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Logbook feature request - solo style

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 JStearn 02 Jan 2020

I do a fair amount of soloing and was wondering if it would be possible to add solo styles to the UKC logbook (i.e. lead rope solo, TRS, aid solo, free solo). I know it can be added in the notes but would be nice to filter by style.

Cheers,

James

 Route Adjuster 02 Jan 2020
In reply to JStearn:

Me too - would be a useful addition.

In reply to JStearn:

For the vast majority of British climbers soloing means soloing; "free soloing" if you really must, but it sounded a bit wanky and try-hard 25 years ago and does so even more post 'that movie'.

If you go and shunt a route on a top route, just because you've failed to persuade anyone to come out and belay you, you haven't "soloed" that route. The same if you go through the rigmarole of leading whilst self belaying. Years ago I added "my shunt" to my partners list in the logbooks. If I shunt something I want to record in the logbooks, I just mark it as top roped with "my shunt" for the partner.

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 Tom Last 02 Jan 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> The same if you go through the rigmarole of leading whilst self belaying.

Eh? Yeah, of course you’ve soloed it, or have I misunderstood you? 

This is commonly and universally referred to as roped soloing - you must know that, Toby? 

Post edited at 17:02
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In reply to Tom Last:

Would you care to explain what a 'lead rope solo' is? If you lead a pitch merely trailing a rope, with no one holding the other end, then that's a solo and the rope is irrelevant. If someone is belaying you from the bottom, but you don't put on any runners, it's not really a 'solo' because you can drop on a runner at any moment if you get into difficulties. (A technique I used quite a lot on some of the harder Cuillin pitches.) It's not solo because it involves another person as a safety backup.

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 Basemetal 02 Jan 2020
In reply to Tom Last:

But is roped soloing soloing? The variations with a rope address rope and belay skills and sit apart from soloing as such. "Leading" might be the best description of all of them when there's a rope.

In reply to Tom Last:

but in the UK rope soloing has always been called roped soloing because it's clearly something quite distinct from "soloing"! It's also seemingly very rare. I've seen people using a shunt on the top rope occasionally, but I don't think I've ever seen anybody roped soloing in nearly 30 years of regular climbing. I have roped solo aid climbed myself in the past, so I've seen myself if that counts.

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 Tom Last 02 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Would you care to explain what a 'lead rope solo' is? 

Hmm, sorry but no. There’s plenty of information out there as to what it is and has been for many many years; generally pertaining to various methods using Silent Partners, GriGris, scary methods with clove hitched etc.

It’s not like either me or the OP have just made this term up. 

There’s clearly lots of shortcomings with the terminology surrounding climbing, but you can’t really just chuck it away when it’s already used by virtually everyone; to suggest otherwise is just a bit silly Edit: (generally speaking that is, Gordon. Not suggesting you are silly, just that this seems to be the extension) 

Post edited at 17:30
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In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

You've obviously never seen a rock exotica silent partner device then Gordon? I believe people have experimented with using the newish wild country Revo for the same task, although I don't know whether the experiments were successful or not.

Post edited at 17:28
 Tom Last 02 Jan 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> but in the UK rope soloing has always been called roped soloing because it's clearly something quite distinct from "soloing"! It's also seemingly very rare. I've seen people using a shunt on the top rope occasionally, but I don't think I've ever seen anybody roped soloing in nearly 30 years of regular climbing. I have roped solo aid climbed myself in the past, so I've seen myself if that counts.

Oh sorry, yes maybe I did misunderstand you, I’m not sure but yeah, I agree it’s pretty rare.

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 spenser 02 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Lead Roped soloing involves using something like a Rock Exotica silent partner to act as a belayer. 

In reply to JStearn:

I tend to agree with Toby on this one. A roped solo is really just a top-rope or lead on your own isn't it? 

I am not sure these sub-divisions are really relevant to most people and they would fill the menus up and get confusing for the majority who just think of soloing as climbing without a rope. I think ascent notes is a better place to record this sort of information. 

Alan

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In reply to Tom Last:

Have you ever done it Tom? From my limited experience using two clothes hitches when aid climbing, it's an utter pain! The eBay price for a silent partner seems now to run into many hundreds of pounds, I would think you could spend the same amount of money on some rounds in the pub and make yourself popular and get more climbing friends that way so as not to need to rope solo!

Post edited at 17:36
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 Tom Last 02 Jan 2020
In reply to TobyA:

No, not really. I tried once on a little single pitch with clove hitches but as you say it’s a mighty faff, not to mention terrifying! Agree completely just better to make some friends  

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 Basemetal 02 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I don't do it much, but winter soloing on easy routes sometimes meets a steep finish or cornice I'd really like to be on a rope to deal with. If I'm carrying my rope I'd call what I do "roped solo"...

Find a decent anchor. Tie in to middle of the rope (already will have If I've seen this coming) and drop two tails. Pull up one end and tie or clip  it to my belay loop and thro the anchor. The 12 m loop is going to be my safety.

Climb up and place runner as necessary. Use the second tail to staret another 12m loop if conditions merit it. Carry on alternating if needed (but usually only do this to get over a single "difficulty". Abseil back for gear if it wasn't slings I can just pull up after me.

I'm relying on rope stretch and length of rope to limit the fall factor and realise it isn't a perfect set up, but it's better than a trip to the bottom of a gully.

So that would be roped solo in my book. I'm not fussed whether I'd record it as led, or soloed, or at all.. 

In reply to Tom Last:

Yes

> Hmm, sorry but no. There’s plenty of information out there as to what it is and has been for many many years; generally pertaining to various methods using Silent Partners, GriGris, scary methods with clove hitched etc.

I know there are these devices, and I've even used a Grigri myself. But that's only soloing in the sense of doing it on one's own, there's still an artificial belayer belaying you.

PS. Glad to see Alan James (a vastly better and more experienced climber than myself) has the same view of it as myself. 

Post edited at 17:46
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In reply to Basemetal:

> I don't do it much, but winter soloing on easy routes sometimes meets a steep finish or cornice I'd really like to be on a rope to deal with. If I'm carrying my rope I'd call what I do "roped solo"...

> Find a decent anchor. Tie in to middle of the rope (already will have If I've seen this coming) and drop two tails. Pull up one end and tie or clip  it to my belay loop and thro the anchor. The 12 m loop is going to be my safety.

> Climb up and place runner as necessary. Use the second tail to staret another 12m loop if conditions merit it. Carry on alternating if needed (but usually only do this to get over a single "difficulty". Abseil back for gear if it wasn't slings I can just pull up after me.

> I'm relying on rope stretch and length of rope to limit the fall factor and realise it isn't a perfect set up, but it's better than a trip to the bottom of a gully.

> So that would be roped solo in my book. I'm not fussed whether I'd record it as led, or soloed, or at all.. 

Somehow I see winter climbing as a bit different - and am inclined to agree that 'roped solo' is a good description in that case (i.e. in the context of a much longer, unroped solo).

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 JStearn 02 Jan 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Fair enough, although I think if it was an option in the second styles column it would only appear to soloists and wouldn't clog up the menu. I appreciate it's a bit of a niche activity and the term 'soloing' does have a clear meaning to most UK climbers. It makes sense to me to term all climbing done alone soloing though (even when top roping you have to approach things differently without a partner to check your setup for example). 

 Tom Last 02 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Fair enough and I agree with you re’ Alan and am not particularly fussed either way whether it appears as a style in logbooks, since certainly I never do it myself. 

UKC doesn’t necessarily agree editorially with Alan though I see:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2018/11/pete_whittaker_rope-solos_half_dome_and_el_cap_in_a_day-71775

This is kind of my point I think. Someone like Andy Kirkpatrick is famous for ‘soloing’ routes on places like El Cap, Troll Wall etc. Pete Whittaker’s ‘solos’ on El Cap are apparently a bit of a high water mark for that particular given style. Walter Bonatti famously ‘soloed’ the Bonatti pillar, certainly with a rope of some description. 

Demonstrably, it’s a useful term given the amount it’s used and has been used when referring to climbing by oneself, but with a rope. It might be clumsy, but I think to say these people just led everything is clumsier still since it really doesn’t get anywhere close to representing to reality of what ‘roped soloists’ do, whether what they do is actually worthwhile or otherwise.

In reply to Tom Last:

I think at the end of the day it doesn't matter what you call the style you did a route in, as long as you're not trying to fool other people ... or fool yourself. The style is all. It's all just a matter of being honest with yourself. On the very few occasions that I ever rested on a runner while leading, or even pulled on it, it gave me no satisfaction at all and felt like quite a big failure.

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 Tom Last 02 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

^^^ Amen to that  

 Simon Caldwell 03 Jan 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> I am not sure these sub-divisions are really relevant to most people and they would fill the menus up and get confusing for the majority

The same could be said about Summits, which have various (mostly meaningless) ascent styles. But they're not confusing, you just ignore them as most do (though I've seen a few that have been logged as Solo).

 HeMa 03 Jan 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Tweaked gen 1 grigri is the most bang for bucks for lead soloing, as they can be had for peanuts or you already own such a thing...

 Iamgregp 03 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I don't think anyone would argue against that!

However I agree with the OP, there's a world of difference between the types of solos listed so it would seem worthwhile to me to have these as separate styles but sounds like it's not a goer... 

In reply to Tom Last:

> This is kind of my point I think. Someone like Andy Kirkpatrick is famous for ‘soloing’ routes on places like El Cap, Troll Wall etc. Pete Whittaker’s ‘solos’ on El Cap are apparently a bit of a high water mark for that particular given style. Walter Bonatti famously ‘soloed’ the Bonatti pillar, certainly with a rope of some description. 

I think what Andy Kirkpatrick does is clearly even more committing than doing it with a partner and should be described as such.

On the other hand, shunting a bit of gritstone is toproping.  

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I know there are these devices, and I've even used a Grigri myself. But that's only soloing in the sense of doing it on one's own, there's still an artificial belayer belaying you.

But on multipitch lead/rope solo there is more than twice as much work being done!

They even featured roped soloing in a James Bond film made forty years ago, it gets a little silly but the theory of what he is doing is about right. 

Werner Herzog's 1991 Europudding "Scream of Stone" features genuine footage of Stefan Glowacz properly rope-soloing on Cerro Torre, he even takes a couple of whippers for the camera. It looks a lot harder than just having a belayer!

 Wicamoi 03 Jan 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Indeed. Ultimately British climbers are going to have to accept the inevitable. Our terminology around soloing developed in our own climbing culture, and is simply not clear enough for the global view of climbing that it must now encompass. So we will either end up adopting the term "free solo" to stand for what "solo" used to mean, or we will have to come up with a new term of our own for "solo". For me, "ropeless" would be a less painful adoption than "free solo", but I suspect "free solo" is where we are heading.

 Tom V 03 Jan 2020
In reply to Wicamoi:

I prefer "proper" to "free".

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In reply to Tom V:

Nothing personal but have you often been told to "get over yourself"?

Seriously, do you go around correcting people and saying "I call it PROPER soloing, I prefer that"?

Post edited at 23:01
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In reply to Blue Straggler:

I think you're being very unfair to Tom V here. As I see it, he's merely expressing his frustration at the inadequacy of the term 'free soloing', mostly because soloing means two different things on either side of the Atlantic – so the Americans have to add 'free' ... which is disastrously vague and ambiguous. I think all he is pointing out is that when we, in the UK, use the term soloing we mean something like pure/mere/unaided climbing on our own. I.e the proper, purest use of the term 'solo'. Climbing/walking in the hills, on one's own, without any aids apart from one's boots/clothing.

And the expression 'Get over yourself' is about a trillion times worse. IMHO, it's one of the most revolting and contemptuous expressions of the modern age. It's so revolting I could almost write a whole book about it. Why I think it's so sick.

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 Tom V 04 Jan 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Seriously, I don't go around correcting people on any topic: that's so much more your domain.

 Tom V 04 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I think that when you have soloed a route - whatever the grade - without a rope and the experience has left you in a state of mild shock then all the fripperies about different types of soloing become pretty irrelevant .

If you're bothered about pigeonholing your experiences down to the n th degree it will probably matter to you what setup you had to help you in your solo ascent: if you have ever lived for that moment, on that cusp, it won't.

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In reply to Tom V:

That's exactly how I feel about it. Pigeonholing doesn't work for those experiences when you're truly on the edge, as you are when you're soloing. Particularly if it starts to go wrong, as it did for me once, high on some 'Severe' on Polney Crag, near Dunkeld, when I lost the route ...

Post edited at 00:30
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

You are half-correct in the first instance, I believe Tom V was indeed just expressing his frustration. However I strongly doubt that he actually uses “proper solo” even within his own thoughts, let alone in “correcting” people. I certainly hope he doesn’t, anyway. It’s awful, pretentious etc.

I disagree about “get over yourself”. In context it is a wonderfully efficient phrase for expressing that someone has put themselves in some sort of high ground with no justification. I am however not a fan of the use of “trillion” anywhere other than in literally .describing huge quantities of things 

Post edited at 07:32
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 bpmclimb 11 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I think at the end of the day it doesn't matter what you call the style you did a route in, as long as you're not trying to fool other people ... or fool yourself. The style is all. It's all just a matter of being honest with yourself. On the very few occasions that I ever rested on a runner while leading, or even pulled on it, it gave me no satisfaction at all and felt like quite a big failure.

I'd agree with all that from the point of view of maintaining an accurate and honest record of one's own climbing; however, if the terminology is differently applied from climber to climber, then the logbook loses all meaning when read by other climbers - in which case, it's better kept private. If the information is to be shared, for one reason or another, and the logbook is to be public, then surely some consistency in how terms are defined is called for?


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