/ Why do some new routes attract repeats where others do not?

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
harold walmsley - on 11 Aug 2017
I am puzzled about why some new routes attract repeats rather than others. On Trench Wall, Trench Warfare, which I wrote up quite unfavourably, has attracted more ascents than Grey Pride, which I quite liked, wrote up more enthusiastically and awarded more stars. On Dinorwig slate I have done 3 new routes that I thought were worth 2 or more stars (Ayers and Graces, Lucky Break and Island of Stability). The latter two in particular struck me as very good yet none has had a repeat recorded on UKC whereas the recent routes in Penmaenbach quarry and the banned routes in Penmaen West Quarry all quickly attracted repeats. Conversely, just round the corner from Penmaen West the un-banned routes on Black Slab and Fence Wall have seen relatively little traffic despite enthusiastic writeups, better rock than the quarries, reasonable access and reasonably favourable comments by repeat ascensionists (e.g. Into the Light has no recorded repeat). Sorry for no route links, they don't seem to be working from here atm. Within Pemaenbach Quarry Chris's Route Helvic Wiggle attracted quite a lot of adverse comment in the UKC logbooks (for reasons that have now been attended to) and isn't he most immediately attractive line and yet it is one of the most frequently repeated.

None of the above, apart from the Trench Wall routes, are in a guidebook but all have been written up in the same forums so the availability of information is similar. Can anybody enlighten me what influences popularity? I would be particularly interested to hear from people who have done some of the above why they chose the routes they did and ignored others.
elefantee - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to harold walmsley:

The popular ones are 3 minutes closer to the car park.
harold walmsley - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to elefantee:

No that is not it, at least not the whole story. I purposely mentioned routes on Trench Wall only a few m apart where there is an unexpcted (to me) difference. It may be a factor for the slate routes I mentioned although I think people may have an exaggerated idea of some of the access difficulties.
elefantee - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to harold walmsley:

Sorry. I confess I was trolling a bit there.

In reality I would also like to know as I have observed a fair bit of weirdness in route popularity over the years as well.
Wayne S - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to harold walmsley:
I do not know the routes involved, but two things to consider:

1, Grade, easier routes get done more.
2, Bolts, put closely spaced bolts in any old crap piece of rock and it will get climbed.
stp - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to harold walmsley:

Interesting question. In general terms...


Accessibility: routes on the Outer Hebrides see fewer ascents than those at Stanage Popular

Seriousness: Serious routes see fewer ascents than safe

Difficulty: Harder routes see fewer ascents

Line: striking lines get climbed more

Quality: More stars = more ascents

Grade: soft touches get done more than tough for the grade routes

Traffic: Routes that are chalked up and clean, not overgrown, will get done more

Photographed: Photos of routes inspire people to climb them


Wayne S - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to stp:
Can't fault the statements, though is it quality or perception of quality? If you could truly quantify two routes as being equal in quality, but one was recorded as three stars and the other as none would the route with stars see more ascents?
Post edited at 09:30
stp - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Wayne S:
Sure, perception of quality will be what gets people on the route, though hopefully there's a pretty big overlap in those two things.
Post edited at 09:41
Rog Wilko on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to harold walmsley:

Speaking personally I don't bother to seek out repeating new routes that are about 8m long with a 90 minute walk-in.
Michael Gordon - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Wayne S:

Absolutely, yes. Two equally great looking routes of the same grade - the one with *** next to it will see more ascents than the one without any. Hopefully some would be curious enough to do the non-starred one afterwards or at a later date.
ads.ukclimbing.com
David Coley - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Rog Wilko:

> Speaking personally I don't bother to seek out repeating new routes that are about 8m long with a 90 minute walk-in.

Then is might fit the bill:
https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item/69926/new_1278m_long_route_in_uk

someone, please, please repeat it.
wynaptomos - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to harold walmsley:
In my opinion, your last paragraph answers your own question. In general, people use the available guides to look for available routes and do not search through the forums for new routes. This would explain why the Trench wall routes are more popular than say, Island of Stability, which I had never heard about until now. Having now seen the description of this route on UKC, it certainly looks like one I should go and do!
Offwidth - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to harold walmsley:

One might also ask how one can advertise one's own new routes without being too obvious about it ;-)
Offwidth - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to stp:

Good list but you missed one of the biggest factors.... fashion.
Ron Rees Davies - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to harold walmsley:
>>Sorry for no route links, they don't seem to be working from here atm
Seems to be a problem with cut and paste - need to click twice or hold longer on the click!

Trench Wall#maps
Trench Warfare (6a+)
Grey Pride (6a+)

Ayers and Graces (6c+)
Lucky Break (6c+)
Island of Stability (6c)

For the trench wall routes I think the fact that the more popular one shares the start for another (2 starred) route of the same grade is probably a factor - people probably climb two, then maybe have to go back to the car at 70degrees layby to avoid parking fines ;) The 'damoclean flake' on Grey Pride doesn't sound encouraging either.
Post edited at 17:00

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.