/ Jim Birkett First Ascent Ticklist

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C Witter on 23 May 2017
I've put together a ticklist of Jim Birkett first ascents. I hope people will enjoy the ticklist and help me to finish creating it - as it's not quite complete.

Here it is: https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=2005

So far, I've only climbed North-west Arete and Leopard's Crawl. Has anyone done them all?

I remember Bill Birkett describes following Jim's routes as a kind of education in quality routes on good rock; and I remember Dave Birkett also says somewhere that he started out by following his grandfather's routes. So, it seems to me a good challenge - or apprenticeship? - to follow in Jim Birkett's footsteps.

The list appeals to me personally as the routes are all in the Lakes (as far as I know), which is my local and well-loved haunting ground. I'm also just starting to be able to lead VS - E1 routes, so they're accessible in that respect too.

Unfortunately, I don't have area guides for all of the Lakes, and some routes may even have been trimmed. So, if anyone can suggest (fairly authoritatively!) other routes to add, that would be very much appreciated!

Thanks and enjoy!
C Witter on 23 May 2017
In reply to C Witter:

p.s. I know that Overhanging Bastion and maybe May Day Cracks are possibly unclimbable now, due to rock instability - so, if you've done them all, you might be part of a select few.
Mike-W-99 on 23 May 2017
In reply to C Witter:

Have done a few, its a great list. You definitely need to get yourself to White Ghyll and do all the nots.
C Witter on 23 May 2017
In reply to Mike-W-99:

Yes - that's a priority on the list! Starting with White Ghyll Wall and Slip Knot, I think. Laugh Not (Joe Brown??) also looks very good. I'm quite keen for 'F Route', too, but it looks very strenuous!
petegunn on 23 May 2017
In reply to C Witter:
Please can you add Inaccessible Gully (V 5) I know its not rock climb but its a superb route when in condition and went unnoticed for years and another impressive ascent from Jim.
Plus it might make the full tick list a bit harder for some : )
Post edited at 23:13
C Witter on 23 May 2017
In reply to petegunn:

Hi Pete,

I certainly can - but, how do you now it was Jim Birkett's FA? The only info I can find (albeit, with a quick search) suggests that Gilpin Ward and C. R. Wilson did the first ascent (see: http://www.frcc.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Vol12-2.pdf ). I will happily be corrected, but please let me know the source.

Whilst searching, I did find some other routes to add, so thanks!
CW
Dave Cumberland - on 23 May 2017
In reply to C Witter:

May Day is OK. I personally would not climb OB again after what I saw last weekend.
DC
petegunn on 23 May 2017
In reply to C Witter:

Its now accredited to Jim Birkett in the Lakes winter guide

" c.1940 An ascent which went unnoticed for many years thanks to Jim Birketts famously reticent habit when discussing his activities."
C Witter on 24 May 2017
In reply to petegunn:

Ta Pete!
Rog Wilko on 24 May 2017
In reply to C Witter:

> I'm quite keen for 'F Route', too, but it looks very strenuous!

F Route is quite a pussycat, really. With even standard VS leader footwork it's quite steady. And the gear is good.
Tom the tall on 24 May 2017
In reply to Rog Wilko: agree about f route. It's a while since I did it but have never been more than a VS punter with the occasional harder route, and recall enjoying it, good rock, good gear.

C Witter on 24 May 2017
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Well, that's that then - I'll have a crack next time I'm at Gimmer! Thanks for the encouragement.
Phizzers - on 30 May 2017
In reply to C Witter:

Jim did quite a bit of activity on Scafell, his best are May Day Climb and Slab and Groove. MDC is nails, a hard first pitch which gives a very good indication on the standard Jim achieved back in 1938. SaG is a classic, but a bit out of the way. Another superb route which is always overlooked is the original girdle of the East Buttress, which is HVS. He also added Gremlin's Groove, which is OK, but please avoid his routes Steep Gill Grooves and South Chimney, or else you'll never return to Scafell!
See Bill Birkett's book on lakeland's greatest pioneers which has a full list of Jim's routes. You may find it in a library or seek it out on the secondhand market.
All the best.
Al
Andy Hardy on 30 May 2017
In reply to C Witter:

Without checking in the guidebook, I think he did quite a few routes in Buttermere - eagle front, and one on Honister (forgot the name!)
Dave Ferguson - on 30 May 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

that was Bill Peascod
Big Ger - on 31 May 2017
In reply to C Witter:

Many thanks.

Does anyone know if there's a "Menlove Edwards" ticklist anywhere?
Greenbanks - on 31 May 2017
In reply to Phizzers:

I always found Slab & Groove a hard one...a great ascent for its time I think, and a massively underrated climb now
Andy Hardy on 31 May 2017
In reply to Dave Ferguson:

Thanks, that'll learn me.
Rog Wilko on 31 May 2017
In reply to Dave Ferguson:

Is there a Peascod tick list?
Rick Graham on 31 May 2017
In reply to Rog Wilko:

> Is there a Peascod tick list?

Editing Al's post gives an answer

See Bill Birkett's book on lakeland's greatest pioneers which has a full list of Bill Peascod's routes. You may find it in a library or seek it out on the secondhand market.
keith-ratcliffe on 31 May 2017
In reply to Phizzers:
Thanks for pointing out this book - just ordered a copy off Abebooks. Can't see how I missed it when it came out.
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

What did you see last weekend Dave?!
In reply to C Witter:

You won't thank me for this, but:
The Tarsus, HS, Dove Crag. Not fully described in the current guide.
The Gossard, VS, Castle Rock of Triermain. A girdle traverse - not even mentioned in the current guide.
You'll find both these in the 1959 Eastern Crags guide.

Also Flying Buttress, VS, Castle Rock of Triermain - in the current guide.
C Witter on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to Stephen Reid - Needle Sports:
Why won't I thank you - are they 'orrible routes? Ta for the additions - will add them in when I get a moment.
Post edited at 11:16
In reply to C Witter:

> are they 'orrible routes?

I suspect so!
Dave Cumberland - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to Stephen Reid - Needle Sports:

> What did you see last weekend Dave?!
Continued movement, falling away of loose blocks, fragmentation, widening of all cracks.
DC
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Actually, just saw Dave earlier today and he said that the crack at the top of North Crag Eliminate, just below the pasture at the top of the crag, where one used to belay on a birch tree and a Friend 2.5, is now wide enough for him to stick his leg in. The birch fell out quite some time ago. This perhaps gives a better illustration of the rock movement that has taken place.

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