/ Most dogged UK climb

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Sean Kelly 06 Aug 2019

Not sure if this has been posted before, but what is the most dogged climb in the UKC logbooks? I was thinking it might possibly be Chequer's Crack @ Froggatt.

Post edited at 17:23
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In reply to Sean Kelly:

If ‘dogged’ means getting to the top, I’m not so sure. In my experience most roped attempts end in failure.

jcm

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Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

That route came to mind immediately I saw the thread title,

Chris

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john arran 06 Aug 2019
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

By my reasoning, all "dogged" ascents end in failure, even though they've made it to the top

Suggestions for the OP: Tippler Direct (E3 6a)Orpheus Wall (HVS 5c)?

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Sean Kelly 06 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

A fine ethic John but unfortunately this wall/sport generation view any style as an ascent from what I have witnessed at the crag!

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DaveHK 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Consenting Adults?

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DaveHK 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Or perhaps red 6b on panel 23.

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FactorXXX 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Reptile Smile?

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In reply to Sean Kelly:

Raindogs. It's in the name.

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Sean Kelly 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Over 160+ have admitted to dogging Chequer's Crack on this site and many never to log climbs so the total number must be well in excess of this. I don't know the figures for other routes mentioned except Raindogs at Malham which has 81 who confess to dogging on this route. Admittedly it is a much harder climb so consequently sees far fewer attempts.

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DaveHK 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Natalie Berry - UKC:

> Raindogs. It's in the name.

Not a Tom Waits fan then?

Probably a good call if it's by percentage but not by total number.

Post edited at 19:52
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Ray Sharples 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

The Overhanging Crack (E2 5c) takes a few scalps.

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DaveHK 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Ray Sharples:

> The Overhanging Crack (E2 5c) takes a few scalps.

Hmm, after 20 years perhaps the memories have faded enough for me to have a rematch with that...

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Sean Kelly 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Ray Sharples:

> The Overhanging Crack (E2 5c) takes a few scalps.


Only 77 logged dogged!

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Ray Sharples 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

138 if you include DNF though (almost 50% of attempts)

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FactorXXX 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> Over 160+ have admitted to dogging Chequer's Crack on this site and many never to log climbs so the total number must be well in excess of this.

Reptile Smile has 245 though it is a lower percentage (14.79 vs 15.99%).

Reptile Smile (6a+)
Chequers Crack (HVS 5c)

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Rob Gillespie 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Pod crack has to be up there for high percentage of failures. Being HVS in the bmc guide probably lures a few unsuspecting victims (like me) in. 

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deacondeacon 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

The Rasp has got to be up there. Juggy, safe, looks piss. 

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FactorXXX 06 Aug 2019
In reply to deacondeacon:

> The Rasp has got to be up there. Juggy, safe, looks piss. 

92/15.18%
The Rasp (E2 5b)

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trouserburp 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Kelly's overhang? fa 1926 and can protect the crux with a sling, maybe even without

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stuartf 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

The Unprintable (E1 5b) - over 19% dogged...

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adam clarke 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Surprisingly Kelly's Overhang comes in at less than 10% dogged. Orpheus Wall and The File both come in at around 15%. Three more candidates from the Eastern Peak:

The Toy - 127 @ 21.71%

Nonsuch - 121 @ 22.45%

The Vice - 44 @ 24.31%

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trouserburp 06 Aug 2019
In reply to adam clarke:

 Oh you mean as a %

Any route that hasn't had a ffa

Post edited at 00:04
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springfall2008 07 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

> By my reasoning, all "dogged" ascents end in failure, even though they've made it to the top

I think if you "dogged" F9a but made it to the top you wouldn't consider that a personal failure!

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john arran 07 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

Well I certainly wouldn't consider it a success!

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Paul Sagar 07 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

Quite right, sir! 

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Duncan Bourne 07 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

I saw some "dogging" at Heighley Castle once. They were doing something successfully

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DubyaJamesDubya 07 Aug 2019
In reply to adam clarke:

> Surprisingly Kelly's Overhang comes in at less than 10% dogged. Orpheus Wall and The File both come in at around 15%. Three more candidates from the Eastern Peak:

> The Toy - 127 @ 21.71%

> Nonsuch - 121 @ 22.45%

> The Vice - 44 @ 24.31%

This was a bit of a bogey route for me in that I failed twice before eventual success but in each case, I couldn't read the move at all, so lowered off, so wouldn't be a dogged ascent, just a non-ascent.

Chequers crack is easy enough to read so more likely to be dogged as it might feel easier to do that than lower and ab for gear. (I actually did it clean )

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DubyaJamesDubya 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

I'd have though Quasar on Grochan a good candidate but I guess it is too hard to get enough ascents

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In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

There's an article in that ;-)

In fact, I may even start working on it over the weekend...

Anyone got any anecdotes from the Top 10, or failing that any of the above? Be great to flesh out some of the logbook comments with more detailed horror stories...

Post edited at 10:33
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Simon Caldwell 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

What about Quietus (E2 5c) ?
It always seems to have someone dangling from it, and I don;t know anyone who's onsighted it clean.

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In reply to Simon Caldwell:

> What about Quietus (E2 5c) ?

Only 73 dogs, not in the top 20

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john arran 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

Over half of these 20 are HVS or E1, which is a quite specific grade range. It's easy to see why the harder E grades may not feature highly but to me it's a lot less obvious why there aren't more dogged VS and below. Cue a round of unsubstantiated amateur psychology?

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steveriley 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

My take on that is not to go back to Millstone

...I did have a particular 'feet of clay' moment on The Tippler. I'd just belayed a mate on steady flashes of both London Wall and White Wall and we moved across to Stanage where I confidently set off on The Tippler. Happy on the traverse, feeling like a decent climber. Clipped the thread, got pumped stupid lacking commitment and fell into space. Little rest and all's well with the world.

Post edited at 11:20
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In reply to john arran:

> Cue a round of unsubstantiated amateur psychology?

I promise to offer such hyperbole within whatever article I come round to writing

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Enty 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

MGC?

In all the times I was at Shepherds BITD I never saw it flashed.

E

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Martin Haworth 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Is it a coincidence that the top 3 all require a degree of jamming ability?

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In reply to Martin Haworth:

Quite telling isn't it.

There's also something to say about how they're virtually all on Grit, barring the occasional offering of limestone from Portland or Brean. Wonder if we could narrow it down to different areas to get the greatest dogged route from within each area of the UK.

Probably make a more interesting article that way.

update: development crew are on with getting that info as we speak, but I'll save it for whatever article I put together - be nice to have a few surprises within it!

Post edited at 12:40
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Michael Hood 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Martin Haworth:

Not just the top 3; apart from most of that list being quality multi-starred routes - hence lots of attempts - there does seem to be lots of potential for jamming failures.

Not surprising given the paucity of cracks at climbing walls and even more so at bouldering (only) walls.

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Martin Haworth 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

I would have expected the list to be populated by under-graded routes, but of the routes I know on the list they are all correctly graded.

It is no surprise that 3 star grit routes in the VS to E2 range dominate the list as they are popular routes and the list is based on absolutes rather than %

I expect routes below VS don't see as many failures because sub VS climbers don't tend to push their grade!

E3 and above see less ascents

  

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Martin Haworth 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Presumably we will find out if Left Wall lives up to its reputation as the "...most fallen off route in the Pass"

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Sean Kelly 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Enty:

> MGC?

> In all the times I was at Shepherds BITD I never saw it flashed.

Well I am sure it was HVS (now E2) in the day so that might explain this anomaly.

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Sean Kelly 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

In some repects we actually require 2 lists, the total number of dogged ascents, and the actual percentage of dogged ascents. And if we were we very petty about all this then it should be grade specific as well. I haven't the time to work out all this but perhaps someone on the site might be interested in giving it  a little consideration.

Post edited at 21:20
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Sean Kelly 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

I have quickly added the percentage figures as that makes equally interesting reading. Dexterity still has quite a high failure rate but England's Dreaming wins with a massive 28.23%!

The interesting thing with such a table are the reasons behind all this but that is another point that warrants investigation. As I noted on another post, the partial reason for MGC to witness such a failure rating is because it was seriously undergraded for years. The File is a surprise and obviously an indication that quite a few climbers have poor jamming skills!

And then again this figures don't not include all the failures of the given climbs!!

291.Dexterity (E1 5b)Millstone Edge 22.38%

286.Bond Street (HVS 5a)Millstone Edge 10.81%

252.Embankment 3 (E1 5b)Millstone Edge 13.15%

247.Reptile Smile (6a+)Blacknor North 14.86%

243.The Right Unconquerable (HVS 5a)Stanage Plantation 3.27%

220.The Left Unconquerable (E1 5b)Stanage Plantation 10.64%

205.Embankment 2 (VS 4c)Millstone Edge 8.31%

201.The File (VS 4c)Higgar Tor 15.44%

200.Saul's Crack (HVS 5a)Roaches Upper Tier 16.46%

196.Pearl Harbour (7a)Brean Down 17.8%

186.Goliath's Groove (HVS 5a)Stanage Plantation 10.49%

186.Strapiombante (E1 5b)Froggatt Edge 12.94%

184.Valkyrie (HVS 5a)Froggatt Edge 10.13%

183.England's Dreaming (7a+)Blacknor North 28.23%

181.Eliminator (HVS 5b)Stanage Popular 8.6%

179.The Tippler (E1 5b)Stanage Popular 17.83%

170.Consommé (6a+)The Cuttings 2.64%

168.The Peapod (HVS 5b)Curbar Edge 13.14%

166.Regent Street (E2 5c)Millstone Edge 13.81%

165.Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth (6b)The Cuttings 17.7%

149. Chequer's Crack 16.07%

Post edited at 21:50
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Gordon Stainforth 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

The File doesn't surprise me a bit. It's very tough at its grade (right at the very top of VS) and the way it's graded is misleading ... it lures VS leaders on to it. I'm sure we've had this discussion before - but it's not 'VS 4c'. It's either HVS 4c or VS 5a. The latter being the truth, I think.

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Sean Kelly 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Martin Haworth:

> Presumably we will find out if Left Wall lives up to its reputation as the "...most fallen off route in the Pass"

114 dogged ascents, that is a failure rate of 8.66%, and 36 didn't finish. so not even close in the whole scheme of things.

CC by the way has 110 dogged ascents, but obviously many more attempt the route. I had the 'Gates' down for a few falls etc as I have witnessed a few epics here, but the rate is quite low with 45 (2.32%) dogged and 15 fails.

Post edited at 22:36
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overdrawnboy 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean K

> Not sure if this has been posted before, but what is the most dogged climb in the UKC logbooks? I was thinking it might possibly be Chequer's Crack @ Froggatt.

Curious how no one seems to dog their way up gritstone slabs, didn't Dave Cook claim gritstoners jam up blank slabs in his classic article in Mountain.

Btw Chequers Crack is easier to solo than lead as it frees up all the good gear slots for finger jams.

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Myr 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

The Vice (E1 5b) - 24.18%

The Toy (E1 5c) - 21.71%

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Gordon Stainforth 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

FWIW, I'd say The File is almost exactly the same grade as Bond Street. The latter might be a shade harder technically, but it's nothing like as pumpy. Anyhow, both are very good value routes at their quite modest grade.

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GrahamD 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Impressive work ! Its a shame there is no way of corelating whether logbook stats match those of the wider population or not.

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MeMeMe 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

I flashed this as my first E2, I'd only climbed HVS before so I think I was having a low gravity day.

There's plenty on the list I've DNF of dogged!

I fell off The File and landed on my belayer's head, this was before I'd even heard of jamming, I think I tried to layback it somehow.

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Mick Ward 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> The interesting thing with such a table are the reasons behind all this but that is another point that warrants investigation.

Some tentative suggestions... but first a plea. A couple of nights ago, I was watching a video of someone attempting a classic Stanage route. Am not saying which - don't want to embarrass the guy. It's certainly hard enough to get wrong. (I've not done it, would be happy to get on it but certainly wouldn't treat it lightly.)  Problem is that this guy - who seemed a pretty decent sort - was treating it as a sport route and dropping onto cams, again and again. In my view, he was trashing the route (which has a little flake on it). If people want to dog routes at The Cuttings, well (kind of) OK. But grit is grit. And once something's trashed, well, it doesn't get untrashed, that's for sure.

> 291.Dexterity (E1 5b)Millstone Edge 22.38%

(Assume this is the direct version.) A favourite. Always thought E2 for effort, though. Not particularly technical but definitely uphill.

> 286.Bond Street (HVS 5a)Millstone Edge 10.81%

People getting on it too early??  Can't really see why people would fail on this.

> 252.Embankment 3 (E1 5b)Millstone Edge 13.15%

Sustained fingerlocks. If you're not used to this style of climbing, you'll probably run out of steam.

> 247.Reptile Smile (6a+)Blacknor North 14.86%

Two options at the top. Both around 6b. Mix 'em up and it's harder.

> 243.The Right Unconquerable (HVS 5a)Stanage Plantation 3.27%

People getting on it too early??  Please don't go on this, unless you've done Left Unconquerable. Throwing in cams will destroy this route - which was once a thing of beauty.

> 220.The Left Unconquerable (E1 5b)Stanage Plantation 10.64%

VS/HVS into a 5b/5c crux. Catches people out.

>205.Embankment 2 (VS 4c)Millstone Edge 8.31%

Awkward and horrible.

> 201.The File (VS 4c)Higgar Tor 15.44%

Baggy jams.

> 200.Saul's Crack (HVS 5a)Roaches Upper Tier 16.46%

Not done.

> 196.Pearl Harbour (7a)Brean Down 17.8%

Don't see why people would fail on this. Early 7a?  Coming off walls onto a sport crag??

> 186.Goliath's Groove (HVS 5a)Stanage Plantation 10.49%

Old skool.

> 186.Strapiombante (E1 5b)Froggatt Edge 12.94%

Not done.

> 184.Valkyrie (HVS 5a)Froggatt Edge 10.13%

Awkward first crack? Not sure why folk would fail on this otherwise.

> 183.England's Dreaming (7a+)Blacknor North 28.23%

Not done (have always saved for onsight - increasingly unlikely now!)  Worn, polished, (a hold come off?), poor friction - especially in the sun. Also a bit blind?  Need to commit/press on quickly??

> 181.Eliminator (HVS 5b)Stanage Popular 8.6%

Don't know why. Straightforward. Early HVS?

> 179.The Tippler (E1 5b)Stanage Popular 17.83%

As above. Early E1??  Traverse a little bold - but relatively easy.

> 170.Consommé (6a+)The Cuttings 2.64%

Worn. Polished - especially the crack. Hard in the morning sun. Lack of crack technique?  Early visit to an outside crag??

> 168.The Peapod (HVS 5b)Curbar Edge 13.14%

Three dimensional (two too many, for me).  One failed lead, one seconded with a point of aid (the rope), an hour after leading Our Father. Go figure!

> 166.Regent Street (E2 5c)Millstone Edge 13.81%

People getting outfaced on the top crack?  Abandoning fingerlocks too early??

> 165.Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth (6b)The Cuttings 17.7%

Hard. Polished. Desperate, in the morning sun (when most folk try it).

> 149. Chequer's Crack 16.07%

The walk of shame for yours' truly. Need to move fast and decisively (I didn't). Too tempting to get more gear in, blocking the (painful) fingerlocks.

Still, a mate who once came joint fifth in the world championships, failed on this too (admittedly he was soloing). It's a little piglet (like Toy which, thankfully, I staggered up - as the warmup. Some warmup!)

Mick

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Andy Hardy 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Surprised Insanity at Curbar isn't on that list (and L'Horla) I haven't done any of the southern sport routes, but have done all the others (either lead or second). Bizzarely I found the hand jamming ones OK (i.e got clean on lead or second) whereas the finger jams were a different kettle of fish

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In reply to Sean Kelly:

> 114 dogged ascents, that is a failure rate of 8.66%, and 36 didn't finish. so not even close in the whole scheme of things.

Have I missed some Pass stats? What are we saying is the most fallen off Pass route, then? As a percentage I’d guess Ryley Bosvil, but obviously not absolutely.

jcm

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DubyaJamesDubya 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> The File doesn't surprise me a bit. It's very tough at its grade (right at the very top of VS) and the way it's graded is misleading ... it lures VS leaders on to it. I'm sure we've had this discussion before - but it's not 'VS 4c'. It's either HVS 4c or VS 5a. The latter being the truth, I think.

Found the File to be quite amenable for the grade. Safe as houses too.

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duchessofmalfi 08 Aug 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Yup, the file is easy-peasy if you can jam and very entertaining for spectators if you can't.

Mid HS if you can jam, nigh on impossible at the grade if you can't. I guess most people wait until they can jam or learn on the job...

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Sean Kelly 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Surprised Insanity at Curbar isn't on that list (and L'Horla) 

You realise why Insanity is so named when fighting up this brute and the gear is both difficult and strenuous to place. Pre-cams I should add. L"Horla is OK so long as you don't hang around.

The File is really a mix of bomber jamming & laybacking with regular rests.

Post edited at 11:59
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dereke12000 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

I can understand the Cuttings being in this list as most of the routes are so polished you can see your reflection clearly

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springfall2008 08 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

> Well I certainly wouldn't consider it a success!


Even if it would put you in the Elite group of the worlds best climbers!

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FrankBooth 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

For it's grade, VDiff, Great Gully on Craig Yr Ysfa, has to be one of the most curious. Almost 10% of recorded ascents either DNF or Dogged. There again it's the VDiff equivalent of Heart of Darkness: a 267m adventure over 11 pitches of increasing wet/lost anguish, with a desperate chimney and cave pitch. Guaranteed to expose weak climbers like me.

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snoop6060 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

I know these are the most dogged routes logged in the UKC log books but surely almost all of the 3* classics on yorkshire lime (and raven tor) would top this list hands down.  Some of them probably see 200 dogged ascents a year.

Post edited at 12:48
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jon 08 Aug 2019
In reply to snoop6060:

Yes, the top ten is very grit- centric.

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Martin Haworth 08 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

 Are you confusing a dogged ascent with a red-point ascent?

A dogged ascent is a failure and wouldn't put you in any elite group

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Martin Haworth 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

I don't think sport routes should really be considered in this list.

It is quite normal to try sport routes that are above your on-sight grade.

I suspect that on harder sport routes a lot of the failed attempts don't actually get logged. My guess is that some of the hardest sport routes(think 8c, 9a) will have had more failed red-point attempts than successful attempts.

You have to look beyond the statistics sometimes. Unjustified at Malham has a 42.87% dogged rate out of 14 attempts, but when you check the logs all 42.87% is the same person who has dogged the route 6 times!

Post edited at 13:22
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DubyaJamesDubya 08 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> Even if it would put you in the Elite group of the worlds best climbers!

I don't think dogging up a 9a would do that.

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DubyaJamesDubya 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Martin Haworth:

>  Are you confusing a dogged ascent with a red-point ascent?

> A dogged ascent is a failure and wouldn't put you in any elite group

In sport route terms you could consider a dogged ascent as working the route and no more.

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snoop6060 08 Aug 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

I consider it a way to get my stuff back in the pitch black so I can go home overwhelmed by absolute failure. Like you know when you have  been fully defeated and everything hurts. You look up and think well better go get those f**ckin clips then I guess. Love sport climbing me  

Post edited at 14:01
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Sean Kelly 08 Aug 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Another category called for - trad & sport?

Post edited at 15:21
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Ramblin dave 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Martin Haworth:

>  Are you confusing a dogged ascent with a red-point ascent?

I think the point is that there's a difference between succeeding in the sense of succeeding at a route and having it ticked and in the bag and succeeding in the more general sense of pulling hard and not giving up and doing better than you thought you could. I've certainly had people I know (who are more into that sort thing than me) finish the day feeling successful because they've got up a long-term project with just one rest - not because they're under any illusion that it's "done", but because previously they couldn't get through the crux at all.

It's the equivalent of a non-league team taking Man City to a replay and then extra time in the cup before going out 2-1. They clearly haven't actually won, but it's still a pretty big deal for them.

Post edited at 20:50
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krikoman 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Martin Haworth:

>  Are you confusing a dogged ascent with a red-point ascent?

> A dogged ascent is a failure and wouldn't put you in any elite group


Same thing in my book, but then I'm not that bothered and haven't ever felt the need to red point anything. Much prefer to on sight  stuff, or fail trying (more often than not) 

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springfall2008 09 Aug 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> I don't think dogging up a 9a would do that.

So if you climbed a classic F9a with only one rest that a total failure?? I think that indicates with some more work you might get it clean next time. I suspect most people on this forum (me included) would have no chance of doing this even in their wildest dreams!

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Siderunner 09 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> Even if it would put you in the Elite group of the worlds best climbers!

Ha ha, this made me laugh, the irony.

Springfall2008, check this out:

Doctor Dolittle (E10 7a)

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john arran 09 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

You're right that, on a personal level, few wouldn't be over the moon with that kind of performance and wouldn't consider it one of their greatest personal feats in climbing.

But what you seem to be determined to ignore is that we're on an online forum here, talking with others we've never met. We need - and have - conventions for many of the terms we use, and these conventions are often not well aligned to how the same words are often used in wider society. If I 'flash' a route I won't get arrested. 'Very Difficult' climbs are among the easiest ones we recognise. And if you were to mention to a layman that there's a 'great Egyptian' on a route, he might conjure up an image of Ramses I on a half-way ledge

Similarly with 'successful'. To the layman it can be anything personally satisfying or fulfilling, But in climbing convention, when applied to the manner in which someone's got to top of a free climb, we as a community take it to mean that, as a minimum, the rope and gear were not weighted during the ascent.

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DubyaJamesDubya 09 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> So if you climbed a classic F9a with only one rest that a total failure?? I think that indicates with some more work you might get it clean next time. I suspect most people on this forum (me included) would have no chance of doing this even in their wildest dreams!

No.

But you said it would put someone, who did that, into the elite class of world climbers which it wouldn't. 

Post edited at 07:29
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springfall2008 09 Aug 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> No.

> But you said it would put someone, who did that, into the elite class of world climbers which it wouldn't. 


But are you saying if they had the route clean it would, or did I just pick too easy a grade for my example?

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springfall2008 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Siderunner:

> Ha ha, this made me laugh, the irony.

> Springfall2008, check this out:


No logged accents but people have voted on the grade ?!

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Sean Kelly 09 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> No logged accents but people have voted on the grade ?!

There are some funny people about. Some of this discussion is becoming very pedantic.

Different ethics apply to both trad and sport, so really dogging is to be discouraged on trad. However at the highest level it may be necessary to pre-practise moves & possibly even check out the pro. I realise that we don't live in a perfect world but we should all be trying to maintain the best ethics & traditions of climbing that exist in this country. To preserve that adventure element. For instance what is the point of top-roping a route such as Indian Face if you harbour no ambitions to actually climb it?

I don't do sport, so don't really feel I can comment on this aspect, but I do understand where John Arran is coming from.

Finally are all the logged ascents on this site, and the style in which they were achieved a true reflection of what actually occurred?

Post edited at 10:18
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dunnyg 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Whats the point in climbing a route?

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DubyaJamesDubya 09 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

This was in reply to a comment you made to John Arran about dogged ascents of 9a being considered a success. Have a look at who the first ascensionist is. (it's in small writing but it is there)

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DubyaJamesDubya 09 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

You said that a person could be pleased to dog there way up a 9a it should be seen as a success (fair enough at a personal level depending on how 'dogged' the route was) John Arran said he wouldn't view it as a success.

You then suggested that it should please because it might put you into the worlds elite climbing class.

The point is that failing on hard routes isn't going to put you into an elite. Ascending the hardest route in the world with one rest won't put you into the elite but you would have to be in the elite to do so. Being that good you would probably view coming that close and not quite making it as something other than success.

Also, I think most people would say that someone who had dogged there way up a route would have taken multiple rests on the rope (even if, technically speaking, a single rest would qualify)

I'm nowhere near good enough to dog my way up a 9a but I wouldn't view it as a 'success' if I did.

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Michael Hood 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> There are some funny people about. Some of this discussion is becoming very pedantic.

> Different ethics apply to both trad and sport, so really dogging is to be discouraged on trad. However at the highest level it may be necessary to pre-practise moves & possibly even check out the pro. I realise that we don't live in a perfect world but we should all be trying to maintain the best ethics & traditions of climbing that exist in this country. To preserve that adventure element. For instance what is the point of top-roping a route such as Indian Face if you harbour no ambitions to actually climb it?

I disagree with you on this, if it's ok for an elite climber to practice moves on a trad route so that they can then make a clean ascent, what is then wrong with me practicing moves on a hard (for me) route before then making a clean ascent.

And please don't come out with the "because you know that someone else has done it ok in the past", because I could then argue that "maybe the elite climber should leave it until someone good enough comes along in the future".

I do believe/agree that for trad, best ethics (i.e. trying to get as close to the on-sight as possible) produces more totally fulfilling experiences, but one rule for the elite, another for the masses can not be properly justified.

Similarly re: Indian Face, maybe someone who can competently climb 7b+ (?) doesn't think they'll ever have the balls/skill to lead it, but wants to climb it so that they can properly see just how sketchy the moves are and properly appreciate just how bold a lead it is. What's wrong with that?

A caveat: I do think that top-roping (dogging, practice, whatever) should be at a grade where you've at least got a reasonable chance of getting up the route cleanly without trashing it by thrashing it.

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springfall2008 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Don't the highest level Trad climbers just top rope the routes until they can climb them cleanly and then lead them placing some token gear, but really it's like a free solo with a chance of not killing yourself if you fall?

For me that's less of an achievement than attempting an on-sight and having a rest along the way but making it to the top first time.

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springfall2008 09 Aug 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

John Arran - but he hasn't logged the route so we don't know the original style?

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GridNorth 09 Aug 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

There is a certain "class" of misguided climber who would rather be seen hanging off a 7c than climbing a 6b.  But hey ho it's no skin off my nose.

Al

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FactorXXX 09 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> John Arran - but he hasn't logged the route so we don't know the original style?

It's easily found by searching on Google.
However, why do I get the impression that you know full well how it was climbed and for some reason are trying to be clever with your weird viewpoint on John Arran.

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Ramblin dave 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Michael Hood:

> I disagree with you on this, if it's ok for an elite climber to practice moves on a trad route so that they can then make a clean ascent, what is then wrong with me practicing moves on a hard (for me) route before then making a clean ascent.

I sometimes wonder whether part of the reason that this is the established culture in trad climbing is just that VS to E3 weekend warriors have loads of great routes to climb and relatively little time to do them in, so it'd seem a bit odd to spend weekend after weekend at the same crag projecting the same mid grade route.

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Mick Ward 09 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> Don't the highest level Trad climbers just top rope the routes until they can climb them cleanly and then lead them placing some token gear, but really it's like a free solo with a chance of not killing yourself if you fall?

> For me that's less of an achievement than attempting an on-sight and having a rest along the way but making it to the top first time.


I love the 'just' - as though it's a formality. It isn't.

There are some very bold and gifted climbers out there. They - like us - play a game of risk. But no matter how bold and gifted you are, are you really going to go for the onsight every single time, knowing that the first significant mistake you make (or just an edge snapping?) may mean the end of your life?  How long would you get away with it??

I'm told that at least one of the ascentionists of Indian Face - an immensely gifted and bold guy - really struggled to find a belayer. It wasn't in any way personal - quite the reverse. Everybody liked him and nobody wanted to be the one holding his rope if he died. Thankfully he did it OK. But I'm guessing that it may take just a tiny crystal snapping or an out of kilter body position or simply a moment's loss of attention on that route for disaster to strike .

At the very top level, it must be a terribly unforgiving game.

Mick

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Sean Kelly 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

Isn't it strange Mick that most climbers that are killed climbing are more often on easy routes rather on some super bold climb. Obviously this is not the case with serious stuff on the big peaks where there there are other risks apart from just falling.

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john arran 09 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> John Arran - but he hasn't logged the route so we don't know the original style?

If you're interested you could always ask!

But it should be obvious to anyone that a route of that grade done nearly 20 years ago would have been by headpoint after considerable practice.

As for logbook grades without logged ascents, that makes a lot of sense to me. I'm not one to spend time logging my ascents but if I've been on a route and I have an opinion on how it feels compared to others I've tried, even if I don't end up doing it, I'll still have a valid opinion on its grade that I may feel like sharing. I remember when Pete Whittaker did Dynamics of Change (E9 7a) I was asked for my opinion on its grade because I'd tried it myself not too long before. I thought he might have undergraded it at E9!

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Mick Ward 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Sadly so. I remember, as a young novice in Wales, naively thinking that people would be killed on Extremes and being amazed to be told that no, most of the deaths were on easy stuff.

Big snowy mountains just seem dangerous now. Of course they always were; I just didn't appreciate it enough. Never liked mates going to the Himalaya though (well, unless it was just for a curry!)

When you're young, you think you can get away with well-nigh anything. And that youthful self-belief certainly gets people up some great routes. But of course there's another, grimmer side to things...

Mick

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Dave Garnett 09 Aug 2019
Fakey Rocks 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Can't understand why Perihelion isn't in, more dogged than the other 2 cuttings routes, about 139 inc dnf, 2nd + TR dog, looks about 40% on the bar, how do you find exact % figures?

Perihelion (6b)

I mostly agree with Paul Sagars log !

Post edited at 21:35
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FactorXXX 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Fakey Rocks:

>  how do you find exact % figures?

Hover the mouse cursor over the relevant bar.

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springfall2008 11 Aug 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

> There are some very bold and gifted climbers out there. They - like us - play a game of risk. But no matter how bold and gifted you are, are you really going to go for the onsight every single time, knowing that the first significant mistake you make (or just an edge snapping?) may mean the end of your life?  How long would you get away with it??

 

That's a good point, but equally you can practice all the moves and still get it wrong (or something goes wrong like a hold breaking). My personal opinion would be that if you can't protect the route with Trad gear then it's not a Trad route as at least part of it is a free solo.

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john arran 11 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> My personal opinion would be that if you can't protect the route with Trad gear then it's not a Trad route as at least part of it is a free solo.

My personal opinion is that your personal opinion will be shared by hardly any of the many thousands of climbers that use the word "trad" to describe a wide variety of climbs of varying degrees of protectability.

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springfall2008 11 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

> My personal opinion is that your personal opinion will be shared by hardly any of the many thousands of climbers that use the word "trad" to describe a wide variety of climbs of varying degrees of protectability.


Yes I know, that's why I said personal opinion.

The question is when does it become a free solo? If there's no gear at all then I assume it must be? Does one micro-wire that most likely wouldn't save a fall then make it a Trad route?

(To clarify I'm interested in your thoughts, clearly I'm just a newbie in comparison to yourself)

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Michael Hood 11 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

What exactly is not-free solo? Presumably aid-soloing, or soloing with gear.

Also, in the UK, free solo isn't a normal climbing term (except for non climbers who've seen the film), solo or soloing is what's normally used.

Soloing is a part of trad climbing.

Aid-soloing and soloing with gear would also be considered part of trad climbing (in the UK).

Your posts do make me wonder whether you are either, not UK based (maybe subtly different climbing definitions) or, you're not very (climbing) experienced.

Finally, you seem to be picking an internet argument with John Arran about nuances of trad climbing. This doesn't seem like the wisest course of action (unless it's a subtle wind-up), since John was definitely one of the UK's elite trad climbers when he was at his climbing peak, and he has rather a lot of knowledge and experience in that arena.

Edit: just seen your latest post, please add a couple of   to the above, any tone of admonishment is meant to be very gentle

Post edited at 15:27
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Michael Hood 11 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

If I take a rope up a route with no gear (so to all intents and purposes I'm soloing the route), so that I can then bring a second up, then that's still trad climbing.

Just a bit of a bold lead, that's all.

Typical example would be Great Slab at Froggatt.

If I soloed it, that would still be trad.

Post edited at 15:34
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john arran 11 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

To climb a route trad is to use as much of whatever gear is available as you choose. Soloing is a subset of that in which you choose not to use any gear at all.

There's even a much smaller grey subset in which you carry a rope and gear but don't place any. If you ask whether or not that's classed as soloing you might start an argument

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Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator11 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

> There's even a much smaller grey subset in which you carry a rope and gear but don't place any. If you ask whether or not that's classed as soloing you might start an argument

I would say if you carry a rope and gear, even with no intention of using it, you are not soloing - you have options that a true soloist doesn't,

Chris

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GrahamD 11 Aug 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Exactly. Its the " you can just ignore the bolt " argument 

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springfall2008 11 Aug 2019
In reply to Michael Hood:

> If I take a rope up a route with no gear (so to all intents and purposes I'm soloing the route), so that I can then bring a second up, then that's still trad climbing.

> Just a bit of a bold lead, that's all.

But if you don't place any gear then your making the climb easier, it takes skill, time and energy to place gear so if you skip that part you aren't really climbing the route as per the guide book.

If I came on here claiming to be a good Trad climber and then admitted I never place gear I think I might be shot down in flames ;)

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springfall2008 11 Aug 2019
In reply to Michael Hood:

> What exactly is not-free solo? Presumably aid-soloing, or soloing with gear.

Indeed it would be aide climbing

> Also, in the UK, free solo isn't a normal climbing term (except for non climbers who've seen the film), solo or soloing is what's normally used.

I'm just trying to be clear as I know this forum isn't just UK bods.

> Soloing is a part of trad climbing.

Even if the route has bolts?

> Finally, you seem to be picking an internet argument with John Arran about nuances of trad climbing. This doesn't seem like the wisest course of action (unless it's a subtle wind-up), since John was definitely one of the UK's elite trad climbers when he was at his climbing peak, and he has rather a lot of knowledge and experience in that arena.

It's certainly not intended as an argument, more of an interesting debate. Honestly I had no idea who Arran was until I googled it later in the thread.

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springfall2008 11 Aug 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I would say if you carry a rope and gear, even with no intention of using it, you are not soloing - you have options that a true soloist doesn't,

Are you then saying if a route has been retro-bolted but you choose to climb it on Trad gear you still have to log the sports route and not the Trad route?

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Michael Hood 11 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

Ah, I realise from your response that I was slightly ambiguous.

When I meant taking the rope up and not placing any gear, I meant on a route that doesn't have any gear, so although I'd be leading the route, it wouldn't be a protected lead.

This could happen in two ways...

1. I don't realise the route's gearless until I get on it. Time for a bit of a wobble   But this would still be a lead.

2. I know it's gearless and am taking the rope up just for someone to second/TR. In this case I'm likely to be climbing with several grades in hand, or I know the route well from previous ascents. For both of those I'm likely to not be at all bothered whether I've led it or soloed it.

Your interpretation, I climb a route without placing gear (that's available) is likely to be similar to number 2.

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Michael Hood 11 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

Even if the route has bolts...

Hmm, that's an interesting question, if you solo a sports route, is that trad climbing or sport climbing?

Of course this is just being finicky about definitions, so it doesn't really matter, but my initial thoughts would be, how did you prepare for the solo (onsight, ground up, or lots of redpoint practice), and what grade would you consider you'd soloed, french or E+tech. Of course different people may give different answers.

And how you log something is pretty much a personal thing (unless it's a new route, etc.) and it's an extra level of being incidental to the actual climbing.

Argument, I almost used the word discussion but settled on "internet argument" because I knew it wasn't like a real argument

Don't know your age or how long you've been climbing, but John being a frequent climbing news item may be before your time

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Gordon Stainforth 11 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> The question is when does it become a free solo? If there's no gear at all then I assume it must be? Does one micro-wire that most likely wouldn't save a fall then make it a Trad route?

What one has to remember is that literally hundreds of classic trad routes were solos or virtual solos on their first and early ascents. Standout examples being: Napes Needle, Jones's Route Direct on Scafell Pinnacle, The Scoop at Castle Naze, Cave Arete Indirect at Laddow, most of Herford's routes, many of Kirkus's and Edwards' routes in the 30s (e.g. Great Slab on Cloggy), most of Birtwistle's routes (e.g. Diagonal on the Mot, Drainpipe Crack on Cloggy, and most of his routes at Laddow), Preston's Suicide Wall in Ogwen (though he'd top-roped it many times), Streetly's Bloody Slab on Cloggy, and a huge number of Brown's first ascents in the late 40s - early 50s, e.g. Great Slab at Froggatt. And the tradition did not stop after that ...

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webbo 11 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> But if you don't place any gear then your making the climb easier, it takes skill, time and energy to place gear so if you skip that part you aren't really climbing the route as per the guide book.

> If I came on here claiming to be a good Trad climber and then admitted I never place gear I think I might be shot down in flames ;)

You would be more likely to be shot down in flames claiming to be a good trad climber who only climbs HVS after 10 years of climbing. Where as you would get more respect for soloing HVS.

Clearly despite 10 years of climbing you don’t understand how it works.

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Sean Kelly 12 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> Even if the route has bolts?

Therein lies the problem as most bolted routes involve lower-offs so not having a rope to hand might be troublesome getting back down!

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springfall2008 12 Aug 2019
In reply to webbo:

> You would be more likely to be shot down in flames claiming to be a good trad climber who only climbs HVS after 10 years of climbing. Where as you would get more respect for soloing HVS.

Why, like I said it's easier to Solo HVS than climb it with good gear? The main problem is if you do a lot of Solo's you end up dead!

> Clearly despite 10 years of climbing you don’t understand how it works.

I'm not sure what you are referring to? People are free to climb in whatever style they like and enjoy the climbing!

I don't have to play by some rules that some other people made up, there's no governing body that defines these rules, the rules only apply if you want to compete (and I don't).

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springfall2008 12 Aug 2019

> Don't know your age or how long you've been climbing, but John being a frequent climbing news item may be before your time

I've only really been climbing for around 6 years, and I don't tend to read much in the way of popular news and suchlike - I prefer climbing to reading ;)

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webbo 12 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

So it’s easier to sole Right Unconquerable or Diagonal than lead them. You learn something everyday.

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springfall2008 12 Aug 2019
In reply to webbo:

> So it’s easier to sole Right Unconquerable or Diagonal than lead them. You learn something everyday.


I don't know anything about these routes, but yes it will be easier to Solo any route as you don't have to place gear or drag up extra weight - how can it not be??

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Mick Ward 12 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> I don't know anything about these routes...

> ...but yes it will be easier to Solo any route as you don't have to place gear or drag up extra weight - how can it not be??

Hmm...

Mick

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Mick Ward 12 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> Why, like I said it's easier to Solo HVS than climb it with good gear? The main problem is if you do a lot of Solo's you end up dead!

Have soloed for 53 years. Not dead yet (I think!) 

Mick

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springfall2008 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

> Have soloed for 53 years. Not dead yet (I think!) 

That's great, I'm sure your very talented and very careful.

But, it doesn't change the fact that statistically those who solo have a high chance of not living to and old age.

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In reply to springfall2008:

It’s not useful to have ‘personal opinions’ on what well defined terms of art mean. If I say that my personal opinion is that ‘apple’ is the same as ‘banana’, that doesn’t advance the debate. It merely warns others that communication with me is likely to be tiresome.

jcm

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john arran 12 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> But, it doesn't change the fact that statistically those who solo have a high chance of not living to and old age.

Don't suppose you have any evidence for that presumption?

No, thought not.

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springfall2008 12 Aug 2019
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Forgive me if I'm wrong, where is the correct definition written down.

Just going to wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_climbing

Traditional (or trad) climbing, is a style of rock climbing in which a climber or group of climbers place all gear required to protect against falls, and remove it when a pitch is complete. Traditional bolted face climbing means the bolts were placed on lead and/or with hand drills. The bolts tend to be much farther apart than sport climbs. For example, a trad bolted route may have bolts from 15–75 feet apart. A sport route may have bolts from 3–10 feet apart, similar to a rock climbing gym. The term seems to be coined by Tom Higgins in the piece "Tricksters and Traditionalists" in 1984. A trad climber is called a traditionalist.[1]

Characterizing climbing as traditional distinguishes it from bolted climbing—either trad bolted or sport climbing (in which all protection and anchor points are permanently installed prior to the climb — typically installed while rappelling) and "free solo climbing" (which does not use ropes or gear of any kind).

Post edited at 13:26
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springfall2008 12 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

> Don't suppose you have any evidence for that presumption?

> No, thought not.


It's hard to find data as nobody has studied it, but many famous solo climbers die.

https://www.liveabout.com/dangerous-allure-of-free-solo-climbing-755444

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simondgee 12 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> It's hard to find data as nobody has studied it, but many famous solo climbers die.

So ...its not a fact and and has no statistical basis...? 

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Robert Durran 12 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

> There's even a much smaller grey subset in which you carry a rope and gear but don't place any. If you ask whether or not that's classed as soloing you might start an argument

Is somebody else tied to the other end of the rope?

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john arran 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Is somebody else tied to the other end of the rope?

Good question. I didn't have that in mind but it may (or perhaps may not!) help settle the argument if there is.

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ebdon 12 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

Many famous trad climbers also die, what's your point?

And yes soloing is easier, if you completely remove any psychological aspects, which of course you cant. Try doing a move you find tough above a bomber nut compared doing it where failure will result in death and see which feels eaiser!

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simondgee 12 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

> Good question. I didn't have that in mind but it may (or perhaps may not!) help settle the argument if there is.

...I think you would have to tie the rope on your gear loop for the 'ethical' solo lead....

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webbo 12 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> I don't know anything about these routes, but yes it will be easier to Solo any route as you don't have to place gear or drag up extra weight - how can it not be??

I’m sure as your profile says you climb HVS you will be happy to solo these two routes to prove soloing is the easy way to do them.

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Michael Hood 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

I suspect that most people who don't solo are going to die as well, if somebody can show me that I'm wrong then I'll give up soloing 

To be fair (giving springfall2008 the benefit of the doubt here), I think he means that soloing a route is physically easier, which of course it is for the reasons he mentions (no gear to weigh you down or take time putting in, etc.), but of course as we know, how hard a route is, has as much to do with your mind as your body.

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Michael Hood 12 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> I'm not sure what you are referring to? People are free to climb in whatever style they like and enjoy the climbing!

> I don't have to play by some rules that some other people made up, there's no governing body that defines these rules, the rules only apply if you want to compete (and I don't).

This does seem to be a bit of a contrast from your query about whether a sport route climbed with trad gear and not clipping the bolts should be logged as a sport climb or a trad climb.

Similarly your whole discussion seems to be about definitions of what soloing is and what trad climbing is (or is not).

Either you think the various classifications add something to the activity of climbing or they don't, you can't have it both ways.

Edit: Also, your Wikipedia definition sounds very American. I know you've previously said that people from abroad come on this site (correct), but the clue's in the name, UKC

Post edited at 16:12
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Sean Kelly 12 Aug 2019

> I don't know anything about these routes, but yes it will be easier to Solo any route as you don't have to place gear or drag up extra weight - how can it not be??

I think you should ask Cliff Phillips about soloing on Dinas Mot being easy. I seem to recall that he found the rocks quite hard!

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Mick Ward 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

I'm still amazed he survived that fall. The Mot's always seemed not far behind Wharncliffe as a place not to deck.

And his slip on the Eiger NF.  Shudder!

Mick

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springfall2008 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Michael Hood:

> I suspect that most people who don't solo are going to die as well, if somebody can show me that I'm wrong then I'll give up soloing 

> To be fair (giving springfall2008 the benefit of the doubt here), I think he means that soloing a route is physically easier, which of course it is for the reasons he mentions (no gear to weigh you down or take time putting in, etc.), but of course as we know, how hard a route is, has as much to do with your mind as your body.


Yes that's very true!

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springfall2008 12 Aug 2019
In reply to webbo:

> I’m sure as your profile says you climb HVS you will be happy to solo these two routes to prove soloing is the easy way to do them.


I wouldn't do, why?

- Yes I climb HVS, but it's my hardest grade and I've failed on at least one route (dogged). If I were to Solo then I'd pick a route well within my grade, most likely a Severe.

- I have a family and children, it would be very selfish of me to risk my life in this way, especially for something I have no interest in doing.

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paul mitchell 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Myr:

Both E2

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webbo 12 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> I wouldn't do, why?

> - Yes I climb HVS, but it's my hardest grade and I've failed on at least one route (dogged). If I were to Solo then I'd pick a route well within my grade, most likely a Severe.

> - I have a family and children, it would be very selfish of me to risk my life in this way, especially for something I have no interest in doing.

But according to your good self they would be easier than HVS because you are soloing. 

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springfall2008 12 Aug 2019
In reply to webbo:

> But according to your good self they would be easier than HVS because you are soloing. 

Easier yes, but more risky too.

Indeed as Michael mentioned earlier I'm ignoring the head games because that's rarely taken into account in the difficulty of a sport. For example a very exposed route won't get a higher grade than a non exposed route given the same level of physical difficultly and availability of gear.

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Sean Kelly 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

> And his slip on the Eiger NF.  Shudder!

> Mick

Wasn't that Eric Jones, Mick? When he did that outrageous solo ascent. Eric and Cliff, two regulars at the Vaynol.

One day walking my dog, as I walked down through the village, I could see someone hang-gliding above Carnedd Ugain. When I was returning 10 minutes or so later Eric landed beside us and folded up his para-glider. Then along came the bus.

"Good timing Eric!" I said. "No" he replied. "I could see the bus setting off from Llanberis! "

Post edited at 20:39
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webbo 12 Aug 2019
In reply to springfall2008:

> Easier yes, but more risky too.

> Indeed as Michael mentioned earlier I'm ignoring the head games because that's rarely taken into account in the difficulty of a sport. For example a very exposed route won't get a higher grade than a non exposed route given the same level of physical difficultly and availability of gear.

Actually it would.

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John2 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

No, Cliff was being filmed on the ascent when he slipped and set off downwards at high speed. He saved himself with his ice axe and turned to the cameraman and said, 'Did you get that?'.

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Mick Ward 12 Aug 2019
In reply to John2:

Best line ever!

Mick

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NMN 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

The Grogan - Burbage North.

I guess it wouldn't be as popular or as sought after as something like Chequer's Crack, but I would think it is dogged a lot.

I think it is the only route I have fallen and actually made it to the top, otherwise always being way too pumped to do anything other than lower off.

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Gordon Stainforth 12 Aug 2019
In reply to NMN:

Totally agreed re. The Grogan. Ugghh!! It's so unenjoyable it's almost as if it's been put there to give climbing a bad name.

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Mick Ward 12 Aug 2019
In reply to NMN:

It's a funny one. The first time we went to Burbage, a mate soloed it and got a bit gripped at the top. A little later (if memory is correct) I backed off leading it. Then soloed it. Then soloed it regularly. As I recall, it's really just one move in the crack, getting your feet up and then it eases. But you do need to be careful, right to the top - as my mate found out.

By contrast, Chequer's Crack just seemed a total bastard, low down, painful fingerlocks, wires blocking 'em, pretty much everything you don't want. I should have gone back and soloed it - but, given where it is, you kind of forget about it (or maybe want to forget about it!)  Would only have soloed it once though. Some routes just aren't very enjoyable. (Though there must be someone who likes it?)

Mick

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Gordon Stainforth 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

I have zero regrets about failing on it. The second 'pitch' (which very few people ever reach!) I'm told is quite good. The first crack though: climbing surely becomes an ordeal rather than a pleasure when it's a battle with shiny rock, poor protection, and terror that can only be overcome by gruelling, unattractive work – the sort of thing you might perhaps feel keener about if it were a very highly paid job.

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Dave Garnett 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I have zero regrets about failing on it. 

Horrible route to be sure.  I only seconded it to show solidarity with Ed February after Dave Turnbull had rather unsportingly pointed him at it!

Isn’t there an even worse one next to it? Beech Nut or something?

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MYox 12 Aug 2019

Desperation.

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In reply to Mick Ward:

CC's enjoyable enough to solo above a mat or two; I can't imagine why anyone would lead it these days.

jcm

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Michael Hood 13 Aug 2019
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> CC's enjoyable enough to solo above a mat or two; I can't imagine why anyone would lead it these days.

> jcm

Fear

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Christheclimber 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

Hi Mick,

Chequers Crack used to be one of my regular party pieces, I always maintained it was much easier to solo than to lead as long as you didn’t fall off! 

Chris

Post edited at 08:28
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Mick Ward 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Christheclimber:

Hi Chris,

It's just the last bit - the falling off - that might have given people the odd problem!  I'm sure, as John says, mats would make a big difference. I was going through a bad period anyway when I hung on the gear. Was climbing with a very young Neil McAdie at the time. Surprised he put up with me, really - probably a misplaced respect for elders.

I'm sure if you're forceful and move fast, the crux would be over in seconds. It probably is comparable to The Grogan - strange, I've never made the connection before.

Wasn't there a guidebook photo (circa 1978/9?) of Christine Crawshaw on the crux of Chequers Crack, belayed by Jill Lawrence? They probably ran up it. I remember Christine had a soft spot for my old mate, Mick Hillas, whose Junkyard Angel at Malham is now regarded as a classic. I've always thought that Junkyard Angel was the best route name ever. 

Mick

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Christheclimber 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

Hi Mick,

The Grogan is an awkward route and is another one that is easier to solo than lead. I’m surprised that I’ve never done Junkyard Angel at Malham. I see that Chequers Buttress has been upgraded to 5c!

Chris

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Michael Hood 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Christheclimber:

Crack Chris not Buttress   Easy slip to make - as it is on the Crack itself.

Can't see Chequers Crack being worth 5c unless it's become even more polished from flailing fails.

In one guide Chequers Buttress was given XS(-) 5b, nice soft touch at that grade, now correct at HVS 5a.

The Grogan might be easier to solo than lead (don't think I've ever done it on the sharp end; struggled enough on the other end ), but I think it would be quite a harrowing solo if it was totally on-sight.

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Gordon Stainforth 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Michael Hood:

One almost can't imagine two nearly adjacent routes being so different in character as Chequers Crack and Chequers Buttress. The crack a repulsively awkward and polished affront to one's bonhomie; the buttress a glorious flowing epiphany of beautiful moves on still surprisingly rough grit. The two almost absurdly sharing the same adjectival grade.

Post edited at 12:04
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Michael Hood 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Lovely choice of words Gordon - ever thought of writing a book?

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Gordon Stainforth 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Michael Hood:

Yes, all the time, thanks.

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John Stainforth 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Gordon, here's and odd thing: I enjoyed steaming up Chequer's Crack way more than Chequer's Buttress, which I found underwhelming.

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Michael Hood 15 Aug 2019
In reply to John Stainforth:

Are you identical twins?

Just wondering whether it's nature or nurture

Post edited at 03:40
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Gordon Stainforth 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Michael Hood:

Yes. The question of nature and nurture is very interesting. Could discuss separately, because I don't want to hijack the thread.

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Gordon Stainforth 15 Aug 2019
In reply to John Stainforth:

> Gordon, here's and odd thing: I enjoyed steaming up Chequer's Crack way more than Chequer's Buttress, which I found underwhelming.

Probably because you were always way better at jamming than I was. Re Chequer's Buttress, I know what you mean. I think it's an absolute little gem, but the interest is much too short-lived and somehow disappointingly easier than expected. If only the top were harder. In other words, a two-star route at most.

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Andy Hardy 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I think it gets a lot of stars because it is so easy to take a good photo of climbers in action.

Until drone-phones become the tool of choice for the Instagram generation I think it will remain so.

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Michael Hood 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Hardy:

CB is also popular because you do the well protected crux move to a humongous jug in a great position on the arete where you can stop, rest, and let those feelings of elation pour over you

In contrast, on CC you crawl panting into the half height recess trying to recover some semblance of energy without unintentionally plopping off before getting yourself sorted out for the top bit.

Post edited at 13:30
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