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When do you consider a multipitch to be climbed clean?

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Do you need to climb every pitch clean in a sequence to claim the redpoint? Can you go back down to the ground and aid yourself back to the pitch you're working on? Or can you go back on a different day to climb clean just the pitch you're missing? Where's the line?

15
 mrphilipoldham 11 Oct 2022
In reply to Ale152:

Personally when it's done bottom to top, clean and in one go. Surely the grading would take in to account increasing tiredness on upper pitches, therefore invalidating an attempt missing any earlier pitches? But that's just me. If you want to say you've done it clean via numerous visits then so long as you're honest about it no one will particularly care.. it's only climbing!

1
 PaulJepson 11 Oct 2022
In reply to Ale152:

It's all a spectrum between failure and perfection. 

For big walls, the goal is to do it all in one push, cleaning every pitch (if you fall off, lower back to the last belay, pull the ropes, start again). It's still a clean ascent if you come and do each pitch clean on different occasions but the goal standard is still a single push.

For anything in the UK, I'd say anything less than starting at the bottom and finishing at the top, having climbed each pitch in between clean, is probably not something to aspire to.  

 Fiona Reid 11 Oct 2022
In reply to Ale152:

Depends for me. For trad or sport routes without aid grades then start at the bottom get to the top without falling/ pulling on gear is what I count. 

For sport routes with aid grades e.g a 6c free /6a obligatory with A0 then if I need to aid the hard bit I will and I won't log it as dogged as the route was graded for aiding the hard bit. 

4
In reply to Fiona Reid:

> For sport routes with aid grades e.g a 6c free /6a obligatory with A0 then if I need to aid the hard bit I will and I won't log it as dogged as the route was graded for aiding the hard bit. 

I think you have misunderstood how this works. The 6a obligatory/A0 is just telling you how easy it is to cheat your way to the top if you fail.

Post edited at 18:19
11
In reply to Ale152:

I find the best way is to sandbag my mates on the hard pitches, only lead the easy ones then claim that sweet sweet green tick.

 Fiona Reid 11 Oct 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I think you have misunderstood how this works. The 6a obligatory/A0 is just telling you how easy it is to cheat your way to the top if you fail.

Yes technically it's cheating but if the entire route is 6a except for one move I really don't care that much. I'm not claiming I've onsighted multi pitch 6c. I tend to stick with routes I can do all the pitches on as I prefer that. It's much more satisfying. I'll always add notes in my logbook if I've aided something. 

I've done it once to jump a massive queue. We were climbing this route https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/bielenhoerner-10774/klein_bielenhorn_schildkrotengrat-201150 

It has a 4b option and a 6c+ option. There was a monster queue on the easy option so we took the hard variant to get past the queue. I climbed the all but one move on the 6c+ section cleanly but had I faffed around we'd be back in the queue and coffee and cake at the hut was preferable. 

 Hooo 11 Oct 2022
In reply to ebdon:

That's my tactic too. That's how I got all my E2 alt-lead ticks. The best bit is, I can still claim clean onsight when they fell off the crux. Cos it wasn't me that fell off.

 Michael Gordon 11 Oct 2022
In reply to Ale152:

If I've led the crux pitch clean, or even just one of the hard pitches if it's something at my limit, then I'm probably going to be happy.  

In reply to Ale152:

Top tip: Instead of shouting 'take' just build a belay.

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Ahh, the old mid crux belay, my freind on some of my hardest onsights...

 MischaHY 11 Oct 2022
In reply to Ale152:

The variations are broadly the 'freeing the individual pitches but not necessarily in order' and 'freeing the individual pitches in a day'. For example there are several hard multipitches in Verdon which have had the pitches freed but never seen an 'in a day' ascent. 

Hope this helps

 john arran 11 Oct 2022
In reply to ebdon:

> Ahh, the old mid crux belay, my freind on some of my hardest onsights...

I've seen this executed so brilliantly that the crux wasn't climbed by either partner, as good holds after the crux could be reached directly from hanging on the belay.

 Iamgregp 11 Oct 2022
In reply to MischaHY:

Yeah agreed. Look at when Caldwell and Jorgensen sent The Dawn Wall. They both freed all of the pitches, but not in order but without touching the ground… Still a send in anyone’s book.

Post edited at 21:09
2
 henwardian 11 Oct 2022
In reply to Ale152:

"Freed" means to have climbed each individual pitch cleanly in all areas of the world.

moving beyond that to the finer points, it depends very much on location.

"Freed" for a 2 pitch trad route in Wales would be leading both pitches, in order, placing all gear on lead and without abbing back to the ground for a picnic between leading the two pitches. If you fell and tried your second lead with half the gear in the route, or you came back next day to lead the second pitch or anything else like that then I think it would be normal for something to be noted in the guidebook if you were claiming a FFA.

"Freed" on some 30-pitch, 1000m wall in Greenland or the Karakoram or wherever might have a lot less picky a definition because the whole undertaking is already massively complex, expensive and time-consuming so for logistical reasons you do hear about people not freeing the pitches in the right order, or trying again with preplaced gear from the last attempt or various other complexities of the ethical minutia.

So, in short, the answer to your question is "it depends".

In reply to MischaHY:

> The variations are broadly the 'freeing the individual pitches but not necessarily in order' and 'freeing the individual pitches in a day'. For example there are several hard multipitches in Verdon which have had the pitches freed but never seen an 'in a day' ascent. 

The "in a day" thing just seems completely contrived to me. Basically if you can do a big rock route or alpine route in a day then it can't be all that hard for you and you really "ought" to be getting stuck in to something harder; I'm immediately more impressed if I hear of someone taking 10 days on a route than 10 hours.

6
 MischaHY 11 Oct 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Just for context I meant it as in a single day push. This would include a route you could have been projecting for months beforehand but the goal is to free climb in a day. Many hard routes fall into this category. 

 GrahamD 12 Oct 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

> Still a send in anyone’s book.

Not mine.  A "send" presupposes some knowledge of the precise meaning of US climbing slang.  A "send" could mean anything.

10
 ExiledScot 12 Oct 2022
In reply to ebdon:

> I find the best way is to sandbag my mates on the hard pitches, only lead the easy ones then claim that sweet sweet green tick.

First route of the day, bit cold and your mate says it's ok, I'll lead first pitch, it's only later you realise pitches 2,4,6.. are more 'interesting'! 

In reply to GrahamD:

>  A "send" could mean anything.

Only if you don't know what it means.

In reply to MischaHY:

> Just for context I meant it as in a single day push. This would include a route you could have been projecting for months beforehand but the goal is to free climb in a day. Many hard routes fall into this category. 

Yes, but there is nothing special about a day; why not just say "single push"?

Post edited at 08:26
 MischaHY 12 Oct 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Well it's harder to do something with less rest than it is with more rest. If I went and climbed Silbergeier but took a big wall setup and did one pitch every day (or less) then it'd be way less impressive than doing it in a single day ascent as the other ascentionists have. 

In reply to MischaHY:

> Well it's harder to do something with less rest than it is with more rest. If I went and climbed Silbergeier but took a big wall setup and did one pitch every day (or less) then it'd be way less impressive than doing it in a single day ascent as the other ascentionists have. 

In one sense. But your multi-day effort shows that you are finding it far harder than they are; if they were actually pushing themselves as hard as you they would be on a much harder route and taking as long as you.

It seems to me that the "in a day" thing is just valuing speed over difficulty.

In reply to Robert Durran:

All it's doing is pushing the performance envelope in a different area. Think about it mathematically, two dimensions, difficulty of the actual climbing and time taken (but reversed on its axis).

At one end you have a thin high tower, long time (small value because reversed) x high difficulty. At the other end you have a long low slab, short time (high value because reversed) x "low" difficulty.

The area in both "rectangles" is the same - the area being some kind of representation of where cutting edge performance currently is.

"In a day" is somewhere in the middle, more of a square than the extremes at each end, but if the area is still equivalent to those extreme rectangles, then it's still cutting edge of current performance.

(WTF is he going on about 😁)

Post edited at 09:29
 PaulJepson 12 Oct 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I'd love to see you tell Pete Whittaker that he wasn't trying hard enough when he rope-soloed, cleaned, and jumarred El Cap in a day.

In reply to PaulJepson:

> I'd love to see you tell Pete Whittaker that he wasn't trying hard enough when he rope-soloed, cleaned, and jumarred El Cap in a day.

I'm sure he was trying very hard. But imagine how hard a route he could probably solo if he spent 20 days on it.

 Iamgregp 12 Oct 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Not necessarily, I was talking to a US climber the other day who said he liked to do 2 pitches a day when big walling as he like to take his time and enjoy it.

 ianstevens 12 Oct 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> The "in a day" thing just seems completely contrived to me. Basically if you can do a big rock route or alpine route in a day then it can't be all that hard for you and you really "ought" to be getting stuck in to something harder; I'm immediately more impressed if I hear of someone taking 10 days on a route than 10 hours.

Noted for next time I go to the roaches

In reply to Iamgregp:

What one could do, not what you choose to do. Obviously.

In reply to ianstevens:

> Noted for next time I go to the roaches

We're talking about long routes.

 GrahamD 12 Oct 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> >  A "send" could mean anything.

> Only if you don't know what it means.

Enlighten me.  Last I knew, "send" was a verb.

3
In reply to GrahamD:

> Enlighten me.  Last I knew, "send" was a verb.

It can be either a verb or a noun. Like "climb".

 GrahamD 12 Oct 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It can be either a verb or a noun. Like "climb".

Not in the normal world, it isn't.   But in nu skool climber parlance, what exactly does it mean ?

6
In reply to GrahamD:

> Not in the normal world, it isn't.   But in nu skool climber parlance, what exactly does it mean ?

To do a climb (verb) or a climb done (noun) in a style considered a valid ascent according to some generally accepted system of climbing ethics.

 bpmclimb 12 Oct 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

> Yeah agreed. Look at when Caldwell and Jorgensen sent The Dawn Wall. They both freed all of the pitches, but not in order but without touching the ground… Still a send in anyone’s book.

but they didn’t do the sit start … totally devalued the   “Send” in my book

 GrahamD 12 Oct 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

>....according to some generally accepted system of climbing ethics.

Which are ?

4
In reply to GrahamD:

> >....according to some generally accepted system of climbing ethics.

> Which are ?

I really can't be bothered to get into the accepted criteria for redpoint, ground up, single push, onsight etc. I'm sure you get the idea.

 Michael Gordon 12 Oct 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

For trad, a clean ascent placing gear on lead. For sport or bouldering, a clean ascent. The 'send' usually means the succesful redpoint attempt.

 GrahamD 13 Oct 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I really can't be bothered to get into the accepted criteria for redpoint, ground up, single push, onsight etc. I'm sure you get the idea.

Im not asking you to.  I'm asking what "send" is.  Or the ethics pertaining to a successful "send".

9
In reply to GrahamD:

> Im not asking you to. 

So you're not.

> I'm asking what "send" is.  Or the ethics pertaining to a successful "send".

So you are.

I'm confused.

Post edited at 08:31
In reply to GrahamD:

> Im not asking you to.  I'm asking what "send" is.  Or the ethics pertaining to a successful "send".

I think you are being deliberately obtuse. 

Post edited at 09:20
In reply to john arran:

That’s exactly how Rab and myself did a very early (2nd) repeat of Cream Team Special, as all the belays are hanging. Rab reached an impasse and belayed and I carried on through all free! I also think the first ascent was done like that

 GrahamD 13 Oct 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

"I really can't be bothered to get into the accepted criteria for redpoint, ground up, single push, onsight etc. I'm sure you get the idea."

I'm not asking for a definition of these terms (yjis is the post I was replying to, obviously - your words so you shouldn't be THAT confused).  I'm asking what the definition of a "send" is.  Because in the context of a multipitch route with pitches being climbed in apparently random order being (apparently) an unquestionably valid "send",  it really isn't such an obvious term.

8
In reply to GrahamD:

>  I'm asking what the definition of a "send" is. .

And I gave you my best shot at a clear general definition

> Because in the context of a multipitch route with pitches being climbed in apparently random order being (apparently) an unquestionably valid "send",  it really isn't such an obvious term.

In the context of a multi-pitch climb the criteria for a "clean" ascent or "send" is what the original subject of this thread is.

Edit: Anyway, you came across as just wanting to have a good whinge about the use of the term "send" at all. I probably shouldn't have given you the time of day!

Post edited at 16:48
 Iamgregp 13 Oct 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

Yes it is.  You knew exactly what I meant when I used the term. 

Just as all roads lead to Rome, every tread on here seems to end up with an argument about semantics. How very dull.

Post edited at 19:53
 GrahamD 14 Oct 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

I really didn't have a clue what a "send" is/was. Fine, if its an onprecise term and all it means is climbed/a climb and has to have qualifiers added (clean/on sight etc). Why should I know all this ?

4
 OCDClimber 14 Oct 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

I thoroughly dislike the term "send", it get's used in downhill mountain biking as well.  If any one encourages me to "send it" I just ask where to? In the grand scheme of things however it's trivial matter.

Post edited at 10:05
2
 Michael Gordon 14 Oct 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

I always understood it to mean the succesful redpoint attempt. Not sure how often it gets applied to onsights.

 Iamgregp 14 Oct 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

Naively thought you may have come across the term in your 20+ years of climbing.  How silly of me.

1
 GrahamD 14 Oct 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

I've heard the term.  I just don't know what it actually means. 

4
 Darkinbad 15 Oct 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

The trick to correct usage of "send" is to imagine you are climbing with Bill and Ted. For example: verb form: "you totally sent it, dude". Noun form: "a righteous and most excellent send, truly bodacious".

Post edited at 00:20
1
 Darkinbad 15 Oct 2022
In reply to Darkinbad:

The accompanying fist-bump is optional, except when bouldering. Although of course, in modern bouldering, the fist-bump, although still obligatory, is wordless (unstated sentiment - respect).

In reply to GrahamD:

> I've heard the term.  I just don't know what it actually means. 

One final attempt to translate. Just think of it as meaning 'successfuly completed' then apply your own definitions of what success means in the context of the route/project being discussed.

 GrahamD 17 Oct 2022
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

"Yeah agreed. Look at when Caldwell and Jorgensen sent The Dawn Wall. They both freed all of the pitches, but not in order but without touching the ground… Still a send in anyone’s book."

So this is the post that sent me off on my musings.  To me, that us not a clean ascent (or send ?). I was wondering where other people saw the boundaries. 

4
In reply to Ale152:

Start at the bottom, get to the top without the leader "cheating", top out the route then descend to the final pitch (the pub) where the style can be enthusiastically argued.

Extra points for general enjoyment (possibly in retrospect) and bonus style points for any events (real or "adjusted" after further consideration in the final pitch) that make the ascent a notably good story. What is/isn't cheating depends on the route and the outcome of the debate in final pitch.

In reply to GrahamD:

Wikipedia has a great list of common terms used in climbing:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_climbing_terms#send

In reply to GrahamD:

The 'send' means no more than success. The succes can then be qualified: Sent the Redpoint, Sent the onsight, etc (sent the ground up with a few rests???)

 Iamgregp 17 Oct 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

So essentially you’re saying they didn’t climb the Dawn Wall? Why not?

Genuinely interested to hear what you feel disqualifies their ascent from being a clean ascent? That they didn’t do the pitches in order, I’m guessing?

 OCDClimber 17 Oct 2022
In reply to Ale152:

It's a parameter and judgement that can only apply at a personal level. For me it would mean getting to the top of the climb on sight and without artificial aids, rests or falls in one push (One push could be several days) and carrying all my own gear. Everything else is a compromise. Note that I did not say a failure nor unethical. Himalayan size expeditions never appealed to me because back in the day when they would have been an option for me to follow fixed ropes and porters were the norm.  Similarly I only ever practiced aid climbing to stay fit during the winter months on rock that at that time I never imagined could be free climbed.

 GrahamD 17 Oct 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

They climbed the pitches on Dawn Wall in a particular style, for sure, but I wouldn't call it a clean ascent of Dawn Wall and certainly not a pure ascent.  I'm trying to work out whether a "send" implies clean or pure ascent, or just means an ascent any old how.

3
 OCDClimber 17 Oct 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

IMO it simply means give it your best shot?

 Iamgregp 17 Oct 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

I'd call what they did a clean ascent - they both led every pitch clean so that works for me.

Must admit it is a bit weird that they climb the pitches out of order but the rules are different for Big Walls...

 Iamgregp 17 Oct 2022
In reply to OCDClimber:

Don't agree.  If you tell someone you sent a route when you've rested on the rope I think most people would that's not the case.

Basically if the ascent style is greyed out when you see it on the logbook here (TR dog, lead dog etc) then it's not a send.

2
In reply to GrahamD:

> They climbed the pitches on Dawn Wall in a particular style, for sure, but I wouldn't call it a clean ascent of Dawn Wall and certainly not a pure ascent.  I'm trying to work out whether a "send" implies clean or pure ascent, or just means an ascent any old how.

In what style though? To my mind, the alternatives to “clean” are dogged, dnf, or aided, none of which describe their ascent. I think you might be confusing the process by which a clean ascent is achieved (redpoint, onsight, ground up etc) with whether or not the final ascent is clean. A successful and clean “send” could be onsight or repointed or whatever, but it couldn’t be dogged. Very few climbers would regard getting to the top “any old how” as a successful ascent so that seems like an odd point to be confused on.

I also wonder if you are inappropriately applying the prevailing ethics of UK cragging to big wall climbing. Different games have different rules and it’s all a bit arbitrary and relative in the end. In the context of big walling the clear consensus is that they achieved a clean ascent. It doesn’t make sense to judge it by the ethics you might apply to a 2 pitch grit route. 

Whether it is a “pure” ascent is probably a totally different discussion since “pure” isn’t really defined in the same way as “clean” is. What is “pure”? Onsight, barefoot, solo without chalk? Anything else involves compromise of some sort. Not that they made any claim to absolute purity on Dawn Wall. 

Post edited at 12:39
1
In reply to OCDClimber:

My best shot on Dawn Wall would probably end about 6 feet off the ground. Actually scratch that, right now my best shot would end with my card getting declined on an airline website. We can probably agree that neither of those would count as successfully sending the Dawn Wall.

1
 OCDClimber 17 Oct 2022
In reply to Ale152:

I'm too old to be either knowledgeable or concerned about it's usage but on every occasion when I have heard it used it has been as a term of encouragement or optimistic wishful thinking. All of this does show however that GrahamD is justified and not alone in his position of not really understanding what it means.  I dislike it because it seems to be yet another lazy Americanism. The yanks seem to revel and excel in corrupting both the English language and history and I believe both are worth preserving

4
 Michael Gordon 17 Oct 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

> They climbed the pitches on Dawn Wall in a particular style, for sure, but I wouldn't call it a clean ascent of Dawn Wall and certainly not a pure ascent.  

Do you mean an ascent of the whole route without any rests or falls? I mean, never say never but I can't see that happening anytime soon... 


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