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Lexicon flash

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 Dangerous Dave 09 Jun 2022

Attempt by James Pearson.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cel8pZzoqt3/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Good on him for giving it a go!Lexicon (E11 7a)

 dbottomley 09 Jun 2022

now that the fall has been taken again, and probably not as dangerous as the massive trumpets declared.... Is anyone going to mention that this is ripe for a downgrade?

Hard Cheese E10 - 8c/+ with naff all gear

Welcome to the cruel world - e9 - 8b+ on rp's

or does the grade stick because such a big fuss has been made?

Post edited at 19:34
8
In reply to dbottomley:

Well I don't think James Pearson will be getting into that argument again soon

2
 Michael Gordon 09 Jun 2022
In reply to dbottomley:

I think a couple of them have said it may well depend on where you fall from. From where Steve did, probably just OK. From a couple of moves higher?

Ultimately you've got to trust that if any of them thought it overgraded then they would say so. It's an interesting question but only they can answer it, and by default, silence means they agree with the grade.

3
In reply to Suncream:

> Well I don't think James Pearson will be getting into that argument again soon

I don't know, it would be kind of poetic for Pearson to downgrade a route.

 Gemmazrobo 09 Jun 2022
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Dave did somewhat subtly when he said that mind riot is harder and more dangerous and he gave that E10..

 RBonney 09 Jun 2022
In reply to Gemmazrobo:

Dave Macloed did also say this of it - "It's hard! I've done certainly not done every hard route that's out there in Englan, but I've done a good few in the Lakes, I repeated most of Dave Birkett's hard routes and then the Walk of Life and some routes on grit and Lexicon is significantly harder than any of those."

So he obviously thinks its hard. He also said that Mind Riot is harder than Rhapsody but he hasn't offered a downgrade for that. Though he did say if he wrote to grade it now he said it would be more like a hard E10 or something.

I don't know, grading is weird, and I struggle to climb E2 never mind E10 so what do I know. 

 Michael Gordon 09 Jun 2022
In reply to RBonney:

> He also said that Mind Riot is harder than Rhapsody but he hasn't offered a downgrade for that. 

Like Lexicon, no-one has (yet) queried the grade for Rhapsody. So by default they agree with the suggested grade. It would be a bit wierd for the FA to suggest a downgrade for their route after many years and a string of repeats which, if only by default, have confirmed the original grade.

1
 henwardian 10 Jun 2022
In reply to Dangerous Dave:

I am put in mind of Muy Caliente. It was given E10 originally and then like 2 or 3 people repeated it in a short period of time. None of them immediately downgraded it but after I read something like the third article about someone repeating it I thought "hmm, that's a lot of quick repeats for an E10, I guess it'll get downgraded soon". Sure enough a relatively short time later, it was downgraded to E9.

I would give pretty good odds on betting this process will repeat itself for Lexicon.

You can propose all sorts of reasons for this, but being a cynic, I would be saying the process at work is exactly the same as when people post on UKC saying "where can I find some really easy 7a's in Kalymnos?" or E1s at Pembroke or whatever. When you hear about something that might be a bit soft at the grade you go hunt that route down, doesn't matter what grade we are talking about. _Everyone_ likes to soft tick

Edit: It might take a little time for the process to play out as I can imagine a number of reasons for not wanting to be the first pro climber to stick their head above the parapet and suggest a downgrade.

Post edited at 00:17
 Si dH 10 Jun 2022
In reply to Dangerous Dave:

Anyone know the route well enough to say how far he got? Obviously pretty far, but is that about where McClure fell or a couple of moves lower? Great effort to go out and get on it.

In reply to dbottomley:

As one of the 4 people who has done this route, I think it’s only fair that I defend the nature of the route. 
 

James attempted a flash go after abseil inspection (brushing and feeling the holds on his way down). I’m not entirely sure if this is fitting with ethics but nevertheless, his attempt was very impressive. Flashing 8a+ worth of climbing, James fell before the climbing gets very spicy and a fair bit harder. 

James is a fantastic climber and I can’t conceive the skill level required to even attempt doing what he did. Don’t be mistaken in thinking that his route is easy or safe just because people have been doing it and some falls have been taken (by mostly very good, experienced trad climbers). 

The reason why this is seeing more attention than other hard routes is because it’s one of the best hard routes in the country. I ultimately don’t exactly know what E11 is. And I don’t think it’s unfair to say that it’s guess work for Neil, Steve or Dave too. E11 isn’t definitive, it’s made up. All I can vouch for is that the route is bloody hard, and certainly dangerous. It’s insecure nature on the crux is what makes up for the majority of the danger and difficulty. James fell off 2 moves below where Steve fell from and you can see the way that he slammed into that lower wall only a few metres above the deck. He hadn’t even entered the crux. 
 

People really need to learn to only have an opinion on stuff they actually know about. Rather than trying to stir the pot. Standards are rising and E11 is becoming less of a myth it seems. Allowing for the growth of this sport wouldn’t be such a bad thing. 

Comparing Hard Cheese to Lexicon is irrelevant since it’s unrepeated and unconfirmed at its grade. Welcome to the Cruel World is known for being very hard for E9 and it’s first ascent was done on pre-placed gear, only repeated by Craig, who seems to have a knack for sandbagging but again, a fantastic and highly experienced trad climber. 

68
In reply to MathewWright1998:

> People really need to learn to only have an opinion on stuff they actually know about. 

So...

> Welcome to the Cruel World is known for being very hard for E9 and it’s first ascent was done on pre-placed gear, only repeated by Craig, who seems to have a knack for sandbagging but again, a fantastic and highly experienced trad climber. 

9
 Will Rupp 10 Jun 2022
In reply to MathewWright1998:

I think a lot of people’s opinions on the route and ‘stirring the pot’ are based on the mass media fuss that the route has gathered. I believe you are allowed an opinion stuff like this, especially when it’s been so published and pushed on social media. Sticking ‘E11’ on a route obviously pleases the sponsors.  I have no opinion on whether it is E11 or not. Maybe there’s a reason Hard Cheese or WTTCW have not been repeated. Can’t imagine anyone trying to flash any of those anytime soon….

3
 Adam Lincoln 10 Jun 2022
In reply to MathewWright1998:

> The reason why this is seeing more attention than other hard routes is because it’s one of the best hard routes in the country. I ultimately don’t exactly know what E11 is. And I don’t think it’s unfair to say that it’s guess work for Neil, Steve or Dave too. E11 isn’t definitive, it’s made up. All I can vouch for is that the route is bloody hard, and certainly dangerous. It’s insecure nature on the crux is what makes up for the majority of the danger and difficulty. James fell off 2 moves below where Steve fell from and you can see the way that he slammed into that lower wall only a few metres above the deck. He hadn’t even entered the crux. 

Matt makes a very good point here. Plus its fresh in peoples minds and routes do come in and out of vogue. Specially when the quality is so good. Also, accessibility is a big factor. Its a relative short walk, and drive for most climbers. Also its known to be clean, dry and fairly well chalked at the moment. Plus its fresh in peoples mind. 

Add to that the fact that whilst you may not be able to fall off the hardest of moves in complete safety, people have fallen off and thankfully had a bit of luck.

1
 Mick Ward 10 Jun 2022
In reply to MathewWright1998:

> People really need to learn to only have an opinion on stuff they actually know about.

Pretty much agree. We can all have opinions - that's fair enough - but really, what value have they if a route is so far beyond our abilities that we have little idea of what's involved? 

Watching the video of the earlier fall was more than enough for me. Was so glad he was OK. 

When you see those 'whipper of the week' - or whatever they're called - videos, invariably when the guy gets held, there's a big whoop from him and his mates. (Conversely I tend to shudder.) 

It was telling that, after the first Lexicon fall, there was silence - and then relief. 

Mick 

2
In reply to Will Rupp:

Will, this has absolutely nothing to do with sponsors. None of the four people who has already climbed the route, make a complete living from sponsors. So why would we be feel the need to publicly make ourselves look like fools for mostly free gear. I think that’s a very arrogant way off looking at it. If any of us relied on sponsorship for financial security, would we feel the need to sell training plans or route set? 
 

Neither myself, Steve, Neil or Dave have a clear understanding or definitive answer at where the line is drawn between E10, E11, or E12. It’s all totally artificial and the reason why standards are not increasing in trad is in my opinion, mostly due to the public response to hard grades being publicised. 
 

Rainman’s recently seen two repeats, where as Overshadow hasn’t. Does that mean we should downgrade Rainman? Of course it doesn’t, absolutely nobody in the UK is qualified to make that suggestion. It’s exactly the same for E11. It’s impossible for standards to rise if all we’re going to do is bitch when ever a hard route gets done or repeated.

Post edited at 10:29
55
In reply to MathewWright1998:

> Will, this has absolutely nothing to do with sponsors. None of the four people who has already climbed the route, make a complete living from sponsors. So why would we be feel the need to publicly make ourselves look like fools for mostly free gear. I think that’s a very arrogant way off looking at it. If any of us relied on sponsorship for financial security, would we feel the need to sell training plans or route set? 

Oh come on, there's obviously a very high value placed by sponsors on hard ascents. Big numbers attract attention, attention builds a social media following, a social media following attracts sponsors. I'm obviously not saying that's the only factor at play - climbers such as yourself operating at that level have myriad motivations to climb hard things - but that's a far cry from "absolutely nothing".

9
In reply to planetmarshall:

Ah you’ve got to love UKC.

“Excuse me, I’ll have you know I once onsighted a soft HVS, so my opinions about cutting edge trad climbing are just as valid as anyone else’s”

28
In reply to planetmarshall:

I put a reel on Instagram a week ago which has reached 800,000 people. That’s significantly more than what I would have reached with Lexicon. Times are changing - you don’t need to risk your life to become famous and get good sponsorship these days. Your point is invalid. 

68
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> “Excuse me, I’ll have you know I once onsighted a soft HVS, so my opinions about cutting edge trad climbing are just as valid as anyone else’s”

Absolutely nobody is making that argument. It's one thing to argue that Mat's opinion carries more weight  - which it obviously does - because he's done the route, another to argue that no one else is allowed an opinion at all.

The story of Rhapsody was made into a film called "E11". 

The story of Lexicon was made into a film called "Lexicon E11"

People are interested in big numbers and hard ascents, otherwise we wouldn't be going to see films and reading articles about them. To then say that the numbers don't matter is obviously nonsense.

4
 Si dH 10 Jun 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> Ah you’ve got to love UKC.

> “Excuse me, I’ll have you know I once onsighted a soft HVS, so my opinions about cutting edge trad climbing are just as valid as anyone else’s”

Opinions on UKC are definitely being taken too seriously. Most people on here have never climbed at a very high level and the few that have don't seem to get involved in public grading debates (not for a long time anyway). If a top climber wants to challenge a grade now, they write a long missive on Instagram! Discussion of grades on UKC is almost never a serious proposal that a downgrade should be made or even considered - it's just a chinwag between people who are bored, either at work or in retirement. Best to get involved if you enjoy the debate and ignore it if you don't! Sometimes you get better informed opinions on ukb. But there is really nothing wrong in passing the time with uninformed debate, it's just like discussions between fans of any sport.

Post edited at 11:00
In reply to planetmarshall:

I agree completely that numbers matter. They matter 100%. I never said this. 
 

We are all guilty of being egotistical human beings who love numbers. That’s no secret.
 

What’s your point? Is Rhapsody not E11? Is Lexicon not E11? Silence was also hailed for being 9c? Has Ondra got it all wrong? 

59
In reply to MathewWright1998:

> What’s your point? Is Rhapsody not E11? Is Lexicon not E11? Silence was also hailed for being 9c? Has Ondra got it all wrong? 

I wouldn't know - it's way outside of my level of experience. That doesn't mean I'm going to have a go at anyone who wants to have an opinion on it. As you say, only four people including yourself have done this route. Thousands have done Three Pebble Slab and we can't even agree on the grade for that!

When everything kicked off over Pearson's overgrading of various routes in the Peak and Walk of Life - plenty of people had an opinion on those who had never touched those kind of grades, just based on external factors like the number of repeats and the opinion of other climbers. They turned out to be mostly right.

1
 Brown 10 Jun 2022
In reply to MathewWright1998:

I think that people do generally have an idea about what commonly accepted climbing definitions mean and are entitled to hold opinions on routes well above their grade.

One of the most rewarding aspects of climbing is that grades effectively act as a fantastic "handicap" or "weighting" system meaning that the experience of any climber operating at or near their limit is broadly similar. As such the idea that I know nothing about the difficulty of attempting to flash E11 because I've only ever flashed E6 is absurd.

I think that some people are gently rubbed the wrong way by the whiff of over promotion regarding this route that has tainted a number of ascents. Its either a LGP or a eliminate side wall. It was either a ballsy flash attempt or it was a shoddily prepared headpoint jumped off of before the real difficulties.

Pontificating over this is totally fair game.

1
In reply to MathewWright1998:

I think his point was your statement that this has nothing do sponsors. Andrew (Planetmarshall) just disagreed with that.

BTW, I'm one of the - I suspect - many people who started following you on Insta after reading about your brilliant ascent of Lexicon. So in that case at least doing a big name route must be helping you grow your audience. How many people saw your reels before you did Lexicon? Was it about the same our has your reach grown since then? I think that's all Andrew meant, that's sponsors are going to like newsworthy ascents like that - that get us punters watching interested and excited. 

 James Milton 10 Jun 2022
In reply to Brown:

> Pontificating over this is totally fair game.

Absolutely, especially when top climbers are very cagey about what they actually think of the grades. 

Dave's comments in his ukc interview were 'maybe 8b+' and 'Mind Riot on Binnein Shuas a couple of years ago, and that is significantly harder and more dangerous than Lexicon'. It leaves quite a lot of room for people who are interested in hard climbing (but who will likely never reach the level) to speculate about how hard these routes all are in comparison to each other.

In reply to MathewWright1998:

> I put a reel on Instagram a week ago which has reached 800,000 people. That’s significantly more than what I would have reached with Lexicon. Times are changing - you don’t need to risk your life to become famous and get good sponsorship these days. Your point is invalid. 

No idea why this is getting heavily down voted, it’s a bit of insider knowledge pertinent to the debate. 

17
 GrahamD 10 Jun 2022
In reply to MathewWright1998:

> People really need to learn to only have an opinion on stuff they actually know about. Rather than trying to stir the pot. 

It's really how discussion forums work is it ? Everyone gets an opinion, even if it's rubbish.  Just look at Brexit and Covid threads - who knew there were so many expert virologists and immunologists in the climbing community?

In reply to Tyler:

I think it's basically this:

'People really need to learn to only have an opinion on stuff they actually know about.'

It's just such a weird thing to say. People love having opinions on stuff they know nothing about, and also prating about them on the internet, and why not? It's just recreational chitchat. There's at least one entire massive industry (football) based very largely on the pleasure people take in it. 

Besides, actually, as a method of predicting the answer to a question of the kind, 'will megaroute X be downgraded?, or, better, 'what is the probability that megaroute X will be downgraded?', I suspect that studying the priors (how many routes initially graded at the grade in question do get downgraded; what is the track record of the FA? what does the curve look like? (ie how many E10s are there and how many should there be on a normal distribution relative to the number of E11s), and doubtless some other questions which haven't occurred to me), forming a rough estimate of probability from that, and then moving on to the specifics - what did each ascentionist say? how long did it take them relative to other stuff they've done? what's their record like? - will give you a more reliable answer than the view of any one ascentionist. Mat W sort-of-acknowledges this himself - they're all largely guessing for the reasons he gives.

Having said the above, I can well understand why top climbers get cross about the oh-it's-all-for-the-sponsors crowd: this, from my perspective, is rude and silly.

jcm

Post edited at 15:18
2
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Well put John. I totally agree with what you’re saying and it’s a fair point which I’ve failed to see in this scenario. Thank you for your input 

13
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I think it's basically this:

> 'People really need to learn to only have an opinion on stuff they actually know about.'

Well yes, except that wasn’t in the post I was responding to and quoted.  

In reply to Tyler:

No, I know, but I think it's that which appears to have vexed people. That and the sponsors thing. People are very attached to the top-climbers-overgrade-for-publicity narrative, and accordingly dislike evidence which challenges that belief.

jcm

5
 Marek 10 Jun 2022
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> ... People are very attached to the top-climbers-overgrade-for-publicity narrative...

You mean like with the top end of the UK technical grade scale?

Sometimes you can't win - all you can do is smile.

From an outside perspective, it seems like there’s a disconnect between some top climbers on grading routes, and this is coming across to us armchair critics as it’s our only source of information about cutting edge climbs. When you hear about Dave Birkett thinking E10 doesn’t exist and Dave Mac seemingly coming around to the opinion that Echo Wall is E11 and every other E11 is E10, then it makes the casual fans question grades progressing. 
 

It also seems like most top climbers speak in code about grades, not wanting the backlash like Pearson got and Mat seems to be getting here. It must be strange to hate that grades are the first thing that people focus on whilst also needing it since no one would give a shit if they went round doing HVSs.

1
 Paddy_nolan 10 Jun 2022
In reply to Gemmazrobo:

What’s really interesting I think is the few people who have climbed the route have rated it very different from a technical grade 

 Michael Gordon 10 Jun 2022
In reply to MathewWright1998:

> As one of the 4 people who has done this route, I think it’s only fair that I defend the nature of the route. >  

Firstly, no-one has criticised the route, so it doesn't need 'defending'. 

> The reason why this is seeing more attention than other hard routes is because it’s one of the best hard routes in the country. >  

I think it's more that it's an attractive and inspiring proposition for those with the skill level as a hard and relatively safe route. It's not because it's better than the chop routes; it's just more appealing.

> People really need to learn to only have an opinion on stuff they actually know about. Rather than trying to stir the pot. > 

I don't think folk are trying to wind you up; they're just interested in the relative difficulty of our hardest routes.

6
 Michael Gordon 10 Jun 2022
In reply to oliver_tippett:

> not wanting the backlash like... Mat seems to be getting here. 

I don't think he is getting any sort of backlash. 'Normal' climbers on here are pretty interested in the opinions of top climbers, particularly when they're happy to go in depth on routes and not hold back to look cool. They're less interested in stuff like "People really need to learn to only have an opinion on stuff they actually know about."

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Firstly, no-one has criticised the route, so it doesn't need 'defending'. 

I don't think the route would care if anyone did

 UKB Shark 11 Jun 2022
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Firstly, no-one has criticised the route, so it doesn't need 'defending'. 

Not true. Second post in by dbottomly - in fact the one which Mat was specifically replying to:

> now that the fall has been taken again, and probably not as dangerous as the massive trumpets declared.... Is anyone going to mention that this is ripe for a downgrade?

13
In reply to UKB Shark:

Not sure that he is criticising the route. He hasn't mentioned anything on the quality of the climbing/experience of doing it. Just questioning the interpretation of the difficulty by some of the people who have climbed it, which I think is fair enough.  

2
 UKB Shark 11 Jun 2022
In reply to shaunhumphreys:

Mat specifically said ‘nature of the route’ which includes not just quality but also the danger which was said to be exaggerated by dbottomly.

I applaud Mat for sticking his head above the parapet coming on here and in particular confirming that Pearson’s ‘flash attempt’ was after abseil inspection though he made need a few lessons in diplomacy if he is to avoid upsetting some posters in the future 🤣

5
 Andy Farnell 11 Jun 2022
In reply to UKB Shark:

Being honest and accurate tends to upset a lot of posters on here. Mat hasn't said anything that's not on point, after all he's one of 4 people to have climbed the route. VS punters really don't have a clue about hard climbing.

Andy F

45
 UKB Shark 11 Jun 2022
In reply to Andy Farnell:

You need far more diplomacy lessons than Mat!

2
 Andy Farnell 11 Jun 2022
In reply to UKB Shark:

I never claimed to be diplomatic, nor do I pretend to be. Honesty is the best policy.

Andy F

9
In reply to Andy Farnell:

Perhaps not that honest either since your ‘VS punters’ appear to be onsighting E4s and 5s. 

9
In reply to Brown:

> One of the most rewarding aspects of climbing is that grades effectively act as a fantastic "handicap" or "weighting" system meaning that the experience of any climber operating at or near their limit is broadly similar. As such the idea that I know nothing about the difficulty of attempting to flash E11 because I've only ever flashed E6 is absurd.

Well, I’ve never Flashed E6, but I’ve redpointed it, and certainly flashed the odd E5, and absolutely know nothing about the difficulty of flashing E11. Just like when I started out climbing and flashing VS, I didn’t have a clue what Flaky Wall, Robert Brown or London Wall would be like. Probably a lack of imagination on my part 😂😂😂

 GrahamD 11 Jun 2022
In reply to Andy Farnell:

> VS punters really don't have a clue about hard climbing.

> Andy F

Whereas this is undoubtedly true, it doesn't stop us having opinions !

 plyometrics 11 Jun 2022
In reply to Dangerous Dave:

It’s a shame that, within one reply, your original positive post highlighting a ballsy effort on a super hard route has degenerated into an unresolvable debate about its grade.

In an effort to steer this one back on course, thanks for sharing and chapeau to Mr Pearson for having a go. Good show that man. 

3
In reply to UKB Shark:

It's may be worth saying that James said he'd inspected it on abseil and mentioned his approach to the flash ethic in his previous Instagram post (and comments below it)

https://www.instagram.com/p/CeoXl2Il10u/

 Michael Gordon 11 Jun 2022
In reply to UKB Shark:

> Not true. Second post in by dbottomly - in fact the one which Mat was specifically replying to:

> > now that the fall has been taken again, and probably not as dangerous as the massive trumpets declared.... Is anyone going to mention that this is ripe for a downgrade?

I can't see any criticism in any of the above, just a musing about the danger level and a question about the grade. Nothing about the quality.

2
In reply to plyometrics:

Indeed it is a shame.

I haven't posted on ukc much in years. This thread has reminded why I don't bother.

2
 redjerry 11 Jun 2022
In reply to MathewWright1998:

"People really need to learn to only have an opinion on stuff they actually know about" 

What, and deny the UKC Blabberazzi a chance to spray! Never!

3
 Misha 12 Jun 2022
In reply to Dangerous Dave:

It’s great to see a very hard trad route being tried / repeated, particularly one in the mountains.

As for the grade, does it really matter? E10 or E11 is insanely hard and, in this case, pretty spicy. As there are few climbers and routes at that level, inevitably it’s hard to reach consensus on some routes, particularly as some people prefer to downplay the grades of their routes. One thing is clear, generally speaking keyboard warriors who haven’t tried the route aren’t qualified to comment.

21
 Petrafied 12 Jun 2022
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> Perhaps not that honest either since your ‘VS punters’ appear to be onsighting E4s and 5s. 

I don't think that's correct.  The original "punter" disparaging the route (second post in) says E1 on his profile, which isn't all that above VS, and certainly way down on E4/5 (a least in my experience).

Post edited at 06:57
17
In reply to Petrafied:

I think it is correct. Is anyone’s profile up to date? Their logbook says they’ve onsighted E4. 

1
 PaulJepson 12 Jun 2022
In reply to MathewWright1998:

We all love a good grade debate! 

As for the opinion that only strong climbers are allowed to say anything, it's a bit daft isnt it. If we know a consensus on the technical grade and the danger level of the route is becoming clearer (by people taking lobs and attempting flashes), then we are entitled to speculate, no? Are you saying Jose Mourinho can't comment on football because he only played at a relatively low level? 

For the record, I barely scrape up HVS but we all know the REAL E11s are the ones without a queue at the bottom

3
 Michael Gordon 12 Jun 2022
In reply to Petrafied:

> The original "punter" disparaging the route (second post in) 

Again, no-one has criticised the route. I don't know why some would think this.

1
 Michael Gordon 12 Jun 2022
In reply to Misha:

> As for the grade, does it really matter? 

Since grades are the best measure of difficulty we have, then in short, yes it does matter. Unless you're content to just call everything a long way beyond you "really hard"

In reply to Dangerous Dave:

Whenever a mortal grade debate erupts on here ('Three Pebble Slab is E1: discuss'), inevitably it will be pointed out that grades are a continuum with difficult-to-draw boundaries ('is it hard HVS or soft E1?'), that some routes don't suit some people (The File probably isn't VS if you can't jam), etc. Invariably everyone agrees that not all HVS will feel like HVS for all climbers for all sorts of reasons.

Whenever a top end grade debate erupts on here, suddenly everyone talks like it's an exact and quantifiable science. I don't get it.

2
 Misha 13 Jun 2022
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Grades matter but what I meant to say is it takes a bit of time for new routes to settle at whatever their grade should be, so in a sense it doesn’t really matter until there is sufficient consensus. We know it’s given E11 but there’s a possibility it’s E10. It’s around that level of difficulty, which is top end regardless of the exact grade. With 4 ascents, there may well be consensus by now that it’s E11. A few more ascents should help to confirm the position. One of the issues of course is that there aren’t many comparators. 

In reply to Misha:

I think the best thing would be if everyone who can actually climb E10 or harder IS REQUIRED to try and lead EVERY route graded E10 or above. 

That way, we'd not only learn which routes were E10 and which E11 (or even E12), we'd find out who the best climber was 😁

We'll allow them, to chose a style - on-sight, flash, head-point, whatever.

Post edited at 02:21
2

In reply to:

Good to see the first commandment of ukc is still going strong. 

"he who climbs the hardest has the most valid opinion" 

2
 Andy Moles 13 Jun 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

To the extent that one can confidently confirm the grade, and say it's one of the best hard routes in the country, despite having climbed only two of them.

*walks away whistling*

1
 Marek 13 Jun 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Good to see the first commandment of ukc is still going strong. 

> "he who climbs the hardest has the most valid opinion" 

Quite right. Since losing a stone in weight I've found my opionions about one full sport grade more valid.

In reply to Misha:

> It’s great to see a very hard trad route being tried / repeated, particularly one in the mountains.

Agreed, absolutely.

> As for the grade, does it really matter?

Yes, it obviously matters for all the reasons gone into above.

> One thing is clear, generally speaking keyboard warriors who haven’t tried the route aren’t qualified to comment.

An attitude that would kill all sports commentary stone dead! 

 Marek 13 Jun 2022
In reply to Misha:

> ... One thing is clear, generally speaking keyboard warriors who haven’t tried the route aren’t qualified to comment.

Surely, merely 'trying' isn't good enough? I could try it tomorrow - I certainly wouldn't get far - but would that make my opinion more valid? If you're going to 'qualify to comment', you have to have lead it *and* at least a selection of routes at this and similar grades. Otherwise your comment is just a indefensible opinion and then where would we be?

Post edited at 13:20
3
 Adam Lincoln 13 Jun 2022
In reply to Marek:

> ... One thing is clear, generally speaking keyboard warriors who haven’t tried the route aren’t qualified to comment.

I bet most keyboard warriors wouldn't even find the top of the route to abseil in.

Post edited at 13:17
17
 Ramblin dave 13 Jun 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

> An attitude that would kill all sports commentary stone dead! 

Yeah, I don't really buy the argument that armchair punters can't have opinions about the grade of hard routes. It's easy to read too much into stuff and I'm sure people do, but it's not impossible to look at who's climbing a route and what they're saying about it and how hard they seem to be finding it and wonder whether it all adds up.

On the other hand, I do buy the argument that armchair punters are probably wasting their time worrying too much about this stuff. It's an awesome looking new trad route up a classic historic mountain crag! It's really hard! People are repeating it! JP has attempted to flash it! Great! I'd rather just appreciate that and let the people who are actually climbing it form a consensus about the exact grade in their own time.

In reply to MathewWright1998:

Sorry Matt I have to disagree with you there. All of you have benefited from climbing this, possibly, over-graded route. You recently upgraded your sponsors didn't you? It doesn't matter you all not make an entire living from it. I think it would take someone who really doesn't care about sponsors to repeat it and to give their opinion. But in my humble view it doesn't make sense Hard Cheese is E10 that grade and this one is E11, something is not quite right there...

2
 Michael Gordon 13 Jun 2022
In reply to Ramon Marin:

It may not make sense but until Hard Cheese is repeated or further ascents of Lexicon continue to confirm or alter the grade, you and I shall be none the wiser. For one thing, everyone is taking 8c for Hard Cheese in good faith, but until it's repeated, really who can say? Besides the boldness, the difficulty of toproping it is probably going to help slow potential repeats.

3
 tmawer 14 Jun 2022
In reply to Adam Lincoln:

I was up at the top having just puntered my way up a HVS when I saw two chaps coming from above to the top of the East Wall with Lexicon and Impact Day on it;  not recognising them I thought they were lost walkers and began to think about offering to help them off the top before they got hurt, fortunately I did this tactfully before making a complete dick of myself as they were about to set a rope up for these routes! My mate nearly almost died of embarrassment.

In reply to Dangerous Dave:

What great timing from DM for this UKC thread:

youtube.com/watch?v=KJWAzUOvDEI&

In reply to Suncream:

Is he shit-stirring saying he'd give Echo Wall E10 nowadays? 

In reply to Suncream:

> What great timing from DM for this UKC thread:

Mr MacLeod remains such a class act. Great video - cheers for linking it!

 Mick Ward 14 Jun 2022
In reply to tmawer:

I don't think there's any need to be embarrassed when you're trying to help people without being officious. Obviously they didn't need help - but surely they'd have appreciated the thought? 

A few years ago I spent a while with a young guy going through the grades. He mentioned that one night as he was leaving the Mot, just as it was getting dark, he saw lights above. Thinking it might have been an accident, he went back up to help. Some guys came down and told him it had been James McHaffie doing the FA of some E9. He felt similarly embarrassed. 

Now I've never met James McHaffie but I'm pretty sure he'd have thanked this guy for his kind thought. No need for embarrassment if you're simply trying to help.  

Mick 

 UKB Shark 14 Jun 2022
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Besides the boldness, the difficulty of toproping it is probably going to help slow potential repeats.

Main logistical challenge is schlepping a gazillion pads up there 

 Michael Gordon 14 Jun 2022
In reply to oliver_tippett:

> Is he shit-stirring saying he'd give Echo Wall E10 nowadays? 

That's not something he tends to do, so it's unlikely. But it was 14 years ago and unless he's been back on it for old time's sake, it's possible his memory may differ from the actuality.

But it's an interesting thought he almost puts forward, that E10 is still top level and the hardest trad routes in the UK/anywhere may in fact be that grade.

Whatever the grades, it's another excellent video, and as Toby says, a class act.    

 Misha 15 Jun 2022
In reply to Ramon Marin:

Trouble is, I suspect almost all climbers who are capable of climbing at that level care about sponsorship and social media at least to some extent. Perhaps Rob Matheson will have a look at it though. 

4
 Misha 15 Jun 2022
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Perhaps a reflection of E10 becoming quite an elastic grade because some people are reluctant to put forward E11 for various reasons, so the top end of the grade keeps getting stretched out. E10, the new VS of the 60s…

1
 remus Global Crag Moderator 15 Jun 2022
In reply to Misha:

> Perhaps a reflection of E10 becoming quite an elastic grade because some people are reluctant to put forward E11 for various reasons, so the top end of the grade keeps getting stretched out. E10, the new VS of the 60s…

I think a big part of the difficulty is that there's very few routes >= E10 in the world (around 40 or 50 by my count) and very few people who have done more than a handful of them which makes it hard to compare them effectively. Doubly so when you consider there's a huge mix of styles in there (tricky to compare Recovery Drink with Immortal!)

 Michael Gordon 15 Jun 2022
In reply to Misha:

There are actually plenty of examples of when someone puts up something which feels clearly to them significantly harder than other stuff they've done, they do stick their neck out and offer the next grade. E.g. all of the current E11s, Walk of Life, past E10s which have since been downgraded, recent 9c routes and top end boulder problems. Not all of them stick of course, but you wouldn't expect them to. But it does require something to give the FA the feeling of next level, otherwise obviously they won't be offering a harder grade. MacLeod stepped up with Rhapsody, but at the time may have been comparing with 'E10's such as Breathless and Divided Years which have since been significantly downgraded. Maybe for standards to be pushed further on trad it would require the best sport climbers to lead the charge.

1

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