocked as I'd expected to have a fight on my hands.
Then it p*ssed it down when my partner had to second it. Ha.
Ha yer said in semi-jest but thanks for sending it through, much appreciated
That's a brilliant story about the route naming! Hope there aren't any swiss philanthropists called Sandbagalozzi!
Figured it was, but it's a lovely story that's worth telling!
Rumour has it that there are some coins glued to the rock somewhere on the route as part of the joke but I didn't spot them when I was on it?!
I had an experience a bit like this, headpointing my first E3. I absolutely cruised up to the final two moves of a roughly 6 move crux at the top of the route and thought: "wow! I'm reallly going to do it!"
...At which point, of course, I suddenly snapped back to the reality that I had no idea where I was within the sequence due to this lapse in concentration, and promptly took an enormous flyer.
A few times. I remember one lovely day at Millstone where I felt like I floated up Embankment 3 in a waking dream of perfect fingerlocks and sticky grit divots for my feet. Another was The Strand at Gogarth. I'd put it off for ages as pumpy E2s are not my thing so I was probably fitter/stronger than I needed to be. I'd assumed it would be a proper battle but every hold was a jug and I felt like I could hang on and shake out every other move. A cautionary note though - never go back to one of those routes that you've cruised! I repeated The Strand a year or two later as the girl I was climbing with wanted to second an E2 to see how it felt. 'No problem' I declared, 'I've done it before and it was really easy'. Oh, how I suffered for my hubris! By the time I got to the niche I was utterly boxed, elbows out, blowing hard - a proper desperate scrabble!
There's definitely a mindset thing. If you expect to have to fight then you give the route the respect it deserves, taking your time and measuring your effort. If you expect to walk up it ('it's only HVS...' etc) then there's a decent chance you'll be spanked!
Oh yes.... November 2020. I floated up a route 1st redpoint, called Myself Not a Fish at Noufaro, Kalymnos.
February 21 I went for the extension and couldn't repeat the first pitch!! Took me 4 tries to get to the chains before I could check out the extensions moves.
Sadly I never realised how well I was going in the autumn until it was too late to make the most of it. I did have some fun for a few weeks though.
Happens all the time, mainly on mutipitch near my normal limit. If I am climbing very well things can just flow. Like climbingpixie indicates this is easily distinguished from hard or easy routes for the grade as on another day, with beta benefits from a previous onsight, things can be a battle on the same route.
Absolutely. I am a connoisseur of the "putting the draws in" redpoint, where I spend whole sessions projecting a sport route and not getting too close, only to essentially warm up on it on my next visit. I get really bad redpoint/sending stress though, so that might have something to do with it.
Had a similar experience on trad actually, where E2 was previously my limit, I did two in pretty poor conditions in December and only nearly cried once...! Maybe again the poor conditions is taking the edge off (expecting to bail/fall), as usually I only climb trad in "perfect" conditions.
Yes, though it should be said that this probably happens less than the reverse! It should also be noted that return matches on these routes have sometimes been a bit of a shock.
Early examples as a schoolboy were ascents of Undercracker (a very early E1 for me) where it just completely flowed. I think this was a reflection of having being working through the Avon Gorge HVS's as I'd moved to Bristol and some of these (Beard of Ffoeg Nosam for example) have since had significant upgrades (and were desperate). I also did Nightride at about this time, which has a reputation at E1 and for which balancing up Avon routes is not particularly good preparation! Again, it went smoothly though I remember running it out up the strenuous bit.
Turned up at Queer Street in mid-summer 1986 or 7 and made a last second decision to try my new shoes (Fires) that had arrived that day. I had to squeeze in and they required a very different style than my clunky Cragratz, but the route went easily once I had sorted out the gear. Apparently, this isn't a common experience on Queer Street. I should go back to it at some point for a spanking!
Lastly, on my first visit to Staden the place was absolutely rammed with a lot of queuing for routes. Hard to believe these days. We sort of 'did' the crag - about ten classic routes - one after another and it all seemed easy. Particularly Cathy's Clown (then given E3) which I led and reported down as 'probably only E1'. Subsequent parties that day found it anything but! I went to 'whip up this' again a year later in less than ideal conditions and made it by the skin of my teeth!
In the Glen Brittle Memorial hut, there's a brilliant contemporary report of the first traverse of the Cuillin Ridge in a day. The report ends by saying something like: the whole thing was done with so little incident that one wonders whether the old timers had made rather too much of it!
Very much so. Some years ago when I lived in Bristol I had done every route I was capable of doing, including some E4's but I had put off doing Last Slip as it had a reputation for being unprotected which is born out by looking at it. One day I decided I had put it off for too long and went for it. Even if I do say so myself, I cruised it. I have done it several times since on top rope and every time wondered how I ever led it.
If it's any karma balance. I had a right effort on last slip, assuming I'm correct in my route finding.
Dispatched pitch 1 just fine. 2nd pitch I climbed and down climbed the crux several times before bailing off up (I think it was up an e2)
Them, at the top of the ramp however went casually. Which I believe can be a touch necky for some. Not many Avon e3s give themselves without some concern imo.
Last time I was there I noticed that someone had done some vigorous cleaning and it was possible to get some micro wires in halfway between the bolt and the peg under an overlap. Didn't see up close so I don't know how good they were. It used to be a long, long run out. I recall the relief and absolute pleasure as I put a krab in the peg and knew it was in the bag.
I started climbing at the Roaches so The Sloth was a route I’d always aspired to. I got stuck in the “saving it for the onsight” mentality, and put it off even after I was climbing harder than HVS.
When I eventually got on it the experience was quite disappointing. What should have felt like a milestone felt almost like a formality. It was pleasant enough, but I should have got on it years before when it would have still been the challenge it deserved to be.
Yeah, flashing one of the reds at BBC on Tuesday, normally I can barely get off the ground on the reds but the setters have gone all soft and cuddly this time.
I like to blame colour blindness in these instances. That door does swing both ways tho.