/ Safe E5 6b routes, N Wales, Lake District
I pulled onto Quantum Jump E5 6b in the pass yesterday. Took a fall at the end of the crux but managed it ground up second go. It felt very safe and I’m just looking to break into the grade.
Does anyone have any recommendations for 6b routes that have a safe-ish crux?
Having never seconded anything above E4, but have Lead many E4 6a’s I’m tentative to take the next step in the grade ladder but believe many routes of the grade should be achievable for me unless sandbagged. Any to steer away from? Any soft touches out there?
Penal Servitude at Reecastle?
King Wad, scimitar ridge
The Cruise, Upper Tier Gogarth
Zukator, Tremadog (E4, unusual tenuous bridging)
Psychic Threshold, Castel y Gwynt on the Great Orme
Bog of the Eternal Stench, Craig Ddu, Pass
Killerkranky at scimitar ridge (you can do King Wad while you're there) is safe and sustained for E5.
Dare I say it but Right Wall. Best E5 in the country, has its bold bits but they're more 'E4 bold' rather than E5 bold'. Often gets described as three E4s on top of each other and I'd agree with that.
A day or so at Pen Trwyn perhaps?
> A day or so at Pen Trwyn perhaps?
That was immediately what came to mind when I read the post but I think most of the E5's are now fully bolted and 7a+
Oops sorry, didn't notice the Wales or Lakes bit - my suggestion is not in either place.
A few from the Lakes (not awash with quality safe E5s!)
The Cumbrian (E5 6b) Is probably the obvious choice in the Lakes. Borderline 6a/b.
The Flying Fissure Finish (E5 6b) Is safe at the crux, but harder than the above.
Fine Time (E5 6b) Fits the bill exactly, but isn’t a great climb.
Penal Servitude (E5 6b) Definitely isn’t an easy E5! I found the RP quite tricky to place.
High Performance (E5 6b) This one’s on my to do list
> Dare I say it but Right Wall. Best E5 in the country...
Fast and Furious and Fear and Fascination, Dove Crag.
I thought trilogy was pretty safe after a bit of a bold start, a bit soft to. But GPN is spot on the lakes isn’t awash with safe or soft e5’s
Cheers all, that’s a good looking list to work through for now! Appreciate the help!
I would recommend some good E5 6a's rather than a E5 6b. Having never climbed an E5 6b but several E5 6a's.
Right wall on Dinas Cromlech is probably two E3's with an E4 on top going through the port hole. Climb Resurrection before to see how that goes, RW is a bit harder and a bit more run out.
Flashdance is easy climbing but pretty run out. It does get easier the further up you climb though.
Rimsky Korsakov is good, a bit pumpy but well protected where needed, the top crack can be wet though.
Warpath is a great first E5 as its super steep and safe to lob off if it gets too much at the top.
> Flashdance is easy climbing but pretty run out. It does get easier the further up you climb though.
Pretty sure you deck from the crux on Flashdance! There was supposed to be a brass offset but I couldn't get anything to stick.
> Dare I say it but Right Wall. Best E5 in the country, ...
To paraphrase John Lennon, “Right Wall isn’t even the best E5 on the Cromlech”
> Fast and Furious and Fear and Fascination, Dove Crag.
Fear and Fascination is scary, poorly protected, steep and pumpy E6! I've failed on it twice I think.
> I would recommend some good E5 6a's rather than a E5 6b.
Agreed, plenty of well protected E5 6a's in Wales. Warpath, Roscolyn, has already been mentioned, well protected and pumpy with safe fall out zone, low in grade. Killerkranky at Scimitar Ridge is good, similarly pretty well protected and sustained, probably bit harder, King Wad is E5 6b and safe overall though a bit out there, used to be E6 so hard for the grade I think (belayed only). On Gogarth, Positron is obviously great and again pretty well protected though a big route. Citadel is E5 6b but crux is hard and I failed on it so didn't enjoy it as much as Positron or Hunger.
The only E5 6bs I've os in Wales are Poetry Pink (most seem to think 6b) and Splitstream on the slate - don't really fit you request for well protected though the actual hard climbing on both has decent gear.
Poetry Pink is definitely 6b, that crux move is fully desperate! Safe as houses at that point though. Second the suggestion to get on Resurrection, stonking route. The gear in the first half takes some finding but the top half is bomber.
To think that they used to recommend Poetry Pink as a good intro to the E5's hereabouts, being closer to E4. Some intro!
That was one of the reasons I tried it! I like to think I'm pretty good on the slate but I thought it was nails!
Did it not used to get E4? I vaguely recall such but it will have been in the mid 80s so a long time for memory to fade.
> To think that they used to recommend Poetry Pink as a good intro to the E5's hereabouts, being closer to E4. Some intro!
It was the first E5 I ever led, almost 18 months before I led another one. Thought it was incredibly soft at the time and didn't even count it as an 'E5 lead'. Since then, however, I have resisted some of my old soft touches and usually got a bit of a shock.
I think a lot of the Welsh routes are often softly graded and lot of the 6b's are more like 6a elsewhere. I think Pus on Grochan is quite hard and perhaps worth 6b though and also safe. Dune Child at Tremadog is also fairly hard technically, possibly more like E5 6b.
The Gogarth Main Cliff E5s are generally pretty safe, at least the ones I've done. Dinosaur is great as the crux is high up, you fall into space and the gear is good (I've tested it). Hunger is fine (I've tested the gear on it as well). Mammoth is f*cking nails but safe as the hard bit is high up and steep (again, I've tested the gear - a bit of a theme developing...). Didn't test the gear on Citadel (for a change!) but again the crux is high up and there's good gear. It's 6a/b, not that hard if you figure out how to do it, which you can do as there's a great rest just before the crux. Positron is fine as wel.
Right Wall is no harder than Resurrection and less sustained as there are two good resting ledges. However it's pretty bold going for the first ledge (potential to deck or swing into a pillar/corner low down, although it's only 5b/c climbing) and then again above the girdle ledge where it's 5c/6a (you won't deck but the ledge is a couple of feet deep so it's easy to do an ankle if you don't push out and miss it). The bit from the first ledge to the girdle ledge is ok - I've tested the gear after accidentally straying into Lord... If you cruise Resurrection, you'd probably be fine on Right Wall. True Grip
An often overlooked route is Precious, which is a direct on Right Wall. Gets E5 6b but I think it's only 6a, though a bit harder than Right Wall. The start is ok for gear, the middle bit to the girdle ledge is also ok and the top is the same as Right Wall but with a direct finish where thankfully there's a cam from memory. Well worth doing. The difficulty is likely to be that it won't be chalked.
Poetry Pink - safe on the hard bits, bold on the 5c bits and nasty deckout potential on one of the moves but it's probably only 5b. The 6a and 6b moves are very thins so get some practice on slate slabs first - Short Stories (pretty bold but the hard bits are not far from the bolts), Kubla Khan (same), Scheherezade (sport route really, a bit run out at the top) and The Ghost in the Machine (sport route really but a bit sporting).
Warpath as mentioned above.
Not done any E5s in the Lakes but the ones on Raven Crag Thirlmere could be worth a look. The Gates of Delirium is a hard and safe E4 there and the couple of E5s next to it looked ok.
If you're looking at safe E5s, there are loads in Pembroke - a must visit destination for anyone climbing in the E grades. Get Some In at St Govans is very well protected and pretty sustained but not too hard at E5 6a (F6c+ ish). In the Leap, JED / Scorch the Earth gets E5 in some guide books but is only really E4, unless you go for the 6b direct version past the peg low down, which looks nails (so most people don't!). Head Hunter is generally ok but you've got to hang around to place a fairly crucial and awkward to place wire. The Minotaur is a bit bold but only about E3 at the bottom and the crux is short and sharp (and height dependent). Darkness at Noon is reasonably safe if you trust number 1 and 2 wires (take loads) but kind of spooky. Circus Circus on Rusty Walls is punchy but safe. Jabberwock in Box Zawn has a pretty adventurous feel but is reasonably safe, just a bit bold towards the start and hard to find in condition so not the best first E5. Just Clingon at Mother Carey's - as the name implies and if you don't you'll get some air but it's really steep so you'd be falling into space. Ships that Pass in the Night felt straightforward for E5 and safe enough. Barbarella is f*cking nails but the gear is sufficient. Blucher and Undertone weren't too hard and the gear as far as I can recall. That's just the ones I've done, there will be loads of others.
Tales of Yankee Power on High Tor is a bit vicious and there's a bit of a runout but it's pretty safe. Go for the thread, not the jug... Supersonic is also superb but a bit iffy in the starting corner groove.
Oh and you've got to go to Lower Sharpnose. Pumpy and fairly safe is the name of the game there. Pacemaker gets E5 6b in some guide books but I think it's only 6a.
Oh and Swanage - Wall of the Worlds and The Lean Machine are superb and the gear is great if you can hang on to place it (just make sure to preplace a rope for the latter). I know it's miles from your target area but well worth travelling for.
I'll stop now. Though if you want to know about a nails but safe E5 at Bosigran, which is even furher out of your target area...
Agree RW isn't the best E5 in the country (Darkinbad the Brightdayler currently tops my list) but which E5 on the Cromlech is better than RW?
I think it depends on how good you are on small holds - it was my first E5 onsight and I thought 6a.
That said I was flying up slabs at the time which may have had something to do with it. Would be interesting to revisit.
I got a bomber RP1 in just below where I assume the RP4 used to go. It sat really well and I felt super confident through the crux, even missing a good hold that I only spotted after I'd done it. (I was less confident when I was almost at the Dervish where you need binoculars to see the last runner!). Even with the RP1 I wouldn't describe it as 'safe' though.
I think I only had brass offsets at the time which may explain the situation somewhat. Excellent climbing though.
> Agree RW isn't the best E5 in the country (Darkinbad the Brightdayler currently tops my list) ...
Same country boyo?
True Grip isn't really E5 though...
It has to be Atomic Hotrod.
Indian creek style thin hands/ringlocks
just your thing!
Ha, my favourite ;-)
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