Jive Talkin' at Fairy Cave Quarry - E1 or E2?

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 Will_Jones_01 12 Feb 2021

Hoping someone who knows Fairy can help me with this one.. 

Recently I jumped on Jive Talkin' (E1 5b) after looking the guide and ukc, deciding to 'warm-up' on it, but in the essence of trying to not go off-route I kept a super strict direct line, not using the cracks left and right, which resulted in me only being able to place a couple nuts and facing a ground fall for the most part of it, basically soloing it.

Maybe it was me being silly but doing it direct felt harder than any other E1s I've tried and more like a soft E2, and the photos on here label it E2. 

Mostly out of curiosity - anyone got any idea of if it was downgraded and/or what's actually in? e.g you could probably get gear in the left crack but I didn't want to go off route. Any help would be appreciated

Post edited at 22:34
In reply to Will_Jones_01:

Yep, you've been to fairy cave quarry.

 petegunn 12 Feb 2021
In reply to Will_Jones_01:

I remember thinking that it was slightly harder the second time I led it, it may have lost holds since the first ascent?

 beardy mike 12 Feb 2021
In reply to Will_Jones_01:

I’d say it’s topend E1. I mean most of the routes in FCQ at that grade are pretty runout and I didn’t think the climbing on Jive Talkin is harder than for example epic dural… 

 Will_Jones_01 12 Feb 2021
In reply to petegunn:

Maybe, although holds at Fairy are a rarity anyway!

 Will_Jones_01 12 Feb 2021
In reply to beardy mike:

Thanks, I was thinking along those lines.. Admittedly, I haven't actually tried any of the other E1s (I'll have to start ticking them) but I've climbed there enough to get familiar with the characteristic runouts - I guess I was just having a bit an off day

Post edited at 23:11
In reply to Will_Jones_01:

It originally got E2 but when working on the 2012 guide we put it down to E1 as most of the votes on here indicated that. It was always borderline.

Post edited at 23:47
 Jim blackford 13 Feb 2021
In reply to Will_Jones_01:

 top end e1? But feels harder than every other e1 at fairy (some of which are soft touches) and just as hard as a couple of the nearby 'e2s'. 

Regarding gear. I placed a lot of brass offsets and tiny cams.

 Will_Jones_01 13 Feb 2021
In reply to Mark S Davies:

Perfect thank you, I do think the grade makes sense as a tougher E1, I'll just have to go back and give myself some more leeway on the route, maybe when it's a bit warmer..

 beardy mike 13 Feb 2021
In reply to Will_Jones_01:

It’s very similar to Strictly Ballroom although less good climbing and IMO less sustained...

In reply to Will_Jones_01:

The hard bit is very short, but I agree that onsight that’s not obvious.  I spent some time trying to fiddle something in, couldn’t, and then just did it and kicked myself for faffing on the hard bit.

Actually, sliding from there probably wouldn’t hurt too much anyway!

In reply to Will_Jones_01:

Just found the original Dick Broomhead topo (pre Crocker guide) and it was originally given E1 and Strictly Ballroom E2.

 PaulJepson 14 Feb 2021
In reply to Will_Jones_01:

> I'll just have to go back and give myself some more leeway on the route, maybe when it's a bit warmer..

Or maybe when you're allowed to? 

 beardy mike 14 Feb 2021
In reply to PaulJepson:

Thought you said you weren't being judgmental? The guy asked for advice. I talked to a friend in the police force responsible for that area and he said that as long as you are acting responsibly it is within the law. We're not talking about crossing the country here, he's in Bath...

 Will_Jones_01 15 Feb 2021
In reply to Will_Jones_01:

Cheers everyone! I guess I'm still just getting used to the unique style.. a tougher E1 seems about right.

Post edited at 22:03
In reply to Will_Jones_01:

All feedback very useful as I am working on the new FCQ guidebook (part of the new Mendips guidebook).

 Kemics 15 Feb 2021
In reply to Will_Jones_01:

it's a slightly awkward route as the hard bit of climbing is the bit with the worst gear. I guess it's close to the ground so you'd struggle to really dead yourself but likely a bone breaker. I think you may have been a little strict with the line. I thought there was some really bomber gear in the top half of the route. Although the top out was a bit overgrown, loose and manky.  

The only other E1 i've climbed at Fairy Cave is Smell the Glove and i'd say they are pretty comparable in terms of hard sketchier starts and then easier seconds halves? I wouldn't say either are particularly top end for E1 when compared to local routes at avon or cheddar? 

 Will_Jones_01 15 Feb 2021
In reply to Kemics:

Weird, the reason I was so unsure is that I'd put it harder than any E1 I've lead or seconded around the area (mainly Avon), and easier than any E2. But I guess climbing grades are quite subjective to the person and area anyway.

Also, probably due to sloppy footwork, I did take quite a slide from the crux with the bad gear which doesn't help either..

And agreed about the choss at the top, had to climb through a thorn bush to top out!

In reply to Kemics:

> The only other E1 i've climbed at Fairy Cave is Smell the Glove and i'd say they are pretty comparable in terms of hard sketchier starts and then easier seconds halves? I wouldn't say either are particularly top end for E1 when compared to local routes at avon or cheddar? 

I’d have said Smell the Glove was both technically harder and bolder than Jive Talkin’.  I think you would hurt yourself if you messed up reaching the good hold on that one.  Both harder than Bad to the Bone though.

 beardy mike 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Smell the Glove was HVS originally, and personally I’d say that is what it is, albeit a really run out one. The crux is the gaining the shatter hole, totally unprotected so I’m guessing that’s why it was shunted up to E1 rather than the technical difficulty. I think being tall helps and being good with your feet too, but it’s just an exercise in slab padding really. The upper section, if you carry microwires is reasonably well protected. And yeah, Bad to the Bone being E1 but Withy Crack being HVS is all wrong - Bad to the bone is one hard move that is well protected by wires and cams. Whereas I have seen E1 leaders struggling with Withy Crack. I particularly remember one chap who kept falling off the crux and every time he fell he plucked another piece ot gear from the crack below him, in the end leaving him with the one piece he kept landing on. In the end he quite sensibly retreated...

In reply to beardy mike:

>  I think being tall helps and being good with your feet too, but it’s just an exercise in slab padding really. 

I'm not tall, so I thought it was pretty memorable.  Withy Crack and Bad to the Bone seemed about the same grade overall. 

In reply to Dave Garnett:

I'm also not tall so have been put off doing some of the routes at fairy Cave Quarry in the past! I would say Bttb and withy crack were similar in difficulty and would probably give them both top end HVS on balance from what I remember. But also wouldn't disagree if the guidebook gave them both soft E1  

 Jim blackford 17 Feb 2021
In reply to beardy mike:

I'd agree that smell the glove is easier, and borderline hvs

The crux is unprotected, but is pretty obvious and over quickly. above is just hvs climbing. 

Jive Talkin has difficult to sort gear, is often damp or overgrown and is hard at the top too if doing it direct. 

 Jim blackford 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Mark S Davies:

I thought a lot of fairy grades are perhaps a little soft, but okay as they are. However, for what its worth: 

Talk to the Hand - HVS 4c/5a (no more than a grade easier than Back off). Micro gear useful too which not everyone has. 

Back off - E1 . Short crux section with good gear below your feet before joining the 'vs' above. 

Volume Eleven - E2 5c 

Withy crack and Bad to the bone are the same grade, whatever that is

Post edited at 11:53
In reply to Jim blackford:

Thats great thanks for that.

 Dom Goodwin 17 Feb 2021

I operate at lower grades (at least for leading), but would say the grades at FCQ do feel pretty inconsistent. Dunno why, perhaps not enough ascents?

For instance, Truffle felt like it could be a contender for the softest HS in the region if not the country - more like V Diff than HS. I kept putting in gear (there's plenty), expecting a hard (for me) move, which never materialised. The voting on this particular route seems baffling and I often feel UKC voting is unhelpful for determining grades - lots of confirmation bias? Reading lots of comments about overgrading/udergrading is a lot more helpful than the voting, as you know thought has gone into writing rather than just a lazy confirmatory box tick... Meanwhile, there are neighbouring routes such as The Bristolian Affair and Halfway to Kansas which feel round about correctly graded, perhaps a little upper end.

Also, The Socialist seemed pretty soft for Severe 4a, good gear most of the way and nothing terribly technical, felt V Diff.

Then go across to The Glacis and pretty much all the routes here feel hard for the grade. For example, Pueblo, graded V Diff feels like 4a climbing without particularly frequent gear.

Of course, grades are always a bit subjective and often you can find yourself struggling or finding life easy at a particular location, but does seem to me at FCQ, the grades are a bit all over the place.

Post edited at 17:22

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