UKC

Valerie's Rib - Bruised Ego

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 danprince 11 Oct 2021

Ended up having to back off Valerie's Rib (HS 4b) after struggling to commit to moves above the belay on the nose. Anyone who knows the line a bit better might be able to clear it up for the next try.

Did the opening traverse out to the ledge on the nose where I belayed. Then moved up and slightly right, going past two sheared pegs on my left (sounds like these were the original protection for Valor) and up into a corner, below a short slab.

Was able to get 3 small nuts in somewhere down near my feet, but couldn't find any move that would get me up onto the slab above. Couldn't find holds up there, and the only positive hold below had you leaning out as you got stood up.

Traversing right would have put us on Valor (E2 5c), and going left into the slabby groove would have put us onto Valerie's Rib Direct (S) (these are distinct lines according to CC descriptions). 

The whole thing felt quite a lot more serious (and technical) than comparable routes around.

UKC logs rates these routes as:
Creagh Dhu Wall (HS 4b) = High HS, High 4b
Christmas Curry / Micah Eliminate (HS 4b) = High HS, Mid 4b
Valerie's Rib (HS 4b) = High HS, Low 4b

I've lead all pitches of the other routes and found them steady going, so I can only assume we were off route, or badly misreading the sequence, or was I just having a bad day?

In reply to danprince:

Once on the rib it is 'balancy' or delicate on the smaller holders, but never steep.  

 strudles 11 Oct 2021
In reply to summo:

I remember it feeling more committing than the grade suggested.

I think I went up into a vague flake crack and arranged some iffy small nuts. then up and left teetering onto the slab with no decent/ good gear until nearing the end of the slab.

Post edited at 10:20
 wilkesley 11 Oct 2021
In reply to danprince:

It's been many years since I climbed it. However, I do remember the guidebook at the time (1980's) did mention it was poorly protected.

In reply to danprince:

Had a very similar experience on my first day climbing 'on my own' in 1982, albeit varied by eventually getting up, my useless and very heavy second failing to follow and learning to abseil via some shouted instruction from a climber on another route.

It's a wonder any student climbers at all survive to adulthood, looking back on it.

jcm

 GrahamD 11 Oct 2021
In reply to danprince:

For a long time HS was my bogey grade.  Even when I thought I had VS mostly cracked, an HS would come along and give me a right battle.  In retrospect I think I got succoured by VS 4bs like Inverted V which were never really VS.

I can't remember whether I've climbed Valerie's Rib but I remember getting a rude awakening on the flake traverse of Craig Dhu wall as my first post lock down climb last year.

 Roger Martin 11 Oct 2021
In reply to danprince:

I climbed this about 30 years ago and still remember it as a frightening experience.

In reply to danprince:

On a different question, who was the eponymous Valerie? Does anyone know?

jcm

 Sherlock 12 Oct 2021
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Wasn't Brown's wife called Valerie? Don't know if he did the first ascent though.

 Cobra_Head 12 Oct 2021
In reply to Sherlock:

> Wasn't Brown's wife called Valerie? Don't know if he did the first ascent though.

Of his missus or the climb?

In reply to Sherlock:

> Wasn't Brown's wife called Valerie? Don't know if he did the first ascent though.

It was first climbed by Scottish climber John Cunningham in 1951.

In reply to Dewi Williams:

Aha - no doubt moonlighting from their work on Creagh Dhu Wall.

jcm

 Cam Forrest 14 Oct 2021
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Climbed on the same day

> Aha - no doubt moonlighting from their work on Creagh Dhu Wall.

> jcm


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